As my 24" iMac approaches its 1st birthday, I've decided to review my experience with it and Leopard. All my previous personal computers have run DOS, Windows, or Windows and Linux. I've used IBM and Burroughs mainframes, personal computers since the days of CP/M, and was an early adopter of the IBM PC. I'm in my 60s (crotchety, opinionated, intolerant, etc - and that's on good days!). - The iMac has never crashed - neither did my PCs that ran Windows XP (but I never ran my PC as Administrator and was very careful about what programs I loaded and about security). I've had very good experiences with PC hardware over the years, the only fault being a noisy fan in one PC's graphics card. - Sleep has never worked automatically on the iMac. Even when I put the iMac to sleep manually, it may wake for no reason that I can determine. Putting the iMac to sleep instead of switching off gives rise, after a week or so, to failure of the password prompt when the iMac is awoken - this goes away (till next time) when I run Onyx. Of course, Windows XP has no such problem because it lacks a proper sleep function. - My "pocket PC" runs Windows Mobile 6.1 - many similar devices do - but there is still no reliable (I emphasize 'reliable') way to synchronize with OS X 10.5 more than a year after the release of Leopard. The equivalent 'solution' in Windows XP, ActiveSync, is an abomination that even Microsoft must surely be ashamed of. Honours even, I think. - I have to 'repair permissions' with Disk Utility occasionally to cure a problem where the menus don't work correctly. Neither FAT nor NTFS required this or ever gave me the slightest problems. - There still is no Mac equivalent of Microsoft Money (all the programs that I've investigated were lacking in one or more areas). - There is still no Mac OCR program that I can get hold of or that seems to have been updated recently. There are several for Windows. - I'd have liked to use iPhoto but it would store all my photos in one big file and I don't like that - I didn't use Outlook as my Windows e-mail client for the same reason. My photos are too precious to trust to a single file. Why they could not be indexed and so on but left in my folders I really don't know but the latest iPhoto seems a backward step. - Updates have become a real problem: I stopped applying them when an iTunes update was reported to have deleted data - my 'tunes' took a long time to put on my iMac and I don't want to do it again just because some programmer was careless. The recent update to 10.5.6 I have ignored so far because of the many problems it seems to have caused others. This is very reminiscent of life with Windows XP. Given my wish is for a simple, easy-to-use, reliable combination of hardware and software, my experience with the iMac and OS X has been mixed. The maxim 'it just works' is not strictly true now and I'm not sure that it ever was. I'm 'OS-agnostic' and use what works. Because I've taken sensible precautions, I've had little trouble with Windows in its various guises, especially the versions based on NT. However, Vista was a deviation too far for me. Whether 'Windows 7' (it's really 6.1) will be any better remains to be seen: early builds, which give favourable impressions, can be unrepresentative of the retail product - they were in Vista's case. Shall I install Snow Leopard or return to the Windows fold? Six months ago, I intended to buy a Mac laptop and to turn my back on Windows but now I feel undecided about which OS to adopt. I've some experience of Linux but it lacks the necessary application-base. Apple's quality-control procedures seem to be no better than Microsoft's at present, possibly because Apple is trying to get into so many different markets and has too few staff. The focus seems to be on getting the cusomers' cash rather than on producing high-quality kit or software, which is familiar to all users of Microsoft products. I've been disappointed to see some of the same failures in Apple's software as bedevilled Microsoft's efforts. Updates that 'brick' some machines (these are Apple products, remember) or cause various problems betoken inadequate testing: Microsoft has at least the excuse that it doesn't make (most of) the hardware. Apple's decision to omit Firewire ports from its newer products seems bizarre and lacking in sensitivity to customer needs or requirements. Neither company seems to have the necessary discipline, though both have plenty of hubris.