Paul and I are seriously considering switching back to Macs for our next computers. We both used Macs for most of the 1990s, i.e. as our first computers, then switched to Windows machines as Apple floundered. Both of us use laptops as our primary machines, so that’s what we’d want to buy.
Here’s what we’re thinking:
- The intel chip — with its capacity to run Windows programs — is beyond huge. It’s a necessity for us, actually. Before that, switching to Mac would have been impossible.
- The form of the Macs is so much more thoughtful and elegant than found in PCs. For example, the light magnetic power connector prevents pulling the computer down from some high place as some person or dog trips over the cord. Those kinds of design touches are a real bonus.
- The BSD foundation to Macs is hugely appealing to me, given my Unix and Linux programming background. I can do fun stuff with that.
- I’m interested in doing some digital video, but I’d hate hate hate to do that on a PC.
- We have an Apple store just up the road (i.e. 25 minutes away), so tech support would be easy. I’m pretty adept as a home sysadmin, so we don’t need tech support that often. Still, it’s nice to have available, particularly since I’m so dependent on my laptop that shipping it away for service is never a viable option.
- We’ve heard nothing but high praise for Macs from friends who’ve switched back. (In fact, when I mentioned the possibility in the 1FROG meeting last night, I was met with a spontaneous chorus of “Hooray!”
- I’m beyond disgusted with Microsoft’s penchant for shipping beta-level software, with all kinds of horrid problems that are only fixed with the first service pack, if ever. I’ve not upgraded to Vista — although I hear that it’s pretty much impossible to buy a new PC without that bag of bugs. I did upgrade to Office 2007. Although I like many of the new features, my computer has slowed down quite a bit since then: Outlook is apparently sucking up vast amounts of memory for no good reason. I need to trust my OS and software suppliers not to screw me over with upgrades, but I can’t do that with Microsoft.
- I’m also disgusted with the still-piss-poor networking between home computers in Windows. I’ve got the latest version of XP, as does Paul. Yet our computers still can’t manage to communicate on a regular basis. Similarly, I can see our Windows 2000 machine, but it can’t see my laptop. In this day and age, that’s utterly and completely inexcusable. The only reliable way for Paul and I to exchange files — other than e-mail — is via Samba on my ever-trusty Linux development machine. That always works.
- And just as a final complaint about Microsoft, its new desktop search still sucks. That’s just pathetic. Although I have no idea whether the Mac is better, it surely couldn’t be worse!
I’d probably like to spend another six months to year on my current machine (a Dell Inspiron 2007), but Paul is thinking of upgrading sooner. However, I also need to do some work with recorded voice audio files. Is that easier to do on the Mac than on a PC? If so, I might upgrade sooner.
So…. thoughts on the switch?