Mac vs. PC

How I was ensnared by Apple

By David Holthausen

Apple Products

Let me begin this post by stating that I used to be an absolute Mac hater (Jeff can attest to my disdain towards all things Apple). Since I was a child, we only ever had PCs, usually Dells, in the house, all the way from Dos to Windows 95, ME and XP. When the iPod was all the rage in the early and mid-2000’s, I bought the Creative Zen instead, which were, in fact, awesome MP3 players:

[I thought the click wheel was the dumbest thing ever and was generally enraged by those Justin Long Mac vs. PC commercials.

Yes, PCs do pie charts, but that’s ONE PROGRAM, YOU CAN STILL LISTEN TO MUSIC AND WATCH MOVIES. Clearly, they still make me angry.

Throughout college, I was still vehemently anti-Apple. My trusty Dell laptop lasted solidly all 4 years and still is going strong as a backup computer my parents use, 7 years after I originally purchased it.

At the same time, though, I remember seeing all those shiny aluminum MacBook Pros. Even though I hated Apple, I couldn’t deny that they were very aesthetically pleasing machines–technological eye candy, if you will.

When I decided to enter the world of the smartphone around 2009, I went again against all things Apple and that swanky iPhone and got a Windows Phone with the LG Incite.

It had the worst touchscreen ever, had an awful stylus, and it completely turned me off from touch screen keyboards. When I was due for an upgrade, I went with the Blackberry Torch 9800 with the touch screen, but also the full physical QWERTY keyboard. I really liked that phone; it was a solid performer, and the only really big drawback was the lack of apps. Nonetheless, I really liked that experience.

A couple years later, I was entitled to another phone upgrade and I was excited to get the new Blackberry Bold 9900 on AT&T. However, when it got released on Verizon over the summer, but not on AT&T (and didn’t come out on AT&T until the end of November) I started getting fidgety: I had a “free” upgrade burning a hole in my pocket, and I was yearning for something new and shiny. I was thinking more and more of jumping from the sinking Blackberry boat when I went and had brunch with a buddy of mine. While we were waiting for a table, I decided to try out his iPhone 4.

The UI, the sleekness, the touch screen, all the cool apps–for an Apple basher, it was difficult to come around and see how good of a mobile experience the iPhone 4 provided, but the difference was undeniable. After watching the product unveiling for the 4S, I took a leap to the dark side and decided to see what this Apple thing was all about. I even got up at 3am and pre-ordered it so I would get it on launch day.

The iPhone 4S really washed away my stigma against Apple. It was just so sleek, quick, and easy to use, and I finally saw what people had been saying about the quality of Apple products. Believe it or not, fall 2011 with the iPhone 4S was the first time I had ever used iTunes on my computer. I made the switch and moved everything over from Windows Media Player, which was a worthwhile pain.

As I mentioned earlier, during my undergrad days I used a Dell laptop, with which I had never had any major issues (other than it not being as shiny as a MacBook). Moving from undergrad to grad school, it was time for a new computer, and I made the misstep of moving away from Dell and getting an up-scaled Sony Vaio EA series with Blu-ray drive.

To its credit, the Sony Vaio was a nice computer when I got it, but it just didn’t last (which I have noticed about a great deal of Sony products). The hard drive died within a year (luckily, there was still a week left on the warranty), and over the subsequent 6 months, the screen started getting a loose connection, and the headphone jack and one of the USB ports died as well. So, as my Vaio was slowly making the turn from work computer to being a glorified home backup desktop, I began saving up to invest in a new laptop, one that would hopefully last for more than 2 years without breaking. After having a disk hard drive die I decided I wanted to go solid state; I wanted something light; and since I loved my iPhone so much, I thought it would be wise to complete my turn towards the evil empire and have all of my electronic devices on the same platform and sync seamlessly. Thus, I bought a 2012 MacBook Air.

My biggest concern with going with the Air was the lack of a disc drive; however, thanks to Apple, I can wirelessly use my disc drive on my Vaio if I need to get anything from a disk onto the Mac. Additionally, I thought I would use Boot Camp so I could also run full windows on the Apple hardware, but a year into having this laptop, I haven’t even thought of using Boot Camp, and this laptop is still running as well as the day I got it. And this past Christmas, I completed the Apple trio (actually the quad–I bought an iPod Shuffle for the gym after I got the iPhone) when I received the iPad mini as a present from my parents. (You can read my review of the iPad Mini HERE.)

It may have taken me two years, but I am living proof that it’s possible to go from being an absolute Apple hater to basically running the gamut of Apple devices–and all because AT&T and what used to be RIM were slow in getting the Bold 9900 released.