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Brian Pasch switches to Mac

I can remember my first computers which included the Apple IIe, Radio Shack TRS-80 and even my Kaypro CPM based portable (luggable) PC.

My first real business computer was an IBM PC/XT and I've owned PC computers with every CPU upgrade since that first 8086 Intel processor. Many readers may not understand the mixture of smiles and cursing that was associated with AST Rampage memory boards, ATI Video cards, Seagate Hard Drives, Phoenix BIOS chips, serial port cards, SCSI hard disk drives, ESDI hard drives, Novel networking software or the turn in the marketing when Compaq came out with the first 386 desktop. I feel old just recalling all those names that once were very important to me as a computer consultant.

Tomorrow Is A Day of Change

Tomorrow, on Black Friday, Apple is planning a special one day sale and some have reported that the Apple sale will include discounts on hardware and software. After all the years as a PC advocate, I am going out to purchase six iMac desktops (List: $1,199) and two Mac laptops for my newly hired staff. The sale details will be posted on midnight, Thanksgiving night.

I'm sharing this story because the world of PC hardware and software has dramatically changed in the past few years. Most of the work done on computers today are either web based applications or productivity software like Microsoft Office.

In fact, my office recently switched most of the productivity software to "Open Office" which is a free software platform with features comparable to Microsoft Office. Adding a thousand dollars in software costs for every new employee was getting old fast. All my WordPress microsite developers need is a text editor, FTP software and a web browser to work all day long and all of these tools are free.

As more open source, free software becomes available and more application move to the web, the hardware platform will become less import and the OS will rule the day. The Apple iPhone and new Blackberry Phones can surf the web in a pinch very nicely and they are a PHONE. This is one reason why Google has decided to go into the OS business, but more on that in a minute.

With the emergence of cloud computing, large server closets or data centers in corporate America will soon be a thing of the past. Being a PC hardware specialist has less demand in the current marketplace. Hardware is becoming disposable just like when a phone breaks, you don't decide you open up the device and fix it. The world is becoming a network of web browsers connected to cloud computing data centers.

Operating System Alternatives

As previously mentioned, Google has even moved into the Operating System (OS) business with new devices based on their web centric OS. It is not as robust as Windows 7 but it does not have to be to gain momentum in the market. Many consumers use their computers for only email, web surfing, social networking, photos, music and video. All of these common tasks can be done seamlessly on a Mac and in the future, maybe Google OS.

Google Chrome and Firefox have made Internet Explorer obsolete. WordPress Guru Rich Galiano calls IE "Internet Exploder". The web experience on a Mac is richer and the tools that come with a Mac are more user friendly and innovative.

Hardware Costs Can Be Deceiving

iMac Costs

PC hardware is less expensive than Mac hardware so if you just look at price, you would never buy a Mac. That's why I think there has been less of a conversion to the Mac Operating System. You can purchase a decent PC laptop for $700 and the new Mac laptops start at $999.

Those $300 in hardware savings can quickly evaporate with PC support costs. My top of the line Dell PC and Windows Vista locks up every week and is annoying. Vista has been a train wreck and my last batch of Dell laptops with Vista have been a nightmare. Of the five that I purchased, two of them have intermittent software problems that cause hours of nonproductive time each month. Dell can't fix the problem.

I'm planning on purchasing the Apple Care support package and have all purchased hardware covered for three years. This locks my costs in upfront and based on my experience, the added costs will be paid back for me in the first two months.

Goodbye Microsoft Operating System

It's been a love hate relationship since the early 80's but I have to admit that I have been courted by a slick operating system and sexy hardware that is more reliable and easier to master in a web based world.

I need to focus on my business and productivity and I believe the time has come to face the reality that in a web based world we can lose the tether of the Microsoft Operating System.

P.S. I'll be at the Apple Store in Freehold at 5:00 am.

Brian Pasch

Views: 27

Tags: cloudcomputing, macs, pc


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Comment by Patrick Downes on December 6, 2009 at 2:17pm
Once you go Mac you NEVER go back, I want my Apple Tablet NOW....

Comment by Alan Moore on December 5, 2009 at 8:15pm
And then you have the extremely cheap people like me. I am so cheap, I didn't even pay retail for my last PC desktop. I found an eMachines EL1200 on eBay loaded with viruses and it could hardly boot to a desktop. $398 new at Walmart, but $215 was my winning bid. $25 to triple the memory and 9 hours of crud removal later, I had a great computer. For about six months...

