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My Mac Monday (MMM11) Mark McCall

My Mac Monday (MMM11) Mark McCall

Hi, my name is Mark and I’m an addict.

Lets start at the beginning, I’ve been a Windows user since version 2 (circa 1989). My first contact with an Apple machine was using a ‘Mac Classic’ at night tech on a desk top publishing course in the early 90′s using Pagemaker (remember that!). But that experience firmly cemented my loathing of all things Mac and it was to be many years until that bias was broken.

Fast forward to January 2005 and after watching the Steve Jobs keynote launching the mini my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered my first Mac. While I was taken with the OS and the hardware design, the G4 CPU wasn’t as impressive as my Intel powered PCs of the time. I have to admit it was to be another year or two before I truly became a ‘switcher’ when I bought my first Intel powered machine – a black Core 2 Duo 13″; MacBook. That laptop was a revelation.

Since then my addiction has grown and I feel I’ve made a sizeable contribution to Apple’s huge gain in stock price over the last 5 years. Running our technology news site – AutomatedHome.com – I now use a 13″; unibody MacBook as my main machine. It’s a fantastic work horse for writing and creating the graphics that go along with our posts. At home our videos and movies are played using a Mac mini connected to the AV System (using the excellent plexapp.com). The family use an iMac in the kitchen which serves as the TV in there too using an EyeTV USB tuner – it even records and re-encodes my wifes Soaps for her iPhone. Even my work machine is now a Mac (mini) with only the occasional foray into my Fusion VM to run a single work app or the dreaded IE8.

Of course there are downsides to all of this. Once you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid there’s no turning back. You’ll never consider using a grey pc box again for anything other than a server (our media server still runs Windows – WHS). Your toy budget will soar through the roof with the constant Cupertino temptations and you’ll be the butt of abuse from those irrational trolls and haters.

The upsides? Someone once told me ‘you never regret buying quality – but you often regret your economies’. It’s true, I’ve often bought something cheap and regretted it, often buying a second time to replace it with something I should have bought at the outset. I’m old enough (sadly) to have learnt this by now and while of course Apple stuff is often more than you’d like to pay, I’ve never regretted any of my Mac purchases for a second.

Just this month I eBay’d that 2005 vintage Mac mini for almost ?200!. It’s going strong and now with Leopard installed is still a very usable and valuable machine today. More than you can say for most 5 year old ‘PCs’.

Macs have brought me that infamous ‘it just works’ computing where the hardware and software combine to create platforms that are a joy to use.

Mark is the editor of AutomatedHome.com

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