My MacBook at home

My MacBook

I have been using some flavour of Windows since version 1.2, but before that, I used DOS. I played with OS2 once upon a time, I’ve had dalliances with Atari, Commodore, Unix, Red Hat, Lindows, Tivo, Ubuntu, and yes for a time I played with Macs as far back as the OS8 days. At TSN we had an eMac for doing testing, and I pretty much loathed that machine because while it was pretty as all heck, it spent a LOT of time with a beach ball whirling (there is a myth out there that Mac’s don’t crash…they do, however their crashes are prettier than blue screens of death).

I think it’s safe to say though that I’m pretty much a Windows kid. I have a Windows Media center over top of my TV, my wife uses a Windows Vista box, I have Windows 7 on my Laptop, and I’m running a Windows Home Server in my basement right now (it’s a glorious little device which is kind of like running a Fisher Price server, it’s simple and it does what I want it to do without running through command lines or deep settings).

So why am I typing this on a shiny new Mac keyboard (wired mind you…the stupid wireless keyboard drives me insane)?  Because I switched.

Yes, after years of teasing the Mac faithful (but having had quite a bit of experience with the platform, and not entirely loving it), I finally made the move about a month ago.

I was going to buy an iPad, and I did some calculations. At the current price of about $550, with taxes it would work out to around $630. I looked on Kijiji, and there was a one year old used MacBook (white, 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB Ram and a 160GB hard drive) for $650. I ended up buying a new battery for it and a copy of Snow Leopard, but even then I was at $750 all in.  Not bad, and if I hated the thing after a month, I knew I could sell it for at least $700 on Kijiji without an issue.

Why? Well, it’s complicated. You see PC, it’s not you, it’s me.  Wait, maybe it is you. I’m not entirely sure if this relationship is working out the way that either of us had planned. I mean you’re good and all, I mostly like you. I like the way that when I want to do things, I can just do them…but I have to be honest PC. There’s a bunch of little things about you that I just simply don’t like.

Listen, this sucks to say, but damn son you are big, and gots no style! I know, it’s harsh, but it’s true. I was looking for something a little smaller, that would just slide into my bag and I’d barely know was there. Don’t even say “Well I have netbooks you know.”, we both know that netbooks suck, yeah I could have used a Netbook when I was on the go, but let’s be serious, I would NOT have been a happy camper the first time I had to open up Photoshop to do a quick edit.

Also, would it kill you to ditch the black cases? I know that some of you have silver cases…but they’re really just silver spray painted black cases, and they suck.

iTunes doesn’t work particularly well on you, and frankly your movie making ability has always been pretty weak (I know, your little Windows Movie Maker thingie is pretty good…but pretty good doesn’t hold a candle to iLife’s iMovie). Hey, what’s with the sniffles little buddy? You’re really good with spreadsheets and writing stuff!  Why you’re pretty awesome even!

The world is not entirely lovely over here in Apple Land. I had to buy a USB hub, because my Mac had 2 USB ports (seriously?). I needed an external Apple keyboard because my Windows one was missing some key…ummm…keys (eject, command, option…all essential keys that while they do map to a Windows keyboard, are all in strange places and hurt my muscle memory when I go back to the Mac keyboard).

I’m still trying to figure out what versioning package will work for me (I’m a TortoiseSVN user on Windows, and I like it). iWeb is an embarrassment. Safari makes me angry (although Chrome for the Mac runs really well). iWork is taking some getting used to, but unfortunately Numbers can’t do some things that Excel can do with ease.

Speaking of which…Excel just sucks…it SUCKS over here! Who knew I was such a Macro maniac?  However I run a Windows Virtual Machine occasionally when I need to (and then when I’m in Windows I’m usually cursing it because it causes me all manner of problem, although it does allow me to get super meta like when I’m remoting into my home server through my Windows Virtual Machine while using my Mac).

With that said, I really like my Mac. Some stuff just works. iTunes always does what I want it to do. I’m still getting used to a few things, quitting programs instead of just closing windows for example, but I LOVE the little programs that are out there. I bought the last MacHeist deal and have used MacJournal, RipIt, CoverScout, and Tweetie a ton. There’s a great text editor called TextMate which I love, iMovie and iDVD are really good. Even iWork is a pretty decent suite of Office apps (for about half what you pay for Office). I like the way TimeMachine works, and my little Windows Home Server is happy to play nice with my MacBook.

So the MacBook stays, I use it every day, and I am really enjoying it. The build on the machine itself is pretty great, and they keyboard feels amazing to type on (I swear I’ve increased my typing speed, and I’m no slouch already!).

I don’t see me replacing all of the computers in my house with Macs, but for this one…I’m pretty happy.