I am pleased to present this following, insightful guest post from David Sparks:
I’ve been practicing business litigation and transactional law for 15 years. For all of those years I’ve been using various iterations of Windows. I’ve actually become quite adept at Windows. I can defrag, de-virus, anti-spy, kill phish, and alt-cntrl-delete in my sleep. But at a certain level it has always annoyed me how much time I need to spend just keeping the machine running.
So about 3 weeks ago I was loading up my laptop with the third necessary anti-spyware program and a computer consultant I sometimes work with was telling me how I should not touch Vista until “at least” the first service pack release is out. It got me thinking about how much time I waste just keeping my computers “running” and I began to think there must be a better way.
I remember Macs from my college days. The ones that had a built in handle and said “Hello” when you turned it on. It’s been 20 years, and I had given up on Macs when I first entered law school and was told I could NEVER use a Mac in any firm. But I started looking into it. I actually found Ben’s excellent site first.
Then I went in an Apple Store with a thumb drive loaded with several contracts and briefs in the midst of changes, powerpoints, and other files I regularly use. The people at the Apple store are incredible. Unlike every other computer store I’ve been in, these people do not look at you like an idiot when you ask basic questions. They were very helpful. I was running my work files on the store Macs in no time.
Making a long story short, after several visits and many questions answered, I found myself buying a brand new Macbook Pro 17″. I couldn’t be more pleased with it. I bought the machine with the extended warranty and several programs (iWork, Office:Mac, and .Mac).
I’ve had it for two weeks now and am happy to report quite a few things:
- The Mac learning curve is very small. It is a really well designed OS and the software fits it hand in glove. I’m sure there is more for me to learn. However, it boots up and I am “at work” in very short order.
- MS Office to Mac:Office and back again. Flawless.
- The two windows programs I must have (Casemap and Textmap) do not work on "Crossover Mac" but with Parallels they work perfectly fine. My goal is to see that windows logo as little as possible but when I do need it, it is there.
- Keynote looks fabulous. I can not wait for my next mediation/arbitration/trial where I make those powerpoint users look like cavemen scratching stick figures in rocks.
- The Built in OS X encryption is perfect for my needs. If someone were to pick up my Mac they will not get access to my client documents or my personal financial information. It even encrypts my Quicken file.
- I am working with an IT guy to get remote access to our windows based network. He says it will not be a problem but hasn’t really described the fine details to me yet.
Put simply, this elegant little machine does everything my PC did, only better, faster, and without crashes.
Now for the icing on the cake … iLife runs circles around my PC suite of photo and dvd software for which I used to make the family picture/video dvd’s. Its so easy with the templates and the final product looks absolutely professional. I’ve even set up a .web family blog. My wife has a lot of relatives in the Philippines and my family is spread all over the country. These things were virtually effortless to set up and has got everyone in my stretched out family excited.
Did I mention that in 10 days … despite loading and unloading software and all the other nonsense a new owner puts a new computer through it has crashed exactly zero times?
When I first showed up at the office with it the IT people and other partners laughed and called me a geek. I then booted up Parallels and their jaws dropped. Wait until they see my first big Keynote presentation.
Having been a PC user for 20 years there are a few things I still can not get over.
- Everyone says I don’t need virus software. That is difficult to wrap my mind around.
- Everyone says I don’t need to bother with the usual spyware, adaware, defrag, and other nonesense that I did on a regular basis with my pc. Basically, I just turn it on and work.
- I can’t get over how NICE and HELPFUL people are at the Apple Store. They want me to be happy. They want to solve my problems. Even AFTER they got my money!
To put it simply … I am drinking the cool aid … and it is delicious. Switching to a Mac was something I should have done years ago. I have a few old windows computers at the house, and I’m now in the process of selling those so I can put an iMac at home for my kids. I knew they’d be good for something.
David W. Sparks is an attorney with George & Shields LLP in Irvine, California. He specializes in litigation and transactional practice. He is described as a "creative thinker focused on precision, detail-oriented litigation preparation and strategic business planning to obtain the best possible outcome for clients." David can be reached via email by clicking HERE. My thanks are extended to David for his great guest post.