Switcher Advocacy (long)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Seasought, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #1
    The following is my experience and impressions based on my recent purchase of a 15" Powerbook G4 and how the transition is going from being a Windows user who is now engrossed in OS X. I did my best to lay out my opinions and impressions even if it is a bit 'tongue in cheek' at times. Perhaps this will help encourage others who were as indecisive as me to make the switch:
    --------------------
    Stumbling out of a local Apple store in a daze, gripping my Powerbook's box handle with white-knuckled, possessive panic I managed to drive home with my wife without causing an interstate pile-up. The real excitement began at the opening of the box at home.

    The box possesses the same thought and care as the product inside and makes opening it akin to an eight year old stumbling across a Toys R Us that has his name tagged on every toy. The smell of fresly poured plastic and virgin silicon is also distinctly present. The manuals are set aside in favor of getting to the meet of the box: the Powerbook itself.

    While the images online (and the store display models) give a good idea of the machines nothing compares to pulling out your very own Powerbook. I liken the experience to the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where, Indiana slowly approaches and admires, thoughtfully the golden idol. The look, feel and design are sleek and smart. It's not just a laptop you hold in your hands, you come to realize, but a finely crafted tool, designed for the best.
    -----------------

    Ok, enough of the mellow-drama. My impressions of switching over to a Powerbook are as follows.

    1.) It looks great, better than any of the other boxes I own or that my company owns and thus receives a lot of looks and comments/questions about what I'm using. Sure it's conceited, but the looks are amazing and it's nice to receive complements on a tool you use. Several co-workers asked 'Why a Mac?' which in turn results in lengthy, vibrant discussions and demonstrations.

    2.) It's stable. Nothing's perfect, but I've already had better stability issues with OSX than I've had with Win Xp in completing day-to-day tasks and heavy workload tasks.

    3.) It's intuitive. It's easier to figure out the interface. For example, I often used a shortcut to minimize all open windows/programs in XP, somewhat disgruntled at not finding such a shortcut (as in, only one key-combination) I found Expose and discovered one can hide all open windows with a move of the mouse or quickly jump from one open window/app to another with the same move of the mouse. It makes clumsy key combinations in XP feel horrendously tedious in comparison.

    4.) Intelligence. It's not just a shiny, stupid GUI - one can fire up a terminal window, modify shell scripts, check log files, add/remove permissions on files, list network statistics, or anything else found in a typical Linux distrubution. You get the best of both worlds: 1.) A quick and painless install with a great looking GUI and 2.) The complexity and customization option of a Free BSD underbelly. Users can make the OS X experience as simple or as varied and challengins as they choose to.

    5.) Integration. OS X is not an island for those working in a Windows world. Office for OS X works flawlessly with all my technical writing (originally created in Word 2003 for PC) and there is a tremendous developer community that provides chat, ftp, web browsing, security, and countless other software for free. I had no problem finding word processing software, chat programs, file transfer tools, and security-related logging software.

    6.) An amazing community. I've worked through DOS, Windows 3.x up to the present XP and 2000 variants, strayed over to Redhat Linux/Fedora Linux, Mandrake Linux and even played with the BeOS when it first came out. None of them possessed the cohesive, open and friendly environment that the OS X / Apple communities possess. Apple users go beyond possessing an interest in technology and instead are inspired and passionate about aiding and encouraging others in using Apple products as well. Friendly, helpful and rich in knowledge - a unique strand among the others.

    Final Notes

    For those who sit on the fence with the indecision of investing in an Apple Powerbook, iMac or G5 (or any other Apple computer) know that you won't be disappointed. Certainly the argument is present with regard to the comparison of computer specifications. One can buy a Dell laptop that has higher 'more powerful' specs than say an iBook or Powerbook but the difference in quality of use on both functional and aesthetic levels quickly reveals why so many pay the premium for Apple products.

    I took the risk head first and the rewards have been far beyond my expectations. Make the investment to take back the excitement and pride in computing as has happened with me. It is well worth it.

    Whew, ok, I think I've blurted out just about as much praise as I can possibly write so far having used my new Powerbook for over a week now. Hopefully someone out there will find this helpful in making their decision.
     
  2. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    I don't know what to say other than that you convinced me all over again to buy another mac...which I think was your point to anyone that's on walking the line between windows and mac. Very nicely written. Couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  3. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #3
    A great review indeed.

    I'm glad you mention the community support, because it does make a tremendous difference.

    Keep in mind that AppleStores also offer free training classes in most applications along with more advanced courses in their Pro apps.

    If you really want to hear oohs and aahs from your coworkers, wait
    till you run your first presentation using Keynote.

    The greatest hurdle to overcome is the misconception that OSX
    is not compatible in a Windows only office environment.
     
