I’ve had my Mac for a little over 2 months now and I’m really enjoying it. The question I get from my colleagues all the time is:
Why did you buy a Mac?
Its a good question, so I’ll answer it here.
One of my reasons was to have a machine based on Unix. I’ve tried Linux (I’ll have another blog on that later), but its UI is still not up to Windows standards. I’ve installed Cygwin, but that feels like a hack and didn’t really give me true Unix underpinnings. Why is Unix important to me? All of my career, I’ve tried really hard to avoid Unix – crappy user interfaces, expensive machines that I’d have to share with others, etc. Well… after years of being a Windows/PC guy, my Java development has had me using Unix based boxes more and more (usually to deploy files, read logs, debug scripts, etc). I’ve found myself woefully ignorant of Unix. Mac’s OS X is built on top of Unix and gives me a chance to learn it day in/day out.
I’ll call this: Getting my Nerd fix
Secondly, there is a “cult of Mac” where everyone is passionate about them. People are crazy about their Macs (as I’m becoming too). There’s a whole sense of being part of something when you own Apple products. If you see someone at a coffee shop using one… there’s an instant kinship you have with that person. You’re part of the club! (and when you get one – I’ll teach you the secret handshake!) How Apple can cultivate that, I don’t know… but its an amazing marketing feat. So… part of my choice (a minor part) was to be a part of that club and understand it.
I’ll call this: Joining the Uber-Geek club.
Thirdly, I really liked the design and look of the Macs. Apple really knows how to do industrial design. My MacBook Pro feels as solid as an IBM Thinkpad without looking like a Sherman Tank. Everything, from the power supply (aka “the brick”) to the way it latches the lid closed is well thought out (exception being where the security cable is attached – what were they thinking?!?). Furthermore, I’ve always thought OS X itself is beautiful. The Aqua interface, bright icons, etc – from the stores… it just looked fantastic. I’m really nitpicky about user interfaces and a serious sucker for “eye candy”. OS X is the best from a look standpoint – bar none. I spend a lot of time on my computer having a Mac instead of Dell is sort of like having a BMW 330is instead of a Chevy Impala SS. Yeah, they both can go fast and handle in a “sporty” matter. If numbers were all you cared about, then the Chevy is the way to go. But… its all those subtle things that a BMW has that make it a much nicer ride.
I’ll call this: Indulging in the finer things in life
Lastly, I wanted to get off of Windows – not because I’m one of the stereotypical “Microsoft Bashers” (guys… grow up already). Nope, if anything I’ve been a pro-Microsoft guy for most of my life. I needed a change – I’d looked at beta copies of Vista and I couldn’t get excited about it. I needed to try something new and Vista wasn’t going to cut it. Everyone says that most of Vista’s good ideas came from OS X, so why not go straight to the source. They seem to out innovate everyone. Plus, Windows was really starting to annoy me – hibernate didn’t work right, deleting a small file sometimes took forever, my “Start” menu would take a long time to display, silly messages popping up all the time, etc. There are lots of times I’m left wondering: “What the heck is my PC doing?!?” Every time someone talks about their Mac they say its such a joy to use – The user experience is much better, things just work, its much more intuitive, etc. I wanted to enjoy.
I’ll call this: Needing a change – midlife tech crisis.
So there you have it – my (long winded) reason for making the switch. In another post soon, I’ll elaborate on my findings after making the switch. I can say that I really like it – so far its the best computer I’ve owned. Stay tuned…