After 23 years as a devoted Apple owner and advocate, I sit here today having set up this blog and writing this entry on a 5 year old Dell running Windows XP.

You see, Apple finally pissed me off.  The istores.  The istaff.  The free ipods with purchase for students and educators.

What about me?

I’ve been loyal.  I put up with all kinds of difficulties in the early days of Apple.  I even contributed to the antitrust list with Nader’s group to stop Microsoft.

But, after purchasing 10 Apple computers and tens of thousands of dollars worth of drives, cables, printers and software, I’ve had it.

I was ready to buy a new mac, but I saw that they were offering a free ipod with purchase for students.  I wanted the ipod.  I visited a number of stores where i-clerks asked me if I was a teacher, if I was enrolled, had a kid who was enrolled or even a neighbor kid who would come in with me to show I knew a student to qualify for a free ipod.

I explained that I finished school a long long long time ago, but continue to learn every day.  I explained that I had trained numerous employees and several classes of college students in the use of Apple computers for audio, video, photography and multimedia creative endeavors.

No luck.

I was first attracted to Apple in 1985 as an anti-computer, a culture of rebels who were intent on changing things.  As happens with most revolutions, Apple has grown to become a culture I no longer recognize or relate to.  Please don’t be offended, but it is kind of a digital Amway.

The last long line of iphone buyers I saw sent a chill down my spine as I remembered marching and standing in line to pee at Holy Trinity School.

There was a group of us who figured out a way around that (the Sisters of Mercy didn’t get guys).  The early Apple adopters would never have put up with that.

Steve Jobs was a college dropout, for Christ’s sake.

For that matter, so was Bill Gates.

So I walked.  I took an old Dell laptop to a guy who tuned it up and now I’m here.

I’m kind of liking it.

Not a joiner, never was.