I am one of those annoying people who love Apple products. My first computer was an Apple IIe and I have never strayed. My nerd friends have given me grief over my loyalty to Apple because they are nerds and knew something about the flux capacitor that Dell Computers used. “Did you know that the Apple III uses a processor that can only push 10 megabits of information every 10 seconds, but the new Dell can push 12? And it costs $100 less than your Apple III.” (I don’t really know how to express nerd talk because it annoys me so much that I don’t really pay any attention to it. I listened to three guys arguing about X-box 360 verses the PS3 the other day in a pizza place and it ruined my day. It wasn’t like I was eavesdropping, they were just loud and so stupid they could not be ignored.) Anyway, I have taken my fair share of shots back at the nerd crew who disdain Apple products, but in reality, I know nothing about computers and my criticisms are not effective. It’s like trying to explain why you bought a new car to a gear head. “I wanted to buy a car/computer that worked. I like the way it works. I like the way it looks. I know it is more expensive, but I just want to put gas in it and then drive it. I don’t need to know how it works.” These responses usually drew lots of honking laughter sounds from the nerds/gear heads.
My only effective arguments about Apple products verses any other computer company come down to this: Would you rather have an iPod or a Zune? If you said Zune, there is no hope for you. You will soon be meeting in a church basement with 10 other people in what I will loosely call a “support group.”
My second argument revolves around Microsoft’s stupid use of two spaces between paragraphs as a default setting in Microsoft Word. Why Microsoft? Why? Why? Why? I have learned to live with it, but I hate it. I even hate how I have given up the fight on my blog. I don’t even try to indent my paragraphs anymore. It is a sad state of affairs, and it is the main reason I like Apple because it has always been a computer company that thinks of form as much as they think about function.
As I approach the countdown to The Summer of Jon I have scoured the App store looking for the right travel Apps and various other pieces of software for my trip. I have a few favorites, but my new all-time favorite App for travel is TripIt. TripIt is one of those programs (Do we still call them programs?) that manages all of your travel details. My Summer of Jon trip is going to be more complicated than other trips I have taken. I’m hitting multiple cities over a longer period than I have ever done before. I have to keep track of a bunch of hotel reservations, flights, and stuff I want to see. In the dark ages, I would print out reservations and pack five travel books for every city I’m hitting, but during the Summer of Jon I will be keeping all that information in my little TripIt app. Each time I make a reservation for a hotel or flight, I get a confirmation email that I forward to TripIt. TripIt magically (nerd magic I assume) puts that reservation into my little file. If I want to visit the penis museum in Iceland then I just add that to my itinerary on the date I want to go. If I have an address for the penis museum, I can add that and the app will map it for me. (Yes, there is a penis museum in Iceland. Why would I go there? I’m not sure, but weird stuff like that is what the Summer of Jon is all about.)
Will this little app prevent me from making stupid mistakes? No, I will manage to make at least 100 mistakes during my trip, but that is what makes travel great: getting lost, going to the wrong hotel, eating the wrong thing, watching television in a language I don’t understand, and being confused by the norms of another culture. I can’t wait.