I'm currently posting from a $309 Windows 7 Acer laptop with a $40 processor upgrade. Had I waited a week I could have bought it for $249 on Black Friday. But it's good. I have it running as if it were a desktop, sitting in my closed keyboard shelf, with a keyboard and mouse on top of my desk, my 19" LCD from the eMachines computer, a pair of speakers, and a camera dock all plugged into the USB ports.

There is a part of me that misses the Macs I used to own. Plus, SE, IIx, LCIII, 6500/180, iMac G3, iMac DV SE, G3/300 and G4/400 towers graced my desks for the 18 years prior to buying a $349 Gateway laptop two summers ago.

I could probably make do with a used Mini in place of this laptop. But then I have to migrate everything all over again. Twenty years ago I had ten 800K floppy disks holding all my stuff. As recently as five years ago I could do it on a single CD-R. Now I have 32GB of data to move. Pictures, videos, documents, spreadsheets, PDF files, little freeware programs, music, and graphics. It would take 8 DVD's. 4 if I go buy double layer media. And the amount of time to back it all up is heartache enough, let alone a migration.

I'll have to see how long this T4300-equipped laptop can keep up with my life!
Comment by Brian Pasch on November 27, 2009 at 12:57am
Yes, there is a software program that doesn't require you to have dual boot for the PC OS so you can run a Microsoft OS window and IE in a window inside the Mac OS. This is info I got from my new web developer who is a long time Mac fan.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 26, 2009 at 9:22pm
Actually, web browsers bring up a good point... I use IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera on my PC's. On my Mac I use Safari and Firefox. I wonder of there is a way to run IE or an IE emulation on a Mac. Many of the OEM, ADP and Reynolds applications work with IE but either do not run or work intermittently in other browsers...

In our rebuild of NetTrack we are requiring that it work with all web standards and browsers so it will no longer only work in IE.
Comment by Brian Pasch on November 26, 2009 at 8:28pm
I've always held back because of programming tools that I lived to use like Microsoft Expressions Web but as I have moved most of my focus to WordPress, I can use the Adobe CS4 Suite and a text editor and I'm all set. I'm just tired of having new patches and reboots done every week. I'm tired of the screen lock-ups and now that I get hundreds of emails a day, Outlook is just a dog.

I'll start with my office and then start converting my rig...I used to think I needed alot of horsepower but actually as the Internet has evolved, I just need a solid OS and a very compatible web browser and off I go.

Come to the dark side.....with me. :)
Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 26, 2009 at 8:20pm
Brian, I picked up a Mac G5 workstation from a dealer a year ago... The machine was one of the last 200 built by Apple using dual PowerPC processor from Motorola (December 2005). In my home office, I have 3 PC's that I use. One is a typical MS/Intel desktop with lots of RAM and several Terabytes of hard drives, including a RAID setup. The second one is the docking station I plu my ADP issued laptop into so I can sync and transfer files when i come home off the road. The third used to be my big hot-rodded Dell E1705 with upgraded hardware and some cool content generation software... I love that 1900x1200 resolution 17" monitor, biut it's a bitch to travel with... Well, the big ass Dell is now my living room entertainment rig and the the Mac Workstation with the dual dual-core Motorolas is in its place.... For the past year I have found myself turning to the Mac more and more often for web based work. despite being 4 years old, the machine outperforms all my PC based systems, even the ones with a lot more horsepower under the hood.

What really amazes me about the Mac is that I have had ZERO system crashes, I can leave it on all the time and it never seems to get bogged down. There has yet to be anything even remotely resembling malware or viruses to show up on it, while at the same time i have repeatedly had to flush my PC systems, while constantly updating and running expensive Kaspersky Anti-virus mojo on my PC's just to keep the bugs from bogging them down...

Every time I am working on my PC's and they become inoperable while trying to complete a processing task, I swivel my office chair and start working on some other (usually web based) task with my Mac Workstation... Sometimes I forget to go back to the PC's and end up getting a bunch of work completed with the Mac...

Like your description, I have been buying, building and in my case, hot-rodding PC's since 1984, first the XT, then the wonderful hard drive with the AT, and then all those 386, 486 and Pentium processor units... I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on various PC's and upgrade components... My house is littered with laptops, desktops and servers. I find it almost irritating how well these Macs work and run, but my wife has been using Macs and telling me about their benefits for 10 years, so I have few excuses.

I do not think I am getting rid of my PC based working lifestyle, but I do appreciate my Mac Workstation and will most likely continue to use it more and more in the future.

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