I loved my dual-core Sony Vaio, the laptop I purchased in 2007, operating under Windows Vista, the go between from XP and 7. A year ago I noticed that it slowed down. My computer guru neighbor said I needed more RAM. The Vaio had 2 GBs of RAM so we added another 2 gigs. I later was told that a 32-bit system could only use 3 gigs, but my guru assured me that the extra RAM would be used in other ways. As a nontechnical computer user, I fairly good at picking up the logic, but that one still eludes me.
Five years later, the Vaio’s hard drive memory, at 225 GBs, wasn’t yet half full. At 2.00 GHz, my system seemed fast enough on the Internet, but then our neighborhood got FIOS. Its speed may have impacted my perception. When Microsoft developed Windows 7, new programs didn’t work well on Vista. The Vaio hesitated and sputtered. The computer world seemed to have doubled from 2007 to 2012. 2.6 GHz became the standard speed. 32 bit systems were replaced with 64 bits, and 500 GBs hard drive memory became the standard with 4GBs of RAM.
A few months later, I tried to upgrade Vista to Windows 7 and failed. Even my guru neighbor failed. We had no idea why, but when he successfully installed Windows 7 in my daughter’s one-year-newer Sony Vaio, I decided that I didn’t like Windows 7 anyway. Microsoft has always made assumptions about its market, trying to make its products appeal to the most buyers, no doubt logical. The problem—I rarely fitted into the “most buyers” category.
For example, with Windows 2000 through Windows 7, multiple user accounts became standard enabling several people to use one PC and have their own desktops and settings. The first contradiction was multiple users of a personal computer. Personal computers were no longer “personal” if used by multiple users. My kids were at an age when this was a good idea, but they passed through that stage quickly. Before I knew it, they had their own computers, and I was stuck with multiple user accounts—a standard that may have fit to consumers with young families or companies whose employees shared computers. To the rest of us—not so much. I tried to delete their accounts, but doing so was harder than it looked because remnants of their accounts remain. Renaming accounts wasn’t an option because the old name persisted on the file level.
In Windows 7, I found that all of my documents went into a “library” that was made “public” to other user accounts or to those on the network if sharing was enabled. Even with only one user account, my documents went into the shared folder, I suppose for those who share over a network. I never found a way to prevent my documents from going into this shared library. This aspect turned me off. Not everything I write should be put in the “public” domain. I found this assumption unnerving. I looked to alternatives and found myself swayed toward buying a Mac.
My college age daughter had switched three years prior. A long-time friend always had been a Mac user, and then my computer guru expounded on their virtues. I bought a Mac.
But I had invested in a lot of expensive Windows programs that weren’t old enough to update to Mac versions. My guru added an overlay to run Windows on the Mac to that I could still use my Windows programs. With 8 gigs of RAM and 750 GB of memory, he assured me this was no problem. So far, Windows froze up once, but he showed me how to restart that operating system so, should that happen again, I know how to deal with the problem.
What I suspect—I bought a Caddie, with double the RAM and a bigger hard drive so I’m ahead of the curve. Perhaps I’ll get seven years out of this laptop, but I know that eventually the computer world will catch up to me making this one out-of-date too.
In the next few months, I’ll periodically report on my transition. My initial take on Word, the program writers use the most, is that I like the Windows version better. But, I was used to Windows Word 2007, and my Mac version is 2011 so I’m not sure if I would have liked the updated Windows 2010 version any better.
I’m not totally frustrated with the Mac, but the two-fingered right click maddens me because after using up two fingers, you then have to use a third finger to chose an option, and my ring finger doesn’t manipulate as well as my index finger. Perhaps other people possess more dexterity than me.
Do you have a Mac? Why? Can you assess the differences?