Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014
Digital Life
 
Opinion

DL Says - Why I'm finally using an iMac

Published on May 27, 2014 10:50 AM
 

The last time I touched an Apple Macintosh was in 1999, in a computer lab at the university where I was studying.

It was class-registration day and all the PCs were taken. There was a long line of students waiting for PCs to be freed up, but across the aisle on the other side, unused iMacs lined the table tops.

The screens of many of the machines were switched off, which meant that aside from being untouched, they had also been that way for a while.

Desperate for time, I sat in front of one of the blue models and there began my decade-long resistance to Macs.

I could not right-click on the mouse to get more options. Files that I saved were not in the folders which I usually stored them in. I also had no idea how to increase the font size of the text on my screen.

After an hour, I gave up and joined the line of students waiting for a PC.

I have been a loyal Windows user since the DOS days and never pictured myself jumping the fence to another camp.

All that changed last September when my desktop died. Tired of having to deal with DIY desktops, my wife urged me to get a ready-made machine.

If my laptop had died a year earlier, I would have shrugged and bought any desktop for my home.

But having already played with Microsoft's new Windows 8, I knew that there were other factors to consider.

The last thing I needed at home was a frustrated partner who had to deal with the steep learning curve of Microsoft's current operating system.

Frankly, I was still having trouble navigating the new interface and had no confidence in teaching my wife about Charms, Desktop Mode and Tiles.

An option was to get Windows 7 installed, but I baulked at paying top dollar for a desktop running yesterday's operating system.

And if I was willing to spend, another option was buying an iMac, which my wife, another long-time Windows user, was also set against.

In my job, I have always been accused of taking sides and being too biased, but this time, I decided to drop my decade-long aversion to the Macintosh and give it another try.

After all, it is part of my job to be open to new technology and, more importantly, innovation.

As luck would have it, I ran into the same problems from 1999. The right-click option had to be initiated, the file management system is somewhat different from Windows and I still had no idea what the squiggly button - also known as the Command Key - was for.

But I reckoned that my wife would also need to relearn bits of Windows 8, so I moved beyond the cosmetic and came to the conclusion that Apple's

OS X Mavericks is the better version of the classic Windows I know and love, and more than Windows 8 can ever be.

As a backup, I knew I could use Boot Camp to install Windows 7 or Windows 8 on an iMac, so I went against years of self-indoctrination and went with Apple for my wife.

And she hated it, for all the same reasons that some Windows users can never move to a Macintosh.

Two months later, I bought a Windows 8 laptop and showed it to her and she was torn. Windows 8 was not what she expected, but at least it was familiar.

Before I left for work one morning, I told her to play around with the machine and let me know if she wanted to launch Boot Camp on the iMac.

A few hours later, she sent me a message which told me that she had already made her choice: "Where is the bloody Start button?"

Since then, we have discovered that the iMac does have some quirks, especially in communicating with many of our wireless storage devices, but we have learnt to embrace a new ecosystem. My wife even bought herself an iPad for Christmas.

As for me, I am now invested in both camps, but when people ask me why I have an iMac at home,

I will always tell them the story about how the missing Start button ended my family's exclusive relationship with Windows.

sherwinl@sph.com.sg

Videos