Apple, you are the apple of my eye.

Over the past year, I have done a lot of complaining about Apple. There have been upgrade snafus, update snafus, hardware failures, software "issues" and on and on. Aggravating me further has been Apple's closed system, in which things either work Apple's way or not at all.

But, Apple, I still love you!

It's a love affair that began way back in 1984, when my Dad brought home a Mac 512K. Back then, I was all about Mac Paint, a drawing program that my friends and I put to immediate use creating "album" covers for our cassettes (both mix tapes and collections of original material). But in time, I grew bored of Mac Paint and spent more and more time hunting and pecking on the word processor. And I have never looked back.

I can safely say that if I had had a Mac in high school, and especially in college, I would have done better. I liked writing, but I hated the mechanics of it. Typewriters were my nemesis, and my handwriting was/is so bad, not teacher would read it and not be influenced by the sheer sloppiness of it all. What of spelling? What of it? Couldn't do it. As for early word processing, well, before the Mac, it sucked the life out of my inner Hemingway, too. Remember Wang word processing? Green type, no WYSIWYG, horrible. But on the Mac, writing became painful for the right reason, because writing well is hard.

Sometime in the later 80s, I upgraded the Mac 512K to 1MB, then bought an SE-30 (I think), then a PowerBook 170, which I still have, then a faceless mid-90's beige box (Scully, you suck!), then one of those blue towers (I think), then a newer PowerBook, then a titanium PowerBook and now, my current Mac Book Pro, which rocks (mostly).

All of these machines have fueled both my creativity and my professional aspirations and without the Mac I don't know what I'd be doing with my life, I really don't. Would a PC have done the trick? Not without the Mac, I really believe that. All of Microsoft's "innovations" have been copied from the Mac, and now, Microsoft is even being forced to copy Apple's extreme quality. What would Microsoft have done without Apple to copy? I don't know, but Microsoft Surface is a decent indicator. It was launched with much fanfare as a new kind of computer and featured a touch interface. At the same time, Apple launched the iPhone. The obvious difference? Surface fit in your living room and the iPhone fit in your pocket. Oh, and the iPhone did way, way more.

Apple, you rock, and when I complain, it's out of love. I want you to KICK ASS -- as you always have (except during the dark days of Steve's absence).