It's Good to be King
Back in the eighties, we were weird. We used these goofy little computers with 9-inch screens and cutesy little pictures. All in one box. You can't even get in to it to fiddle with the guts. And what's with the icons; everybody knows you have to have a command line to do any real computing.
Then came the beige box Macs with separate monitors. The Mac II, Mac LC, Mac Portable, Quadras, Performas and the laptops. They were ugly, but they were Macs. We loved them.
If you were there, you remember. You youngsters won't remember.
Were you one of us?
If so, you'll remember when you wanted the most recent system version, you took a floppy or two to a computer store and got it. Free. We had Clarus the dogcow, "Moof." Before the dark times. Before System 7. We had to buy System 7. It was a cold feeling after years of having the system software provided, but we understood the reason. Apple devoted many developer-hours to the effort and had to pay those whose labors we were benefiting from.
We survived the late eighties and early nineties by huddling together, warming our hands with tattered gloves over trash can fires in back alleys. We played with Cosmic Osmo and learned about hypertext with HyperCard. We were ridiculed and taunted by the others with their Wintel machines and "standards-based" interfaces.
We went to MUGs and passed around shareware. Sometimes we bootlegged commercial software. But if we liked it and used it we always bought it, even if we couldn't really afford it, because that's who we were.
Software with copy protection and dongles died swiftly and quietly. We would not tolerate such distrust in our community. We knew we were trustworthy, and we wouldn't stand for being treated otherwise.
In 1997, Steve Jobs came back and we were revitalized. Over the next couple of years we bought System 8 and System 9. Apple was back.
Steve gave us the iMac, then OS X. Those of us who were true believers bought the public beta. And almost in unison we asked, "Where the HELL is my extensions folder?"
We told our Wintel friends, "Mac is better." They didn't believe us. They told us we were deluded by a Reality Distortion Field.
Then came the iPod and iTunes. And the iTunes Store. When we talked about these successes, we were called "fanboys."
After a while, the word "Apple" didn't evoke Macs anymore. It meant iPod. Except for the Wintel people. To them Apple was still Macintosh and we were all, still, fanboys.Continued on the next page