Clarification – My Perceived Bias

A Clarification - Tame Geek

Well it’s about time I made something clear. It’s the perception that I have some sort of bias towards Apple and it’s products. I can see why I may come across that way but this needs clearing up.

There’s a very simple way to sum up my current tech situation:

I use Apple products as they serve my life the best. I am a comfortable prisoner in their crystal prison.

If that is enough of an explanation for you, smashing! Carry on and enjoy the articles on this site from the past and in the future.
If that statement makes no sense to you at all, or more worryingly, you think I’m not telling the truth, allow me to expand on that statement.

For the statement to make sense, you need some more detail on my background, so here is an abridged version of my personal tech time line:

Back in the 90’s when computers were beige and far from mobile, I was in school. In my first year of secondary school (where uk students usually go when they are 11 years old) I got my first email address. It cost me £1. Our school had a great IT department. Our system admin was very helpful and our head of IT, for all making my life a hell, knew his stuff.
It’s safe to say that with access to electronic mail and the very early days of the Internet, I became hooked on technology.

I used to have a subscription (Where a magazine publisher send you a paper copy of the information and pictures that had gathered on a monthly basis for a fee – I spell this out now, because if some one reads this article in 20 years time, they won’t have a clue what magazines were without looking them up.) to T3 Magazine. Tomorrow’s Technology Today. You can still see them going online as a part of the Future Publishing group.

I used to love getting this magazine. It was amazing to see things that were coming out in the next few months. What new shiny things would be the best shiny things in the world.
It was here I got my exposure to the hugely expensive Apple products like the iBook and the G4 Cube. I also had a huge thirst for knowledge when it came to mobile phones. There were only ever two main companies when it came to phones in Europe. Nokia and Ericsson. My allegiance between these companies shifted monthly. They were so good at out doing each other. I remember seeing the Nokia 8810 and being blown away by how small and shiny and advance this device was, that I needed one!
Ericsson soon fought back, bring phones that were getting slimmer and slimmer. Even James Bond used one! Then Nokia fired out the 8850! Brushed Aluminium, blue back lighting and something called T9 predictive text.

You can tell that thought the excitement I express above that this really fascinated me and had me hooked. Some years later, I started with my first step in to mobile computing with an Ericsson MC-12. A rebranded HP mini computer with full qwerty keyboard and a resistive touch screen, running Windows CE. This was a step away from the Psion devices that I had as hand-me-downs. Throughout this period, I was learning more and more about windows and PCs.

As a child, I used to take things apart to see how they worked (ask my mother! She lost a Hoover to my curiosity. It did work again when I was done). So when I had these far more complex things in front of me, I had more to figure out. Eventually, this lead to me building gaming PCs for myself and friends. Having reached as far as I could go with the PCs, I got my first Mac.

It was an iBook G3 12 inch from eBay. It was a spares and repairs job, hence I could afford it. I received it, tested it and found it needed a new hard drive. I replaced the drive and installed OS X. I had my first Mac. Being a professional level dyslexic, when I was at university, I was entitled to a disabled student grant for equipment. Doing a degree in Graphic Design meant that the computer I received (through a bit of explanation and luck) was a G5 PowerMac.
The picture below show the height of my mega tech nerd days.

This is the old desk for the Tame Geek Including a Custom built PC Gaming Rig, A PowerMac G5, Three PowerBooks an iPod, Palm Pilot Tungsten and a lightsabre

This is the old desk for the Tame Geek Including a Custom built PC Gaming Rig, A PowerMac G5, Three PowerBooks an iPod, Palm Pilot Tungsten and a lightsabre.

This amount of gear meant that I was learning all the time and working smarter. As my skills diversified, I became more valuable. In the summer of 2004, I worked with some friends at a new academy school in Middlesbrough. Here, as IT support, we would bounce about the building solving problems for the teachers that had a huge amount of tech thrown at them. From interactive whiteboards to tablet laptops. During this time, I was tasked with building machines for one of the Cisco courses. No problem for me. This wasn’t work, it was fun!

In 2005, I started working for a design agency while studying for my degree. In my time with The Consultancy, we grew as people and as company. In the Christmas of 2005, I had a tech tragedy at home. We had a rather bad power surge. The PowerMac survived, but my gaming rig did not. The thing was fried. Only the graphics card, hard drives and RAM survived. It even baked my beloved iPod (which was still under warranty luckily). After careful consideration, I decided not to rebuild my rig. My gaming had slowed down in frequency and I had found my self using the mac for the vast majority of my computing. The PC had become redundant in my personal life. I had enough of them in the office if I needed to use one, so I left it at that.

Over the years with The Consultancy, I managed our IT system as well as doing my design job. Working smarter, not harder, paid off in dividends here. I had everything set up so that my attention was only required in the cases of catastrophe. Like when my boss drove over his PowerBook.

Boomeranged Apple PowerBook G4. With some TLC I managed to rescue the files on it.

Boomeranged Apple PowerBook G4. With some TLC I managed to rescue the files on it.

When the iPhone was announced in 2007, the tech world shifted. The mobile industry that I had been such an avid watcher of had been hit with an asteroid. I got my first iPod Touch that Christmas, as the iPhone was not available in the UK till the February. The iPhone started to change the way I communicated. It changed the way I consumed information and media. My digital life moved more and more in to these devices. In to the Apple Eco system. Since then, I have become more and more engrained in this system. More at home with it than any. ‘At home’ are the key words there, as this is the state of my personal life. My work life at the moment is PC. But knowing all I know and what I am constantly learning, this isn’t a huge problem and from time to time, has some benefits.

So, the above, believe it or not is and abridged version. There’s swathes of detail and experiences I’ve left out. From the first WAP phones to the days were you could use and iPod and people would say ‘what’s that?’.

But hopefully, now you can have a clearer understanding of the fact that I am not a person in the pocket of a company that only knows I exist because they have my credit card information. More that I am a man who loves technology.

I recently went for coffee with a very good friend of mine (a soon to be famous rock band front man) to have good catch up and discuss tech. He’s really getting in to it and holds some different views than my self, but an interesting point arose.

I told him I was jealous of him. He has recently become a Mac user at home and work. His personal tablet is running Android (and was a bleeding bargain!) and will most likely end up getting a Nokia Lumia running Windows Phone.

He said, why are you jealous? I explained that, I am in the Apple Eco system so completely, that for my to leave would cost more than just the cost of new devices. There would be costs of new services. I would have to sacrifice the synergy I have become so used to. So dependant up on. I would love to be in the position to try out every part of today’s tech spectrum, beyond the time I get to spend today, loitering with new devices in retail stores. If I could, I’d be walking round with a Lumia 920, a Nexus 4 and my iPhone 5 in my pockets. I’d have a Nexus 7 with my iPad and I’d used a Windows 8 touch screen all in one computer in the house with my Mac Pro beside it.

He laughed and said ‘that would make you more of a pain than you are today!’

Technology is a the modern Renaissance.

In 400 years time, the Information Age in which we are living will be regarded as one of the most important times in human development. That kind of importance is felt and understood by many in the industry and that is why they work so hard. That is also why I write what I think, what I know and what I find interesting on this website.

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