Valentine’s Day

Today at work, I was surprized to have the receptionist give me a call and inform me that I had a delivery. Today, that could only mean one thing: for the first time in my life, I was among the ranks of those whose sweethearts bought them flowers and had them sent to their workplace. (awww…) So, I got to spend the day with a dozen red carnations on my desk, their vase tied with ribbon and anchoring a red heart-shaped foil balloon. Not bad.

Now, on to the daily rant: Macs. As in, Macintosh computers. I consider myself to have turned from an exclusively Macintosh user to a bit of a Macintosh agnostic. Not that I have doubts about the actual existence of the Mac, but that I have doubts about my previous proselyting (sp?) of the platform as The Best Computing Platform.

check out The 6400 Zone websiteThe ideal Mac user has enough money to actually purchase a new model, along with all the software he or she might need. This would require me either to be independently wealthy or to take out a loan nearly akin to my recent car loan. I’ve recently moved up from a 7600/80 to a 6500/275 (yes, it is a move upward), neither of which have a G3 processor. I’m living in 1994 here. Most of the software I own is not current, having been purchased legally from thrift stores and eBay vendors. I do have some pirated Mac software living on my 6500 (mainly Photoshop 5.5), but Office 2000 and PageMaker 6.0 and all my internet software is legal.

I didn’t use my old 7600 or my newer 6500 for several months (no, make that over a year) thanks to Sheryl coming to my rescue. My piddly 80 MHz processor (after I upgraded the motherboard!) and 28K modem weren’t cutting it, so she let me kind of rent-to-own her extra PII 333MHz with monitor. For a shade under $200 (she knocked off a little since I bought my own monitor later), I had a pretty kickass computer. At least, for what I use it for. Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to edit audio and video on my computer, and to barely think about opening an application before it’s launched and ready… but that’s just not in the scope of things right now.

My PC is more upgradeable than my Mac. I got a 16X CD-R drive for Christmas, and Aaron and I installed it, no problem. I’ve added RAM to beef this bad boy up to 90MB. (w00t!) Sheryl helped us add a NIC so we could get cable internet. I installed and partitioned a 60GB HD to make a second and third drive for storage. And, I do admit, I have hundreds if not thousands of dollars of pirated software on my machine. Oh, yeah, and mp3’s. (Hit me with your best shot, RIAA…)

My 6500 hasn’t been totally neglected, though. I installed a NIC in it, too, and would have installed a Radius Thunder video card, had the card not been too damned long to fit in my funky-ass case in amongst the cable-age. I also purchased a video switchbox and high-quality cables so I can see my Mac in 17 inches of glory.

I’m just wondering… is it just my knowledge of the MacOS that made me such a Mac person before? I can zap the PRAM, rebuild the desktop, troubleshoot the network, use dozens of keyboard shortcuts, produce almost any punctuation mark imaginable, search for a valid system disk, et cetera, et cetera. Windows? Um… run winipcfg? Release and Renew? Reboot?

Since I’ve been using Windows exclusively for some time now, I find that I like the faster mouse. I find myself looking to the bottom right for the time. I find my thumb instinctively seeking out the Control key when I’m starting a keystroke shortcut. I really like the QuickLaunch bar and the taskbar and minimizing windows and clicking quickly between apps. It’s just a different feel… but when I get back on my Mac, once I get used to the slower mouse, it’s just like old home week.

Maybe I’ve just reached a happy medium, finally. I own both platforms, and I have no intention of eliminating one of them. I like them both. I’m not platform-monogamous, but I don’t feel like I’m cheating. 🙂

P.S. – Oh, yeah… and my laser printer only works with my Mac.