15 Years to Pick an OS

For the last 15 years, I have been a Windows user and developer. I’ve owned several different computers, all running one version of Windows or another, and sometimes I’d even do a little bit of dabbling in Linux, but for the most part I’ve always felt that Windows could be better. The user interface lacks consistency, and personally I feel that with Windows Vista, things are going down hill.

I was set to build a new computer for myself at the end of February, but I realized soon after I had finished finalizing the specification that I would need to run Windows Vista 64-bit on it in order to take full advantage of my hardware. I’m not much of a fan of Windows Vista 64-bit, due to all of the issues between 32-bit and 64-bit executables and the headaches of 32-bit vs. 64-bit Internet Explorer. After considering many things, like what I plan on doing with my computer, I changed my mind on building that system, in fact I’ve completely crossed it off of my list.

Let me tell you, I never thought I’d see the day where I actually managed to pull this one off…

… as of January 15th, 2008 I am now a Mac user. I purchased a brand new 15” MacBook Pro with a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, 8x Dual Layer SuperDrive, 120 GB of hard disk space and a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor with 128MB of video memory, running Mac OS X 10.5.

I can sum up my experience with Mac OS X in just three words: Oh. My. God. This computer is insanely powerful, and provides a rock-solid computing experience that is out of this world. iPhoto handles all of my photo editing needs, Pages is a great word processor, iTunes is amazing, and Safari renders pages faster than any browser I’ve ever used.

Not to mention all of the great applications that come with the computer which make it extremely fun — iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth are three such applications which I could play with for hours on end.Needless to say, my days as a Windows user have officially come to an end. I’m tired of the maintenance, dealing with the cumbersome registry, and worrying about upcoming Windows Updates wreaking havoc on my system.

With this switch, I would also like to take the time to make another announcement. I will now be blogging here at NeoSmart Technologies (NST). My plan is to cover mostly Mac topics, although I will still have a hand in some Windows guides as well.

Consider this post to be an introduction, the first of a series on the best way to go about switching from one OS to another…. completely.

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  • 12 thoughts on “15 Years to Pick an OS

    1. I just posted a reply on your other article kris (Things to Think About When Switching to a Mac) and I must say I agree that now is the best time to switch to another OS in a long while.

      The only reason I would recommend one to hesitate before making the leap is the software available to Windows. some of the (free, open source) software available on Windows is of excellent top-notch quality, far better than the alternatives available on Linux and Mac.

      Of course this is only natural because it’s a catch-22 between developers and users, but in this realistic non-ideal world we live in it’s also a fact of life. Mac software is good, no doubt… but i think it still has a ways to go before it reaches the level of windows software…. a’la windows live writer, paint.net, utorrent, etc.

    2. “?m tired of the maintenance, dealing with the cumbersome registry, and worrying about upcoming Windows Updates wreaking havoc on my system.”

      Wow, you must have the worst luck ever when it comes to computers, on all of my computers Vista works flawlessly, which is completely different from my experience with Mac OS 10.6.


      I have an iMac 2.8Ghz, but it is dog slow, and apps and the whole machine freeze up a lot more than on any of my Windows machines, so not everyone has the super happy Mac experience. And to be honest, Mac OS really isn’t for me, there is so many things that bug me about it, and it is just so messy and cluttered and the inconsistency in design bother me a lot more in an OS that isn’t supposed to have them.

      But I know Mac OS works well for most people, so it is really strange that it works so bad for me, I haven’t even installed any apps on the Mac, so it is really strange.

    3. I use PCs(Win2KPro, XPPro, Vista) and Macs (G4 dual 500mHz, and MacPro Intel 2.8 GHz Dual Core) at work and at home for video production and motion graphics.

      Call me when Apple comes up with a system navigation application that can equal Windows Explorer’s folder tree (Moving files from one location to another is just plain annoying on Macs).

      Or when they put all the files and folders for an application together in one location like…say…C:Program Files/ApplicationX/everything else that goes with ApplicationX–so I don’t have to use the Search window all the time.

      Or when Mac applications finally run within one, single, screen filling window that hides everything beneath it, because if I accidently click on something else without realizing it, I can seriously screw up what I’m doing because the wrong program is now active.

      I vastly prefer the pop-up, customizable Start Menu in Vista to the ever present, real-estate hogging Dock in OS10.

      And everytime my editing software (Apple’s own Final Cut Pro) winks out of existence while doing some mild task, I just want to beat the crap out of that smug punk on the Mac vs. PC commercials. Lies! I say. All three of my PCs together crash roughly a third as many times as that machine does. In fact, make that two of my PCs, the ones running Win2K and XPPro, as my Vista machine at home has been stellar, not one crash since I got it back in November ’07.

      To be fair my MacPro is a screamer when it’s behaving and I luuuv the little omni-directional roller ball mouse wheel. But while Vista may be an interesting detour in OS design, Apple OS 10.x trades some basic utility for cartoon cuteness.

    4. Or when Mac applications finally run within one, single, screen filling window that hides everything beneath it, because if I accidently click on something else without realizing it, I can seriously screw up what I’m doing because the wrong program is now active.

      Indeed, that reminds me so much of earlier operating systems (early 90s) where the concept of a GUI and X-window system was not fully present/understood…. It is quite a turn-off!

