My new MacBook Pro

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Until about 7 years ago I almost always used PCs.

I worked as a PC Consultant and Novell Network Manager for 9 years (1990 to 1999). The last five years were spent as Network Manager and CARR (Computer Aided Research and Reporting) lecturer at the Rhodes University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in South Africa.

This involved things like teaching typing, word processing (WordPerfect 5.1), email (Pegasus Mail and Pine), using bulletin board systems (Trumpet and Lynx) writing and editing for online readers, HTML manual coding, online research and reporting (including using Excel/PlanPerfect to analyse statistics), and some desktop publishing (Quark and Ventura).

I also used to maintain all the computers and computer laboratories in the department (hardware and software) and the Novell server. All were PCs, apart from 4 Apple computers which were in a lab on their own so I could train the students who would be working with images and video on them. Apple has always been the preferred choice for images and video. Man I hated those Apple computers!

Like many other companies (eg Kodak, IBM, Barclays Bank etc), Apple left South Africa during apartheid. Which meant that there was no support for Apple in SA. I had to fix those damn things all by myself with no help – the internet did not have manuals to download, YouTube tutorials, downloadable software, or online support in those days, though helpful people in Usenet news groups saved my bacon more than once.

In those days, Apples and PCs did not talk to each other. You could not take a disk from one and use it in the other. Nothing would print from them. None of the PC and Apple keystroke shortcuts were even remotely similar. The software was totally different. None of the students wanted to use them.

After that I declared that I hated Apple and swore I would stick with PCs.

And I did. I have generally used 17″ Asus, Sony Vaio or HP PCs. My employer has always provided me with a PC laptop.

Then, about 5 years ago someone gave me an Apple MacBook Pro. I tried to move between PC for work and Apple for private. But the slight difference in keyboard layout was difficult for me. Because I taught typing for so many years, I touch-type really quickly (over 100 words per minute), and it is really difficult when you switch keyboards. Just a millimetre of difference in the spacing of keys between the two keyboards used to throw me off. I still battle with the three extra letters of the Swedish alphabet (å, ä, ö) so a different keyboard makes it worse. I touch-type, so I type as fast as I read. That means that when the speed and accuracy is off, my flow goes out the window.

The result was that I switched exclusively to Mac about five years ago. I alternate between a 17″ and 15″ MacBook Pro. I also use Apple iPhone and iPad so everything syncs pretty easily.

I have not had many difficulties. The main one is that my two employers have software licences for their staff, but only for PCs. And something like Adobe is pretty pricey to buy. And once you have bought a MacBook Pro, you cannot upgrade memory and storage on it.

I like Mac because it is so stable and intuitive, and you don’t have to buy a whole lot of extra software for it. Or worry about a new virus every day. They also last for ages. And never hang.

My present one (from early 2011) is still going strong. But the upgraded operating system and software is too much for the five year old hardware. I cannot run many programmes simultaneously. Things get clogged. I blame El Capitan. I upgraded from Yosemite (which worked perfectly)  when the second version of El Capitan came out and it was just too much for the ageing system. Stupidly, I had not used Time Machine and you cannot downgrade.

 

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Finally, after many months of cursing and a slowing down of my work rate, I bit the bullet and bought a new MacBook Pro. It arrived from German two days ago. I am so excited. Below is what I bought.

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It is a 13″ because I want something that is easier to carry. My older ones are very heavy. I upgraded the storage and the memory as well as the speed. I use my computer ALL THE TIME (work, social media, blogging, Netflix, YouTube, banking, Skype, when travelling) so I splurged. I spend up to 8 hours a day translating so a good computer is a must.

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Categories: Personal

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7 replies

  1. Oh it arrived a week early 🙂

    I hope you are pleased with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought my Macbook Air nearly two years ago Janet, and my only complaint is that I can’t get on with Pages and Numbers. Neither do imported files from Philofaxy or Ray open properly in these applications, so I got Office for Mac, and now everything is tickety boo. I love the way there is no booting up, and battery life is fantastic, couple it all with size and design, and what’s not to like? Everything is compatible with my iPhone and iPad too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to keep accounting software packages running on PCs before I retired. I always envied the Macs in the art department. After a while using a PCs desktop for a while, I migrated to a MacBook and haven’t looked back for 13 years. I now have a MacBook, an iPad and iPhone. I shall never go back to all that hassle to keep a Microsoft system running without problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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