We might not like to admit it, but we all have a type. Just as music fans can be divided into metalheads and hip-hoppers, the cool clubbing crowd and the indie scenesters, so techie types tend to fit into certain categories. You'll see them on the streets, you'll find them on the forums - each one trumpeting their toys of choice and doing their best to put down any rivals. Here at TR, we've come to know each tribe and understand what makes them tick. The following is our attempt at a spotter's guide for the rest of you. By their gear shall you know them (and maybe, just maybe, you might even recognise yourself). Just ask yourself: what's in the bag?
The Apple Aficionado
Who knows how, when or why the Apple Aficionado became inculcated in the Cupertino cult, but for one reason or another they have come to believe that Apple makes the best products, of any kind, anywhere. First Apple made the best computers, the best operating systems, the best notebooks, the best servers and the best software. Then, it made the best portable audio player, the best media player and the best mobile phone. Despite evidence to the contrary, Apple even makes the best mice, keyboards and monitors. The biggest regret of the hardcore Apple Aficionado is that Apple doesn't also make cameras, televisions, fridges, cookers, cars, suits, underpants and, well, everything else. After all, what product wouldn't be better were it touched by the hands of Jobs and Ives?
Surely Apple gets some things wrong, you might suggest. Nope. The Newton PDA? Ahead of its time. The Pippin console? Criminally ignored. The complete abandonment of all pre-Intel Macs (a move that would see Microsoft getting the rotten tomato treatment)? A necessity. If you've ever been to an Apple launch or conference you'll know one thing: for some people, Apple can do no wrong.
Your average Apple nut won't be seen dead without an iPhone 3Gs, which they'll shove in your face every ten minutes to reveal the latest novelty app. It's their phone, it's their pocket computer, it's their games machine, it's their GPS! The more advanced Aficionado will also be carrying a MacBook Pro or - for the really hardcore - the MacBook Air. After all, who doesn't want to spend £1,350 on an underpowered design statement with limited connectivity and a battery you can't replace?
The true believer may well be wearing an Apple T-Shirt (after all, nothing says 'I'm no sheep' like huge piece of corporate branding). You'll either see the basic Apple earbuds in their ears, or the official Apple In Ear Headphones. You see, the Sennheiser or Klipsch alternatives just don't come in the right shade of white. Meanwhile, an iPod shuffle is a must for jogging, and the crappy earbuds and lack of physical controls be damned.
Sadly, Apple doesn't do a digital camera, so we need something that looks really, really good and performs pretty well, but costs a good 20 per cent more than the competition. Ah, the Canon Ixus 990 IS. That will do nicely.