In many of my social circles, I’m considered the infamous “Apple fanboy”. You know, a fanboy — one who pledges an undying devotion to a product or brand, regardless of what other alternatives exist. And if you didn’t know me and only examined my home, you’d be hard pressed to conclude differently. The “Think Different” poster is one giveaway. The iMac and Macbook Pro are probably two others. It’s true — I have a deep appreciation for products made by the folks in Cupertino.
I started using OS 10 in 2001 out of sheer interest. My intention was to buy a Powerbook, check it out for a few weeks and then return it, paying the restocking fee as the price for renting the machine. However, the more I delved into the OS and the more I found that I liked, and the harder it was to part with.
Turn the page eight years later and my house looks like an Apple Retail Store. I owned the 2nd iPod (in 2001 I paid <gulp> $499 for a 10 gig behemoth — and I still have it.) Since the Powerbook, I’ve owned four other Macs and only recently have I given one to a family member (and that was a tough decision). I’ve owned three full-sized iPods, two iPod shuffles and I was about the fiftieth person on line in Bridgewater New Jersey on June 29, 2007 waiting five hours for the chance to spend $599 to buy the first iPhone.
I guess I can’t really run from the accusations of Apple fanboy-ism.
But examining my tech life a little further reveals more than just an appreciation for all things that have an Apple logo on them. I was running Window 3.1 in 1991 and took the day off to get Windows 95 when it released. I bought Windows 98 the day it came out and was the first in an office of so-called techies to run beta versions of Windows 2000 and subsequently XP. People didn’t even ask if I was running the new OS — they just knew: “Hey Dev, how’s Windows XP? Should I be considering it??”
And then there are all of the other tech purchases and gadgets. I’ve owned a bunch of other mp3 players — and this was pre-iPod, when most folks were walking around with portable CD players. I was a launch-day purchaser or the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, PlayStation (September 9, 1995), GameBoy Advance and probably a few other gaming consoles. I was an early purchaser of the Amazon Kindle. I’ve owned two netbooks — one Asus eee PC (which I sold) and a Dell Mini 9. I own a Nokia 770 Internet tablet.
When I go into a Best Buy, without being obnoxious, I’ve often assisted confused customers about buying decisions and sadly the guys in the store know me well enough not to ask me if I need any help. (Truthfully, I listen to so many tech podcasts and read so much about tech that often times I find myself helping them.)
I drop all of this information not to bask in my technology glory, but to clarify my stance. I am not an Apple fanboy. I am a tech aficionado. There’s a stark difference. I haven’t purchased and don’t own everything Apple. I have the experience and understanding of technology to give an objective opinion on most technology offerings – and that includes the ones made by Apple. In fact, I have been known to criticize Apple when I felt that it’s offering was sub-standard. I didn’t buy an Apple TV and wouldn’t buy one as it currently stands. I’ve always despised their mice and keyboards. And although I run OS 10 as my primary operating system, I also run three other operating systems right now (Windows Vista, Windows 7 – beta 7077, and Ubuntu 8.10). To call me an Apple fanboy would be like calling Tiger Woods ‘a pretty good putter’ – it’s a true statement, but an incredibly reductive one as well.