To say that I am Apple Computer obsessed is an understatement and you are about to see why.

Since the very beginning of my computing career, I have never actually owned a DOS/Windows based computer. While I have been burdened with some work issued computers over the years, I have always had my trusty Mac at home to ease the pain. Sharing in this obsession, my dad and I have owned at least 12 Macintosh computers over the years and that doesn’t even include the accessories end.

I know…this is a blog about blogging so why the hell are you talking about the fact that you can only whip out the checkbook if there is a logo of an Apple with a bite out of it? Well, there is an explanation after I show off my sickness.

An Apple Obsession That Rivals That Of Steve Jobs

To lay it out for you, here is my history with Apple Computer…

Macintosh Classic

Macintosh Classic

Where it all started. In the early ’90’s, Apple released the Macintosh Classic (Classic II pictured) with it’s 8 mhz 68000 processor and a whopping 1MB of RAM. With fond memories of playing the Parachuter game, my all things Mac obsession started with this little all-in-one machine, a 9″ black and white screen, OS 6.0.7 and a single button mouse.

Macintosh Centris 650

Macintosh Centris 650

With the newly integrated CD drive, the Macintosh Centris was the next logical upgrade. Remember the days when you actually had to put the CD in a case before inserting it into the computer?! With an upgrade to discs, OS 7.1 and a color screen…we were off and rockin’.

Macintosh Performa 6100

Macintosh Performa 6100

Heading into the mid to late ’90’s, we jumped up to the new PowerPC processors to the 601 with the Performa 6100 series. These new lightning fast 601 processors (by those days standards) were the start of the PowerPC platform that would carry Apple computer all the way to the Intel switch. Armed with SCSI drives, OS 7.5 and more robust audio and graphics…we were living the good life.

PowerComputing PowerCenter Pro 210

PowerComputing PowerCenter Pro 210

What a lot of people don’t know is that during the time period between 1995 and 1997, Apple approved licensing for 3rd party manufacturers to carry the Mac OS platform. During that time, we actually owned two models that ran Mac OS but not on Macintosh branded computers. My computer was the PowerCenter Pro 210 from PowerComputing that even eventually saw a G3 upgrade card from OWC amongst other upgrades.

PowerComputing PowerTower Pro 250 MP

PowerComputing PowerTower Pro 250 MP

During the clone years, my dad ended up running a PowerComputing PowerTower Pro 250 MP that saw 2 250 Mhz 604e processors. This machine eventually saw a host of upgrades from OWC as well.

Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics)

Power Mac G4 AGP

With the year 2000 on the horizon, it was time for an upgrade to the G4 processor and that came with the Power Mac G4 AGP. The first of the G4 line to get an AGP graphics slot, this tower was a significant upgrade from our tapped out clones with a 400 MHz processor and 100 MHz system bus speed.

Power Mac G4 Cube

Power Mac G4 Cube

Our house rarely had less than 3 computers running at once…so of course we had a Cube laying around! Revolutionary Apple design but a PITA to upgrade. The G4 Cube was short lived, but it did bring a lot of press and marketing to Apple Computer as they started their run to the reputation they hold today. The G4 Cube eventually got an upgrade card and was maxed out beyond belief, but it too was retired.

Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio)

Power Mac G4 Digital Audio

After a lightning bolt surge blew up my heavily upgraded PowerCenter Pro 210, I ended up with the Digital Audio version of the popular G4. With a 133 MHz system bus and the 466 MHz G4 processor, this Power Mac was the first to come shipped with the new OS X operating system. The complete overhaul meant that I eventually downgraded to 9.2 until software companies caught up, but OS X was a huge leap forward in OS technology that others (ahem…Microsoft) are still copying today.

This computer actually still runs in my dad’s basement with an OWC 1.4 GHz G4 upgrade card.

Power Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors

Power Mac MDD G4

When it came time to upgrade my aging Digital Audio G4, I went to the multi-processor MDD G4 from Apple. This sexy, mirrored drive case would carry my into the mid 2000’s after a host of upgrades that even included hacked graphics cards and SATA drives. At the end of its life, it was actually one of the fastest MDD’s clocked on XBench at the time.

This one still sits in my office closet.

MacBook Pro 2.4 Core 2 Duo

MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo

In 2008 when my blogging career really got off and running, I decided it was time to break my tower streak and head to something more mobile. I stepped up to the laptop place with the 15.4″ MacBook Pro 2.4 Core 2 Duo. With laptop speeds becoming increasingly faster with mobile technology and the introduction of the new Intel processors earlier, it made sense to get similar processing power out of a more mobile platform. With some memory and hard drive upgrades…I was off and running and my tower tweaking days were over.

Previous Apple Accessories

Apple iPod iPhone QuickTake Printers

I wish I could say that the Apple sickness within my brain and my family stopped with Apple computers, but that wasn’t the case. Over the years…we have dipped into the Apple bucket for other needs as well.

  • Apple QuickTake Digital Camera – VGA resolution digital camera
  • 2 – iPhone 3G
  • 2 – iPhone 3GS
  • 3 – iPhone 4
  • 1 – iPod Mini
  • 1 – iPod Click Wheel
  • 1 – iPod Color Display
  • 2 – iPod 5th Gen Black
  • 4 – iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen
  • Miscellaneous Printers
  • Every OS from OS 6.0 to Snow Leopard (and whatever comes next)

So What Are We Running Now?

As the obsession continues to get unhealthier by the day. Here is what my family and I are running right now.

MacBook Pro i7

MacBook Pro i7

I made a huge leap forward and picked up a 15.4″ MacBook Pro i7 this year. It all started with my wife saying, “I want a laptop.” So now she is running my old 2.4 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and I am enjoying the speed of the new Intel i7 processor.

