Friday, January 29, 2010

unteching the tech for nontechies

I am a windows guy who makes his living designing, building and maintaining a professional global network infrastructure. At home I was having some issues with getting my wife Julie online. I made the switch on my home systems to OSX about 4 years ago in an attempt to get my wife online. As a tech guy OSX and the Mac in general is pretty much an appliance. It is pretty turn key in so far as it relates to editing home movies, managing pictures and music. Let me be clear that it is not anymore resilient or less buggy than a PC. The main difference is that Apple keeps it as a black box and does not let you mess with its operation to any real degree. The biggest thrill I have gotten in using the mac stuff at home is that the OS interface was so opposite that of windows, so it was fun doing something different and new much like using my left hand to brush my teeth when I am right handed. Apart from my entertainment switching yielded the results I was looking for as my wife is now online. There are still issues that I have to solve as we have small children and they drag icons around and eliminate things from the dock. As I was adding back the icon for macmail last night it really hit me that as much as the mac is an appliance for techies it is still not simple enough for everybody. The real appliance is the iPhone and iTouch. My wife and my father both use them as their computers almost exclusively. Although my wife ventured online with the mac, once she had her iPhone she became plugged in like a corporate user. My father downloads apps like a maniac and is constantly emailing. Watching the the two of them over the last year really blew me away how right Apple has gotten it. The two most untechie people I know are constantly connected now and would not give up there units without a fight. I am really looking forward to the iPad. It all clicked with me this morning and I understand how huge this will be. In all seriousness, a device that takes OS out of the way and allows seemless interaction with just the apps they need or want is genius. Dock it with a keyboard if you need to type long rambles, but keep it light and portable for 95% of the use it will get. I could see an Imac version of this being pretty cool. Apple has unteched the tech for nontechies.