Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Apple-ification of Bryan Mills

Well, as eluded to in a previous post, it's time for an upgrade on my computing technology. In a radical departure from the past 12+ years of my life, I won't be going with a Dell, In fact, I won't even be going with a Windows-based platform.

Yup, you read it right: I'm ditching Windows in favor of Mac. I saw this coming for a while now and the time is just right from an operating system, hardware and design point of view. I'm making the switch for 2 major reasons:

1. I'm not as much of a "power user" as I once was or think I currently am. Back 5 years ago I was stoked to rip open a case and replace HDD's or video cards or RAM or what not, like tinkering on a classic '67 Camaro or something; Fry's was a great place to go and look at all the fun new stuff for your computer. Then I got to wondering why my computer was like an '87 Honda Accord or Scion and I was constantly pimping my ride and having to change the components all the time to get the results I wanted.

I'd hack into the OS and make little changes so things would run smoother or more to my liking, install any # of utilities that would add functionality missing from Windows, update virus software and deal with isolated threats every few months and so forth. Now, I'm over it. Why mess around with it? Why not just have something that works without having to throw all the bells and whistles at it? Why not just use a machine that does everything you want and more without having to ala carte your way there and mess everything else up in the process?

2. I want something that plays nicely with others and just works. Period. I made excuses for why Macs sucked in the past and touted the benefits of PC's and Windows until I couldn't talk. Now, I've started to ask myself: why do I need to defend something so much and why don't you ever hear the Mac people quite as loudly as the PC guys? Well, I'm beginning to see the light and realizing that PC's just aren't all they're cracked up to be and the software I need to run is widely available and maybe even more impressive on Macs, especially since all new Macs are built on Intel architecture and chips.

PC's are fine machines but without constant monitoring, upgrading and general diligence about maintaining the status quo, you find yourself messing with viruses, software incompatibilities, driver updates, missing .dll's; the list goes on. At any given time I have about 50 processes running, maybe 10 of which I intend on running. You're probably asking "why not just find the processes and kill them or disable them through the Services application in the control panel?" YOU'RE PROVING MY POINT!! I don't want to dick around with all that crap anymore! It's onerous, at best, impossible at worst and I've done my time; it's time for a new change.

So, with all that said, in a few weeks time we will begin the "Apple-ification" of my stable of computers and technology. "What are you going to get" you ask? Good question! Let's go in chronological order...

MacBook Air
The laptop is the 1st to go. My Dell Inspiron 2600 has served me well for almost 3 years now and I have no hard feelings towards it; been to Indonesia, Europe and all points in between. It will go to a good home, no doubt, but it's being replaced with Apple's newest piece of technology the ridiculously small/thin and sexy MacBook Air. I don't do much on my laptop but browse the web, word processing, occasional spreadsheets and PDF stuff for work and chat. I don't need a massive screen, incredible processing power or optical drive and care more for portability, battery life and usability/compatibility with all the peripherals I use. The MBA seems to be the perfect fit and being the newest and most talked about laptop in a decade makes it right up my alley :)

Apple Time Capsule
This one is still up in the air. I am looking for a backup solution as well as a more powerful router and print server and this fits the bill on all accounts. At 500GB, it will also serve as not only backup but probably a NAS (network accessible storage) device for both myself and Katie who can both store music, movies, photos and other documents for immediate retrieval on any of the desktops or laptops in the house. I may opt for an external HDD and an Apple Airport Extreme base station instead if I can find a good deal but it's pretty hard to beat the Time Capsule since it does everything I need in 1 convenient device.

24" iMac
The new Mothership of my technology armada. I fell in love with the design of the new iMac the second I saw one in person and the display on the 24" is probably the most gorgeous display I've ever laid eyes on. The machine is powerful, sleek and capable of doing everything I could ever want and more. It's a pretty radical departure from the mini-tower desktops I've always used but since I've no desire to look under the hood and tinker with the guts of my computers anymore, the iMac will be great. Working with the MBA and the Time Capsule, this should be an awfully impressive team. But wait, there's more!!

iPhone 2.0
When the iPhone debuted almost a year ago, I knew this device would change the way people view mobile phones but I was disappointed that it lacked several key features someone like myself needs, namely operation on a 3G network and ability to play nicely with Microsoft Exchange Server, which I rely on heavily. Well, it's widely predicted that in a couple weeks Apple will be unveiling iPhone 2.0 with those 2 additions and more. I'm due for a new phone (BlackBerry Curve is approaching it's 1-year anniversary) and since I'm going all Apple, I figured the new iPhone would be the icing on the cake. Katie has her own iPhone and loves it. Going to Forever 21 isn't that bad when you can sit on her iPhone the whole time and browse sports scores or play games :)

This photo is ironic because the desktop I currently use is the same one shown above...

So, everything should be coming together in the next couple months and once it does I will be 100% Apple technology. Every call I make, document I produce, email I send, MP3 I download, blog entry I post and spreadsheet I print will go through an Apple device. I never thought I'd do it, but I'm about to become a full-fledged Kool-Aid drinker.

But is that so bad? These devices are easily some of the best in their class or the gold standard and they work amazingly well and play extremely nicely with one another. In Apple's perfect world, everything is built to work with one another. Laptop, desktop, phone, storage, router; they build all of those devices and for them to work their best they're to be used in unison. Problem is, that rarely happens. Somewhere along the line the chain is broken and Apple has to work with a device that's not Apple and maybe in some way the perfect world isn't so perfect anymore; same could be said for any software/hardware manufacturer.

Apple is unique: it is both a software and hardware company. The bum steer for Microsoft is that no matter how good their product is, it has to work with a 3rd party and that's where the fun begins. If MSFT manufactured their own hardware, things would be a lot different and maybe the utopian world that Apple paints would be reality for Microsoft, too.

I'm pretty stoked that I won't have X devices from X different manufacturers all trying to work together and none of them doing it 100% right. Instead, I'm hoping that the "perfect world" that Apple wants each and every one of it's customers to operate in is indeed perfect I'd I'll look back at the mid-90's to present day and laugh at all the follies and frustrating days had on Windows-based PC's and sip my chai-tea macchiato and queue up some U2 on iTunes while researching alternative fuel sources for my Prius. OK, I won't go that far, people; you have my word...

The countdown has begun to Technology Life 2.0... I'll keep you updated.

No comments: