Apple Quest

A once hard-core PC user contemplates the exciting world of the Mac

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Me and Mac: A History

Well, let me start out this blog by saying that I used to be an exclusive Mac user. The first computer I ever operated was some version of the Macintosh SE, which my dad would bring home from work and set up on the dining room table. I loved that little thing. It was all contained in one little package; the computer, keyboard, and mouse came in a carrying case the size of a small TV and it only required three connections to hook up: mouse to keyboard, keyboard to computer, computer to wall outlet. The computer also came with twenty-some diskettes which contained all sorts of black-and-white games such as Klondike, Tetris, Shufflepuck, Stunt Copter, Wheel, Baker's Dozen, Pyramid, MacSlot, and Mombasa, which occupied me for hours.

When I was in elementary school, my dad finally invested in our own computer. This computer was a Macintosh Performa of the 6200 series, which had a separate monitor. This computer was state-of-the art when we first bought it, with color graphics, games, word processing, internet connections, and even a built-in TV tuner. I used this computer loyally for homework assignments, playing games, and surfing the web for years. Unfortunately, the technological advances of the Performa were quickly eclipsed by developments made in the computing industry, particularly in Windows machines. By the end of elementary school, my freinds' families all had Windows computers with much better games than I had ever played on the Mac. Needless to say, I was jealous.

In 7th grade, after much begging and pleading, my dad bought a Compaq tower running Windows 98. This appeased my desire to play the games I had been yearing to play for the past couple years. The Performa was relocated to the basement and the Compaq took its place in our study. Since then, we have completely gotten rid of the Performa and bought newer Dells to replace the old Compaq. I became a full-blown Windows user and completely disowned the Mac, which I thought of as primative and insufficient to meet my computing needs.

I have had continual interaction with Apple products, though. Up until high school, the only computers I have used in school have been Macs. Macs still have more widespread use in the high school than PC's, which are used almost exlusively for the programming and keyboarding classes.

In the summer of 2005, I made my first purchase from Apple in almost 10 years; I bought an iPod. The 4G iPod was great, but four weeks later Apple released the 5G iPod which also played videos. I was a little angry that I had missed the boat by just a month, but I was soon given a reason to by one of these new music players. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it), some delinquent stole my iPod (and twenty bucks) from my easily-break-in-able gym locker, leaving my broke and musicless. I decided to reinvest in another iPod, since I had enjoyed my first one so much, and since I would get double the use out of it since it had video playback capabilities.

Recently, as I started preparing myself for college, I began looking back at Apple as a possible option for a computer I could use in the coming years. One of the things that really caught my eye was the introduction of Intel processors into the Mac. I see this as a real benefit to the Apple computer line, increasing power and computing ability far beyond that which was achieved with PowerPC processors. I have also recently begun to realize the beauties of OS X, an operating system that had frustrated me in the past. Additionally, the difference between what a PC and Mac can actually do isincreasingly becoming smaller, which leaves the deciding factors at how easily these things can be done and how nicely these features are integrated within the operating system.


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