Saturday, December 21, 2013

Goodbye Microsoft!

Happy Winter Solstice!

I think it was sometime in 1987 I purchased my first IBM PC compatible system. I recall it was a brand called Leading Edge. Back then it was still MS-DOS and a 10 or 20 megabyte hard drive seemed like all the file storage one would ever need. Before that I used a Commodore 64 I got in 1982, which was the system I learned computer programming on. Over the years it's been one Windows machine after another: Gateway, Compaq, ASUS, Dell, etc. After a quarter century, I've finally dumped Microsoft Windows and retired my 2007 Dell XPS system a few days ago. I backed up all my files to a USB Fantom drive and powered down the Dell for the last time.

I've gone Mac and I'm never going back!

It's a MacBook Pro (retina) with an Apple Thunderbolt 27” Display to be precise, along with Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud for post-processing digital images. The transition has been easier than I thought it would be. I continue to be impressed how intuitive and logical Mac OS is. Moving my iTunes library was a snap and my entire digital photography archive is accessible via the Fantom drive.

There really wasn't anything wrong with my Dell XPS other than I never upgraded its operating system beyond Windows XP SP3. The dilemma came with Microsoft's April 8th support termination date for XP looming just a few months away; warnings to keep using XP beyond this date have been rather dire. My Dell could still run everything I required, but the Windows 7 upgrade advisor indicated I would need dozens of annoying software updates, upgrades, and even potential hardware changes. And Windows 8? Forget it! I was starting to get miffed that the XP termination date essentially meant having to buy a new computer. I think a lot of XP users are going to find themselves in the same boat come spring.

Another nudge prompting me to cross over to Mac was the high quality and accurate color tone that Apple displays render. Buying an iPad a couple of years ago gave me my first taste of that. Still hoping for a Windows PC solution, a few months ago I went to Best Buy and looked at various bird images on several different monitors. None of them rendered the correct yellow color for Prothonotary Warbler as well as a Mac display. So, in the end it was a little bird that advised me to go Mac!

All images © 2013 Mike McDowell


  1. Congratulations! Once you go Mac... ;-)

  2. Yes, I wish we had a Mac world all along instead of a Windows world, oy vey....
    And cool that a Prothonotary Warbler made the final decision for you!

  3. We did the same this past summer, replacing a Dell of about the same vintage as yours for an iMac.

  4. "high quality and accurate color tone"..... as for purposes of photo processing, you should still calibrate your monitor for accurate color rendition, regardless of manufacturer, if you plan to view photos across electronic devices or for printing (printers need calibrated too). If you print with a third party, the color profile fille can be embedded in the image file.

  5. Great! I just missed it then, in your post.

  6. You can't miss something I didn't mention, but that wouldn't mean I didn't do it.