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  • Bruce Burke

WELCOME TO APPLE FAN BOi

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

How a lifelong technology nut became the Apple Fan Boi

From a Commodore 64 to today, I'll give you a brief history of my tech journey and how I became enthralled with Apple products, the brand and why I started this blog.


In The Beginning

"I was ecstatic with my ability to create media in the limited time I had with the machine - that would continue for the rest of my life"

I was first introduced to technology through music, before computers household technology was focused around television and stereo equipment. Being a teenager in the 70's naturally my attention was drawn to innovations like quadrophonic sound, an immersive technology.


As a pre-teen I had fiddled with Radio Shack electronics kits with spring terminals that allowed connection of various components to create a device of sorts, but I breezed through that quickly. In the early 80's I encountered a Commodore 64, my introduction to computing.


Although the commercial below shows raging graphics, music and games the best I could produce with this new machine was a screen full of a symbol comprised of a dot with a caret on either side that imitated a bird flapping it's wings by inverting the carets in unison.


Data was saved on an external portable cassette tape drives, it was primitive but enticing. This was my first foray into computers and I was ecstatic with my ability to create media in the limited time I had with the machine - that would continue for the rest of my life.




Later when opening a new business the same friend that had introduced me to computing showed me how to use CorelDraw on an IBM 386 to design flyers for my new company. But I still didn't buy in completely yet - computers were not standard household issue at the time.


Into the Fray


"Armed with this knowledge I went forth and approached life in a whole new way ..."

My deep dive into computing began when the opportunity came to learn it from the ground up. In a computer concepts class I began the basics with an IBM 8088 running IBM PC-DOS 3.3. There were 5.25 floppy disks that held 100 kb and 64K of RAM in the computer.


But I learned the basics, how the disk operating system worked, I could control the machine through programs like Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect for DOS. Later in the class we learned Windows for Workgroups and IBM's awesome OS2 operating system.


Armed with this knowledge I went forth and approached life in a whole new way, involving myself in businesses that were more technology focused. Telephony was huge in the early 90's and I worked with pay telephones with smart boards installed, calling cards and electronic distribution systems for telephony related products and services.

Computers & Phones Merge


Like I said I want to keep this introduction and history brief so lets move on. During the telephony industry growth cellular became very important. Although I went through a bunch of cellular variants throughout the years Nokia, BlackBerry and other business phones ...


It wasn't until the launch of the iPhone that the ability to access the internet on your phone became a desire. Wireless connection speeds were good for email but not meant for today's content consumption. They were pathetic compared today's flagship phones, very alphanumeric and data centric - not visual, compelling and engaging like modern phones.


My first smartphone actually came before my first cellular phone. While locating and installing the smart payphone routes I spoke of earlier I picked up the Sony Magic Link. Laptops were huge, clunky and very much a pain on the road I adopted the Magic Link to help me keep track of my business without turning to a laptop or desktop.


The Magic Link was released in 1994 and was said to be at least part of Steve Jobs inspiration for the iPhone. Apple had released the Newton a digital PDA but it was nothing like the Magic Link - which had a cellular card to send and receive emails and faxes.



So I want to quickly fast track to today - so let me say this. I have always found a need for a collection of devices that did various jobs in various environments that all worked together and shared information.


I never found that Windows did this well, there wasn't a port out from a desktop to a laptop, and the idea of porting it out to a smartphone - well that just wasn't a thing. Now think about the idea of going even further and connecting Windows to your TV or your wristwatch - not even a passing notion at the time. I really tried with Windows - for decades - I finally gave up.

The same holds true for Smartphones - as phones became smarter the more I wanted the smartest one. My last BlackBerry was the Bold 2. After years of business phones I turned a complete 180 degrees and changed over to Android - my first go into this new segment was with the HTC EVO 4G from Sprint - 4G provided by the ill-fated Wi-Max network protocol.


It whetted my appetite for mobile but I soon found out that like Windows it didn't make sense. What I mean is this - the Android ecosystem is very much like Windows ecosystem - its fragmented.



