Friday, March 18, 2016

My Journey from Windows to Apple

For about a decade, I only had computers with the Microsoft operating system. I worked in tech support, where my job was to troubleshoot Windows XP and, later, Windows 7. Despite the numerous crazy problems I saw day in, day out, I was living by this philosophy:



Then I became a full-time freelancer. I invested in a "really good" Sony Vaio laptop. You know how they say some cars are just lemons from the start? That was this laptop. (Even Shelby was sad about it.)



Apparently Sony didn't really feel the need to make its hardware work with Windows 8. It probably had something to do with the fact that the company was fed up with selling computers, since they sold their computer division off about a minute after I bought this laptop.



I've complained about that Sony piece of crap laptop a million times on this blog, so I'll make it short. Blue screen of death once a month, which meant completely reloading the thing using something called "Assist." That process was easy--but it meant losing everything. So all of my files had to stay on one of these:



After about a year of that nonsense, I realized I was losing money. My freelance work is my living. If I have to spend the day fixing my computer, I can't meet my client's deadlines and that isn't good for business. On top of that...



I knew it was time. I just needed a laptop that would work. Every day. Without needing tech support. For at least four years. My decade of experience with Windows products had taught me that will never, ever happen, especially with Windows coming out with a new operating system every 15 days. There was only one solution...



It's been one year and four months with this computer and I've had not a single problem. Not one. NOT. ONE. It hasn't even frozen up. No viruses, no blue screens of death, no scrambling to find the control + alt + delete combo, then pounding the keys 20 times to no avail before reaching for the power button. None of that.



The funny thing is, just ten years ago I regularly told people that Macs were mostly for graphic designers and video editors. Regular people didn't really need to spend the extra money. But when I attend a writers' conference, it's very rare that I meet someone who doesn't use a Mac. Among my full-time freelancing buddies, most use Macs. 



It seems to have gone much more mainstream since iPhones have taught us the benefits of having your software designed by the same people who designed your hardware. Maybe Microsoft frustration is sending more people Apple's way.



I'm sure most of you have Windows and never have problems, but I'm just glad to have a laptop that works every day. I spent ten years fixing computers and I'd like to spend the rest of my life just writing!

How do you handle computer problems?

54 comments:

  1. Ironically, Apple just lost the top spot for customer confidence this week. (To Amazon of all companies.)
    Windows computer? You mean a PC?
    I've worked on both and still prefer a PC. We've purchased Dells for the past fifteen-twenty years, including our one and only laptop - which is now ten years old and still works great.
    I will say Apple's iPads are hardy creatures! We still have our very first one and it also works fine. We keep it in the kitchen and use it for recipes and music.

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    1. Yes--tried to keep it simple for my readers. If I'd said PC, they might have gotten it but I'm not sure! So for the sake of this, I called them "Windows computers" as opposed to Microsoft operating system or PC. Maybe I should change it, though...I don't want to sound stupid! I just don't know if "PC" would connect with everyone.

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    2. (Changed it... "Windows computers" just sounded ignorant!)

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  2. My dad brought our first computer home in 1980. I was a PC girl until I could afford a MAC 4 years ago. I haven't had a computer problem since . . .I can't remember what I did.

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    1. I remember writing my first book on an old DOS-based computer we had...that was just before Windows 95. We had a dot-matrix printer, too. I'm just impressed we had a computer at all. I think I sent out resumes the summer after college graduation using one of my mom's DOS-based computers...that would have been 1992. But my first two jobs had shared computers. Everyone in the office had to go to the same room to use it. Being in the workplace from 1992-1995 was interesting because everything changed in a major way at once in 1995. Suddenly there was a computer on every desk and the way people worked changed forever.

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  3. I guess I've been lucky with my Dells, especially the one I'm using now which is still running XP, which tells you how old it must be.

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    1. Yeah--my husband still has an old Dell that he uses when he isn't working. (His work laptop is a MacBook.) It randomly updated to Windows 10 one night, I believe. I don't think XP will do that--but the newer PCs will, which is just annoying! I didn't care for Windows 8, to be honest. But if the computer hadn't had issues, I would have just kept using it for a few years. All I need is Word and the Internet and to print something once every couple of weeks. I don't ask for much! I even seem to forget to reboot my MacBook for weeks at a time...doesn't seem to affect anything, but if updates run at 2 a.m. or whatever, it'll reboot and open all my windows for me and I barely even realize it happened!

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  4. I have a MacBook Pro and I love it... but my older Mac computer works fine except I can hardly read the screen because there are burnt pixels line all over the entire screen, so I don't use it anymore.
    Most annoying, Apple did not want to replace my computer. I searched online and many people had the very same problem at that time. I can't remember what year it was. Burnt Pixels and burnt me...
    I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect computer.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. That is strange! Burnt pixels...they're usually really good about replacing things if it's their fault. This sounds like a defect to me.

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  5. I have a Dell but must admit I'm terrified tof upgrade to Windows 10. I am seriously considering the Mac.

