I get this question from time to time and I figured it would be a great topic for an opinion piece. This topic has been done to death but I am not going to beat the horse on how you should switch, I just want to talk about what made me switch and why I will never go back. I ask you to step back and take this article as an opinion piece and not Mac propaganda.
It was spring of 2005 when I got my first laptop. I had a desktop for a few years before that so I was used to Windows 2000 and dabbled in XP. My dad got me the top of the line Toshiba Satellite at the time which was billed as a desktop replacement. This thing was huge, I’m talking pizza box huge. It churned away on a 3.33Ghz P4 which I believe was the fastest mobile P4 made. It was over 2 inches thick closed, and weighed over 8 pounds. The battery was a 12 cell bazillion milliamp behemoth that weighed over 2 pounds itself. It wasn’t the portable laptop I wanted but it was a graduation present and I was still pumped to get something more powerful than a Pentium 3.
I believe this laptop was the start of my Windows decline. I must add that that laptop was solid as a rock, never had a single problem mechanically, and it’s still working like it did on the first day I got it. Mechanically it was perfect, functionally it was nearly worthless as a laptop. I thought it was more of a slim desktop with a screen attached to it. I got around 1 hour 20 minutes of battery life on super power save mode with everything off. It needed something like 20 volts to power it so you can imagine the size of the power brick, and the brick alone weighed a few pounds.
I have to give my dad credit however, he is not technical in any way and I could have ended up with a terrible computer. As much as I dislike the Toshiba it still is one of the most rock solid laptops I have ever used, it just didn’t fit what I wanted in a laptop.
So a year goes by and I start looking for alternatives to this beast. My biggest complaint was the battery life. If the beast, as I like to call it, could last 4 hours on battery then I probably would still be using it. I started looking at laptop reviews when I saw a Macbook with an impressive 4 hour battery life. I had never dreamt a laptop could last that long. I was skeptical and started doing research to see if that 4 hour mark was simply marketing and not engineering. I started to get on Mac related forums, asking questions about that battery mark and sure enough, the Macbook did just about 4 hours on a single charge.
OSX? I had never used a Mac before let alone heard of “Tiger” or “Leopard”. The lingo was alien however my interest had been peaked. I started watching a ton of OSX videos on Youtube and figured it couldn’t be any worse than Windows.
November 5th 2006 I made a call to a local Mac authorized seller to see what Macbooks were in stock. I went there with a friend and purchased my first Mac, the one I’m still typing on. Back then the Core Duo 2Ghz machines came with 512MB of ram, a 60GB hard drive, and either a combo DVD-CDR drive or a DVD burner. That was two years after my Toshiba which came with a 100GB hard drive, 16x DVD burner, and 1GB of ram. I sorta felt like I was taking a step back. Here is the video of that fateful unboxing. It’s quite embarrassing.
Soon after that video was published my friend who appears with me purchased a Macbook as well. From there on I have influenced 3 other friends into purchasing Macbooks and Macbook Pros based on what they saw I was doing with mine. I even convinced the Network Administrator of my Dad’s work to take a look at OSX, his main laptop is now a Macbook Pro.
Overall it has been crazy to transition from Windows to Mac but at the same time I’m glad I did it. I have meet so many people from switching and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I hope you enjoyed this trip back and how I became a switcher. It might not be as crazy as some other stories but I thought it would be at least a little interesting to see how someone finally makes a huge change like this.