Ok, so I've missed the Nuffnang's "I love my Apple!" contest by almost a week. It sure doesn't pay to procrastinate. On the other hand, ever since I received the email about the contest, I had been thinking long and hard about my favourite Apple product.
And it came down to this: I don't have a favourite Apple product. I cannot, for the life of me, single out an Apple product that has made me -- pardon the imagery -- cream in my pants.
My Apple journey started a long time ago, with an Apple II (I think). It belonged to a relative and was the high point of my visit there. We'd play games on it. Sure, they were simple, green-on-black, keyboard-controlled games. But this was the dawn of the computer age and I found it fascinating.
I only really jumped onto the Apple bandwagon when I entered university. It was a PowerBook G3. Not just that, it was the lowest end PowerBook, which meant it had a passive matrix LCD screen! I had to look straight on to the screen to see anything. If I viewed from the side, I got a colourful shade of grey. But I bought it because it fulfilled three requirements: it was a Mac, it was a notebook, and it fit the budget.
I also bought an external floppy disk drive, which I used only a handful of times.
The computer got obsolete soon, with DVDs just arriving (it could only play CDs). And it showed its age with OS X. So when the Titanium PowerBook G4 came out, I bought one -- again, the lowest end due to monetary constraints. But it had a DVD drive. And it was sexeh.
And then CD burners came out! I was noticing a trend here. While I accepted that electronics were obsolete as soon as I bought them, this was just plain ridiculous. In the end, I saved up enough to buy an external DVD writer to compensate the loss. (It's been more than five years, and that drive still serves fairly faithfully.)
Then I decided to get an iMac. I figured I wouldn't need the portable convenience of a laptop any more. Of course, I was wrong, but the iMac G5 was cheaper too. So I bought one. But you know the story. Next thing I knew, Macs now came with Intel CPUs, including the iMac.
As you can see, my Apple life has been beset by disappointment after disappointment. That's why I didn't buy an iPhone from the black market here, nor the white one when I was in the U.S. It would be too expensive to go through the cycle again.
Yet, in spite of all of that, I still prefer the Mac to Windows. And it's not about a single product. Not even OS X, though I think it plays a big part.
It's the experience of using the Mac. Maybe it's the way the user interface is more pleasant and not as intrusive as Windows. (That explains why the first thing I do when I get a Windows computer is to change its theme to something more Mac-like.) Maybe it's how the graphical elements are laid out so that they make sense to technophobes. (I've read Apple's Human Interface design, and it's very well thought out.) Maybe it's how its features are limited so that I don't unnecessarily step beyond my bounds -- and believe me, that's a feature, not a bug!
So it's the combined experience of different products that make me love my Apple. Individually, the products would have made me switch to Windows. But the whole is much, much greater than the sum of its parts.
That doesn't mean I'll queue up for an iPhone 3G...