Technobriefs
Spring Break

Shocking Macintosh News

OK, for those of you haven't kept track over the years, I am a confirmed Windows users, ever since I served as Northern California Editor of Windows Magazine, and editor Fred Langa told all of us to ditch our DOS applications and run all-Windows by the end of the week. That was 15 years ago, way longer than I spent in Z80 assembler, or CP/M or DOS. Meanwhile, over the last 22 years my wife has been a Macintosh person, ever since my college friend Neal M. loaned us one of the first Macs. My daughters started out with my hand-me-down PCs, and both of them got Sony Vaios to take to college. They've both switched to Mac, which means I'm surrounded by women with Macs.

I have nothing against the Macintosh. Well, actually, I do. I hate the fact that its file structure prevents you from "really" knowing what is going on. To me, a Mac feels like computing with gloves on. And, I use a lot of aps that simply are not available, in any form, on a Macintosh. Plus, there's a lot of web stuff that doesn't work on Macs, especially since Microsoft dropped IE for Mac. In fact, there are several web sites I have to visit in my role as office manager for my wife's psychotherapy practice that won't let you in if you are not using IE--which you can only do from a PC.

Still, if you've ever tried to move your files and applications from one PC to another, you know what a pain that can be. It took me nearly an eight-hour day a couple of years ago (the last time I did it), and, of course, I missed a few things.

Well, imagine my surprise when it came time to move my wife off her four-year-old, gradually failing Emac, to a new Imac. OS X booted up, and asked me to use a firewire to attach the new machine to the old. Then it transferred everything--every application, every data file and every setting, from the old machine to the new one, without messing up the operating system.

That is one of the single most impressive moments in my entire history of watching operating systems at work. I was blown away. Everything… just… worked. If Windows Vista is the turkey I've heard it is, I may be too old to learn another "new" OS from the ground up, tweaking out all the layers of garbage Microsoft has added (and I am not too hot for their verification/security "features" which sound like bugs to me). If I could replace, say, 80% of my applications with Mac equivalents, I'd consider going over to the dark side.

Oh yes, and the old machine was based on a Power PC chip, while the new machine was dual Intel chips. I expected that to cause trouble. It didn't. I was impressed. Maybe Mac people do know something I don't. Because when it comes down to it, I don't care about performance, and while I'd miss being able to double click on the title bar to maximize a window, and I am creepd out by the fact that applications are all up on the screen a the same time, I'll bet I'd get over it.