It’s Been Fun, Mac, But I’m Going Back to PC

I_Heart_Win7At 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!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. KiltBear says:

    Good luck with that. I have yet to see a hardware spec for spec comparison that shows a mac costing considerably more than a PC.

    5 years to run into a problem? Archive and install on a mac is a painless process, not at all like it was on a PC.

    One month on Win7? Talk to me in 6.

    Good thing you are an ubergeek so you know what email client to download and have all your own media processing tools. Most people aren’t and don’t and iLife is magic for them.

    All that said, I’m still hopeful for some good and worthy competition. Maybe because Win7 is more OSX like than ever it was easier to switch back…

    Good luck, you’ll probably need it.

  2. ubertechguy says:

    You’re right. Time will tell, but I’m enjoying the adrenaline rush! 😀

  3. Welcome to Windows world!

    I don’t know about Mac, but there are absolute gems when it comes to software on Windows.

    Breevy, Directory Opus, Stroke It to name a few. Give them a try.

  4. Glenn says:

    Welcome back to the real computer world. I to changed to Mac and I have regretted it ever since. My first mac blew up before I got it home (macbookpro), drove right back, they had no idea what was wrong so they gave me another new one. In two years that one has had two new batteries, two new DVD drives, two new logic boards, and a new keyboard.

    Thank god for applecare. Their laptops have to be overpriced to pay for all the repairs they are doing on crappy hardware they sold. Everytime I go into the store (3 different ones) the “Genious” bar is flooded with people with problems.

    I have had the laptop apart myself and as someone that has worked with hardware for a large leader in hardware design I can tell you that most of what I see inside this macbookpro is substandard quality.

    Mac may have great software but their hardware is of some of the worst design I’ve ever seen. I’m in the process of getting rid of all the mac crap I have and going back to PC.

    As for the spec by spec comparison….I dont have a clue what Kiltbear is saying. I can spec by spec campare all day and see laptop after laptop that “compares” and is almost half the price of the mac garbage.

    Sorry to the dedicated mac geeks out there, but like I said, I’ve been in the hardware and computer repair industry for over a decade and macs just lack on hardware. They do have awesome software though.

  5. Chuck says:

    Hear hear! I bought a MacBook Pro out of frustration with the horrible instability of Windows Vista. However, since upgrading to Lion my MacBook has become practically unusable. It’s slow, crashes frequently and many of the “upgraded” applications don’t work the way they used to. Way to go Apple. You threw your own Human Interface Guidelines out the door and created a complete turd.

  6. Susanna Fera says:

    I would love to know how you feel about your “switch” back now. I have had a MAC for 5 years. I still have Leopard and it needs to be upgraded. My system is super duper slow. To get a new MAC would be 2500 at least for what I have now. PLUS, I have to get other programs. Where as, a PC could be had for less than a grand.

    I am an internet marketer. There a few programs that are strictly PC based. Until I make a decision, I have them on an old desktop with Windows XP. I’m just having a hard time thinking about going back to a PC…the viruses, the scans, etc. I’m just not sure what the heck to do:)

  7. Rob Alfieri says:

    Hi, Susanna! I think it is all a matter of what works best for you and the tasks you need to accomplish. I find there is parity now in the Mac and Windows platforms with regards to performance and stability. I will say that I am very attracted to the fact that the Mac can now run both Windows and Mac applications. I think that is a HUGE advantage. It frees the user from the operating system and allows us to pick the applications we like best for the job. I have not had the opportunity to test performance on the virtualized Windows platform on Mac. That is something I am looking forward to doing in the future. If anyone has any statistics on how well Windows performs under virtualization on the Mac versus native, please share.

    With regards to viruses, etc., there is no platform (not even smartphones) that are immune to invasion. Whatever platform you run, be sure to have a good anti-virus suite running on it as well.

    You are right in that Windows computers tend to me be MUCH cheaper than Macs. Apple is very proud of its hardware. They spend a lot of money in R&D to create something that is beautiful, functional and LIGHT. Some believe they have earned the right to be “pricey.” Certainly, their pricing has not slowed adoption of iPhones and iPads. If you are on a budget, look to a Windows PC with either and i5 or i7 processor. Let me know what you wind up deciding.

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