The One-Year Metamorphosis

2000.09.27: When I first started Mac Metamorphosis, I wasn’t quite sure how far this would go. The idea came to me when I was daydreaming at work and surfing all the Mac-oriented websites.

Mac Metamorphosis

I discovered Low End Mac when I was looking for a cheap used Macintosh to run BeOS on Mac Trading Post. Sometimes I would waste an entire day at work digging through and memorizing the specs on every Macintosh ever made.

The editorials on LEM were an afterthought for me because I really wasn’t a Mac user. Then I started reading a few things here and there, and I found myself diverting from my original goal of using BeOS on a Macintosh to wanting to use Mac OS on a Macintosh.

I spoke with a few online publications about this journal I wanted to write, but I really wanted to be on Low End Mac. So far as I could tell, it was the most happening place to write for – in my opinion, it still is. “So many editorials, so little time,” is what I always say, because so many new articles and links are posted almost every day.

For me, the Macintosh started out as just a hobby, something different from the grind of working on PCs all day every day. Soon it became an obsession, and I found myself not wanting to work on Wintel computers anymore. This became quite apparent to the people who worked for me at my MIS job, and they quickly started to expect that if there wasn’t a Unix or network issue, I wasn’t concerned with what was going on. I even had a “do not disturb” sign on my office door when I watched the QuickTime broadcast of Steve Jobs’ keynote where he showed off Mac OS X DP3.

Starting out with two Macintosh IIsis and a Quadra 605, I tried to learn Mac OS. I learned the basics about how the hardware interacted with its operating system. Extensions and drivers were hard to figure out at first, but I got the hang of it. I attempted to use the Quadra 605 for my day to day stuff briefly, but then I realized that a more powerful Macintosh would be necessary for me to be as productive as I wanted to be.

Pismo Powerbook with 2 batteriesI moved gradually onto a Umax SuperMac S900, which was good for a while, but I wanted more power than it could give me. I debated buying a Power Mac G4 for a while because I knew once I purchased it my days as a Wintel user were over. I finally took the plunge and purchased it. Soon after that came my PowerBook 2000, which I take everywhere I go.

I thought the transition to the Macintosh was going to be hard and that I would have trouble letting go of my PCs. It was hard, but in a way that I didn’t expect. Soon long-time peers in the computer industry that once looked up to me started teasing me about using a Macintosh. They still do, but I really don’t pay them much attention anymore.

Another thing that hit me was that I no longer desired to even work in a Windows-based environment. By feeling that way, I know that my career options will be somewhat limited. I have not touched my PC in months and maybe used Windows 2000 once. The recruiters still contact me for Windows administration jobs, and my reply to them is, “Sorry, I don’t work with Windows anymore.”

The MIS field has left me with a sour taste, and I want nothing to do with it in its current state. There just doesn’t seem to be any long-term future in it. Perhaps one day I will take over a Macintosh network and have some fun with that.

Many of my friends are still shocked that I use the Macintosh not only as a client, but to run my network at home. Currently, I have my Quadra 605 and S900 acting as DNS and backup servers while my Power Mac 9500 acts a file server. Many people don’t take the Macintosh very seriously and seem to think that using a Mac hurts my credibility somehow.

Also during this year, I have managed to convert a few PC users here and there to the Macintosh. I am still working on my family members, which may take a little more time. I even offered to loan my S900 to my grandfather for a week so he can see how much easier he can do things. He is still considering my offer.

It took me a little while to find my rhythm when writing Mac Metamorphosis, especially when financially I couldn’t purchase the things I wanted to write about. A few times I had writer’s block and had to call on “my critic” for assistance.

For some reason, the topics and context I want to write don’t surface in my head until 2 a.m. Looking back, I think some of the better articles I wrote were my 2 a.m. writing sessions. While it hurts my overall performance the next day, I have found that writing like that works best for me.

You, the readers, have been phenomenal. The emails I get from you have been great, even the not so positive ones. While I might not reply to all of them, I do read them all quite thoroughly. A lot of the credit goes to Dan Knight for supporting Mac Metamorphosis and making me look good. Special thanks go to the Mac Observer for their praises and good reviews.

It looks like I am here to stay in the Mac arena; while I can’t guarantee that I will use a Mac forever, I don’t have any plans to switch anytime soon. Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported Mac Metamorphosis and has made these last twelve months truly unforgettable.