I Bought a Mac Yesterday – What a Bad Experience!

  • Comments: 23
  • Written on: November 12th, 2007

imac_narrowweb__300×4422.jpgLast Saturday I did something that I have not done since 1994 – I bought an Apple computer.

After editing more than 5 hours of HD quality video on the 12.4 inch widescreen of my poor little HP business notebook, I decided it was time to give the Mac Cool-Aid a try. I went to the Apple store in at Village Point in Omaha, NE to take a look into a computing world from which I had been absent for quite a while.

The last Mac I had was a Mac Classic 2 that I bought from a guy for $400 in 1994. I used the heck out of that little thing for school and some of the platform games of the time until it was replaced by the IBM Aptiva PC that I won in a contest in 1995. I have been PC ever since.

When I walked into the Apple store it was like a whole different world. The store was very nicely designed and just looked cool – kind of like the computers. I was approached by a sales guy and my first instinct was to dismiss him and say I was just looking. I have been selling PCs for more than 8 years, and I know my way around the jargon.

I knew I was going to be doing a lot of video editing, so I started off looking at the Power Macs. These are the more powerful members of the Mac family. But my confidence started to slip a bit when I saw some of the prices in relation to the hardware that you get with a Mac. For almost $2,500 I could get a mac with 2 GB of memory, a mid-range dual core processor, and a 500 GB hard Drive. Similar hardware in a PC would cost 1/2 that amount.

I asked one of the sales guys to compare the Power Mac to a similarly equipped PC running Windows Vista. I know what a PC can do with that hardware (which isn’t much when it comes to video). The Mac guy was nice enough, but he was completely unprepared to compare a Mac to a PC and he seemed to get annoyed when I named specific features of a PC and asked if the Mac had them.

The longer I stayed at the Mac store, the more I felt like a Catholic at a bar mitzvah. As I compared a Mac to a PC, the associate seemed to become more and more curt. I decided to buy an iMac that had nearly the same features as the Power Mac at 1/2 the price (still $1700 for for what would have cost $900 in a PC). The only thing I didn’t like about the iMac was that the hard drive was only 320 GB.

I jokingly said to the Mac Guy that as soon as I got home I would be cracking that puppy open and replacing the hard drive with a 750 GB. His face contorted and he said he wouldn’t recommend that because its REALLY hard to do and it would void my warranty! I was stunned!

I thought Macs were for the cool people. The people who understood how computing was supposed to work. I thought Macs were intuitive and easy. Here is this Mac Guy telling me a process that would take 15 minutes (including the cloning process) on a PC would be next to impossible on a Mac? He even said their tech bench didn’t like to replace hard drives. So what do Mac users do when their hard drives die (since Mac and PC use the same hard drives)? Do they just pitch it and start over?

No, they take it to the Mac Service Center to avoid voiding their warranty in a 1996-style strong arm tactic that almost all PC manufactures left behind in the 20th century. For such a cultured, socially superior company the whole no-touchy warranty is so draconian.

I got my Mac home on Saturday, and I am just now getting proficient with the shortcut keys, the lack of a right click on the mouse, the fact the hitting the “end” key jumps you to the end of the web page and not the end of the line of text you are typing, and a number of other small things that I had come to take for granted in a PC.

Undoubtedly having a Mac at my fingertips and learning the shortcuts and quirks will help me when Mac callers call into my weekly radio show as well as when I am producing video. But other than that, PC is probably going to remain my go-to platform when I need to get something done fast.

  1. Guy
    Guy said on November 12th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Mac’s do have right buttons, its just they have to be programmed first via System Preferences.

    I beleive if you actually sat down and added up what a 20 inch iMac costs and the software that comes with it on a spec by spec basis you will find that iMacs might not be cheaper, but they will definitely be very close in cost to a PC with the software you get with a Mac.

    If you need additional hard drive space just buy an external drive. From a performance standpoint you don’t want you video editing drive to be the systems drive anyway.

    And as for the Apple clerks – welcome to world of retail – no better at the PC houses – and many cases much worse.

  2. Douglas Karr said on November 12th, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    There’s definitely a hubris among the Mac elite. I own quite a few Apple products and didn’t own any a few years ago. I get a chuckle every time I see a Mac hack make the market, though! It must make them choke when you talk like that!

    Next time, order online… then you don’t have to put up with these phonies.

  3. Jean Costa said on November 12th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Here is a nice video by Chris, that explains the myth of the right click on the mac.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9WHJT4WsbM

    Def a good watch.

  4. browie said on November 12th, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Macs blow. I wanted to get a imac because of my ed. job and all schools ya macs so i can use it at home but i was like meh not spending that on a mac.

