My Vista laptop has broken down and requires repair. It is NOT Vista's fault, but instead it appears to be a hardware problem (probably loose connection to the display on my laptop that randomly causes vertical bars). Here goes, in no particular order:
For the last few weeks I've been using Ubuntu on my 7 year old 2GHz P4 + 1GB RAM PC. Installing apps under Linux is currently a pita. I'm sure it's not that difficult and I can learn how to install, but why should I? I much prefer the Next.. Next.. Finish simplicity of Windows. And I dont think it has much to do with me not being accustomed to using Linux's (new to me) install method; afterall when MS introduced the Install Wizard, it was new and I wasn't accustomed to it, yet I liked it. But not so with Synaptic Package Manager and install routines and... like I said, I could learn it, but I'm not sure I have the time for that. The end result however is I did install a few apps and the install was ok, but I had to spend time finding stuff out. When MS intro's Install Wizard, I had no problems with it.
Still haven't got my loudspeakers working too well (actually I only spent 30 mins attempting to fix this problem - I could schedule more time to do so, but why should I?
Overall, I do like Linux, a lot. I like using Terminal, I like VI, I like the sense of freedom and lack of restrictions (I haven't actually experienced this freedom yet, it's just a perception right now). I need to make a backup of a really old DVD and I doubt I'll have any problems. And it works superbly on my old PC. I need to play around with NTFS-3G to read my USB NTFS HDDs. As long as I keep this old computer, I'll keep Linux on it. I like what the Ubuntu guys have done for a user of my level and they should keep up the good work.
I've used it constantly for 9 months. I tore my hair out before SP1. It wasn't that bad, I just wanted it to be so much better. I braced myself before opting for a Vista laptop and figured if I dont like it, I'll install Ubuntu (which I have done) and buy a Mac (which I'm thinking of but am too cheapskate). After installing SP1, it is better, it's the product MS should have released in the first place. I still dont like it though but the reasons for not liking it are rather superficial: I usually dont care about marketing BUT those darn Mac adverts have really got under my skin and I just want a Mac. Vista IS somewhat slow and cumbersome (I swear I felt like Linux was flying on my 7 year old PC and so much faster on my new Dell laptop). It's like, well I cant quite fathom it, but it felt like I had to wait a while before Vista responded to my commands (laptop spec = 2.2 core 2 duo, 2GB Ram). And that damn anti-virus software keeps popping up. And I try and un-install it (ok, I only spent 2 mins attempting an uninstall, but it runs with an account that has higher privileges than ME, and truth is, I dont wanna spend time fixing that. I'm not lazy, I just dont wanna fix it).
So why is Vista good for me? Well, I bought it for .NET, Adobe PhotoShop Elements, Adobe Premiere Elements, iTunes, Flight Simulator, and some other stuff I like to run. But it kept on crashing, and freezing. I done Win Update, it was already up to date. I went to Dell's driver's page. Holy crap that page is a mishmash of dog poo (I was too lazy, I was tired of having to fix stuff by then). In the end, just before I had enough and decided to install Linux, it was a hardware error (and hence not Vista's fault) that got to me. But the problems with Vista, then the hardware fault, it pushed me over the edge. So I started looking at alternatives. And I really dont wanna blow money when I know I can fix the problem. Oh but those Apple adverts...
Ah, Apple, portayer of all things simple and the tag line "it just works". After playing with a Nokia N95 and the 1st gen iPhone, the Nokia used to freeze once in a while (and I only had it for 2 weeks and it already started reminding me of Vista). The iPhone which I used on/off for 6 months (it belonged to my company) never froze. And this was a FIRST gen product! So I bought an iPhone 3G for myself and it's worked perfectly, not as many functions as an N95, but what it did have, it worked well. I also have an Airport Extreme, also works well (as does my old NetGear) and was simple to set up (NetGear was simple too, but I knew a lot more about networks back in those days and was more 'familiar with stuff' (read, I was younger ).
So hence my experience with laptops got me thinking about Apple (again). I like the hardware, I occasionally use it at work, seems like a nice OS. But where are the apps? I read so much about all the apps are available on Mac that you could possibly need. Then where is PhotoShop Elements (ok ok it's out now, and I think it runs natively on OSX now too)? And where is Premiere Elements? Do I really have to spend £130 for Aperture 2? Ok £130 isn't that bad, but I get the feeling it's a photo manager application rather than a photo editor (someone correct me, I've done so much reading up I've forgotten what app does what). iPhoto just doesn't do it for me after using PhotoShop Elements for some time. And iMovie? I'm not sure that has half the features of Premiere Elements. Ok I understand the price difference, but the end result is the standard set of apps pre-installed on a Mac aren't gonna do it for me, I'll have to spend more. And I sure cant find anything that's better than iPhoto/iMovie without going to PhotoShop Elements and Final Cut Express (£190 together). Then I'm not sure how well PSE and FCE is integrated (PSE and Pr El are made by the same company and work great together, the complete bundle is £100).
I can live without .NET, no big deal, but I dont know about the photo and video editors. I thought Mac was supposed to be awesome for this kinda stuff, and at the higher end it probably is. And at the baby level it's fine too. But I need something in between before I spend $$$ on a Mac. Sure I mentioned PSE for Mac and FCE for Mac. But I'd like to know how well they integrate (can I take photos from PSE and put them into FCE?) I just heard these things about FCE not being too great for prosumer level stuff.
SO WHAT AM I GONNA DO?
Well, I'm gonna stop using my heart and leave that to do what it's supposed to do... help me cycle up great mountains. Instead I'll use my head and get my Dell laptop fixed up, re-install Vista on it (oh god I'm already getting anxiety just thinking about it, again, it's a superficial thing, I dont know why I'm getting this anxiety), and, well, just work with it for the same reasons I first bought it.
Having written that though, I do like the idea of having an iMac as a desktop machine, maybe I dont need a 24", I'll just get a 20", and play with PSE and FCE, but only if they run natively on Intel Macs. I could then get Apple TV to showcase my (amateur level) videos on the main TV...