Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Into the World of Apple

I resisted as long as I could. Having lived and worked in a Microsoft-based computer environment ever since MS-DOS was invented, I knew Windows like an old friend, having upgraded and upgraded until I reached Windows 7. That one was my Waterloo!  My attempts to step up from Windows Vista carried me into strange new worlds where even tech support could not go. I finally gave up, disgusted, and returned the software upgrade. Then I unceremoniously tossed the offending old HP laptop onto the computer junk heap in my storage shed.  (I'm still not sure what to do with those old relics.)

I had become aware of the Apple iMac computer from our friendship with Gordon and Juanita that began a few years ago.  Gordon is a rabid Apple user, and it was plain to see that his new iMac was a very different animal and super advanced over my PC.  The massive, brilliantly clear screen is a marvel, but no more so than the absence of clunky parts:  The screen IS the computer, and that's all there is to it, except for the small but sleek wireless keyboard.  The gorgeous graphics and the speedy processor, combined with a high-quality, modern minimalist design--the comparison with my PC was...well, there was no comparison.  

The worst part, however, was my perception that Apple aficionados like Gordon secretly sneer at pathetic, unwashed PC users (like me) who they probably think really need to be euthanized after their old steam-powered computers are confiscated and smashed to bits.  Mind you, Gordon, who can be impish at times, has never exhibited such a mindset for a moment, but I'll bet he can't help being a little smug from time to time.  Other Appleheads I know don't even try to hide their disdain for lower life forms with PCs.  They make me feel like I've pulled up to the Waldorf Astoria in a 1951 Crosley.  (How many of you remember those?)  
Now, back to the present:  I knew I needed to replace Sandy's desktop PC and my laptop, both of which had serious issues that could only be solved by Divine intervention.  However, I was very reluctant to abandon my familiar Windows PC and learn a whole new computer and operating system.  (News flash for other seniors:  As you get older, stepping out of your comfort zone becomes less and less appealing.  At this point for me, it's about on a par with constipation.)

For me, the tipping point was my recent purchase of an iPhone, whose capabilities are so mind-boggling that I have the urge to burn incense when I hook it up to its charger.  I knew the other Apple hardware had to reflect the same genius, so off I went to the Apple store.

Upon arriving, the first thing I discovered was that Apple thinks very highly of their stuff.  What I paid for a new iMac and Macbook Pro would probably get a post office named for me if I donated it to a crooked politician.  (Sorry; crooked and politician are redundant.)

Fortunately, the transition has been much less of a hurdle than I imagined, and Apple lets you take all the familiarization classes you want for free.  So, just for you inquiring minds, here are my thoughts   as a new Apple user:  

Ease of use:  Like falling off a log; just plug it in and turn it on.  Many clunky Windows-like tasks are automated with Apple, so it seems much more intuitive.  However, figuring out the file manager ("Finder," they call it) and customizing menus, toolbars and screen icons have proved to be a bit of a challenge.  I'm sure it would be much less of a problem had I not grown up with the PC.

Virus protection:  This doesn't seem to be an issue with Apple.  It is surreal not to have to do constant battle against viruses and hackers, but I still remain vigilant.

Quality and design:  These, along with superior software and uncountable applications, seem way ahead of the PC.  We would certainly never go back.

Since my old AT&T wireless card wouldn't work with the new MacBook, I replaced it with a new AT&T MiFi modem.  This is the coolest little device, smaller than a deck of cards, that creates a wi-fi hotspot from cell phone signals wherever you happen to be.  It has a rechargeable battery, so it is completely portable.  Works like a charm.  What will they think of next?

My New iPhone, MiFi and MacBook

Sandy's iMac

In closing, let me assure you that I will never be condescending toward users of those "other" computers.  Perhaps you'll forgive me if don't make eye contact, though.  (grin) 


  1. I think you'll continue to be happy, the combination you've got is so slick and easy. And if you like the iPhone, have you looked at the iPads? Very Cool. Have a great time and let us know how you continuing transition goes.

  2. I always *knew* Apple made a better product, but could never convince myself to spend that kind of money when I could get a Windows product for far less and it accomplished what I needed it to accomplish. I was saving money, right?

    Well, my daughter invested in an Apple laptop a few years ago. It's still going strong. I, on the other hand, have gone through 3 laptops in that same time! I shouldn't be trusted with money :)

  3. congrats on your new 'fandangled' computers..we are still in the old world of Windows..and will more than likely stay there with all the others who can't see themselves switching over..brain overload!..although I do love my I-phone!!.
    hey, I didn't know you knew Gord and Juanita!???

  4. Our daughter has been pushing Apple for years but we have not crossed over yet. Maybe when my Sony laptop dies I will consider it. I do have an iPhone and love it so maybe it won't take too much convincing!!

  5. Oh the humanity!!!! Out of the dark ages and into the light...what a wonderful thing to witness!

    Mike, you have hit on one of the (rare, I know) issues that I wouldn't jump on my PC using buddies for. I was (oh horrors!) an ardent supporter of the PC until nearly throwing my last one in Lake Cachuma in 2007. Juanita could no longer tolerate the verbal blue streaks upon finding myself lost in another "blue screen of death" on the PC and offered me the opportunity of purchasing our first Apple product in nearby Santa Barbara. Well, the rest is history, and you now know why.

    I feel most comfortable Mike that you have joined with me in quiet observance of those still sitting in candle lit caves with PC's. Smile we might...but say, no, no! :-)


  6. Welcome to the Genius Bar! I went Mac a couple of years ago and I will NEVER go back. Ever.

    If you need any help, drop me a note and I will do what I can.

    Your Apple Loving Niece Candy

  7. One other comment, we do have an iPad (the original, not 2) and we love it and the iPhone. So we have sort of converted. Only thing left is to get a MacBook.... I guess....

  8. But what about all the software? Having been PC for years, I would hate to have to re-purchase Apple versions of all my software. How did you handle that? You have certainly piqued my escalating interest in Mac with your humorous and informational post.

  9. I taught PCs clear back in the time of DOS! Teaching Web Design...I became very intimate with the Apple products. I LOVE them. Their support is excellent also. Great choice. Hope you have many years of wonderful computerizing!

  10. So glad that you have turned from the dark side and come into the light! ;-)

    Although I, myself, am bi-platform, using a PC in the office, I do love my Apple products!!!

  11. My next computer will be an Apple. my daughters family and one of my sons has apple and they love them. Just not sure how to go about breaking my current computer so I can change!


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