The Mac mini transition week four: Saying goodbye to Windows isn't easy

Summary:Saying goodbye to Windows is harder than you think. Four weeks with a Mac has made me change my habits and the way I view the personal computer. But it hasn't made me leave Windows.

For many years, I've wondered what the whole Apple mystique was about. The Mac-addicted vehemently defend Apple, its products, and their right to use them at home, at work, at school, and in public. I'd be more afraid of Apple zealotry if I thought their sandals could outrun my tennis shoes or if their Priuses could outrun my Cube.  Don't get me wrong, I like my iPhone and I like my iPad but I can't say that I'm in love with them or obsessed by them either. I also can't say that I'm in love with the Mac mini. I like it but that's it. I like it. So, for me, the Mac/Apple obsession is still somewhat of a mystery. It's a computer. Nothing more.

Becoming consumed and obsessed by any man-made object is a little bit of a strange concept for me to wrap my head around. Fanboys, and fangirls, get carried away by gadgets and technology.

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And it isn't just Mac people.

Mac people might be the least violent, although they do defend their products and Apple at high volume and with much sound and fury. But, in the end, their generally harmless.

Linux zealots, on the other hand, are vile creatures* from another lagoon. I should know—I once joined them in their rants and anti-Windows tirades. I became one of those prideful Linux soldiers who wanted to defend his cause to the end, that is, until one day when I heard my own words reflected back at me during a coworker lunch conversation.

One of my disciples zapped another coworker with one of my now-famous lines** to destroy the wills of the followers of Windows. I heard him with third-party ears. I was outside myself for a moment when I heard those words. Admittedly, I was more than a little embarrassed over it.

From that point onwards, I never (OK, almost never) busted anyone's chops again for his or her operating system choice. Occasionally, there would be some poor soul within earshot who got blasted more for his social ineptitude than for his choice of operating system. I know that I shouldn't taunt the socially challenged but often it's fun to bring them out of their mental basements and into the light of the real world. Yes, I feel like it's my job to do that.

Yeah, I know, I digressed. Seems to be a habit of mine.

My point, in case you can't deduce it for yourself, is that your phone is just a phone. Your computer is just a computer. Your operating system is a lifestyle choice—just kidding—it's just an operating system. There is no single right answer.

You like Apple. I like Windows. Someone sitting next to you likes Linux.

There's no need nor is there a place for a technology superiority complex.

Windows is a great operating system. Linux is a great operating system. Mac OS X is a great operating system. There are no losers in the OS game. They are all pretty much the same. Each has its advantages and its disadvantages. Although Mac OS X seems to meld both the *nix world with the "Windows" world, there still is no clear winner in the OS wars.

I'm using the Mac mini as my primary workstation and I like it. I still kinda prefer Windows.

Maybe my Mac zealotry will come in time. I don't know.

I don't like sandals and I don't think I'd look good in a ponytail.*** I'm also not fond of the Prius for some reason. Perhaps it's because of that SouthPark episode.

Saying goodbye to Windows isn't easy nor will I do it completely. I can't. After all, I am a Windows Administrator. I couldn't very well abandon it now could I? I certainly can't. And why should I? Windows is like an old friend—you know his flaws but you love him anyway.

My Mac is like a hot, new 22-year-old who has temporary hold of my too-short attention span, but so far, I like what I see. We'll see if there's any depth to it and explore some new possibilities for the two of us. The best part of technology relationships is that I can keep my old friend and make new ones too. I'm excited. It's a new adventure and a whole new world for me. Yeah, it's just a computer. It's just a computer. It's just a computer. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Note: This will be the last of my weekly Mac mini updates. I will keep you posted on my progress, interesting apps, and any problems I have during my ongoing transition. Of course, if you find any cool apps, I'd like to know about them.

*I hope you realize that I'm kidding, but just in case you don't, I am just kidding. Linux zealots aren't particularly vile. Rancid, maybe.

**I have a lot of famous lines but this went something like, "When you Windows guys can run your entire operating system, and I mean entire, as in every single aspect of it, from a command line, then and only then can you compete with Linux."

***Yes, I really believe that all Mac nerds have ponytails and wear sandals. They also all drive a Prius or a Volkswagen bus. OK, so I'm kidding but I bet you know more than one of them, don't you?

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Topics: Apple, Mobility, Operating Systems

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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