Saturday, May 6

Yes, it's expensive

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about my migration to Mac. He told me I am brave but also a richman cause Apple is more (much more) expensive than any PC brand. I told him "this is not true, is only a bit, but a Mac worth the money you pay. Then, back in home, I made a quick comparison betwen the best PC I know (Sony Vaio) and my desired Macbook pro. Well, these are the results:

Sony Vaio FE11s
- Intel core duo - 1.83GHz
- 1Gb RAM
- TFT 15.4"
- Nvidia GeForce 128 MB
- HD 160GB
- 3x USB - Firewire - Card reader -S-Video-PC Card
- Windows XP with MS Works and some third party software bundled
Price: 1700€ (in Spain)

Macbook Pro
- Intel core duo - 1,83GHz
- 512MB RAM
- TFT 15.2"
- Mobility Radeon 128 MB
- HD 80GB
- Built-in iSight camera
- 2x USB - Firewire - DVI - Express Card
- Mac OSX and all the stuff that comes with it
Price: 2.089€ (in Spain)

If you look only at the cold figures and price you will conclude that Vaio is better and cheaper, and, maybe, you will be right. The fact is Apple still expensive, and not a bit. Probably, during the last month I've been a lot of time inside Apple fans forums and I've been living this in a different and unreal way. Next time I will think twice before saying "is not too expensive as you think..."

Conclusion: I will buy a Mac (don't ask me why, is a feeling, and this is priceless)

Tuesday, May 2

Get a mac

Well, its just a coincidence, but the day after I begin this blog, Apple begins their "Get a Mac - Why you'll love a Mac" campaign. Nothing new. They insist in the classical statements and some new reasons to switch. Lets see what they are:

1.- It just works
2.- You can make amazing stuff
3.- Desing that turns head
4.- 114.000 viruses? Not on a Mac
5.- Next year's OS today
6.- The latest Intel chips
7.- Instant video chats
8.- More fun with photos
9.- One-click web sites
10.- Amazing podcasts
11.- Rock Star tunemaking
12.- Hollywood style movies
13.- No hunting for drivers
14.- Awesome out of the box

Well, I think they are right in these "fourteen points" but there is one left:

15.- Apple computers are beautiful outside... and this matters, isn't it?

You can watch the TV ads in the american Apple website. I guess we, europeans, will never have the "Get a Mac" advertising campaign in our TVs. Maybe there is an exception, Great Britain. Apple there is more popular than here, in the continent. In some countries, like Spain, Apple never ever make a commercial. In others -like our portuguese neighbours- Apple is an unknown brand of unknown computers.... don't believe me? try to find the Portugal Apple Store.

I don't know why Apple is not interested in some places. For example, in my wife's region in southern Germany you can only get a Mac in 6 or 7 shops in all the Land, and is a very rich and quite populated region. Maybe is because americans live in their own english speaking planet, and the rest of the world is something odd and difficult to understand. It happens with the british and american tourists, they use to think everybody, even in the most hidden corner of the world, are fluent in their language. Or maybe is because the potential customers are so few that isn't worth the efforts.

I think is a mix of both.

Anyway, with Internet we can see and enjoy anything from anywhere.

Monday, May 1

Why this blog?

Hello everybody. This is Macscwitcher's Diary and I am writing from Madrid, Spain.

After thinking about it for many months, I have decided to switch to Macintosh. the purpose of this blog is tell others my experience. I will write it in spanish and english. The first because is my mother tongue, the second because I know is the international language, the present day latin. Both versions will have the same updates. One thing more: sorry for my english to my english speaking readers (please report the mistakes, I still learning)

A bit of history

I have been using Windows based PC's for 15 years. I have got my first real computer in 1991, when I was 18, it used to belong to my brother (a computer engineer). It was a IBM 286, 12" CRT, 2 MB RAM, 10MB Hard Drive and 3,5" floppy disk. The classical configuration for the late 80's.

Although that computer was really slow -even in 1991- I ran Windows 3.1 on it. Was revolutionary for me the graphical interface, the icons and all the amazing things inside the that Windows release. By this time I was used to MS2 because of the school computers and I had some computing knowledge (basic, of course) I knew that Macintosh was much better, but, at the begining of the 90's, Macintosh was pretty unknown in Spain, only used by professionals and quite expensive. My country, as everybody knows, is not as rich as the USA or Germany, so the most of the people chose cheap PC's instead of the unachievable (and unfamiliar) Apple computers.

I was using this IBM 286 for five years (¡yes, five years!), until 1995 when my father bought a brand-new Pentium 133Mhz with all the new features as CD ROM player, Sound Blaster, 14" monitor and Windows 95. I can remember perfectly the moment I opened the box. I Thought it was the best computer in the world. I enjoyed a lot with this machine and I had my first internet connection account one and a half year later, in Christmas of 1996. I had to buy a 33 modem and, sincerely, in those moments Internet seemed to me quite useless. The connection was bloody expensive, slow and almost all the web pages were in english. In 1996 my english was very poor. In a year (more or less) the speed improved and many people in Spain and Latin America began to write more and more pages in spanish and I began to be an internet user by late 1997.

By this time I had my third computer and the first laptop. Since then I only use laptops because of the mobility they give and its reasonable prices. It was an Olivetti Echos with a Pentium 10oMhz, 12" TFT and CD ROM. I have got muy degree in the university and I began to work. Then I travelled for the first time to the US, to Washington DC (with the Olivetti, of course) It was 1998 and I saw there the first iMac in a Mall, I am not sure but I believe it was in the Potomac Mills. I was amazed with that computer but....was a desktop.

In 1999 I was back in the States and I saw the iMac laptop heir, the iBook, but it was expensive in comparison with similar PC's so I came back to Europe and in 2000 I bought my fourth PC, an Acer Pentium III notebook with Windows '98, the most dissapointing OS I've ever tried. I was fighting against the OS for two years and in 2002 I was considering seriously about switching to Mac but.... the habit is very powerful, eventually I bought a Compaq with an AMD Athlon and Windows XP.

The Compaq last 2 years more. In
the summer of 2004 I was in Ireland, the fan failed and, logically, the computer got burnt with all my data and pictures inside. Back in Madrid I asked for help to my company's technical manager and, fortunately, he was able to rescue the data in a DVD ROM. The same day I went to PC City, a very popular spanish computer retail shop, and I bought my last PC, the one I am writing right now: a Pentium 4 Packard Bell laptop. It was on offer, only 900 euros. I've been using this computer for almost 2 years. The performance is not spectacular but is a PC, and every knows its limits.

Last year, when Apple anounced its intention to change the Power PC for Intel chips I thought to myself: This is the moment. In January Apple released its first intel based laptops, the MacBook pro, and I hope in brief they will present the first intel iBooks. I am waiting. The decision is anyway taken. In a few months (maybe less) I will have my first Macintosh.

15 years are nothing.