%#?!*#^&#! Computers!!

Okay, okay, I know I said I would start blogging again and then once more went virtually silent. Le sigh. In my defense, on top of my technical difficulties with WordPress, my HP laptop gave up the ghost the day we got home from our travels. A venerable machine, scraped and cracked and dented, with screen flopping and speakers crackling, my old lappy was originally purchased in 2004 and has gone through a memory upgrade, a couple hard drives, and I lost count of how many batteries. The poor thing finally did the laptop equivalent of the Blues Brothers car meltdown. Godspeed, my old, familiar-if-not-trusty companion.

So now comes the big question for me: Another Windows machine? Pfft. I’d like to support an alternative to the Behemoth of Redmond.

At the moment, I’m working on an old Acer laptop of Conal’s, which became his Linux experimentation toy after upgrading to a new Windows laptop awhile ago. Although Ubuntu is being pretty friendly with me so far, I suspect I’m not nearly technical enough to be really comfy in a Linux environment for the long term, even sitting next to a computer scientist as I do. If I caved in and bought a Windows machine, I could use all my hard-won knowledge, decades in the accumulation, of how to get anything at all done on a PC. I’d still bug Conal plenty, of course, but Windows is the devil I know best.

But wait. Here’s a thought: how about if I consider a computer that claims to help me spend more time getting things done, being creative, and enjoying myself, rather than investing a significant portion of my life attempting to prevent or recover from breaking, freezing, crashing, becoming overrun by malicious software, and just generally being a pain in the ass? Yes, I am truly considering a Mac. ::GASP:: Steve’s got me all in a froth about his new forged-from-one-piece-of-aluminum notebooks. This in spite of the fact that there is at least one piece of software I’m not sure I’m ready to do without (MS Money), although I understand that Boot Camp can solve that problem by allowing Windows software to run on a Mac.

Ooo, baby, my kingdom for a durable, reliable, robust, fun-to-use lappy. I entertain visions of making art, music, and even movies with ease and pleasure. I would even consider paying the much ouchier Apple prices to gain entrance to this life of joyful productivity. My eyes are tearing up just imagining such a life…

I dunno really, though. I’m vacillating. I could stick with my comfort zone and grab a great deal on a Windows laptop. Or, I could set off into a new, more expensive venture into the world of Mac, which I find tantalizing and also a bit scary. Meantime, I’m getting to learn a little about Linux, so who knows.

Any PC-to-Mac converts out there? How was it? Are you glad? Any regrets? How ’bout proud Linux geeks? Any words of encouragement for a newbie?


  1. Peter:

    Well, one friend found out that his Linux distribution did not support his HP scanner, nor his webcam, nor his Canon camera (I’ll hold it here, the list was long though)

    As for Apple: the new Macs look fabulous, are as user-friendly as a machine could get, but their price level is beyond expensive. Plus you will have to invest in a separate copy of Windows (the not so pleasant Vista is the only one on sale in regular shops these days) to run your old software, plus new copies of all your software if you go for the Apple experience without bootcamp.

    Guess it basically depends on how much you want to spend ;-)

  2. Holly:

    Hmm, yeah, more complications. What would YOU do? :D

  3. Peter:

    I’d go for the Windows machine. I tried and used most OS flavors (even some 80s OS most people don’t remember) and I feel it’s a wise choice (though maybe not the best) to stick with Windows if much of your hard/software runs on it.

    Sure, Apple is pretty, efficient and “safe”, but if you like the way Windows looks it’s just as safe and efficient - you can even have your custom-build Windows machine ;-)

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