Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

I've decided that for my next computer I'm gonna switch. Back, that is. I always used to be a PC user and a Mac hater, even though I'd never really used a Mac before, but almost a year ago, I decided to make the big switch. That's right, I bought a Mac. I had several reasons. Mainly because the Macs had better graphics, and were better at "arty" things, like Graphic Design, and music, and movie making, all stuff that I'd really like to do, but, I soon found out, can't afford the software for. I mean it, a really good graphics program for the Mac can run anywhere between $600 and $1500. I've had this computer for almost a year now, and I only have one graphics program, and it's not even as good as the "paintbrush" program that comes standard on a PC. In fact, I have almost no software for this computer at all. The only things I've bought for this computer are the games "Alice," (which rocks, by the way) "Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn," (which, for some reason, I can't even get to work on this computer, even though I've got several times the minimum system requirements) and the OSX 10.2 "Jaguar" upgrade. That's all I've bought for this computer in all the time I've owned it. Pretty much the only thing I use it for is to get on the Internet.

There's a reason I have no software for my Mac, and, in fact, this is my main complaint about Macs; it's next to impossible to get software, or anything else, for them around here. I've talked about this before in previous posts. There's only two or three places in the entire state of Oklahoma you can even buy Macs and Mac related products, and the closest one of them, the CompUSA in Oklahoma City, is almost 50 miles away from me. To make matters worse, every time I go there, their shelves are empty. I don't know if they just sell so much Mac software they can't keep it stocked, which is plausible, since everyone who owns a Mac has to go there, or if they just don't stock a very good selection. Whenever I go there, they only have about 10 different software titles to chose from, and most of them are fairly old. For example, they usually have plenty of copies of "Alice" on the shelf, even though it's two or three years old, which is practically ancient in computer terms. So CompUSA is clearly not able to meet the needs of a Mac owner. This means that, basically, the only way to get Mac products around here is to order them through catalogues or online.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Mac. I especially love OSX. Mac OSX is infinitely preferable to any Windows incarnation. I love almost everything about Macs. I love the external design, the iMacs and the G4 Cubes look really cool; I love the operating system, and how easy Macs are to use; I especially love the quality of the graphics and sound. What I don't love is how hard it is to buy things for them, and how expensive those things are when you can get them. It's probably easier to own a Mac in bigger cities, they probably have places that sell Mac products, but here, in the middle of nowhere, owning a Mac can be really frustrating.

However, that's not the main reason I'm switching back to a PC. The main reason is because I'm a computer geek, and all of the cool gadgets and stuff like that are for PCs only. Also I want to really get into things like computer gaming, which you really need a PC for, and I want to do cool case modifications, and stuff like that. You can't really get inside a Mac and tinker around. Macs have very tight designs, everything is in its place, and there's not much room for anything else, and not much you can do to it. Macs really are for people who don't know much about computers, people who don't want to get inside the computer. They are designd for ease-of-use, you just buy them and use them, you don't upgrade them, or tinker around with them.

So, to boil all this down: I like Macs, I'm glad I tried one, but they just don't meet my needs, so the next time I get a new computer, I'm getting a PC again.