Dear switchers

by Giles Turnbull

Hi. It appears that there's more of you than there used to be. It would seem that lots of you have bought Macs because you're fed up with Windows, or just because you bought an iPod and you thought it was cool, or a mixture of both.

I just wanted to give you a bit of advance warning about some things that might start happening to you now you've got your Mac.

Scenario 1: You're enjoying a coffee somewhere, with your new Mac laptop open on the table in front of you. You're just surfing randomly. But you notice, over the lid of your computer, some guy giving you a funny look. He's ... smirking in your direction.

It's OK, you don't need to worry. This guy isn't some weirdo, he's not hitting on you. He's one of us. He's another Mac user, and he's looking at you because (a) he wants you to notice his Powerbook when he pulls it from his bag in a few seconds from now, and (b) he wants to come over and talk Mac stuff with you. He might want to find out what's on your Dock, or maybe he wants to ask you for tips on launchers, or Getting Things Done, or if you have a favorite outliner, or how you solve The Email Client Problem.

If you're in the mood for company, by all means engage him in conversation. But if you're shy, or pressed for time, now is a good moment to avert your eyes. Look down at your own screen, and make a point of not ogling his 17" Powerbook when it emerges from its protective pouch. He'll get the hint.

Scenario 2: You're giving a dinner party, and guests naturally seem to gather around the iMac G5 that is in charge of playing music for the evening. All of them are fascinated by iTunes; one guy keeps minimising windows to watch the Genie effect in action; his girlfriend has taken charge of the Apple Remote and keeps invoking Front Row, then making it disappear.

These people aren't crazy, they've just not had a chance to play with a new Mac before. Put the oven on low to keep the food warm, and let them have a play. Just before you serve, give them a two-minute demo of Photo Booth - then insist that they eat before you let them play with it. If there's any sign of disagreement, logout of your account with a quick Shift+Command+Q. Your guests will behave like lambs until after dessert. Now, login with a spare "Dinner Party" account and let them go crazy...

Scenario 3: After a particularly depressing and overlong meeting at work, you return to your desk to find your computer (not a Mac) crashed shortly after the meeting started. All attempts to bring it to life fail, and you end up having to bring in the tech support guys. They take your computer away, and you spend the rest of the day desperately trying to track down a spare machine from someone.

Finally, in desperation, you sneak into an empty meeting room and pull your personal iBook from a bag. You'd only brought it to work because you were heading off to see family for the weekend, and planned to show them some movies you'd made; but it's with you now, and it's the only chance you've got to get anything on your todo list done before the end of the day. You hear that familiar bootup chime, and a smile appears on your face. It feels odd using this machine - something you can rely on, something you depend on all the time at home - here at work, but as soon as you're logged in you can dive into your work as never before. You spend the final hour of the day working like a demon, and head off for the weekend feeling like you've accomplished something.

Add your own scenarios...


2005-11-23 18:17:50
Umm, this is a bit too thick.
2005-11-23 18:39:07
thick? too thin.
does the article actually have any content?
2005-11-23 20:57:36
I agree with Giles
You know what, it may seem like a cheesy, mac-gushing piece of fluff, but it also happens to be a very true statement on what it is to love your mac.

Sure, you may say "I love my mac but I think he's crazy"if so, you enjoy your mac, you appreciate your mac, but you don't love it. He hit the nail on the head in describing the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from owning a mac that no other possession (significant others are not possessions... :P) seems to be able to match, except maybe for a cool car, for some people.

I've found myself thinking the same things he's mentioning, but never saying them myself. I made the switch only 6 months ago, and I still feel that happy feeling when I hear the startup noise.

But that might just be me and Giles, living in our mac loving, appreciating, enjoying, reveling worlds. :P

2005-11-23 22:22:11
Thanks Giles
Thanks for this piece, I enjoyed reading it. Intended irony or not, it has some serious points about Mac switching and Mac adoration ;-)
2005-11-24 01:05:07
thick? too thin.
No. But it's only supposed to be a bit of fun...
2005-11-24 02:12:58
thick? too thin.
God forbid that we have any fun around here.
2005-11-24 02:30:37
I DONT agree with Giles
I love my Mac, but I have a life. Yeah, I use my Mac alot, and it's my main tool.

But it's not a religion. It's a computer.

2005-11-24 03:39:40
I DONT agree with Giles
No, it's definitely a religion too :) Don't worry, we welcome unbelievers.
2005-11-24 07:41:13
I STILL agree with Giles
Nobody said it had to be a religion... And you can love your mac and have a life. It doesn't take not having a life to have a cheery sensation when you turn on your computer. It doesn't take not having a life to enjoy talking shop with people impressed with your computer. I love my mac, but I never said I devote my life to it...
2005-11-24 11:35:52
I can relate to that! For my last 2 jobs, I brought my powerbook every morning (and I still do). They sure provided me with a "nice computer", with a LCD monitor and all, but...

I use it to run specialized programs occasionnaly. I have so many problems even thought I use it for only a tiny fraction of the time. The PC must feel that I don't like it, because it is certanly not helping me get some work done. Thank god, we have tech support and I have my Mac to be productive. The main use for the PC is that I share the monitor so I can be even more productive on my Mac. And the nicest thing is that my employer that paid for it, but he does not know!. I kind of factored the price in when negociated my salary...

2005-11-25 03:58:03
The virus
I switched myself a few months ago. The reason why I bought an iBook is entirely trivial. I saw "Land of plenty" and there is this one scene were the girl sits on the bed with her iBook and her iPod. That looked so cool and relaxed, I didn't get it out of my head for a year. So yes, in the beginning I bought it for the style only.

It took not even a week to recognize that my new iBook was way more than a stylish toy. This machine actually is everything you dream of earning your money with a PC.

Since the kind of development I do is platform-independent I switched completely to Mac by the end of the first week. Now I do everything in my private and my business live with my Mac. Not just because it is stylish, but because I do not have the nerves anymore to use a PC.

Everytime I am forced to work with a WinXP machine I am totally stunned and ask myself why I didn't recognize and switch earlier. I guess because I had Mac expierience before. I mean before Mac OS X. That is not the same game, not even the same universe. The Mac that I knew was a crapy unstable peace of exotic computer system. But Mac OS X changed all of that.

Why virus? Because my colleagues start seeing the difference of my working with my iBook and them fighting with their PC. I think it is only a matter of weeks maybe months till the first Mac's will be bought by my company, since I prove everyday that I can not only do my work like everybody else but I am way more relaxed and find stuff in a wink (Spotlight rules!!!).

Still not sure? Then just check out Office:mac - that alone is a reason to leave your PC behind. Drop it and get a live! :-)

2005-11-28 18:29:12
substance please
I got over Mac infatuation about two years ago. Now I am more interested in how to get around some peculiarities of Macs to stay productive as a sofware developer. The title tricked me into believing this article might say something useful. Instead it is a poofy ain't the Mac just too wonderful puff piece. Disappointing to say the least.