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by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective

The Little Things Count
by Chris Rogers
October 26th, 2000

We've been busy working on some really cool articles that should interest both adults as well teens. But this article comes from something I noticed recently. Mac users differ greatly from other computer users. When it comes to Apple computers, we have some of the greatest hardware that can perform the most complicated tasks as well as look good.

Recently I purchased a G3 PowerBook 400. Through Apple's PowerBook Trade-In program, I received a $700 dollar discount by trading in my old PowerBook 190 series. When I talked to a representative on the phone as to why they did this the response was surprising. The representative whom we will call “Jeff”, said that Apple likes to do these sort of things from time to time. They had a large amount of money behind and really wanted to help push this series of their computers. I know that other companies have Trade-In and Trade-Up programs but they gain money in doing that in some form or another. Apple just felt like giving back to the Mac community. It's the little things like this that make me glad to be a Mac User.

When I finally received my PowerBook I was so excited. Just ask my friend James. After cleaning up the drool off the palm rest I decided to browse through my paperwork. I picked up the stack of license agreements and disclaimers and out fell a short piece of smooth paper. I flipped it over only to find two large white Apple stickers. A sudden wave of deja-vu swept over me. I had seen these before, maybe in a different lifetime maybe on another world, either way I knew I had seen them before. Then it hit me, I see these things on cars everywhere. Now I know some of you out there have been driving on the freeway and noticed either the multicolored Apple or single colored Apple stuck to either a bumper or a window at the rear of the vehicle. Amazing how a company, pushing the computer industry, can take the time to throw in a couple of stickers.

The interesting thing is this isn't new. Apple has done this for a while. I was browsing through some old papers and found a whole bunch of multicolored Apple stickers, probably from my 6100. Besides stickers and special programs they have done so much in product visuals. There have been so many computer makers ranging from the Future Power iMac Look-a-Like to the Compaq “iPaq” trying to capture the essence of the iMac and curvature in Apple products. All of which have failed. I have noticed that in this industry there are very few innovators. On this new PowerBook I noticed something kind of interesting, the white Apple logo on the lid of the displays lights up when you turn the PowerBook on. My Dell Latitude CP laptop's “ID tag” that is in the same spot as the white Apple logo, doesn't glow. The plastics for the translucent keyboards mice, displays and computers that Apple builds have spent months if not years in development. They are very picky about how their products look. But against what some “professional analysts” say, Apple doesn't sell computers based only on looks.

Apple spends a lot of time developing the looks of their products, but they spend even more time in the development of the actual hardware. The G4s still out perform Pentium III's and AMD Athlon processors in some tasks. If it weren't for Apple, you wouldn't have USB and FireWire in the good market positions that they are in. They have been able to incorporate such powerful features in small boxes and still keep small details like noise in mind. They created an 8" cube that runs in virtual silence, making it the ideal computer to use.

A final “little thing” that most people over look is software. Though the PC platform has overall more software, the Macintosh has better quality software. In a recent Business Week (Oct. 30, 2000 pg. 34), Stephen H. Wildstrom does a review of Office 2001 for the Mac. The interesting point in the article is that he compares the Mac version of Office to the PC version, and he says it blows away Office for the PC. Office 2001 offers more power as well as increased simplicity that Mac users have grown to love. To get the whole scoop, go buy this issue, it's a great read from a person who has used a Macintosh before.

It's these little things that make Mac users so different from the rest. I know of many Mac Users who feel that when they work on their Mac, they don't think of it as work. It's more playtime than anything to them. I enjoy making Web sites and writing articles on my Mac, I know others feel the same way. It just goes to show that even the little things can make our computer life more of something enjoyable to do rather than a chore.

PS: My prayer's go out to friends of mine who died in an accident recently. Everyone misses you Brooke and Shane.

Chris Rogers

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