June 16, 2005: The day I experienced my Mac conversion and haven't looked back since
Today is the tenth anniversary of my recruitment to the world of Apple. After a quarter of a century struggling with various operating systems and a wide range of disparate and troublesome hardware, discovering Apple was a revelation. I can honestly say I haven’t looked back and couldn’t even consider using Windows again, however much it has improved in the past decade.
Ten years ago I knew very little about Apple products and had only the haziest of ideas of Steve Jobs’ role in the world of personal computing. Now look at me: iMac, MacBook Air, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Try it and see
On June 16, 2005, I walked into the Apple Store in London’s Regent Street and bought a Mac Mini for £299. A friend had tipped me off that this new device could be used with my existing screen and keyboard and would provide a good opportunity to see if I liked the environment. If I didn’t I could return it within fourteen days for a full refund, he said, although I found that generous policy hard to believe at the time. That was the sort of gift-horse that was almost unknown and, even now, is offered by too few retailers.
For Apple, though, this enlightened policy has more than paid for itself judging by the amount I’ve spent on the company’s devices since then.
The Mac Mini was nothing more than an experiment. I fully expected to return it and continue with the Windows environment I was familiar with. But something happened. Within a couple of days I was hooked. The following weekend I went back to Regent Street and bought a 15in PowerBook. The rest, as the cliché has it, is history.
Apart from the excellence of the products and the uniform way of working, the big asset of Apple is the ever-expanding eco-system. Before 2005 I had struggled with manual synchronisation of personal information management tasks. The Apple eco-system takes care of all that, keeping tabs on contacts, calendar, tasks, bookmarks and a hundred and one different aspects of the computing environment. I shudder when I look back. Admittedly other platforms have improved enormously in the past ten years but I do not believe anyone does seamless data for dummies as does Apple.
After moving to the Mac in 2005 I had only one problem. That was the difficulty of synchronising PIM data with my Compaq phone/organiser and, a little later, with the Palm Treo. It was anything but a seamless operation. I remember posting a message on one of the Apple Support forums asking why Apple didn’t make a phone. I thought it would be a natural fit and it would enable me to ditch my Windows and Palm OS devices for good.
Shot down in flames
I was shot down in flames by dozens of old Mac hands. How could I suggest such a ridiculous idea? Apple, they said, had tried and rejected the portable organiser, the Newton, and was certainly not about to enter a dodgy phone market dominated by Nokia and BlackBerry.
That was the summer of 2005. The rest, as I said before, is history.