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September 3rd, 1999

Be Still My Quivering Heart, Apple's Entry Into The Executive Suites Of The Corporate World
by David Robinson
Some years ago, I walked into an establishment I often frequent, only to suddenly find myself swept off my feet by a lady I had never seen. In that moment my heart was stolen, and I would eventually become a willing captive of love. This lady, was not the most beautiful woman there, she wasn't the sexiest dressed, or the sweetest smelling, or any of those things. She was something more. From her hair, to her subtle use of makeup, the slightest use of scents, and the cohesiveness of her dress and jewelry, even her form and shape, she was something I had never before seen. SHE WAS ELEGANT. The way she walked and talked, the way she carried herself, everything about her was complete and balanced. There was no one thing that distinguished her, but everything together was a true work of art, that captivated me, and over the years would change my life in beautiful and wonderful ways

Recently, I had a similar sort of experience. Now I have always said that I would never love a computer or any other machine, and I never will. My loyalty is not to computers or operating systems, but to the things they let me do. The way they inspire me to create. But for the first time I "experienced" something in a computer that I had never seen before.

As I poured over all the reports of the announcements of the new Macintosh G4 computers, I was wowed by the stats, impressed by the real world performance, and thrilled to see my favorite computer manufacturer once again setting a higher standard. Yet I was not yet thinking or even dreaming about owning one of these machines. Then suddenly in my quest through the web, I came across it. A large photo of the new G3 on Apple's own website. Not one of the tiny snapshots that proliferated the reports, but an exquisitely lit, large photo that literally took my breath away. Line, form, color, all coming together in such a way that caused my heartbeat to accelerate and for a few moments, I didn't even breath. For the first time I wanted a computer with passion.

There before me was a computer that was more than just fast, more than just pleasing to look at, more than just state of the art technology repackaged. Raw computing power, state of the art technology, a graceful operating system, shimmering design. Suddenly they all came together in a way that no one seemed to notice. Suddenly, the computer was ELEGANT.

Then it began to strike me what the vision of Steve Jobs, and all the staff of Apple had truly wrought. Here was Apple's coup d'etat. While designers, engineers, researchers, and scientists will demand it for its power, educators will demand it for its ease of use and maintenence, and enthusiasts will demand it for its Thrill. However, there is still one more, perhaps unanticipated, market. That market is comprised of the CEO's and Corporate leaders who will demand it for its elegance. The Graphite G4 with its Cinema Display is destined to be more than just the most productive personal computer ever built. It may become the "ultimate" status symbol for Executives and would be executives in corporations throughout the world.

Have you ever entered the personal office of most corporate leaders? What do you find? Fine furniture, art, plush carpets and much more. You find elegance. And then usually tucked away, trying to be hid from site as much as possible, you will find the inevitable ugly computer box and monitor. Oh they will go to great lengths to hide the necessary, utilitarian, and ugly box. Ultimately however, it must be seen, the inevitable weed in the garden, but the G4 will not be hidden. Its line color and form are destined to be displayed along with the Oak furniture, its cinema display, a testimony to beauty and function.

iMacs say "I am cute and fun," iBooks shout "hold me," Blue and White G3s say "look at me, I am powerful and easy to work with ," but the new G4s whisper with discrete, conservative reserve, "you have arrived."

Power, ease of use, revolutionary design and elegance. For Macintosh, the road into corporate America will not be through the narrow minds of IT managers, but through the demand for excellence and elegance of corporate leaders. They will want it and will insist that a place be made for it.

Oh it will start slowly, but the whispers have already begun:

"The personal super computer, Sadam Hussein can't have one, but I can."
"Did you notice how nice it is to look at?"
"It's more powerful than the fastest Pentiums."
"More powerful, and yet it is more economical to operate, easier to maintain, and it even uses substantially less energy compared to the Pentiums. Can't we use that to make us look ecologically aware?"
"More economical to operate? You mean it can save us money?"
"Yes, but most of all, it is ELEGANT!! For the first time I like, having a computer in my office."

No matter what the pundits and advertising gurus call it, no matter the scorn from its detractors, no matter that it is too powerful for worldwide distribution, The G4 Macintosh and the Apple Cinema Display are, above all else, the first personal computer deserving of the description "Elegant." And yes, don't be surprised if upon first look, your heart rate goes up, and you catch yourself holding your breath in awe, as its full beauty and powerful functionality slowly impresses itself on your conscious mind.

David Robinson is a long time Macintosh user who currently works on his Power Mac 6500 at home, enhanced with a Sonnet 300mhz/512k G3 card, IDX Ultra Rez video card, ethernet and 17 inch Radius monitor. He works with Windows NT on his job out of necessity. Now he dreams of owning a Macintosh G4 with LCD display.

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