Windows optimize

Apple's new slogan, "The Hip Factor"


I just recently read Jason Hiner's latest blog post on Tech Sanity Check, "Poll Would you be willing to use a Mac as your primary system?." Early last year, I wrote a piece called "The Hip Factor" that discussed the cool factor in owning an Apple as opposed to owning a Linux machine. I finally bit the bullet this year and purchased a 24 inch iMac with 1.5 GB and a 250 GB hard drive. It boasts a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. This machine is smokin. I also added a VP2130b ViewSonic 21.3 inch secondary monitor with a Logitech Dinovo Edge keyboard which I plan to review for you later this month. My mouse is a simple MX 610 Laser Cordless mouse.

After setting up my Apple configuration, I used Parallels for my virtualization needs. I loaded Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP, and Windows Vista in separate virtual machines. It was a snap to do this in Parallels and the performance was great. During the day when I was working remotely, I had to use Windows boxes so Parallels was the ticket. I would fire up my XP or Vista machine at full-screen and perform my job.

As a Sr. Technical Consultant out in the field, I work remotely on Windows machines all day and I do a lot of database and Web server work. I do not think a day goes by where I do not touch some sort of SQL Server or Terminal Server box.

It was extremely difficult for me to completely move to an Apple machine. Initially, I was very unhappy with the Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse. I dumped them in the first 60 minutes of using them. Moving around an Apple was difficult for me the first 30 days. I had a lot of new keyboard shortcuts to get used to as well as the basic file structure configuration. I love keyboard shortcuts. I know each and every one in Windows, so moving to an iMac was very frustrating from the shortcut sense. I had to retrain myself while continuing to switch between Windows and Apple. At the end of each day, I felt mentally drained and realized it had a lot to do with trying to remember how to move around in an OS X environment. I have always been a Windows user and moving around a machine in Windows is effortless for me.

At 60 days, I was moving around very quickly and really started looking at what Tiger really offered me. There are a lot of great tools for both the average user and the publishing guru. I see a lot of value. I never felt safer using one over the other. You still had to elevate your rights in Tiger to do certain administration tasks. I really do like the nifty white remote that I get with my iMac that allows me to watch movies and play music. The Apple hardware is top notch.

At 90 days, I was completely frustrated with my virtual experience. I was doing too much hardcore Windows work to totally rely on a virtual machine. I needed to be able to maximize the power of this great machine. It was time for Bootcamp. Installing Windows Vista on my iMac was a piece of cake. The performance was a 4.5 on the Vista Scale with the lowest score going to my gaming graphics (3.5). I am not a gamer so that is a non issue to me. One thing that came out and slapped me in the face was that for some reason the ALT/OPTION key on my keyboard did not allow me to choose what OS I wanted on a reboot. The only way to choose is to reboot and hold this key down. Upon further research, I found out no Windows keyboard can do this; you need to use the Apple keyboard.

At 120 days, I haven't booted into OS X in over a week because I have been very busy. As a corporate user, it is impossible for me to use just Apple as there are many pieces of software that just do not work with OS X. I also have issues with Safari and Firefox that I do not have with Internet Explorer. Safari and Firefox are great browsers and I use them but for some reason I still prefer the look and feel of Internet Explorer and I am not alone. We can debate all day long about how other browsers are more secure and I would agree with you but I still click the "big blue E" when three browsers such as Firefox, Opera, and/or Internet Explorer are my choices. It is my comfort zone. Do you feel the same way?

When using Apple, Parallels works great and I have plans to show you just how great it works. It is a fabulous piece of software and they have a feature called Coherence that you are just going to fall in love with (more on that later). Virtualization falls short for me personally when I need to utilize all the memory and processing power for the work that I do. When this happens, I boot into Windows Vista completely via Bootcamp.

In the corporate world, I need a Windows machine. I enjoy my Windows machine. I love the Apple hardware and I love Windows Vista on this hardware and now I have the best of both worlds. Windows Vista on some sweet hardware and Tiger OS X as well.

At 150 days, I use Windows Vista with boot camp primarily but when my corporate work is done, I boot into Tiger OS X and I play with iPhoto to make calendars for my kids and I watch movies, upload video and make really cool movies with iMovie and iDVD. There is a lot to learn about Tiger OS X. And I have to admit, I do feel hip when I use my Apple.

Are you interested in taking a journey with me? Fill out the following polls and let me look at the results.

Polls.

18 comments
ddhiggins
ddhiggins

I've used Windows since version 3 and Mac OS since version 7, I have to say Mac OS X is my preferred system. I have become an Apple Specialist and truly enjoy working with the very intelligent and creative Macintosh users I interact with every day. The hardware is a superior design, well thought out and free of most common PC-model, deficiencies. One thing that cannot be replaced by "The Hip Factor" is Apple's need to keep a focus on, as they "play with the big boys," is to maintain the unique "customer-first" approach they have had in their past and take care of their loyal followers who have put Apple where they are today. Once they start short-cutting, denying or mistreating users on service, they will be sacrificing an important element of what has made using Apple Computers an outstanding experience. A glimmer of this was from an experience I had with a "Tier Two" AppleCare technician, named Katie, who actually told me to, "Stop talking," in an unpleasant tone, while I was describing the problem I was having with my PowerMac G4. That was not at all representative what has been good about Apple. Maintain good customer care, provide an exceptional product and good things will continue to happen for Apple, Inc. (Lastly, send Katie back for more customer service training, remove her from all customer contact or give her the boot.)