  4. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    Seasought... great review. While I don't currently use a Mac, I am waiting for the Intel transition to come through. My wife has a TiBook that she loves, and frankly, I'm eyeing an iMac for some light video editing.

    Given that you seem to be a mature, former Windows user, what's your opinion on waiting for the Intel switchover? My only concern is my workplace, which is heavily Windows based.

    I also enjoy using my tablet and the MS OneNote program, which is turning out to be - surprise, surprise - pretty damn useful. Needless to say, I await with bated breath on the far distant rumor of Apple producing a tablet one day. This is because the tablet functionality is the only thing that I really find useful: the rest of the Windows-PC base functions could disappear for all I care.

    (It's ironic that as I type this, my antivirus program has alerted me to yet ANOTHER virus outbreak.)
     
  5. Seasought thread starter macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #5
    Ultimately, regardless of what you're considering purchasing it boils down to the following (imo):

    1.) Cost. Can you afford it? Do you mind spending the money right now?
    2.) Need. Do you need it? Need can also mean want extremely badly, keep in mind.

    I had been saving up money little by little for the past several months and during that time read dozens of threads here about the pros/cons of switching now or waiting. Ultimately I found that since I continued to visit this board and read dozens upon dozens of articles on switching, opinions and news/rumors concerning Apple I realized that since I was (am) so obsessed with this decision and continually drool over the current Powerbooks I should just buy one now. The PPC is not going to get its support dropped when the Intel change is made and by the time most of the bugs/problems with some of the early models of Intel machines are ironed out I will have used my current Powerbook to the point where I can financially consider an upgrade.

    It's a good idea to analyze exactly what you do at work and what software you are dependent on in your workplace. Do you sit and design graphics and write all day (me)? Do you move from office to office giving presentations and meetings? Do you program all day? If so, what in? Are there adequate tools to compile the language you wish to use on a Mac?

    Secondly, I still have my original Windows box at work sitting idly by in the event I have to use software that isn't available on my Mac - would you also be privy to such a choice? If you can still use your original Windows machine if emergency dictates then the 'work incompatibility issue' has ceased to be an issue.

    In the end, I had the finances to invest, I decided I loved the current line of Powerbooks (as well as OS X Tiger as I had worked in it before) more than waiting around for 'the next best thing.'

    There's always a next best thing, it's inevitable.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my post and I hope you decide to invest. Macs make people happy :D.
     
  6. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Alas Seasought... I may have to revert back to something I posted to this very forum a few weeks ago: if I have to debate it endlessly, I probably don't need it. It's all self-rationalization.

    THAT being said (ahem), I am probably very much like you were - I visited this forum endlessly (more so in the past than recently) and I drool perpetually over the current PBs, especially the 17". I don't know what it is, because frankly the 17" size is a bit impractical for me, but I just want the damn thing. In fact, if I were to buy an Apple, it would be my 3rd attempt (notwithstanding the purchase for my wife): my first was for a 17" PB two years ago that I aborted because Apple took 3.5 weeks and messed up my order completely; the second was an open box PB 15" from Best Buy that had to go back because the keyboard was defective. Will there be a third? Hard to say. Two of the four most important people in the world to me - my wife and my brother - are die hard Apple fans, and for all matters in life and death, their opinions are sacrosanct.

    I'm an engineering professor, but almost all my work revolves around Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email, and web. I do mostly applied research, not so much theoretical or computational research. I also have the periodic need to take and edit video of field work or speeches: editing using Roxio on a Windows machine is quasi nightmare. My achilles heel is Lotus Notes, which my university insists on using - and which 80% of the faculty hate. Lotus support for Mac machines is rather whimsical. However, the universe continues to be far more unfair to others than me, so I really should not complain.

    What might amuse you is that as a professor, I have access to some significant funds: in other words, I don't even have to spend my own personal money to get equipment! Why not just go and buy a Mac then? I have several Windows machines lying around that I can use in a pinch. I also find the tablet functionality (but not the OS) to be useful. I guess I'm just trying to be responsible. $3000 on a discretionary purchase means less money for my hard working grad students, and they're a great bunch.

    I'm revisiting the issue because I found your post to be - and I'll be honest - one of the more insightful and mature posts as of late. No offence to other Macrumors members, but sometimes the posts and the topics raised and the way they are presented drive me insane (sorry people, but spelling DOES count).

    Thanks again.

    ... mind you, a happy supervisor = happy students, non? :D
     
  7. Seasought thread starter macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #7
    It might not be prudent or rational but fun things aren't always supposed to be. If you've tried to purchase a Powerbook before but had some bad luck I think that's even MORE of a reason to get one now. Technically you had already set the money aside as an investment.

    You're referring to a WACOM type of tablet or something different? I was under the impression OS X had support for these but again I dont' know much about the subject area. Oddly enough, I do quite well with a mouse with drawing projects, but the bulk of my work isn't fine art.

