At the risk of incurring the wrath of Mac users everywhere, I have to stand up and admit I am going back to PC after nearly 5 years with Mac.
It was fun, interesting and a great education. I’m always up for learning new technologies. At the time I switched, I was totally frustrated with Windows. For me it was slow and problem ridden. It crashed often and gave me fits when trying to perform photo and video editing. I made a lot of money fixing Windows, but personally I couldn’t rely on PC, so I left it for Mac.
Oh, how things have changed. I have been using Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit for over a month now and I could not be more in love.
I have Windows 7 installed on multiple systems, all performing different tasks from acting as a server, to my work laptop, to my netbook. In every installation it has performed nearly flawlessly. When hiccups have occurred, Windows 7 self -diagnostic abilities have adeptly fixed the problem or modified the settings for running the problem application so that the problem no longer exists. It has been nothing short of amazing. I am able to focus on my work, not on fixing my computer by reinstalling programs, hacking the registry or rebuilding the system. That was life before Windows 7.
Windows Vista left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. It was slow, bug-ridden, incompatible with many applications and devices. Yet there were good ideas there that carried forward into Windows 7, especially the changes in the Aero user interface. Yes, it does take serious horsepower to run Windows 7. You will need ample processing power, memory and graphics; however, I decided it is worth the cost.
You might be asking yourself what was the impetus? What caused me to make the switch? Believe it or not, Mac has been giving me trouble lately and it has started feeling like the Windows of old. Permissions on files kept changing. Running Disk Utility would tell me it was fixed when it wasn’t. No errors could be found on my hard drive. I had to start hacking around the problems. I could see that a re-install was imminent. This started pushing old buttons for me. Putting on a patch should not trash my operating system or change its behavior. Things started slowing down as well and I have a dual-core PowerPC with a boatload of memory and disk space! It got to be painful as I waited for the spinning beachball to hopefully come back after it was done making me wait.
Then I would work on my Windows 7 system and things were peppy and fast. I could work as fast as I wanted and the system was keeping up. It only took me a month to begin thinking I might be back in love with Windows after so many years of disappointment. The makeover was that stunning. Something changed underneath. It wasn’t just “lipstick on a pig.”
So, I started thinking about buying a new computer. At first I wanted a new Mac so that I could run the new version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard. I know that having a 64-bit operating system would be much faster. I looked for an equivalent PowerMac to my existing system. That was when the sticker shock hit me. I could get a honkin’ PC for ~$800 with all the bells and whistles I needed for my photography, videography and web design business, or I could spend ~$2,000 on the Mac equivalent. I may be a geek, but when it comes to my pocketbook, I’m just like everyone else.
In the end, I must say that I enjoyed my time with Mac. Things worked out between us for a good long while. There were things that made life difficult integrating Mac with my other PC’s, but I suffered through them. I went through a lot to find equivalent applications for Mac to the ones I had with PC. I had challenges sharing between the systems, but I made it work. There were some things in the Mac interface that added more clicks than PC, but I was happy to make the accommodations in order to get speed and reliability.
Then Apple decided to move to Intel and eventually force all of us to have to consider buying new hardware. That is what has brought me to this juncture.
All things being equal, if Windows was still the pain-in-the-butt it used to be, I might consider plunking down twice the money for a new Mac; however, with Windows 7 things are no longer equal. Microsoft brought in some top talent to fix Windows and they have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. (Thank you, Mark Russinovich!)
So I’m taking you back PC, after all these years. I hope I won’t regret it. Microsoft, you’ve got a winner here. Don’t f*** it up!