Monday, July 30
My New MacBook Air: The Adventures Of A PC Gal In The MacBook World
A couple of folks have asked me to talk about my experience as a former dyed-in-the-wool PC gal who, just recently, made the transition to Apple with my brand new 13" MacBook Air. So, for anyone curious about a PC-to-Mac transition, this is for you.
My Experience So Far
I love my MacBook Air. No, more than that, I am in love with my MacBook Air. I feel like writing sonnets to it, I hear music when I look at it and, above all, I wonder why on earth it took me so long to get one.
And then I remember: Money.
Let me play devil's advocate for a moment.
The PC Argument
It goes something like this (I know, because I've used it often enough!): You are going to pay about 400 dollars more for a MacBook Air than a PC laptop and the PC will weigh about the same, have about the same processor speed, RAM and memory.
Windows 7, the OS I use on my desktop, is a decent operating system and I'm used to it, so why change? Also, the functionality of the software I would run on a Mac laptop is about the same as the functionality of the software I would run on a PC (and I already have the programs).
Yes, the Mac is definitely prettier. No question. It has an elegance that no PC can match, but a person can do basically the same things on a Mac as on a PC so the only reason to buy a Mac is because it looks pretty.
Conclusion: If you buy a Mac laptop you're getting basically the same machine as a PC but you're spending around $400 more.
The Mac Rebuttal
Although my belief in the soundness of the PC argument wavered in the weeks before my Mac purchase I held onto it until the first time I sat down with my Air and took it for a whirl.
Here's the flaw in the argument: There IS no comparable PC.
I don't want to offend PC folks. After all, I'm one of you. My desktop is a PC and I love it. I bought all its parts and built it from the ground up. It works beautifully and if it ever has an issue, hardware or software, I feel secure in my ability to fix it. I have oodles of RAM and my video editing programs run like a dream.
In my experience so far, the biggest difference between a PC and a Mac is the user experience, not what you can do with the machine. For me, that was worth the money.
The Teensy-Weensy Problem
Okay, that said, there was one little hiccup I encountered.
If I could give one tip to a PC person using a MacBook for the first time it would be this: The spacebar is your friend.
Odd advice, right? Here's the thing. On the PC if you ever want to get a program to accept a command you press 'Enter'. You want to accept the changes made to a picture? Press Enter. You want to close down a program without saving? Press Enter. You want to shut the computer down for the night? Great! Press Enter.
So there I am going through the install for my MacBook Air trying to figure out how to advance to the next screen and wondering why the 'Enter/Return' key wasn't doing what it was supposed to.
It was embarrassing. I built my own PC and I can't advance to the next screen on a Mac!? This did not bode well.
At first I tried pressing return, then I tried return and every other keyboard combination possible, then I took a break, scratched my head and started pressing keys randomly. And yes, I agree, reading the instruction book probably would have helped, or even calling AppleCare.
I had to figure this out on my own. Besides, I didn't want to be That caller. You know, the one joked about in the coffee room, the clueless PC gal who couldn't figure out how to get from one screen to the next. Yea. That was SO not going to be me.
In any case, just as I started to believe the world didn't make sense anymore, I accidentally pressed the space bar and advanced to the next screen. I kid you not, it was a religious experience.
So, you PC people who are thinking of transitioning, learn from my ineptitude: the spacebar is your friend.
Whichever computer you use, I hope you have a good writing day. Cheers!
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Photo credit: Quang Minh