I am pleased to present the following post from Illinois attorney Michael R. Grossman, who wrote about his re-conversion to Apple:
I’ve been thinking about going solo for a while now, and while I still haven’t made the leap, I’m willing to invest in a new computer to support my decision making process. So, after much research and contemplation, I purchased a new 24″ iMac.
Actually, there wasn’t that much research and contemplation. It was a contest between a Mac mini with maxed-out RAM and a 23″ Apple monitor, or a 24″ iMac. Based upon my research, and some helpful emails from both Ben Stevens and Grant Griffiths, I chose the iMac. I think it’s a great bang for the buck, even though a lot of bucks are involved.
I’ve had a continuing relationship with Apple computers since 1981 when I began dating an Apple ][ in junior high school. We used to hold hands as I would stare at its pixilated games. I wasn’t sure what to do with the buttons but I knew deep down there was an attraction building. Everything was new and I felt oddly empowered.
My parents gave me an Apple ][+ in 1982 for my Bar Mitzvah and I formed a close and meaningful relationship with this machine for a number of years. Eventually we brought a 300-baud acoustical modem into our relationship and that arrangement opened new and mysterious doors that even today I find exciting. These many years later I think fondly of the long hours I stared at the green screen and CAPITAL LETTERS.
While in my junior year of high school the Apple ][+ and I parted ways – I started to date an Apple ][gs. Color screen, fancy sounds and GUI. I was in lust – I knew enough to know the difference. Although my old Apple ][+ was solid and reliable, the gs offered me some excitement. I was mature compared to my mid-teenage geek friends and they didn’t understand why I needed upper and lowercase. It was around this time I started drinking Mountain Dew and hanging out at Taco Bell and although I’m not one to make excuses, well… let’s just say I don’t talk to many people I knew during these days.
In retrospect, gs was bad for me – very bad. I felt empty after the experience. I should have never left ][+. gs didn’t have the layers of naïve discovery that I was used to with that simple grey-brownish keyboard and 64k of memory. But, alas, ][+ was gone and I knew it was too late to mend those FENCES.
While rebounding and trying to gain my geek footing, I turned to a 286 PC for comfort. Maybe I did this as a form of self-punishment – I don’t know. My therapists theorize that I couldn’t see clearly at this time in life, likely blinded by green CAPITAL LETTERS still resonating in my eyes. I try not to blame myself for the actions I took during this time but it’s hard not to do so.
I won’t bore you with the whirring details of this period of my life except to say that I’m not proud. There was a 486 early on, a chunky machine named Gateway, and most recently a sleek black number that had a major hard drive crash.
I credit much of my recovery to my wife. When I first met her she was using an all-in-one Power Mac G3. It was heavy, sturdy and built like a tank. After my wife and I were getting serious in our relationship I started to feel a certain attraction to G3. I wasn’t sure why, at the time, but it stirred up memories and feelings that were long dormant.
I tried to avert my eyes from G3, particularly when Gateway was in the room, but it was difficult. It saw me frequently staring and eventually I admitted my attraction. I suggested to my wife that we take things a step further. Reluctantly, she agreed, and we picked up a hot little G4 iMac in 2003. Things progressed quickly with a sleek G4 Powerbook following shortly thereafter.
As a criminal defense attorney often dealing with clients who are sobriety-challenged, I’ve learned that recovery is paved with setbacks. Certainly I haven’t been immune to this cliché. A couple years ago when having a bad day as the result of a courtroom verdict, I filled myself full of gin-and-tonics and picked up an XP machine on the way home from the tavern. We partied a bit with Photoshop, of all things, but I knew it was temporary. My wife certainly wasn’t pleased and eventually I just felt gross. The hard drive failed recently and that was it – I was done.
A couple of weeks ago, while walking down the street, I saw an old friend through a store window. Calling itself “Vista” now I walked away without saying hello. I was hoping it wouldn’t notice me. I felt sad for it as too many years of blue screens had left it a heap of promised possibilities. I was there during those times – I know the stories first-hand. Yes, we had some fun together in college, but now after major cosmetic surgery it’s hard to recognize what I was attracted to in the first place.
When I went to the store to buy the new iMac, I wanted to share with all of the perky sales staff and eager customers my story. “Gather round ye’ all and I’ll share you a tale of green screens and CAPITAL LETTERS…” but decided against it. They wouldn’t really appreciate it and likely wouldn’t be able to hear me through those white wires cascading from their ears – whatever those are. But I now feel sound and optimistic. Sound because I feel young, stable and excited about a computer again. Optimistic because I know that if I do begin a solo law practice, it will reside upon a dynamic and productive Mac.