Doctor Happy Mac. He may sound a bit like a cross between a Bond villain and a Macdonalds character, but Doctor H M (aka Andrew Stephens) is in fact the man to know in the Cirencester/Swindon area if you have problems with Apple products and want them fixed. Or just a bit of Appley advice.
As it happens our conversation was not primarily about computers, but I thought Andrew's invitation to have coffee at the particular location we ended up in made an excellent allegory for my deliberations on whether to buy a Mac or a PC as my next desktop computer. 'Come and have a coffee at Made by Bob,' he said, 'and you'll never fancy a Starbucks again.'
Now there is no doubt that the Made by Bob coffee was nicer than the equivalent in Starbucks, and the place certainly had more interesting food (not that I tried any). But the thing is, Starbucks is within walking distance of my office and provides free wi-fi. Made by Bob is a 10 mile drive away, and doesn't. Which is why today I am sipping a Starbucks. This seems like a nice allegory because the Mac is without doubt nicer than the PC. It looks better, it does some key tasks better, it oozes class. It's shiny and it cries out 'You want me!' But practicality means not always choosing the absolute best product, but rather the best fit under the circumstances. And that's why I think I'll end up knocking on Dell's door again.