Well it’s been about four months since I sold the Powerbook. I had all types of reasons to get rid of it, but now I find myself looking at macs again.
What’s changed? Well there are a few specific things:

  • Mac performance got a lot better. The PPC to Intel jump was huge, and even Photoshop and friends are about to finish the transition to Intel code.
  • VMware is going to release a product for the Mac. This makes most of the software incompatibility pain go away. I’ve been using a Windows desktop at home since I sold the mac, and I find that most of the time I need to run Windows apps is to interact with systems at work. But even then, it’s just simple things like our VPN client (which probably works on the mac by now) and Outlook. All this stuff runs just fine in a VM.
  • Vista was kind of a let down. A lot of stuff doesn’t work with it. I’m not sure that they fixed any of the fundamental problems, and it kinda looks ugly IMHO. It feels like a mishmash of eye candy. It still has a lot of ugly greys, and a smattering of inconsistent designs. Sure, glass window borders are cool, but are they really useful? The real stuff I look forward to in Vista is real double buffering (which OS X has had for a while) as well as better font rendering.
  • Messing with hardware is a pain. When I built my new desktop, I was super careful about the parts that I chose. I picked all the reputable manufacturers, and only picked pieces that were well reviewed. And yet.. I still had problems. The wireless on the Asus P5B is a little flaky, I get weird messed up graphics when waking up my machine sometimes.. resume from suspend take 15 seconds! I thought building at all would be worth my time again, but it’s really hard to say that it was.
  • The selection of keyboards is rather small for the Mac, but I settled on the HHK Pro, and that works fine with the mac

I have lots of time to think about it, since I’m not going to make any sudden moves. The other thing I realized that is somewhat unfortunate about PC’s is that they’re much harder to sell on craigslist. Apple’s are recognizable, and have lasting value since they sport designs that appeal to everyone. How many people are you going to find that appreciate a custom built PC? Dell took over the market years ago. Nobody cares anymore.
I suppose all is not lost. I can still install Linux on my home machine and do something interesting with it. But I’m definitely feeling these days that I should have just spent a little more and gone for the Mac Pro.

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