Dane. Designer.

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Powerbook G4, One Year On

Apple

It is of course something of a bittersweet affair to celebrate the one year anniversary of my Powerbook, when it was only a week ago that it went in for repairs. But that’s how it goes, and if nothing else, I think my Apple Support experiences up till this point is in fact a good way to lead into this small homage to my little titanium clad baby.

And so a year passed, I’m standing here again, wondering which months I missed out on. But it would seem that this year, as the others, was a full 12 months as promised, though I am inclined to feel that some foul play is involved.

Either way, let me instead dispense onto you, some of my experiences with my by now faithful companion, My Apple Powerbook G4. When I decided to invest a sizable amount of money in this titanium clad cyber-device, it was really quite a step to take. First of all I have always been a Windows user, and I never never owned a laptop before. In fact, I’ve been something of a gamer, and I work as a 3D artist; things I can’t reasonably do on an Apple laptop. Also all of my friends have always, and by and large remain, Windows users, and I daily go to work on a Windows machine.

But for years I’ve been keenly observing from the sidelines, how the whole Apple culture has been growing, and finally last year it reached a point where I felt safe enough with making the changeover. Without having had any proper hands-on time with it, OS X Panther seemed like a downright fantastic OS, and at least from where I was standing, years ahead of everything out there. And seriously, who can argue with the luxurious finish of Apple’s hardware?

So has it been worth it?

Oh has it ever? But I don’t think I need to tell you that, I have after all spent enough time doing just that.

Not that I haven’t had problems, because I most certainly have. For months the Powerbook would freeze for no apparent reason, usually when I was playing music in iTunes. And no matter what I did I couldn’t get rid of it… And I wasn’t alone, in fact there seemed to be a lot of people with the very same problem. But with the 10.3.6 update, it seemed to disappear, in Apple’s usual “don’t talk about it, just fix it” fashion, which can be most infuriating.

Then of course there was also the whole Firewire debacle. That however seemed to be a case of a sick little iPod making rounds at work, so I guess you can’t blame anyone in particular.

But in the end, the question would be: Had I known then, what I know now, would I have made the same choice? And I think I can say with a healthy portion of certainty that the answer would be a resounding yes!

Even the most expensive and smoothest of the non-Apple laptops I have had my hands on feel antiquated; indeed almost quaint. Let there be no doubt, Apple is at the head of the pack here, it’s time for the rest of the industry to get their damn heads out of their asses. Not because they’ll die out, because let’s face it, Apple is gaining market share at the speed with which trees grow.

And the exact same can be said for OS X vs. anything else out there. Don’t even bother, because it’s a non-contest. Not that Windows and PC’s in general are without purposes, they most certainly are not. But for myself, it’s a no-brainer. Apple wins, knockout in the first round. A remark that despite its inherent truth will land me immediately in the zealot camp, but then so be it.

Now, a lot can be said about this subject, and trust me on this, a lot has been said in the blogosphere (it’s, what, the fourth or fifth most popular subject among the bloggin’ and bitchin’?). I’ll leave it at a few general remarks, all of which I believe I have made before, but in the interest of completeness:

It seems as if the independent software developers on the OS X platform have a much greater deal of respect for both the OS on top of which they are working, as well as for their end users. Windows doesn’t have shareware of this quality (and dare I say it? Qualitative quantity). Anything you need, and it’s 5, 10 or 20 bucks away on Paypal, and in a lot of cases it’s even free.

And while there are a few exceptions here and there, the difference between working with Windows and OS X is the feeling of how everything works together. Whether through direct interconnectivity or AppleScript, applications speak with each other! Small touches, like the systemwide spellchecker is merely the jewel in the crown that is OS X. On the surface a glitzy, well polished but slightly candy like OS. Underneath it’s everything you ever wanted, but were afraid to ask!

That said, I wish Apple were better at communicating with their costumers on a more day to day basis. I respect their secrecy when it comes to their new products, but their tightlipped approach to dealing with bugs in its OS and apps is downright frustrating. Not that that differs Apple from most other corporations, but given everything else, it’s not what one would expect.

In terms of raw appeal, everything counted, I don’t see anyone beating what Apple has going until they begin to understand that Apple’s secret is the fact that they’re doing it better than everyone else…