Why I Bought a MacBook

For my whole life, I’ve basically been a Microsoft Fanboi.  This isn’t because I actually believed Microsoft was better, but more so that I was a big gamer; and well, games sucked on everything that wasn’t a PC or a console.  My options were limited.

So after my impressionable teen years and I started my IT career, it was really only logical to continue down that road, since in my opinion at the time, Window’s worked fine.  Linux and BSD operating systems were still notoriously difficult to use, and had swarms of issues and Apple machines we’re for people who didn’t want a REAL computer.  And since I still liked gaming – Windows was my de-facto standard operating system and I never thought that would ever change – until a couple of months ago when Vista finally broke what was left of my patience and spirit.

Unable to tolerate the Vista rhetoric any longer, and having been frustrated with the “omg, your computer’s sex is on fire” beauty of the new Intel-based MacBooks I made the switch.  A long time ASP3, .Net developer by trade, doing the unthinkable – joined the army of  people who like to  wear berets, and watching Steve Jobs’ latest Apple keynote speech.

And I have never been happier, nor have I looked back.

Looking back on it, I actually think that the problem started the moment that WinFS was dropped from the (then longhorn) feature set.  This was followed by more dropped features until there was nothing left to look forward to.  Vista ended up being all bling and no substance.  It is the Amy Winehouse of operating systems.  But still, despite this, despite the endless trouble with driver accessibility, despite the pitiful security solution called UAC, despite the endless and constant flow of problems; I persevered – hopeful in the knowledge that if I gave Windows some love, it would love me back.  This has always been the case with previous versions of Windows, why should this be any different?  But try as I might, as patient as I was, there just ain’t no love coming from Vista.  It hates you from the moment you install it, until the day that you die.  And no matter how many service packs or patches I installed, it never got any easier.

It’s like the spoiled middle kid from a dysfunctional family.  What’s worse, is that I suspect Microsoft knows it!

And before all of my previous comrades start cheering for Windows 7, like its the second coming, can I just point out that Windows 7 is effectively a working, stable version of Vista.  Not much more.  And what’s worse, your going to be charged for the pleasure of upgrading to what Vista should have been in the first place.

Having had several conversations with various Windows user’s since the purchase of my Mac, has been an interesting experience.  I’ve come to realise, that Windows users have come to expect mediocrity from operating systems.  And when I try to explain some of the awesomeness of OSX I am met with either apathy or a serious lack of comprehension.

It didn’t take me long at all to fall in love with the MacBook.  And this is just as much a tribute to Apple elegance (when they choose to use it) as it is about Vista sucking harder than a hoover.  But the single, final feature which sealed the deal was the magical MacBook, sleep and wake-up/resume functionality.  It sleeps and wakes up on he close/open of the lid like any other notebook.  But the speed at which is goes from fully awake → fully asleep → fully awake is simply staggering.  And, unlike Windows, I mean fully asleep (minimal battery usage) to a fully awake (and fully usable) state.  I have the 2.0GHz version of the 2009 aluminum MacBook, and the whole process is only a few seconds!  Simply amazing.

And much of the things which have truly impressed me are not even immediately obvious.  The best way I have found to summarize the difference is this; “All of the things that you [Windows users] have learned to live with, just gone!”  Windows in Finder (the equivalent to Explorer) open instantly, viewing folder file properties are virtually instant, search is staggeringly fast (this is called spotlight) and often, close to instant.

Even gaming isn’t an issue (although I seldom get time for much of this these days) – I have a 30gb side partition for Boot Camp which runs Windows naively with correct drivers when I HAVE to use Windows with as much grunt as I can give it.  VMWare Fusion actually lets you run the Boot Camp installation as a virtual machine if you only need basic Windows functionality (such as testing browser computability).  This is sometimes to even needed, however, as many of the more popular games are sometimes available for OSX anyway.

I was expecting a lot more pain with the transition and its difficult to adequately paint the correct picture, but the simple fact is, MacBooks are amazing.

Enough said.

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