zarathustra2010
zarathustra2010

Personally, I keep a basic install of OS X (about 3GB) on my Intel iMac for only ONE reason: To be able to install necessary firmware updates from Apple easily. No other reason. In fact, if you are not concerned with such things, it isn't necessary to have ANY Apple software on your Apple Intel PC. The original Apple Firmware Update which made it possible to use Boot Camp Beta with the Intel machines includes BIOS emulation, enabling ANY Intel-based, BIOS-Using OS to be installed as the ONLY OS on the Apple Intel PCs. Since this firmware update is installed at the factory on second (and later) generation Intel Apples, it's not even necessary to download and install the original update anymore to use either Boot Camp or Windows. I myself have installed XP as well as Vista as the exclusive OS on mine. All it entailed was simply inserting a Windows install disk in the drive (from the Desktop), then restarting the machine, and at the Apple Boot Menu, choosing the Windows install disk as the boot disk. Of course, it was necessary to burn a Windows Drivers Disk from within Boot Camp first, so OS X has to be initially installed before you get rid of OS X entirely. Once in the Windows installer, the ENTIRE Mac Drive can be WIPED (including the 200MB EFI partition), and XP or Vista installed in the normal way. Thank goodness that Apple put the Apple Boot Menu in hardware rather than software. Once XP or Vista are installed this way, it is no longer necessary to use the Apple Boot Menu. Of course, this idea is completely strange (even obscene) to OS X lovers, but would not be considered unusual for Windows lovers. Why waste 3 GB or more on your HD to be able to switch back and forth between OS X and Windows using Boot Camp or a virtualization product when it is just not necessary? Get rid of BootCamp entirely, and install Windows the natural way!!! Turn your Apple Intel PC into a strictly Windows platform. (Apple Intel PCs make great platforms for Vista, BTW.) Donald McDaniel

intrepi
intrepi

I've never used a Mac but I'm going to buy a new Mac Pro with their Leopard OSx as I've had a look at this OSx and I think it's gone past where Vista ended. The tours and info on Apples website gave me enough to want more so I'm going for one in October 07

RDSLO
RDSLO

Apple opened a store in town a couple of months ago. What an eye opener! Great stuff. I think you would be better off with two separate systems though, if you have the space. By the time you purchase Windows and Parallel, you are almost to a new PC ( I have seen new dual core laptops for $449.00). That way when something happens to Windows you are not tying up system resources while the OS is being recovered.

stews mith
stews mith

"Hip" ?? Whatever! It's not going to make a difference to those for or against macs and / or wanting a change / scared of change! Nice to see an attempt at competition and not aloof isolation

Martin Pilkington
Martin Pilkington

What sort of corporate software do you use that doesn't work on the Mac? While there is a lot of software that doesn't work on the Mac, there might be alternatives, especially if the software uses open standards.

brian
brian

You did know there's a Startup Disk control panel installed in WIndows when you use Boot camp right? No need to hold down a key at startup, just choose the other OS from the control panel (it's in OS X's System prefs too) and reboot.

Steven S. Warren
Steven S. Warren

Also, when you call for support and get a person who talks with a dialect of English you cannot understand, support is moot. My AC thermostat was acting up and the person I called for support spoke a version of English I have never heard in my life. I could not understand him.

Steven S. Warren
Steven S. Warren

I like some of the demos I have seen and I like that I can boot into Vista when I need to as well. -ssw

Steven S. Warren
Steven S. Warren

Getting companies with over 100 employees to change stringent standards is another story.

Charlie Rockwave
Charlie Rockwave

I love Apple, but the Mighty Mouse totally bites. The roller ball feels to cheap and flimsy. And it is, mine just broke. I like the simplicity of the Mighty Mouse, but it just feels like an imitation Apple product in my hands. Apple keyboards are so-so. Tomorrow they are maybe going to announce a new iMac and if the rumors are true, it is going to have one heck of a keyboard! Chalie Rockwave http://www.aiping.jp

nobby57
nobby57

It's been a super experience so far and after a bad episode with my last Windows laptop involving malware (which apparently did not result in identity theft, though it could have) feel much safer transacting business and paying bills online. Need to integrate Windows OS functionality for work stuff, though -- tried to work around it with some success but in the end had to admit that I still need Windows. Have heard good things about Parallels, will try that first since I've dual-booted in past on some Linux machines, and found it irksome. VMWare is out with Fusion now too. I like the idea of backing up an installation just by making a copy of a file. If virtualization doesn't fill the bill can resort to Bootcamp. Like using the laptop very well, has picked up my productivity a notch and is very speedy to use and start/shut down. Overall, it wasn't the cheapest route (although good value for what you get -- first class costs, and Win laptops are not any cheaper if equally equipped). But for a machine of this capability it was reasonable. I like the ease of updating -- hell, everything is smooth and easy on this thing. It would be fun to show up at a meeting, unlimber this thing and boot Windows. I supply my own laptop, so no one can bitch. Good investment, would do it again.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I started using Mac in the early 1990s because all the good graphics programs were Mac. For decades there was no good 3D software for Mac, but that's not the case anymore. There are still a few PC applications that I run under Boot Camp, but that will probably change. OS X is just better designed and integrated then Windows. Besides MS seems to be floundering while Apple has a clear vision. Keep in mind that I'm in the Arts and have no need for business apps.

maxiprint
maxiprint

I had been a windows user forever & changed to an Imac intel 20" for work in the print/graphics business I'm now in & love it. If I could I would change all my computers to Macs with parallels. Macs are just easier to use. Coherence is great for the odd times I need to use a windows program. I use Adobe CS3 a lot & it just runs better on a Mac.

yooper
yooper

I suppose I'm "Old school" when it comes to my appochoch to technology. I believe, whatever it is that can give you the results you need it's the right tool for the job. If I could get the same performance from my Commodore 64 that I do with my PC what difference does it make? I like some of the features of the Mac's, but I also like the flexibility of owning and building PC's. I feel us humans are fighting over way too many things in this world, let us not do so with machines. :)