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Random Thoughts

Back to the Mac?

Earlier this year, I swore to ditch the Mac for good. And I’ve had a great ride with Windows since, albeit a bumpy one. Let me share the most common frustrations I’ve experienced so far:

  1. The Bluetooth peripherals (keyboard, mouse, and headphones) don’t always readily connect. I find myself manually connect to each of these devices every single day. Logitech’s unifying receiver was a respite, but my machine only has two USB 3.0 ports. Having one occupied all the time means I have to live with just one for my external podcast microphone, charging, data transfers, webcam, or any other device. So, I bought a USB 3.0 hub, which didn’t solve the Bluetooth problem.
  2. The Blue Screen of Death made its appearance twice, and it took the damn machine down. I didn’t lose any data as most of my stuff was in my cloud storage account. Speaking of which, Google Drive Stream has a pathetic way of working on Windows. It should have been way better than the Mac version, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I can’t use Google Drive as I can use Dropbox or OneDrive, and each time I try, the application crashes, or I restart it a few times to make it work.
  3. I believe Microsoft’s default calendar app sucks. And, unfortunately, there aren’t many options for Windows users. I guess the majority of users rely on Google Calendar or their Outlook clients for their needs. That doesn’t work for me because I use both the applications and needed one application to reflect my Google and Outlook appointments. That said, the calendar app does have the option to have multiple accounts, but the sync feature misses the mark.
  4. If you want to connect your device with the computer, ensure a driver for it somewhere. Else it won’t work. And not all the drivers get an upgrade at one go (like the software updates on a Mac). It’s random, and most of the time, I get to know about an updated version when I’m trying to make something work. Unfortunate timing!
  5. I tried video editing using some of the latest and greatest apps and felt overwhelmed with the learning curve. I want to make an intro and outro, man! Windows’ default video editor application sucks big time. It’s basic. Or perhaps, I don’t invest time and energy to learn something new. That’s a reasonable excuse considering I invest a significant chunk of the time every single day studying and learning something new.

Of course, these won’t sound like a big deal as you’re reading it, or even after having experienced it yourself, hearing it from someone else doesn’t feel like the world is going to end. I get it. But here’s the deal — I have this insatiable desire to get work done as soon as possible, which means I want my devices to work. That’s where Apple does a great job. All its tools, “just work.” Out of the box. Just like that. And I’ve honestly missed that for quite some time.

Last evening, I decided to take the plunge. I bought the MacBook Pro 2019 edition and feel right at home. But, it’s got a whole lot of limitations:

  1. Only four ports, and all are USB-C ports, which means I have to have a multi-port dongle that has an HDMI port (for my external monitor), USB-A, USB-C, SD Card Reader at all times! I still don’t have a clue why would Apple do this.
  2. Can’t upgrade the laptop, but I couldn’t upgrade my previous Mac, either. And ordering a custom-built laptop with the upgraded RAM would have cost me at least $2,000 more! Not something I wanted to do on an already expensive machine. I guess I will have to live with it.
  3. Working on it for a couple of hours made me realize that the Windows laptop (the one I’m drafting this post on) wasn’t all too bad. It made my life miserable by not readily working with the peripherals and applications that I can’t do without.

So, I decided not to ditch Windows but use it in parallel with the Mac. Since I use the Windows machine primarily for work, I’ll move all my stuff to my Mac. It’s a great transition from work-to-life (but work is life for me).

Using two machines is fun, so long as you know what you’re doing and have the right setup and workflow. I lack the setup right now, but I’m guessing another monitor and a solid USB hub should solve it. I’ll share another update in the next 90 days and let you know how it’s going.

Here’s one life lesson from this experience: never say “never.” You never know what choices and circumstances life throws at you. Yes, those do get expensive, but compared to what? Your life? Your need to feel accomplished and productive?