Monday, November 7, 2011

Update on Going Mac!

Since I first starting using a computer (Commodore VIC-20) I have never used a Mac unless forced to at work.  I was a complete Window snob who though Macs were only for stuck-up designers who had nothing to do but admire their fancy-spancy computer.  ;-)  And it bugged me to death that 95% (my calculation) of all computers seen in movies and TV had that darn little apple on it.

Of course, I have had nothing but issues with my non-Mac computers over the years,
but I figured that happened to all computers once you got it home and installed a few programs and virus protection.  Who hasn't had their computer slow down in a few months?

The last few years I have gone through several mid-range computers.  They either slowed down too much or the hard drive crashed.  I always had to remember to back up everything on external hard drives because my internet was too slow to use Carbonite.

This summer I was having an anxiety attack every time I turned on my computer. It was a fairly new PC (my last one had crashed), yet I had to turn it on and walk away so it could boot up.  It would grind away for minutes and stress me out.   I was driving my husband crazy.  When I first purchased this computer it was fast, but after putting on virus protection and a few other essential programs it slowed down to a crawl. And I was obsessed about getting a virus or malware.

Thanks to my husband's friend who had just gone Mac, I decided to take a chance.  So my husband brought home my new iMac (not this one, an older version) and it was love at first sight.  Set up was simple, all of my external things worked (printers and such) and the computer was super fast and incredibly quiet. I only had to upgrade one program (CS4 to CS5 because I had the Window's version).  I added some more memory (I bought it from Amazon and it was approx. $80  and it took my husband just a minute to install it).  It is more expensive if you buy it from Apple.

And did I mention the iMac has only one cord?

Of course, I was sure once I added Photoshop, LightRoom, Open Office, Inkscape, Photoshop Elements, and a few other programs the computer would start to drag.  But it didn't!  And I don't think the Mac OS is any problem for PC-users to pick up.  The only issue I had was it was almost too easy and instinctual.  I think it took me maybe a day or two to feel comfortable using it.

Then I obsessed about virus protection.  I think I posted about it a hundred times on my Facebook page.  I read everything I could find on the net, and I had so many people tell me they never used any type of virus protection.  From my reading it appears that viruses aren't a real issue (yet), but malware can be a problem. However, you generally have to click on something for it to install malware and malware is usually not as destructive as a virus.

So I decided to go without for now.  Yes, I know my PC-user friends will think I am crazy (and some Mac users), but I don't want to slow down my computer.  So my computer is still blazing fast, and I can be cruising the net in less than one minute after powering it on.  

And one of my favorite things about my iMac is TimeMachine back-up.  I stick on a external drive (Western Digital My Book Studio LX 2 TB FireWire 800/USB 2.0) (super fast because of the FireWire) and my computer automatically updates!  I can even go back in history and find files that I deleted months ago.  I have two external hard drives, one on my computer and one off-site.  I just switch them out every month just in case one fails or there is a fire.  And if my iMac crashes (even Mac's can crash), I can plug in my TimeMachine external drive in my new iMac and transfer everything over.  It is really that simple! Just this feature makes it worth the investment.

So if you are on the fence and need a new computer and are trying to decide if a Mac is worth the extra money, then let me tell you "YES!".  It looks great, is blazing fast, and virus/malware infection is not a huge issue.  Back-up is automatic, and you are set if your computer crashes. What is there not to love?

Yes, I guess I am now a stuck-up designer who loves to look at my fancy-spancy computer...  ;-)  If you read the iMac reviews you will see find many PC-users who happily made the switch.

I now understand what Mac users have been telling me for years:  "Once you have a Mac, you never go back".  Thank you Steve Jobs and may you rest in peace.

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  1. I could have written this post myself. We have gone through a total of 6 PCs in the last 10 years, and they've all crashed for some reason or another. But we didn't buy a Mac because they were so expensive, and a computer is a computer, so we didn't think there'd be any difference. But after the last one died, I threw a fit and said I would never have another PC in my house, so if my husband wanted a new computer he'd better buy a Mac -- and my caveat was that if the Mac died in 2 years, we'd have to go back to the stone age of snail mail and encyclopedias, because I didn't want to throw away any more money on equipment that just dies. :-P

    Anyway, we LOVE our iMac! It's just awesome. The kids even like it because the mouse only has one button so it's easier for them to play their games. And photo editing is seriously a dream. Awesome. I'm never going back to PC.

  2. We've been a PC household since the old IBM of the mid-80s. I've always used a PC in my work. But we have continued to be frustrated with crashes, freezes, viruses, and other annoying problems with our PCs, particularly over the past few years. After finding out that we could switch our CS5 program over to Mac for something like a $10 charge, we decided to switch this past spring. I had some problems with Bridge setup at first, but finally got that corrected. I miss the delete key on the PC keyboard. I miss not being able to use Live Writer for my blog writing. That's it. I sure don't miss the l-o-n-g shutdowns and startups! Or the noise! Or the HUGE CPU box that weighs 50 pounds! Or the security/program updates every time you turn around!

