The Switch...

For those who are expecting a Seinfeld-ish story about how I switched from a girl I'm dating to her really cute roommate, I'm sorry to disappoint. But then again, if you've been reading long, you would know that my utter lack of game would preclude such a story anyway.

No, no. This switch is not nearly as exciting, but to me, exciting nonetheless.

After annoying the crap out of Kevin with questions, this weekend I got a Mac.

I've held off from posting on this topic because, frankly, I didn't know how much I would like it. I thought that my desire to get a Mac might be a blinded perception that I really didn't want one, but that my iPod had convinced me that life simply must be easier than dealing with a PC. Indeed, I half expected that I would return it within a few days.

But I haven't.

Instead, in the past two days, I've fallen in love.

I bought a Macbook Pro laptop last week, but didn't receive it until Saturday. At first, I thought it was going back. When I wouldn't let it restart after installing a load of upgrades (from the original version of the operating system), it freaked out a bit. Then, there was an issue with the keyboard that was apparently left over from that upgrade.

But after that, it was easier than...well, maybe that's an analogy I should avoid.

Sure, I had problems with getting my PC to "share" files over my home network. I also had some issues getting Open Office (yes, I refuse to dish more money over to Microsoft if I'm making the switch) to work with my old Wordperfect files. But it's hard to blame Apple for those issues. Their software worked seemlessly. My PC, however, was less cooperative.

What's been keeping me from the "switch?" Well, two things. First, until recently, I've been a gamer. Lately, I haven't really had time for it, but through high school and college, I loved computer games. In fact, the poor gaming selection has been the reason I've avoided Macs for as long as I have. But lately, I haven't really had time for games and, honestly, haven't had the same interest. Sure, every once in a while I like to get my fix, but I don't feel the need to have beaten the newest game the second it comes out, like I once did. So, a little time on the Xbox (yeah, I know it's Microsoft, but I love Splinter Cell), and I get my fix. And if I want to get made fun of online by 15 year-olds, I just log into my Xbox Live account. So, that's no longer an issue...well, now that the second issue is also resolved.

Second, like a kid clutching his security blanket, I simply couldn't deal with the prospect of not having Windows. Like I was in an eternal Catch-22, I hated dealing with the instability and "crap" that came with Windows, but the familiarity with it kept me there. I had too much software with Windows to entirely give up on it.

There was one other thing, that I would be remiss to mention: The right mouse button. Since Windows 95, I loved my right mouse button. I loved how, if I wanted to know everything and anything I could do at any point, that menu was just a right click away. I didn't need to memorize keyboard shortcuts. I just clicked. And the folks at the Apple store's answer was "just press the open apple button." Honestly, that wasn't a very satisfying answer for me. When you use your mouse, you don't want to have to touch the keyboard.

But I got tired and annoyed with waiting for my PC to shut down. Dealing with the programs that forced their way into my system tray. Cursing as I got an error message that I didn't know what it meant or how to fix it. And the answer that I got from my friends who were more knowledgeable about PCs than me (which, by the way, is pretty damn knowledgable), was unacceptable: "Just format your hard drive and reinstall everything."


Software is supposed to work for me. I'm not supposed to work for it.

So the "It just works" philosophy that I experienced with iTunes and my iPod resonated with me. And when games became less important and I learned about Bootcamp, the Apple software that lets a Mac run Windows as well (or possibly better) than a PC, would let me clutch my blankie, I started looking, seriously, at a Mac.

And now, two days in, I really do love it.

Wireless networking. Easy with Airport. Working with a PC. No problem (from the Apple side). Learning OS X. Less than 2 hours and I felt like an expert.

It really does "just work."

And how I've longed for a computer that does.

But here's the real kicker.

I didn't even have to give up my right mouse button.

Apparently, a "right click" is as easy and putting two fingers on the touchpad and clicking the mouse button. Who knew? Although I don't know why they didn't know that at the Apple store.

So, so far, I'm beaming.

I've even thought about putting one of those Apple stickers on my car.

Maybe I will if I continue to like it this much.

But let's not get crazy just yet.

But I will make this really big step...


kapgar said...

You can also Ctrl+mouseclick to get a right click. I never understood why that was such a sticking point for Windows users. If that was all they could come up with, they're pretty poor at the debate thing.

Welcome, my friend. You know where to go for help!

lizriz said...

You can also just plug in a mouse with two buttons. Works like a charm.

I've been Mac with a two-button mouse for years. :)

Blundering American said...

Kev - I don't want to go to the well too many times. Heck, you're eventually going to get sick of my questions!

Liz - And how awesome is that mighty mouse thing? It looks like a single button mouse, but has touch sensitive technology that knows when you right click?!? Color me impressed!