TODAY, BOYS AND girls, we start with an important life lesson.
NEVER be born the child of a detective, or even a writer of detective novels. You’ll never get away with anything.
My children made that mistake and are paying for it.
Case in point: One day this columnist, who writes crime novels, got a panicked text message.
“The keys have fallen off my computer!” it said.
When I got home, not only had QWERTY and other keys mysteriously leapt to their deaths from one child’s laptop, but they had been “accidentally thrown away” so there was no chance of re-attaching them.
She explained that she would have to sadly throw away her aging computer (pre-Jurassic era with a polished granite touch-screen) and Dad would have to buy her a fancy new one IMMEDIATELY otherwise no homework could be done from this day forth until death us do part so help us God.
Now this dad is not entirely stupid, despite copious evidence to the contrary. Clearly the keys had been pried off and the evidence destroyed.
To punish her, I pleaded extreme poverty, leaving her with no choice but to use the semi-destroyed laptop for all her computing needs for the foreseeable future. Tough love.
Computers came to my attention again just one day later, when I walked into a university classroom to give a talk. To take notes, students lifted their laptop lids—each of which glowed with the Apple logo.
It was like a TV commercial.
Only one young man had a non-Apple PC, and he kept it furtively hidden as if it was something weird and disgusting like an extended edition Justin Bieber CD.
When I remarked on this, a 20-year-old told me that all cool young people (ie, students like her and her buddies) had switched from PCs to Apple Macbooks, but uncool people (meaning me and the adults, children and businesses which make up the rest of the world) were trapped forever in Microsoft land.
Less than one week later, my wife told me that the organization for which she worked was switching en masse to Macbooks.
Two weeks after that, I turned up at a theatre to do a presentation for a business conference and found that the “default” stage laptop was a Macbook.
Embarrassing but true: most of the speakers were my age and we couldn’t work out how to use it.
As the audience trooped in, I set the Macbook to one side and replaced it with my trusty old PC laptop, to the relief of all the speakers.
But we knew our days as non-Mac people were numbered.
And my daughter? Well, it turned out that being forced to write on a laptop with half its keys missing for a month was a good thing—her touch-typing abilities improved no end.
And when I finally agreed to buy her a new computer, she had only one condition.
“Any computer will do, Dad,” she said. “As long as it’s a Mac.”
Aiyeeah! Have you seen the price of those things?!
Anyway, if children, students, adults AND organizations in Asia, the fastest growing part of the world, are switching to Macs, the end of Microsoft’s dominance has arrived.
Steve is looking down from heaven with a huge grin.