it’s not a bike, but……
I have been an avid reader of various cycle-related blogs over the years, and it has struck me that cycling folk, with their green outlook on life and generally non-conformist nature (as you can see I’m generalising rather a lot here simply to allow me to take a certain view…. tend to apply such tendencies to their choice of computer as well.
As the long-term user of various wheezing, slow and ungainly windows-powered laptops supplied by work, I have therefore always crafted my output on FR from a Bill Gates provided platform, and believe me, the journey has not been easy. As many of you will know, windows is a bug-ridden, inflexible and immensely frustrating experience. I have always longed for the mac platform, and now I have joined those hallowed ranks at last.
I can still recall the first time I saw a mac – this must have been the late 1980s. My natural nerdy tendencies had already manifested themselves by this time, and I had already been through the ‘computer explosion’ whilst a gangly school kid, having had a Sinclair Zx81 and a Dragon 32 to my name.
I had cut my teeth on the BBC Micro at school, these being a re-badged Acorn of course. The joys of programming BASIC and delightedly viewing the results of an hour’s programming (the screen changes colour!!!!) were a large part of my adolescence before I discovered alcohol and girls.
Yes, it was a heady time, a brave new world so deftly captured by the recent and excellent docu-drama ‘Micro Men’ on BBC4. Whereas the 1970s were all about long haired physics students soldering prototypes together in a Californian suburban garage, computers were now mainstream!
So, by the time I was in my last year of college and now transplanted to Huddersfield, the IBM PC format was just becoming popular and, with a little experience of desktop publishing software whilst editing a punk rock fanzine at the time, I had once again gone somewhat computer mad.
In Huddersfield, a couple of guys in the orbit of our loose social scene had started up a design agency – a very 1980s thing to do. They had left art college and eventually leased an office above the local Wimpy, and had called the company Attik. These guys were classic early adopters – they invested some money chucked their way by the Prince’s Trust in a couple of early macintoshes, which at the time may as well have come from another planet.
Anyway, I digress on that front, and if you visit the link above you will see that Somerville and Needham eventually went on to become one of the biggest design agencies in the country. But Apple continued on their own path, with various twists and turns such as the sacking of founder Steve Jobs by the man he had employed to help him turn the company around, the eventual return of Jobs, the launch of the ipod, the macbook, and eventually the ipad and world domination as Apple surpassed Microsoft’s revenues or the first time in 2010.
So I have finally achieved my nerdy ambition to own a mac, and I must say that from now on the blog will have a rather fruitier, richer aroma and a very definite spring in its step as a result. And I already dread ever having to use a windows machine again!
But I will have to break my reverie soon and get out on the bike…..