Apple Inc. first released the PowerBook series in 1991. The PowerBook series had many iterations, but, according to Ryan Block from Engadget in his article 30 years in Apple products: the good, the bad, and the ugly, “the PowerBook [series]… had been a laptop trendsetter since its inception. One of the first consumer laptops available with 802.11b [wireless internet]…” And in a way it continues to be, with Apples current ultra-book series, the MacBook Pro line, trendsetting. The MacBook Pro, as known by many people, is one of the best laptops for Designers of any creative field and now Developers for various reasons: “ …Mac users often rest on qualifiable and subjective arguments such as ‘it feels intuitive’ or ‘I enjoy using it more’…(Five Reasons Why Designers Developers are Switching to Mac Mark Nutter). Consistency is another one, as Mark Nutter from Smashing Magazine states in his article. Consistency is often a principles for designers, according to Nutter, and OS X was designed to be consistent, from the menu bar to the simple drag-and-drop interface, everything is consistent.
Nevertheless, there are people who only use this expensive piece of machinery to browse the internet and edit text documents, never using the laptop to its full potential. These people are responsible for Apple’s bad rep in recent years, specially intensified by Microsoft Enthusiasts. They claim that these laptops, or any other Apple product, is only for rich people that don’t know how to use computers. However there is a reason why people still use these laptops, and Gunning mentions an interesting concept that explains why so many people now, besides designers and developers, are starting to turn to the ‘Apple’ side of things.
As Gunning mentions in his text, Renewing Old Technologies, “A discourse of wonder draws our attention to new technology, not simply as a tool, but precisely as a spectacle, less as something that performs a useful task than as something that astounds us by performing in a way that seemed unlikely or magical before”(Gunning 45). As an up-and-coming Web Developer and Designer myself, I can say that a Mac outperforms a PC anytime while working with high-demand software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, while having close to six web browsers open and an IDE open all at the same time, and, like Gunning mentions, what a Mac does seems magical, I don’t know what it does to still perform well under that much pressure, while making the whole experience seem unified.
MacBooks might be $2000 Facebook machines for some, but for me and the rest of the Design/Coding community, it is a magical box that helps us daily get the job done.
- “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, Second Nature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of -the-Century” in Rethinking Media Change The Aesthetics of Transition, eds. David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins (Cambridge: MIT Press 2003), pp. 39-59.