a borderline teacher: Macintosh v. Microsoft

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Macintosh v. Microsoft

I finally made my way over to the light side and bought a Mac. More precisely, I bought a MacBook. I adore it and am starting to get used to how much groovier and easier to use it is than silly old Microsoft. I was somewhat aided in my decision by the fact that my old PC has possibly the most aptly named operating system on it: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Millennium Edition - Me.

Me came into existence on the 14th September 2000 and XP (eXPerience, apparently) came along on the 25th October 2001. During that 13 month time frame, I decided to buy a PC. For the main part, I have to say that I wasn't aware that it was running slowly and couldn't do quite a few things. I had never known anything different. It froze and I had problems shutting it down and rebooting, but that was my ineptitude and probably a result of me having too much crap on the PC and never defragmenting it. Wasn't it?

In 2006, PCWorld rated Windows Me the fourth worst technical product of all time (after AOL, RealPlayer and Syncronys SoftRAM) because of all the technical issues and finally, on 11th July 2006, Microsoft discontinued phone support and security updates for the operating system, declaring it obsolete.

My most recent aggravation was my attempt to use broadband on my PC. Due to a lack of Me-compatible drivers and various other technical things that I don't really understand, my PC tended to shut down when I used broadband. It might let me online long enough to have a few things going, then it would either freeze, go to the BSoD (blue screen of death) or just shut down, losing anything I had started. Ugh. My annoyance was exacerbated by school computers using XP, which meant that I would have a taste of an OS that worked, then have to go home to crappy PC.

Since my contract extends into next year and I have finally completed my NQT Induction year, I am due to receive a Golden Hello of £4,000. This will be taxed and NI'ed down to less, but I decided to invest in a laptop. My credit card offers interest free on balance transfers until December and I know I am guaranteed the Golden Hello before then, so there was nothing stopping me! All my close-friends-who-understand-computers have Macs and I have long coveted the cute white iBooks some of the girlier friends had, so it wasn't a difficult choice. When I found that iBooks have been replaced by MacBooks and these are fully compatible with Microsoft, I started looking into it. Too good to be true - Apple Education offer big discounts for teachers: I finally bought my MacBook for £650 (a discount of £100) and then also got some extra memory.

So, how is it? It was delivered a week ago but, due to a habitation problem which I may tell you about in another entry, I was only able to get online yesterday. It is magical! Everything is so much easier. Instead of trying to work out how to do something, you just do it. It has lots of aesthetic girlie things too and looks very cute. Only problems so far are:
* I can't seem to create my email account on the Apple Mail program
* The underside of the laptop heats up a fair bit - I must get a cooler

I feel sorry for my old PC, which will go back to my parents' house once I have transferred files etc. It looks sad, like a child who has just got a baby sibling and now mummy doesn't want to play anymore. I am very sentimental and rather anthropomorphic, aren't I?!

Just out of interest, it is one year today since I went to the TC and today would have been my leaving day.


Blogger Mick said...

The first worst technical product of all time (before AOL, RealPlayer and Syncronys SoftRAM) is PC World.

2:08 am  
Blogger R said...

Hi Cat,

Made me smile to read your blog again. It's been a while! Sometimes, it's nice to know that we're behind each other in the game of life, and somewhere, out there, someone is supporting you.

Oh, and you linked me *smiles*

Now I need to find something to blog about...!!

9:34 pm  

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