In an effort to start updating this blog more frequently, I have decided to begin writing a series of occasional articles entitled “One Good Apple”, in which I will try and outline some of the problems and advantages of being the only Apple Mac user in a Windows environment.
I started work at Full Fat about sixteen months ago, and spent the first nine months wrestling with a Windows XP machine. I tried to like it, really I did, but eventually the boss got fed up of my whinging and sulking, and invested in the mighty Mac Pro that I am using now. Luckily for me, as well as having management willing to invest in relatively expensive hardware to keep me happy, our IT department (Mat) was also willing to support a new OS in what has previously been a Windows only environment. Overall, integrating the Mac into the companies network has been relatively painless. However, there have been a few minor technical hurdles and “gotchas” to overcome, so I thought I would use this blog to outline some of the benefits and burdens of being the only Apple in a company of some thirty plus Windows XP users.
Most of these posts are likely to focus on technical issues, but I thought it might also be nice to discuss some of the perceptual problems that have ensued from being odd man out. Many people still have a distorted view of Apple and the Mac OS; most often the Mac is dismissed as being “too expensive”, or “just a toy”. Some of these attitudes are just leg pulling and banter intended to provoke my inner Apple Evangelist; others arise from a genuine, or even sometimes wilful lack of understanding.
My intention is to be as forthright and unbiased as possible, but as a Mac user for more than 10 years now, there will inevitably be a bias towards my preferred platform. After using a Windows XP as my primary OS every day for some nine months, I feel I can at least attempt an informed comparison between XP and OS X, but I will state right from the outset that, in my experience, and in terms of usability, XP is markedly inferior to OS X. Given that XP is several years old now, this perhaps isn’t surprising, but given the reception Vista has received from the press and from people I know, it doesn’t seem that Microsoft has made up much ground.
And Leopard is only a few weeks away.