I couldn't help but notice as we were clearing out old stuff last week that we got rid of our Apple computers and are back to using--gasp--PCs.
I never would have thought the PC could make a comeback. Apple has been the cooler, more superior desktop computer since, what, the late 1990s? Yes, Windows 95 was a revelation (h/t to Mike Santoli for the fun trip down memory lane last week). But it quickly became clunk-ware and once those candy-colored iMacs came out, my heart was with Apple even if I didn't buy my first Apple laptop until 2015.
Even in 2015, Apple was superior. The ultra-light Macbook Air I bought for commuting was way better than anything similar PC-world offered at the time. There's a reason those "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ads resonated so much when they aired in the late 2000s. They perfectly encapsulated the computing landscape. And that was just as the iPhone was coming along! The iPad wasn't even invented yet. Now those devices are as ubiquitous in our household's as anyone's. End of story, Apple wins, right?
But now we're back to using PCs. Maybe it's just us; my husband and I grew up deconstructing the PCs we had at home and learning every odd nuance of the Windows operating system. I just never really learned how to use Apple's. Also, we both rely on PCs and PC-specific software for work. So when I needed a new home laptop this year to avoid hauling my work one back-and-forth, I grabbed this reasonably priced Dell from Costco that I'm writing on right now and have been perfectly happy with it. (No wonder Michael Dell was in such a great mood after their earnings last week.)
But it's clearly not just us. PCs have been enjoying a comeback for years, sparked in part by gaming performance. The Microsoft Surface tablet was another turning point for putting PCs back on the map. And they're especially useful for work and education, the two industries where demand has soared amid the pandemic, boosting global PC shipments last quarter.
That's not to say PCs are going to put Apple products off the map, obviously. It's just amazing to me they've hung in there as long as they have. And that they're pretty slick and easy to use these days, which is no small feat. Kudos to Microsoft and the hardware manufacturers. So...I guess I'm a PC.
Now, I mentioned that we got rid of our old Apple computers; longtime readers can probably guess how I went about doing so. If you guessed "Facebook," you're right. My husband's decade-old iMac was snapped up within five minutes for a decent price.
And the best part? Since I used our local "Yard Sale" group, I got to meet a lovely mom who lives one town over. She was kind enough to indulge my questions about the not-so-terrible minivan she rolled up in (I know, first PCs, now minivans...) and even gave me a little tour of the interior and some questions to ask when we test drive one this fall. It was incredibly helpful compared with endless comparison shopping on the internet.
And that is one of the best parts, for me, of using our local Facebook groups to unload stuff. It's actually helping, in its own small way, to strengthen local community ties. Probably because I'm reading Robert Nisbet* right now, that feels like an important act of resistance. We all know the damaging effects technology can have on society; but it can also be used for good. My "Buy Nothing" group isn't exactly the Knights of Columbus, but it's something.
Speaking of which, I've got several more things to put out on the porch for pickup today. See you at 1 p.m!
*If you haven't read Quest for Community, stop everything and go read it right now. It will change the way you think about everything from mundane local associations to how your corporate culture is structured. It's good pre-election read, too.