A very light-almost-airy-tap is audible, as my fingers make their way through my new keyboard. My lap is hardly aware of the new device that sits on it. Each key is as smooth as the next. The characters represented on each key, however, are not as symmetrical, as far as silhouette goes. The silhouette of the characters is barely noticeable on some keys, on others they are somewhat more defined. The “j” for example is not noticeable at all. But the silhouette for the “d” and the “s” are both very prominent. Since it is a new computer each character is, of course, clearly visible.
About a week ago my previous laptop, a 15″ Toshiba Satellite, got attacked by spilled tea. The keyboard stopped working, some files wouldn’t open. It was dispiritedly saddening. I was proud of myself, however, for having actually done a back-up of my information a few days prior to that; I’d say that counts as “adulting”.
After a good two years of long nights writing essays, articles and doing research; we had become rather close. I figured I’d have it for a while, more than three years at least. I ventured to Best Buy in search of a new replacement, only to be disgruntled at the fact that Toshiba is no longer a brand one can easily find. Dell, Acer, and Lenovo didn’t quite do it for me; they never have. My options averaged around $750-900. For a few hundred dollars more, I felt a pull toward a silver glimmer that caught my eye. Soon thereafter, I was walking away from Microsoft altogether.
Now a silvery-thin and shiny new 13″ MacBook Air is sitting feather-light on my lap. We’re getting to know each other. As a former PC user –for three decades, joder I swear I was 22 just the other day –, I’d say we’re getting along quite well. Never mind that it was a long and tedious process to change the greeting from my full name to a nickname. Or that I deleted an entire paragraph without being able to get it back by pressing control+z –a mini heart-attack –. Or that there are no “home”, “end”, or “delete” keys. The “home” and “end” keys would allow you to move either to the beginning or the end of the sentence you were typing; respectively. On a PC there is a “backspace” key which equates to the “delete” key on a Mac, as well as a “delete” key which allows you to delete a character that is to the right of the curser. No need to move to the end of a word or a sentence to erase something. Never mind that I keep leaving fingerprints on my screen because I keep thinking Nymeria –yes, I’m a nerd that names things– is touch-screen.
It has indeed been a process of getting used to the different buttons and commands–I can tell it’s not an overnight process–; overall, it’s a process of re-wiring a previous conditioning. As I learn my way through the Apple system with frustration and laughter, I already begin to acquire a taste for the (slight) differences of my new Mac. I can’t help to admit that Nymeria is more comfortable to type on. My hands can just rest on either side of the Trackpad –mouse on a PC, I guess fancy terms is another slight difference–, my fingers reach each key with a lot more ease than they did on my PC. I’ll still admit that it is a bit weird to catch my reflection in the mirror and see myself with an apple product. My teenage self would be rather upset with my thirty-year-old self. Mainly because I thought that Apple products were specifically designed to increase the consumeristic tendencies of the average U.S. citizen. I still hold this belief as true, but it’s not until you actually own an Apple product –past the hurdle of frustrations on the confusion of that PC-to-Mac transition– to understand why it would be justified to purchase a product that promotes so much spending and acquiring.
How are apple products designed to motivate or even require, a constant phase of and positive reinforcement on, consumerism?
They are delicately and intricately made with a specific purpose so that you are inclined to buy a specific product. Hence the lack of touch-screens on laptops and desktops, why buy an iPad when your computer already has a touch-screen. Or the lack of USB ports on a laptop, for which you must buy an adaptor in order to connect to and transfer documents from and to your laptop. Nymeria’s processor’s capacity is, quite truthfully, much faster and sharp; despite how much I loved my Toshiba.
Aesthetically speaking there is no comparison between Macs and PCs. Macs just have this je ne sais quoi about their dainty-foxy look. PCs are a bit more harsh and bland to the eye. The exterior on a Mac is not plastic, hence, it gets scratches and bumps rather easily. To avoid a scratched-up look, Apple has every accessory you could think of to protect your silver-shiny product. Products such as a hard-plastic case, a keyboard cover and a screen protector; which I recently acquired for Nymeria – in a tranquil turquoise color, I’m rather excited for it to arrive –. She’s so pretty I wouldn’t want her to get beat up; I have an act for destroying any piece of electronic that I manage to obtain. Getting hired to test the durability and overall function of electronics, would be such a perfect job for me.
Despite the conspicuous incentives toward consumerism, I have to admit that after taking a bite of my new apple, I’m hooked. The extra couple of hundred dollars for a lighter, faster, aesthetically pleasing and delicately more comfortable laptop are definitely worth it.
Nice to meet you Nymeria, I am excited to see what we create together…
An incurable passion for writing; a poet at heart. I am a writer on the road.