jonathan pearlman

jonathan pearlman

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Regular listeners will recall me waxing lyrical about a refurbished computer I had scored on ebay.

It turned out to be a lemon! A lemon by any other name would smell so sour. 

Windows and me go back a long way; after my first foray into home computing (a Packard Bell, circa 1991) where DOS provided the platform for an array of odd tree-filing systems, succesive upgrades added enhanced, but generic operating systems. The arrival of Windows in 1995, which arrived on a series of floppy discs, provided PC users with a standardised operating system which revolutionised and tormented the PC user market, seemingly forever. 

For those, such as myself, who steadfastly refused to recognise any other form of computing system (effectively, ignoring Apple) as anything else but an inferior product, Windows 95, then 98, then XP, then Vista, then 7 and now 8 become our messiah, our sage and our oracle. We forgave the glitches, the confusing and user-unfriendly interface. We scoured internet forums for explanation and advice to seemingly intractable software installation difficulties, railed against the monopolistic hold on our PCs that Microsoft enjoyed, holding us as prisoners to Windows, pre-installed on every PC. Every upgrade came at a cost; every security breach a flurry of patches and updates. Every third-party software installation a minefield of blue screens, the thudding announcements that some files were corrupted or lost or didn't exist. And the maintenance! OMG - the daily maintenance required to keep the PC running: anti-virus tools, disc optimisers, defrags, disc cleanup, anti-trojan programmes, memory optimisers, speed checks, driver upgrades, blah blah blah.......nothing was too complicated for dear Windows.

And so to my Mac Mini: a tiny desktop box and matching DVD/CD drive that does everything for me; understands my impatience, warms to my naivety  Holds my hand and guides me through the installation stuff that used to make me want to rip out my hair. Oh, and that most mysterious of all Windows programme (was there actually a programme? I never, ever found one) - the (in)ability to transfer data from one computer to another without fuss and pain and a degree in computer programming.

The Mac does it all - seamlessly and without fanfare, thudding announcements, admonishments (what is an 'illegal application?' - what law did I ever break in the privacy of my own home and off-line??). Where Windows Media requires a basic appreciation of quantum mechanics, laws of physics and a PHd in Computer Programming simply to burn or rip a cd and then find it quickly in the library, the Mac simply does it all for you - just insert a CD and it simply asks what you want and off it cranks and does it. It transfers data from one PC to another with an ease that shocks and awes. It stores files and programmes simply without fuss; retrieves files and programmes with a deftness of touch, massaging my impatient mouse-clicking (a Windows-based tick I developed) with a smoothness that is at once sexy and reassuring. 

I love my Mac Mini and I think it loves me. Not once in our brief relationship have I resorted to desk thumping, hair pulling or rude gestures aimed at the blue screen of death or the boot screen. 

These are still very early days in our relationship; I am not enamoured with everything I interact with. But I do know this: the Mac is not a lemon - so, suck on that Microsoft!




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