Atoning for my mistake of buying my wife a Dell laptop running XP that has more or less been a constant nightmare over the years we've owned it I decided to give her a birthday present a bit early – a new iMac. My wife is no technophobe but similarly she is not a technophile. To her a computer is a way to get things done. But her attitude changed when I get her the iMac.
She didn't really want me to buy her a new computer. Sure her existing laptop was horrible, it sometimes refused to boot, when it did boot it would take forever to load, it would sometimes just 'lose' the network, when it did run, even if it was just running Firefox and nothing else, it would run like molasses. Printing stopped working months ago. It was just a nightmare. But she only used the computer to browse the web and type the occasional document. So if she needed to print a recipe she would forward it to me to print out and otherwise she would just use her computer for browsing.
Recently however we got back from vacation and her computer just wouldn't boot. Was it the disk? Was it a screwed up XP install? I don't know nor care. To her (and to me) a computer is more appliance than tinker toy, we just want it to work and this computer never did. So eventually my wife relented in her objections to my pleas to buy her a Mac.
Watching her with the iMac has been a revelation. She loves the machine! She loves to play with it. She suddenly went from someone who used the computer only when she had to, to someone who wanted to learn, to explore, to try out new things. Unlike XP where every action involved some kind of pain the Mac just worked. Yes, I occasionally had to show her a thing or two but over all she figured it out all by herself. More over, because the Mac was so friendly she became a lot bolder in her own explorations of its capabilities. The Mac's ease of use gave her the confidence to try things on her own.
Another interesting note is her use of the Apple mouse. When we bought the iMac I hooked up both the apple single button mouse and my wife's old two button wheel mouse. She asked me to get rid of the wheel mouse. She loves the single button mouse! I have to admit that it weirds me out but she really just likes using a single button. For her it was one less thing to worry about. Yes, it does mean a few things are a little harder to do but over all she finds the trade off worth it. Go Figure.