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The bright side of owning a Mac

This morning when my alarm clock went off (playing some Harold Budd) I was reminded how things have changed over the years for Mac users.

My alarm clock is a Logitech Squeezebox Boom, a well reviewed product that will wirelessly stream your iTunes playlists, give you access to thousands of internet radio stations, wakes you up, puts you to sleep, and does it with good quality audio. It's basically a Squeezebox with speakers in a clock radio form factor. It has an extensive feature set, and like other Squeezebox products, can be controlled or re-programmed from Safari or Firefox from anywhere in my house.

Not too many years ago, a cool new product would come out, and the chances of it working with a Mac was pretty slim. In the mid nineties, when Michael Spindler, Gil Amelio and friends just about destroyed Apple, we Mac owners were pretty much on our own.

Now, companies are falling all over themselves to make nice with Macs, iPods and iPhones. Walk into any electronics store, or even a department store, and marvel at the gaggle of products that boast about how compatible they are with Apple. Long time owners of Macs will remember those dark days when nothing mated to an Apple product other than a SCSI drive.

While new owners of Apple products take this interoperability for granted, it wasn't always that way. Since we're talking about Logitech, take a deep look into its catalog. Mice, Harmony remotes, webcams, keyboards and of course the Squeezebox are almost universally friendly to Apple products. Many other companies are also on board. Even some of the Microsoft keyboards and mice advertise Mac compatibility. What's this world coming to?

How about you? Do you remember the days of near-zero compatibility? Are you thrilled about how things have opened up? Think there is still a long way to go?

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