The Beginning of the End

1999: I am a PC user. I’ve been one professionally for about six years. Working on PCs has truly been bliss, I so enjoyed maintaining them, tweaking them, and making them run efficiently. Throughout the years, I have moved up through the ranks very quickly. I started out as a technician and am now working as the director of MIS.

Mac Metamorphosis

The time has come where I now wish to move over to the Macintosh arena. It all started two years ago when I first heard about BeOS, an operating system that ran on Macintosh as well as PCs. After doing some research, I came to find out that it just ran better on a Power Mac. There was more software for the Mac version, more hardware support, and more users. I became infatuated with the Macintosh and wanted to know everything about them. Be had a revolution on its hands, and I wanted to be a part of it on the fastest platform out there.

My first “real” experience with a Macintosh was when I was a network engineer. The company’s art director needed to be set up on our network and email system. Many discussions ensued about how to accomplish this task since we had no clue how to hook a Macintosh up to a Windows NT network. I knew about a program called Virtual PC and heard that it ran seamlessly. We ordered the program, and I took it upon myself to install it.

When I first sat down at the 300 MHz Beige Power Macintosh G3 running Mac OS 8.1, I was very condescending. “Mac users, hah! What a bunch of losers. This thing looks like a children’s toy,” I thought to myself.

My first task was to get TCP/IP running on it. I hooked up the network cable with little problem. Now all I had to figure out was how to give it an IP address. Looking at the gorgeous 21″ Sony monitor, I started to click around on it. I clicked on the Apple that was on the toolbar on top of the screen, and I saw the “Control Panel” menu option. After scrolling down to that, I located an option that said “TCP/IP”. I clicked on that, and there it was. “My, how easy this is,” I thought again.

One thing that continued to run through my head was, “How do I know if I am on the network? Where is PING? Where’s the command line?” I looked and clicked and looked some more. There was nothing that even remotely indicated “command line.” In my severe case of disbelief, I then decided to call Apple technical support and ask them how to do this. I was put through right away to a nice woman, who treated me with the utmost respect (something we are not accustomed to in the PC world for any type of support). I then proceeded to say to her, “Hi, I am a PC guy. I just put this Macintosh on my network. How do I get to the command line so I can do a PING?” Still being very nice, she said, “Sorry, the Macintosh Operating System does not have a command line.” Shocked, I replied. “No command line? What’s wrong with you guys? How can an operating system not have a command line?” Again, still being very courteous she finished with. “Sorry, we just don’t do that.” Still feeling a little strange hearing such words, I hung up.

I installed Virtual PC with little effort (another thing I am not used to) and had Windows 95 running in no time. With the installation being complete, I went back to my office.

Happy MacAfter telling everyone I worked with how much Mac’s sucked, I began to think about my conversation with the support representative and working with the Macintosh altogether. It was so simple to operate, and it made you feel so welcome. It was almost as if it was happy to have you there, and that support call! Apple really treated you as if you were family, such a ludicrous notion in the PC world.

Another thing was that this guy’s Mac never crashed! There was nothing ever wrong with it. I get 3-4 calls a day about the same PC sometimes.

Mac OS two-face logoThat feeling has still not left me, and I have become a “Mac junkie.” I have read about every model Macintosh, bought three for myself (two Mac IIsis and a Quadra 605), and subscribed to Mac Addict. Although I am still a PC user, I want to be a Macintosh user full time now. I always feel welcome when I sit at my Macs; it’s like I have a new friend.

I intend to document this experience and share it with all you readers of Low End Mac, of moving from the dark ages of the PC and into the futuristic era called Macintosh. I have seen the light, and it’s in the shape of an apple.

keywords: #windows #macos