The Candy Apple
It Never Rains In California
…or so I’d heard. A recent excursion there confirmed it. The residents got all excited at projected 20% chances of precipitation. And maybe I just went to the right places, but it sure seemed to be raining Macs.
Tote board: two private homes visited, both Macs (G4 towers). One college campus library visited: 30 iMacs on main floor, used for library work and general Internet access. Two cybercafes visited: 15 Wintel boxes at one, 5 at the other. One retail computer store visited: a ton of Macs, all shapes and sizes (of course it was an Apple store). AirPort laptop users: 2 Wintel, 1 PowerBook, 1 iBook.
I’m gonna say of every computer box I saw that week, leaving out the Apple store, the score will work out to 34-22, Macs lead. This sample is completely unscientific, and unrepresentative of anything…but I think of it as anecdotal evidence that a significant chunk of our society is being exposed to Apple products, and that bright people are purchasing them. The two home-use Macs are owned by trivia storehouses like me, both of whom have proved their intelligence in other arenas. This is not to say that the smartest folks always choose Apple, of course; there are lots of reasons consumers would want or need to go mainstream. But it was reassuring nonetheless.
As for the Apple store visit, there’s nothing like seeing and touching a 22-inch monitor. I durn near bought one right there. What a beautiful piece of equipment! But there’s absolutely no way in the world I could justify to myself spending that kind of money on a monitor. You can bet that if I did any professional work on it at all, though, I’d buy it in a speedy minute.
The staff there were terrific. The products are out where you can play with them, except I wanted to buy a remote control for my first-generation iPod, and they said they wouldn’t be in stock for a few more days. The available sleeve for the iPod has a kind of plasticky-looking window on it, so I couldn’t quite make myself part with 30 bucks or whatever they wanted for it. But the store itself is gorgeous, smack in the middle of The Grove, a newish outdoor mall in Los Angeles. You pay a buck to park on the deck. There’s a really nice grassy area in the middle of the mall with stands for refreshments and for selling doodads. If you get a chance to go, try the kosher hot dog stand—they have hot dog egg rolls that made my day.
Be sure to go upstairs in the Apple store, if only to get dizzy from the clear glass stairs. Upstairs is a theater with demo movies, the genius bar, a kids area with neat-o squishy balls to sit on, and a bunch of software. The squishy balls was the best part.
In May, Paris had a good bit of rain, and it was definitely another culture. With no Macs.
On this trip, there was no rain while I was there. In some ways I felt like I was visiting another culture. In many ways I still felt like I was at home. I shouldn’t have been surprised there were Macs everywhere—Californians love to try kooky stuff. But the good news is that when the kooky, new feeling wears off, they’re still using them.
Also in This Series
- On Temptation · July 2010
- Beyond Pen Pals · July 2007
- Just Because We Can Do a Thing, Does Not Mean We Should Do a Thing · March 2006
- Google Tells Big Brother to Take a Hike · February 2006
- Wikipedia Is Not the Lovefest We Thought · January 2006
- Star Trek Gadgets Have Arrived · December 2005
- The Silver Screen Keeps Shrinking · October 2005
- It’s Just Business · July 2005
- Age Has Its Advantages · June 2005
- Complete Archive
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