Why do I run my business on a Mac?
Apple Mac & OSX vs Microsoft & Windows
I usually try to explain ease of use, less issues, the whole fit and finish thing, and all the things that most non-Mac users have heard before but have yet to experience. They dismiss it as unimportant and/or not tangible enough. However, not a single person or business that I have converted to Mac ever came back and told me that I was wrong. In fact they usually stop calling me about computer issues altogether and that is a testimonial in itself. Sure they are a little more expensive, but quality is worth it. Yes some of your beloved programs that you have used all your computer life on Windows won’t be available on the Mac. Yes, you will have to learn to do things differently. Finally you will have to figure out what you are going to do with your extra time that find yourself with.
I’ve been a computer user since 1983, and my first version of MS-DOS was 2.11 so I’ve seen my fair share of DOS/Windows versions over the last 28 years. I use Microsoft Windows every day on my Mac running Parallels, and if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t. But there are times that I hate to say it, I need Windows. Usually they fall around a few things. Working with Microsoft Publisher files, connecting to client’s Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Validating look/feel/functionality of websites using Internet Explorer and writing/reviewing source code with Visual Studio. (and I use Microsoft Live Writer to update this blog…)
Recently, I was asked to do a couple of print pieces for a local political organization. Now, I’ve done them before for them so I already had the look and feel for the design, graphics, fonts etc. already in Microsoft Publisher so again I didn’t want to take the time to convert it to Adobe InDesign. Other work that I have done for them I have used InDesign, but this particular piece was started in Publisher years ago, and I’ve just kept up with it. I spent all afternoon yesterday working on this piece and I get ready to send it over and I go to save it as a PDF and nope can’t save as a PDF because the local print service is not responding. Umm, what? Now - this is my issue with Windows, it’s not that I can’t figure it out, and I do figure out what the issue is in this instance, but it takes a bit research, some additional time and is just downright frustrating.
Here was the problem: After determining that VMware’s thinprint driver is causing the issue, I spend time trying to uninstall VMware and of course the uninstall doesn’t want to run. So I proceed with a manual delete of the files in the \VMware program files directory, and a lengthy traipse through RegEdit looking for the numerous traces of VMware and thinprint. Of course at each find, I must determine what keys can be safely deleted. All that ultimately leads to a system restart, a cross of the fingers to hope I didn’t delete something necessary and a sigh of relief once I hear the familiar Windows startup tones. My printers are back, my spooler is running and I can now create a PDF file from Microsoft Publisher. Whoo Hooo, an hour or so lost and I can now do what I wanted to do yesterday, just a phenomenal waste of time to get there…
I’m not saying that my Mac is perfect and never gives me trouble, it does, but for the most part I can spend more time working on my projects for my clients, rather than working on my computer to make it function so that I can do some work. This is why I converted to Apple all those years ago, it works, does what I want and I don’t have to wrestle it into submission just to generate a .PDF file for my client.
As I write this, Windows Update pops up and tells me that SP1 for Windows 7 64bit is ready to download and install. I click on update and watch it fail for some Unknown Windows Error, no really that’s what it said “Windows Update encountered an unknown error - Code 80073712” Of course there is an error, most of the time updates go just fine however, sometimes they blow up. Don’t worry, I’ll get the update installed, but at what cost in time…
I really should seriously consider selling hot dogs on the beach in southern California!