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30 October, 2009

Apple OS X versus Windows - why I recommend a Mac

The other day I was sitting in the garage of a friend, enjoying fish tacos with a bunch of other fish taco eating carnivores when someone asked what I do for a living. My answer, given with a hesitation as the jumble of thoughts bounce around my grey, had something to do with; computers, clouds and practicing enjoying life. That is when one of my friends said something along the lines of; "If you have problems with your computer, just give him a call". Now, while I don't mind that answer, I usually volley back "As long as your computer is not running Windows".

That usually sets off the "Why?" response which allows me to gauge who the Windows users are and who just doesn't care. Yes, there are people out there that just don't care about computers. Unfathomable I know. Yet strange as it may seem, I understand completely. There are a lot of things I don't care about. Oprah is an example. I neither like nor dislike Oprah but start waxing passionatately about the latest perfume she left under some seat and I'll nod politely while pondering how difficult it would be to measure the tensile strength of a moving fly whisker.

Anyway, my answer about the "Why not Windows?" has evolved over the years and I now believe that it all has to do with Gestalt.

gestalt |gəˈ sh tält; -ˈ sh tôlt| (also Gestalt)
noun ( pl. -stalten |-ˈ sh tältn; -ˈ sh tôltn|or -stalts) .... an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.

Apple products are about detail. Detail in design, manufacture, software. They are not perfect, for very few things made by human hands are. Yet, all that detail results in the Apple products fitting together in a way that sets up a harmonic resonance with our inner aesthetic view of beauty. Apple products are more attuned to us, to the music of the spheres then any mass produced product. I say that and immediately my brain fires off images of the Leica DM3 and the Bugatti Veyron. O.K., they too touch those spheres. Example? What? You want an example? How do I know Apple focuses more on design, functionality and beauty then any other company? Because, sometimes they are so proud of something it infects their marketing campaign.

When the unibody Mac Books came out in May, Apple spent as much time showing off their manufacture process as the new products. I saw pride in what they accomplished and they had good reason to be proud.

"Carved from a solid block of aluminum.." Brought to life by the marriage of fire (lasers), earth (aluminum) and water (high power hydrocutting). Craftsman summing computation to life from a block of pure aluminum. A product that embodies Strength, Beauty and Functionality. All coming together unlike any other product since the birth of Guinness Stout.

Hmm... perhaps I'm going just a tad bit overboard. But, go and pick up a MacBook Pro. It has a feel that makes one smile. Same with the iPhone, the Touch, and now the 27" iMac. Apple plays to our senses through our senses.

When an object resonates with our aesthetic sensibility, that object becomes a joy to use. Subtle design cues speak to and with us. Cues such as the feel of the keyboard, the dimming of the screen in response to our surroundings, a heart beat pure white light quietly telling us We are alive. We are alive .

These things have little to do with functionality, yet they are critical to our sense of enjoyment, comfort and beauty. Design is critical to functionality and Apple is about how design and form reinforce functionality with beauty.

When a tool (yes Apple products are tools) are a pleasure to use we allow our feelings and focus to flow through them to create something greater then what we could have created with a lesser tool. It is as if tools built with attention to detail call forth greater form, beauty and function and passes those characteristics to our own creations. There are few companies that understand the importance of form and beauty. Those that do, have the ability to create amazing products. And Apple just happens to have figured out how to call forth the music by invoking something greater then the sum of its parts.

Quello e tutto per oggi!

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