Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Mac Experiment, Take III

This was too common a
sight on my G4.
Over the course of this blog, I've recounted my experiment with branching out from my known world as a PC guru and graphic artist, into the Apple Macintosh realm. I know this sounds counter to how most computer artists have done things, but there are a bunch of us out here who grew up with PCs rather than Macs, particularly in the sign, engraving and embroidery industries. So, in August of 2010, when it was time to replace our wheezing old laptop (which functioned as our mobile, spare computer) I decided it was time to dip a toe into the iUniverse.

My first Mac was a PowerBook G4, a 2005 model. Though a five-year-old PC is a rather common thing to find in offices and dens everywhere, I soon found out that Apple expects you to upgrade by then. They had abandoned support and upgrades for the computer by the time I got it. And small wonder, the PowerBook--even maxed out for memory--was unusably slow, and just got slower as it aged. In those early days though, I familiarized myself with Adobe CS3 graphics suite, and forced myself to take and make lessons for myself.
Screen on my old MBP wigging out.

In the waning days of 2011, I'd had enough. Though the G4 had been top-of-the-line when new, a bargain basement PC of the same vintage would have run circles around it. So, I sold it (along with our old portable PC and some unused software), and bought a newer MacBook Pro on eBay. The difference was immense, and I really dug the new MBP, even though it had some cosmetic flaws. I continued with lessons (now on Adobe CS5.5), and ended up using the thing a heck of a lot more on a daily basis, even though my "real" computer is still my desktop PC. But my happy world was about to be rocked. Yes, as luck would have it, my MBP was one of a series with a defective graphics card, which went on the fritz about 10 weeks after Apple stopped willingly fixing them!

The new(ish) MacBook Pro
Faced with a $550 repair of my now almost five-year-old MBP, I hit eBay again, and this time got a 2009 MacBook Pro. This one is a refurbished model, and it came with all of the goodies (this time Adobe CS6). I'm prepping and boxing up the dying older model, and selling it for parts this weekend. I'm typing this blog post on the new one, and I've got to say, I'm grinning while I do. Don't worry, the Cult of Mac hasn't got me yet. But this system looks and feels brand new (and let's face it, it is four years newer than my first one, even if it's 3.5 years old itself), and also feels like a substantial upgrade, even if it's the same line of computers.

So, this is my third used Macintosh in the space of less than two-and-one-half years. I can't be sure that this one won't croak on me too at some point. And in that regard, I have to say that the luster is off the Apple for me. Problem-free, my eye! But I'm feeling that I now have to step up my game. Even considering the cost that repairs would have run me, and the potential cash back I'll get for selling the broken one, this computer was pricey. I can rationalize it by comparing the cost to a new MacBook Pro (boy howdy), but I think I need to step up my lessons again. Fortunately, it also came with Parallels and Windows 7, letting me toggle between Mac and PC! So, I have very little excuse for not being able to get my work done on this beauty.

By the way, I did the math, and this is my eleventh computer, including a generic 486DX, Pentium I, Pentium II, Pentium 4, Pentium 4D, Core2Duo, i5 [all PCs]; a Celeron PC laptop; and the three Macs from this article. Presently, four of them are still in use! But one is on its way out the door. [08/01/13 update] I've added another computer (my 12th) to the mix, a Windows 8 computer with an AMD something-or-other chip. It's zippy, but confusing. My third Mac is still chugging, still doing well, still used every day. But potentially threatened by the odd desire for an iPad. I sold the Pentium 4 to my boss' company, and the 4D is now going out the door.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have something to say to us? Post it here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...