Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Freezing Hell

I had to wait until after April 1 to post this, or nobody would believe I was serious.

Hell froze over last month.

I am now the slightly bemused owner of an Apple Macbook.

As someone who owned the first Osborne computer, and who happily built PC's running CP/M and DOS, Apple has always been the computer equivalent of Scientology - a cult with lots of publicity and scary, rabid fans.

So why the trip to the dark side?

With the switch to Intel, and the availability of virtualization software, the distance between a "normal" computer and an Apple has dropped to insignificance. It is now possible to run a mixed environment on a single machine, which eliminates the main pain point of losing well understood applications. If you have something that only runs under Windows, it is possible to maintain a Windows virtual machine and still run on the Apple.

Which is all good and rational, but I didn't really need a new notebook, and it is an Apple.

My only excuse is that as an IT professional, I need to stay current with technology, and the damn things keep showing up at work, and people keep asking questions. So it was professional curiosity. Yeah. That's it. Professional curiosity.

So what is the upside of owning an Apple?

Well you get to belong to the cult. Your equipment is all white. The "out-of-box" experience is definitely better than a Wintel machine. It has the best Wi-Fi connect process I have ever seen. It connected to my existing Windows-based network without a problem and I was able to access files on my NAS. The screen really is impressive. The thing actually seems to work OK.

The downside?

It is heavy. It is white. You belong to a cult. The Macbook throws off enough heat to fry eggs. You have to click an eject button to remove a USB drive or the file system gets trashed. To buy accessories, you have to go to Apple stores, and your friends might see you. It doesn't actually do anything I can't already do on my "normal" computers.
It is an Apple.

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