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    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    Apples to oranges, and back to apples... again

    It started with my iPod purchase last April. And here I am making another switch. I just bought the newest version of the G4 Powerbook introduced yesterday. I'd like to think I've always been a Mac guy, but that's not completely true. Maybe I'm just another user jumping on the bandwagon. Whatever the reason, let me back up a bit to try to explain how I arrived at this purchase.

    The truth is I grew up with Apple. My dad, now retired from teaching high school, used to bring home a computer from the lab every summer for me to tinker with. I think it started with an Apple II. And each year the technology would get progressively better and soon I was playing around with a IIc. At some point we purchased a IIe (with dual disk drives, baby!) which got me all the way through high school. Even with an Apple in the house, the arrivals of new summer computers continued each year, with the IIGS, the Mac Classic, the Mac SE, and so on.

    I bought a shiny new Mac LC just before heading to Bates, and that little machine, my friends, got me through all four years with minimal problems. Even when I started my first full-time job seven days after graduation, I was trained on a Mac. It wasn't until a year and a half later in the winter of 1999 that I was formally introduced to Windows and the PC.

    Around this time, I was getting up to speed on web development. I had to, it was my job. The tools at my disposal were Microsoft software -- Visual InterDev and the like. I quickly gravitated to the Microsoft platform and fell out of the Mac loop almost immediately. (So there's a thing called Panther now? And Safari? And what's with all these "i"'s?)

    Now that I'm removed from the "Microsoft shop" of my previous employer, I've had time to explore other web development options, and software in general (hence my many posts about Firefox). It's becoming crystal clear to me that I'd be more productive (and have more fun) getting this work done on a Mac. Can I totally vaildate the purchase? No, not really. But considering sharing files between Mac OS X and Windows these days is very easy, it just made sense. Plus with my schedule of bopping around to three different clients, a notebook was in my near future anyway. I just decided to take the Apple plunge instead. But, my current desktop PC need not fear, there's no way I'd forget my Compaq Presario in the process. I love it and I'll continue to use it all the time. He'll just need to share the limelight now.

    So, in a few days, there'll be a knock at the door with the delivery of my new 12" Powerbook. In the meantime, I need to get up to speed on this thing they call Panther.

    [UPDATE: Gee whiz. In my haste to post about the purchase, I failed to thank the two people who helped me immensely (read: emails back 'n forth all weekend) to come to my decision. So, thank you Brian and Basil! Next time you're in New Haven (or wherever we meet up), dinner's on me!]