Spending most of your life outside of Google’s reach tends to lessen ones perception of the horror that is being a product, rather than a consumer. The “Apple way” attracts me not only because they sell high quality products but also because they are crystal clear that they’re selling me a product, and I am the consumer.
Google intrigues me for many reasons, chief among them is their ability to convince millions of people that they should enjoy free services while blindly ignoring what happens with their information or why they would be allowed to use all of these products for free. Deep in my soul is a nostalgic longing for “Alta Vista” or maybe even “Dog Pile” on a crazy day.
Back in 2005-2006 personal email was quite the challenge for many. Google’s search engine had already become the defacto synonym for the phrase “internet search” but email remained a challenge. Friends would change their email address on a regular basis as they switched ISP’s and existing solutions like Yahoo and Hotmail were subpar at best. Storage became a problem as was the ability to scale and provide these services at levels of exponential growth. Queue Google….all hail Gmail. Gmail came with the promise of large amounts of storage and free email. As a 1990’s part-time PC user who rode the Netscape train all the way to H-E double hockey sticks and refused to use IE I knew what was going to happen next.
Speeding up the story…I couldn’t sign up for MobileMe fast enough and even tolerated it’s failures (my personal email still ends in @me.com). iCloud has grown to do a wonderful job for me but internet search is the wildcard, pun intended, with Duck Duck Go as my default for several years. It’s not Google, but it does the job.
A recent curioristy-induced purchase of a cheap Chromebook brought me to terms with he current reality of consuming Google’s services. I dove head first into the Chromebook and all associated services. The Dell hardware was underpowered but not horrible, especially considering the price point.
Rather than bore you with an in-depth analysis of Google’s services and what it’s like to use them I found it more humorous to share three screenshots of my first attempted creation of a new email message, my first attempt to watch a youtube video, and the resulting first seconds of viewing a youtube video. How do people deal with this?