Have you seen the current line-up of iMacs? Perhaps it’s just that I’ve been stuck on really ancient computers and software, but I feel we’ve finally been ushered into the future.
I found myself thinking about all of the people involved in creating the world of the Mac. Pulling together the software and hardware; the music, movies and images; the icons and layouts; the dialogues, guides and manuals. All of them thinking about the user’s experience every step of the way — from the moment the machine is pulled out of the box and turned on. This cool culmination of all Apple’s hard work is prepared to do whatever you desire. You would imagine that asking it to display your amateur graphics would be an insult, not to mention giving it cheesy old hits to play… a machine like that is more in its element with the majestic 2012 trailer.
But the Mac is our friend — what we like, it likes, or at least tolerates. My Mac loves Billy Ocean’s Red Light Spells Danger. It encourages me in my attempts to create passable art. It educates me with random excerpts from the dictionary when the screensaver kicks in. It offers to take (terrible) pictures of me. It thinks I could mock up a hit song in Garage Band, but I’m ignoring that! This Mac is almost my mother.
One could never say that about PCs. PCs make you feel you’re being inspected with a suspicious eye. Custom settings and presets disappear — “we won’t keep that”. When you ask them to find something you know is there, they don’t find it. When you ask them to sort items the way you want, they leave them just the way they are. They don’t lay on a ‘welcome’ song and dance when first switched on.
I wonder if, one day, the best household robots will be like the Mac? They will light up for the first time, look at you, and treat you like you’re someone.