You’ve undoubtedly heard by now that Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple. Now, I don’t think Steve Jobs is a god. I don’t like his mock turtlenecks. I did not cry or get a lump in my throat when I head the news. For years I thought Macs were overrated and underpriced.

I do, however, love the new MacBook Air I bought last month. It’s my first Mac, and in honor of Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple, here’s the story of how and why I went from Mac hater to Mac evangelist.

My family had a little Mac back in the early 90s, but since then my parents, my older siblings, and I have all been PC people. I bought my own first computer back sometime around 1998. All I remember was that it ran Windows 95, had a 133 mhz processor, and a 16x CD drive. The computer was FAST, man. It also was always having problems. It froze a lot. I managed to mess it up a lot. My brother would have to re-install Windows for me every few months.

iMac, 1998

iMac, 1998

I think it was around this time that Apple came out with its iMacs.

I thought they were the most ridiculous looking computers ever. Who would want a blue computer? And moreover, who would want a blue Apple computer? All my friends’ families had computers, but I didn’t know a single person who had an iMac.

When I moved overseas in 2001, my parents bought me a laptop. It was a Toshiba, and it was terrible. It would shut off at random moments and its various components took turns disintegrating.

It was around that time that the iPod came out. But I thought the thing was ridicuous. It was just so expensive and the MP3 players from the other brands were so much cheaper. What idiots buy iPods?, I wondered. I was very content with the generic Chinese MP3 player (with 128 megs of storage) that a friend gave me for my birthday.

My next computer was a Sony laptop. Sony laptops are more expensive and have a reputation for being quality machines. But even so, that computer was always having problems, too. The DVD drive gave out. The power cord wouldn’t stay in the computer. The memory card reader stopped working. Windows Vista was painfully slow. I kept using the computer because although it didn’t work well, it did still work, and I didn’t want to buy a new one.

I hated computers. I loved the things I could do with computers, but I hated computers themselves.

Fast forward a few more years to the summer of 2010. My 10th MP3 player had just died and I was about to go on a road trip. I needed some tunes. Of course, by this time, everyone and their dog had an iPod. Frustrated and in a hurry, I bought an iPod Nano on a whim.

Well, it turned out to be far and away the best MP3 player I’d ever had. I love its design, I love how easy it is to use, I love all the things it does, and I love that it is still working! Not only did it do what it was supposed to do, but it did it perfectly. After using it every day for 14 months, it’s still working perfectly.

Ok, so Apple wasn’t all fluff and hype after all. At least, their iPods weren’t.

While my iPod had been working perferctly, my Sony laptop was on its last legs. It was early summer 2011, and I was tired of it being slow, bloated, and crippled. I started looking for a replacement.

Still, buying an Apple laptop never crossed my mind. They’re just so freaking expensive. I mean, why spend $1500 on a Mac when I could buy three equally-powered PC laptops for the same price? It was just stupid, and I poked fun at my Mac-toting friends. I was convinced they had been swept up by the power of Apple’s marketing machine.

Though I wasn’t ready for a Mac, I was willing to spend a chunk of change to get a higher-end PC laptop. After a lot of research, I ended up ordering a $900 Lenovo. I got it in the mail, started using it, and then… I started having problems with it that very first day. There were these volume control buttons above the keyboard, and when I’d type, the computer would act like I had pressed those buttons, even though I wasn’t anywhere near them. I returned it, thoroughly frustrated. The plan then was just to use my Sony laptop until it died altogether, and then I’d return to trying to find a replacement.

Did that really just happen? I just bought an expensive computer from a company known for making high quality, dependable laptops… And it was having problems right out of the box. Ugh.

And then the new Macbook Airs came out a few weeks later, in July 2011. I had eyed the older model in Best Buy while looking at the Toshibas and Sonys, but had never given it a serious thought. I needed a real computer, not a toy. But as soon as I saw that the new ones had enough power and speed to do everything I needed, I bought one. It was $1800.

For that price I could have gotten four PC laptops with similar specs. But I realized that’s like saying you could have 4 crappy marriages instead of 1 good one. I spend all day every day on my computer. I need it to be on my team, working with me. I need it to work. And I’d like to not hate looking at it.

My new MacBook Air is amazing. It’s lightning fast. It’s dead sexy. It’s super light. The keyboard, screen, and touchpad are perfection. It’s a joy to use. There is no barrier between me and what I’m doing on my computer. My computer now works with me and for me, not against me.

Going back and using a non-Apple laptop now feels… clunky.

So now I am a fan of Apple products. I could go on about iTunes, the App store, and lots of other things, but I won’t. I’ll never buy a PC again.

My family of PC users is also slowing switching sides (along with the rest of the world, it seems). My brother has a MacBook and a few iPods. My sister has an iPad and iPhone. My dad has an iPhone and an Airport Express.

People are buying, using, and loving Apple products because they work. They do exactly what they’re supposed to do… perfectly.

Steve Jobs, I don’t really care that you’re leaving Apple. I think the company will be more or less the same and keep doing it’s thing. But thanks for keeping the technology out of sight and out of mind, leaving me with no distractions apart from all the great possibilities in front of me.

  • Do you own any Apple products?
  • Are you happy with your current computer?
  • Have Apple products ever let you down?
  • What’s your next computer purchase going to be?