Converting From PC to Mac

Both of my grandfathers are rolling over in their graves as I type this on my new MacBook Pro. Each retired from IBM with a gold watch. My father retired from IBM a few years ago with over 25 years in; my parents even met at the IBM plant in New York in the early 70’s. Needless to say my family owes a lot to Big Blue and the PC world in general. But in July of this year, I finally got tired of fighting with the Windows/PC issues and called it quits. After doing the research and hearing all kinds of warnings such as “you can’t use Apple products for business” and “you can buy two PC’s for the price of one Mac” I took the plunge. Here’s what I’ve learned…

Apple just builds a better mousetrap. Time will tell if it was a Steve Jobs thing or it is ingrained in the company itself, but my MacBook does exactly what I want it to do- work. The Mac starts up faster, connects to the internet quicker, and best yet, doesn’t crash. I can’t remember the last time I had to reboot.

 The charger for my Mac measures about 3 inches square and connects magnetically to the computer. You can’t trip over it  or break it off because it’s not really “plugged in”. And it doesn’t weigh 5 pounds like my old chargers. I went on an overnight trip to the mountains recently and didn’t even take a charger, something I couldn’t imagine doing with the two PC laptops I’ve used.

Even opening the packaging made me smile- white cardboard with my new laptop cradled in two foam supports. No stickers of “what’s inside”, no disclaimers, or other garbage. Thank you Apple, for selling me a product that is well designed and does what I paid for it to do.

The customer service is great. Being new to the Apple world, I sprung for the optional Apple Care warranty. For a one-time fee, Apple Care offers 3 year hardware coverage, unlimited technical support, and software support. Editing a video using iMovie and have trouble with transitions? Call ‘em up and they answer your questions. Struggling to understand how iTunes sorts your music and what to do if your library exceeds the size of your iPod? They can help. They speak English, are courteous, and most of all, answer the phone! No crazy wait times or taking time to sell you other services. If you don’t mind the crowd, take it to an Apple store. Make an appointment and a knowledgeable staff person will help diagnose the problem. Try that at Best Buy or Office Max with your new Window 8 machine.

Software that makes sense. In my opinion, PC’s come two ways: stripped or loaded with a bunch of stuff I don’t need. Macs come with the basic package and you can buy the options you want. There’s Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presenting. All beautifully designed and compatible with Office products. Tell me something, why can Apple software open most PC file extensions but not the other way around? Good thing Apple thought to include an option to save as PC file types- makes switching or sharing a breeze. And the cost- a whopping $20 each.

To save some money, consider a refurbished unit. They come with the same warranty but you can save around 20%. I bought a unit in July that came out in October of the previous year. The specs were nearly identical and the savings made it well worth the slight decrease in performance. Browse refurbished machines online at the Apple store, the link is near the bottom on the right hand side of the homepage.

The conversion is not without some small headaches but overall, has been a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. If you’re considering taking the plunge- go for it. I’m looking forward to getting my first iPhone in May and as long as Apple keeps producing intelligently designed and quality products, I’m going to keep buying. I’d rather pay more for a product that works and doesn’t require an IT degree.

I’m sorry Dad. I hope Grandpa and Papa both understand.