Goodbye, Macbooks. For many years, you were the daily tools of my journalistic, academic and creative trades. I wrote articles for websites and newspapers on you. I recorded audio and video on you, edited and distributed it. I blogged and shared and tweeted on you. I lay-outed newspaper pages and academic presentations, workshops and interventions using your operating systems and applications. And occasional stints of extended gaming were like vacations with you.
Oh Apple, where did you go wrong? Is it you or me? You used to be the hardware that got the job done. Rugged, safe, reliable. Snazzy and slick. Sure: Your software was always a bit predatory in staking a claim in my private files. Sure, you had your phases, but they were just that. Sure, you really stuffed things up with your embarrassing catastrophes moving from @mac to @me.com and then @icloud. Not to mention your social network disasters and other failures and rip-offs. But I could put up with those faults. You see, you were worth it. You had the ethos and the purpose.
Goodbye, iPhones. I even gave up my beloved Blackberry Pearl and Bold when you came out. But now, as you moved into the sixth iteration of your mobile appearance, as you have started going gold, I am finally leaving you. In a few days, I will move to a Blackberry Classic. And so will several other people I know.
You see, I don’t need a luxury toy and distraction machine. I don’t need a gold one in particular. I need to get work done; I need to communicate. And when I am on the train, I see children and confused old people are the majority of people using you.
And now, the Apple Watch. Really?
Ach, Apple. It is not me, it is you.
To me it is clear: You have lost your way. Your sense and purpose. Breaking up is hard to do. But we are no longer part of the same world. And it is time to say goodbye. I am writing this farewell letter to you on my new ChromeOS box. It cost one tenth of your lovely new iMac, and a third of the money my early 2011 Macbook Pro would bring in, if I were to sell it today.
So this is good bye. I have moved my stuff and my files. I have upgraded my tools and thrown out the gold hammer for a steel one. And I am hitting those nails again!
Sure. I still have my iPad Air, and it will continue to come with me to meetings and conferences for a while yet. But not because it offers something others don’t. I still have my Apple TV hooked up. But not because ChromeCast is not better and cheaper and more suited to my needs. It is just that I will use these two devices till they also get replaced by Android or similar devices that are better, cheaper, more flexible and advanced.
So yes, it is good bye. Unless you change your ways and return to your roots. If you do, drop me an old fashioned email. I still have an @mac.com Email address. Get in touch when you are back on track.