OPINION: The Revenge of Jobs

Trying to catch up to the fastest company in the world.

This past week, my trusty MacBook began its slow journey toward joining Steve Jobs in the Great iCloud Beyond. (Too soon?) I was spending more time looking at the spinning rainbow of doom than, you know, doing something productive. (Actual level of productivity subject to relational weighting.)

Although I am no real Apple fanboy (sleeping in front of a store in order to buy a phone, no matter how slick, is not in the cards for me), no thought was given to returning to the PC tent. From easy security to always-on functionality, to say nothing of the innate aesthetic pleasure present in the best Apple products, another Mac was a foregone conclusion. (Not to mention importing our old data would mean simply plugging our Time Machine into the new notebook.) But which one?

Finding the best option would entail a trip to the Apple store.

One does not simply walk into the Apple store. (It is folly.) Fortunately, Apple has a clever way of maintaining a slight edge of calm in an otherwise chaotic maelstrom: a forethinking person can make an appointment. So I did. I had two aims for my visit with a Genius: to see if new life, however brief, could be breathed into my old machine; and to find its heir.  

Every Apple store I’ve been in seems like an ongoing experiment in black hole thermodynamics (i.e., studies in contained chaos). I always feel as if one small mistake by one Genius, one distracted manager losing focus for just one moment, one brief capitulation to the anarchy always swirling around the neatly beveled edges of the store, and the entire neatly designed construct would collapse. All of which is to say it’s crowded and loud and the scene is an odd counterpoint to the outward simplicity of its products.

Prior to heading into my nerd date, I posted a question to Facebook: which better suited my needs, MacBook Air or Pro? A great, often unacknowledged benefit of social networking is swiftly gathering opinions of people you (presumably) trust. The reviews on Amazon are too anonymous to be any kind of guide, but if I get a bum deal based on the input of my high school friend’s new fiancée, hey, at least I have someone to blame.

Scapegoat opinions in hand (Internet’s opinion: go Pro!), I waded into the mass of humanity crammed into the Swedish apartment interior of Jobs Made Physical. (Too soon?) Within ten minutes of arrival, my old MacBook was again among the living, though, like a human on life support, it too could no longer be unhooked from its power sources. Ten minutes after the miraculous (note: not actually miraculous) resuscitation, I had agreed to purchase a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, and five minutes later, I was walking out, the proud owner of the finest technology available.  

Five minutes into my headed-for-the-food-court stroll, and by now well after a considerable amount of my dollars were transferred wirelessly to Cupertino, my cousin posted a comment to my original “Air/Pro?” question.

“WWDC is this Monday,” he reminded me, in a fashion visible to everyone who had ever laughed at me. “They’ll almost definitely release updated notebooks. I wouldn’t buy anything until after that.” I read this too-late update while clutching a brand-new computer due to be obsolete within 48 hours. Failure.

For the non-technophile crowd, the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, nominally exists to give “developers an in-depth look at the latest in iOS and OS X.” However, over the past five or so years, the event has become synonymous with the release of Apple’s newest, most awesome products. I may not be a fanboy, but I do like me a new piece of technology. What I do not like is paying this year’s prices for last year’s technology. Which I did. 

Monday found me streaming two reporters’ live coverage of the WWDC keynote address. Maybe the rumor mill was wrong. Maybe my new computer would remain new for a few months, at least. However, sure enough, within 15 minutes of Apple CEO Tim Cook taking the stage, my purchase, not yet out of its box, was relegated to the scrap heap of technology. New Pros were available for purchase immediately, at the same cost I had paid for less power two days prior.

Life has always moved pretty fast, and its acceleration seems only to be speeding up. Tuesday, I headed back to the maelstrom of Apple and turned in a new MacBook Pro for a new (slightly better) MacBook Pro. I really only swapped out machines for speed. Faster loading times, better processing, quicker web browsing. Speed. Life is speeding up, and the right equipment seems necessary. I’m not sure what to do with the time I save, though. Maybe read a book.

TJ Mayotte June 13, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Joe, Actually, I walked out with a (slightly) better computer, six dollars back on my credit card, and $100 gift card to the App Store. Victory!
MG42 June 13, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Does TJ get paid for this?
TJ Mayotte June 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Indeed I am, Ohai- the free market at work! Thanks for so loyally upping my page views every week.
MG42 June 14, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Ha, happy to keep you off the gov't dole.
Joseph Snodgrass June 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM
So is the moral of the story to anticipate a new release/update from Apple and buy just before the new product introduction and then go back and be rewarded for your loyalty? Just thinking that un-planned strategy worked out pretty well for you.


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