Turns out Macs are okay

Thumbs up for Mac

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a Mac convert. I used to think they were terrible, but I've been using one at work for over a year now, and I've changed my mind. Here's why.

Pay attention at the back, Microsoft.

Restarting remembers everything

When I have to reboot my Mac (which happens very infrequently) it remembers all the applications I had open, and opens them for me. It even preserves (most of) the state of those applications, such as browser tabs and open files.

Windows only remembers open File explorer windows. In a random order. Sometimes.

Sleeping and waking up is quick

I lift the lid of my Mac and a few seconds later the login prompt appears. Sometimes it's longer than a few seconds, admittedly. And then I'm in, and everything is ready to use.

Windows takes an age to even show the password screen. Then after I've typed in my password it takes another age before the desktop is even vaguely usable. Just to clarify, my Windows laptop isn't very old, and I bought I high spec one for gaming. It should be quick.

It isn't slowly getting slower

I realised recently why my Windows laptop is getting gradually slower - there are loads of services running in the background all the time that I don't need. I don't need a service that loads a portion of an application into memory so it appears to start quicker. I don't need a service that constantly checks to see if there's an update to an application I haven't opened.

Most of these services only use a small amount of memory, but add them altogether and the debilitating effects are obvious. This subject, by the way, is a whole separate rant all of itself, but to get back to the point - my Mac doesn't seem to have this problem. It's just consistently quick.

The hardware is sturdy

My Mac feels solid and reassuring. The keyboard is level and has no loose keys. The screen doesn't bend when I close the lid. I can hold the whole thing by one corner and not worry that it's going to tear itself in half. It is a solid piece of well engineered hardware.

The mousepad is amazing

It's responsive, tap clicking is easy and quiet, and the multi finger touch thing makes navigating any application incredibly smooth.

My Windows laptop tries to emulate some of this functionality with a third party app, but it's so clunky and unreliable that I've turned it off.

Some things that aren't great

Of course, I'm trying to be objective about all of this, so here's some things that aren't brilliant about Macs.

If it doesn't work, you're on your own. MacOSX feels quite locked down when it comes to tinkering, so the minute I want to do something outside of what is an undefined boundary of 'normal' I run into brick walls.

The hardware is good, but I can't put a different graphics card in or buy cheaper hardware from another manufacturer. Pretty sure my choice of peripherals is fairly limited too.

Keyboard shortcuts are often an arcane mystery that can only be discovered through experimentation. I got so annoyed with this that I started compiling my own list.

Settings are bizarre and hard to find. When I upgraded to High Sierra recently it added a little option buried in the Settings screen to shut down if the Mac hadn't been used for twenty minutes, and turned it on. This applied even if I'd put it to sleep, surprisingly, so I'd often come back to my desk after a meeting to find it had turned itself off. Took longer than it should have to track that one down.

Positioning windows is surprisingly hard, and sometimes different applications behave differently. Maybe there's a way to do this that I'm missing, but I just want to maximise my windows without losing the toolbar along the top of the screen. Is that so difficult?


I think there's something inherently better about a Mac that probably comes from the OS being based on Linux. Let me put it this way: no one has ever asked me to take a look at their Mac because it's running slowly.

Despite all of this I'm sticking with my Windows laptop, for home use at least, because games. Also my long running arguments against Macs still stand - they're expensive and a computer I can't tinker with is bad - even if I understand that better now.


This article is tagged with