So why won’t I own a Mac? Well, for starters, I’m a systems integration expert by profession — as in what I do that pays my day to day bills –- and the systems that I work with and architect are based on Windows as well as Mid-range/Enterprise platforms like Linux, VMWare, UNIX and mainframes.
The Mac, for all its Insane Greatness and cool factor, as well as having all the DNA to make it an enterprise platform, doesn’t get a lot of traction in large enterprises, so there isn’t a lot of motivation for me to own a system which has no bearing on stuff that I work with to make a living. Additionally, most of the off-the-shelf tools which I work with that I need to do my job -– Microsoft Office, Visio and Microsoft Project are all Windows applications. Indeed, you can get Office for Mac, and you can even dual boot a Mac into Windows, but what would be the point? Why not just buy a PC?
Why would I incur a large personal expense on a Mac for home use when my laptop is corporate managed and issued to me as a company asset, and when all our line of business systems are Web and Java-based? If anything, I want my personal assets to be compatible with what I work with. And if I am going to use an alternative platform to Windows as either a desktop or a server, I’ll use Linux, because it has a huge library of Open Source software. Mac can use Open Source software too, but why bother if I can buy a commodity PC which I can purchase for a fraction of the cost?
Well, times have changed. Since 2009, I've softened up on Apple a teensy weensy bit. I've purchased two iPads. I also started listening to the Angry Mac Bastards (one of which, Peter Cohen, we recently hired as our new Gamification columnist) which I will now blame for causing me permanent brain damage, should this blog deteriorate any further over the next weeks and months.
On Tech Broiler, I began to follow the Apple space a bit more, particularly as it relates to iOS applications and using the devices in the enterprise. And I noticed that as I got more and more into advanced digital photography and doing videos for my food blog, there were a bunch of applications that I really wished I could run on my Linux-based and Windows 7 systems and could not.
Now, I consider myself to be a practical person. I wasn't going to spend top dollar on a new Mac, like my buddy Scott Raymond, who bought a brand new Air so he could run Windows 7 on it. Let some other idiot go through the depreciation. I don't need to be that cutting edge for a system I'm mostly intending to use for specific photo and video editing apps.
So I looked at the prices for used systems at Apple's store. They were decent. I mulled it over for a few days to make sure I hadn't completely lost my mind. Then I got this... email.
It was from a very large, reputable vendor that sells refurbished computer systems. And they were willing to give me a corporate discount. Usually, they only sell PCs. Specifically, ThinkPads. But it just so happened they got a whole crop of 2007/2008 15" aluminum chassis MacBook Pros in, for a really insanely low price. They were even willing to throw in a 1-year warranty for a slight premium.
Now, I had to bump the RAM, since the used laptop only comes with 2GB, but that was easily rectified by picking up a 6GB upgrade for $124 from the folks at Macsales.com. After all was said and done, with taxes and the extra warranty, I was able to join the bliss of the Reality Distortion Field for $982.00.
In a couple of days, the MacBook Pro will be in my hands. I've even gone through the trouble of cleaning off a dedicated area for it on my desk which used to have piles of papers and unidentifiable clutter, some of which I discovered were from the previous decade.
So maybe I'll never buy a new Mac. Check back with me in another two years. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going see if they have mock black turtlenecks in my size.
Did you too finally give into the Reality Distortion Field? Talk Back and Let Me Know.