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.

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