Or, “How I Learned to Stop Stressing and Love Mac OS X”
In an effort to help bruised and battered Windows users into the kinder world of Macs, I’ll be posting tips and stories garnered from my own switching experience. This first post is my own switcher’s story. And it all begins with I, your humble narrator, with my ears utterly closed to the Apple praise of a friend…
“No viruses, dude!” “UNIX underpinnings””Stability!””¦ yada yada yada”¦
My impassioned roommate is ranting again that Apple’s Macintosh computers are so much better than the PCs I’ve used for over 9 years. It’s 2002, and my friend is testing my patience with his sermon. At heart, it’s a simple argument: He’s enlightened, and I’m a lemming with putty-colored Windows XP desktop. I get defensive (after all, I picked out the audio and graphics cards myself!) and throw up the usual Windows arguments: more applications, more users, and “I looked at Macs but they are so much more expensive for the same thing.” He jabbed. I jabbed. He jabbed again.
“We’re looking for a graphic designer who owns Photoshop and can create professional looking work for us.”
It’s the summer of 2005. My boss wants to upgrade the quality of our marketing materials. Up until now, it has been my responsibility to create flyers, ads, and posters for the firm. Up until this moment I thought my Microsoft Publisher creations were pretty good. But the message has come down that we need to really look professional. I’ll be damned if someone else is going to do it. I tell my boss I can be the designer that raises the bar – all I need is his support, and I’ll be ready to dive in. After some consultation, with other leaders, he agrees, giving me a small raise to help pay for a new notebook and Adobe software. Now. What notebook to buy? I immediately thought of the reputation Apple computers had for being the choice of creative professionals. I remembered the ex-girlfriend who worked at a printing press where all the designers used Macs, I thought of a visit to Hollywood where I watched a friend edit a TV show on a Mac, and of course I thought of my old roommate –œ the enlightened one. I couldn’t help but think that if I wanted to be serious about a creative career I had to consider making the move to a Mac.
But what exactly would switching to the Mac entail? I had to learn more. So I did what any Internet-savvy person with questions would do: I went to a bookstore. I browsed the shelves of the “Computers” section –œ you know, full of paperback texts as thick as phonebooks. It was there I found “Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual“ by David Pogue and Adam Goldstein. I skimmed it and realized I had found was I was looking for: a book that clearly explained the differences between a Mac and a PC. I bought it right away and started reading it that night. I think I was three chapters in when I decided I’d get a Mac. As I read the book, I kept finding myself thinking, “Now that makes a LOT more sense!” Soon I was on Apple.com ordering a PowerBook G4. My new best friend arrived in late November of 2005.
Since then, using computers has changed for me. When I’m on my Mac I smile more and frequently think to myself, “I love this thing!” When I’m on a PC I am more annoyed than ever with its frequent problems and annoying interface. I liken it to driving a BMW but occasionally having to jump in a Kia. Being in the creative field has nothing to do with it, I now think the Mac is better for users of all types. In just two years I have become a certified “Mac addict” who reads more Mac news than “real” news. When people ask me how I like the Mac I answer, “the best decision I ever made” (please don’t tell my fiancé I say that). Through these posts, I hope that my little obsession will help you, the recent or potential switcher. I’m still learning. In fact, while writing this post I discovered something new that I’ll feature in the future.
For those put off by Macintosh “fan boys,” I promise I’ll be fair. Yes, I do prefer Apple’s products to Microsoft’s but I don’t think Apple does no wrong and Microsoft is pure evil. And I still know my way around Windows –œ I am tech support to a small business that runs XP computers, as well as to my fiancée and her Dell laptop. Her parents gave it to her for Christmas in 2006. They knew I thought she should get a Mac, so the first thing they said to me afterward was, “We looked at Apple but it was so much more expensive for the same thing.”
Well, you can’t win them all. I’ll work on them after the wedding.