Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I Left the Mac World

Yesterday I sold my MacBook Pro. After a 1-year journey into the Mac "cult," I decided to get out. I bought a brand new Dell with the money I got for the MacBook. I notified my Facebook and Twitter friends that I was doing this. And yes, I received several comments from friends who were shocked, saddened, and incredulous that I could make such a move.

While the "PC vs Mac" debate is well-documented all over the internet, let me give you the top three reasons I gladly walked away from it all.

  1. Compatibility. My favorite desktop application is Logos Bible Software. Until recently, the software was PC only. But then the Mac version was released. I was excited. Until I got my Logos Bible Software for Mac. I quickly discovered that many of the features available on the PC version were not included in the Mac software. As someone who has attended two Morris Proctor seminars to learn this incredible software, I cannot live without the availability of those features. For me, using the Mac version of Logos was like working on Windows 95 (maybe not quite that bad). So I discovered very quickly that the $50 investment to cross over to Logos for Mac was a waste of my money. The same thing is true of another one of my favorite desktop applications, Book Collector. I continued to run both of these in Parallels. And yes, Parallels is a good application, but it is not perfect. It takes a lot of system resources to run Windows and Leopard, so it was not always convenient to have Parallels booted up. Nonetheless I found myself running Parallels a lot, making my MacBook Pro one very expensive PC. That leads to my second complaint.
  2. Expense. We have three computers in our home. My wife and I both own a laptop and we have a desktop for a small business/hobby. I like these three computers to "talk" to each other, and I like to be able to share and synchronize files between them. That means, I like to open the files on each of them. But my Mac was always a problem. It spoke a different language! So while I could share files between these computers, I couldn't always open them on any of the computers. I finally concluded that all three computers needed to speak the same language for my wish to come true. But do you know how much it would cost to have three Macs? I don't even want to think about it. Truth is, Macs are simply overpriced. Who can blame them for charging more than double what a PC costs when they obviously can sell them like hot cakes? But I finally came to realize that it just was not feasible for me to keep up with the expense of owning a Mac, or two, or three. But I could manage to do this with a PC.
  3. Productivity and Hype. Finally, after a one year experiment with a Mac I did not find that I was any more productive than I was with a PC. And that's the reason I own a laptop to begin with. I don't use a PC to try to look cool. I drive a minivan and often wear tennis shoes with my jeans. So I could care less about the glowing Apple logo on my laptop. I just want to get my work done efficiently. In other words, I think the ridiculous expense of a Mac is mostly hype. Sure there are some useful features (I will miss Finder's Quick Look and the "Spaces" feature), but none that I cannot live without. All of my friends who think I'm nuts for going back to the dark side only signal to me the reality of the hype (one must be a complete idiot for choosing a PC over a Mac, right?). But tell me, how is your life really better with a Mac? I would really like to know.
Actually, on second thought, don't tell me. 'Cause it's too late for me now. I've gone back to the PC world, but no one can say that I didn't give Apple my best shot.


Aaron Bonham said...

Ben, that's been my impression of Mac's too; A lot of marketing and hype, and perhaps anti-microsoft hysteria too. Apparently Mac's are good if you work a lot with graphic design or music mixing, but I'm completely inept in either of those areas, so I don't believe I'm missing out on anything.

Clint said...

Thanks for the post. I'd been pondering a switch to Mac - your sentiments resonated with me - I'll stick with my Dell.

Maxic said...

Do you tried All My Books for your book collection management?

BCJ said...

Maxic,no I have not tried All My Books. Hadn't even heard about it until you mentioned it. I looked at the link you sent me, but I am very happy with Book Collector and don't see any reason to change. Do you know what All My Books offers that Book Collector does not?