It’s only been 3 months since I bought my first Mac, but I’m starting to feel “the switch” feeling kicking in. One symptom is that lately I’ve been catching myself saying and thinking, “my first Mac” instead of “the Mac I own”, like I used to say the first couple of weeks of owning it. Another symptom is that I’m using my Windows box less frequently.
I’ve been a Wintel user since Windows 95. Also, I’m a Computer Technician and Microsoft certified. It’s safe to say that I’ve been involved deeply in the PC/Microsoft world. That means that I don’t come from that “frustrated-user” background that’s typical of “switchers”. But owning an i-Pod lead me to the path of yearning to have a Mac.
At first, I was pretty adamant. The hype seemed unjustified. The no virus argument was inconsequential for me. Seeing the typical owners of Mac’s were I worked at made me cringe. The black framed glasses jet-set. I remember getting really mad looking for a eject button close to the cd/dvd in tray. I thought that their multimedia “advantage” was bull. “You can do the same things that the Mac can do on a PC”, I uttered on various occasions.
Since late February I’ve been living in my Macbook. The first thing I did was buy Mac OS X Leopard’s Missing Manual by David Pogue, which is a book I highly recommend if your in my same situation. I’m still learning, but what has taken me years to learn in Windows, (navigation, installation, apps, searching,etc) to a power user level, I’ve learn in 3 months with Mac OS X.
The differences are subtle, but subtleties make a hell of a difference. No more manually looking for drivers. No more installation and configuration of virus software. No more downloads of trials of winzip. No more ridiculous amount of installed third party software. And mainly just this great feeling, that old feeling, that computers are tools for creating and doing great things.
A lot of people criticize the PC vs Mac ads now, saying that they like more the pc guy and think the mac guy is smug. Mac fanboyism hasn’t helped either. But those ads highlighted a hard cold truth; pc’s are not cool or at least, stopped being cool. What was “cool” about computers is that you can do things with them and the wintel industry stopped being that. Apple made it simple and more apparent that these machines can be pretty useful… and beautiful.