Much was made this past weekend (in some circles, small ones, at least) of this being the 20th anniversary of the iMac. At the time I mostly dismissed the iMac, because I'd had bad experiences with Macs in college (Director was rough and crashed a lot for me) and totally bought the line that Macs were toys, not tools.
But the G4 Cube came along in 2000 and that all changed. I distinctly remember being at CompUSA out in Downers Grove, Illinois, one random day and seeing the Cube and a 15" Cinema Display. I was kind of stunned, and it hit me at a time when I was going through my first forays into figuring out my adulthood and what was important to me in my early 20s.
I started investigating the move to the Mac and decided to take the plunge. I bought a Cube and Cinema Display about 3 weeks before Apple officially discontinued them. I bought them on credit, because I didn't know how money worked. (I had enough cash to buy it, having saved money for years when I was a kid, but was taught that money in savings was just to be saved – not to be spent, ever.) I started documenting my move to Mac on my website, got a ton of traffic and goodwill about it, and started actively hating on PCs when I saw the world as something binary.
One of the reasons I chose the Mac was because I was a little tired of the computing path I had gone down. Building computers was fun, but not that fun, for me. I bought completely in to Apple's vision and marketing for what computing would be. On the plus side, the Mac ended up being a good choice for me – I am still a Mac user nearly 20 years later.
But in retrospect, I shouldn't have gone into debt over it. That was a bad choice.
Things are different now. My wife and I had individual computers when we first met each other (of course!) but eventually sold both and got a single family computer, which is now 7 years old. It's totally fine for what we do. The CompUSA is now a Brazilian steakhouse. The debt from the Cube is paid off. And how I view technology and what it can do for us has shifted dramatically, too.
The Cube still holds a little place in my heart. It was a great machine. But it was a machine, and nothing more.