My First Mac

Technogeek Falls in Love with OS X

Rob D Libbert - 2002.01.04

I'm a hard-core technogeek. I've used Linux since the days when it was only available on floppies. I have a degree in computer science. I chuckle condescendingly when people complain about the vi editor. Most importantly, I'm the guy people talk to when they're shopping for a new computer.

And now I tell them to buy a Mac.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'd been using Linux and NT at work and home for years, and I always assumed Macs were for people who couldn't figure out "real" computers. I think this bias was rooted in an embarrassing episode involving a girl I liked, the university Mac Lab, and my inability to find the power switch on any of the Macs.

Even after I was happily married to said girl, and she was doing all of her copy writing work on Macs, I refused to consider buying one for home use. "Too expensive!" "No software!" I'd say whenever the issue came up. And to her credit, she made do at home with whatever combination of scrounged hardware and cutting edge Linux release I happened to have working (or not) that particular day.

Then I heard about OS X: BSD core, Apple GUI, and true multitasking.

And the coolest thing of all? The thing that really hooked me? The Genie Effect.

There was something about those cool looking windows shrinking down to tiny, yet recognizable, versions of themselves. It made me think, for the first time, that maybe there was a place for a stylish and spiffy GUI (as long as it was on top of my beloved Unix).

So I went out to CompUSA, and, after shrinking and expanding the Chess game on a demo machine a few hundred times, I picked up a Quicksilver G4. When I brought it home and set it up next to the other computers in the house, it looked out of place - sort of like Ashley Judd at a Star Trek convention. The only thing to do was to move the Mac into the living room and buy a flat panel display to match.

That was the beginning of the end. Those other boxes are still sitting around somewhere, but I haven't touched them in months. It was love at first sight.

It's the little details that get me, I think - the pulsing of the power button when it goes to sleep, the little shake the login screen makes when you get the password wrong. My wife is happy now as well. She even showed me how the classic OS works, and I liked it, too. So much so, in fact, that I scrounged an old beige G3/333 running OS 9 that I use as my primary work machine.

I'm a complete Mac convert now. I even check As the Apple Turns every day after looking to see what's new at Slashdot. And speaking of Slashdot (news for nerds), it seems like there is a new Apple article every other day. This was not the case until recently. In fact, I'm probably pretty representative of a whole new group of Mac users drawn at first by OS X but then really hooked by Apple's build quality, attention to detail, and cutting edge design.

Now if someone will just give me that iPod for Christmas....

Go to the My First Mac index.