Even though I find the phrase a bit unpleasant – mostly because it’s used by willy-waving wankers, which is quite a trick if you can, as it were, pull it off – I’d probably call myself a power user. As it applies to me, that phrase means that I use my Mac a lot, that I use it quickly, confidently and productively, that I know lots of tricks and shortcuts to make my use of it even more productive, and that a sluggish computer would frustrate both me and my earning potential.
What I don’t need, as a power user, is power. My main Mac is a 2008 MacBook Pro, quite an ancient machine by tech standards, and much as I’d like to replace it with a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, I can’t justify doing so when it works so very well. ‘Power’ to too many people means not just a fast CPU but a CPU based on the latest chip architecture for little reason other than the fact that it is. It means having Thunderbolt 2 even if what you attach to it is a printer. It means replaying the same worn-grooved ‘Apple has lost the plot’ record – the one we heard when Apple ditched the floppy disk, when the iPod didn’t have an FM radio, when the iPad didn’t have a USB port – when Apple announced a new laptop without an SD card slot.
CPU, GPU, super-fast interconnects and the like, though, are broadly irrelevant to me. Sure, on those occasions when I’m exporting video, I wish my MacBook Pro had more grunt, and I might be forced to upgrade it to keep me relevant as a tech writer. In general, though, I’d use it until one of us died.
And that’s because the ‘power’ my Mac has is responsiveness, and that comes both from a decent amount of RAM (though only 8GB, nothing extravagant) and because I long ago replaced the hard disk with an SSD.
You don’t need power to be a power user. And you don’t need to be a dick to be one either.