COMPUTE: MAC by Roger Born, Macworld, 2006

This year, here at the Macworld Expo, I am not taking pictures. Nor am I interviewing vendors or reviewing new products. Present physical limitations have prevented all that. So what am I doing here? I sit in the midst of the milieu, watching and listening to the people here. In the process, I have made astonishing discoveries, which I want to share with you.

Compute: In the history of Man, there have been few all-encompassing discoveries and inventions. These are evident. (1) The control of fire, (2) the invention of the wheel, (3) the screw and the lever; (4) the control of steam which began the Industrial Revolution; (5) the control of electricity; and (6) the computer.

This last one, the computer, is a locus – an everything tool. It is the single invention of Man that is able to do any task, completes any chore, or do work of any description. The computer is pan-effic, pan-epic, and pan-specific. We are limited in our use of the computer only by our imaginations, and our dreams.

Mac: It is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone that the single brand of computer that really becomes the universal tool is the Macintosh, built by Apple Computers. It is the stuff dreams are made of. It is the one computer that people love, that they enjoy using, that they develop a cult following of.

Why is this so? Because the Mac provides the focus of the locus. What good is a universal, do-all tool, if it is difficult to use? If it can do anything, what do you decide to do with it first? Apple Computers provide that focus – those seminal applications that help us bring our dreams and plans to reality.

Steve Jobs: I have just sat through my second Keynote this morning, and I think I begin to understand his famous ”Reality Distortion Field.” It is not Hocus-Pocus that he is giving us. It is Locus Focus. Think about it. His Steveness and the great geniuses at Apple Computer have given us the Finder, the Dock, Dashboard, and Spotlight. They have given us GarageBand, iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and now the new iWeb. These applications provide us with focus to make efficient use of that universal tool, the computer. Macs just make it easier to do productive work than any other computer in existence.

So the media reporters rarely have ever gotten it right about the Macintosh. They assume it is some cult or popular culture product, or that it is some better grade of consumer product – a Bentley instead of a Chevy. But the fact is, the Mac is the locus, the seminal center of computing, and the prime definition of what this sixth tool of Man is all about.

Therefore, what Steve Jobs is doing is making the universal tool more efficient, more productive for all of us. Where he leads, the whole industry follows, and every person who owns a Mac finds themselves benefited with faster productivity, easier use of their time and talents, and enjoying their perhaps new-found freedom. For the Mac is nothing if not a most permissive, indulgent and provocative everything tool.

Macworld: So what is Macworld in all of this? That is an easy one to define, if you will pardon my metaphor. Macworld is as astonishing, amazing, vulgar, noisy, all consuming and prolific as a husband and wife working hard and sweaty to conceive a child. For in the midst of all this noise, chaos and crowd of people here at MacWorld, there is the plain sense of something being created. Something wonderful, beautiful, noteworthy, noble, and of good repute.

Look around here, through the eyes and ears of the writers at See what they bring to you in photos and podcasts. For the vendors here are the happy pimps of things created by computers and on computers, for use in and on your computers. And we MacWriters are the kid in the tree, looking through the window, upon that busy couple in their bedroom, and joyfully giving all the juicy details to our friends on the ground below.

Enjoy the show. Wish you were here. But if you are not, live it vicariously through us.

Regards, Roger Born “Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.”


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