Moving from a PC to a Mac

I’ve been a PC user for about 20 years. But I have recently switched to a Mac. In this article, I explain why I made the change, and what the result has been.

Why PCs?

I’ve been using PCs since about the year 1998. My first PC was a big grey desktop PC, with a Pentium 200 MHz processor, and a 1GB hard drive, running Windows 95. It feels so ancient now.

All through high school, university, and even my working life, I have used PCs. Learning software development in high school (year 2000, Visual Basic 5.0) and getting into video games enhanced my passion for PCs. Windows and PCs were always the most popular choice, and I didn’t even consider Macs as a viable choice of computer.

Over the last few years, I have noticed some people use Macs as their main computer. Friends, coworkers, and even strangers at cafes use them.

But, a few months ago, I decided to try using a Mac.

My Current Situation

Up until a few months ago, my situation was:

  • A desktop PC at home
  • A Windows laptop for the train or travelling

Both ran Windows, used the same applications, and used software that synchronised data such as Evernote and Google Drive.

But… I considered making a move to Mac.

Why Move to a Mac?

Why?

There were a few reasons, which can all be summarised into a single concept (which I’ll get to later).

It just works.

First, I wanted something that just worked. I was having issues with my PC which required several restores from backups, and I had lost some files due to freezes and crashes. While in my younger years I enjoyed building PCs from scratch and the ability to customise it to my needs, I felt like I didn’t need to do that anymore.

My needs have changed.

I no longer play computer games, so gaming was not a requirement. I still develop software occasionally, but there are some great tools for this on the Mac. The majority of my time on the computer is spent working on my website Database Star, which can be achieved with web browser, web-based tools, and applications that are available for the Mac.

I already had a MacBook Air.

I had a desktop PC and a laptop, but my wife had a MacBook Air. She suggested I try it out for a month, to see if I liked it and if I could get used to it. I didn’t need to buy a new device (though I might in the future).

Use a single device.

When I thought about it, I didn’t need to have two separate computers. I could use the laptop on the train and the laptop at home. I could plug the laptop into a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and it could work like a desktop. It would also be a lot quieter, which helps reduce the noise when I record my training videos. It also means I can pick up the laptop and take it with me without interrupting my work.

Another blogger shared his experience.

John Sonmez from Simple Programmer, a blog that I follow, had a similar experience of moving from a Windows PC to a Mac. His devices were different, but I thought his article was helpful and experience was similar to mine.

All of this can be summarised by a simple concept:

Scarcity of time.

I don’t have time to be dealing with PC issues, syncing between two devices, upgrading parts that break, installing software to get things to work, and restoring from backups when things crash. My time is valuable. I’d rather spend it on things that matter to me, such as working on side projects, than fixing problems.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Making the switch was pretty easy:

  1. I backed up the files on my desktop PC. Most of them were already on Google Drive.
  2. I installed the applications I needed on the MacBook, such as Screenflow and Oracle SQL Developer.
  3. I configured some of the settings on the Mac.

Then, I was ready to go.

So how has my experience been?

Thoughts So Far

It’s been a few months of using a MacBook. What’s the verdict?

It was a great decision.

  • The MacBook is lighter, so it’s easy to take to and from work on the train.
  • It’s easy to plug into a monitor and charge it when I get home.
  • The keyboard and trackpad is great, much better than my Windows laptop.
  • Learning to use MacOS was not that hard. I’m not a power user, but I know enough to do what I need.
  • The battery life is phenomenal. I can use it for two hours on the train and it can still be on 85%, where as my Windows laptop would be close to 25%.
  • I can do everything I need to on it, both personal tasks and work on my business.

Should You Move From PC to Mac?

The experience has been good for me, and I won’t be going back to a PC anytime soon.

Should you move from PC to Mac?

The short answer is possibly.

If your needs have changed from when you started using a PC, then I would suggest it. My needs and reasons for using a computer have changed over the last 15 years or so. Maybe yours have too.

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