Goin’ Mac & Maybe Never Goin’ Back

I have used a desktop/laptop with an OS made by Microsoft since I can remember. Whether it was MS-DOS or the last one I used, Windows 7, I have stuck with Microsoft through thick and thin. Even when one of the laptops I bought came with Vista and there was no way to retrograde it to Windows XP. Until about a year ago, I bashed everything and anything that was Apple. In my mind, I would prefer to have no computer, no mp3 player, or any other electronic gadget if it was made by Apple. My first computer was a 486 with MS-DOS 6.22 and a Windows 3.1 overlay. My first mp3 player was a Zune. My first smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy S1. In short, if it didn’t come from Apple, I had no problem buying it. Critics be damned.

Macintosh Classic

Macintosh Classic

Before anyone starts to think, I am some kind of nut case Microsoft fanboy. My disdain for Apple began years earlier, long before anyone ever coined the term fanboy about a product. One of my first jobs was working for the City of Montreal. The person in charge of  I.T. services was a devout Apple user and thought anything from Microsoft was pure evil. I was forced to work on a Macintosh Classic. It had a screen, that was grey and white, it was slow, it was ugly, the keyboard sounding like a horse galloping.

Hmmmm.......

Hmmmm…….

Out of the blue, it would also give me error message I could barely understand, in the forms of little bombs. I could be typing, staring at the screen, or just thinking evil thoughts about the vile machine and a bomb would appear. Why was I cursed to work on this machine? All my friends were using Windows and never seemed to have problems. How could this tech geek not see the light? Didn’t he know Apple products were expensive, no one was making software for it, at least not any that most people used. I swore to myself right then and there I would never have anything to do with Apple.

Twenty odd years ago I may have been against Apple; but with age comes wisdom and the willingness to try something new. Although I swore against Apple, I did buy an iPad 2 about a year ago. When I bought the iPad, I was traveling a lot between Canada and Europe. I would always bring my trusty laptop with me; but it was big, heavy, and most of all loud. When I say loud, I mean vacuum cleaner loud. The tablet market was really starting to come around, so in my opinion, this would be the perfect compromise. It would allow me to stay connected to everyone and everything; but without all that weight. I had my decision down to an iPad 2 and a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I went to the store to try the Galaxy; but the salesperson told me there were none in stock.. In my disappointment, I wandered over to the Apple section of the store. As I was examining the iPads, the salesperson I had spoken to earlier, came over to tell me they had just received an order of Galaxy Tabs.  I walked over with anticipation to test drive a tablet, I was 99.9% sure I was going to buy. Well, the first app I tapped on, crashed. I figured that was a one-time thing, so I tried again, and the app crashed. I figured, all right, I’d reboot. Hey, I come from a Windows world and that is the solution offered 95.96% of the time. Well, low and behold I tapped on the same app for a third time and it still crashed. All of a sudden, like an epiphany, I knew I would be buying an iPad. Thus the seed of looking more closely at Apple’s line of products was planted.

That planted seed has now grown into a tree, which has me preparing to radically change my whole ecosystem of gadgets. What started with an iPad a little over a year ago, now includes a MacBook Pro. In a couple of months when my contract is up, I will be replacing my Samsung Galaxy S1 with some iteration of the iPhone 5.

Why did I have the change in thinking towards Apple? I could have very easily decided to buy a Windows-based system, get a Microsoft smartphone, and maybe change my iPad for a Microsoft Surface, thus staying with what I knew. There are two reasons I am making the switch. I am at a unique point, where I can and need to replace all my daily tech gadgets within a very short period and thus standardize my experience. The second reason I’m making the switch, comes down to economics. I have gone through three laptops in the past 8 years. The costs of these laptops were less than what I would have paid for one from Apple. However, in the time that I have changed my laptop for a variety of reasons, my brother has used the same one. His only expense since his initial purchase was to add some more RAM. Friends of mine, who own Macs, have told me similar stories. Although I may have saved money in the short-term, I have spent far more in the long-term.

Out of the box, the MacBook experience is excellent. I can understand why people praise how simple Apple products are to use. Within 5 minutes of having turned on the machine, I was up and running.  Everything I would basically need was ready and waiting for me. There were a few applications I wanted to download and install; but after about 30 minutes I was basically set up.

Now that I have the machine up and running, I am faced with learning a radically new OS. From the limited experience I have had so far, using my new laptop, may take longer than expected. While the journey may be long and arduous, I think it will be worth it. At worst, I’m used to changing my computer every few years.

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