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The Experiment has failed

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I sold my Alienware PC today. The new owner, one of my digital art professors, will make good use of it in her multimedia studio.

I would have got a lot less for my PC if I would have sold it on eBay. I got $1500 for the PC and I threw in the monitor as well. I won’t need it anymore anyways (more on that later).

So even thought the original purpose of this site has been hazy at best lately, I still had a PC. Now not only do I not have a PC but this site no longer has to do with my life with my PC. Luckily for this site, it has branched out in other directions, and the site has not had much to do with my PC in the past few months.

The slogan is going to have to be modified. Maybe it should be something like “A Mac User back in the Mac world” or “A Mac user who tried to function in a Windows world but came back to the Mac because of frustration.” That last one might be a little long.

I got my PC in January 2003, see Every story has a beginning, I started using Windows for web and media work for the first time. Not the first time I have used Windows by far, but it was the first time I had used one for an extended period of time for critical work. Well this journey has ended.

I had problems out of the box, the audio card would not work correctly and the two ethernet ports were conflicting (the one was not turned off in the BIOS like it should have been). Alienware tech support had me switch out every PCI card and put it into a different slot. This miraculously fixed the audio problem. Let me tell you, that was a pain in the ass. They don’t make PC cases as nice as Apple cases, that was not fun. And it was not the last time that tech support had me do that.

The transition to doing work in Windows was not very difficult, and I just dealt with the annoyances because I wanted to give Windows a try for at least a year. You can check out the early Windows Commentary archives to see the worst annoyances I encountered.

In October 2003 my PC’s HD died. For this I had to send my PC to Alienware. I got my PC back in December, and it still did not boot up. They scratched the case, how nice of them. After tearing the PC apart again and not only reseating the PCI cards, but reseating the HD and other drives, it finally was in working order again. The Promise RAID card never was the problem (I took the time to check box RAID cards and they both worked just fine).

I had a lot of hardware issues with my PC that I have never had to deal with in my long history of using many Macs. I didn’t expect all the manual work I had to do on my PC. But I have been told that is the norm. Forget that.

I defended my PC and decided not to sell it in the past, I made excuses for the idiosyncrasies of Windows because I wanted to give it an entire year. Well I made it 5 months longer then that one year period I had set for myself. I stopped using my PC for critical work over 6 months ago though. I went back to doing critical work on my slower PowerBook, and getting the work done – minus the frustrations.

For those of you say you can work faster in Windows or faster on the Mac are full of dookie. I can work just as fast in WIndows as I can in Mac OS X. The only problem is the use of the Control key as the main modifier key on Windows, and the placement of that key on Windows. TradeKeys fixes this problem though. Once I had Control on my PC where Command on my Mac is everything was good again. Now that I have experienced Windows for over a year, I will not put up with people whining to me about how hard or how much easier it is to use then the Mac OS. I had no problems. The final straw was however Windows just being Windows. I just had it up to my eyeballs. I give up.

I gave Windows a try. I really wanted to see how it would go. This was an experiment. And experiment to see if I could work faster on a much faster machine that cost less then a Mac. The answer to that is a NO!

I just bought a Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 and payed less for it then I payed for my Alienware PC. If I would have bought a G4 in January 2003 I would have actually payed more then what I spent on my G5 or my Alienware. So Apple’s pricing is getting much better IMO.

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About Ken Edwards

  • Normally, I would praise Mac OSX to the whatever, however, on my B&W G3, I upgraded to 10.34, and have, over the past week, nothing but problems with my external Firewire drives. When 65 gb of data just disappears, you gotta wonder. And then trying to re-install 10.28 without erasing the drive, is, how to put it, delicate.

  • Doug

    Ditto with severe problems on OS X Panther. My G4 400s hard drive just went out. I was able to use Disk Warrior to get all of my data, fonts and some of my preferences but OS X puts things in so many different places that it’s a total kludge trying to get my Netscape cache and the fonts onto the new hard drive. I couldn’t use Carbon Copy Cloner because the drive had unrecoverable physical errors. It has taken over a day and a half just to get to a point where I can work again. OS X is quite awesome at many things, but what used to be a fairly simple process (drag and drop) in earlier Mac OSs is a pain in Panther.

  • OS X on a G3 is a big problem waiting to happen. I have seen it before, and here are 2 prime examples.

    My only suggestion is to backup to an external device and or use Carbon Copy Cloner.

    We have some G3’s at work and I refuse to run OS X on them. It is just too slow to be productive.

  • Dave

    Alienware computers are really overpriced IMO, so comparing Apple’s pricing to them is misleading.

    I’d build my own comparable system for far less, or go to a smaller, trustworthy company and have them do it for me. I’m with you in that I’d rather pay a premium for a complete Mac system than an Alienware.