Switching from Apple Mac OS X to Windows Vista ?


Can a photographer find happiness switching from Apple’s Mac OS X to Windows Vista? This photographer is going to find out in a controlled experiment. Yes, at Daylight Photo we still have our eight Mac machines up and running and that’s not going to change, at least not in the short term. But when it came time to buy a laptop from which to run this blog, I decided to give a PC a try. I do have an aging PC desktop at home that runs Ubuntu Linux but my last Windows experience was back in the days of Windows 98.

I’ve long been a believer in both Apple hardware and the Mac OS, it truly is quality stuff. So when I needed a blogging laptop I planned to go straight for a Mac. An iBook with DVD burner would run around $1400 and then I’d need some software and then…I could be up to $2000 before I knew it. Wow, the blog makes a couple bucks here and there but it would take quite a while to pay off $2k. That’s more than I could afford to invest.

Hmmm, what about a PC? I’ve also needed a PC / Windows machine at times to troubleshoot website and video delivery glitches. After much debate it seemed like it would be worth a try. At that point my goal became the creation of a budget system under $1000 that would hopefully satisfy all of this blog’s posting and photo / video editing needs.

I compared specs and eventually found a Toshiba Satellite A205 laptop which also has a webcam and firewire… a bunch of trimmings for $599. Then I bought a few extras:

  • For photo and video editing, a great package deal on Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 & Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0 – Full – $119
  • For video and podcast conversions, QuickTime 7 Pro for Windows – $30
  • Just for fun I picked up a Hauppauge USB External TV Tuner -$75
  • So I’m around $825 and want only to boost the RAM up from 2 GB (it will take up to 4 GB). I’ve also done a couple things to make Vista more Mac-like, I admit:

  • iTunes
  • The Stardock Object Dock (to create an OS X – like dock)
  • I turned off the fancy graphics of Vista and went to “Classic View”, hoping this would free up some processing power
  • So now I probably have Mac users laughing at me for buying a PC and Windows users laughing at me for trying to make the computer more Mac-like. But after a month or so, you know what? It’s working out well and I have no complaints. Is there life after Apple? I’ll keep you posted.