Photo: Julie Bort, Business Insider
When I joined Business Insider a few months ago, I was pretty excited to get a MacBook Pro.My kids have Macs. They love them. My friends have Macs. They love them. Macs are cool and by association Mac owners are cool, too.
I’ve mostly used Windows and Linux (Ubuntu). I had love/hate relationships with both of them. But to hear Mac owners rave about their PCs, I was ready for a computer I could love.
I’m still waiting.
I’m on my computer 10+ hours a day, with dozens of apps/files open. Photo editing. Streaming video and audio. With one exception (which I’ll get to in a minute), all the things I hated about Windows are still here in my Mac. (If you must know: it runs OS X 10.7, Lion, a 2.3Ghz Intel i5 and has 4G RAM).
Startup times: Instant on on my Mac is an illusion. Sure, when I open the lid, my last workspace is visible. BUT it can take my Mac up to two minutes before the beach ball stops and I can work. (Same as Windows.)
Hands down the fastest boot-up time is Ubuntu. Without fail, 10-ish seconds after typing my password, it was ready to go. Even on an old machine. Even if I left a lot of files and apps open.
Spinning beach ball: I’m halted by the beach ball mid-work at least five times a day. The more intensely I’m working, the more I see the beach ball (multiple browser windws, text files, Preview, audio files). It loves to torture me at the end of the day, on my last task before I call it a night. Windows did this, too. How does the computer always know to stall on the last task of the day?
Spinning beach ball of death: Once a week, the beach ball never dies. The app must be manually killed. Same as Windows.
Software updates: Once a month or so, the beach ball goes really crazy because Apple wants to send me software updates. Same as Windows. These can take up to 15 minutes to download (over WiFi) … Same as Windows. But unlike Windows — they often don’t run in background. Yes, I can choose to update later (same as Windows). Worst offender here was Linux. Every day the thing had app updates. Ugh.
App Store: Apple refused to let me download FREE software from the App Store until it had my credit card on file. It only pretended to take PayPal, too. Until I handed over that credit card, the App Store and iTunes were off limits to me. I downloaded plenty of free stuff from Microsoft’s Download centre and Windows Live, no questions asked or credit card required.
And it goes without saying free REALLY means free with open source Linux.
The one smug thing I can brag about as a newly converted Mac user is the lack of threat from viruses. I haven’t installed antivirus software and I haven’t had any problems.
Surfing the Web using Windows without antivirus software is like living in a sewer without an immune system.
Oh, and when I’m at Starbucks I do, by default, look cooler. When I’m not tearing my hair out.
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