Why switching to Mac was the right move for me
I'm now at the four month mark in my move to Mac. It didn't start out as a switch; when I bought my MacBook in the beginning of February I was really looking for an excuse to play with some new technology. I was satisfied—not excited mind you but satisfied—to use Windows as my operating system. I had my development environment on Windows and was well versed in all the ins and outs of it. I custom built my PCs myself, mildly over-clocking them to get better performance and being very comfortable in trouble shooting virtually any class of problem. I was a pretty hardcore Windows guy.
What started as an addition to my little technology family evolved pretty rapidly though. Not only did I find the Mac intriguing and fun to use, I found myself enjoying my Windows machine that much less. The MacBook went from a curiosity to a cool toy to my preferred personal productivity tool in a very short period of time. After a couple of months I hadn't really switched though, my MacBook was really just my trusty sidekick and Windows continued to do the heavy lifting for me.
I would sit in front of my Windows machine and do my development work and then slide over to the MacBook for virtually everything else. Email, web browsing, news feeds, blogging – all of that became the domain of my MacBook. This worked great until I realized that I was simply not enjoying working on the Windows machine any longer. It's not that it suddenly became more difficult to use or my machine's performance was poor, I just didn't like using Windows. It became the older commuter car that I took to work every day while the Mac was an open top sports car that I couldn't wait to drive on weekends.
I was fascinated by the Mac Pro and the power it had. OS X screamed on my little MacBook and I wondered what it would perform like on a Mac Pro. It met or exceeded my relatively high expectations. Three days after I got the Mac Pro was the day I technically switched to Mac. Why? Because after transferring my files from my Windows machine to my Mac Pro I shut down the Windows XP machine. Turned it off. Stopped using it.
Yes, I do fire it up occasionally if I need to transfer something I didn't get the first time but I now use my two Macs throughout the day, occasionally use the Ubuntu machine and simply bang my knees into the powered down case that holds Windows. It is also much quieter in my office now.
I spent 17 years using Windows, a couple more if you count the experiments with the dreadful Windows/286 & Windows/386. Man real mode sucked. I was a heavy DOS user before that. On Windows I went through 3.0, 3.1, Workgroups, NT 4.0, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, 2003 Server and Vista. I had spent countless hours honing my skills with the platform, both as a power user and professional software developer. How would it be possible for someone with my background to switch to a completely new platform and walk away from all of that history?
I've been wondering about that lately and have come to a conclusion. I was just tired of Windows. There was nothing about it that really excited me. I waited 5 years for Vista to come around and when it did I was unimpressed. There was nothing that really stood out. The Aero interface had some cool visual effects but other than that Vista was more of a pain than anything else. It was really slow on a two year old machine I have (which had the Vista Capable logo), the security was oppressive and even though it had been building up for years the graphics driver situation was a mess for many months after its release.
When I started using computers back in the early 80s it was a passion of mine. I would immerse myself in the technology, staying up until the wee hours learning everything I could. I would lose track of time very easily, wondering why all of a sudden it was so dark (or light) outside. For many years now that passion has been gone. I could get a glimpse of it by purchasing a new machine and spending a few days optimizing it but within a week or so the excitement would wear off.
It's now four months later and I'm still looking forward to the cool things I can do with my Macs. I have learned a lot in a relatively short period of time but I have so much that I'm looking forward to mastering. More than anything I'm glad I switched to Mac because it has rekindled that passion.
Computers are fun and exciting again to me.