For once this is something not (entirely) photography related! If you’re not interested in computers…. sorry, not for you. I’ll be back with photography stuff very soon.
It all began for me in 2006, when I bought my first iMac (the 17″ white plastic one. Apple calls it Polycarbonate, sounds noble. I have been an ardent defender of Macdom ever since! Call me a fanboy, I’m guilty of that, but I have my reasons.
I sold that iMac late last year, after 10 years of loyal services. And as far as I know it still works. Sure it’s usefulness had decreased by then. Older OS only, slow with newer software…. but it still worked for standard stuff.
In the intervening years I had a lot of Macs in the household, Macbooks, MacBook Pros, Mac Minis and another iMac and they did their jobs great. After years of building my own PCs, of constantly updating and upgrading stuff; after years of hunting bugs and trying to make drivers behave in Windows I had computers that just worked. As advertised. No kidding!
I have never used any antivirus on any of the machines we have at home. Never any infection. Just a bit of sound reasoning and MacOS does the rest. Seems dangerous but I swear there was never any threat.
Sure, a Mac is not cheap! But only if you compare it to low end or mid tier PCs. Any high end Laptop is in the same price range. Or not far from it. When you then consider that an iMac can easily serve you for 5 to 6 years, that a MacBook from 2012 is still capable of running current software at good speed, I was very happy with Apple once the pill of the acquisition was swallowed.
As for software, MacOS has everything I need built in. From light ‘Office Suite’ to image processing, all inclusive. And any OS updates are free, even the newest versions (looking at you, Microsoft)!
I never felt compelled to return to PCs and Windows… until this year!
Is it the regretted absence of Steve Jobs or what, but I think Apple has left the path of wisdom.
Thinner is better, and we give no damn for the needs of professionnals seems to be the new credo at Apple.
The new MacBook Pros have a TOUCHBAR! Wow, marvelous…. but utterly useless eye candy! On the other hand they are in no way upgradable any more. My MacBook Pro from 2007 could be upgraded with new hard drives or SSDs, with more RAM. Easy! Not any more with the new Macs.
You better stuff them with the goodies Apple offers from the start if you don’t want to be stuck in time. And at the exorbitant prices Apple asks for RAM upgrades or bigger disk drives that’s really hard!
The Mac Pro released in 2013, the so called Trashintosh was a blatant failure. Aimed at pros it simply was only a beautiful design study with severe thermal limitations and no real upgradeability. Apple even recognized this some time ago, something unheard before. They promised to make amends and release a REAL Mac Pro next year. Something modular, upgradeable. But still, the prices will be astronomical if you consider the new iMac Pro which starts at 5.300€ and reaches 14.800€ in full gear. Sure, it’s a real Pro computer. But so was the old Cheesegrater Mac Pro…. at a considerably lesser price point.
Cheapest Mac is the Mac Mini, but the baseline model is very limited with slow processor and only 4Gb of RAM. As soon as you begin adding memory and drive space the price quickly exceeds that of a similar PC. Same for the higher models. You easily get into the 1400 Euro range. Without a screen, keyboard or mouse.
So some weeks ago I transferred my trusty 2015 iMac to my son for his music work and got a used 2012 Mac Mini, the last one that could be upgraded! The processor is a bit on the slow side but I made that up with a couple SSDs and 16Gb of Ram. Now I have a killer machine that will serve me for one or two more years…. and it’s utterly silent, something VERY important for me.
But then, in a year or two I’ll have to make a decision… Mac or PC like in the old funny ads! What always held me back from PCs was Windows. Unstable, convoluted, at least the versions I knew and still have to use at work.
So last month I decided to take a new look at Windows 10 and I was positively surprised at first. Setup in Boot Camp on the Mac Mini was painless, fast, faster than setting up MacOS! So I decided to go along and try it out exclusively for a time.
Conclusion: It’s doable! It needs some loops to jump through but it’s possible to live with it. For one thing, you have to find add-ons for EVERYTHING you want to do. Open a PDF, download Adobe Reader. Want to edit documents, download some office suite. Edit photos… there’s Lightroom etc, nothing built in! Even a simple file preview needs an add-on. Something MacOS’s Preview does out of the box.
That is something I could get over. But then there’s other stuff that bothers me more. Windows 10 has backup solutions built in, two of them in fact. But they are extremely obscure, options for one are hidden in the configuration of the second. You don’t know what they are exactly doing and when they do it and they slow my computer down extremely. An third-party solution I tried does the same. The computer becomes unbearably slow. With Apple’s Time Machine I never experience any slowdowns, the operation is automatic and completely transparent and it saved me several times. It just works!
Updates are another bore. MacOS does them in the background and asks politely if it may install them. Windows downloads them and next time you want to quickly shut down your machine for any reason…. you don’t. You wait for Windows to finish updating.
Then there’s the constant nagging reminders to use Office 365 or OneDrive! OK if I went over to PC I’d probably do it but for Bill Gate’s sake, stop nagging me all the time!
Ah yes, one more thing I noticed. Even if Windows 10 does not run much faster than MacOS for any common tasks, the computer runs much hotter! CPU temperature is constantly at about 70° Celsius in Windows and only about 45° in Mac OS. Why??
Over all, working with Windows seems clumsy to my MacOS taste. It works, but for me it works only just so. Is it just a question of adjusting to it? Perhaps.
Then there’s the Hackintosh solution. For those who don’t know it’s a PC with just the right hardware so that, with the help of some trafficked software, you can install MacOS. In fact it’s a PC capable of running MacOS and Windows…. not particularly legal in fact!
But cheaper than a real Mac. But will it last as long? Will I like it as much?
Let me use it a bit more and make up my mind about it.
Thanks for reading this irrelevant stuff!