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So Long PC - It's Been Real

So Long PC Its Been RealYesterday, my Sony Vaio notebook went into seizures and eventually, like it was dying in slow motion, froze up and crapped out. It took some tense troubleshooting, a few reboots, and patience I didn't feel, to get it working again.

It's still randomly seizing up with the dreaded "not responding" message, but at least it's operational. Sort of.

I'm still not sure if it's the Carbonite I'm testing out, the switch to Gmail IMAP, a Windows Update, or some combination. Whatever the cause, it was two or three hours of my life I'll never get back ... and a few more gray hairs I don't need.

Lost time and productivity, stress and frustration, enough is enough. As much as Microsoft and Intel have tried to simplify the thing, the PC will forever be a slave to its hopelessly archaic and kludgy legacy architecture that's prone to security holes, device conflicts, and God knows what else.

And don't even get me started on ...

  • The whole Vista thing
  • The Vaio's one and a half hour battery life and flaky touchpad that's actually the subject of a class action lawsuit
  • Trying out a different security suite every year to find one that causes the fewest issues
  • The HP all-in-one that refuses to wirelessly scan no matter how many times you reinstall the software (it's a Vista thing)
  • Home networking nightmares
Put a fork in me, I'm done.

What's ironic is that, if some future me had shown up in 2001 and told me I would someday switch to a Mac, I would have called the cops and sued the imposter for identity theft.

That's probably because the Dell Windows 2000 notebook I had back then was apparently the last bulletproof PC in existence. It's all been downhill since. Having grown up in the industry, I've had dozens of PCs, but for the past few years, something I never thought would happen has happened.

Almost everyone I know has switched to Mac and they're never going back. Now it's my turn, but I go with some trepidation. It's often hard to leave the devil you know for the great unknown, and it's been a wild quarter century since that first 26 pound Compaq Portable II, that's for sure.

Still, what was okay when I worked for a company with an IT department has become a nightmare since I started a small consulting business eight years ago. That's because being your own IT person sucks. I wrote that three years ago when I bought my current Sony and I never want to write it again.

In fact, something else changed around that time. I got an Apple iPod Nano - my first ever Apple product - as a gift. The device was a work of art. So two years ago I got iPhones for me and my wife, then when her Dell notebook crapped out, she got the family's first Mac, a MacBook Pro.

And while none of these devices is perfect, they're a dream compared to a PC. When something goes wrong with a PC these days, you never know who to call or what kind of experience you're going to have. Its' sort of like a bad horror movie. And guess who gets it in the end?

The folks at the Apple store, on the other hand, are knowledgeable and easy to work with. They actually solve your problem. What a concept.

So, when my new MacBook Air with OS X Lion arrives, I'll be putting 25 years of PC history and knowledge to bed, although I'll keep the Sony around for occasional business use.

To me, it sort of feels like giving up long multiplication and division in favor of a calculator. It felt weird, almost wrong, at first. But look how well that turned out. So, goodbye, PC; it's been real.

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Image: via Flickr