It did not have a hard drive. When I turned it on I placed one floppy after another into the one drive until about ten minutes later the computer was booted up. It offered a basic spreadsheet, word processor and that was about it. It was an Apple IIgs and it was 1986. I was hooked.
For most of the quarter century since then I loved technology, but wrestled with it trying to get done not only what it was supposed to do, but what I dreamed it would do. Most of those years it was like hot-wiring a car to get even basic things done. I made many an heroic effort to make things work the way the ads promised, yet it was always a struggle. I remember one night in a hotel in Florence ripping the phone wires out of the wall and directly connected them to my laptop to get my email over a brutally slow dial-up connection. Another long night was spent reloading the complete Microsoft Office Suite back on my computer at 4 a.m. - all 30 or so floppies taking several hours - so I could make a Powerpoint presentation in the morning after my hard drive unexplainably blew up. It was like only getting to taste Lafite as a barrel sample: sure it was good, but you knew damn well it was going to get a lot better.
I went through them all: Blackberrys, Treos, Windows this an that, Mac those and these and they only teased me with their potential and never lived up to their advertising. I was frustrated and addicted: until now. For the first time it my life everything is working. My all Apple tool chest includes a MacBook Pro, iPad and an iPhone all tied together with Gmail, Dropbox, Instapaper and Evernote. What has happened is that no longer do I have three devices, but one device with three different user interfaces.
The fluid interaction of these three devices has totally changed the way I manage my wine information. The volumes of wine notes taken over thirty years are being scanned into Evernote, where they become searchable PDFs. The word searchable is the key as it means I can actually use them. No more do I have pockets full of loose notes from every wine I taste. Now I just take a quick photo with my iPhone, which I also put into Evernote, where I add my tasting notes. Articles of interest are clipped into Instapaper for reading when the time presents itself on my iPad. I am sure I am reading twice as much as before. This ability to collect and find all my wine information is not only changing my wine experience, but that of wine drinkers everywhere.
This ability to create your own personal wine encyclopedia reduces an individuals dependence on one or two wine media gatekeepers. It makes it easy to grab information from anywhere and everywhere to come up with your own opinion based on many voices instead of few. This is a very good thing for small wine producers or those of distinctive styles so overlooked or actively excluded from coverage by established wine media. Information is indeed power.
Apple wine is very user friendly.