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PCs Are OK, But I Miss My Mac

Blast Los Angeles Bureau

I am a big Macintosh fan. Huge. My first Mac was the classic desktop with the tiny monochrome monitor built right in. It lacked a hard drive and ran on floppies. It was beautiful and simple and didn't do all that much, now that I think about it. My next Mac was a PowerBook 145. It had a whopping 4 MB of RAM and an 80 MB hard drive. I loved that machine. I wrote many college papers on it. I wrote short stories, the beginning of scripts, even poems on that thing. It looked great in a coffeehouse. It made me look ultra-hip. I felt ultra-hip.

Eventually, I began to feel the limitations of my beloved PowerBook. It was fine for e-mail, but surfing the Net was not the full-fledged experience that it should've been, since I had to turn off the auto graphics loading option. It was slooooooow. I couldn't even hook it up to my boyfriend's color ink-jet printer; I installed the driver, but I swear it took two minutes to print one page of text.

I began shopping around for a new laptop about six months ago. I knew what I wanted -- a PowerBook with an active matrix screen, at least 24 MB of RAM, a 2-gig hard drive and a fast modem, all for under $3000.

I am now the proud owner of a Gateway 2000 2300. Active matrix screen, 166 Mhz processor with MMX, 32 megs of RAM, a 2-gigabyte hard drive, 33.6 kps modem, software, and so on and so forth. It's loaded, I tell you, and it cost me about $3000.

It was difficult for me to switch over to a (shudder) PC. PCs were for bean counters and corporate schmucks -- in short, it was the computer for The Man. Apple was a rebel, the only viable alternative to IBM-compatibles and DOS. Cool people used Macs. If you were an artist and needed a computer, you got a Mac.

With a Mona Lisa smile, I listened to naysayers who said that Apple was going down the drain. What did they know?, I thought. As long as Macs were being sold and were available, and as long as there were people like me who were loyal to their Macs, there was no need to Apple to gain market share. There's no reason why they needed to compete with the PC. Totally different markets. Different customer base. Different philosophy.

But the reason I chose the PC laptop over a PowerBook was plain cost. I just could not get what I wanted with the budget I had and get a Mac. And with reluctance and sorrow, I forked over my dough for the cheaper PC.

The Gateway's beginning to grow on me. I'm in the process of designing a website. I'm learning how to use Director. I'm getting really good at FreeCell. I can web-surf for hours on end without the text-only option. I can view files from work without switching platforms.

I still have my PowerBook. It's sitting in my closet with the output of five years still residing on the hard drive. I'm still hoping to get a Mac one of these days when I'm more financially solvent; in the meantime, my PC laptop's holding me up just fine, thank you.