During a recent trip home to Chicago (more precisely, Algonquin) I found myself going on a nostalgia treasure hunt through my parents’ basement. Among the usual prizes of old yearbooks, photos and toys, I unearthed a cache of computers, none of which had been turned on in almost fifteen years. The oldest machines in the collection were an Apple ][, a Mac Plus, and a Macintosh SE (all of which still boot). There were also two newer machines – a PowerPC box and a Performa, which was our first computer with a CD-ROM drive. Other Macs the household has seen are a blueberry iMac, a G3 iBook and a G3 tower. These days I use a Mac Pro tower and a Macbook Pro for work, while I tote around the featherlight Air for personal use. And then there’s the iPhone.
Yeah. This stuff is in my blood. It’s probably in yours too, if you’re reading this.
Old Mac users have more than just a shared history. We have intense cultural pride. There were times when it was a 45-minute drive just to get to a store where you could buy Mac software. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to try to make the stuff, much less sell it. While I was milling around the SFMacIndie party at Jillian’s last night I was astounded by the sheer number of developers there. There are people who converted because of the excellence of the developer tools, or because they see opportunity in the market, or because they are attracted to the explosive growth of the iPhone. Actually, these are all pretty legitimate reasons to develop software for a platform. It’s not just folks doing it for the love of it anymore.
There’s no way this is a bad thing. More developers means more choice, more innovation and a better experience for Mac users everywhere. It’s just different, and it’s easy to be wistful for a world that has gone by.
To me, the rainbow logo is the icon of the Old World of Mac. The world of Mac that I fell in love with is different, both simpler and more complex, than the glossy technoporn world we know now. So I’ve decided to take it back (with all due respect to Clerks 2). I want to remember the richness and color of that shared history, even as we move forward into what looks to be a Golden Age for the company who’s products have shaped my life in so many ways. So henceforth I’ll proudly display the old logo in place of the new one wherever I can, as a simple homage to the culture that brought us here.