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08
Oct
2011

Macs, Apples, i*s, a true testament of genius mind

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Written by Vedran Dakic   

Well, it's been a couple of days, people are still trying to wrap their heads and hearts around the fact that Steve Jobs passed away. Business-innovation-marketing outspoken, otherwise super-private, Jobs was a rare character with his iron hand, unbelieveable vision to drive various markets forward and realize his dreams. He probably felt like a kid in a candy store for most of his adult life. And we're all sad he's gone...


First time I worked on an Apple device was some ten years ago, while I was still in college. I was already heavily into *nix OS's and the beauty and elegance of Mac OS struck me as something really cool. Little did I know how I'll be using their devices years down the road. And I did, and I do, a lot.

A couple of years after that, after getting a college degree, I started working for a computer magazine and... this was my first permanent connection with Apple. We had a whole bunch of Macs, single and dual-cpu, as we did all parts of the publishing process on Mac, using Quark Xpress. It was actually a pretty good app with its quirks, but it was easy to use and when I worked with it the first time, it took me 10 minutes to get into it and learn all of the things I needed to know. Article title, select font size, subtitle, font size, regular text and paragraphs, insert pictures, format pictures... It was all very, very easy and straightforward. So much that, a couple of months later, I got a first Mac, iBook G4. I was getting tired of always waiting in line at work to get my articles ready for publishing so... this was a much better way to solve that problem. In the process, my coleagues at the testing lab got the oportunity to do so, too. And the fact that we actually had the fastest Mac in the company wasn't to be laughed about, either :-)

A couple of years after that, after doing music for 20 years and trying music production on various analog and digital devices - ranging for magnetic tape devices to different hard disc recorders, digital mixers with hard drives and, at the first-before-last step, PC - I got a MacPro. Two quad-core Xeons, 14GB of memory... I still use it on a daily basis. I was really getting tired of constant crashes and lack of hardware resources for plugins on PC's, overall system instability and.. I still have it, 'til this day. And I don't really need anything else for my studio, which I assembled a year after getting the MacPro.

Then, it was time to get a decent laptop. Right around my birthday I got paid for by a client for this huge project we did and.. I went shopping. I bought a 17" MacBook Pro, upgraded RAM to 4GB, bought additional two batteries and installed a SSD. This thing became my best friend during long hours of flights all over the world because even to this day, more then three years after I got it, all three batteries give me two to five hours of life. Two if I'm doing complex music production, around five if I'm watching movies or something. That's just plain amazing. I still have it and keep it religiously because it's a perfect mobile workstation, no matter if I want to do music production, write articles or virtual machines. It can do anything. And I've toyed around with various Hackintoshes, iMacs, pretty much everything Apple has to offer. Except Apple TV, but that's another story.

In December last year, I started some additional IT certification (MCITP 2008, MCITP VA) as I wanted to summarize the knowledge I already had in a coherent, organized way. In the summer of 2011, I passed six Microsoft exams needed to get those two certifications. A month before that, I got an iPad, uploaded some videos for these certificates that I got for cheap from a friend in the US and.. learned everything inside-out. iPad was an essential learning tool for me and it remains to be so to this day. Right now I'm making a schedule for almost 15 more exams to do before the year's end. iPad is gonna help me pass that without a problem.

I also have a couple of iPod Touches. One has a permanent residential address listed as "whereever I go", as it sits comfortably in my car. My favorite selection of music tunes is there and I can take it whereever I want to go, anytime.

Yeah, I do have a lot of Apple stuff. I actually have more. But this is more then enough for the point I'm about to make.

Apple is a company that simplified usage models of various devices - computers, laptops, mp3 players, phones, tablets, etc - to such an extreme level that you feel somehow taken by that. It just becomes a part of you that you can't deny, that you like to count on, and you get bitterly disappointed with when you're trying various devices from other manufacturers. On top of that, most of the designs they did for their devices is just miles ahead of everything anyone had to offer at that particular time. Which isn't the deciding factor for me, but if you have a device that works and is aesthetically pleasing, it's a perfect device. That's how most of the people that I know - myself included - think about that.

iPhone - that one I skipped. I couldn't (and I still can't) get over the fact that I can't change a battery on it and that it can't do Flash. I was very critical of this device and I still stand firmly by my attitude towards it - I don't want to be locked in, no matter if it's hardware or software locking me in. Nokia has been my choice for more then ten years, and after confirming that they've gone to massive hibernation mode of not realizing what's happening in the smartphone industry, I switched first to Blackberry, and then to Android. I still can't find it in myself to go with iPhone as those two initial problems I had with it are still there.

That being said, iPhone 4S seems like a very good phone. If for no other reason, Siri just kicks ass, and hardware-wise it's really pumped up nicely. Also, the integration of Siri in the OS is just awesome, judging by first videos. It's gonna do a lot of good for a lot of people, no matter if they're cooking or using GPS to get home.

I was at the MacWorld 2008 in SF when Steve gave his final keynote. In the morning, when I wanted to get in early to stand in line, I realized that it was an impossible mission. The line was all around the Moscone Convention Center and then some. That's the level of interest Steve commanded. And that's how he will be remembered.

 

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