I’ve always been willing to take advice. Indeed, I ask for it. When choosing a new appliance, it’s very useful to go to someone who has done the research already, chosen a product and can recommend it – or not – and tell you why. Several times, I’ve asked for advice on this blog, for my present dishwasher for example. My vacuum cleaner, which I’ve had for well over 20 years, was chosen simply because my sister happened to mention that her daughter-in-law had one she was pleased with. I asked, it had some features I particularly wanted, so I went into Bonds (now John Lewis) in Norwich and bought it. Didn’t look at another.
In about 1989 or 1990, I decided I needed a computer. Not because I was interested in computers, just as a working tool. I had no idea how to go about choosing one, and I asked my friend Alan, who was a busy man with his own business, was impatient, fun to be with and generous. He said that he’d bought an Apple Mackintosh a few months previously. He had, a year before, bought a PC, but he couldn’t get to grips with it at all, so had cut his losses, started again, and never looked back. It was, he said, easy for a busy person with no expertise or interest in computing to use. It just worked. I went to Jarrolds, and all I had to do was decide how much to spend. I love not having too much choice when I haven’t the experience to base my choice on. I bought my first Mac and a printer (the one suggested by the assistant), brought them home, plugged them in and worked out, with remarkably little difficulty, how to get them going.
Now, we take for granted that a computer should be good-looking and easy to use. It wasn’t always the case. Similarly, mobile phones were often full of gadgets one didn’t need, whilst the ones one did use needed a manual to learn. In fact, I still have trouble finding my way round the Sage’s htc and really regret not having sprung the extra for an iPhone for him. Even the techno-clueless Sage can use my iPhone effortlessly. There’s never the problem that I don’t know how to do something, I can simply work it out. There is, however, sometimes the sudden joy of discovering some new little trick, which is fun.
Simply, I don’t care in the least if you have vowed never to buy into Apple, not even if it’s “just because” and not for clear reasons. I’m not going to say Macs are better than PCs, I daresay they aren’t, although anyone who hasn’t used both extensively doesn’t really have the experience to say. But the reason that all computers look attractive, are compact and are pretty intuitive to get to grips with is that Steve Jobs led and the rest had to follow suit. Without him, they wouldn’t have had an incentive.