Ah, Halloween. The day that all the ghosts, goblins, and zombies come out. Unfortunately for a co-worker of mine, today was the day that his Windows laptop become a zombie. He flew across the country to spend a day working on a customer deliverable with members of the team that are based out here in San Francisco, only to spend at least 2 hours today trying to get his Windows XP laptop to work correctly.
I thought this was a timely, as this morning I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that talked about the 50 Gigabytes of crash data that Microsoft can receive in a day from Windows users who click the “tell Microsoft about this problem” button when something crashes on their systems. Luckily for the poor Microsoft engineers who have to sift through this data, my co-worker didn’t click that button at all today.
All of this made me appreciate my MacBook an the MacOS even more. Even with the reports of installation bugs in the latest upgrade of MacOS, I can’t fathom going back to my old Windows system. While traveling, I don’t even give it another thought as I sit down next to fellow business traveler on a plane and open my MacBook, have it wake from sleep, I login and start working in under 10 seconds while they are waiting for their computers to startup.
In the little over two months that I have been using my new MacBook–wow, it’s only been just over two months, it feels like so much longer–I have not had it crash once. Ok, well…that might not be technically true. It did technical crash this morning…I was actually shutting the computer down to swap batteries when the system encountered some error and I got the “your system encountered an error, please manually power down” message. I don’t count this because it didn’t effect my productivity (I was already shutting down the system). This was actually during one of the zombie moments my co-worker was dealing with and I was rebooted, and back to productive work before he stopped his cursing…the system still wasn’t working.
And I don’t even know how many times I have put this system to sleep during this period. I would conservatively estimate 100+ times since I receive it. As so many others who have made the switch, it just works. I could never say that about my old Windows system, especially with regards to putting it to sleep! This being said, I’m still taking the pragmatic approach of waiting for the next patch release of Leopard before upgrading…even thought some of the features like spaces will be just improve my productivity even more.
I haven’t spent much time writing about my switch because, quite honestly, I’ve been too busy getting work done. It’s gotten to the point where it just seems natural to rely and even depend on my computer just working. Today’s events just reminded me of how fortunate I am (and surprises me at how foolish corporate IT departments are at undervaluing their employees time by not considering the Mac as a technology platform).
Love my Mac…and I can’t afford to go back!
Side Box: One issue that is a bit annoying, mostly because of the battery drain it causes when I’m traveling, is the CPU over cycling that Firefox seems to have on the Mac. I used Firefox exclusively on my old PC and never noticed a constant CPU consumption issue. With Firefox on the Mac, it always seems to be using 10% or more of the CPU time on the computer. Even when Firefox is hidden from view and there is nothing running in the windows. Very frustrating as I always seem to have about 6-10 web site tabs open to various things that I’m working on or reading. So when I travel, this constant background CPU noise shortens my battery life by a noticeable amount.I haven’t had a chance to research this yet, so if any one knows a solution to this please share!