The Chairman becomes an AppleMac fan!

Picture courtesy of Lee Relph. Yes. Thanks a bunch, Lee.

I’ve finally taken leave of my senses! Well, more so that you’re aware of. Work has forced me to buy a Mac. Now before you think that because I work in video, I clearly must need a Mac, because you’ve heard that anyone who makes films for a living can only use a Mac if they’re serious, that’s simply not true.

The reason is that my other business is fixing PCs, and business is booming currently, hence the sporadic nature of my Views from the Chairs (or whatever the grammatically correct way to put it is). I’ve been having to turn down 2-3 jobs a month from Mac users wanting help, because I know nothing about them. I decided to take the plunge, and buy the cheapest Mac laptop money can buy to learn how it works and be able to fix the increasing number of customers I’m getting with Macs. By the way, it’s not because they’re becoming more unreliable, it’s because there are more of them!

I’m expert in PCs so I’m well aware that the cheapest PC laptop is around the £250-£300 mark, and knowing that historically, Macs have the reputation of being a bit more expensive than PCs so I braced myself for £500ish. Do you know how much the cheapest Mac Laptop is? EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS!!!! And that’s the MacBook air, which is a tiny thin laptop with no battery power. The cheapest proper Mac laptop is £1 less than a £1000!

There was no way I was prepared to pay that, let alone be able to afford it, so being determined, I went on EBay to look for a second hand one. Fortunately, I found a one year old 13” MacBook Pro for £560, that no-one else bid on, presumably because it had two tiny scuff marks on the lid (No idea why that’s so bad?)

The day arrived, and I won the auction, and after an excited drive to Streatham, I was the proud owner of my very own Mac. And it’s true – standing there, holding my MacBook, all of a sudden, I really do genuinely feel superior to YOU! How they do that, I’ll never know! It’s magic!

I have to say first impressions are excellent. The whole thing is made of a solid piece of aluminium, with holes milled out for the components, and apart from some moderately sharp edges, which is probably a personal opinion issue, it feels fantastic. The biggest impact for me was the rigidity of the screen. If you try and gently flex/twist any PC Laptop screen from any manufacturer it will flex. Not enough to cause any damage, but if you try and do the same to my MacBook screen it’s much more rigid. Again, a by-product of this famous “made from one lump of aluminium” by-line. The only negative thing related to its construction that I can think of is also due to its material. When you wake up first thing in the morning, and place it on your lap, IT’S FLIPPING COLD!!!!! Of course, I’m not stupid enough to place it on my bare legs (more than once, anyway) but still, for the first 5 minutes, it feels icy resting your hands on it. Fortunately, it warms up after a few minutes.

Regarding the legendary Apple Operating System and how it never crashes and is lightning fast, I have to say I’m disappointed. It’s about the same performance as any dual-core windows 7 Laptop costing about £300-£400. I’ve managed to crash it twice in the last month, although I’m not going to hold that against my lovely little MacBook, as I’m a little more demanding than your average Starbucks drinking, web surfing MacBook user.

Being “tuned in” to the Apple world, I couldn’t help but smirk when I noticed an advert in PC world last week. “Apple computers can’t catch PC viruses”. It’s funny, but I’m sure I’ve always been told (incorrectly, of course) that Macs can’t catch ANY sort of virus, full stop. But now it seems that’s not the case. I’m fairly sure they can’t catch human viruses either, but I don’t see them advertising that?! Clever marketing, eh?

As far as the Mac vs PC debate, I have to say it’s over. They’re both much the same. I don’t really see any significant advantages either way, other than choice and price. The Mac’s construction is undeniably better, but is it worth 3 times the price? In 9 years’ time, I’d rather have bought 3 PC Laptops, than one Mac for the same money. I use my MacBook as my only laptop, and it’s a pleasure to use, and I can really recommend the 13” size format laptop, which unusually is fairly rare in PC circles, as it’s really light and portable. Would I have paid £1000 for it? Not on your Nellie!