Although I favor using a computer at a desk with a proper chair and a keyboard at ergonomic height, for many years I’ve also owned a laptop. I use it to check email from my recliner, shop Amazon at the coffee shop, and take the occasional Zoom meeting on the deck. I’m on my third laptop, having bought a new one recently, a MacBook Air.
Macs have appeared from time to time in my professional life — I use one at work now. But until now, the computers I’ve bought for myself have always been Windows machines. At first, it was all about cost. Then for a long time it was about not reinvesting in all of the applications I’d bought. Today, I can afford a Mac and the key applications I use are subscription-based and portable.
There are some killer things about my MacBook Air. First, it is silent. Second, it starts instantly. Third, its battery life is fantastic. None of my Windows laptops offered any of that. Booting my last Windows laptop took several minutes. And you dared not forget the power cable, because after about an hour the battery was dead.
What keeps me from switching to Mac for my main machine is that after 30 years, Windows usage is seated deep in me. Whenever I need to do serious work on my company-issued Mac, I am forever cursing the different keyboard shortcuts. My finger has never gotten used to finding the Mac’s Command button, rather than the Ctrl button on my Windows machines. I can fly through my work so much faster on Windows. But for the light use I give my laptop, this doesn’t matter.
When I bought my first computer, back in about 1990, I was a hardware nerd. I had that PC custom built to my specifications. I’ve purchased off-the-shelf PCs since then, but would routinely later improve them with more memory or a fatter hard drive.
I’ve lost that verve. I just want a machine that works. Buy it, plug everything in, turn it on, and then forget about it. I thought I was getting that when I bought my current machine, a little Intel NUC. It’s a tiny computer, about six inches square and three inches high. The stupid thing overheats, and when it does, it shuts down. I’ve solved that problem MacGyver style by taking the plastic cover off the top and sticking a giant aluminum heat sink directly onto the visible components. It’s ugly, but it works. Even then, when I have too many browser tabs open and then open Photoshop, the fan runs fast and hard.
My brother has been a heavy Mac user for years, and has never had to deal with anything like that.
Will this be enough to finally make me switch to Mac entirely, and just deal with the learning curve?