My assimilation by the Mac-borg is almost complete…

Here is another notable personal thing from this Feast: It marked a big transition for me from PC-dom to Mac-ville.

I had broadcast my thoughts on this some time back, and this Feast saw a big step. My wife bought me a Mac mini (which I had mentioned might be the most economically feasible step for me to take) right before the Feast, and my mentioned-last-post brother-in-law Wade, in an apparent bid to become The Most Awesome Brother-In-Law In The Universe, brought to the Feast a free Apple Thunderbolt Display to give me. Seriously — a $999 27″ display. For free. It was being discarded as defective and was marked as “no returns”, and in my first two or three days of trying to use it at the Feast I could see why the previous owner may have been frustrated. It did not come on when I first plugged it in, though I tried everything I could think of and all that Google would dig up for me. Apparently the Thunderbolt displays have been a bit buggy and the problem of not coming on (or failing to wake up after sleeping) has been experienced by many — most of whom found a solution in either replacing the unit with a new one (some of whom still experienced the same problem with the new unit) or switching to the supposedly-inferior-but-still-oddly-priced-the-same Cinema Display or else found no solution at all, since repairs did not seem to make a difference. Neither of those was an option for me, however, as this was a “no returns” purchase for the original owner.

The next morning, though, after leaving it on all night with my Mac mini asleep, it work up with the Mini — bright and beautiful! I didn’t let it go to sleep all day, and, sure enough, it lasted all day, even going back and forth from the screen saver (again, but not completely dark since I wouldn’t allow it). In that way, it lasted all day until I shut it down. The next morning, though, it didn’t come on at first, but when I put the Mac mini into sleep mode (by physically pressing the button in the back) and then woke it up, the screen woke up, too. Overall, there have been three incidents, I think, where the screen did not wake up like it should have — including that initial “Wow, it would be so great if this worked! Why isn’t it working?!?!” incident — and in each case it, somehow, eventually did turn on. Actually, more often than not, now, it has just turned on like it should whenever I turn the Mac mini on. Huzzah!

So, it looks like I have a new Apple desktop computing environment to complement my iPad and iPhone. My poor old Windows-based laptop is looking pretty nervous these days, probably thinking that he has had his run and I am about to put him to pasture. Sure, I plan on using my iPad more for traveling in place of my laptop (the keyboard case I have it in combined with the Quickoffice app I have make it a pretty decent laptop replacement for my content-generating purposes), but I’m still not comfortable with giving up the laptop just yet. And I have yet to move my iPhone and iPad over to the iTunes on the Mac mini, let alone any of the massive collection of pictures and documents I have on that laptop, given that the laptop has been my only computer for quite some time. And there is noooooo way I am affording a MacBook anytime soon. (Ha! The thought makes me laugh! Ha! I laugh a second time!) So I think the little guy is safe for now.

And, FWIW, I am still rooting for Microsoft. As irritating as Windows 8 looks, Surface still seems to be alive and kicking, and the OS/Tablet/Whatever Wars are far from over. As far as I am concerned, they are finally starting to get good. And I’m rooting for Android for the same reasons. Not necessarily because I want to ever switch to Android, but they make for great creative competition.

But for now, I am committed to diving into the Apple ecosystem and staying for a while. If I were still about the business of spreadsheets and databases, I would totally still be in Bill Gates backyard camped out (and, yes, I did get MS Word & MS Excel for Mac; I’d be willing to give Pages a chance, but Numbers is flat out irritating to me). But I have to face the fact that (1) my life is about content creation now, and (2) as I mentioned before, I don’t have time to play under the hood with Chewbacca, as much as I would like to be that guy… I need a well-managed digital ecosystem that operates with minimal fiddling, effort, or even thought from me.

And in working on a Mac in a more invested way as “my” computer for the Feast, I have encountered a number of things I knew ahead of time would annoy me, thanks to having to work occasionally on my wife’s MacBook. Yet, there is a logical sense to operating system, to be sure, and much of it seems to be simply a matter or learning a new environment. So far, there has always been a way to do everything I have wanted to do; there is just a different way of doing it than I am used to.

If you are a dedicated Microsofter wanting to curse what you see as a traitorous or hasty choice, feel free to let me know below. Just be nice. 🙂 If you are an Appleonian who wants to commend me and give me some tips and advice, feel free to do so below, as well.

15 thoughts on “My assimilation by the Mac-borg is almost complete…

  1. And if I want to say ominously, “Resistance is futile” (in a suitably annoying multi-track voice), I’ll do that free of charge. 😉 (Sez he of the iPod Touch, the iPhone 5 and the iHome clocks, all as powered by iTunes on Sony VAIO laptops – Windows XP and Windows 7. 😀 )

  2. Wow! Great set up! I still like Microsoft stuff for certain things, but the longer I mess with the Mac the more I like it. Totally intuitive…. I’m not any kind of graphic arts kinda guy, but with the Mac I came up with some top notch professional looking flyers for work…. And they can’t be beat for music an video stuff.

    Have fun with the new Mac ecosystem!


