So, OKAY. Let me paint you a mental picture. I’m sitting in my living room, typing on my MacBook Air. Next to me there sits an iPad, and iPhone 6, and a massive cup of coffee. I am ten feet, count ’em, ten small steps, away from my front door because I am waiting for my Apple Watch to arrive. I listen for the sound of the UPS wagon with more anticipation than Ron Howard waiting for the Wells Fargo Wagon, because this day I know it’s “thumpthing thpecial jutht for me.”
I woke up feeling pretty good anyway because I got the delivery notice email yesterday. And then I got the delivery notice text! I’m in a good place in my work on the book I’m writing, the third Adin and Donte Novel. (YES! I’m working on that one!) And I’m feeling great because it’s spring but there are lots and lots of big ominous clouds to the west, and we’re in the middle of a desperate, desperate drought and we could use the rain.
So I threw on my comfy velour jogging suit and my fluffy sheepskin boots and I’m waiting…
Lest you think I love Apple products because I’m some kind of wannabe hipster or because I have great big piles of cash to toss into the wind, let me share a story with you.
I’ve been an Apple girl since I learned to draw Christmas trees with randomly colored blinky lights (in BASIC) in my first Computer Programming class at Golden West College thirty-five years ago: Intro to Computer Programming, COMP-SCI 100. That’s where I learned to program in BASIC (and later COBOL). Programming is, in a convoluted way, how I met my husband. I have loved Geek Culture since there wasn’t any such thing and I was looking for a specific kind of man to be my sweetheart. So when I went out looking for this imaginary man, I chummed the waters with comic book references and computer terminology. I used the words “SYNTAX ERROR” (poorly, I might add) in a conversation at The Rocky Horror Picture show, on Halloween, where I met my future husband, and that conversation has been ongoing for nearly thirty-four years.
Later, I worked for a company where I learned to use an ancient octal-based assembly language called Easycoder on the old H200 Honeywell machines. The language is so old, I had a hard time finding it on the internet. Probably because I don’t know the right place to look or probably because back then I was still in college and I alternated between Jolt Cola, jello shots, and a bong, and those days are just gone, man. Gone…
I programmed computers professionally back when folks were phasing out big machines in favor of mini computers, or early desktop models. Back then, we had to write code and take it to the data entry “ladies”. These data entry clerks would transfer our code onto cards or massive reel-to-reel tapes. Later in the day, if we were lucky but sometimes the next day, they would give us a box of punch cards or tapes back, and then we’d take them to the Computer Operator and that person would run our punch card programs to test our work. This was called Batch Processing. There was no online debugging. We’d go through that process again and again to debug our programs, taking things to the “ladies” taking them to the Computer Operators–who, as I recall, could be bribed to run my programs first if I gave them Jolt Cola or took them to lunch–until our work was finally bug free.
For the moment.
Because ten minutes later, someone would change the price of a product or the process by which it was accounted for, and then I’d have to start all over again.
I LOVED programming computers even in those early, frustrating days. I still enjoy coding in HTML for my website. I never looked at it like a “sciency” or “engineering” thing, for me it’s just another language. I look for patterns, like in those IQ tests where you get a series of numbers you have to complete or discover why the pattern is wrong.
If you look on my books page, you’ll see that right now it works and all the little picture boxes line up. (But it does NOT work on the mobile version.)
Sometimes, when you log in, you’ll see the tiles are all wonky. That means I’ve tried to add a new book or image on the fly and I’ve made a mistake in the HTML code. Either I haven’t noticed it or I haven’t got the time to fix it right then because I’m supposed to be writing books, not coding my website pages. A very kind reader created that page for me back when there were a very few books to put on it, and since then, I’ve been adding things and sometimes I don’t pay attention. All the fault is mine, if it’s wrong.
The good news is, every so often I will snag my hubby and we’ll curl up in bed with our laptops and go through the code to figure out where I went wrong, because that’s what we do for fun…
And as for that mobile thing, that’s just woo-woo alchemy. It’s supposed to work because I have a plug-in that is supposed to force it to work, only it doesn’t. That there is Deepest Arcane Interweb Magicke, and I do not mess with that.
Coding is a great hobby but writing pays the bills. Nowadays, if I have a problem with my computer, I just find the youngest person in the room and ask for help.
But wait, you say. You’re not a true Apple fangirl, you say. You don’t even use PAGES to write with, you say. (Ahem. I use Scrivener.)
But… how do I explain my love for the Amazon Echo???
No one can explain my love for the Amazon Echo. The heart wants what it wants, man. Let it go…
My first computer?
Do I own Apple stock?
Have I been waiting all my life for a Dick Tracy communicator watch?
Then why do I want it so badly, this expensive timepiece that does only a little more than my Garmin VivoSmart and costs four times as much???
I want it for the reason APPLE KNOWS I WANT IT! I want it because when my husband gets his, I can send him my heartbeat.
<3 <3 <3
What a great post! I love a lot about Apple, but that watch costs too much (at least for now). I have embraced the Pebble, which I have tethered to my Android phone.
I am enamored of the Amazon Echo. What do you use it for and do you find you use it a lot?
Hi Jeff, I love my Echo… I use it for playing music and audiobooks (so basically it’s a speaker) and I ask it to search things all the time. I have it set to play me an ODD news flash update, and it tells me the local weather when I ask. I set an alarm with it when it’s in my room, (which is great for those drifty power naps where you’re half asleep and saying, Alexa, set an alarm is easier than doing it manually), and I take it from room to room as I go. I use it to add to grocery lists, and for To Do reminders. We can use it as me or as my husband, so when I switch users it adds to a grocery list on HIS phone…
And my kids who really are too old for this sort of thing, still like getting it to tell them jokes.
Also, I can have Alexa play Polka music or something just to annoy my kids (That was really fun until they figured out it was me doing that remotely from upstairs…)
And my son’s favorite thing? Is to say, “Alexa, turn that sh*t up to eleven”. She cranks up the volume until we’re deaf.
Why yes. I do anthropomorphize the machine… Why do you ask?
I found your post so interesting since I’m not too much into the latest techno gadgets and to read about an Apple lover’s POV.