Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Longest Relationship: Apple

Apple and I have been one since floppies  flopped. Since the rainbow apple, not the silvery gossamer fruit, donned the back windows of professor VWs. Back when external meant something. 

We're talking  Apple I here that my Dad brought home. In college I had the Apple IIIIe. In the 90's I had a Performa for Chrissakes  (PERFORMA!!!) and then I bought that big blue doorstop, the whatever that was, and after all that, I landed on the iBook G4. My first laptop. This was first product, to be truthful, that didn't mean I spent more quality time with Apple Support than my family. For four and half years my iBook was a faithful companion. I began to gloat over what a perfect piece of machinery it was, almost Japanese. There was the Classic 9 snafu, sure, but that was so quickly forgotten. The only trouble, really, was Dreamweaver, already a whispery ghost of a program, so who cared?

We soared through the MFA, my iBook and I. We wrote stories and essays. We started about five books. We completed on critical essay.  But over the past year, the iBook was slowing down. I didn't want to admit it but I knew the rainbow wheel was spinning for longer and longer. But I was going to gut it out until I began my PhD prog, finagle that discount. I was moving. Times were lean. 

Then this summer — the troubles.  I sought help and lost almost three weeks of my life to the Marigny ponytail Apple UNcertified repairdude, who despite his snazzy jumper,  after multiple phone calls,  had no advice to offer than since my computer didn't charge, perhaps it needed a new charger. 


The Genius Bar set me straight, with a new jack and a fresh keyboard, and I felt a resurgence of that warm fuzziness. 

Then, two days ago, halfway through my move from Nola to Ohio. The move that involves a U Haul trailer, two cats, and me having to teach online when I can at truck stops, I awoke at my brother's in Birmingham to the static rainbow monitor. Bad.  The screenshot then began spinning, flipping, as if running code for the end of the universe. Very Bad. 

It was then I realized, for all the money I had spent in repair, I could have had a brand new Dell. But — to turn PC? Was Apple loyalty merely my artsy ego? Or did I really stand by the mechanics of the Mac? 

My brother drove me to The Summit shopping center in Birmingham. I bravely through open the big glass door of the Apple Store gripping my Visa,  the one with the absurd credit limit because Bank of America secretly desires to repossess my house. I receive checks and invitations to consolidate my debt even as I boil meat bones to flavor my beans. Despite Bank of America's ideas, I am not the sort of person who can brandish the plastic at will.

But...I'm a writer. I'm starting a PhD program. I need the tools. This. That. The pile was small but made me exceedingly nervous. I sweated. The Apple guy rang me out with his little tricorder thingy as Mountainbrook yuppies, people whose Visas can withstand the abuse, milled around in their madras shorts and Izods, a fashion which has remained unchanged since Reconstruction. 


I woke up in the middle of the night. For a GRAND less I could have had Dell! A GRAND. This was retarded. This Mac fascination. Who did I think I was? This product is for the wealthy. For people who can let that backlit keyboard luminesce on their designer Swedish furniture. FORGET Apple. I thought, as I remembered how i had to fight at the store through the iPhone masses to try and get help with my computer. Remember, Apple? Remember when your business was computers and not yuppie gadgets?!!!!

I vowed to find the newest store and return this smoke and mirrors trendy box.

But then. 

I pulled out my MacBook Pro. 

It was silver and shiny. The keyboard pulsed and glowed. Kellleeeeee. 


margosita said...

Considering how much time you are going to be putting into your relationship with your laptop... it should be a relationship based on love, not on convenience.


Travis Fortney said...

Oh, Kelly. Return it. I saw a pretty nice computer with 4 gigs of RAM at staples the other day for 439 bucks. When you put my 400 dollar piece of crap and laurie's 2400 dollar mac next to each other on the coffee table, mine looks almost as appealing. If you need another excuse, that aluminum gets hot, and I mean hot, when you put it on your lap.

Laurie W. said...

Travis really has apple envy. He's under the impression I spent that much on my laptop. It may have felt like $2400, but my conspicuous consumption bottomed out at about the same, $1500. You gotta do what you gotta do.

ann said...

i'm with margosita. plus unless you're going to use an OS other than windows on your PC, it's death (or extreme irritation) by a thousand cuts anyway. why pay any amount of money, small or large, for a shitty computer experience?

Travis Fortney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.