Friday, January 20, 2012

Seduced by Apple

Reflections (Central Park)
I am writing this on my new MacAir – the final acquisition in what is a hardware trifecta for Apple.  

It started with the iPad, a slim little bit of nothing that is far and away the best piece of technology that I’ve bought in years.  In a nutshell, it takes care of all my reading (except for on the beach) and on the fly networking needs and I can edit photos on it – a great boon for this photography buff.  I could also retire my iPod (so last decade) if only I would go through the steps necessary to load it with my music library.   There are plenty of little game applications for when I just want to while away some time.  Some day, I will be a three star player on all levels of Angry Birds but in the meantime I’ve mastered all levels of Plants vs. Zombies and am about even on beating the machine in Scrabble.    And, it’s small enough to fit into a purse for those one-day trips for business and a great companion for longer vacations.    

Next to follow was the iPhone 4S – replacing the trustee Blackberry that had served me well these last few years.  I must confess that it’s been a bit of learning curve getting used to one finger instead of two thumb typing but that pales in comparison to the positive benefits.  Biggest of these is SIRI!  Who can’t fall in love with Siri?  She’s like I Dream of Jeannie without the bottle.  Out and about on a cold winter day and want to find an address?  No need to shed gloves or even to stop walking.  Just hold your iPhone up to your ear and Siri will ask you how she can help you.  Address for Union Square CafĂ© – no problem!  Show me the best places to see the Northern Lights in 2012 – you got it.  I was a little crushed when I asked her to marry me and she responded that that wasn’t allowed under her end user license agreement.  I soon rebounded when I realized that regardless of our marital status, Siri can’t divorce me. 
Petrified Wood (Central Park)
And then there is this MacAir.  Oh my word, slim and elegant and a bit challenging to operate given my deep roots in the PC world.  But the things it can do!  Perhaps my favorite is that I can open it and be online within two minutes.  And I can snap it shut like a clam when I’m done for the day or the plane is landing without worrying about losing a document or not being able to pick up exactly where I left off.   How cool is that? The dashboard is amazingly intuitive and the ability to use the touch pad to enlarge (or shrink) what I’m working on or to scroll is just amazing to this mouse driven writer.    And, the mail function allows me to work on emails offline and “q” them up to send off when next I connect.  Now, that is very helpful (albeit it the fact that it does mean there is one more option when flying that might keep me from hunkering down to focus on a bigger project). 

As for the downsides, it’s going to be a bit of challenge going back and forth between the Mac versions of Microsoft office and Windows-PC until I figure out the bells and whistles.  I’m not 100% certain about iPhoto – I’m a long-time Picasa user and have many photos stored there – the Apple credo does seem to be to make it not so easy to use programs that compete with Apple software.  But these are relatively minor concerns in the grand scheme of things and certainly not insurmountable!

Upside Down Rose (Central Park)
Of course, I am relatively early in my relationship with all things Apple and the bloom could fade just as the color fades from the petals of a withered rose.  For now, I am content to enjoy the journey of discovery and am anxiously awaiting the next really cool app that catches my attention.