I’ve Switched To The Mac

by Adam on November 7, 2009

How did I get here?

It’s a statement that I knew I’d have to make eventually, but I didn’t think I’d be doing so quite so soon.  Not for a number of years, actually.  I’ve written a couple of articles previously on this subject:  the first, What is stopping me getting a Mac started off from a rather frosty position towards the Mac, with my second article Considering a Mac (an update) taking a bit of a softened stance, leaving this, my third article charting my total conversion.  Sceptical to converted in just three articles?  Not bad eh?

I’ve needed a new desktop computer for quite some time now.  My desktop is an old warhorse by today’s standards: a battle-scarred six-year-old PC running Windows XP that has already seen its glory years and is heading into graceful retirement as we speak.  My laptop is a four-year-old Dell running Windows Vista, but it’s seriously running out of hard disk space, and is starting to run sluggishly.

It wasn’t pretty

So what did I replace them with?  Initially, a £600 HP slimline tower running the latest and greatest: Windows 7.  It should have been a fantastic experience: 4GB of RAM, a quad-core AMD processor, a decent graphics card, and 64-bit Windows 7 all hooked up to a gorgeous 24 inch Samsung tv monitor.  It was awful.  If I left the computer running for a while and left it too its own devices, on my return it freely admitted to me that not only had it crashed, it had blue-screened on me.  My face went grey.  Over the following days it repeatedly blue-screened on as many occassions as it possibly could.  When it didn’t crash, it froze.  Firefox?  That too was either crashing or freezing on me too.  Not even my iPod touch was spared: its data was corrupted, and it had to be recovered hooked up to my laptop where my new computer couldn’t hurt it.

I’d had enough.  I went back to Currys and got my money back.  I needed to get what I trully deserved.  I needed to get a Mac.  I would imagine this is how quite a few PC owners become Mac owners.  And I must say, that I feel quite bewildered at where I find myself right now.  Sure, Macs are expensive and you pay a hefty premium for them, but then you realise what you’ve left behind.  It feels worth it.  All as I need to wait for now is delivery!

I’m going to need a favour

As I’m totally new to this whole Mac business, I’m going to need a few pointers.  Can anyone recommend any best practices for using a Mac?  And are there any must-have apps that I’m going to need?  Cheers in advance! :)


Repeated blue screens like that was almost certainly faulty hardware, it has nothing to do with Windows itself, by blaming it you're really just shooting the messenger.

by Arnold Sideways on November 8, 2009 at 2:35 am. #

Point noted- it was most probably a hardware fault. But I didn't actually blame Windows itself. I was disappointed at the experience as a whole. Hardware and software form the complete experience. When one of those fails, it does ruin it for the consumer.

I've not one of those disgruntled Windows users who has 'fled' to the Mac platform wholesale: I've just run Windows computers for long enough to realise that I fancy a change. I'm currently typing this reply on a WIndows XP PC that has run beautifully (more or less) for several years.

Going forward, I'm going to keep active in both platforms but the Mac will simply be my primary computer for now.

by Los Havros on November 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm. #

Good job. I was a Windows user most of my life until making the switch 5 years ago. I did so because I was sick of things simply not working. Rarr! I think you'll find you've made a good choice, one that's certainly worth the money. Also, you said you're going to be using both platforms, but I think you'll find after using your Mac for a while, it will be hard to go back to using Windows.

by Rockers Delight on November 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm. #

Same here really. I've gone past the stage of opening up a PC, tinkering about with it and spending days either configuring components or reinstalling Windows for the umpteenth time. I just want a simpler, more productive life!

My Mac will become my main computer, with my old Windows PC retained for compatibility testing (I don't want to go down the whole virtualisation route), and I still have my Windows laptop which I reckon can be wiped and given a new lease of life.

by Los Havros on November 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm. #

Hmm, I think if you do enough web development you will live to regret that decision. But if compatibility testing is just a small part of your job, then fair does.

by Rockers Delight on November 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm. #

We shall see :p

by Los Havros on November 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm. #

Welcome to the Mac cult! I made the switch in February, and I've never been happier. Apps to get – well, depends on what you want, obviously. Some basic apps/tools that I've found indispensable: Skitch (screencapping/markup tool), Perian (video codec pack), and Growl (enables desktop notifications for, like, every program). Tweetie is the best Mac Twitter client, I think, unless you use groups heavily.

by Jandy on November 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm. #

Thanks for the suggestions! Tweetie is a must, but for everything else I'm going to have to wait a while. Blew all my money on the Mac :s

by Los Havros on November 9, 2009 at 8:11 pm. #

Haha, I know how that is. All those should be free, though. Tweetie has a paid version, but also a free one if you don't mind seeing ads in your stream once in a while. I've never found them intrusive or bothersome.

I've only got a few paid apps – Delicious Library (good, but I don't use it as much as I thought I would), MarsEdit (blogging client which I use every day and love, but depends on your like/dislike of blogging clients), maybe a couple of others, but really, you can find free stuff if you just look a little harder. Also check out http://www.macheist.com – they post greatly price-reduced or free bundles of Mac software every so often. I just snagged WriteRoom and a few others the other day.

by Jandy on November 9, 2009 at 8:21 pm. #

Sweet! I've actually managed to take a look at Perian so far, and I'd be pretty stupid not to install it! Cheers for the MacHeist link- I love free stuff. Free is good.

by Los Havros on November 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm. #

I will get round to picking up a Mac, maybe in the New Year. Like you, I fancy a change!

by Dave on November 12, 2009 at 10:55 am. #

It’s quite cathartic! It feels like a fresh start. I highly recommend it!

by Los Havros on November 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm. #