Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Harder to drink the Mac Kool-Aid

It's just after Christmas 2007 in my household, and the graphics card that I bought my daughter (an NVidia GeForce Ge7300) won't run in her pre-Intel Mac (which is not that old). This is yet another disappointment of the Mac platform that I keep encountering. Usually, I have to keep a watchful eye on the operating system, sorting out in my head the non-intuitive three-decimal system with the counter-intuitive feline imagery, to make sure that I can run a compatible program.

But now, the pre-Intel G5s seem like persona non grata of the computer world, and I'm fast losing patience with the way Apple keeps revamping its platform at my expense. Speaking of expense, it's getting harder and harder to justify the cost increase of Mac computers over their Windows counterparts, especially as more and more core programs (MS Office, Adobe CS, browsers, Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, etc.) become cross-platform. Sure, I'd love to learn Final Cut, but not enough for me to buy a Mac. I use Sony Vegas, and it's just fine.

I was an early-adopter Mac user. I still think the Mac is elegant and technically dazzling. But over time, you will eventually become victimized by Apple (witness the current price-drop fiasco of the iPhone). Windows can be infuriatingly slow to adopt commonsense upgrades (the Start menu in XP is just one example of woefully out-of-date interface design), but you can use machines that are several years old without incompatibilities. And more and more, I'm coming to respect that. And my bank account is too.