Switching to OSX After 20 years of Windows

Hey fellow G33ks :

I know it has been quite a while since I have posted anything. But today I feel like sharing something kinda important with you guys n gal G33ks...

I have finally decided, after 20 years of being a Windows only user, to switch to OSX. I will explain why below...

See ya after the break ;)

A brief history :

-- Part 1 : Windows --

If you don't mind the reading, I will be giving you a glimpse of my history with Windows for the past 20 odd years of me using it. I will try to be as brief as I can be....

I began using Windows as my daily driver since the early days of Windows 3.11 For Workgroups. Experience was great, since the platform was, and remains to be the most affordable one to date. I had so much fun with it, playing games, doing my homework etc...

As fun as it was, it came with its issues. And with Windows when problems occur, solving them is quite the adventure. That's when I began to learn more about the platform. I always wanted to solve issues myself not having to resort to Technical Support which cost lots of money back then.

As time went by and things progressed, Windows as a platform matured faster than OSX. It became more customizable, easy to use etc... By then I was able to resolve most common issues, and became a self taught IT Tech Support guy doing some freelance work here and there...

Today, I consider myself a professional to a certain extent. I say that because it's impossible to know everything since Platform is still and will forever be evolving with new issues arising every day.

-- Part 2 : MacOS --

At the time, Mac, or Macintosh was very expensive, made for Office use more than Gaming and home use, so wasn't able to own one.

My dad had a Classic Mac IIvi. Only reason I wasn't able to fiddle with it was, as I mentioned before, because it was an expensive piece of kit, and I was like 12 when he got it, so was not allowed to touch it !

But, a few years back, more like a decade back, in 2004 I was able to get my hands on PowerMac G5 Mac with OSX 10.4 or something on it, the rig was a beast, had 2 "Physical" 2.0Ghz CPUs 2Gb DDR1 RAM etc... I loved it for the short time it lasted...

Anyways, I leaned a ton using it. I fell in love with it from day one. It was easy to use, way more stable than Windows. The brief switch was seamless. I do admit though, that I wasn't quite ready for the full on switch yet.

That aside, the G5 didn't last long since Apple decided to kill off the so called PowerPC architecture and go with an Intel based one. Which, in turn rendered my G5 as useless as a brick... Simply because with the new Architecture, new Apps and games began to stop supporting the PowerPC based one. Which was sad really...

So, in total my experience with MacOS was short lived coz I was no longer able to afford a new one, being without a Job and having more important things to care about.

Well, that's my brief history with OSX and longer one with Windows. 20 years ain't short, so I used Windows more than OSX. Simply because it was more affordable...

Reasons For the Switch :

 Now, we have come to the main subject of this post. Why the switch ? And will I ever go back to Windows ?

First things first. Why the switch ?

Well, as I said above, my experience with OSX was short lived due to Apple switching from PowerPC to Intel and no money to afford one. That doesn't necessarily mean that I wasn't able to use OSX more one way or the other... 

I wanted to try to enjoy it more, so I decided to "Hackintosh" one of my many Windows PCs that I wasn't using anymore.

Once I had OSX up and running on my Rig, I began using it off and on. Reason for that is because after using Windows for so long my whole infrastructure relied on it. Be it Games or other things like Video editing and other stuff. 

I slowly began to hunt for tools or Software for OSX similar to the ones I had been using on Windows to get myself ready to use OSX more. And now that I had everything I needed, I began using OSX more and more.

After a couple of years of using OSX via Hackintosh, I began to notice that I was enjoying it way more than Windows. But, with Games being available for the latter more than the prior, I was forced to keep using Windows as a daily driver.

Still, that did not stop me from using OSX. I find it infinitely more stable and user friendly than Windows. Less issues overall. I do not have restore the OS as often as I do Windows. Once it's up and running, it stays that way for ages, up until Apple releases a newer Major version. Everything works out of the box.

Now, coming from Windows, I did find OSX to be missing key features. Like Cut/Paste. Yeah, you might think that this a minor thing, but, to me, not being able to Cut and Paste items like folders or documents to move from one place to another was annoying.

Also, another MAJOR fail with Apple computers, on the hardware level, me being a Systems builder, is that I can no longer be one. Once I buy a Mac, upgrading it goes out the window. Freedom of building a Configuration to suite me is not possible. In other words customising a Mac is not like doing so with a Windows machine.

I cannot choose what Motherboard, RAM, or GPU I want. I can only get what Apple has available. Adding more RAM or Hard Disk drives is not possible. Limited to one or 2 drives really isn't ideal for me. I need storage. I have over 6tb of data which is growing by the day... 

In short, on the Hardware side of things, Apple fails BIG TIME ! On the other hand, when it comes to the OS it clearly has won me over. To the extent that made be overlook the Hardware limitations and decide to go for it and switch. Stability and ease of use > Customisation !

Now will I ever go back to Windows ?

I don't really need to. Simply because with Parallels Desktop and WineBottler among many other similar tools, I am able to use some Windows apps that have no replacements for OSX seamlessly.

With Parallels Desktop, I can just install Windows OS of choice, be it 7 or 8.1.1 or even XP, and use my Windows apps in it. But with its Coherence feature OSX and Windows become one. Unlike VMWare. The Host and VM share Desktops, User folders and other stuff. Very nice feature. 

Only con with Parallels is that it's not Hardware accelerated so can't use apps like the Adobe Suite, or play Hardware intensive games. Still it's a nice "Fix" for the small Windows apps that have no alternatives for OSX.

Now with WineBottler it's a whole different story.

WineBottler packages Windows-based programs like browsers, media-players, games or business appli­ca­tions snugly into Mac app-bundles.

No need to install emulators, virtualizers or boot into other operating systems – WineBottler runs your Windows-based programs directly on your Mac sharing the resources unlike Parallels Desktop. This is possible thanks to a WindowsXP-compatible subsystem, which is provided by the great OpenSource tool Wine.

Finally, the conclusion :

I will be switching to OSX full time via a Core-i7 27 inch iMac close to Christmas if not before. I am no longer the gamer I used to be, so games no longer interest me. I found non-Windows ways to get what I want from an iMac and OSX.

I went for the Core-i7 iMac simply because it has the screen size, as well as the horsepower to push my High-End apps like Adobe Suite, Video Encoding/Ripping and eventual games...

For example, I used to require a Windows machine for storage since with a Mac I don't have space internally. Now I found that I can still do that via a NAS box with my current drives in it. 

I will say this though, I will keep my current 2 Windows machines, the Beast which I got not long ago for Windows only games and Hardware Accelerated apps that don' have alternatives on OSX. And the much older one which will become my HTPC of choice since the iMac will be my daily driver I will need a dedicated machine to store my BluRays, TV Shows and Rips, might as well be that one.

I will give the switch a chance see how long it lasts. But having both Platforms at hand is a great plus. But OSX as the main one is the best thing for me hence the switch.

I hope this was a good read for you guys... And gals...

See ya in my next post soon ;)


Steve there is a cut and paste option for OS X! It's easy to use! Copy as usual with CMD-C and paste with CMD-ALT-V and that's it!

September 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM comment-delete

Post a Comment