There was a period of time when I was quite the Apple fan boy. I have bought Apple computers exclusively since 2001. I have grown up with Apple computers, starting with an Apple 2+ and then the first Macintosh computers. I have tried to stay out of the which platform is better arguments. It’s not that I have anything against PCs, but the Mac have always seemed to suit my needs better.
That changed the other day when I bought a Windows PC.
The decision to buy a computer is an interesting purchasing decision. Although PCs are no longer our exclusive gateways to the internet, thanks to smart phones and tablets, they provide the deepest connection - at least from my point of view. Although it is possible for me to blog from my iPhone or iPad, it's not ideal, and definitely not my first choice for writing. The same applies with games - there are some great games for smart phones and tablets, but they are not the same or as immersive as the games you can get on consoles or desktop / laptop computers.
I think about how many angry words on internet discussion boards have been spilled about whether Macs or PCs are better. How many people have been involved in these arguments, and how much time has been wasted following and participating in these arguments? The internet is full of these arguments. Scratch any topic and there will be an equivalent and it’s likely that it will have some similar unresolvable controversial fault line - but that's a post for another day.
Although I’m buying a Windows PC, it doesn’t mean that I hate Apple or the computers which I’ve bought over the years. The reasons for this change are not particularly profound. I wanted a computer for gaming - I was tired of the limited gaming choices I had on the Mac and I was also tired of paying the premium which makes Macs automatically significantly more expensive than an equivalent Windows computer. Yes, the design of Macs and their operating system is exceptional. It almost leads to the computer being enjoyable to use in its own right. But I’ve decided that I no longer need this. It’s ok if a computer is a just a tool which allows me to run various software, especially if such a computer gives me a lot more bang for my buck.
Related to this is that I have become increasingly disenchanted with Apple’s arrogance. I expressed some of this in a post over two years ago, and the problem has worsened since then. The Apple Maps debacle has caused me to consider whether I want to be so dependent on a company which has done such a stupid thing, seemingly motivated by vindictiveness against Google and a complete disregard for what it best for its customers.
So I’ve made my decision, and I’m not regretting it. For the first time I’ve chosen not a buy a brand name computer at all, but one built for me at a local computer shop. It’s nice to know that if I have any problems with it, I can take the computer to be fixed by the guy who assembled it, rather than putting up with more remote support hell.
My new no name computer is powerful (compared with what I had before) and wasn’t that expensive. It didn’t come arrive in a box which made me feel special even as I was opening it, but my impression is that the components are of a higher quality. The Mac wins hands down when it comes to marketing and packaging, and that’s fine.