6 pm, Friday, the 29th of June, 2007. The Menlo Park Mall, New Jersey, USA. A new phone, tom-tomed by Steve Jobs twenty days earlier, is about to be launched. Somewhere in that serpentine queue outside the Apple Store stands a girl desperate to be among the first few to actually hold the phone, and be, as she called it, a part of history.
That was the iPhone, and that was my daughter. To her, Steve Jobs remains the incarnation of God – Brahma, the creator. Since then, Apple has released seven different generations of the iPhone, and sure enough, Puja has been among the first few to hold each and every one of them!
How this girl, who was so `technologically challenged’ at school (maths and science were monsters to wrestle with, and lose to repeatedly) could grow into such a technological wizard and such a gadget-n-gizmo freak is beyond me.
Me, I was quite happy with my Windows PC and Nokia/Blackberry phones, and remained stubbornly immune to her attempts to convert me to Apple.
And I had good reason to. Consider.
I had just about mastered Wordstar, when along came Word Perfect, and I had to unlearn whatever I had learnt, and start from scratch. Having just about done so, I was asked to junk all that and switch to Microsoft Word! Ditto with Lotus 1-2-3 to Excel, and PC Storyboard to Powerpoint.
I was pissed off, to say the least. And now here was my daughter asking me to junk what over 80% of the world was using and switch to something that was reportedly marginally superior, but much less popular. Enough is enough, I said.
|Puja on FaceTime!|
Then she presented me with an iPhone 4S for my last birthday, and I was stuck. Shifting all my contacts and data from my Blackberry to the new phone was a hellish experience, and took three days and practically all my patience.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m technologically sound - a telecom engineer who had specialised in EDP in the Army, and here I was being goaded by an Arts graduate with a Diploma in, wait for it, Fashion Design!
Since the iPhone quite adamantly refused to talk cordially to my Windows PC, she handed me her MacBook Pro, and asked, nay ordered me, to just get on with it!
And when we visited her in San Francisco (a pilgrimage to Jobs’s mansion in Palo Alto was, of course, a must), seeing me drool over their Retina display iPad, that was handed down to me as well.
So now I have an iPhone, an iPod Touch, a MacBook Pro and an iPad! I have been well and truly converted!
The question that still irks me is what took me so long?? And why is it that a product that is so decidedly superior (and I mean decidedly as in `zameen-aasmaan ka faraq’ versus `unees-bees ka faraq') should actually command such a meagre share of the market.
The answer could fill quite a few posts, but it basically lies in the regrettable fact that Jobs, though brilliant, was also the quintessential asshole! Yes, part of my `conversion tutorial’ was reading Walter Issacson’s voluminous biography of Jobs.
Puja is back from SF, and was yesterday on the MacBook for some documentation. She threw up her hands in despair “You still use Word?” she shrieked “For heavens sake Pa, get Pages!”
Hmm… I think I’ll pass. Surely, I need to draw the line somewhere…