I live in the sunny UK and started my ‘computer’ life as the ultimate geek – a mainframe programmer (COBOL & CSP) back in the 80’s. Ok, Assembler programmers were even more geeky, but who’s counting? Moved on into a PC Support role with good old DOS 3.3, OS/2 and all that jazz and have worked with every version of Microsoft Windows since. I’m now a system designer with a large computer services company and bought my first Mac, a Mac Pro in early 2008.
Having built several home PCs from scratch, I enjoyed the fact that you could design a custom ‘rig’ and go for the best parts your budget could afford. However with the advent of consoles like the XBox and PS3 plus the fact that I’m mostly lousy at games, I started to find that the payoff for using Windows wasn’t what I was after. You have to invest a certain amount of effort into a Windows setup to keep things running sweetly and even then every so often it will turn round and bite you. I started hankering after something that I could switch on every day, know it would work and that I could just use. Enter the Mac Pro running Leopard. Initially I was concerned that with the software market for OS X being much smaller than the Windows software market, I would struggle to find a suitable application for all the different things I wanted to be able to do. Nearly three years on and I can safely say that unless it’s cutting edge games you’re after then pretty much everything you can do on a Windows machine you can also do on a Mac equally well.
I’m not knocking Windows as such, it’s a great OS that has to deal with a huge legacy going way way back, plus a variety of hardware that boggles the mind. I still use Windows for work (largely because AT&T don’t make a VPN client for OS X) and my work laptop runs Windows XP SP3 plus I also use a number of VMware virtual Windows machines on my Mac for remotely supporting customers.
I have also bought into some of the Apple ecosphere – I have an iPhone 4, an iPad (WiFi only, but I also have a MiFi), a Mac Mini and an Apple TV. I hate the Apple keyboards even though they look cool so I use a Logitech DiNovo for Mac instead, and I really don’t get on with Apple mice, and so use the Logitech MX mouse. I’ll admit that buying Apple carries a premium, but I don’t mind the fact that rather than chasing features, Apple concentrates on making the functionality of their products really great. But if you prefer an HTC, Blackberry or Android phone, tablet or whatever, then that’s cool – competition is a healthy thing and there’s no reason why multiple products can’t coexist in a market segment.
And finally… I have a healthy interest in what makes things tick, and letting people know when I find out… hence this blog! I do try and respond to comments, although limiting my time in front of the screen means I might not always respond quickly.