Come along with me as I dabble in and have my butt kicked by the cross-platform experiment.
As a PC Guy, (remember when PC referred to IBM branded equipment?) of some 21 years now, I find myself at the crossroads. My computer career began in the late seventies courtesy of the TRS-80 series of computers from Radio Shack. By 1989 I had graduated to my first pc-compatible box from a company called Vendex, as I recall. Since then there have been 7 Desktops and 7 Laptops all with the Microsoft Dos/Windows/Whatever OS powering them.
This week, I placed an order for my first Mac.
Before you devotees of the cult of Mac start rejoicing, I should tell you that I also ordered a copy of Vista 64 Bit to install as soon as the MacBook arrives. After searching the universe for a dusty answer to my seeking queries, the answer came. “Buy a Mac and run Windows.”
As a photographer and graphic designer and someone who teaches in both subjects I stumble across a substantial number of Mac users. I have to be able to interface and teach competently.
Hardware is awesome. Green. Robust. It just looks cooler too! (the cult of the shiny stuff from Apple is trying to suck me in)
As a presenter, that illuminated keyboard just calls to me.
I have a couple of Keynote clients and need to be able to service them properly.
The largest share of my design income comes from the CorelDraw Graphics Suite. A fifteen year familiarity with the software and the fact that it is my go-to package for any design project for print means that I am stuck in Windows. Draw hasn’t been native on the Mac for several versions now. I won’t discard my income or jeopardize my productivity with a competing package.
Software would cost me thousands to convert. Most of the packages I own do not come Windows/Mac. It is either/or. Some will let me trade in my disks for the competing system-some will not. Most of my software will serve me just fine as the years roll on.
My Corporate clients demand that I am PC when I interface with their systems.
An expansion of my teaching and speaking roles has forced me to consider more strongly connecting with the Mac users which comprise a reasonably substantial portion of my audience. I need to be Mac literate. My audience and students need to feel I can handle their needs regardless of their platform.
In addition, a botched warranty repair by my current business laptop’s service center has forced me to purchase a bridge machine to get me though the next month or two. Rather than an off-the-shelf laptop like I purchased the last two times, I decided to see if I could teach this moderately old dog a modest new trick.
Most importantly, I can (now that Mac has adopted the Intel platform) have the best of both worlds and not carry two machines, two power supplies, etc. One machine – two worlds. It will save on packing and my back.
I will, from time to time, report on my successes and failures on this grand cross-platform experiment. It should be an interesting ride. Now, if I can just get that 7 year-old copy of Corel Ventura to install and run on Vista 64 bit running on a MacBook …
Rikk Flohr © 2009