Switchers Perspective: Why Switch?

My name is David, and I am a recent switcher. I come from an Ubuntu Linux fan boy background. I have also been a long time Windows user. Many of my friends were not surprised when I switched from Windows to Linux, but when I told them I had gone and grabbed a Mac, they all seemed shocked.

I am not a video editor. I do the occasional podcast, but really my multimedia skills are pretty basic. So why would I switch?

Ubuntu is a great operating system, and I really enjoy it, and it will continue to be the only operating system on my desktop computer. I knew when I saw the first screen shots of Windows Vista, that I was going to have to find another operating system, and Ubuntu filled that void for me.

Ubuntu spoiled me. It had tons of great free software, and was really easy to use. It made my year old IBM “couldn’t be more Windows” ThinkPad feel old and ugly running its Windows XP operating system.

Talking to Michael and other Apple enthusiasts, I soon started to get “the itch”. I wanted to dip my toe into the Cult of Mac. I looked seriously at the Mac Mini, but I knew I wanted something that had a dedicated video card, and so I didn’t flirt with the idea long.

I put my Mac excitement on hold for a while, until a great opportunity came up to buy a MacBook Pro. It was at a horrible time, with just buying a house, and a wedding not far away, but with the nudging of Michael and other lovers of all things Mac, I went for it.

Buying an Apple computer instantly makes you feel special. You feel like you are part of an elite club. So many people congratulated me on my purchase, even though I hadn’t received it yet.

They always talk about how a Mac “just works” and while I have mostly felt that, I still am able to find the flaws and issues with OS X, just like any other operating system (I hope that’s not blasphemy).

I switched so that I could experience something different. Both the machine, and the operating system are very well designed. For the most part, everything feels consistent, and easy to navigate. The software, support, and community are at a level now that finding answers is easier than ever before.

Why should people switch? It is honestly the most enjoyable and user friendly operating system experience I have had to date, and knowing that I can install Linux or Windows on here makes it feel much safer than ever before. Switching gave me a choice, and automatically entered me into a great community. The question I have now is, why didn’t I switch earlier?

David Peralty is the Director of Communications at Bloggy Network, a full time blogger of two years, writing on Blogging Pro, and Forever Geek as well as managing a few things behind the scenes.

Comments

  1. First of all, David, let me add my congratulations to all the others. You’ve made a good purchase – one that should do well for you for years to come!

    No, finding Mac OS flaws and issues is NOT blasphemy – it’s one of our favorite hobbies! There is a long and storied history of Apple fans being their biggest critics – it’s one of the things that tends to keep Apple, Inc. on its toes.

    Over and over, you’ll see that if Apple stumbles, the message boards light up with critical posts – we are NOT bashful about letting them know we’re not happy!

    So settle in and enjoy – not only are the products great, but so is the community you’ve just joined!

  2. I had a Mac in 1984. In terms of bang for your buck, best computer ever. My Dad’s office sold out to Gateway and stocked the office with PC’s (486′s) We ended up with a Mac and a PC at home since my Dad needed to have access to both platforms. As time went by, he used the Mac less, and the PC more. Once the Mac up and died (c1990) I switched over to the PC. After playing with Windows 3.1 for about 5 minutes, I swore I’d never touch another PC again!!! Yes, compared to the Mac, it was that bad!

    I started High school, got a job, got into music, art, etc etc and was too busy for computers. Once the whole internet thing took off, I found the need to get back into computers. (eBay and email were my killer apps!) By then, Dad was rockin’ a Win 95 box. I used that for a few years until I bought my own PC in 1998. I had been so far removed from the Mac at that point that I didn’t even consider it as an option. There were no Apple stores, and I didn’t know where to even buy one, nor did I know a single soul who even had one.

    I got used to the Windows OS, as bad as it was. I had to reboot my PC ever night or it would crash. Win NT and ME were on my machine for maybe a day. Yes, that bad.

    I had high hopes for Win 2000, and bought it pretty much the day it came out. It was better, but far from the solid state OS that I longed for. Soon I upgraded to a P3, then a P4. I build cutting edge, state of the art machines; kept up with the times. But I found myself constantly fighting the OS to get done what I needed to get done. I continued to fight Windows tooth and nail for a few more years.

    I was sick and tired of the lousy OS performance, despite having awesome hardware. Windows would hang, and crash.
    An old friend of mine swears by Linux; uses nothing else. So I figured I’d give them a shot.