  5. Thor Schrock said on November 12th, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    @Guy… So I need to program my Mac’s right click button before I know what I want to do with it?

    I will give you the concession that the default software that comes with a Mac is better than the default software that comes with a PC. A PC comes with a counterpart for everything that was on a Mac, with fewer options.

    Now does that make a $1,000 difference? I think that is the debate.

    As for the sales associate, I hear what you are saying. I am used to insisting on a certain level of service for my customers at Schrock Innovations. I guess it is not fair to hold Mac sales people to that standard. As compared with sales associates at Best Buy, I suppose he did all right.

  6. Thor Schrock said on November 12th, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    @ Jean, hey man good to see you popping your head up.

  7. Thor Schrock said on November 12th, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    @ Browie, The funny thing is that I installed Microsoft Messenger on my iMac and set my personal message to Macs Blow. You a freaking clairvoyant!

  8. Thor Schrock said on November 12th, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    By the way, this blog looks awesome in Firefox and IE7, but the right sidebar is screwed up in Safari. I asked my open-source guru tech to look into it for me and he said, who the hell uses Safari???

  9. hanji said on November 12th, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Last year I had to resort to buying a Mac for myself. I picked up a MacMini using the x86 chipset. Coming from a Linux back ground it was fun messing around in the shell, etc… but was about it.

    As to your Safari statement, which got a chuckle out of me. The reason I bought the Mini was to be able to test web sites on the Mac, since I was starting to run into more and more clients using Safari browsers. Granted the number is small.. but definitely on the rise.

    hanji

  10. Guy
    Guy said on November 13th, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Some last comment about Macs – I have been running Parallels which gives me the best of both worlds and in the case of the iMacs – in complete silence – no fans. It is nice to work at home in a silent room, devoid of background fan noise and use Leopard’s multi-desktop feature to move effortlessly between XP and OS X in a few milliseconds. I am a firm believer in using the best software to get the job done – whatever platform it runs on! Since I do a lot of high end video editing, the natural choice is a Mac for things like FCP and Motion. Since other editing tools like After Effects and Boris run on OS X it just furthers the decision, however when I need something like Canvas its back to the PC world because it just runs better on a PC then it does on a Mac, but now I do it with the click of a mouse instead of swiveling my chair like I did before Intel based Macs (less monitors, less wires, less electricity). I also like the interoperability of Apple’s apps like iWeb, Pages, Keynote & Numbers. While Adobe & MS offer this with their apps it’s at fraction of the price with Apples. Apple is seemingly moving back toward the legendary interoperability they once had with the Lisa 7/7 software in the early 80’s And now with the Intel chips they have realized much of the potential they touted via their CHRP boxes in the early 90’s (which never materialized) It appears that what is old, is new again. One machine – multiple computers, limitless ability. Can’t beat it with a stick!
    I admit Apple can be snobbish, but if its true (and much of the time it is with Apple) it ain’t bragging!

  11. Karol Krizka said on November 13th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t think that the different shortcuts are a good enough point to say that “Mac Blows”. Just because they are not what you are used to does not mean they are terrible. For example, could a Mac guy say that Windows blows because it requires too many mouse buttons? I think after you use a Mac for a bit, you might start to see the advantages of a single button mouse and get even faster with it.

    But maybe your customer experience could count. I never bought a Mac, so I wouldn’t know how they do service and repair. Maybe their parts are of a higher quality and require less service? 😛 I dunno.

    Good luck with your purchase!

  12. Trisha said on November 13th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Thor – your 2nd paragraph comment about the “Mac cool aid” was a big tip-off to your attitude……some people go into the experience of buying a Mac subconciously wanting to NOT enjoy either the experience of shopping for/buying a new Mac, or the experience of using one. This is typical of folks who, for the most part, have been relatively happy with a [Windows] PC, so they fail to understand the full benefit of switching, or the value of the Mac, and so they view all Mac users as “snobs” and Macs as overpriced PCs.

    Recently an acquaintance purchased an iMac, but insisted on working only on all of his PC software using Parallels, got frustrated with a few minor issues, and sold the Mac to go back to (what he was used to) a PC – he never once actually “used” his Mac…….sad……

    I’m hoping that in time, as you get comfortable with what your Mac will do for you (and get past the small issues like a right-click mouse button – perhaps by doing as many happy Mac users do and use a nice Logitech mouse instead) and soon you’ll appreciate it. At that point you’ll see that the Mac is truly a superior computer, and well worth it’s price.

    In my job I am forced to provide tech support for PCs, running every flavor of Windows ever made, and I can tell you from my daily experience that the Mac is, as stated, superior and a great value.

