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Discussion: Why

in: Bash; Bash > 2016-06-14

Jun 17, 2016 1:41 AM # 
Always curious what draws people to a mac book. What is it that appeals to you over the competition?
Jun 17, 2016 1:43 AM # 
There's competition?
Jun 17, 2016 3:35 AM # 
With my previous 17" MacBook, there was one answer: a spectacular display, better than anything I'd seen on a Windows laptop in 2011. I was a diehard PC user but I was curious about Mac's cult-like following. I was a PC snob, thinking of Macs as "computers for people who don't understand computers". The problem was, there were Mac users out there like Cristina: really smart, tech-savvy people who loved Macs too. So I had to be missing something.

I continued to use my PC for another six months after buying the Mac, planning to use the Mac only for creative projects - photography, scanning, video, etc. When my PC developed problems, I decided to try using the Mac as my main laptop. I wasn't optimistic. A lot of things work differently, which was frustrating at times, but I eventually figured out how to do it all. There were a few things I missed, like OCAD and QuickRoute, but the Mac did almost everything I'd been doing before. (I decided not to run any PC virtualization since I still had a PC.)

Because I haven't used a PC regularly in a few years, I don't know how much things have changed. Perhaps like most technology, PCs have become super reliable and easy to use. But back when I used one a lot, stuff used to happen. There was the occasional blue screen of death or error code or some other problem that required me to boot into safe mode, or try installing a different driver or making scary registry edits. Recently, I upgraded my seldom-used PC to Windows 10 and the keyboard stopped working, so maybe things haven't changed that much!

That kind of thing didn't happen every day but it happened from time to time. Still, that was the world I knew and felt comfortable with, and I hated the idea that the Mac would hide details from me.

I really didn't have faith in the Mac but I have to admit that things tend to work properly the first time, they stay updated and compatible, and I've seen almost no error messages or system crashes. (My hard drive failed after 3 years though.)

If I could get a new MacBook with another spectacular 17" display, that would be enough reason to go with a MacBook again but I couldn't, and the new 15" Retina display is not impressive enough to drive a buying decision.

This time, my choice was based simply on laziness. I had a Time Machine back-up of my Mac and the Apple Store Genius-type person told me that it would probably take about an hour for my back-up drive to set up my new laptop automatically, then I would probably just need to enter a product key for Microsoft Office. She was close; I also had to log in to a few applications to authorize the new MacBook. But otherwise, everything is working just like it did before, even with an upgraded OS, even using non-Apple email, browser and photo software, even with an old printer and a very old scanner.

In the past, I've spent days setting up a new laptop and getting everything working again since I have such a patchwork of applications and peripherals. Probably there is now some terrific PC back-up software that could do the same thing but in my 5 years of owning a Mac, this is the one experience that truly blew me away.
Jun 17, 2016 1:31 PM # 
That is great and very cool that you enjoyed the conversion. On a recent work trip to Austin I found myself in many meetings with executives who were almost all using tablets. Some Apple, some Samsung. I had similar discussions with them on why they chose to move away from the boring traditional laptop with windoze. I am currently using many different devices of all types of operating system at work and home, however i find myself always leaning back to windows (I am a LINUX engineer, so I shouldn't say that).

My wife needs a new laptop and I considered putting her back on MAC (she was a graphic designer in a previous life) but was concerned about my ability to provide in home tech support.

Jun 17, 2016 2:29 PM # 
One of the (many) reasons I prefer Macs is that behind all the beautiful UI it's just unix. I can do almost all of the same stuff I do at work (with Linux) directly in MacOS. And my partner, sister, mother, etc, don't need to know anything about that part! I can still be their tech support. :-)
Jun 17, 2016 3:46 PM # 
Thanks Cristina!!!
Jun 17, 2016 4:31 PM # 
The Mac's "UNIX underpants" is something of an ongoing joke in our household.

We have a mixed household. Stina uses a PC with LINUX, and I have been part of the Apple Cult since the 80s. I rarely have issues, and when I do it's usually caused by some change that my employer has forced on us. Fortunately we have awesome tech support. But I find I rarely use it. We also have a netbook that runs Windows.

I was amused to see a talk recently by one of RIT's Board of Trustee members, Susan Puglia, who used to be an executive at IBM before she retired. She was using a Mac for her presentation. We teased her about it, and she said, "Now everyone at IBM uses a Mac!" I guess they have some agreement with Apple now.
Jun 17, 2016 6:45 PM # 
Ha! We are a mixed household too; in fact, I am a mixed computer user! But it has been easy to share stuff back and forth.

This discussion thread is closed.