    Without going on a complete tangent here I'll just say this: sometimes you have to treat yourself. Investing in a laptop would improve your work both from a functional and psychological standpoint (happy). You have those close to you who can help you with getting used to the OS and its interface (if this is an issue for you).

    Is there another workaround with regard to getting your university to cover the expense of a Powerbook purchase? Is the only way to somehow 'hurt' your grad. students' income?

    If you look at my situation I technically didn't *need* a new laptop either. I have a working desktop and am provided a computer (desktop) at work. I do my best to look at it as an investment for the future: mobility and power will help me in my other freelance endeavors which will, in turn, help pay off the expense of the laptop.

    Also, Christmas is coming...you could talk with your wife about your thoughts and make it your Christmas present to yourself (wife wouldn't have to get you anything). Again, I don't want to get into too many personal details.

    Whatever you decide on it's ultimately what works for you. It's a shame that you've tried to buy them twice before and ran into problems. Perhaps the third time is a charm then? :D
     
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #8
    I would say that the 17" PowerBook is a bit overkill, this late in the program,
    but a well equipped 12" PowerBook along with a good display would be a very good choice.

    I know the 15" is the visual sweet spot, but until Apple solves the display
    lines issue, I would pass on the new 15'' PB.

    If it weren't for needing the DVI out for your presentations, you would actually be fine with an iBook.

    So rather than suffer self imposed denial, I would go for the 12" PowerBook
    adding 1 GB of RAM and any education priced software you need.
     
  9. pagartimun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
  10. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    My wife would love it if I got a Mac. In fact, one of my grad students has been egging me on forever to switch to Mac. The irony is that I bought HIM an iBook - and that's when Apple botched my PB 17" order.

    No, I guess buying the PB out of my funds would not harm the students really. I've allocated plenty of money so that they are reasonably and fairly paid. I guess it's just the 'thirty upbringing' I had as a kid - if you don't need it, don't buy it.

    Great discussion though Seasought. I'll let you know if and when I switch.

    I will be tested this weekend though. I will be visiting the Apple Store in Toronto - my wife wants to see what the new PBs and iMacs are like - and I just like torturing myself. I'm going to glue my credit card to my butt to prevent any accidental purchases.

    Wish me luck.:D
     
  11. Seasought thread starter macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #11
    Ha!

    I'm sure your wife has a spare plastic to overthrow the gluing solution you have in mind. :p

    It was a blast walking out of my local store with my Powerbook - you too should enjoy such an experience.

    I'll wish you luck, but with regard to buying a Powerbook, and additionally, one that is free of defect.

    Have fun; I look forward to hearing your updates.
    :D
     
  12. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #12
    Great post Seasought. It's always great to see that people enjoy their switch. I sure know I did and still do so. Thanks for taking the time to write it. :)
     
  13. Seasought thread starter macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #13
    Thanks for the support. I'm delighted that others took the time to read such a long-winded addition.

    Hopefully I'll find other ways to continue to contribute and perhaps help on these forums and the Mac community in general. :)
     
  14. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Nice write-up. The problem now is growing used to the macintosh. Whenever you use a pc from now on, it will be living hell :eek:
     
  15. Peter Griffin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #15
    That's probably one of the best reasons to switch over to Mac if you aren't computer savy (apart from it being hassle free). The support you receive here is unparalleled and almost worth paying the Apple premium alone.
     
  16. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    The poor section of Connecticut
    #16
    Great post! I know the feeling of opening your Mac box. I was (to be gratuitously corny) breathless when I first turned my iBook on. I knew nothing of the Mac world. I knew I loved computing but hated the problems with Windows. I never knew how easy computing could be. Your post was well-written and expresses quite a few of my opinions. Good job:D
     
  17. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #17
    <Clapping> Great post and one with which I concur wholeheartedly! :)

    My "switching" experience occurred in mid-October, when one evening I came out of the Apple store dazedly clutching the paperwork and watching as the nice Apple Genius loaded my brand-new iMac into the car for me. All the way home I kept thinking, "I just bought a Mac! I just bought a Mac!" A Windows user for years, having cut my teeth on DOS, I had -- gasp! -- just gone over the "dark side" and had -- gasp!! -- bought a Mac!!!! I had been thinking of it for a couple of weeks, had hung around lurking at Macrumors and had listened to my friends rave about theirs, had been to the Apple store a couple of times and had also experienced a quiet and blissfully undisturbed hour trying out all the display Macs at Microcenter but there was still a sense of disbelief and a niggling question: "did I do the right thing?" When the new Rev C iMacs were announced, I realized that this was my opportunity to get the Rev B iMac at a good price and to at last make the leap into the World of Apple; hence my journey to the Apple store that night.