    The beauty and simplicity of the Mac are incredible. We don't have virus protection either. And I set up a password for installing programs, so I don't see with the design how some crazy person can install a virus program on it. The support has been great too. We had an Apple store nearby and we've taken several classes. We're never going back either!

  3. We've been Mac users since 1984. I only purchased a Dell laptop computer about 3 years ago because my sewing machine required it. Now, I've found a program that does everything for my sewing machine that the Dell did and I can get rid of it! It's been nothing but trouble and I never take it online because of the viruses. I love every single Mac I've ever owned and know that you're going to love being a snotty Mac user, too lol.
    Congratulations on seeing the light - and being woman enough to admit it.
    Hugs from Florida,

  4. I made the switch about a year & a half ago. And what everyone says really is true... They just work! I've been so much happier and had so much less stress since hubby gave me my MBP birthday present. I still run virus software (Sophos) but that is just the safe thing to do anymore. I've never had a problem with my baby but I know if I did the fine folks at AppleCare would see things through.

    Oh BTW! The "missing" PC delete key IS available on Mac, just press the 'fn' key along with the delete key and POOF! forward delete is back! :-D

  5. I just switched to an iMac too a couple months ago. I did end up having to upgrade my memory from 3 to 12 to stop Photoshop from crashing. I do LOVE my mac though. Rita, I was wondering, have you calibrated your Mac? I just printed a photo book from Inkubook and the prints don't look anything like what they do on my monitor. Before I printed, I did dial back the monitor's brightness to about 50% and used Apple's internal calibration but the colors aren't even close. I'm wondering if it's the print lab or my monitor. Maybe I need to send a sample to a better print lab. I know you were going to do that awhile ago. How did the results turn out?

  6. I am so happy to hear you like your Mac. I admit I got really excited when I heard you bought one. I switched a few years ago and I will NEVER buy another PC. I adore my iMac, and my Macbook and my iPhone.... yes, it's ridiculous and I don't care. They just work, and I love them.

  7. I don't comment usually. (Sorry, but I am a reader!!!) But after reading this post, I had to. Eight years ago I was a complete PC SNOB! I patted myself on the back because I new how to defrag, update, install, uninstall, back-up, network, restore, clean up after a virus. THEN... I found out about Mac. At first I was like you... no way I was allowing a MAC into my home. Well, after using one at work for a couple of months... I was in love. I now happily admit I don't EVER have to do all the things I used to do on my pc. My eight year old eMac was just replaced this year with an iMac. To be honest, I really did not need to replace it, but I wanted a flat screen monitor. Anyway, be VERY happy with your choice, you made the right one. Also, I have had no virus scan ever. AND... I use photoshop, but please try out iPhoto. It really is great for quick fixes. HAPPY MAC-ING!

  8. OH MY GOODNESS!!! thank you thank you! I have been on the fence for a year now!!! I have to make the decision in a few weeks during my winter break from photography...guess I know which way I am going!!! thanks for this great insite!

  9. The only thing holding me back is the money I have invested in actions...will the PSE actions transfer?

  10. I understand completely!
    We bought our iMac three years ago and there's no turning back.

  11. Hee hee, love the pc users that switched to Mac out there! And yes, all of my actions (other than one or two older ones) will work on a mac!

  12. One question. For your Timemachine backup, are you using the Time Capsule harddrive that Apple makes, or are you using some other type of external harddrive? (The reason I ask is because I can't find a way to backup to anything other than a Time capsule using Timemachine.

  13. Ja, mir ging es ganz genauso :)

    Love my Mac, and in a few days I will get a unnecessarily but love-worth toy- an iPad...

  14. Oh, Rita! Your first post on getting your Mac is the one that made me even consider switching. Before then, I had never even considered the possibility of owning one. But after purchasing far too many PCs in far too short of a timespan and remembering the post you did on getting your Mac, I took a better look at them. I'm like you in that you are frugal and don't have to have things just for the sake of having the latest and greatest. It might sound so silly, but when you switched, it really made the Mac become a valid option in my mind! Long story short, our PCs went kaput at the same time, and my husband and I both recently got new MacBooks (he got an Air, I got a Pro), and WE LOVE THEM!! I'm still trying to figure a few things out, but it is BLAZING fast. What a concept - to have more than one program actually working at the same time!! :) Thanks for posting about your experience with your Mac, without it I would be purchasing yet another short-lived PC.

  15. I love reading these comments! I love that you bought a Mac because I blogged about it Angie!

    Joseph, I use a Western Digital My Book drive for the TimeMachine backup. I have a link in my post now. I think I might have the 2 tb. They have worked great!

  16. I've thought about it and thought about it and thought about making a change and just haven't done it. But it can't be economical to spend money almost EVERY YEAR buying a new PC when mine crashes!!
    My question is this: I can't seem to find out how to cross over my Adobe products (PShop, InDesign, LRoom) from CS4 over to Mac. Where do you look? What is the cost?
    Thanks for your info!

