While booting up Windows XP on my MacBookPro the other day I felt a sadness come over me. I was leaving the fast, functioning, multi-tasking life that is OSX to go do some AutoCAD drafting for work in Windows XP. All my favorite programs, all my wonderful automation and settings, gone. Incompatible between operating systems. Sure I have iTunes installed in Windows XP but it just isn’t the same. And movies, that’s another story, forget about playing movies in iTunes in Windows it would seem.
So there I am booting into the blandness that is Windows, felling sad that I have to work on a Saturday and crippled that AutoDesk, damn them, will not make a Mac version of AutoCAD and I wonder. How did it come to this? Why does using windows make me feel like I’m using a pseudo computer, make me feel crippled, make me feel sad.
I use windows for two things, Gaming & AutoCAD. That’s it.
How did this falling out from windows happen? Easily I suppose.
When I was 14 years old I worked for a hippy family gardening all summer so that I could buy myself a shiny new (matte off-white) PC, it was a blazing Pentium 3 667mhz monster with 128mb of ram and a mind blowing 17″ CRT. With none other then Windows 98.
I was the shit. (In my own mind.)
As I explored my first computer and all the things it had to offer (other then video games), I inevitably stumbled onto the web, and very quickly taught myself HTML. Mixing my artistic (Waldorf school) background with my genetic disposition to be a nerd, I quickly found myself learning web design.
Web design offered me a much better job then gardening poison ivy for hippies.
1. Less rashes. (Well, mostly.)
2. Can work from anywhere
3. Better pay. (x5)
At 16 I went to Germany on an foreign exchange program. Unable to bring my wonderful PC on the plane I borrowed my sisters Pismo PowerBook running 9.2.1 to use as computer for the trip, as she would not be taking it with her to Ghana, which is where life was taking her in August of 2001.
So began my life as a mac user. I dove right into OS 9.2.1 and began exploring, in hindsight I see how archaic of a OS it was, but at the time it was a nice change from Windows 2000. With no internet on the laptop I had a lot of time to monkey around with the OS and learn all about the Mac way of doing things, and I was enjoying it.
By the time I was 18 I was preparing to finish high-school and go onto college and would need a nice shiny new laptop. Enter the 15″ MacBookPro 667mhz with 1GB of RAM and yes, finally OSX! (And this time it actually was shiny!)
This was when I truely became a Mac convert. Slick system, amazing features, incredible stability, it was everything that windows XP (SP1) was not, I was even still running Windows 2000 on my old PCs because it was so much more stable.
Windows XP did develop into a decent stable operating system by SP3 , but was at this point the in game I felt like it was 8 years behind. OSX had gone from 10.0 to 10.5 and had become a AMAZING operating system. Vista had been released and my experience was nothing but horror, a total resource hog and things just did not work properly (namely AutoCAD and Video Games).
So here I am, a total Mac convert, I have owned and broken (or caused hardware failure) to one 15″ MBP, one 12″ MBP (which may yet live, I have not given up on it, and is still my favorite computer to date), a 15GB iPod, a 40GB iPod and currently have a first gen 8GB iPhone and a 17″ MBP (2.16GHz Intel Core Duo, 2GB RAM) which I have yet to destroy (well within warranty coverage).
But I feel like this is the beginning of the end of me being “A Mac”. As much as I LOVE my iPhone Apple has consistently let me down with EVERY product release since. They have also prevented the open use of the most innovative tech object that I can imagine, a truly low power pocket computer, but with access to all the worlds information (my personal Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), except you can’t copy or paste, or even write a program for a devise THAT YOU OWN without their approval, or change how it looks, or how it acts, or shoot video… wow the list goes on. Also every feature they have added to their operating system has slowly made it less stable and less nimble.
With the iPod/iPhone/iTunes bringing Apple to EVERYONE, no longer just the %1 (as of 2006) of diehards, Apple seems to be going the way of Microsoft, quality is suffering from quantity. (IMO)
- It’s Retail stores suck, they are nothing but hype, pretty colors and douche bags.
- Safari doesn’t compare to Firefox and the upcoming Google Chrome.
- iWork is a joke compared to Office, or even now maybe Google Docs.
- iTunes has become a sluggish monster that is supposed to be a media center but won’t nativity play .avi’s. (You can make it play them, but what happens when you try to put them on an iPhone/iPod, oh, right…)
- AT&T blows, their service is garbage compared to Verizon (though nothing is as bad as Verizon’s customer service).
- The 2nd gen iPhone was a step backwards in design and quality. Apple offered more features 3G, GPS and packaged it into a cheaper/less appealing case. (Still pretty weak hard drives sizes!! What serious computer geek these days has only 16GB of media they want with them!)
- The introductory price of the original iPhone was a real slap in the face to
- No update on the MacMini, DAMN YOU APPLE!
Despite all this I’m still “A Mac” but I would imagine that will be changing. Windows 7 is currently installed on my MBP and looks amazing. (props to Microsoft so far) and the current incarnations of Linux are fucking amazing, still no AutoCAD though. My recent purchase of a PS3 has halted my PC gaming, which has eliminated another one of my needs for a PC. So right now if AutoCAD only ran (well) on OSX I would be all set, or maybe Engineers shouldn’t own Mac’s.
Once my MBP goes the way of the previous two, I’m having trouble seeing myself dolling out the big bucks for a shiny new mac, I can build a PC that will be MUCH faster, MUCH cheaper and run Windows 7, Linux or maybe even the upcoming Google OS. And who will need a laptop when you phone is basically a wireless monitor/controller for your home computer (see LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone, which may be the best thing since the the cotton gin). HD space on your phone won’t matter when you can stream all of your music/movies from your PC to your pocket.
The battle for my geek soul will continue for ages between the waring factions of Mac & PC. I’m sure if i read this again in a year (half a year, 1 month, 1 week, one day..) I will have a bloody tongue and things will not pan out as I see them now.
Maybe I’m just “A Computer” and whoever can offer me the best deal/product for my “Geek Soul” at the time will get my loyalty, sometimes PC’s will suck, sometimes Mac’s will suck, hopefully they don’t ever all suck at the same time.
“The future isn’t what it used to be.”