It's over between us
…I’m not really sure how to begin this. Maybe if I start with how we first met, it might help to clarify my thought and feelings a little and revive something of my former respect and dare I say love for you.
Do you remember those heady days? The clutching grip of Microsoft was in everything and everywhere. Almost every computer task I undertook was ounctuated by the phrase “fucking Windows”. The neighbours must have thought I was some kind of window-fixated sex pervert.
I didn’t really know much about you at the time and you didn’t really know much about me either. I sometimes saw you flirting with the artsy crowd but apart from a few idle thoughts, I didn’t really see you at all.
Then digital music happened. I was one of the first people at college to get a Rio PMP 300, with a whopping 16Mb MMC card. It was neat, it was a novelty but far to small for my needs.
And then you appeared with the iPod.
It was beautiful. It was shiny, solid, well engineered and could carry my entire library of music. You didn’t skip and jog like my CD player and you didn’t eat through batteries like my tape player. I could skip to any song I wanted in a matter of seconds. It was the beginnings of true love.
We then took our relationship to the next stage, do you remember? I needed a new computer and, being something of a rebellious teenager, I shrugged off the evil chains of Microsoft and took my first frightening steps into the world of a new operating system. Much like the first time we shared together, my iMac G5 was beautiful and elegant and above all did what I wanted from it. You were always slightly serious though – you never had much time for games aside from Age of Mythology and a few Blizzard titles.
Then my work threatened to turn things into a LDR, when you suggested the Macbook Pro G4. Like a fool, I leapt in, still dizzy with admiration for you. I think that’s when things started to get a little rocky between us. The G4 started to get frighteningly hot in my lap and then the fan started making horrible grinding noises as it struggled to cope. It was the first I feared you’d be violent towards me.
Then you started to change. You began hanging out with a lot of my friends, which I thought was cool to begin with – it meant others could see you and appreciate your virtues as well as I. But then you started getting possessive, especially with music. You wouldn’t let me use my iPod as a normal hard disk any more. When I asked you about this you merely said it was for my own good.
It was around the same time that you announced you were going to have an operation as well, that you didn’t feel comfortable with being an IBM-based machine and wanted to transition to an Intel machine. That was fine – I’ve always been rather open minded about that sort of thing – but I did worry about whether you’d forget about us in your rush to make yourself more open to others.
And open up you most certainly did. It seemed like you were hanging out with everyone. Everyone was using an iPod and you whispered about plans for smartphones and even a tablet in that rather coy way you have. You even started picking up viruses in your rush to get better acquainted with people.
That’s when it really became noticeable to me. Now that you’d reached the top, you started to boss people around, acting like you were the belle of the ball. Things had to be the way you wanted them and if others didn’t like it they could take a hike. How you kept all those accessory makers chasing you, designing a port for one style of iPod only for you to decide the next day you wanted something else.
Your star was starting to get tarnished though, after that sordid episode with the Chinese family? You know very well the one I mean. You ran them ragged as well, chanting your little mantra about how they could do things your way or not at all.
We drifted apart after that, aside from the occasional dalliance. You got me through seven of the most tedious and tortured hours of my life at Dubai airport, thanks to your iPod Touch and season 1 of Babylon 5. Did you ever get the remaining series added to your store? You were extremely lapse about that sort of thing the last time I checked.
The next time I saw you, you’d made the papers. You were arguing bitterly with Samsung about something. At first I thought Samsung had stolen some critical code or something tied to your new processors. I was appalled when I discovered that you were suing them for billions over some rounded corners and icon layout.
It was downhill from there. It was getting more and more expensive to see you. You were flinging around lawsuits like a spoiled brat. There, I said it. I’ve even heard a rumour that you’re trademarking the way you arrange the tables and chairs in your home. Splutter all you want about protecting your rights but we both know this is purely down as an exercise in flexing your influence. And spite.
I miss you Apple, I miss the fun early days we had together, when you were still finding your way in the world. But you’ve become a monster now, the technological equivalent of Paris Hilton and that’s why I’m breaking up with you.