December 4, 2006

Switching to the Dark Side

I've owned and used Apple computers since the old Apple II days. Remember those tiny black & white screens with nothing but text? Wow, they did amazing things, having grown up in the pre-computer, pound it out on a manual typewriter, era. I was pretty good at typing (on a typewriter) after college because you didn´t dare make an error or you had to retype the entire page! That´s when I learned to think first, type later, which is exactly opposite to what today´s computer users do, if the Internet is any indication.

Well over the years I used, abused, and learned to love and hate a long string of PCs and Apples. I really loved my $3000 Powerbook 180 maxed out with 8 mb of RAM. In fact, I still have it and I fire it up periodically to remember the joys of System 7. I bought one of the first iMacs. It was so cool and blue. Then, when we took off to go cruising for a few years I got a neat new 12-inch iBook to have for onboard writing and some navigation with GPS NavX. It worked great until it stopped working one day a couple of months ago, but the seeds of disatisfaction had been sprouting for most of the last year. 

First I discovered there was no software for allowing speedy email services like GMN or Ocens to work with my Iridium phone. Then I found out that there weren´t a whole lot of charts available for GPS NavX, at least outside of the U.S. Then I discovered that when things go wrong with an Apple outside the U.S., you are on your own. Every third world country has PC repair guys on every other street corner, but Apple folks are nonexistant. Need something ordinary like a new hard drive--forget it with an Apple. 

So Apples violated one of my hard and fast cruising rules--don´t have it onboard if you can´t either fix it in Timbuktoo by yourself, or if you can´t live without it. So, I´m going over to the dark side and getting a new PC laptop. I hope it isn't too scary over there.