The Paradigm Shift
After stalking my bundle of joy every step of the way from Suzhou, China, my new Macbook arrived yesterday. I left work early to go home and play with it, I really couldn't stand to wait. I was not disappointed, it's everything I hoped it would be with a few fun little surprises (like Photobooth, which instantly put my visage into four off-color boxes a la Andy Warhol, one of my favorite artists, and then in the comic book style benday dots of my other favorite artist, Roy Lichtenstein). The machine itself is lightweight and small and beautiful. I would say I'm in iLove with my iLife at the moment.
I was pretty surprised though at how unfamiliar I found myself with the basics of Mac computing. I used Macs in high school (for the newspaper) and college (for the radio station) all the time and used them with ease. But with just a few years distance, I found myself last night saying things like "Where is the menu bar?" ("Oh, it's at the top of the screen, even though the window only takes up part of the screen.") and "Why is the Firefox I downloaded showing up as a drive instead of an application?" (still haven't totally figured that one out yet, but it works so that's what's important).
Then it hit me: I'm experiencing a real life mini paradigm shift! From the view of the Windows user to the Mac user, and it is honestly different. At its worst, I feel like an Ikea customer, sitting on the floor, trying to figure out what the wordless instructions mean when I'm faced with an unexplained iconic button. At its best I'm delighted with the beautiful new graphic interface and just how FUN it is (iChat is a special treat, with it's word bubbles. Better than any AIM client or derivative that I've tried for Windows, and trust me, I've tried almost all of them). Also there's just no beating how insanely fast the new machine is, I feel like I can barely keep up which is a feeling I've never gotten on another computer I've used. It is, as Ms. Martha would say, a good thing.