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houltmac

Luckiest Switcher Ever?

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Introduced to Windows in my school years I was never really able to get any hardware due to being born into a relatively poor British family until I was around 14. This was an almost unused Windows 3.1 machine of spec I can't even remember. I couldn't type, which was pretty much the end of that story for nearly 2 years when I asked my parents for a new machine running Windows 95. I was told not if I wouldn't use it. That was it. A late-comer that then made up for it.

 

95 lead to 98, ME, 2000 (NT), XP... All kinds of hardware and software but specialising in hardware and tinkering as well as the OS (little to no interest in networking or WWW administration). Being English I had little access to the Apple world and very little knowledge. A couple of years ago I managed to get myself researching the company but didn't get far enough to take the plunge.

 

A few months ago I had a little bit of a time regarding health concerns I won't go into. In order to pay for almost enforced private health care (we don't really do health insurance in the UK) I had to sell my PC (nicknamed "The Beast"; the very best gaming rig money could buy back in Jan/Feb this year). Having mentioned to a long-time friend that I was having to sell my beloved machine I also mentioned that it was the worst £5k I ever spent as I would now prefer a Mac. Just an off the cuff remark that was obviously taken on board.

 

I came home to a FedEx package with a note: "Welcome home". I couldn't believe it when I opened it up and found a 15" 1.67Ghz, 512Mb PowerBook. Shocked and amazed at her generosity I thanked my friend to a simple, understated and selfless resonse of "Well a geek can't go without a computer can he?". More shock.

 

To be Continued...

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Thank you. I will try and write some more on my experiances with Mac so far later.

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Switching from my beloved PC seemed like a hell of a challenge before I actually saw the box. Seeing the box was a mixed experiance for me. Firstly I marvelled at the packaging design; how beautiful and important it made it feel. This was obviously a product of the highest quality and there was no getting away from it. I felt I was in good hands.

 

I immediatly powered up my new computer in good male style (without even seeing an instruction manual) and began the new OS regeme. This wasa quick and simple although it immediatly struck me that the "UK keyboard" layout was in fact not a completely standard UK keyboard layout and required some minor tweaks on my part. This put me back on what I like to call "switchers edge". On the plus side I noticed though that there were no dead pixels, not a single one.

 

Starting it up for the first time it looked like something I recognised; "So that's the Start Menu?... Nope. The taskbar? Nope. Let's check the Control Panel. That's kinda different..." It all seemed extremely foreign to me, but that was mainly because such simple (yet, to me, vital) keyboard commands and basic Windows setup tools and configuration musts were different or not there at all. Scary.

 

I have to say though that the following few days were like a dream. The more I got used to the Command button rather than Control the easier things got and the more I managed to forget about rediculously difficult and semi-pointless tasks the more at home I felt. It was as though the more I had already learned about Windows and PCs the more difficult it was to use the Mac so I tried to forget it all.

 

Almost immediatly I had to get some reverance of sense to my Micro'd mind however and bought myself a copy of Microsoft Office for Mac. This was a revelation for the adept Windows user as it allowed me to control a more familiar environment in the Mac frame of mind; a bridge if you will. This I feel however was through years of torture being a PC technician for fora, friends and family as well as a brief(ish) instance in employment.

 

Now getting used to Mac much more (a mere 8-10 weeks on) I can start to appreciate the sincerity of the Mac promise. I can only now truly appreciate a before pointless search feature such as the amazing Spotlight, a great browser like Safari (instead of running to the again familiar Firefox [yes, I actually had to pause and think of the name mid-flow there]) and indeed the incredible OSX.

 

I hope to write a few articals about my experiances for the sheer joy and boast of it as I seem only to annoy my friends with my constant twisting of conversation and general Mac-Addict-ness. I hope the regulars of this forum and Adam of course. I think my point of view and large scale use/research of both formats gives a good yet clear view-point for anyone, at any level of understanding to take as their pre-switch perch.

 

Lastly for this short artical I would like to employ anyone thinking of switching or shortly switched to watch both the 2004 and 2005 keynote speaches (both in *.mov Quicktime format. Quicktime can be downloaded free here.) from the Apple WWDC of those respective years. They are long, they can seem geeky and drawn out to those not as geeky as myself but I promise that in those 3 hours or so there is a wealth of information (some of which I hope to cover at a later stage) and all is (regardless of it's forum) simple to understand by anyone of any technicality, background or experaince. Use these links; they will explain all.

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It sounds like you have really been having fun with your new Mac. I have had mine for about five months and I love it. I could have saved you some money, however.

 

Coming from a PC world, I missed Microsoft Office, but I just could not justify the cost of it. I found ThinkFree Office last week. So far, I have had no problems loading anything that I have thrown at it yet.

 

http://www.thinkfree.com/products/index.jsp

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Thank you for your help Kerry. While I truly appreciate it, and I will look into it, I have already purchased Microsoft Office. Still, it's all about the learning curve.

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I can definitely relate to the fact that once I used the mac (wife converted me about 5 years ago, then I purchased a cube), I started looking out for the keynotes and watching them avidly. I then, perhaps foollishly, tired watching other keynotes, only to realise that it was not as informative or entertaining as watching Jobs speak.

 

So, hope they post the video of the special event soon, I know I'll have my Quicktime up and ready to view it as soon as it becomes available (which will most likely be the middle of the night seeing that I too am in the UK)

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I can definitely relate to the fact that once I used the mac (wife converted me about 5 years ago, then I purchased a cube), I started looking out for the keynotes and watching them avidly. I then, perhaps foollishly, tired watching other keynotes, only to realise that it was not as informative or entertaining as watching Jobs speak.

 

So, hope they post the video of the special event soon, I know I'll have my Quicktime up and ready to view it as soon as it becomes available (which will most likely be the middle of the night seeing that I too am in the UK)

 

Here here! Jobs is the best speaker I have ever seen. Those Keynnotes are addictive; buut a must see.

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Hey Matt what a great story. Wow.

 

I had not thought of watching the conferences but I will do that for sure. As you know eventhough I put on a PC Podcast that is pretty much Windows Centrix, I am almost 100% switcher now and I believe that there is plenty of room for all.

 

So I can keep doing my regular podcasst, I have another podcast called Mach Switcher Chronicles too.

 

I would love to have you record your switcher story on MP3 and I would air it on my Mac Switcher Chronicles a bit at a time. Think about it.

 

Victor

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Thanks, Victor. I will consider it but I am a bit of a stutterer when I try and record myself (although I am mainly fine in conversation so maybe we can figure something out). I will E-mail you when I get some time.

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