I’ve had it with PCs, and I’m switching to Mac. It might come as a surprise to those who know me that I’m not already on a Mac. After all, I’m a designer, I’m thin, and I’m neat.
My history with Macs is fairly one-sided, or rather, nonexistent. I used one when I was in elementary school. I typed in some stuff for two hours and it then printed out a picture of a stick figure or something. It wasn’t until I started my business and hired a designer who was a staunch Mac-user that I “owned” one, and even then I wasn’t the one using it. Most of my experience was relegated to frustration, wondering why whenever he emailed me something I had what appeared to be two copies of all the files, and trying to figure out why we couldn’t just send font files to each other. Whenever I had to do something on his computer I couldn’t figure out why there was only one button on the mouse, nor which of those funky keys I was supposed to use in place of the Windows key.
I have always readily admitted that Macs look better, but I was never convinced they were actually better for the job, and they certainly cost a lot more. And it seemed like everyone who used them was a bit snooty about it, and I didn’t want to be “that guy”. And I had this general conception of Mac users and technically unskilled and liking Macs just because they were easier to use. What finally convinced me to make the switch and play for the other team? There are actually four things:
1. Recommendations of industry experts.
2. Recommendations from trusted friends.
3. Specific application needs.
4. My frustration with my new PC laptop.
Macs have typically been the domain of designers, but as I saw companies like the folks at 37signals adopt them for programming and general business use, that has made me wonder if they weren’t well-adapted for my uses as well, which ranged far beyond just design.
I never quite trusted my designer friends like Cameron Moll when they wrote about Macs. After all, those designers are all biased just because Apple has such good branding. But over the past few years more and more of my non-designer friends, or designer-friends who were previously PC advocates, have made the switch to Mac and without exception every one of them has raved about the switch.
And then there were the things I wanted to do with my computer but found to be a hassle. I wanted to edit videos, but I couldn’t even get Adobe Premiere to work on my last laptop (I haven’t tried on my new one–and won’t for reasons I’ll describe below). Although the upgrade to Windows 7 greatly enhanced my computing experience, I still felt restrained. Adding to this, a few months ago I got an Android phone, which does not sync with iTunes, and I’m a heavy iTunes user. That has made me want to switch to an iPhone, which just adds to my desire to go all-Apple on everything.
The nail in the coffin was when I bought an HP laptop a month ago. It was a replacement for the Dell laptop I had used for 4-5 years prior, which was simply getting to be too slow, and I was expecting lightning fast performance from this new, much more powerful, 64-bit computer. I have been terribly disappointed in it. It is no faster than my old laptop, and in fact may be slower. It only has three USB ports, and when I bought a new USB hub to expand the number of ports (given that the previous two I had bought in prior years had worked for a while and then quit) it worked for a while, and then quit–mostly. Some things work while plugged into it, some don’t, even though they used to. When doing a presentation a few weeks ago, I found out that connecting the laptop to a projector caused a blue screen of death, but only when connected to the wireless. Although both laptops are running Windows 7 on the same network, I cannot share files between the two (they see each other, but I simply cannot get files to transfer). There are many quirks to the screen resolution when I hook up my external monitor, such that I frequently spend 10 minutes trying to get the resolution right whenever I reboot. Internet video does not play smoothly–it plays for 30 seconds, then sticks for 15 seconds, then picks up at 45 seconds meaning I have to back up to the 30 second spot and go from there, only to have it happen again 30 seconds later. I’m probably forgetting a few things, but given that this computer is nothing of an upgrade from my old computer, I have simply had it and want nothing more to do with PCs.
Granted, perhaps I’ll get a Mac and be just as unsatisfied. It could happen. But given the recommendations of my trustworthy friends, I have high hopes for a new world of blazing fast speeds, hardware compatibility, and user-friendly applications. I now gladly turn my back on the PC world, perhaps forever.