It was about a year ago that I seriously decided that I needed to Think Different. It’s been about 23 years since I first started messing around with computers, not counting the countless calculators and adding machines I played with before jumping onto the computing bandwagon on an Apple ][+ at school and my very own computer, my Commodore VIC-20 (which I still have somewhere). I’ve survived countless incarnations of Windows, from Windows/286 (that’s Windows version 2.0) all the way up to Windows 2003 Advanced Server. I’ve danced with the Unix shell. I’ve flirted with the VAX/VMS DCL dollar sign. I’ve commanded the DOS command prompt. I’ve clicked. I’ve double clicked.

But nothing has rocked my computing world like my Mac. As they say in the ads, it just works.

I’ve become one of those Mac-obsessed people, pooh pooh-ing others still struggling with Windows. Praising the OS X gospel. “Life is just easier with a Mac”. “It’s a more secure operating system.” “Viruses? Hah!” Yes, I can be annoying.

Yesterday was the big “keynote speech” by Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo. Like many other Mac users and technology buffs, I frequented the Macworld Expo site (until it crashed, it’s running on Microsoft Server 2003), refreshing and refreshing again, hoping to catch a glimpse of the new Apple products as soon as they were announced. Would the rumors be true? Would there be a more affordable yet powerful Mac, primed for any household? Would there be another incarnation of the iPod?

And the answers are an unqualified yes.

There is now the Mini Mac. Starting at $499, this puppy can be plopped in place of any PC, use the existing keyboard, mouse and monitor, and spread it’s Mac goodness with its owner. When a family member now asks my recommendation for a “start up” computer, I can point them to the Mini Mac. I also think it would be a nice addition to the little music studio I’m thinking of building, but we’ll save that for another blog entry.

Then there’s the iPod Shuffle. Clocking in at $99, this guy can play a good number of songs from a very small device. And its affordable!

And that’s just the beginning.

Why am I saying all this? Because I’m impressed. My PowerBook impresses me. I can’t believe how easy it is to get stuff done on my computer now. If I want to be a tech head, I can mess around with Unix. If I just want to goof off, I still have Unix, with Panther sitting on top.

As I said before, it just works. I’m not dinking around with device drivers, security issues, activation codes and a secret operating system.

I think I’ll record one of those testimonials and send it to Apple. Don’t be surprised if you see me on their “switch” page.