I love my iMac. I’ve written about that in the past. I still love my iMac. However, something just didn’t feel right about the mouse. At first I thought it was just getting used to a new computer so I gave it some time. (Of course I use Linux and didn’t have the problem.) Then I thought it might just be the wireless Mighty Mouse’s weight or drag across the desk. So I put the mouse pad back which didn’t make a difference. I also removed one of the batteries to make it lighter. None of this helped. Then I thought it might just be the Apple Mighty Mouse itself. I replaced it with another mouse I had at home, then with another. No luck. My arm and my wrist began to hurt. I felt like I had a depth perception problem or I was just crazy.
After about two months I finally just looked on Google. I searched on something vague, like the mouse didn’t feel right or something like that. Lo and behold the answer to my question was there; it was the mouse acceleration curve.
Turns out, somewhere along the line between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X 10.5 Apple decided to quietly change the acceleration curve on the Mac. The result is an acceleration cliff; the mouse moves quickly and then, right before the target it slows down…to a crawl. Normally the mouse would slow down incrementally, gradually, allowing the person to place the pointer directly on the target. Once the mouse slows down it creeps across the screen. This was causing me to overcompensate and making my arm ache after a while. Continue reading
I finally pulled the trigger; I’m now a Mac user. About a year ago Traci’s laptop’s video card mysteriously died so we bought her a replacement desktop computer. We were tight on cash so we bought a low-end Dell running Vista. I’ve lamented since then on my frustrations and disappointments with Vista and Traci absolutely despised it. It was then I began to think once again seriously of moving to Linux and avoiding an upgrade to Vista, but I found that Linux still just wasn’t quite there on the desktop yet. It was closer than it had been in the past but still not what I needed.
As a result I decided to take another look at the Mac. It had been a few years and since then OSX had been released and the prices had dropped some. Long story short, I began to think seriously about a Mac and began researching what it would take to switch from Windows. I found that it was easier than ever to make the switch.
So after about a year of Vista Traci finally had had enough. We decided to pull the trigger about two weeks ago on a new iMac for her. We received it on a Friday and had her completely moved over to the Mac by Sunday morning. After spending the weekend with her Mac I decided it was time to make the switch myself and ordered mine. Continue reading
So, why a Mac? Well, I’ve done a fair amount of thinking about this decision and have come to a few conclusions. I need to upgrade within the next two years. My current box, although still quite snappy, will continually become slower and slower as software and operating systems (Vista, in particular) become more processor and memory intensive.
First of all, I had to consider my options. I have three options really; Windows, Mac, or Linux. I know there are other operating systems out there but for my personal machine at home none of the other options make sense. Given these three options I first needed to identify what I really wanted. Part of me, at least the non-conformist in me, wants to buck Microsoft completely. Sorry to disappoint all you Linux apologists out there but Microsoft is and will continue to be a major force in the computing world for some time to come. There is no escaping Microsoft completely, especially if you’re coming from a Windows world and have already come to use some Windows-only software. Continue reading
For the past 8 years I’ve been toying with the notion of switching from Windows to either Linux or Apple. I consistently dismissed the idea either because Linux wasn’t quite capable of supporting the switch or because Apples were just too damn expensive. Granted, Microsoft has made significant improvements in Windows stability (and even security) over the past several years so the impetus to switch isn’t quite what it was in the Windows 98/Me days. Windows XP was actually a pretty decent attempt at Unix by Microsoft, all things considered, but it’s still Microsoft at its base. Security sucked in XP and doesn’t seem to have improved drastically in Vista, unless you call nagging the end user to death security.
Speaking of Vista, that’s really what’s sparked this whole thing…again. My wife’s laptop decided to burn out its video card so rather than fixing it immediately we came across a good deal on a new Vista desktop for her. After we got it home we ended up replacing the printer (incompatible with Vista) and bought two new copies of Outlook. My scanner won’t work with Vista either, but that’s a bridge we’ll cross another day.
After spending some time getting her machine set up I realized one major thing: I’m really not that impressed with Vista. I really expected something big for an OS five years in the making and I was, well, underwhelmed by the whole thing. It’s slow as hell, at least on her system, and the interface just isn’t what I thought it would be. I expected something revolutionary and it just appeared that it got a decent facelift. Continue reading