Saturday, September 23, 2006

And in 2006, Bob Mertz begins his conversion.

A while ago I made the "professional" recommendation to my church to convert the creative department to Macintosh computers. I made this suggestion without ever really using a Mac but I did make the decission based on facts and the history of the industry that I have seen.

About a month or two ago, I purchased a Mac Mini. The biggest reason for this was so that I could start learning OSX so that I could support the Macintosh computers that my church purchased per my recommendation... I mean, one would only expect me to have a clue, right? :) I was impressed about the thing right out of the box primarily on the graphical side of things. Its instantly obvious why Apple is the choice for graphic design and video production... the architecture just handles that type of processing very well.

Two days ago, my desktop computer died on me. I still havent even looked at it so it could just be something simple. I just started using my Mac Mini.... I do have my lifebook but while I'm home, I dont like to be on a laptop. Really, my computer crashing was a good thing because I have already forced myself to learn alot about OSX. And with it being built completely on a UNIX backend, I keep finding that I have a much stronger ability to use this thing that I had thought.

I had used this Mac Mini here and there over the last couple months mainly for the purpose of investigating a question that someone at New Life had but now I'm here at 2 days of actively using this thing and I'm wondering why I didnt start actively using it sooner. The interface is incredible and the stability is even better. I am having a small issue with iTunes while I'm listening to my mp3s. I'm not sure what is occuring there but I have some theory. All of my MP3 files are on my samba server and I know that iTunes has one big bad "feature" to it in that it likes to take all of your media files and make it part of your library and integrate it with everything. While this sounds like a good thing, the problem is that iTunes likes to add it's DRM goodness to your otherwise DRM free MP3 files. To prevent the possibility of iTunes screwing with me, my Mac has been given no access to modify anything in my MP3 share on my samba server. So there could be something going on there because iTunes is trying to modify something I dont want it to. It's also possible that I have a bad CAT5 cable coming to my Mac and the connection isn't able to keep up with the stream.

Either way -- I'm learning new things and I really am enjoying the "Mac Experience" ... I have to say, however, I am seeing alot of where this following video is true:

**Language Warning**

When Readnews went to ISPcon back in May, we were giving out shirts that said "My ISP Sucks Less" ... This is actually a saying that Avi has used in different scenarios. I think it's something that people should adapt tho. There are flaws with everything but its just about what has the least amount of flaws. I was told a story of how someone made a presentation to a company that they were trying to get their business from. The guy watching the presentation responded to the whole presentation by saying "everyone that has presented their services to me has all said the same exact thing and I dont want to hear about what you can do because everyone else tells me the same thing." ... he went on to say that he doesnt believe that anyone of them was realy any good. He then asked him why he should chose this guys company over the others and the response was "Well, we suck less" .... and by saying that, they got the business.

Why am I loving Macs so much? They suck less. I used to have alot of ability to convert the stupid things that happen in windows into humor but in the last year or so, while I still laugh at times, it really has started to give me more frustration than anything. I also have a great fear of Windows Vista. Macs may have flaws but I really like the above video that takes all of those and makes some fun out of them. Maybe as I start learning these flaws with OSX, I'll be able to do the same thing. Either way, its alot better than what I have with Windows.

Why not linux? Well, let's just say that's not ruled out yet.... right now, Mac has the application support that Linux just doesnt have.... YET :)

Windows still has it's place -- no matter how much I hate to admit that. Right now, for instance, I could not easily recommend to New Life that they convert all of the office and admin staff to Macs or even to Linux. While I think Macs can fit in an office enviornment, thats not their purpose. I can only hope that someday Linux gains the application support to take over the office.... as far as usability, Ubuntu Linux is there... but it all goes back to that "office suite" problem. Right now, the best office suite is Microsoft Office. I'm not a fan of MS Office, but I am at least smart enough to realize that it is the only viable option for most right now. Open Office just isnt stable enough... there are too many learning curves if you want to do advanced stuff. I fully support Open Office but I can't make a recommendation to anyone to dump MS for it yet.

It should be really interesting to see where operating systems and such go ove the next 3 or 4 years. We could see alot of huge changes -- and they might actually be good ones. 5 years ago, you had Windows and that was about it. You had Linux for servers and you had Macs for graphics.... but windows was the only option for 90% of the world. That has drastically changed within the last couple of years. Linux is now ready for the desktop and Macs are starting to gain alot of popularity. Like my friend told me... it kind of sucks that Apple's products are becomming popular because of their "trendiness" but the thing I like is that their functionality isnt hindered by that marketing -- which is much the way of Windows. So we'll see where things go... but its obvious that Windows, Apple, and Linux ALL have a place right now and they all have a shot at desktop domination as well.

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