It's another 'Apple weekend' this weekend, and the news is full of reports and images about people all over the world waiting in long lines to purchase the latest and greatest of their products, this time another in the iPhone series.
People who know me, know that I am an Apple user. There are three of their computers running here at present: one in the 'office', a backup machine in the workshop, and a small laptop at my bench for controlling the webcam. I have owned a long line of Macs, going back nearly twenty years, and the last time I had a computer running Microsoft software must have been back in 1984, when we purchased an IBM AT for our business, (and for which I wrote all our software).
So it was not unexpected that a friend asked me yesterday, "Will you be upgrading your iPhone this weekend?" My reply to him did surprise him a little. "iPhone? What iPhone? I don't carry a portable phone ... of any kind."
And this is true; I have yet to purchase a cellphone. If my job involved running around Tokyo hither and yon, or if I were trying to manage a fleet of travelling salesmen, then of course I would need a cellphone in my pocket, but because I am chained to my workbench all day every day, I honestly have no need for such a thing. (Although my friend's assumption that mine would be an Apple was of course not unwarranted. That's certainly what I will be getting on the day that it finally becomes unavoidable to own a portable phone - probably on the day that the phone company finally cancels land-line service!)
But I would be less than honest if I left the explanation there, saying that I don't have a cellphone simply because I am not so 'mobile'. Those devices can do many things that a normal telephone can't do of course, and their utility to their users goes far beyond their telephone functions, something I am sure that I don't need to explain to my readers here!
A large factor in my decision not to purchase an iPhone (nor an iPad) is that of course I would find such a device intensely interesting and absorbing. As I partially mentioned above, I have been programming computers since the early 1980s (starting in 1979, actually!), and if I owned an iPhone, the first thing I would do is download Apple's developer kits and get busy learning how to program it.
And I don't dare let myself do that. I am so far behind in my work that I am losing track of all the jobs that are waiting for me. I won't bore you with a long list to 'impress' you with how busy I am, because I have no time for people who do that sort of thing, but yes, the downside to the wonderful expansion of our business we are enjoying recently is that I can never 'clear' my desk. Never.
And a beautiful new iPhone - even though it is touted as a 'productivity' machine - would absolutely not help me. What I need are people. I need a carver, a couple more printers, and - most of all - I need a manager. She will certainly have an iPhone in her bag, as she will need it to keep in touch with all the rest of us as she goes about her daily work of running this organization.
And perhaps then, I would have time to begin experimenting with iPhone/iPad programming. I have any number of ideas for dynamite software that I would like to make. I actually already know something about game programming, having created a small little game for the first computer we bought all those years ago (our staff thought it was hugely entertaining, forcing me to delete it from the machine!) Surely, with all those millions and millions of iPhone users out there, I could create something that would appeal to some percentage of them.
Yes, all I need is just a little bit of free time to do this. I'll be rich beyond my wildest dreams!
Story #404, September 22, 2013