Now, I know this might make some people angry, and I may be called a "traitor", or a "conformist", but I have made the switch.

I recently became the owner of a Dell Dimension.

I have been a Mac person for all of my previous computing life. The only expection was waaaay back in grammar school when I used wither an Apple IIe or Vic 20. Oddly enough, Victor doesn't seem to be be making computers any more, but Apple, of course, went on to make the Macintosh.

Now, I grew up in Santa Cruz, which is a haven of artsy types, hippies, lesbians and academics, so I was exposed to Macs right around the time they came out. I can still remember the first time I used one, I was with my mom when she was visiting a friend, and I was allowed to amuse myself on his Macintosh 256. I fired up Macpaint, clicked on a picture of a spray paint can, and clicked on the drawing field and instantly fell in love with the interface. I drew a snowman.

At the time, PCs were considered by many to be tools which required training to use. Macintosh came along and had the idea that People shouldnt' have to learn how to use their computers; the computers should be made so that they are intuitive, which made a lot of sense to me, so I've gone through about 10 years and 3 Macintoshes.

However, it was time to get a new computer. Unfortunately, you pay for what you get, and I am not really in a position to shell out $4,000 on a top-of-the-line G5, when for only $1500, I can get a pretty damn fast Windows machine with a flat-screen monitor and a subwoofer to boot. Plus I need a Windows machine to run 3d Studio Max, which I need to learn if I wan tot get anywhere in the game industry.

My old Powermac 7200 is about 5 years old, runs at a now ludicrous ~300 MHz or so, and has undergone so many installs and extension tweaks that the only way it'd ever get back to normal is if I re-installed the system software, and I don't ever want to have to re-install system software again. I'd installed a 3D card on that mahine, upgraded the RAM, setup a pair of external hard drives and an external CD burner. Cables lay chaotically twisted across my desk, and I'm tired of it. I don't ever want to have to open up a computer ever again. I used to be the kind of guy who would think nothing of splaying the guts of his computer out onto the floor, jamming some arcane hardware into a PCI slot, putting it back together, testing it, opening it back up again and repeating until I found out I had to re-install the drivers. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do that ever again, so I bought a PC with some (to me) sick-ass specs and plan to never even peek inside of it.

And it runs great. Before, if I wanted to play a full-3D game (such as Quake 2, was about a much as my Voodoo card could handle), I had to get bootleg drivers for my PC 3D card, get the OpenGL converters for Quake, restart my computer with a custom extension set, bla bla bla. Now, I can buy a game off the shelf, put it into the computer, and then it just goes. It is so nice.

My only problem is the interface. Using Windows is like using a Macintosh that isn't working right. I don't care for the whole multiple user system, with one documents folder for "Ken" and another for "All users". Can't I just specify that I'm the only one who's going to use this computer and be done with it? The folders aren't spring-loaded like in MacOS, the search system is pretty clunky, it freaks out that the computer is not connected to the internet yet ("!!! Warning: McAfee totally can't get updated! Why aren't you connected to the internet, idiot?!"), XP is a little too instrusive for my tastes ("What are you doing now? Do you want to do this now? Do you want me to show you how? Maybe you would like to learn more about registering every detail about yourself with Microsoft?"), and there's only one menu. It's like somone heard about MacOS and tried to recreate it, but leaving out enough helpful features so that they don't get sued(which is probably exactly what happened).

Macintoshes were great for creating stuff, which is what I liked to use my computer to do. Music, video, and graphic design was all easier on a Mac. I tried usign my PC to record and process some sound last night, and while it certainly ran effects processors much, much faster than my previous machine, the non-intuitive interface made things a bit harder. I need a toolbox menu, dammit. PCs are also really good for gaming, especially the FPS genre which I have missed so much. Not only do games come out sooner for PCs typically, but the three-button mouse is indispensable for games. The Macintosh mouse still still still only has one button. Apple does not seem to realize that just because their OS is so easy to use that it only requires one button, not all programs are.

Ideally, my computer would be the same, and run all the PC programs, but have a Mac interface. Apple could make millions if they published a PC-compatible version of OSX. So, I'm going to try and customize it to be as close to a Mac interface as possible, putting the menu bar at the top of the screen, moving all the desktop icons to the right side, moving the C Drive (HARD DRIVE, dammit!) to the desktop, ranaming the "recycle bin" to "trash" (The so-called "recycle bin" is the most pandering, blatant attempt at ripping off another OS I have ever seen... oh wait, no, the mouse is.). I'll see how close to a MacOS I can get.

I've still got my old Mac, as it's my only home connection to the internet until I get this hole drilled in the wall to run some cable through, and it's given me some great times. I will miss my Macintosh for some reasons, but for others, I'll be glad I've got a new computer. I still firmly believe in Apple's vision and in their products, which I still feel are in many respects superior to their PC counterparts, but a PC just happens to better suit my current needs. I'll be damned if I'm going to fill out this Windows registration info, though.

300 Mhz -> 2.4 Ghz
4 (x3) Gig HD(s) -> 60 Gig HD
15" CRT - 17" Ultrasharp Flat Panel
98 MB RAM -> 512 MB RAM
CD Burner -> Internal DVD + CD Burner


Post a Comment

<< Home