The Switch Is On

January 16, 2003

Michele and I took the Apple plunge this past weekend. On Saturday, pretty much on the spur of the moment, we headed south for St. Louis and the Apple store there. Initially we were just going to look and play, as the salesman in the Springfield store wasn't helpful. Once in St. Louis however, things took an interesting turn for the better.

At lunch, over Mexican food, we talked about our game plan at the store. Were we willing to buy today? Or was this just a look and see visit. We were willing to buy, furthermore, we were willing to consider using the Apple Load program to finance some of the purchase.

Our goal was a 17" iMac with Superdrive for Michele and a 15" Powerbook G4 for myself. In for a penny, in for a pound.

The first place we went turned out to only service Macs and sell used equipment. He was willing to order a set of Macintoshes for us, but admitted that there was an Apple store just down the interstate a few miles where we could get them today.

After turning the wrong way and spending some time getting turned around we found the West County Mall and inside the Apple Store. A friendly woman helped us by not interferring with our play and by answering our few remaining questions. We applied for the loan and were instantly approved.

After some paperwork and collecting a few extras we led Leslie and a hand-truck with our new Macs to the car. The ride home was exciting as we were certain what lay ahead. Playing with a computer in the store is one thing, actually having it in your house is another altogether.

We set Michele's iMac up first and within minutes she was registered and playing. The machine itself is beautiful and sexy. The 17"LCD is bright and incredibly readable, even from wide angles.

After a quick dinner of sloppy joes, I unpacked and set up my Powerbook. After months of drooling over this beauty I finally had one of my own. Wow. It is a truly incredible machine. And Mac OS X is a treat to use. As Michele put it, "I keep expecting things to be harder to do than they are, this is going to take some getting used to." Take that Windows.

The switch hasn't been without its difficulties, but most of them have been more about the paradigm shift for us than any problem with the new computers or their software. I'll write more about that later in another posting.

For now we are both enjoying the new lightness in our daily computing experience. My Powerbook has drawn raves from my envious co-workers, and Michele is very pleased with her new iMac. In fact after just two days we tore down her old Windows PC and moved it to another room. The iMac is now her primary computer. The switch took on 48 hours in her case.

I should be ready to make that same commitment in the next day or two. I've managed to get most of my files copied over to Eeyore (this machine is so beautiful I had to call it Eeyore), even my collection of 44,000 e-mail messages. The biggest remaining hurdle is getting our printer plugged into the LAN using a print server. Then we can print again. Once that is done I'll be ready to tear down my PC and move the Powerbook to center-stage.

More later...

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.