Archive for August, 2007

To Mac or not to Mac

mac vs. pcComputers have been a big part of my life since my first Atari 2600 Computer System in 1977. As young hipster of the 70s, the Atari stretched my already active imagination in to digital realms. I was an ‘Adventure’r in a land of dungeons and dragons searching for the grand trophy while eluding the aggresive and hungry dragons. In reality, it was a square on the screen bumping around walls sliding away from 8 bit duck looking things.
Later as I matured into a brilliant 3rd grader, my step dad bought me a Commodore 64. This is really what started my nerd progression. Remember the pulp book catalogs that they would hand out at school? You would order books and about 4 months later they would show up in your classroom and everyone would ogle at what everyone had ordered. Along with the step by step breakdancing books, I would also buy the books that had about 100-250 lines of BASIC code at the end of every other chapter that you had to code on your computer to find out what happened in the book. Very tediuos and frustrating for a 3rd grader. It was also slightly disappointing when you spend 2 hours typing everything just right just to see an ASCII cliff and an stick figure fall off. But this system showed me that you can actually do things with computers other than just play games.
Let’s fast forward a bit now. Game systems began to separate from actual computer systems. My grandfather had one of the first home computer IBM systems. He was and still is a nerd. I would go to my grandparents house the night before a big paper was due and type it up in Word Star, on that migraine-making green monochrome screen.
Let’s move forward in time some more. 8th grade computer literacy showed me the new color capabilities of computers. I aced that class. Macs were being used in our high school in the early 90s. In my first year of college my grandfather bought me an IBM 286 SX25. 25mhz processor and I think it had 4 MB of RAM. This is how I learned all my PC skills. Upgrading and fixing this machine to play the latest games, like Sim City 2000 and Leisure Suit Larry, I honed my skills in computer repair and maintenance. Since then I’ve been a PC guy….for the past 15 years of owning my own computers.
And now, I am planning to go to the dark side. I may be buying a Mac very soon. For so long I have been on the PC side of the war, as an ex-employee of Dell and a PC advocate, and now I feel that Microsoft has failed me.
In taking advantage of an employee PC buy program with my current employer, I began price comparisons and laptop configuration comparisons for all of the major PC brands.  All I see on the PC side is Vista. From what I’ve seen of Vista, I don’t like it.  From the incompatibility horror stories to the harsh hardware requirements, I just don’t like Vista.  The Macs are more expensive, but I’m willing to sacrifice some change as long as I don’t have to use Vista.  During SXSW I have used a few Macbooks and a few friends that have also made the big switch and they have said that they do not regret it one bit. These are computer smart people who I trust.
And so, it has come to this. I shall surrender my PC political stance and switch parties. I have chosen Mac for this next computer purchase. A Macbook Pro to be exact.  This only seems normal now as I have been through many life changes in the past few years and learned a lot of life lessons.  People change.  Computers change.  Software changes.  Nerds change.

But don’t worry Micro$oft. I still love my XBox360 Elite…. although a Wii would be a nice addition to the house.