There are few things more enjoyable in a geek’s life than when all the gear they spent time and effort on connecting and setting up works seamlessly together. Whether it’s the components in your home theater that you calibrated yourself or the home office you put together allowing you to print from any wireless device in the house. So, the last thing you want is for problems to arise turning your setup into a laden troubleshooting mess.
Well, I’m no different and seeing how we are now almost a full month into the new year I felt it was a good time as any to press the reset button in my digital life. Less tinkering, less fixing and more doing. Therefore, this month marks my foray into a new adventure as I set aside Microsoft’s Windows OS for Apple’s Mac OS.
The decision to leave one camp for another didn’t come lightly. It was only after a serious evaluation of my gear and time did I conclude it was a necessary move. Starting with the computer itself which was initially intended to be an interim solution but as it sometimes happens life got in the way. Sadly, this turned it into a permanent fixture that has far out lived its’ usefulness. And at this juncture there is but so much I can do to keep this aging machine chugging along. Some computers are not worth the cost of upgrading, have limited upgradability and others are simply outdated in terms of technology. Unfortunately this computer is all three.
My initial thought was to just purchase another Windows machine but after taking a few things into consideration the idea started to look less appealing. I already have plans to for a high-end Windows machine so replacing my current computer with yet another temporary one would be a waste of resources. Understanding that it does take time to duplicate a current setup so that you don’t skip a beat ultimately the end goal is to reduce maintenance and troubleshooting time. So it made no sense to purchase a computer, most likely with Windows 8 that will undoubtably involve me removing Windows 8 to install Windows 7 or tweaking Windows 8 to look and act more like Windows 7. Then there is the general flakiness of Windows that can’t always be logically explained. Disappearing or unrecognized drivers or software that once worked stops working for no apparent reason. When your primary task turns into a job of just keeping it running smoothly, then the purpose of the computer has not only been defeated but is now a hinderance to being productive or even remotely enjoyable. All of these are tasks I no longer have either the time or the patients to deal with on a constant basis. So why risk the chance by putting myself in the same position again in 6 to 12 months if not sooner.
There is also living space, a precious commodity in my home. Yet, another reason why my own custom build remains existent in only blueprint form right now. To accommodate it I need space I don’t have and can’t manufacture. To make better use of the available space I eliminated looking at any tower style machine but didn’t want to make too many compromises. Which led to the issue of cost versus components. While there are other operating systems and small form-factor machines out there they all posed some sort of compromise in either or both the hardware and software categories I just can’t make. I need a computer that my family can use without me having to constantly play the role of IT or teach them how to use. This was where Apple’s Mac OS and the Mac Mini in particular seemed to fit my immediate and future needs. Super small, powerful enough for everyone, an adequate amount of connections and a decent amount of both RAM and internal storage. The ability to upgrade the RAM to 16GB and add another harddrive myself means I could easily repurpose this machine later down the road when the time comes. But most importantly is that my family is familiar enough with the Mac OS that they can get their work done with less assistance than they currently do. It appears to be the perfect solution.
So, that’s where I am right now. Am I completely leaving the Windows camp? Well, that is yet to be determined but for now let’s just call this a little hiatus. We’ll see how it all works out soon enough. Only then will I make my final decision. Until next time… Rule your tech don’t let it rule you.