What I mean is this - and this is the point where it all comes together .... After using a large variety of Android phones; the aforementioned HTC, followed by a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (had NFC for Google Pay), and several other Samsung Galaxy models I arrived at the LG V series of phones and thats where I found the straw that broke the camel's back and finally brought me to my realization - and this blog and this site.


As invariably will happen technology breaks and when I experienced hardware issues with a recently required LG V20 I discovered the secret sauce that is the Apple Kool-Aid.


I like the phone, it had great style - wonderful cameras and was fast and capable - but when the screen developed dead spots to touch and dead pixels in the display thats when it all came together for me. I think it's important to note at this juncture I had sold my massive Windows Desktop with the aim of being more mobile and had purchased a MacBook Air as my central computing device. I was very happy with it - I had zero issues and good vibes.


At this same time I was also a beta tester for the infamous Google Glass prototype. And they all let me down - the reason I am writing this today is because of the way it all crumbled under my feet at once and made me understand I was investing in a platform that didn't support me.




So we all know what happened to Glass - it was pretty much canned and the people that had worked diligently on building the G+ and Glass ecosystem were abandoned with virtually no advance notice. Almost in the same breath I had the problem with the LG phone and started experiencing the same nightmare I used to have with Windows.


One company makes the hardware, another makes the software and a third company actually sells you the combined experience. I turned to all of them for help and none of them was able to even offer a suitable resolution that made sense.

The manufacturer told me I would have to mail in the phone - I would get no replacement - and the turnaround was 19 days. The carrier tried to take back the phone and wanted to send me a Galaxy Core Prime which was a $100 phone - despite the fast that I still had more than a year of my contract left.


After about two weeks of calling emailing and visiting retail stores I eventually resolved the problem through a resourceful senior T-Mobile rep - but the point had already been made. It was clear to me that this was the same old run around I had before. No one wanted to take responsibility - everyone wanted to point to the other guy.




So when I went to the store I traded in the V-20 for the iPhone 7+, at the same time I had recently moved to the beach and wanted to do some artwork so I bought the 12.9 iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Then I traded in the 7+ for the iPhone XR which was a wonderful device.


My MacBook Air wasn't cutting it with processing power so I upgraded to a 13 MacBook Pro. Somewhere in there I got the Apple 4K TV in a DirectTV deal and then got a pair of iPods for my birthday. Last Christmas I treated myself and upgraded my MacBook to the 16" i9.

So here's my story and what I have come to understand and I'll share what I have learned with you. All the products I use for computing, communicating and consuming content now have the Apple logo on them. Yes I have TVs from other manufacturers but they are all connected to an Apple TV.




I don't have problems with them - they work, if they don't, I have one point of contact - who makes the hardware, software and now more of the services that work with the devices.


The way I am able to share information between the devices, the benefit of something as simple as my AirPods switching automatically from my Apple 4K TV to my iPhone when a call comes in - or being able to AirDrop files to my MacBook from my iPhone.


The fact that I always know who to contact. The peace of mind knowing I won't get the runaround that has previously taken hours, days and in some cases weeks of my time to resolve.




Words that are the opposite meaning of fragmentation include amalgamation, assimilation, and fusion. But the word that best describes the Apple experience to me is Unification - the process of being made into a whole.


For me it comes down to this, I have struggled for decades with incompatible drivers, devices, and software - no clearly defined protocol as to how the device would interact with other devices. No unified model - always dispirit pieces and a frustrating experience. I want to pick up my device and work - about 50% of my interaction with my Windows units were to update, make compatible or maintain the device.


So slowly and more recently I have become the Apple Fan Boi. And this is the first blog of a pet project to keep me active and engaged during the Covid-19 pandemic. Where it's going to lead? I don't know - I know that I have finally found something that works for me and I would like to do more writing, video and content creation generally - so this is the start.




I intend to write reviews of the products I own, use and test - I will also write opinions pieces about where I think technology is headed and I'd like to start filming video reviews in the near future. But I'll also add relevant news about Apple products and the universe that surrounds this modern company valued at 2 Trillion dollars - testament to happy customers and users.


I'd like to bring you along on the journey - I'll give you my honest opinion on everything I use, I have decades of technology user experience and I think this will be fun for us both. Who knows - we might even learn something - subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.

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