  17. LR and PSE work in both Macs and PCs. CS5 has a Mac and PC version, but if you have the current version (CS5) call them and they will send the Mac version for a tiny price (or maybe free?). I had CS4 for PC, so I called them and paid the upgrade price for the Mac version of CS5. So it was still affordable.

  18. I went Mac 2 years ago and I will NEVER go back! I wont even touch a PC now!!!! hahaha

  19. Yes, yes yes! Windows PC are for landfills. Mac are for keeps ;)

    We're all mac here. Have been for years with only very minor problems. But I tell you what. You can walk into any apple store and they will fix or replace anything you purchased there. Not only do the products work as promised, but the company support and customer service is exceptional.

    Good for you!

  20. My hubby works in the software industry, and he's always been a Mac user. That's what every single company he's ever worked for has had in the office place. Not to say that they haven't done work with Windows and other programs, but the Mac is the base computer for everything.

    We held off getting our own computer for years (and I do mean years), but there was never any doubt what we would get when the time came. Hubby was, and always has been sold on the advantages of Mac's. The very least being the anti virus issues that plague the PC world. We have people who continually send us warnings about the latest virus making the rounds, and we simply smile. :-)

    I hope you continue to enjoy your Mac. Welcome. ;-)

  21. The macs I've seen are so brightly backlit. Do you have trouble calibrating?

    What about the prints from your digital lab - are they as bright as the image appears on screen?

    I do need a new pc and making a choice is overwhelming!

    Thanks Rita!

  22. I also could have written this post myself. I went through no fewer than 5 pc's in the 18 months preceding my first Macbook (that was 6 years ago now). PC's just could not handle running the programmes that I needed as a photographer and student graphic designer. I started with a little Macbook - because I wanted the mobility to show clients their photos right after the shoot, but eventually, I needed the 'screen realestate' of an iMac more -as my graphic design needs took over. I used to be *just* like you, I was an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), but within two weeks of my Macbook arriving, I was a convert for life. After a year, my hubby couldn't believe that this little macbook handled as much as it did with good grace and good looks! My iMac is now 2 years old, and runs just as great as the day I bought it. I am *never* worried that my computer will crash. Never. Recently I had to sort out some client websites that had been infected with some malware, and as a precaution, I got virus protection - in the form of "MacKeeper" - you *must* check it out. It does so much more than virus protection - but also optimizes your system. The first time I ran it - it scanned the computer and then offered me a bunch of things to delete which I did not use and would never need (think about all the languages they programme into OS that you will never use etc) - saving me GIGS of space. Absolutely brilliant. I'm glad you have enjoyed switching to mac - once I got my head around teh fact that things were *easier* than they should be - i totally got my mac too. I even managed to convert my mom to Mac - she's a complete technophobe, and within two days, she was telling me how much she loves her computer!

  23. I actually run virus protection on my MAC (have it about 2 months now) I use Symantec Solutions. It does not slow the MAC down at all 8 )

  24. Welcome to macland! I was once a PC user...but now I just love my mac...and iPhone...and iPad. With the new iOS5 everything syncs up so nicely and smoothly. The more you interact with yours...the more you'll love it!

  25. It has been about a month now since I switched to an iMac and I too will never go back to a PC. I had almost two brand new PC's crash within a few years of purchasing them and was sick of having to go through the process of pulling info off of the old hard drive, then reinstall on another PC that only lasted another year. My mother has had her eMac for about 10 years! My sister, the same amount of time. I haven't heard of any PC "living" that long!

  26. Hi Rita! I was so excited when I read your article about switching from pc to an iMac. I've been on the fence myself for some time now after buying a new pc about every one to two years. Plus now that I have an iPad and an iPhone, well the choice seemed obvious. My main concern was switching all my software over especially CS5. Then I read in the readers comments about how easy that would be, contacted adobe by phone and found out they will do a license swap for the cost of shipping. I got on the phone with the apple store and order up the new iMac 27" with a few of the options added on. It is due to arrive this Wednesday or Thursday! I am super-excited.

    I have a few other programs that I am waiting to find out about, but cs5 was the main concern.

    Since I take so many photos I already have 3 - 1T and 1-2T external drives with four others that I've backed up to so I don't plan on saving any images to the iMac hard drive since it is only the 1 t one which I could easily fill up with six months...I guess I am wondering if from now on I could save to external drive with backup to this thunder thing you spoke of instead of to the second external drive? My external drives are all western digital My Books...not sure about the FireWire part though. Guess I will find out soon enough.

    Well, I can hardly wait. Anyone want to buy my 27 inch monitor and Dell pc which is a year old? Lol...will try to sell on Craigslist once I am all set up. It is still running okay. But I figured it will be on its way out within the next year like all it's predecessors!

  27. I've been fence sitting for a while, and I believe you have just swayed me over to Mac.

    thanks so much for giving me confidence to make me jump.