I bought my first APPLE computer in 1991, at Mac Expo in Toronto at an auction. No one was bidding so I won. I believe I saved $50 on a $1,800 machine. So at 3% inflation rate, it will cost $3,251 today. It was a black and white 5 inch Mac Classic, it was so portable in 91’s standard, and there was a sac made for it to be carried around.
Even back then, APPLE was one-step ahead. Literally, I remember, we could connect two Mac Classics with a telephone wire and BAM! you could share files. We are now 2011, has anyone have any real success with Window’s home networking yet? seriously. In addition, not to mention MacOS, the pre-Windows operating system of file folders, icons, drag and drop, … It was such a joy to use a MAC. Even the software installer was simpler than later when Microsoft debuted its Windows 3.1 (a blanket over MS-DOS). I remember managing a small network back then, the painful thing was having to load 20 floppy disks to install an application, and at 19 it gave me a black screen!!!! It booted into DOS of course…i.e., you needed to type commands to revive Windows 3.1. On the other hand, if something went really wrong with a MAC, it just gave you an icon with a sick face or a bomb! Nothing much you could do about it, but sure beat the black screen of death. Also, there was truly nothing you could do, because the OS was in hexadecimal. So unlike Windows or DOS, where I could open any file with “txtedit” and re-wrote the whole OS…and perhaps that’s why I had stayed many nights to keep the network running, because Windows made me to tinker. That’s another story.
But the first one I ever used was a SE40, the daddy of the Classic. In fact, because of that I switched to a MAC. Besides, brand name PCs, like IBM, COMPAQ, were quite pricey, unless you went the local computer store route and had them built you one. BTW, it was so much fun to get on the World Wide Web (WWW) using Compuserve with a 2400 baum modem with the Classic, expensive but fun. Literally, I watched each dot got displayed as an image was downloaded. MAC was popular in the early 90’s, until APPLE decided to have a new line of product coming out every 30days. I remember shortly after my Classic was out, Classic II was already in the inventory! It was bad APPLE.
Then there was the multiple lines with different covers. For example I sold my Classic and got a Quadra 605, while APPLE was also selling it as a LC40… that’s about the time APPLE decided to go upscale and made even their base models untouchable. At the same time, Windows OS started to take off and when all businesses were using Windows, one just couldn’t bring work home to a MAC. (trust me I went through many Windows/MAC files conversion nightmares and PC emulator on MAC was painful to watch ) .
So here we are today, APPLE has kept its marketing strategy and vision to be hip and upscale, and rightly so, cause their industrial designs are truly an art-form! That’s why an APPLE store is always packed. BTW, I passed by the newly opened one in Hong Kong’s IFC building in October, it’s the size of 6 Canadian stores stacked to two floors, i.e., 3 each, and it was packed on a Saturday afternoon.
Despite all, from a pure computer purchasing decision point-of-view, I believe the price-variance for being hip and trendy is about $400-$500. In other words, I luv to have a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air, but I will never, cause I am trained to minimize cost… besides, there are too many MacBooks at Starbucks, LOL!
My opinion: Like many people who will buy Gucci or Louis Vuitton, many people will buy APPLE. At this point in the computer market, the premium is really paid for the style and prestige. One logical argument is whether there truly is a difference looking at this blog using a MacBook and my Gateway net-book with 11.6 inches screen? None. But then perhaps, there is one, the Apple’s icon lights up on the cover that everyone sees it when coming into a Starbucks, LOL!