Going back to my roots (computer-wise)

Mar 9, 2008

Like author Alex Haley, I have gone on a quest to rediscover my “Roots”. No, I am not looking for some familial contemporary of Kunta Kinte. I have decided to go back to the company that got me started in computing: Apple.

In high school, my parents bought me an Apple ][e which got me on the road to a computer career. Later, I bought myself a Fat Mac and then a Mac SE. Things were going great until I got my first job in IT. Initially, my work centered around IBM mainframe computers (which was a bit of a learning curve since my college work was all done on Unisys mainframes and DEC VAX systems), but being an IBM shop. it was a matter of time before PC’s started appearing and soon after that customers were requesting that custom applications be designed to take advantage of the new platform. My Mac got pushed aside by a work-issued PC and Windows started taking over my life.
Now, after almost 20 years, I have decided to return to my roots. I bought a Mac. Those who know me think I have completely lost my marbles. “Why would you want to buy an overpriced Mac when you get PC’s sent to you for free?” Oddly enough, it is precisely for that reason that I did it.
Look at it this way, when we get review kit in, we have to test it, analyze the results and prepare a report for publishing. However, there is immense temptation to take that kit and bolt it onto your primary computer (the one you do all of your work on) and run with it. Great idea, when the stuff works. Sometimes you get bits of kit that are of preproduction quality and using it is like playing russian roulette. The last time I tried this I was offline for about two weeks over the holidays.
By switching my primary computer to a Mac, I remove the temptation to bolt on the latest bit of tech shunted my way and will always have a stable system to be able to write these nuggets of wisdom.
Now I just have to build a workbench in my garage for the test PC’s. After I clean it out of course.