Realize what it means to be an Apple fan.
It’s no secret that I’m an Apple fanboy through and through. I have been ever since the early 2000s. I remember when I made the switch over to Apple products. I was in the middle of producing a series of videos with a group of friends and I turned to a local video editing expert about the best way to finish the videos. He suggested that using Final Cut Pro was the best nonlinear video option available (at the time) and that was only available on Apple computers. I was finally able to invest in my first Apple computer — a white macbook — and I’ve been a loyal Apple user ever since.
Once I became a fan of the products, I started becoming more and more ingrained in the Apple culture and what it truly meant to be a fan. Apple fans are a community. When we see each other in public we greet each other as if we’ve always known one another and Apple is the tie that binds us together. It’s this bond that Leander Kahney and David Pierini capture in their upcoming release, The Cult of Mac, 2nd edition from publisher No Starch Press.
This book is an update to the previous release by Kahney from 2006. Since that time, a lot has happened in Apple culture including the release of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and of course, the death of Apple founder, Steve Jobs. All of these events are explored in a whimsical look at Apple brand loyalty throughout the pages of The Cult of Mac, 2nd edition. For me, this book does things ‘right.’ I feel like the essence of the bound pages captures the feeling of how Apple fans feel about Apple products. Steve Jobs was famous for caring about the look of the parts the public didn’t see as much as the parts they do see. Kahney and Pierini obviously thought that the ‘feel’ of the book and its presentation meant just as much as the written stories that are printed on the pages.
A picture of fandom
The Cult of Mac, 2nd Edition is designed to open and close like a laptop. The cover of the book has “The Cult of Mac” arranged within the shape of an apple. The cover is gray to mimic the white/gray Apple logo. The inside cover is solid black and the dust cover has a summary of the book, but it’s made to look like an open window on a Mac laptop. The opposite page has a MacBook Pro’s keyboard and trackpad. So when you look at the book opening, it quite literally looks like a laptop. The end of the book has a power switch slider that mimics what you find on an iPhone or iPad. It reads, “close cover to power off.”
The first written pages contain the Introduction which not only defines ‘the cult of mac’ as a concept but also poses the question, “Is there still a cult of mac?” That question is answered at the conclusion of the page by saying, “Even though the Apple brand has become universal, a distinct Apple subculture endures: it has evolved to embrace all the diverse and creative ways in which devotees express their love, as you’ll see in this book.” I found that comment/phrase comforting. Apple is still the tie that binds us together even though there are millions of additional users (thanks to products like the iPhone and iPad) that might just be enjoying the amazing products and not really ‘joining’ the culture.
Cult of Mac 2.0
This 2nd edition volume seeks to pick up where the first book left off. There are several themes that are revisited and for me it was nostalgic. I loved being reminded of the stories that have become synonymous with Apple fandom. There is a huge section of the book that shows off iPhoneography (photography captured with an iPhone) and describes how the camera on an iPhone has changed people’s traditional views on digital cameras and film making. There is an entire subheading in the book called “TV Station Ditches Traditional Equipment for iPhones.” This segment describes several instances where TV stations began using iPhones for their broadcast programming. This really spoke to me because in 2016 when I attended my first CES, I organized a video rig that consisted of an iPhone, Beast Grip, iRig Lightning microphone, and an LED light. While walking around the show floor capturing interviews, we were stopped by national news outlets wondering what it was we were using to shoot video. When I revealed that it was an iPhone, people were amazed.
One small thing
I love how big of a focus there is in showcasing the iPhone photos. I did, however, notice that some of the pages (not all, just some) seem to be misprinted. The photos are cut off and continue from page-to-page in a manner that doesn’t seem planned. After reaching out to the publisher, I found out the following about those ‘run-on’ pages.
“For the section on iPhone photography, I took inspiration from the camera app, at least the version that was being used at the time I was designing it. I wanted the photo to feel like you’re scrolling through a continuous roll of photos, hence them peeking around pages.”
When I visited CES for the first time, I had the opportunity to meet Leander Kahney. He was genuinely a nice guy and even though I’m sure he won’t remember that brief flicker of a moment, it made an impression on me. For me, that was my first real experience at a major tech show and I got a kick out of meeting people I have been following in the tech scene over the years. That’s a big reason why I didn’t think twice about checking out The Cult of Mac, 2nd edition.
Reading this book has really sparked my love for Apple and the tech community again. It’s a real reminder of why I started MacSources as a source for real technology news and reviews and not just a replay of rumors. I’m grateful to Apple computers giving me the ability to express my creative side and make a living doing so. My first MacBook allowed me to shift my focus from coding websites to design and ultimately, being able to hone my skills as a writer.
Over the past year, I think I had started to forget what made me want to do what I do. It’s the people in this very tight-knit tech community that push the boundaries. They are ones who see an old way of doing something and find a better way. The creative ones that make amazing digital art that inspires. I never got to read Leander’s first Cult of Mac book but if it was anything like this one I could only imagine the joy I would get from reading it.
This really is a great book full of stories I remember and a few that I was reading for the first time. To me, these stories are the reason I got into what I do now and these are the people I enjoyed being around the most over the years. This is a great book and a wonderful gift for any Apple fanboy or fangirl.