20 , 2000
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it behooves us all to take stock of all the things that have happened over the last year to enrich our lives, bring us closer to our fellow man and protect us from the encroachments of the peecee hordes. This comes at a particularly critical time for us Mac users, since the present perhaps seems not as bright as it once did, what with Motorola unable to pull its act together in the megaHertz department, 3dfx seemingly pulling out of the Mac AGP market and OS X stagnating in R&D.
And yet, great things have happened for our platform, wonderful, miraculous things that may sometimes get overshadowed by the larger, negative stories of recent months. So as you're sitting back at the table, sucking down your fifth amaretto and milk and asking your fat aunt Britney to pass the pig's feet, try to remember those who've helped to make all the good things in your life happen and keep the Mac community in tact.
My list is short this year, not because I'm ungrateful to everybody working hard to make the Mac platform better, but because I've been sick for about a week, and I'd like to get back to bed. So I'll just stick to the big stuff.
I think first and foremost thanks must go to the children of Taiwan, whose extra efforts this year have brought Mac memory and storage prices to an all-time low. $133 for a 256 MB memory module, $55 for a 128 MB module: Did you ever think RAM could be so cheap? What about $200 for a fast 40 GB hard drive? Good work, kids. Keep it up, and Santa Claus just might leave you a loaf of bread under your Christmas tree this year.
We should also give thanks to the good people of Motorola, whose novel approach to chip development has done more for the resale value of this year's Macs than any other computer in history. While Intel and AMD are busy depreciating their customers' investments by continually building faster and faster chips, thereby making peecees obsolete in a matter of weeks, Motorola has kept its customers' financial interests at the forefront of its strategy. Their chips are no faster now than they were at this time last year, and that means my 400 MHz G4 can still command top dollar, should I ever decide to sell it. That just makes me all warm and cuddly inside. Thanks, uncle Moto.
And let us not forget Wall Street, the coke-snorting denizens of which have given us all a second chance to buy into Apple, especially those of us who failed to buy last time the stock dipped into the teens. Keep smoking that meth, boys! You're doing a great job!
We must also thank Microsoft for continuing to put out the kinds of products that make us proud to call ourselves Mac users. We're sometimes a bit hard on Microsoft here at Creative Mac. But let's not forget that without Microsoft, we wouldn't have ... uh ... hmm. Well, we wouldn't have expensive knockoffs of products that were already on the market. That's something. Oh, and we wouldn't have all those firewalls keeping all those I.S. guys employed.
Finally, and in all seriousness, we really should be giving thanks to Apple itself. We can all point to problems with our Macs, fibs about ship dates and pricing and shoddy implementation of certain technologies, such as USB. But the fact is that, despite the shortcomings of some of the company's vendors, Apple has continued to keep the platform alive through the deployment of the greatest machines in human history, the best OS in computer history and the best industrial design since the advent of plastic. They've also single-handedly launched the desktop video revolution and backed it up with an outstanding foundation for future development, both in software (QuickTime) and hardware (FireWire).
We Mac users are a fortunate bunch of miscreants. We can sometimes get bogged down with specific problems, but remember that Apple is the only thing standing between us and the oblivion the peecee platform represents. And for this, I am infinitely thankful.
Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital DTP; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, DCC Workstation, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.
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