Switching to Mac Part 1: The Decision

This post is part of a series of posts about switching to a Mac – here are links to all the posts:

Apple I’ve used Windows PCs for a lot of years now – since the days of Windows 3.0. My first PC ran MS-DOS 4.01. The last time I bought a new computer, I considered the idea of getting a Mac, but ended up with a Tablet PC instead. That little tablet has done me quite nicely since, although I never really used it as a tablet any more. It was starting to show the strain, though, when processing RAW files from new 12-megapixel cameras.

We’d decided a while ago that when we sold our house, we’d both be buying new computers. I considered a Mac again then, but decided to spend the money on a new camera kit instead.

I started speccing up a new PC, and it started to get quite pricey to get the sort of machine I wanted. Still cheaper than a decent Mac, but not as cheap as I’d been hoping. On a wander around PC World, I came face-to-face with the 24″ iMac screen. Wow. Big, bright, clear. I started to consider spending the extra to get a Mac again.

  • I’d tried out Adobe Lightroom, and liked it, but it didn’t really fit well for me. I wanted everything in one catalog, so I could search all my photos. That seemed a pretty basic thing to want to do, and Picasa could manage it just fine. Lightroom seemed to start having serious performance issues with a big catalog, though. My photos folder comes to just over 30,000 files. Aperture may be better, but I had no way of trying it out without having a Mac.
  • I started doing a bit of searching around online to see what people thought was best for a photographer to use. Some people didn’t think it made a lot of difference, but a lot through a Mac was much better. There don’t seem to be many people who think Windows is actually better for photography.
  • Big screens are expensive, especially if you want quality. I could find a PC much cheaper, but adding a good quality 24″ screen soon pushed the price way up.
  • I’d changed phones recently, and was now using a Nokia. Before that, I used Windows Mobile, which was a bit limited when syncing with a Mac.
  • They’re way prettier than almost any PC. When looking at PCs, I was considering a Sony Vaio, mainly because it looked so nice. If I was willing to pay extra for Sony’s design, Apple’s design was certainly worth a bit.

The one thing that was stopping me was the thought that if it turned out I really didn’t get on with MacOS, it would be a very expensive mistake. Then, I woke up at around 04:00 in the morning thinking “Bootcamp and Parallels! Idiot!”. Of course, if I didn’t get on with MacOS, I could buy a copy of Windows Vista, and use the Mac as a PC. OK, I’d have over-payed somewhat for a very pretty PC, but I’d still have a good quick PC with a great screen.

So, off we went to the Apple store in Exeter to hand over a whole lot of money. But that’s for Part 2.

7 thoughts on “Switching to Mac Part 1: The Decision

  1. Hi there!

    Saw your blog post about the process of considering switching to the Mac, and how running Windows on your Mac was a key part of being more comfortable with the idea.

    We’d encourage you to check out VMware Fusion in your research. Did you know, for example, that you can take your entire existing PC, bundle it up, and move it over to your Mac, to run on top of VMware Fusion?

    Check out the video here to see how: http://www.vmware.com/go/migrateyourpc

    Good luck with the switch. We think you’ll find that it was a good move to make!

  2. Hi Peter,

    Actually, although it was Parallels and Bootcamp that suddenly occurred to me in the night, VMware would be the more likely option for me. I’ve used VMware in some form for years, and at my previous job, convinced the company to buy copies for the whole department. I’ll have a look at the video, but at the moment, I’m feeling no need for Windows on my Mac.

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  4. I’m not missing it so far, Neil. I still have the tablet PC in the bedroom, and it’s nice to be able to do a bit of browsing in bed on a real computer rather than a phone or PDA.

    I used to do that a lot, but the tablet’s battery doesn’t have much life in it any more, and carrying the power supply through and plugging it in each time was enough to put me off. Now, it all just lives by the bed, ready to go. Amazingly, Windows XP still suspends and resumes within a few seconds on that machine, so it’s still nice and convenient.

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