Lately, many a fine folk have noticed that on my desk, sits not a Windows PC, but a large gray hunk of metal with a half eaten fruit on it. Their eyes do not deceive them. This Windows Colonel broke rank and went to the other side. (clever readers will notice my ingenious play on words in that last sentence)
Long have I been a hater of Macs. As a Windows admin, its easy. They don’t play well with my network. the file structure is different, and lets face it, they are far too hip. Besides that, businesses run on Microsoft. Throwing a MAC into that environment is like doing a shot of tequila after downing several Jagerbombs. The result is less than enjoyable and you feel sick for quite sometime, along with vowing to NEVER do that again.
But then, something happened. After perfecting Windows XP, and thus creating their most stable OS in years, they chucked it and brought us VISTA. Being the geek that I am, I was at first enamored by it. It was new, it was shiny, and it was not the same. In fact, it was, as they billed it, an EXPERIENCE. Like a good Microsoft zombie, I drank the Kool Aid, and started to rave about Vista. “IT DOES THIS AND THAT” I cried from the rooftops. I even looked past the blatant attempt to extort users with all the different versions. There was WINDOWS VISTA HOME, ULTIMATE and even an OBAMA version. And this was before he was even president.
And then, I started to notice little things. Like when Vista decided it knew better than I, and went ahead and patched some things. These things broke. Vista was notoriously bad with video card drivers. Then there was the UAC. The BIG BROTHER of Vista. It seemed every time I moved my mouse, it was asking me if I wanted to allow that. This was the answer to all the security issues?
And then there was the boot time. I often work from home in the evenings. I like to sit outside on my deck with a nice adult beverage, a cigar and work without interruption. I would get out my laptop, turn it on, and wait. And wait. At one point I told my 4 year old to go in and get me a bag a chips, when he returned Windows had finally come up. However, he was now 10.
And don’t get me started about administrating it on a network. Even the admin login had restrictions.
Around this time, many of my IT peers were telling me to switch to MAC. At first, I assumed they were aliens disguised as my friends and peers, but they were getting work done. I was watching Vista load. So I did it. I took the plunge with a refurb MACBOOK. And from the moment I turned it on I was in love.
Why? Because when turned it on, within a few seconds it was ready for input. And within five minutes of being on a MAC, I was already getting my work done. Email from the Exchange server? Absolutely. Remote desktop admin for my Windows Servers. Free download. Wireless? Easy as pie. Sure there were some bumps, like getting some of my files converted, but that only took a few days. The bottom line? It just worked.
Unlike a PC, MACS are all made the same. No crazy drivers. Software and hardware developers don’t have to take in to account a litany of different specs and code to create for the MAC. There is no configuring. There are no crazy DLL files for applications to check. Instead of having a bajillion dependancies, you just copy the app to the hard drive. Everything it needs to run it has. To uninstall, simply drag it to the trash.
Of course, MACs are not ready for the enterprise level business. And Apple would be the first to admit that. They have very publicly stated they don’t want to be in that world. However, they have taken steps to live in that world. If you know what you are doing and don’t mind having to jump through a hoop or two, you can use a MAC in an enterprise network. Heck, I manage one. The only problem is in most cases your system admin has no control over you and therefore cant provide much assistance.
So that’s it. I am a MAC user now. If I could I would replace every PC in the office with one. Of course, if I could I would also have a lightsaber. Maybe Jobs has the iSaber in the works.