Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Non-Switcher Speaks Up

My new Mac, a used 466mhz Power Mac G4 arrived this week, and I've been settling in. Truthfully, I expected problems importing my iMac files and using the iMac HD, but honestly, there hasn't been anything go wrong. I installed the iMac's HD in the G4 in about 5 minutes and was instantly able to boot from it.

The only thing that had to be changed were the display settings since I'm using a VGA monitor instead of the iMac's built-in monitor. And even there, the Mac recognized the NEC Multisync monitor on bootup and offered me a variety of display sizes. Even better, I'm able to switch instantly from 1024x768 (my every day setting) to 1280x960 (useful in xCode) using the Display menu item. Do THAT in Windows!

The new G4 and some posts on Digg got me to thinking about the whole "switcher" thing. I am, unapologetically, a non-switcher. My second computer was an Apple //e, and the first, a Coleco Adam, used Applesoft BASIC, so from a programming standpoint, it was an Apple too. Over the years I've used a PC AT (DOS), PS/2 (Windows 2.1 & 3.1), Compaqs (Win 95 & 98), Dells (Win 2000 and XP) as well as a Sun SPARC workstation (Solaris). I had DEC Vax-es at work and school. I've programmed all of them, either in BASIC or Pascal or some other language.

But while I've often had a Windows box at work, I've always had my Apple at home, whether it was my IIgs, LC, LC II, iMacs, or any of the various "classic"-style Macs (a 512KE, Plus, SE). It was a joy to come home from work, after battling the "I Love You" or "Anna Kournakova" viruses, to the safety and security of my Mac. Often I have gotten weird looks from bosses who were dyed-in-the-wool Microsoft fanboys. They can't seem to understand why or how I would be a decent programmer despite being a Mac user.

Yes, I'm one of the true Mac "faithful." I stuck with them through the horrid 90's and enjoyed my IIgs's John Scully screen saver that showed his head bouncing from edge to edge of the screen as shots rang out and he screamed. I cheered Jobs' return to Apple, and was wowed by the original iMac. I still am able to play Jack Nicklaus 4 on my G4, 10 years after I bought it. I owned 2 Newtons and currently have an iPod Nano, and I'm not making any excuses nor am I going to lecture my unfortunate Windows brethren on the quality of Macs. My attitude is "If you build it, they will come." And sure enough, it looks like the tide has turned in Apple's favor in the last 10 years.

So use Windows if you want to. While you still want to. Because I'm sensing a lack of enthusiasm for Vista and it seems to me that the smart money is on Mac OS X.

Oh, and the G4's name is "Morpheus." Because I took the red pill and woke up to reality long ago.

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