Switching Season

Alex Payne on the inevitable urge to find better technology:

It’s about computer usage as a creative act, something that becomes harder and harder to experience the more proficient one gets with a computer.

Geeks who go through the same thing every year – and I know you’re out there – understand what I’m describing. The slickness of the Apple platform is at once brilliant and constricting, a sports car that even a veteran mechanic wouldn’t dare pop the hood of. It gives one the feeling that there’s nothing left to do because Apple has done it all. Most days, that’s exactly what I want, so I can focus on doing what Apple doesn’t. During Switching Season, though, I can’t escape wanting to do it all myself.

Searching for openness, simplicity, and a hackable sense of experimentation in the modern personal computing landscape is a fruitless endeavor, or at least one incompatible with also having a tool to get real work done.