    Once at home I experienced the joy of unpacking my new iMac and setting it up. I marveled at its beauty before I even plugged the thing in. I gasped in astonishment when, just as the guy at the store had said, it effortlessly connected to my wireless network. I sat down to go through the initial setting-up process and was amazed at how seamless that was. Right then and there I began falling in love...

    In preparation for my venture into this strange new world I had bought a couple of books, just sure that I'd need to be constantly referring to them and was pleasantly surprised at how that wasn't the case at all. My new iMac and its software were very intuitive to use and there were only a couple of times when I had to look up how to do something. I quickly learned that everything is so much easier with the Mac. And, yes, "everything just works!"

    In the past when I've bought a new computer, it's always been an experience fraught with complications and hours of configuring this-and-that, so that there usually was not much joy in the experience of setting up the machine. Generally the appearance of the machine didn't excite me, either. With my beautiful new iMac I was delighted at the whole process and the more I used the machine the more I fell in love with it and with the OS. Using the computer is FUN in a way that it never has been with a Windows machine.

    I quickly became a convert to the Mac Way of Life and realized that instead of being "the dark side," that actually WINDOWS is "the dark side" and I Have Seen the Light.... :p

    When the next product announcement came along I decided to go ahead and get one of the newly-revised 15" PBs so that even when away from home I can still enjoy the Mac Experience. I was fortunate in that mine is not affected by the infamous lines issue (or if it is, *I* sure can't see it!) and so once again I experienced the joys of opening a new Mac.... It is amazing how beautifully and carefully Apple packs its products. Wow! Just as welcoming the iMac into my home had been a joyous occasion, so it was with the PB and I am delighted with the beauty and the flexibility of that machine; before the weather turned cold I had the pleasure of sitting out on my deck tapping away on the PB and of course I have had fun using it all around the house as well....

    I am more than happy that I made the switch and only wonder now why I didn't do this a long time ago. Like others, I am talking about the Mac to my friends and encouraging them to consider going the Mac Way the next time they need a new computer. I find that now, using a Windoze machine is unnecessarily cumbersome and definitely annoying, especially with all of the virus protection and firewall stuff one has to do to ensure a modicum of safety when going online.....

    One definite factor in my whole Mac experience has been the forums here at Macrumors. I have learned so much from reading others' posts and I have enjoyed becoming a part of this unique community. Certainly I hadn't anticipated that the first time I poked my head in here to have a look! Definitely these forums are a wonderful asset and I am very happy that they're here. I'll be sticking around for a long time...

    Anyway, just wanted to say how much I agree with you, Seasought, and I'm glad that you started this thread. Ozone, I hope that you get that new PB sooner rather than later. You won't regret it! :)

    OTB
     
  18. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
  19. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #19
    Well Seasought... your thread has sure generated a beehive of thoughtful discussion.

    I did wander into the Toronto Apple Store today. It was packed. Christmas and whatnot. My wife went over to the iMac while I hovered around the PowerBooks. Did I purchase anything? Alas... no. (It has partly to do with my university's purchasing policy.) Nevertheless, the 17" PB was beckoning. The 15" PB sure seems a lot more practical, but I'm afraid I'm letting the emotional side of me take over.

    I will be tempted again. I have a 10 days in which I can ask my purchasing department to pay and I can pick up the unit when I am in Toronto next week for another meeting...

    ... the saga drags on....
     
  20. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #20
    Ozone....


    GET IT. GET THAT PB YOU'RE LUSTING AFTER! JUST DO IT!

    Everything's falling into place here, you've said so yourself. You can put in the order at your school, get the purchase order number, whatever, then go and pick up the thing when you are in Toronto this next week.

    DO it. Just DO IT!!!

    You won't regret it. Really. I promise you....

    OTB


    :)
     
  21. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #21
    .... must... resist...

    (Geez... you people don't make it easy, do you? :rolleyes: )
     
  22. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #22
    Why must you resist? WHY? What's stopping you from entering the Magic Kingdom? What's stopping you from finally experiencing the wonderfulness of having a PB? Huh? What? ??????

    :D
     
  23. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #23
    Hard to believe (for me) that only a couple of months ago i was bumbling along on a PC, totally unaware of the joys being on a Mac could bring me....

    I Have Seen The Light!

    :D :D
     
  24. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #24
    It's your happiness, not ours... but once you're THAT close, it'd be a shame to turn back now. ;) :D
     
  25. Seasought thread starter macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #25
    Since you've held out this long perhaps you should just wait for the big 'Mactel' news that's around the corner in January (or at least seems to be).

    Either way you'll be happy...just make sure you invest in one of them :). Start looking at it as an investment in making you more efficient at work (if the idea of it being a purely 'fun' buy is what concerns you).

    I have to admire your resolve going into those stores so many times yet emerging empty handed; perhaps you are in the wrong profession and should seek out more psychologically taxing career avenues.

    :D
     

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