Switching to Mac: decision points

Switching to a MacBook was a major decision for me. Here are the points I considered before I took the leap of faith.
  1. Tweakability. I like the ability to tweak my own computer. Although Macs were known for their stability and reliability, the old Macs did not really allow owners to tweak them. When Apple changed Mac OS to run on a FreeBSD platform (a Unix-based operating system), it added a Terminal mode called Darwin. Darwin is a command-line interpreter like DOS, but since it is Unix-based, it has more powerul commands. A pleasant surprise (there's lots of them you'll discover when you switch) is that Mac is really very user-friendly. I did not have difficulty adjusting my network settings, for example. When I used Windows, I had to do a series of steps to switch from office to home networking. In Mac, it's pretty much automatic and painless.

  2. Application compatibility. I was worried that Mac applications would not be able to open my old Windows-based documents. I now know that this was totally unfounded. Thanks to open source technology like Open Office and cross-platform environments like Java, migrating to the new operating system was less worrisome. In fact, I had already been using OpenOffice. I was even pleasantly surprised to find that Mac had bundled software that I always wanted to have in Windows but never got. Example: GarageBand (a music creator), iDVD and iMovie (movie creators), etc. Also, since MacBook is now based on an Intel chip, it is even possible to run MS Windows on it through the use of BootCamp. I kept this knowledge filed away, just in case I had to open old files. But up to now, I have not needed to do this.

  3. Price. This was a major consideration for me. I was initially craving for a MacBook Pro (MBP). But after visiting Apple shops and surfing for prices, I concluded that MBP is too expensive for me. Instead I went for a MacBook (no "Pro") which cost as much as other laptops like Dell Latitude. As a rough comparison, I bought my Dell Latitude 505 in the Philippine for P85,000. My MacBook (2.0 Gh, 80 Gb hard disk) cost about P80,000 from Hong Kong.
If you are thinking about switching, list down your main concerns and do your own research. You can visit Apple shops and pose your questions to the customer reps there. If they can't answer your questions, then they probably should not be trying to convince you to switch, after all.

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