  3. D. Crockett

    This a troubling but not unexpected turn of events. As an iPhone addict I feel the pull in that direction.

  4. Norbert

    What gives me a good chuckle about all this, if it wasn’t specifically about computers and about cars instead. I’d be thinking the next thing you’d be pondering about is what type of wax would be best for those devices. After all when parking you Mac-Borgmobile, you may want to consider rust-proofing the thing.

  5. Steven

    I just purchased a new Dell Precision M6700 laptop to help run my business (fully loaded). I spent over $8,000 for it, but it is definitely worth the money. My old XPS laptop was not cutting it anymore. As Lieutenant Barclay would say “the interface was not fast enough”. As everyone I know (including myself) always say “Apple is for entertainment and PC/BlackBerry is for business.”

    Interestingly enough, an Apple representative paid me (and my business colleagues) an unexpected visit recently to peddle his wares. My response to him was “Are you high? Thanks for coming out, but I think you are actually looking for the Disney Store….it’s over at the mall.” It was the shortest meeting I have ever had. Good luck with your “mighty” Apple computer. HA!

  6. Norbert: Ha! Glad you got a chuckle. 🙂 Gotta run — need to buy some wax…

    Steven: Nice machine, Steven. Dell is still playing catch up a bit to HP when it comes to enterprise laptops, but the M6700 is a really good buy and I hope it serves you well. And I won’t bother listing the many successful non-entertainment businesses that rely on Apple, as you’ve demonstrated too many times before that you won’t listen. Steven has spoken, so the facts are irrelevant. (That “including myself” was the most telling thing in your comment.)

    And bless you for your consistency, Steven: thanks for the anecdote about the salesman and for letting us know that you can be just as childish and unchristian with people in person as you are on the Internet. 🙂

  7. Steve

    Hmmm… I wish them the best and everything, but Blackberry is having serious financial trouble. Their stock has lost half its value this year alone. And there’s been some major job losses. Now they’re thinking about selling themselves to a hedge fund. Their new Z30 isn’t exactly receiving the best reviews, either. (Fun and pretty on the outside, but problems on the inside).

  8. Right. The Cult of Blackberry and the Cult of Apple are cut out of the same cloth. Their choice of machine/platform gives them an opportunity to feel better about themselves by judging others. I strive to focus on what works best for what I want to do. I hope RIM and the Blackberry are able to pull themselves out of their steepening nosedive, as the cellphone/tablet community still needs good competition and they’ve been among the best, but their recent missteps are discouraging. I’m rooting for them, like I am for Microsoft.

  9. Hey, that sounds neat! You’ve got me toying with the idea of doing that on my laptop, now that it isn’t my “go to” and I might be more willing to experiment with it. I was given a PC tower once that had Ubuntu, but I reformatted for Windows, which was fitting for the purpose we were given the machine. And as for Raspberry Pi, have fun with that! I was thinking of getting one for my kids to help them learn about the machines they’ll potentially spend so much of their life on in the future — and what a great price. Really neat idea.

  10. I was a PC user for years, but now most of my work is on an Apple Mac, and in the past few months an iPad. Still use the PC for certain things Apple doesn’t handle to my liking.
    Since you are a “content person” here’s a suggestion. Spend yourself a big $115 and get a Neo2. It is nothing but a word processor BUT on 3 AA batteries you get up to 700 hours!!! I bought two of them and have had them over two years. Believe it or not, still has 50% and more battery life left.

    Now, it does not format, just plain text. But, you can do the formatting with Markdown, then load into your PC or Apple and there you have a formatted article.

    Lots of journalists use the Neo2 because of the battery life, and because of how tough it is. Hard to break it. It don’t look like much but you will write more with it, no distractions from email, internet, etc. , instant on instant off, just a basic writing workhorse. Get one if you can! I don’t think you’ll regret it.

  11. Thanks for the suggestion — I have never heard of that! It does look like a real writer’s solution. My content does have a good number of multimedia facets, though, so I’m not sure it would do the trick for me. Still, I could see one of those as something very profitable for some.

  12. Once you dump the text into your main computer, or iPad, just add what media you want. Plus, you can even use it as a keyboard for the iPad. By the way, unlike the other iPad keyboards, this one is a full size keyboard. Try this one — take your iPad on a camping trip with no electricity available and see how much you write after the battery loses power, or any kind of trip where you might have trouble with an electric source. Anyway, I had your same reaction, and more, the first time I saw one on the Internet. Then I googled for reviews of it. Got it, won’t let it go now. I still actively use my MacPro, Dell and HPs, and iPad.

  13. LOL I smiled the whole way through………..Steve will be the first to admit to you that MS really did themselves wrong with Windows 8 and 8.1 is not anything to write home about……..but I never use the word “apple” around him unless I’m talking food……haha. We just had a call from a service station that wanted to get their PC fixed and we were good…right up to MAC………..had to turn them away. I won’t tell Steve you crossed over because …….well, I know that your a busy man and next time you are in Akron he might not let you leave till you promise to cross back over again.

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