Wednesday, November 9, 2005

To Mac, or not to Mac

Think Different?

I'm thinking about it.

Ever since I graduated I've wanted to invest in some sort of computer. A laptop, I figured, would give me greater flexibility - especially with all the traveling I do. Plus, with all the local coffee shops having wi-fi, I don't need a pokey phone line to do what I need online.

But which way to go? A customized Dell/Gateway? A store-bought hunk of junk I can get for pretty cheap? eBay?

Then I read an article on the Mac Mini, a micro-Mac that only costs $500 (but comes with nothing else - just the CPU). After that, much like Newton, I had Apple on the brain.

I've heard over and over how Macs are the way to go for graphic designers. And artsy-fartsy folks. And hippies. I'm a graphic designer of sorts (I've been longing to do some freelance work, but don't really have the system or the resources to do it), so the Mac could help me. Right?

And darn it, Macs just look so cool. That glowing apple on the reverse side of the laptop screen. It's like it talks to me. "Dave," it whispers. "I glow. You glow. Let's glow together."

Wouldn't I like to be one of those hipsters, sipping on my double-shot coffee and not-right-clicking my way through the Web? Isn't this how capitalism and consumerism works: the need (emotional, spiritual, physical) to have that beautiful piece of plastic in my quaking hands?

Apple is doing well these days. Look at the iPod. Everyone's got one strapped to their arm as they jog around whatever hip city they live in. Who owns just a plain MP3 player? No one! This is the age of iPod.

It's tribal, man. There are the "in crowd," and then there are PC users. Some, however, have "switcher's remorse." That, I think, is what I'm apprehensive about. I know, in my heart and soul, PCs. I grew up tinkering with my dad's Packard Bell (remember those?), often wrecking the damn thing while I navigated through its folders, Windows 3.1, and alien-infested hallways (I was a big "Doom" player). Here at work, I'm kind of the tech-guy for my building. We have an IT department here at the credit union, but they're all the way across the street.

"Dave, how do you do this-and-this in Word/Excel/Outlook/etc.?"

I breathe PCs.

So why make the switch?

The value is in the journey (or something like that), as they say, and this little trek has put my brain to good use.

And I've already been approved by Apple's financing department. After a mere mouse click, I can own an iBook, PowerBook, Mac Mini, whatever. Just one little finger muscle twitch, and I'd be One of Them.

Think different? Join the revolution?

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