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MacBook Air: What Vision Is This?

The MacBook Air has arrived in stores; I'm writing on one now. It really is a remarkably light and, well, airy, machine. But what vision is Steve Jobs pursuing with this machine?

Lots of people are looking at specs. Thinnest, lightest, biggest solid-state hard drive, no cd/dvd drive, only one USB port - you've heard the details. But I think that what Jobs is after is something bigger than specs.

I hope you'll indulge me while I make a short trip to the field of archaeology. I remember reading a study about how much stuff ancient peoples possessed (these people were at Pompeii just before the lights went out, as I recall). Lower class homes had only a couple dozen objects; wealthy villas had hundreds. The objects were things like tables, chairs, spoons, bowls, etc.

As a matter of fact, if you visited the house I grew up in in the 1960's you would have found hundreds of objects. Pretty much the same kinds of objects, too.

Now, though, I live in a house with thousands of objects. Books, dvds, cds, laser disks, tape cassettes, video cassettes - thousands of them. However, it's now a problem, having all these objects, because I have no servant to care for them, unlike the owners of those villas in Pompeii.

And when I think about it, I'm more interested in the content than in the objects (I'm still rather attached to books, though...).

I think that Jobs' vision is that of an object that can give you access to experiences and content you want, rather than forcing you accumulate thousands of objects. And frankly, I'm getting tired of losing cds, dvds, books and so forth.

And, as nice as my library is, there are millions of books I'd like to have access to. And having access to tens of thousands of movies and millions of songs would also be good. I certainly don't have the space for the objects that would carry all that content.

And since I don't want to have the object, or acquire the object (like a dvd), everytime I want to access the contents, I don't need any physical connectors. I just need WiFi, to bring that content to me through the air.

So, would you rather have all the thousands of objects, or just one light, airy, well-designed object that accesses them for you? Do you appreciate Jobs' vision?

Via the Briarwood Apple Store.

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