    5. DG:
      I have the exact same experience/feelings, but I think we are in a minority, most other people seem to have opposite experiences.

      One thing you didn’t mention which bugs me is the fact that clicking X on a windows only closes the window, not the app. So every few days I have to manually clean up the currently running applications so that they don’t eat all the memory, Vista does this by itself by shutting down apps with X and precaching them with Superfetch.

    6. I could have gone on and on, frankly. But I didn’t want to beat up Macs too badly. There are some things I like just fine about it. It’s just that I find myself having to defend Windows all the time. “I don’t work for my computer, my computer works for me. Ha, ha, ha!” I heard that a hundred times from Mac users who acted as if I were some ignorant sap who didn’t know the lay of the land.

      See, I work in a field that is very artsy and pseudo-intellectual and for years Macs were the tool of choice for anyone going into the graphic arts. I suppose it got that way in the early 90’s when Windows 3, 95 and 98, and NT were not as stable as the Mac OS, and the PC machines were inconsistent in quality and specification. But that all went away years ago and now Apple is the one playing catch-up with the Intel chip.

      I was worried about getting Vista because I loved Windows XP, it just worked well. But I must say, if you have plenty of memory, which you should nowadays anyway, it runs just great. Many of the cutesy features are able to be turned off for better performance, and if you want you can download Tweak VI and customize it even further for clean and lean performance.

    7. One of my clients needed me to setup her new Apple which has OS X installed on it. She just needed me to set her up with an Airport router. This was the first time I had touched an Apple since the IIe.

      After setting it up she let me kick the tires on her Apple for a few hours while she went and had lunch with her lady friends in Del Mar.

      Well, in my opinion, Apples are for noobs or the bunch who are just wanting to make a statement, i.e., the long grey ponytail type dudes. It is not a power user OS. I always felt like I was working in a tiny little box, and many times pulled away from the monitor after seeing my face was all scrunched up to the monitor. It is a very claustrophibic-feeling OS.

      I’ll take Windows over anything Apple-related any day. With Windows you can tweak to your heart’s content, and you can run virtually anything on it. In my musclecar days I was constantly tweaking that hemi, trying to wring out more horsepower and torque. Now, as an old fart, I satiate the need to tweak with Windows.

      XFX 780i SLI
      XFX 8800GTX
      4GB Corsair XMS2
      2x Raptor 150 RAID 0
      4x Maxtor 200 RAID 5
      2x 19″ LCD Monitors
      2x Sony DVD Burners
      Thermaltake Armor
      Thermaltake Bigwater, cooling CPU, chipset, and 8800
      BFG 800W PSU
      MX 518 Gamer’s Mouse
      G15 Gamer’s Keyboard
      Logitech 5.1 sound system
      Dual Boot Vista Home Premium 64 bit/ XP Pro 32 bit

      Apple wouldn’t make a pimple on this thing’s ass.

    8. I hate to go here but you Windows users are nuts!

      (I won’t even mention all the viruses and spyware.)

      What is with the Vista “progress bar”, when installing apps. A progress bar is suppposed to show you the “progress” of the action. On many installs the bar gets almost to the end and jumps back to the beginning making it impossibble to ever even guess at how long it will take.

      Zip programs opening archives with a hundred files across the desktop with no option to automatically create a folder with mulitiple items.

      “Or when Mac applications finally run within one, single, screen filling window that hides everything beneath it, because if I accidently click on something else without realizing it, I can seriously screw up what I’m doing because the wrong program is now active.”

      I can’t see how you could “seriously screw up” this way but anyhow, you obviously haven’t tried Apple’s Expose or Spaces- highly customized settings to set desktop spaces with different realestate (programs) and customized keys to clear desktop, fill the screen with all open apps (labeled) so you can pick one and bring it to front, etc. Check it out. There is nothing in the Windows world like it. It seems like you guys just play around on the Mac desktop without really diggin into what is possible. I use both and it is hands down Mac. Also why does closing the last documnet close the whole program in Windows? If the program doesn’t open fast it is a nightmare. No design sense at all. I could go on but I am getting my 8 core Mac Pro tomorrow and am setting up space.

      Good luck with your registry.

    9. The progress bar and the registry? that’s the best you got. I’ve never seen an install take more than a few minutes. But hey, some people just don’t have that kind of time I guess. And I’ve never ever had to mess with a registry, because you really shouldn’t anyway.

      As far as viruses and spyware (an old saw from the Mac vs. PC days way back in the nineties), is it true that Apple’s code is so impenetrable that no viruses or spyware can exist? Or, that no hacker would waste his time infecting 1% of computer users?

      No design sense with Vista? I’ll give ya that one. It takes awhile even for former XP users to get used to the UI. But once I did, I like it much better than XP.

      Zip files can be dragged and dropped anywhere, just like a normal archive except that they are extracted as they are moved.

      Windows apps close with the last document because the X in the corner is actually meant for closing apps. Bigger apps like those in MS Office and Adobe CS have an X in the corner of individual documents as well as the main window. You can see how this can create confusion for Windows users who open and close things all day by clicking the corner X. On a Mac you end up with all those apps still running at the end of the day.

    10. Right if they have been working on an operating system interface for over 20 years and can’t get the progress bar right, that says something.

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