Someone recently commented that he was surprised I don't use a Macintosh computer. Macs are the cool things to get these days and i can understand why he would assume I'd want to use one.
At the same time, I take immense pleasure in researching and buying the best things in the world, so I'll explain why the Mac didn't make the cut.
I need a laptop. Considering my perpetual state of traveling, this is an obvious one. If I had a desktop there's an excellent chance I would have a Mac.
The strongest asset that the Mac has is it's operating system, OS/X. This operating system is light years ahead of the competition. Vista is a total piece of junk. I like Windows XP just fine, but I'm well aware of it's many shortcomings relative to Mac OS.
In fact, if I could run OS/X on my laptop, I'd do it in a second. I tried this unsupported transplant once but it didn't quite work. From what I understand it all works now except for suspend and hibernate, which I can't live without.
So none of this a criticism of the operating system. There are a few Windows programs that I'd hate to give up, but the software for the Mac is generally very high quality and quite often superior to its PC counterpart.
But let me make one thing clear - Windows XP is totally fine. I have software that does everything I could possibly want to do. I have modified my themes and such to make it look as minimal and neat as I could possibly want.
People like to whine about it because it's old, but it works. It does almost nothing that I don't like or couldn't fix.
Yes, Mac OS is better. It's more fun. I like linux. But not having MacOS is not impacting me in any negative way.
In my opinion, Macs have ZERO other benefits. You can talk about all the little things like the built in cameras and good bundled software or design, but at the end of the day, none of those things matter to me at all.
There are two major things preventing me from getting a Mac. There are little things I don't like too, like the general form over function attitude (yeah yeah, argue all you want), but these two things are showstoppers.
#1 Terrible Screen Resolution
I need high resolution. I like to see a lot of detail when I'm working in Photoshop or Lightroom. I keep all of my fonts and UI elements insanely small. This looks terrible and unusable on a lower resolution screen.
My 12" laptop screen does 1400x1050. I would like it to be higher, but that's pretty good. A 15" Macbook (which is WAY too big for me) only does 1280x768 TK
Could I get used to a lower resolution? Kind of. I had a backup laptop that I used when I had my main one repaired. It was usable but very annoying. Screen resolution is a real productivity increaser in the real world, and I'm not ready to give it up.
#2 Terrible Pointing Device
I hate trackpads. Not just the Mac ones (from what I understand, they are the best trackpads you can have), but all trackpads.
The trackpad is a terrible way to interact with your computer. The eraserpoint that ThinkPads have is perfect in every way. It is the ideal pointing device. I like it much better than even a standalone mouse.
Here's the main reason: I barely have to move my hands to use it. My wrist pivots and my thumb and forefinger use the eraserpoint while the rest of my fingers stay an the keys.
With a trackpad I have to move my whole hand down and back. This sounds like no big deal until you master the eraserpoint and experience the sheer joy of effortlessly moving between keyboard and mouse without moving your hands.
This is another gamestopper. I will not use a laptop with a trackpad. I've had them before, used them for months, and still hated them.
And I don't need this fancy multitouch crap. This is another example of flash over function. It doesn't make things faster, it makes things cooler. One matters, one doesn't.
So that's why I don't use a Mac, and probably never will. I believe that they will eventually increase the screen resolution, but I don't think that they will ever get rid of that ridiculous trackpad.
The problem is that the trackpads are much easier to use for new users. Laptops with them sell better because the laptop is immediately more usable. Then these people get hooked on them, not knowing that if they spent a month or so with the eraserpoint, they would like it a lot more. Not everyone, mind you, but most people.
This phenomenon has caused trackpads to become the dominant pointing device, and I doubt that will change.
Maybe they will eventually allow OS/X on PCs and I can have the best of both worlds.
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