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    1. Friends don't let friends upgrade to Widows 10. ;-)

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  6. A customer service kid at Best Buy ranked the PC's from best to worse. He stated a Dell was made the best. However, I agree with you about Apple. My iphone is great. I plan to get an Apple laptop eventually. I should do it soon. I went through 4 laptops one year. I got the least expensive but I paid about the same as one good one. One thing about PC's, I think the amd chip is better than the intel.

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    1. We had Dells and Lenovo when I worked in state government...I will say, being the one responsible for setting up 20 of each of them every day for hearings--the Lenovo's keyboard, mouse, and power button were MUCH sturdier and well built. Dell felt cheaper. As for the internal workings, the Best Buy kid is probably right. I'm sure the chip is better--the big problem with PCs will always be the fact that nothing is standardized. When you make an operating system to work on so many different pieces of hardware, with so many different components from so many different manufacturers, there are always going to be problems. That's one of the reasons Macs outlast PCs. PCs end up loaded down with all this crazy software to support the thousands of updates each year. Apple just has its hardware and the small number of updates they have to push out to make things work.

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  7. Computer problems give me creeps! I don't think Apple is overly present here in Europe.

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    1. Really? That's interesting! Are iPhones and iPads mostly an American thing, too?

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  8. I've grown into being something of an IT person. Not really getting paid for it either. I've had to fix my own computer problems so much over the years, I've just picked it up. But I don't like it. I just purchased a new laptop about five months ago and I hate it. It's a Toshiba and it seems to give me nothing but problems. Surfing the web at times is sketchy because it'll freeze from time to time. If I'm watching a video, the entire thing will reboot after about an hour. It has annoyed me so much, I've toyed with the idea of getting an Apple. But they seem so much more expensive and I'm so worried I'll have to completely relearn everything about computers because I've never really worked with a mac. Sure I have an iphone, but that's not the same thing. But, I'm considering next year, biting the bullet and investing some dough. Perhaps.

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    1. They are more expensive...around $1,000 as compared to the $600-$700 or so you can find a laptop for. However, most people I know with Macs say they last 5-7 years, whereas with a PC, you're going to start feeling a slowdown around the third year. By year four, you'll start feeling pressure to get a new one (if you use your computer as much as I use mine, anyway!). So there's that...

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  9. Always been MAC users in my family. When I use the Windows at work or the library, it gets awkward, with the multi functions on the mouse.

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    1. My husband uses a Mac for work and a PC for personal. I don't know how he switches back and forth. I'd be so confused!

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  10. I can't even remember how long ago I switched from Microsoft to Apple. I love my Macbook Pro. Some things are a bit counter-intuitive to learn but once mastered, like you,I never have viruses or blue screen deaths or anything.

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    1. I worried about learning it but I was up and running within five minutes. Anything I didn't know how to do, I just Googled and found it. Shortcuts were something I had a hard time with. I still haven't figured the Mac version of jumping to the top or bottom of a page using just your keyboard. I asked a guy at the Mac store and he didn't know either...said just use your mouse. Well, yeah...I figured THAT much out, brainiac!

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  11. Oh...did you have to remind me about my Sony?

    The best thing I've done in life was go back to a desktop. Much faster computer for less...and I can sit in front of the TV at night and enjoy it, instead of feeling like I have to multi-task.

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    1. That's great for you--desktops are much cheaper than laptops. I remember when laptops were a luxury rather than the norm!

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  12. I've had windows for years. Some problems, but not bad at all. I do know that hubby hates windows 10. I too know why it was free.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Supposedly this is the last big release. Everything else will just be an update to this? I don't keep up with that stuff as much as I used to, but that sounds strange to me.

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  13. After nearly twenty years on a PC, I made the switch to a Mac last fall and I'm loving it! I had the same Sony computer you had, Stephanie. It, along with the nightmare Widows has become, was the final straw that made me switch. It's a learning curve--but not much of one. I caught on pretty quickly. My husband is still on a desktop PC. I can hear him cussing it from the other room. I think he is about ready to make the change-over too. Once you go MAC, you won't go back!

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    1. I agree! I think your husband will be cussing even more if he switches to a Mac, though...

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  14. I was on Windows for years. Since the dawn of time it feels like! But I was taught how to use a computer on the original Apple - the black and white version! Haha. Now I am obsessed with Mac! I would never go back to Windows operating system!

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    1. We had an Apple in my junior high classroom...we did a little programming on it. Everything was programming back then because you had to enter a command to get it to do what you wanted! SO glad those days are gone.

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  15. The first time I ever got to play on a computer, it was my uncle's Mac. It was 1984.

    I've always had PCs, but I kind of want to get an Apple. I've got to save up for it, though.

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    1. Yes, I probably need to save up for my next one.

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  16. I have had a Mac for years. My only problem has been not having enough money to get a newer one. :) I love my computer and I haven't had any problems with it until November when it started to overheat. I must say that it is old by computer standards and I am trying to hold out until I can afford to buy a newer one.

    Glad you have a great computer now! :)
    ~Jess

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  17. Every OS will have it's flaws. Apple's is certainly the expensive hardware.

    Windows is long-term reliability.

    I've also had Linux before. It froze a lot on my crappy computer and was okay on others. It's free so it doesn't get the support Windows or even Mac gets. But it's what Android is based on, along with other software like kindlefire and even Roku.

