By Mike on 9:55 am

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It was a little under a decade ago that I got my first PC, running Windows 95. Before then we had a Mac. The point of the PC was because all high school computers of the era were PC so it made sense for compatibility issues. At present, I still own one. Not high end but a fairly decent dual core AMD Athlon64 setup which I custom built myself. As I used PCs more, I began to dislike Macs. That is until I decided I needed a laptop for university. Back in 2005, I purchased an iBook G4 12''. Compared to PC laptops of the time, the price was fair and it offered the highest battery life. Since then, my desktop PC has become little more than a glorified game console. In fact, most of the posts on this blog are written from my Mac.

It's hard not to notice that Apple has once again become a bigwig in the consumer electronics field. Especially after that slump in the 1990s where their computers were often overpriced and underpowered. As of today, most Macs on the market are still a little on the expensive side but they meet or exceed PCs in terms of power. However, it's not PCs that's made Apple big in the 2000s. I think few of us tech afficienados thought that Apple would be successful at selling non-computer related products. Especially after the infamous Newton PDA and Pippin game console. The iPod kind of came out of left field. It's certainly not the best digital music player on the market. It's not cheap and is only capable of playing MP3 and Apple's own proprietary formats. Sound quality is decent but not exceptional. Players from Creative, iRiver, and Cowon/iAudio are superior. Still, the iPod has become an iconic symbol of this decade. I think I must be the only person who doesn't have one.

The latest in the iPod line is the iPhone. While not really an iPod per say. It's Apple's second attempt for a PDA after the Newton, and it seems they've got it right this time. The iPhone can be classed as a "smart phone" or "pocket PC" in line with RIM's Blackberry. It's smaller and thinner than most PDA's currently on the market. It has built in internet capabilities and runs a cut down version of Mac OS X, similar to Windows Mobile used in other such devices. Reviewers are raving about it and lines were huge. It's not out in Canada yet and for some strange reason, Apple has no current plans to release it up here. Rogers uses a similar service that AT&T (the only cell provider offering the iPhone) does so many Canadian consumers are figuring they may be able to hack iPhones bought in the US to work up here. Rogers is warning that they may not be 100% compatible so doing so would probably not be a good idea, since at $600, it would make a very expensive paper weight. As for myself, I loath cell phones so I will not be buying an iPhone if it comes up here. Not because it's not a good product but because, well, I just hate cell phones. Other Canadians will just have to wait to get a closer look at this product.

Apple has certainly come a long way and I'm excited to see what they'll come up with next. The latest version of OS X, 10.5 Leopard is coming out this fall. I will certainly be upgrading provided Apple hasn't pulled a Vista on us.

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