Computer Woes: My Ongoing Mac Experience

This is a status update on my experience with life using an Apple Macintosh computer. I bought it from a friend of a friend a year ago or so, to broaden my computer experience. Since my experience in computer graphics--and computers in general--has been on the PC side, practically from its infancy, my Mac knowledge was almost zero. Time to learn.

Since my notebook PC was so terribly slow, my decision was to replace it with a Mac, while keeping my desktop PC. But, I didn't want to outlay a fortune for an experiment. The solution was to buy a Mac that was a couple of years old, and maybe already had some graphics software installed. The one I found is a PowerBook G4, a no longer supported, but at one time top of the line Apple computer. And it has the Adobe Creative Suite 3 installed, as well as Microsoft Office 2007. Sweet!

Not so much, as it turns out. As a web surfing machine, the Mac turns out to be about as slow as the old Intel Celeron machine I ditched. Even with the memory maxed out, the Adobe software is insufferable to run. I can hear Mac enthusiasts saying "don't judge the Mac on the performance of such an old machine!" But why not? The CS3 software was MADE for the PowerMac, and this one has as much memory as it can handle. It should work better than this.

Add to this the Mac's horrible handling of even basic tasks like Google's Blogger software (selecting text, handling basic HTML, like text sizes and bolding and italics), and the stalling out of the Safari web browser. YouTube videos that have to be played one time through, and then again before they are smooth. . . My list goes on and on. My new Samsung Epic 4G cell phone is faster online.

This is not a criticism of the person who sold the computer to me. It's a criticism of the Mac.  Yes, I'm aware that mine is now six years old. But we have a fleet of older computers at work, all PCs, none of which were top of the line when purchased. And all of them can run rings around my PowerMac. Not to mention, there is no task I can't complete faster in the CorelDraw graphics suite, than in the painfully obtuse and slow Adobe suite.  And you know what? Even the very, very, very old Microsoft Office 97 suite I have on my PC works better than Office 2007 on the Mac!

As I type this, my cursor is lagging behind my typing. Fortunately, I am a touch typist. But so far, my Mac experiment has been a bust. What it has done for me, is familiarize me with some of the differences between PC and Mac. But the Mac is only different, not better. Yes, the Apple designs are pretty. And they have--for some reason--a "cool" reputation. But is it deserved?