Sue has a new computer.

Well not really……

I have given her my iMac desktop and I got her windows laptop in return, a good swap in her favour.
This means I can use her old laptop to play radio on with various data modes, which was my intention when I suggested the swap.
I did a complete reinstall of the system on her old laptop then I had to install over 165 updates from Microsoft, I almost lost the will to live in the end, it took longer to do the updates than it did to do the initial install.
The exercise reminded me of why from the business point of view I kicked Microsoft into touch a year or so ago.

My office is still brighter and I still have no windows.

Around twelve months ago I started the migration of my office IT equipment away from the Windows Platform and across to the Apple Platform.

At the time I commented that I was really pleased with the new system, so I thought it would be a good time to now do an update on how things are at the moment.

Firstly I still have no regrets at moving away from Windows at all. The Apple system just works, no messing, no crashing and no instability at all. It’s there and touch wood has never let me down by crashing, failing to start or throwing a hissy fit when I am in the middle of doing something.

The equipment comprises of the following:-

MacBook PRO laptop.
iMac with 21.5″ screen.

Neither are top of the range but they both synchronise together and just work. The Macbook is the non-retina display model and I chose it because unlike the model with the retina display this one comes with a CD-ROM drive and an Ethernet port. I can’t see the point of using WI-FI when the machine is less than 6 feet from the router.

Now I will be honest and admit that the wife still has a Toshiba laptop running Windows 7 and she loves it. Personally when I check it for updates etc I just find it frustrating, some months ago I did a complete system reinstall on it and it took me longer to install all the updates and remove the unwanted extra junk that gets installed then it did to do the initial operating system install.

At least with the system in the office I don’t have to put aside an hour to sort out the updates each month on what Microsoft fondly calls Patch Tuesday. Disk defragmentation is a thing of the past, though I will admit that when I ran Windows I was not a fan of wasting time defragmenting anyway, to be honest I never sever recall seeing any noticeable improvement.

The laptop and desktop are networked and I use a Synology DS413J NAS device which I added to the office a few months ago. The computers both run the same programs and I can use either machine to work on any of my files. Remote access to the NAS is faultless and means I can access my files anywhere I have an internet connection. No mess no fuss setting up the computers to do this. The Router is an Apple AirPort Express and it’s rock solid, it has not dropped out or restarted in the last 3 months. The BT hub I used to have did so every couple of days.

The iMac comes with a lovely aluminium based wireless keyboard and it’s the first keyboard I have had for many years that’s lasted for more than six months, as they get such heavy use. Unlike on the Toshiba the wife uses there is no keyboard bounce, and the whole thing is a pleasure to use. On both machines I use Magic mice which have no scroll wheel and no separate left/right buttons, but yet again they work faultlessly.

Somebody the other day commented that they have no touch screen, he seemed to think that I should not be able to get things done if I could not put greasy finger marks on the screens. Having played with touch screens, my iPad and iPhone both have them I can safely say I am not a fan. Finger marks on screens irritate me greatly.

The iMac is used for mainly web design stuff and to hold my music collection, the MacBook is used for my writing and running the business on, but both are set so they can do either task if required.

I will admit to having Microsoft Office installed on both machines, but thats mainly due to the legacy of having so many word documents etc, and despite what many say I have yet to find any word processor amongst the free offerings that handles .DOC & .DOCX documents well. For my book writing I use a package called Scrivener, it’s the best thing I have come across for book writing and puts a normal word processor program in the shade.

So there you have it, I am still as happy as a pig in a puddle with the kit, though I do find the laptop a bit heavy to lug around much and as soon as the finances can stand the cost and I can justify it I will buy a MacBook Air to take out and about and to clients.

To sum up, when I need to replace this kit, somebody will have had to have produced something pretty good to get me back to a windows system and Windows 8 will have to be a dim and distant fading memory.

So there you have an update on the biggest expense I have ever made with computer kit and in my experience they are worth every single penny they cost, as is the Synology NAS device.