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Apple: Unfortunately, no longer the underdog

Cabel Sasser | April 16, 2013
Remember when Mac users were the fringe? The holdouts, the misfits, the ADB plugs in the USB holes? Don't look now, but everyone's found our party. That's awesome--but I'm still not totally comfortable with it.

Remember when Mac users were the fringe? The holdouts, the misfits, the ADB plugs in the USB holes? Don't look now, but everyone's found our party. That's awesome--but I'm still not totally comfortable with it.

Why? Let me explain by way of analogy. I know a shocking number of songs only by way of the "Weird Al" Yankovic parody versions. I have no idea what the real lyrics are to James Brown's "Living in America," but I can name all the medical conditions in "Living with a Hernia." While the cool kids had the cool songs, I had the same songs but with debatably funnier lyrics. So, in the mind of my 12-year-old self, I won.

There's more. Before I switched to the Mac, I had an Amiga. Most people don't know the Amiga, but it was a computer so incredibly ahead of its time that it could multitask multiple applications effortlessly while simultaneously defending the owner's virginity at any cost. I was so happy with my Amiga that the company went bankrupt. I switched to the Mac because it was the only choice: There was no way I could use a PC, because that's what everybody else--the squares, with their suits and their mortgages and their hot lunches--used. The Mac was unpopular, universally derided, and most important, incredible.

The very big Apple

So it's still a little bit weird for me to walk into an Apple Store today and see every corner of it jam-packed with humanity, not just the "It's such a shame that Heat Vision and Jack wasn't picked up as a series" nerd-fringe that I'm a part of. From the girls posing for Photo Booth and the cool kids listening to their (nonparody!) jams on some Beats by Dre to the hip toddlers tapping Toca Boca on a teeny tiny table and the questionable black market resellers buying 150 iPads with envelopes stuffed with cash, everyone's arrived at the Apple Store.

Yes, in an unbelievably short period of time, Apple crossed over. Much like "Weird Al" himself, Apple got a haircut and LASIK surgery, shaved off its mustache, ditched the nerdy glasses, and created the iPod. And then the iPhone. And then the iPad. And the momentum that had already been slowly building on the Mac side took off as the iDevices took hold, and the Apple stickers slowly moved from the Volvo rear window to the top of the skateboard deck.

This is good. It's wonderful to see people appreciating what I've always appreciated. It's exciting to see Apple's innovations reach more people than they've ever reached before. It's beautiful to see FaceTime being used for discussing last night's Game of Thrones and connecting grandparents and grandchildren. It's nice to actually have games (games!) on an Apple platform. It's awesome to see people realize that these are truly the best computers in the world.

 

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