Recently the time came to replace my aging gaming rig. It was originally built about 5 years ago and over that 5 years I’d upgraded the bejeezus out of it just to keep the new games running reasonably. Well during my planning for a replacement I’d come to the conclusion that it is no longer cost effective for myself to use the PC for Gaming (mainly for the following reason)
a High end Video Card alone would cost me $400 – $700 and I’d need to upgrade this yet again in 6 months to a year.
This made no sense to me when I can buy a PS3 or an Xbox and a year of Xbox Live for around $500 anyways and I won’t need to upgrade those for the life of the system. To make this long tirade short Gaming on the PC is dead to me it’s just not cost effective anymore.
So as gaming was no longer an issue I decided to go with a shiny new MacBook Pro. Yes I’ve succumbed to the sweet song of Steve Jobs. But I have to say I’ve never been happier and I’ll tell you why.
1. Out of the box it just boots up and works.
No system activation no crapware to remove.
2. You think you’ll miss more Windows software than you actually will.
I went into this purchase with the Idea that I’d be using Boot Camp to dual boot OS X with Windows XP. I was absolutely sure that there was software I was using in Windows that I would still need access to. But here I am 5 months later and I just haven’t seen a reason to do the Dual Boot. Everything I did in Windows I am perfectly capable of doing in OS X. As a Windows user looking in it may appear like there isn’t as much software developed for OS X as there is for Windows this is true but the difference is (at least in my experience thus far) that there’s less junk developed fore the Mac and more useful software so the disparity in software libraries is really negligible.
3. You can use your two button mouse and it works almost exactly the same way it does in Windows.
Despite the usual rhetoric from the pro Windows camp there is the ability to right click in OS X and although it appears there is only one button on Apple Computers there are actually two on every Apple computer now. The mighty mouse that ships with iMacs appears to not have any buttons but functions identically to the two button mice we’re all used to. The MacBook and MacBook pro both appear to have only one button but in actuality use a method that I have to say works a lot better than I expected when it was first explained to me. If you want to left click you just click the button but if you want to right click you place two fingers on the touchpad and click the button. This sounds odd but believe me it’s actually incredibly comfortable.
4. The price is not as big of a difference as you’ve been led to believe.
One of the reasons being that everyone always pulls the “You can buy a Dell for $300 you can’t buy an Apple that cheap” well no you can’t but you also can’t buy an Apple with specs as underwhelming as that $300 Dell. One of the best ways to start down the Apple road is to get a refurbished Mac Mini the Mac Mini retails for roughly $649 CDN and you can get around 30-40% off on a refurbished one with a full like new warranty (Apple refurbs have an incredible reputation for being like new).
My test of this was my family. I always used to get calls asking how to do this or that or asking if I could come over and take a look at the computer as it was throwing up an error message or having a problem of some type. It got to the point where my parents especially would just use the Computer for Email as so many problems cropped up through normal use that they were afraid to try anything. Well I convinced them to get an iMac over a year ago and I’m happy to say I have a lot more free time as I never get those calls anymore I have however got the occasional call from my father ( a self admitted technophobe) excited like a schoolboy about how he was able to scan in all the old family photos organize them and make a photo DVD all by himself. This was a guy who couldn’t figure out how to read email on their windows machine and now he’s on iChat regularly video conferencing with my sister in Montreal.
I’m not saying that OS X is invulnerable to being hacked or that viruses will never be written for it however currently there are very few (like can be counted on your fingers few) viruses for OS X and most of them don’t spread very well. So for the foreseeable future you’re better off. And even if OS X becomes more of a target in future the BSD (UNIX) base that OS X is built on is a lot more secure by default than Windows.
7. Time Machine.
I love time machine. Time Machine is the built in backup software in Leopard it’s incredibly simple to use literally 3 steps 1. plug in a USB or Firewire drive. 2. Turn on Time Machine in the system preferences. 3. Point Time Machine to the External Drive from step 1. Easy as that you now have Time Machine doing hourly backups of your entire hard drive. Now this isn’t only useful for a catastrophic loss of your hard-drive but it can be great for finding previous revisions of a document. In some cases when I’ve temporarily needed a lot of space on my drive I’ve checked Time Machine to find some large files that it’s backed up and then deleted them from my Hard Drive done whatever I needed that extra space for and restored the files back to the drive from Time Machine.
8. The interface is much cleaner.
Ok this is an opinionated thing but give yourself a month or two with an OS X machine as your primary computer and I think you’ll agree that the interface in OS X is more conducive to getting things done than Windows XP or Vista.
Now some of you may agree with me some of you will violently disagree with me (hell I would have flamed the hell out of me years ago) but one thing to keep in mind and the one thing that made me try a Mac in the first place (albeit not as my primary machine) was that things change and you never know something unless you try it and genuinely give it a chance. So go for it at the very least take a trip to your nearest Apple store and go in with an open mind you might be surprised.