All I want for Christmas is an Apple

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At long last, I am a convert. My entire computer life, I have been a strong advocate of Microsoft-driven computers. Apple products always seemed to be just to be a gadget used by people in the newspaper business and working with graphics.

The business world settled for the less glitzy but solid Microsoft products, including the PC with Word, Excel, and Outlook. My life is still guided by my Outlook program with its calendar, contacts and tasks. My smart phone links me with my computer and makes me feel connected even when I probably don’t need to be.

A couple of years back, my daughter, Elizabeth, got an Apple AirBook for use in designing marketing pieces for our company. I envy her love for the product, the sleekness of the design, and the cool way the products interface with each other.

Email newsletter signup

Still, I felt comfortable with my black laptop and the steady stable of programs and products that I have evolved with.

The iPod really started to change the way I was thinking about things. I said a couple of years ago that the iPod was the single greatest gift I had ever received. It completely changed the way I listened to music.

I downloaded dozens of “podcasts” — free downloads on all sorts of issues including politics, banking, and even cooking. I would walk my dog and listen to the news of the day, almost all of it free.

Still I maintained my use of Microsoft computers and even phones. I used a Windows-based smart phone to be able to synchronize with everything on my computer. I still didn’t believe that Apple could deliver the products that a businessman needed.

Several months ago, I gave Mary Lou an iPhone to replace her much older phone. I set it up in a matter of minutes. I was simply amazed at the way the phone seemed to answer the questions before I could ask them. I knew then I had to have one.

My own iPhone came in a few weeks ago. I am still blown away by all the features it seems to have. I still accidently touch the phone in a certain way and up pops a new program or app, as they are called. Every time I talk to my children, they show me shortcuts or give me hints about how to make it even more productive.

The only thing left to complete my complete swing to Apple products was the iPad. It is the single hottest item in the single hottest category this Christmas. The sales person at Best Buy told me that they were exceeding quotas every day in their sales of tablets, with the Apple iPad leading the way.

I knew it was a growing trend, just by watching the people working on the many flights I take each year. The smaller and smaller laptops were giving way to people with iPads. Anyone that had one would talk enthusiastically about all that it would do.

It is a full blown computer the size of a book, only much thinner. It is incredibly intuitive and is more that sufficient for all my needs. Designed to sync with other Apple products, including my iPhone, it gives me everything I need right at my fingertips.

The Apple products reach into our company’s server and keep me in touch with everything going on. I even put my shopping list for Christmas on my phone, never touching one of those pieces of paper that I am always famous for losing, duplicating or leaving on my desk.

I play Scrabble with my daughter in a great game called Words with Friends. I can locate my phone if I lose it by tracking it on its internal GPS. I can talk with my grandchildren with live pictures in real time.

I can see every sales number in my company on a screen smaller than a pack of cigarettes. It will play songs and books and even read Scripture aloud, if I want.

In fact, the Apple family of products has more than a half million applications that can be downloaded to do games, business applications, shopping — literally anything you can imagine.

Apple didn’t capture the computer world they initially battled in. They captured the way people like to think, work and play and in doing so became indispensable. My grandfather used to say I would see more changes during my life than he ever did, even though he saw the everyday use of the automobile, electricity, indoor toilets, television and the telephone come to pass.

All of that pales in comparison to the computer revolution of the last 20 years, and to the way that Apple in particular has changed the way we communicate.

There are now hundreds of ways I could tell you this, but I’ll just settle for the old-fashioned way that we are used to. In this season of hope and peace, I wish for all of you to have a very Merry iChristmas.

Dan Ponder can be reached at