Grade school Apple II's, Logo, Basic. It was fantastic.
First family computer...a 286 PC. I missed the Apple II's, but I eventually got used to it...I liked DOS...I made pretty prompts, and marveled at the vastness of the 16-color EGA palette.
Troubleshooting...I loved troubleshooting. Optimizing that precious 640k...finding conflicting IRQ's...it was great, geeky fun.
Later on, we got a modem, and the wonderful world of BBS's opened up. Freaky/friendly people, and lots of new graphics apps.
I bought my own 386, and painted it black. So manly.
I met a guy in high school [Eric] that was really pro-Apple. He told me over and over again that Macs were better. I dismissed it. Macs were for weaklings. What self-respecting guy would use a computer that started up with a little smiley-face?
A freshman in college, I worked in the (yes THE) computer lab. There were mostly Gateway PC's, some freakish Targa graphics machines, and three Macs. I generally ignored everything but the PC's.
The Internet finally made it to our little college, and I learned HTML. Sweetwater Sound hired me as a web designer. They were a 95% Mac-based company. Grudgingly, I used a Mac. Right around this time, Windows 95 came out. I had it installed on my PC. Looking at Mac OS at work, and Windows 95 at home, it became readily apparent that Mac OS was the real deal, and Windows 95 was the cheap imposter. I realized that my reasons for using a computer had changed...digging into the guts, troubleshooting, tweaking...that was still reasonably fun...but when I grabbed a mouse, I wanted to get something done. An analogy: My black 386 was like your first car...the beater that you did just about everything to. The Mac was your first real car...the one you would trust on a cross-country drive.
I bought a PowerMac 7500 and sold my PC to a friend [Rod].
It was strange, not having all the tools I was used to, but with a nearly untapped college T1, I had access to many replacements.
For a while, I was an annoying Mac advocate. A combination of loving the platform and fearing that it might disappear if Apple didn't get more people on the boat resulted in a way too excited-about-Macs-and-you-should-be-too version of me. To continue the boat metaphor, I had unwittingly jumped on the boat at its most dire hour...the Apple ship was shot full of holes and sucking water...and there's me on the poopdeck, looking concerned, saying "Hey, bud, get on my cool ship."
Things eventually got better in Mac land. Fears of Apple croaking went away. I quit goading people to dump their Windows boxes for Macs. I got a PC for gaming.
Stuff I whine about:
Video cards. The selection is old, sparse, and expensive. I understand why, but it's still painful.
Replacement parts. If your power supply blows out, don't expect to trot out to Best Buy and rectify the situation. Your best course of action is to just fling yourself on the couch and have a long cry. Pick yourself up, go to the Apple Store, and buy a new Mac. eBay the old one, and be amazed at the amount you get. Sure, I know, there's AppleCare and all that...but darn it, I want easy-to-install, plentiful, affordable replacement Mac parts.
Steve Jobs, you wonderful thing, you. Moving to Intel was mmmmmhmmm good. Being able to boot my Mac into Windows to play games super fantastico. And riding the Intel CPU development train is great. I goof around with Darwine a lot, hoping the day will come soon when it supports OpenGL. I'm like, 1% upset that I can't run my old OS 9 software.
The security scene is really pristine right now. It's nice not worrying, but I'm afraid it's made me more lax in defending my Windows machines.
OS X is just super pretty. And it's a classy pretty, not the trashy kind, like...well, you know.
Anyway...I like Macs...they're neat. :)