That $100 store credit from Apple for my
iPhone has been burning a hole in my pocket now for awhile, so I
strolled into church, er, the Apple Store to play with Keynote, the
presentation tool and approximate competitor to PowerPoint.
done a few PowerPoint presentations here and there. It's not hard, but
like everything in Office, you get a little overwhelmed by all of the
features. Keynote, on the other hand, has ridiculously refined UI, and
I found it easy to pick up on stuff quickly.
What really sold me
were two features. The first is that it seems to use the 3-D rendering
of the OS to move stuff around. There's a nice advantage that it has.
Every Mac has decent 3-D hardware that drives the UI in the first
place, so you never get the jittery animation associated with
The second thing that sold me is the export to Flash.
That's pretty sweet, because it's pretty common that if you speak in
front of people, you're like to make the presentation available on the
Internet. That's very cool.
So naturally I left the store with
it, and I've got about $15 left on my credit. A brief play with Pages,
which is so much more responsive and snappy than Word for Mac,
indicates it's more than adequate. I was sold when I could open a Word
template. Didn't play with Numbers, but for as little spreadsheeting I
do, that wasn't really a consideration.
As someone who develops
software with Microsoft products, I had an interesting conversation
with one of the guys in the store. I was telling him how the dev tools
and Xbox folks are from a different planet in terms of Microsoft, and
they really made great stuff compared to, say, the Windows and Office
teams. We also pondered culture between the two companies as well.
culture gap is pretty interesting. Microsoft gears a lot of its
products to the corporate world and consumers, and it's an ugly mix.
Heck, even the tech crowd doesn't get Apple products sometimes, failing
to realize much of what Apple makes isn't really for them (the "iPhone
doesn't [feature]" tech press is especially guilty of this).
was a geeky 21-year-old young woman working there, training a retired
guy, who really personified the culture difference to me. She was
geeky, had some interesting ear piercings, kind of messy hair, no
makeup, not a looker by traditional standards. But she was excited
about the products, conveyed credibility and generally seemed to make
the guy feel empowered. Can you imagine that scene in a Best Buy with
an HP running Windows?
People accuse me all the time of drinking
the apple juice, and that's fine. But for me at least, I have to spend
a lot of my time with technology because it's my job. When I'm not able
to be social and among the living connections, there's nothing wrong
with feeling good about the tools in my digital life. I get value from
that, and apparently a lot of other people do as well.