Allow me to introduce myself via my computer heritage I've owned a lot of different computers since 1983, when I bought my first, a Timex Sinclair 1000 (anyone remember those?). I've had a Commodore 64 and 128 and an Amiga 1000 and 2000, but since 1991, I've owned PCs.
Until now, however, I've never owned a Mac--although I remember lusting over one back in 1985. Windows has been sufficient for my needs, since it's also the operating system used at the college where I administrate and teach. Lately, I've been playing around with Macs at the local FutureShops and BestBuys, and I've really, really liked what I've seen, both from a hardware and an operating system perspective.
With the recent change in Windows--XP to Vista--I've grown disillusioned with the whole PC scene. Vista can't run at all on my PC laptop, and I would have to spend a fair amount to upgrade my desktop PC, at a time when some programs don't run well under Vista, if at all. Since prices between similarly configured PCs and Macs have come somewhat closer, I decided to take the plunge: I bought via the online Apple Education Store a custom-configured Macbook: a white 2.16GHz Macbook with 2Gbs RAM and a 160Gb HD.
Now that I've gotten that preamble out of the way, allow me to voice my observations after having the Macbook since Wednesday, August 29, a mere three days.
In a word ... WOW.
From the moment I opened the shipping box, I knew that the Mac was something special. The packaging is beautiful, very impressive, in fact. All the documentation, what little there is, is in normal, native-speaker English (important for me, as I teach English).
All of the components are first-rate. Believe it or not, I really appreciated the power cord and its extension-thingy (don't know what to call it, really). I've never seen anything like it. Anyway, the materials used for everything are also of high quality, at least in comparison with what one might find on a run-of-the-mill PC. The screen is clear and sharp, and although some people don't like the glossiness, it doesn't really bother me. The keyboard is quite solid, and being a touchtypist, I've found the keyboard to be a pleasure to use. It has quite a good feel to it, and I can keep my speed up, as it seems to be full-sized.
Mac OS X takes a small bit of getting used to, but in fact, there haven't been any showstoppers for me. The integratedness of the operating system and the programs and the hardware is ... COOL! For example, info in the address program shows up in the browser. Neat! Also, I've done a fair amount of reading online to help facilitate my move, from what's available on the Apple.ca web site and on ehMac.ca, to thetaoofmac.com and others. I've already gotten Quicksilver up and running, as well as Adium. I did run into a small problem printing, but that was due to a bad printer driver. Once I found the correct one for my Samsung ML-1430, things worked just fine with the printer plugged directly into the Macbook. The final challenge, really, is to get network printing up and going--that's my plan for the rest of this Saturday afternoon.
I could go on and on, and I would imagine many of you have already other posts of this nature. Anyway, I am really enjoying the whole Mac experience--so much so, in fact, that I'm planning to get an iMac within the next few months.
Ligneous and petrous projectiles can potentially fracture my osseous structure, but pejorative appellations will forever remain innocuous.
Congratulations on your new machine. I hope you like it, and if you have any troubles, there are lots of knowledgeable people around here and elsewhere who will probably be able to help you out.
One thing I found hard to get used to when I switched from PCs (running Linux and Windows) to Macs is that the simple obvious way of doing something will usually work. Having spent decades working with computers that the memorization of arcane commands, or buried commonly used features several layers deep in poorly described menus, I had a little trouble getting used to how easy everything was on a Mac. I was about ready to switch back to PCs after I spent 45 minutes trying to figure out how to burn a CD the first day I had my first Mac (where the h#ll is the smegging CD burning application?!?!?). Then someone showed me: drag the stuff you want onto the picture of the CD, then click 'burn'. D'oh! I still find myself looking for more complex solutions sometimes.
Enjoy your new system, and let us know how it goes.
Location: Ottawa (where Torontonians go to watch NHL-calibre hockey, but where Montrealers go to get sleep)
I walk into my local Bridgehead, and I'm seeing like, fifty percent Apple laptops.
With all these PC-to-Apple switchers, it's getting harder and harder to feel like the élite minority, with a dopey Windows majority to look down on and haughtily sneer at.
"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar." ~Bradley Millar
Sarcasm aside, I really do see more macs than all other brands of computers combined, both among my professional colleagues, and among the university students I teach.
Obviously this is not really a representative sample, because research scientists are generally more computer-savvy and have budgets for computers, and university students are already a well-known growth market for Apple, but it still seems to me that Macs have gained far more market share than is generally reported in the media. I went to a conference this spring, and out of 56 presentations given using laptops, I saw only 1 PC (55 Macs... and, quite amusingly to me, there was only one computer 'glitch' during the whole conference... can you guess which computer had difficulties and needed to be re-booted in the middle of a presentation?). However, that did seem to be an anomaly. Also, disappointingly to me, at the same conference I saw only one person using Keynote... everyone else used PowerPoint, so Office the continued dominance of Office appears to not to be threatened.
Realistically, within my market (academia and university students), Apple seems to have well over a 50% market share, and within biology it's probably approaching 75%.
I just joined ehmac.ca today, so I thought I would throw a similar comment around.
I purchased my first Mac in March, and I can't say enough about it. At this point it appears to be some of the best money I have ever spent. The simplicity of the OS, to the beautiful design and so on, it is obvious to me, that for my own needs, Macs are far superior to any PC machine I have ever used. I am still learning how to use my Mac to its full potential, and look forward to gaining some insight from everyone on this site, as it is apparent you are all extremely knowledgeable!
As a university student I have noticed over the last 4 years a large increase in the amount of Mac users on campus. My initial views on Macs were, they are nice to look at, but don't function well for the average user. Oh how I was wrong. I was quickly turned onto the Mac revolution by a friend (and my love of the iPod) and continue to spread the "Mac Gospel" everywhere I go!
I go to Carleton University. I'm studying Anthropology and Classical Studies.
I went there (a long time ago) for Computer Science. When we were leaning Smalltalk, we used Lisas. There was a lab full of these Lisas. They eventually went PC though. Good to hear that the trend that has been seen in the US Universities is continuing here too.