    Over the next few years, I switched back and forth between Linux and Windows 2000/XP. I hated Windows with a passion, so with every new Linux release I prayed that it would be the one to replace Windows.

    I tried Red Hat 7, then 8, then 9, then Fedora 1, 2, 3. I tried Suse 8, 9, 10. Tried Knoppix, Xandros, and Mandrake. They looked slick, performance was good. But, I couldn’t stand it that every time I went to install an app, I had to install package after package, dependency after dependency. This won’t install without that, that won’t install without this. It would take me 2 weeks to trick out the OS so that I could do something as simple as play a DVD or a few mp3s. Print jobs never looked as good with Linux as they did on Windows. I shouldn’t have to spend an hour rewriting my XFree86Config file to get my second monitor to work! Every program is a hack, written by some 14 year old in a basement in Holland. Sorry, I want iTunes for my iPod. I want my browser to play Quicktime and flash without a hack. I want to edit my home movies and make cool DVDs to send to my parents. I want to make my own music. I want a cool WYSIWYG editor to make a web site. I want awesome photo editing. (Sorry, The GIMP is horrible!) Maybe my standards are set too high? Maybe I have unrealistic expectations? Things SHOULD JUST WORK! See where I’m going?

    Linux is great for email and surfing the internet. Good as a server that has to do nothing but sit there, but as far as a full fledged desktop OS, not on your life. I don’t see how other people do it. They must just accept the fact that they can’t do 90% of what they want to using Linux. And running Windows apps with WINE is just not a viable solution.

    So Windows is out, Linux is out. And while all this is going on, I have my eye on the Mac. Apple stores are starting to open, CompUSA is stocking their shelves, coworkers have them. People are talking. I gawked over the G3 line, marveled at the specs. By now I had moved out of my parents’ house and was paying rent on my own. I couldn’t afford to drop 2 grand on a new computer. “Gotta get a Mac, gotta get a Mac”, I thought to myself. Soon, the G4 line came out. Aw! Now we’re talking! “Gotta get a Mac gotta get a Mac.” Still, couldn’t afford it.

    The Windows struggle continued. I eBayed some old PC parts and an old laptop and made enough to built a new Dual Xeon 64 bit machine. XP64 was better. More stable, but still Windows. The OS X bug had been planted. I’d been to the stores, seen the machines, tried OS X. By now, I’d kill to run OS X. And that’s all I wanted. I’d given Windows and Linux the benefit of the doubt for 10 years, but enough was enough. I sold all my PC junk and bought a 17” MacBook Pro and 20” Cinema Display. It was the best computer purchase I have ever made.

    As far as the WOW factor, nothing in Windows land comes close. I wish I bought a Mac when OS X first came out. It is the best OS I have ever used. I can’t find a single reason for someone not to switch. And with Boot Camp, Parallels, and Fusion. There’s no reason not to. If you find yourself in a situation where you need access to Windows or a Windows app, it’s very easy to get ‘er done.

    Don’t get me wrong. I hate using Windows and Linux, but I’m not a self import elitist Mac user. I use Windows at work everyday. I use Linux for what it’s good for. Just the other week I used a PC and Linux to hack my Tivo and add a second hard drive.

    Using a Mac has been the best computing experience I have ever had. It looks amazing, performance is great. Everything is so easy to do. Plus, the hardware design looks amazing.

    I have since sold my 17” MacBook Pro and 20” Cinema Display. I bought a 13” MacBook and 30” Cinema Display and I am currently saving up for an 8 core Mac Pro. (I’m almost there!) I can’t wait.

    If anyone out there is thinking of switching! Do not hesitate any longer. Take it from us switchers! As soon as you switch, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! If you can’t afford a new Mac, take a look at eBay. Make it happen! You’ll never regret it!

  3. Congrats man. I LOVE my MBP. It’s an amazing machine. I’ve had it for several months and I’m still looking at it occasionally and saying “man, this this is awesome”.

    I’m sure you’ll have a blast with your new lappy. Enjoy!

  4. Welcome to the club.

    I am a user of Windows and Mac going back to the early 90′s.the one thing you will find with a mac and the mac third party developers is that you can delete every standard mac programs and install the application you use and love without the operating system trying make you use default programs embedded in the OPs. Outlook in windows is a great example.

    shane

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