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  18. I don't know much about MAC so it's possible I'd adore it to death, but I'm doing alright with my simple needs being met. Windows 10 was a bear to adjust to after XP and get the programs to run with it, but now it's fine.
    I did have to switch from Dell to Asus due to overheating issues, but, again, it's all good now.

    Glad you found something that works for you and doesn't show you the blue screen of death.

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  19. I've been lucky never to have big computer problems. I've always had a PC, but that's what my husband does his work on. And since he works on computers... Yup, that could be why I've never had any problems! :) Have a lovely weekend.

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  20. I've had computer problems many times, and it's frustrating when you're working with a deadline. Maybe I should try a Mac. Thanks for the information.

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  21. I can't speak about Windows versus Apple, but I had a Sony laptop once and it would blow motherboards every other month! No one could find the cause and it was seen by more than a few technicians throughout its sad life. It wasn't cheap, either.

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  22. My Dell served me well for almost 10 years before it gave up on me and I brought a new one. I was hoping to buy Mac then but I realized I needed the extra cash for business so I settled for Lenovo. So far, I've got no complain.

    But good on you for finally getting a computer that lets you write and not worry about technicalities.

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  23. Good to hear you finally are free from computer problems that makes you lose money. I am comfortable with my old pc. Hope it will continue to function well for many years.

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  24. I have a PC at work, and it's fine, but I adore my macbook at home. I'm a big mac fan all around, and it just works. (Please don't let me writing this jinx things though, haha :)

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  25. I love this post. We have Windows, and I have always wanted a Mac. I may just go ahead and do it. I started by getting a mini iPad and then got my husband an iPad Air2 which he was "forced" to learn to use. So now, maybe our house can support a Msc. What laptop do you use as a writer? I have a children's book to write as well. It is a true story about Mike, the Guinea Pig, who came into our family when our song was 7 and in first grade in Germany when I was a Fulbrighter. Long story short, Mike came back with us to live 8 more years. Sigh - so many book ideas and only 24 hrs. per day.

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  26. I love my Mac. I can't work on a PC anymore. Macs are so much easier to use. There's no comparison.

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  27. I love Apple products. I'll never go back to PC or notebooks. I've had my desktop (iMac) for 5 years now and I've not had any issues at all. *knock on wood* I've bought 2 MacBooks over the years and it's been so great to use. Honestly, I can never go back. Best money I've ever spent!

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  28. Hahaaa...I can relate to the picture of the woman holding a gun to her computer!!!! One day after months of computer problems I went to the store and bought an Apple Mac Pro. Love it.

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  29. My laptop is a year and two months old and it's slowing down already. My previous computers and laptops lasted 3-4 years tops before something serious happened to them. I love my iPad and iPhone and will consider going Mac all the way.

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  30. My Macbook is a godsend, but my boyfriend is still convinced that PCs are better, because you can "go in and fix them yourself."

    The point is, with a Mac, you don't have to. Because it works.

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  31. Wow! For people who write, this post is super valuable, and greatly appreciated. It's always best to get the real deal from people you know that are using merchandise, so I appreciate this immensely. Glad things are running smoothly!

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  32. Wow. That's really interesting. My husband uses a Mac, and he won't use anything else. I'm love Macs, but I'm more comfortable on my PC. Maybe one day...although I just got a Dell for Christmas and I love it. So probably no time soon.

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  33. I've been using Windows for many, many years, and I've fortunately had few problems, nothing regular. But if I'd had the trouble you had with that laptop, yeah, I might have been convinced to switch. But I do like my iPhone, and I'm glad that it's easy to use, so I feel like I could handle a Mac if I needed to.

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  34. Like the above commenter, I've been using Windows for quite a while. First XP, which when it was deemed obsolete, became my main writing computer; then Windows 7. Had to bring it in the other day because a corrupted registry prevented me from downloading 19+ updates to it. Because it was gone for a couple of days, had to use my daughter's old computer that had Windows 10. The only good thing about 10 is the MS's new browser called "Edge".

    My daughter has a Mac Airbook and absolutely loves it. She'll never go back to Windows. As for me;, when support ends for 7 sometime in 2020, I'll probably get a Mac.

    Father Nature's Corner

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  35. I swear to you I had this conversation with my husband yesterday. My laptop is 2 years old and until very recently, I had not turned it on for a year. I was using my work laptop for everything. Finally, because I am about to change jobs, I thought it was better to use my personal PC. I turned it on and it immediately had to go to geek squad. 2700 virus/malware just by sitting.
    My iPhones all three of them, and both my iPad and iPad mini have never had one problem and I use them all the time.
    So the next laptop will be an Apple product. They are just easier.

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  36. I have always had a PC at home but worked in a Mac environment for about 12 years and would have one now in a flash if my husband wouldn't rebel! He is Microsoft all the way.

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  37. Hi! What a coincidence! I switched from Windows to Mac this month and am still in a fix as my official laptop runs on windows. Stumbled upon your blog from Parents. I had been thinking of writing my Window to Mac story for few days now so when I read urs I was all smiled. Will post the link as soon as I post about my experiences.

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