Well, it was a “dot” release, but it was a really big one. People lined up at midnight at CompUSAs around the country for Windows 98, which was also only a dot release (version 4.1), and a far inferior one at that. And an upgrade to a really buggy piece of crap (Windows 95 version 4.0).
It was actually a lot of fun. Of course, I was there with a group of people I knew. Had they not been there, I wouldn’t have stood in the line. I only went initially because I was having a party Saturday night, and wouldn’t be free to swing by Microcenter that day. And, I wanted to see how many people would show. I was stunned. Utterly stunned.
I also went to the Windows 98, and Windows XP releases, mainly out of curiousity (I bought Mac software at both, just to “make a point,” I guess). Whereas there was a feeling of inevitability, and perhaps hope-against-hope, at those “parties,” there was actually some enthusiasm at the Apple release. Which is what I want to write about, why Apple instills such quasi-religious loyalty in much of its userbase.
I know I can’t write impartially on the subject, which is fine, since I write opinion pieces. I mean, I have never missed a release of any Apple software I use. Whereas on my Dell I twiddled with that thing until it worked right, and then was terrified about updating anything, because it could send my house of digital cards crashing down.
I think that your “don’t these people have a life” question is pretty arrogant. Who are you to say what does and doesn’t constitute “a life”? What is and isn’t an acceptable way to spend an evening with your friends?
I’ve been to Star Trek conventions, I’ve stood in line three or four hours for movies, been to midnight movie marathons, midnight services, and all sorts of other things that make people say “gee, don’t you have a life?” I wonder, what exactly am I supposed to be doing to qualify as “having a life.”
I abhor almost all sports, and will never pay to attend nor tune my TV to watch any sport but baseball (and they’re on thin ice with this strike crap) and hockey. But I don’t berate people who waste their entire weekends worshipping the satan sport football “Jesus, don’t you have a life? You spend your free time watching OTHER PEOPLE accomplish things?”
I’ll go to a bar about once a month, but don’t find them to be very fun places to be. I hate smoke, and smokers. I prefer to talk to people than simply sit next to them, and in a bar with throbbingly loud music, you can’t do that. But I don’t pester my friends who go to bars “gee, don’t you have a life?”
What qualifies with “having a life?” Why is drinking with friends on a Friday night, or watching some overpaid neanderthals slam into each other on a field of grass “having a life,” whereas standing in line with some friends, along with 800 people with similar interests, not?
People seem to look at their priorities in life, and assume that anyone who does other things “doesn’t have a life.” That’s an arrogant, and abrasive attitude.
Yes, I stood in line 3 hours to see The Phantom Menace, 2 hours to see a 25th anniversary marathon of Star Treks 1 through 5 in 1991, and an hour to meet William Shatner. My friends and I get together for LAN parties, not drunken spectacles. And some friends and I went to the Apple Store on Friday. Not just to get the software, but because it was something of an event. It was something unique. You can’t say that about going to a bar, or watching moronball on TV.
So yes, the people there have lives. It’s just that their definition of a life isn’t as shrivelled and truncated as yours.
And as for causes, I’ll rally behind anything that sticks it to Microsoft, the lapdog of the anti-fair use, DMCA-supporting “entertainment” industry.