About 13 years ago I made a big mistake. I bought a PC. There I was, a true Apple Mac devotee, surfing the net, making music, building Web pages and running my business, when it was time to upgrade. At the time, Apple Macs were relatively quite expensive, compared to PCs, and a friend offered me a second-hand Pentium 90 for $500. Compared to the three or four grand a new Mac was going to cost, I jumped at it. I crossed to the dark side.
PCs are cobbled together Frankenstiens, built from a terrible collection of misfitting parts, all with different protocols, standards, compatibilities, etc. And their operating system is one made by a man whose primary objective was not to make the best operating system in the world, rather to just get his operating system into as many computers in the world as he could. Windows, an overlay to MSDOS, is a mess. No wonder the 'blue screen of death' became such a well-known phenomenon. Clunky, buggy, insecure... and that's just the software – the hardware – with all its associated third party software just adds exponentially to the complexity, and in turn, to the problems.
Since that fateful day of purchasing the PC, I have become a slave to the system. Endless patches, upgrades, re-boots, blue screens, error messages, downtime – so much down time! Not only that, but I was set on a path of never-ending spending on new bits and pieces. My Apple was a single unit – the PC was a box full of junk, each piece of junk requiring replacement at regular intervals.
All of this is fine, if you are a boffin – boffins (nerds, geeks, whatever) love pulling things apart and replacing things. They love the latest gadgetry – they even love it when things crash, because it gives them a chance to prove how much of a boffin they are as they join newsgroups and search technical documentation in their quest to resolve the problem. I am not a boffin – I use computers because I want to get things done.
I might have saved three grand on that fateful day I bought my first PC, but I think over the last 13 years, I have probably wasted at least $100,000 in downtime, lost productivity, fees paid to boffins, lost focus (as I spend half my life talking to boffins) and my environmental footprint, with all the wasted junk I have bought, re-bought and thrown away, is about the size of King Kong.
It's time for me – and the world – to wake up. We don't need PCs – we never did – Bill Gates only made us think we did – because he wanted to control the world. PCs will always be poor imitations of real computers. They will always be cobbled together, they will always be ever more complex as each operating system upgrade adds layer upon layer of disguise to try to look like an elegant machine. All you get is a window to a vista of sophistry.
Looking forward I have decided to replace most of my PCs with Apples. Apples are not perfect, by any measure, but at this point in time, their elegance, design, reliability, performance and productivity outstrips the PC. Those funny adverts are true – that's why they work so well. Microsoft are running scared. The era of forcing people to bend to your will and hand over all their money for something that will give them more trouble than it's worth is over. This is the Apple/Google era. Software in clouds, not shrink-wrapped. The Internet is complicated enough – managing our lives these days is hard work – the last thing we need is for the devices we use continuing to be the bane of our existence.
I'm switching back. I'm going home. Apples are good for you.