They say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Sitting on the PC side of the pasture I was frustrated by the microsecond because of my slow, always hanging up PC. I estimated that I must waste about 200 hours a year waiting for the Windows egg timer to stop doing the equivalent of the Maypole dance – endlessly going round and round in the misguided belief that it is actually more interesting to watch an animated egg timer than a stuck screen!
I decided that enough was enough. I needed to get a fast more efficient PC. My existing one was barely 2 years old but I concluded that it really did not have the processing power to work in the way I demanded. I could recycle it to one of my offspring and invest in the best the market had to offer.
Being a woman, and therefore highly proficient in multitasking, I like to open a lot of tabs in my browsers and programs on my desktop. As I am working I can switch between them rapidly; I gather information from various sources like a digital squirrel collecting provisions in preparation for the long winter. Unfortunately my PC preferred to take a more male approach to work, i.e. one task at a time. This, according to my tech savvy eldest child, was my problem. Despite the “Windows” label which one might reasonably assumes meant that multitasking in multiple windows was a hallmark of its KPIs – my PC wasn’t designed to manage so much data in such rapid succession.
However a Mac could. A Mac would bring order and structure to my life and because it was a Mac it would be able to match my Johnny Mnemonic processing power (for those of you not familiar with Johnny Mnemonic there’s Google!)
For years I had been listening to the Mac users boast about how easy it was to use, how they did not have to worry about viruses or the blue screen of death (BSoD). Indeed everything that was wrong with my Windows operating system was right on a Mac and what’s more it was sexy, elitist and Steve Jobs (may he rest in peace) was far more attractive than Bill Gates!
Having already been drawn by the siren call of the iPad and iPhone I didn’t need much persuading. They are more easy to use, they allow me to have unlimited apps open without much trouble and of course they are sexy and don’t require me to think too hard about configuration. If I want to do something there’s an app for it and to my delight, the iMac worked in the same way.
The decision was made. I could cope with having to learn how to work in a new platform, deal with losing Microsoft office and even swallowed the bitter pill of data transfer because in the end I would have a super duper 21st-century Matrix-like computer that did it all and never gave me any problems!
How naive could I be? I hear you screaming at the computer screen as you read this. Well, as naive as that.
My brand-new super duper Mac initially gave me nothing but problems from the moment I took it out of the box.
Blue screen of death there may not be, but there is a white one! I’ve even had to take it back to the very lovely Apple people who scratch their heads and said “this is so unusual, we don’t normally get people bringing them back!”
I was not experiencing any of the efficiency benefits that should have followed my investment. Often our business decisions don’t always work out as planned, however, business is about taking risks. Whilst they may not all work out, if you aren’t prepared to take any risks your pace of growth will be limited by your fears. The other thing that is key to being successful in business is patience and persistence.
Despite my initial tale of woe, the longer I’ve used to my Mac the easier it has got and I can now see that a significant number of the problems I experienced were down to my unfamiliarity with how it actually works. I also realise that logically, it is too soon to draw any conclusions about the return on investment of my new Mac and if I’m going to make it pay I need to:
- Skill up so that I become a competent user and
- Give it more time.
The thing about pastures is that it is the light you used to look at them which determines how green they look – not the quality of the grass!
Post script: after a couple of weeks of using my new iMac and a few lessons from the lovely people in Apple Store I now completely love it. I been converted I am a Mac-o-phile I can’t imagine why ever used a PC…
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