The world didn’t end the day I switched from a Dell PC to a Mac. Granted, that was only last week — and the world is more likely to end from a slow, ongoing event like global warming than a catastrophic occurrence like a hit by a comet (or my switch to Mac). Which is to say, the day is young.
For a die-hard PC user, the change is like going from a hamburger-based diet to tofu. Or giving up lattes for flavored water. You’re likely to get coerced into these kind of moves against your will due to some medical necessity, and it usually comes with an ugly detox period.
Alas, no such impending medical crisis twisted my arm to join the league of the Mac Tribe. In fact, I didn’t see it coming, considering I’ve been a devoted Dell fan for my entire 15-year computer-purchasing life.
Dell, on the other hand, should have seen the writing on the wall — after one too many headache-inducing calls to customer service and endless transfers through internal departments by CSRs with heavy Indian accents, I realized last year our marriage was over.
So when time came for a new laptop, I was free to contemplate my options. Since I’m getting into multimedia and anticipate having to edit videos a lot within the next couple of years, I needed a machine that can accommodate more heavy-duty work than in the past. I also consider certain bells and whistles a must (like anti-glare screen, which is uncommon unless you opt for a military-grade, “rugged” computer that can easily take heat, water, drops and other unfortunate events).
As I researched non-Dell options and looked at rankings of everything from customer service to performance, a few choices floated to the top including Toshiba. But I couldn’t help but notice Apple was trying to get the attention from the corner of my eye, as I repeatedly ignored the MacBook Pro at the top of all those lists.
Finally, I decided to peek. After all, you can look as long as you don’t touch, right?
I groaned and cringed as I Googled, read, compared, ranked and Googled again. A Mac was making more sense as I “slept” on it for a few days. After a friendly geek at a Best Buy store answered some questions about Mac vs. PC advantages, I was nearly ready to wave the white flag.
Just to be certain, I popped into the Apple store at the mall — and suddenly was feeling that I needed to get a latte, just to make sure I still preferred one over flavored water.
I wasn’t always this adventurous. Although I was ahead of the curve in switching to a smartphone years ago — Palm became a convenient alternative to hauling the planner for coordinating my schedule while on the road — I was also proudly a minimalist. The latest and greatest gadgets didn’t entice me.
Blame it on the iPod Touch (or Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace, for knowing what we needed before we did). Once my husband bought one, I couldn’t think of anything else when my old MP3 player bit the dust.
The rest went downhill from there. The Kindle came. And then the iPad. I wasn’t an early adopter of any of those devices, but I sure didn’t follow my minimalist ideas much.
Yes, I’m conscientiously still sticking with a BlackBerry smartphone because I don’t need a choice of half a million apps, but beyond that, all bets are off.
The detox period, I’m happy to report, is going well so far. But — here comes the big confession — it’s because I’m having my cake and eating it too. I wasn’t about to invest a couple of Gs into replacing all my PC programs, so I’m running Windows on the MacBook, via Parallels.
So yeah, I’m cheating. Let’s call it going from hamburgers to soy “burgers” before embracing tofu. It’s a happy, beautiful union while I learn the quirks of Mac and avoid suffering from Windows withdrawals.
It’s not a perfect relationship — there are glitches and annoyances, like with anything else — yet so far, I haven’t regretted the decision.
Does that make me a Mac person? Not entirely. At least not yet. The world is still spinning, but let’s not forget that global warming idea.