Tuesday, 19 August 2008

It will never catch on

14st 0lb; 2.0 units of alcohol yesterday, one of which was free - in fact, come to think of it, both of them were free so far as I was concerned, since I was not paying for lunch; 1,265 sleeps until the Long One; California.

I am not feeling at my best today, mainly because I made the mistake of taking my new Mac Book computer out of its box early yesterday evening, and was up until 2 a.m. trying to figure it out. My first impression was that it was a thing of great beauty, on which some clever people had expended a great deal of thought. It was emblazoned “Designed by Apple in California”, clearly intending to conjure up a vision of clean-limbed young people with their hair streaming behind them as they ran laughing along a beach; rather than a load of spotty geeks applying themselves to computer programming in a huge open-plan office. Or maybe it was just supposed to put the emphasis on the design part rather than the manufacturing, which is presumably carried out in the same factory in China where everything else is made these days.

For the first time in years I wished I was back with the ex-fiancée who used to sneer at absolutely everything I bought on the grounds that it was “badly designed”. I’d have been able to point at my Mac, wearing an insufferably smug impression, and say “Aha!” A word I do not get to use nearly enough.

On the other hand it is taking me an age to get to grips with because so many aspects of the operating system are different from the Microsoft ones I have grown used to over the last decade. I feel as though I have woken up in that Ray Bradbury novel where the time traveller accidentally treads on a butterfly and finds his whole world changed when he returns to it. But at least I now empathize with how my grandfather must have felt when he was presented with his first motor car in place of a horse, and uttered the words with which successive generations of my family have greeted each step up man’s ladder of technological achievement: “It will never catch on.”

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