Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mac People

I started using Mac computers when I was in high school. We had a Mac lab at Furman University when I was there (but no longer [on the Mac lab, that is]), and since then, I have owned Apple laptops mostly because for me it was the only computer a real writer should use. Every novel, short story, letter, and poem I've written I did from a Mac, and still today--though I do use a PC for my "real" job--it's the only computer I'd ever buy. Place once mattered when famous compositions were talked about. Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms in Key West. Faulkner wrote most of his novels from Rowan Oak. For me, I've written everywhere from Key West to Mississippi, but it's all be on my Mac. A romantic idea, even if composing on a computer ain't so much.

For the writer, a Mac contains an aesthetic, an artistry in the lines, that make it irresistible for the fictive mind. Sometimes, I like to think they made Macs from the beginning in 1984, back when they looked like an upright bread box, with the writer in mind, as if to say, "here, try composing on this beautiful machine. Maybe the words will come easier." I write this blog post today from my Macbook, and, yes, the words are coming easily.

On a recent trip to New York City, I went in Apple's biggest retail store to meet other like-minded folks. People milled about the myriad iPods, iPhones, and laptops, and for a moment, I imagined us all novelists seeking our "pen" of choice, our muse for mastery, the machine that makes the words flow. Later, I saw a person in the Winter Gardens atrium next to Ground Zero typing away on her Macbook Air, and I felt quite sure that if I plopped down beside her, we would've had a good conversation about the computer on her lap, if nothing else.

So, maybe I'm a little romantic about the computer. I can't help it. I've never owned any piece of electronic equipment that double as art (can you say magnetized power supply? Glass touchpad?). Nobody markets or delivers their product like Apple. But don't take my word for it. Unpack a new computer from its box, and you'll see that every component is wrapped just like a present.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Sean!
Count me as a Mac Maniac! I worked on a PC for years, then a year ago I got an iMac. I swear, the writing is easier, more inspired and just more fun! Thanks for a great post!
Rebbie Macintyre