Some of you may remember when MacBooks came in white plastic casing. If you do, I suspect like me, you are really old.
I had mine for about seven years and then it died. I turned it on one morning and the friendly little Apple symbol did not appear. I could hear turning and moaning but not much else. Plastic discs would not even go into their drive. I took it to the Mercer IT Department (my employer at the time), and they told me what I knew — it was dead. I was sad to see it go yet it had been wonderfully loyal — and I bought it over the phone and it came in the mail.
After it died, I went to Atlanta and to the new Apple Store at Lenox Square. There I saw what was going to become my new MacBook Pro.
In a silver metal case, seemingly indestructible, and it just made me forget my old plastic MacBook. Just like that I had forgotten my old friend.
My new computer was a number-crunching machine. It was with me during the best years of my publishing. I also had a good bit of consulting going on and the shiny metal case made everything I did look more impressive and more expensive. This new world was wonderful.
The only problem was setting it up and moving files from the old machine to the new one. After many calls later to Apple IT and the Help Desk, it was all good but it took a lot of time and the learning curve was quite steep.
For some reason, the other night I was cleaning out my desk and I found the original receipt for the Pro. To my disbelief it was 10 years old. Time had passed, and I was stunned that it was still working — a bit slower, however, just like me. We had grown old together, made a career and moved to the Golden Isles.
And then it happened. That night I had a dream. My dream was that my MacBook Pro died and that everything on it was lost forever. I woke up in a sweat. This could not happen. This omen was so startling, I made up my mind that I had to buy a new computer that day.
Almost instantly I started dreading the setup that I knew was destined to come. Also, I knew the sales person would look down on me and my lack of current computer knowledge.
I had to go to the doctor on Monday (my new hip is fine — thanks for thinking of me) and then on to the Apple Store at St. Johns Center.
This Apple Store was very different from the one at Lenox many years ago. Knowledgeable and friendly sales people everywhere, all of whom had some specialty. There I met my new machine upon which I am typing this article — a new MacBook Air. No more spinning hard drives, plenty of memory, lite, fast, thin and in colors – silver, gold or space gray. Space gray it was. Gold just seemed too over the top and silver seemed like something from the past.
Then the magic happened. “Would you like me to set it up for you? Should not take more than 5 minutes. Everything you have is in the iCloud. I can access it in just a few minutes.” (Cloud? I think it is a cave in Utah.) “Will this include all the passwords that I have forgotten but have stored in the old Pro.” “Absolutely!” She did not just say ‘yes.’ She said ‘absolutely.’ Her confidence was overwhelming and very reassuring.
She did not stop there. To experience all of my new computer’s features it should be connected in magical ways to my iPhone and to my iWatch. Bingo — I am now totally integrated across all platforms — even at my age. So many things in life are now so much easier, and the rate of getting easier is growing.
My point? Thank you, Steve Jobs. Thanks to all of the 47,000 Apple employees and the other 304,000 workers in U.S firms supporting Apple. Thank you for approximately 1.2 million workers in the rest of the world. Thank you for the average salary of Apple corporate employees of $124,053. Thank you for spending your income in many other places that creates jobs for other people. Thank you for freedom and entrepreneurship that led to the creation of all this.
Just think, Apple started in Steve Wozniak’s garage. Creativity and freedom made all the rest. Wealth was created and living standards raised. For those of you who think this is bad and immoral — you can simply kiss my space gray MacBook Air. I bet all those people who bought Apple stock for pennies a share are thankful too.
PS: I bet Amazon would love the Golden Isles. I know that 25,000 new employees all earning on average $150,000 would change the nature of this place. However, I would love to swap new problems for the old ones that we have now that, at times, we seem unable to solve.