From “Bowling Balls” to “Air’s” Apple Portables Have Set Us Free!


I’ve always loved portable technology. In most every case I’ve purchased a laptop over a desktop every time I needed (or wanted) a new computer.

At first I bought CPM and DOS based “luggable’s” from such long forgotten names like “KayPro” and “Compaq.” These behemoths weighted in at over twenty pounds and still needed to be tethered to a wall socket for power.

In the fall of 1989 I bought (or rather my employer bought for me) the very first truly lightweight (at 15.8 pounds – hence the slang name of the “Apple Bowling Ball Computer”) Apple Macintosh Portable Computer.

For just $6,500 I had a powerful (at the time) computer that could go with me everywhere. Over the next few months my arms looked much like Popeye’s from carrying this muscle-building machine.

I can remember sitting at the picnic table of my in-laws lakeside home in Harrison, Michigan feeling so “advanced” and “free” and truly “portable” using my new portable computer. I had cut the 110 volt power cord! Forget about WiFi and the Internet – in 1991 those things were still years away.

I could sit at the picnic table for about two hours and write great advertising copy in “MacWrite.” I could produce rough drafts of ad layouts using “MacPaint” or “MacDraw.” WOW! Now THIS is creative computing freedom!

Over the years there have been dozens of Mac luggable’s, laptops and portables – all leading up to today’s MacBook Air that weighs just 2.38 pounds.

I’m writing this blog today using a relatively new type of portable computer – an Apple iPad Air tablet that weighs LESS than one pound (0.96 lbs to be exact.) Is the iPad Air – or even the new iPhone 6 Plus (Apple’s first “phablet” – a combination of a smart phone and a small tablet) really a portable computer?

Absolutely. With an optional keyboard, high-resolution color screens, up to 128 GB of storage and over a million “Apps” for software choices you bet your boots they are. I can design ads, write copy, take photos and videos, work on spreadsheets, watch movies, surf the internet, send email and do dozens of other things – all with a device that fits comfortably in my hand and my pants pocket.

Thanks Steve Jobs!

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