    Good luck with your new Mac, and please call on your Mac friends to help speed your learning curve – email me as well if you have questions! 🙂

  13. Thor Schrock said on November 13th, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    @ Trisha.. I paid $1700 for this thing to make me some nice videos and I plan to get my money’s worth out of it!

    I know there is a learning curve to any piece of technology. For example, ZDNet reported that to text on an iPhone at the same speed as a Pocket PC would take about 20 hours of practice.

    I will put my Mac time in, but I seem to need one hand on the keyboard at all times to accomplish the same things I could easily do with just a mouse on a PC.

    Is there a good Mac right click programming tutorial out there that could help me shave my learning curve?

    On the positive side, the Safari’s real-time spell check is awesome! I am a horrible speller nd it is nice to have a Word-like real-time spell checker in the browser. (Although Safari has locked up on me twice to the point I had to “Force Quit” it and send a report to Apple.)

    But once again, to correct any misspellings, I have to hold down a key on the keyboard while I click.

  14. hanji said on November 13th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Hello Thor

    Do you check your tschrock email account? Just wanted to check, I sent you a site related ‘issue’ to that account today.

    Thanks!
    hanji

  15. Thor Schrock said on November 13th, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Hanji, we are flipping our DNS servers today so email is spotty till tomorrow. If you are referring to the code on the top left of the blog its related to the DNS propagation too. Try emailing me at thor_schrock@hotmail.com today. Thanks!

  16. Trisha said on November 13th, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Assuming you have the “mighty mouse” which uses touch-sensitive
    technology to detect if you are clicking on it’s left or right side
    (of the front), you only need to go the System Preferences =>
    Keyboard/Mouse, and on the Mouse tab set the right side as your
    “secondary” button – this should give you all the standard right-
    click functions when you press down on the right side of the front of
    the mouse. You’ve no doubt noticed that your little button (the
    nibbon on the top) can be scrolled or clicked, so you can assign
    actions to both, and you can assign actions to the left-side and
    right-side buttons as well – I recommend leaving the left-front and
    right-front as your stock primary/secondary buttons.

    There is a decent (not great) explanation here:
    http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/software.html

    All that being said, I love my Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard
    so much that I don’t use my mighty mouse – I kept the Logitech
    because the mouse fits my hand better, and your iMac will work with
    any mouse you choose. If you spend a lot of time working with a
    Mouse, it’s worth it to have one that is ergonomically designed to
    fit your hand and function with minimal movement. your iMac won’t
    mind. 🙂

  17. Thor Schrock said on November 15th, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for the right click tip. I have the mighty mouse working with its right click now and it makes my iMac sooooo much eaier to use!

  18. Tom
    Tom said on November 16th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    give it time you will love it

  19. Gary Hates Macs
    Gary Hates Macs said on February 6th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Sorry, macs seriously blow. I have to work with plenty of them at work, and they just plain suck. Freeze up more often than my PCs do, programs made for them often get locked up. The whole interface is anything but logical…they are just built to “look good”. Any yes, have fun upgrading them. They really truly suck.

  20. Trisha said on February 6th, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Wow, Gary, life must really be bad for you! 😀 I simply had to respond because my experience has been totally different. I own 3 Macs, and all of them are such an improvement over the PCs we also own that I would NEVER go back to a PC. Mine do not freeze, nor do my applications get locked up. Yes there is a learning curve to get used to a different interface, but once you do you realize how much more elegant and efficient it is – perhaps you have no patience for the learning curve required. I’ve also recently upgraded them to Leopard, which went astonishingly smoothly compared to upgrading Winblows……err, I mean Window$. The only problem I had was one I caused myself (on my laptop) but once I figured that out, the upgrade was a breeze and it’s been working flawlessly on all 3 since then.

    I sincerely hope that you’ll consider trying again someday, and really give it an open-minded chance – if you do you might just discover that you like Macs. Or is that what you’re afraid of?

  21. Thor Schrock said on February 6th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I have to say that Macs definately have their strengths. The main thing that is keeping me from switching is having to repurchase all of my software (I have everything I need for the PC and nothing I need for the Mac).

    I now own 2 Macs (a Macbook and an iMac). Leopard does bomb occationally on the iMac, but not on the Macbook. from what I have heard when Apple switched to the Intel chopset it created some hardware issues.

  22. Ubieranki said on December 5th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    ohh my really? that’s baaad I want to buy Mac, that’s difficult

  23. […] arrived at the dreaded Apple Store and were promptly helped by an associate named Nick. He was so incredibly awesome I actually pulled […]

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