Apple iMac 24″ 3.06

Apple iMac 24" Core 2 Duo 3.06

My dad is running a early 2009 3.06 Intel Core 2 Duo 24″ iMac. Surprisingly, both of us have gotten off of the “Pro” tower platforms as the fully integrated options of the MacBook Pro and iMac have gotten fast enough to run the Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut Pro.

Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4 FaceTime

There are 3 iPhone 4’s in my family (me, my wife and my dad)…all without any signal issues too for what it’s worth, and my mom is running my old 3GS.

So What Does All Of This Have To Do With Blogging?

There are two things you should take away from this exercise in obsession…

  1. I Do Not Review Products That I Can Not Be Unbiased About – I am the review blogger guy that teaches other bloggers how to get in free stuff to review. One of the things I really hammer home with bloggers is that you have to stay unbiased and truthful in your findings regardless of pressure from manufacturers or your personal views. Your credibility is everything as a blogger and if you lose that…it is very hard to gain back. I have a hard time being unbiased about Apple products…so I do not publicly review them. That is something you should take into consideration as you review products.
  2. A History Of Quality Brings Repeat Business – I have faith that Apple will build a solid product for my needs. For that reason, I do not need someone else’s opinion before I pick up my next computer. My personal history with the brand is more than enough to make me spring for the latest and greatest. You should strive for this same loyalty in your blogging by creating repeat visitors and purchasers of your product. It requires you to go over the top with your quality, but that will multiply over time.

Apple Computer is a great case study in how strong marketing with quality products can make consumers lineup to purchase what you have to offer. When you are finding your audience and selling your products, creating an “Apple like” atmosphere around your content and monetization efforts will create a loyal following that will spread your word like crazy.

Your #1 goal in blogging should be to create an army of customers and subscribers just like me…

I am the definition of an Apple Fanboy. I admit it…and it is also why I do not review computer components because it is hard for me to be unbiased. This stems back to the black and white Mac Classic and System 6 days and there is no cure. After dozens of Apple computers and even more accessories…I have come to accept my sickness.

I love that I can pull out my Nikon D300s with the 80-200mm/f2.8 Nikkor lens in the middle of the store and the employees want to geek out talking about photography and how my new i7 MacBook Pro is ripping up post processing and HD video (see…gets me getty just typing it). It’s a cool atmosphere and I am not ashamed to say I actually own Apple t-shirts. If you don’t like it…I don’t care!

So…with the release of the new iPad, what do I think of the latest out of Steve Jobs and the rest of his crew?

Note: This is my attempt to be objective on an product manufactured by Apple with only about an hour of use. Hang on with me as I am going on a weird ride.

iPads at Apple Store

My Apple iPad Experience

I had to drop by the Apple Store to pick up a few things, so I thought I would stop and play with an iPad for awhile to see what all of the fuss is about. There seem to be two camps in the iPad debate: those that hate it and those that love it. Pretty typical for Apple releases actually…

At first glance, the iPad looks like a really big iPhone. The form and function is very much the same with a home button the bottom, black surrounded front screen and rounded back edges. The aluminum rear enclosure feels much like my MacBook Pros.

When you turn it on, again…you are faced with what looks like a huge iPhone. The icons for the apps are laid out exactly the same just much farther apart. The touch screen operates the same way as iPhone users are already used to…so those of you used to Apple products will be right at home.

After you get past the similarities between the iPad and iPhone, that is really where the similarities stop. All of the Apple apps are redesigned to make use of the increased screen real-estate and processing power. It is almost like a mix of what I am used to seeing on my Apple computers and the iPhone. You get drop down menus, sub-menus and nice transition effects between elements.

As you can see by the video below, there is no noticeable lag in application operation. The processing power of the iPad is more than enough for the apps that were installed on the test units. Even with graphics intensive gaming, the gameplay was very smooth which tells me developers are really making use of the iPads strengths.

Ok Robb, We Know That…What Do You Really Think?

If I was on an airplane all the time (ironic since I am typing up this article while on a flight. Thank God for exit rows), I would have one in a heartbeat. When you are in cramped spots and do most of your work online, the iPad would be worth its weight in gold. Currently, with my iPhone and MacBook Pro, I have enough portability for my needs, so I haven’t bought one…yet.

What Apple basically did with the iPad is took a great idea (the Kindle from Amazon) and made it more than just a book reader. Steve Jobs and the minds at Apple created a product that extended what they created with iTunes and the iPhone. Steven Job’s ultimate goal with the iPad is to become the largest online retailer of books. And he is going to get there with the iPad. Seamless integration between hardware, software and the retail market is what Apple has done best…and the iPad is a home run in that aspect.

Apple also aimed this product largely towards industrial applications like hospitals and government. Can you imagine every doctor and nurse walking around with an iPad in your office? There would be no more computers in every room and your charts, medical history would be readily accessible as if it was on a clipboard. That amount of productivity and efficiency is HUGE in those applications.

Sorry Amazon…You Have Been One Pwned

Amazon has to be shaking in their boots. Apple released a better product at the same price that does more than just read a book. Not only that…but they reached an agreement with publishers that makes them more money in the end as well. The days of the Kindle owning the market are now gone. Remember when Palm had a large share of the smart phone market? Now their stock is valued at 0.00…Amazon needs to react and react quickly.

Note: Of course…there is much more to Amazon’s business plan than the Kindle…so they are not going to hit up Palms fate by any stretch, but you get what I am saying.

So…big surprise…I think Apple knocked it out of the park with the iPad…even if I don’t need one today.

Click here to get your own Apple iPad.