From PC to Mac: my opinion, 10-months later

Summary:10 months ago, I bought a Mac after 15 years of Windows usage! Did I "switch" permanently, sell the Mac, or something else altogether? The answer awaits herein...

Last year, I decided to take the plunge into the world of OS X (as well as iOS, for that matter). It's hard to believe that it's been 10 months already, but I figure it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty with an update.

I love how passionate users are about their operating systems, but for all of you OS X users who hoped to see me "switch" after ~3-4 months, I'm sorry to say that I still prefer Windows 7; HOWEVER, don't go lambasting me in the comments just yet! The reason I haven't "switched" has everything to do with why I bought a Mac in the first place: to learn a new skill set.

As my regular readership knows, I am not exactly a fan of brand loyalty, because I feel that such a mentality sells people short on products they might enjoy (see: Thank you Microsoft, Apple, and Google). Instead, I'm an advocate of a much more flexible philosophy: use what works for you. And that's exactly what I do.

Now, 10 months later, here are the things I use my MacBook Air for:

iOS development: As I recently wrote about, I've decided to learn mobile development -- specifically, iOS. At the moment, my MacBook Air is the tool for this job. This isn't a decision I saw coming when I purchased the device, but when I did make it, I already had the right tool for the job.

Writing: Most of my writing is done on my MacBook Air. It took me a while to get used to its keyboard layout and all of the multi-key shortcuts needed to perform tasks that only require one key on a PC (such as the delete key), but, overall, I quite enjoy writing on it -- which is good, considering how much I write.

Traveling: Prior to my MacBook Air, I took my Alienware m11x with me everywhere I went -- primarily, due to its gaming power. Now, when I travel, I rarely engage in PC gaming, so handing over the travel duties to my MacBook Air is a no-brainer. It's lightweight, compact, and plays home to the two most important facets of my work-related life: writing and mobile development.

Ladies: I enjoy walking around with it to impress the ladies.

Though I've long-since adapted to most of the differences between OS X and Windows, it was incredibly frustrating initially -- so much so, that I even considered returning my Mac. But, I persevered, and now, a long-time Windows-user friend of mine is going through many of the same tribulations. As such, I was reminded of the very first application I purchased for my Mac: Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X.

Basically, this little wonder allows you to read/write/modify NTFS partitions (the file system used by Windows in NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7). That means you'll be able to freely move data between Windows and OS X. As a word of caution, I should also note that I've seen a number of complaints from people attempting to use Paragon's software; however, my experiences have been 100% painless using it on OS X Lion, but your mileage may vary.

Anyway, I still use PC for gaming, research, browsing, video editing, and far more. There are just too many applications I use for those purposes that are PC-only. The right tool for the job; that's what I'm an advocate of. Why focus on completely "switching" if you don't feel it's necessary to do as such? I was open to the possibility, but I had a feeling the end result would be just as it is: me, a PC user and a Mac user. (And for what it's worth, my phone is an Android-powered device.)

All-in-all, the venture was well-worth the price -- but that's taking largely into consideration the fact that I've recently gotten into iOS development. If you're looking to "switch" completely, I think it would be worth the price, but again, there are many ways I use Windows that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to on any other OS, so be sure to take that into consideration before you take the leap.

Is anyone else out there a fan of simply using what works for them, and not just what works within what a particular brand has to offer? Alternately, have you ever tried to "switch" from PC to Mac, or vice versa? Let me know your thoughts/experiences in the comments below!

-Stephen Chapman

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Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger based in Charlotte, NC. His contributions to ZDNet cover topics related to security, gaming, Microsoft, Apple, and other topics of interest with a tech/SMB skew.

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