It wasn't until I went to Baylor that I started using Macs again. This was before the days of the ubiquitous laptop. I had a PC in my dorm room but all over campus were these Power Mac 4000 series that you could check your email on. Some of us still have our Baylor.edu addresses some 10 years later (Brian???).
So far, so good. Meanwhile, back at the Hankamer (controversially pronounced HAN-kam-er, not HANK-a-mer) School of Business we were cranking out our TPS Report Projects in the computer lab on Compaq Presarios (or some approximation). It suited us b-schoolers well: MS Office suite, training module authoring, SAS. You know, the usual suspects. That lab was probably all donated by Arthur Andersen anyway, which had a tight recruiting relationship with Baylor in those days. That is before they went all Enron and re-birthed as Accenture. I had enough exposure that my college brain was being rapidly wired for compatibility with Windows PCs.
Early in my career I used, built and supported PCs and Windows-based laptops. At home, I enjoyed casually tinkering with my own PC and upgrading it from time-to-time. I never saw any reason to spend the money to switch to a expensive, secretive computer company that wouldn't allow me to crack open a case without violating every contract they had ever conceived. I stick with my sandbox, thank you very much.
It wasn't until the invention of the iPod that I really remember fans starting to come out the woodwork because then it was like crack just got distributed to the masses. "We'll give you a taste and get you hooked. Then, you'll come for our computers." Jobs had been back for a few years (from Pixar) and the Apple machine was really rocking. They ratcheted up the advertising and churned out some home-run products. There was no doubt that they were a quality company but the appeal to be cool by owning their stuff was a little obnoxious.
My "first" apple product in years was a 1st-generation iPod Mini. I played that thing until it died. No kidding. I modded it with a better battery and increased the memory and it finally croaked. It barely held together from my repeated breaches into its innards. I still have the carcass in a drawer somewhere. Saving it for the grand kids. I promptly replaced it with an 5th-gen iPod Nano. Fantastic music player. I bought a plastic shell for it and it's in pristine condition. I still use it in the car to listen to podcasts. Then, came the iPhone and that's when it all changed for me. But, that's for another post. Watch this...