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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Wife Is Switching to the Mac

Me, in Connected Home:
This Christmas, I presented my wife with a new Mac mini. I honestly wasn't sure if she'd be even slightly interested in switching to the Mac, but I figured if she showed no interest in it, I could hold onto it myself or simply return it. To my surprise and delight, my wife was very much interested in the Mac mini and was eager to switch. And about midway through Christmas Day, she started hounding me about setting it up. That's a good sign.

This conversion deserves a bit of background. I am, as you might know, one of the more prominent Windows-based writers on the Web. This simple fact makes the notion that I'd buy a Mac for my wife seems like an April Fools joke, I know. But the truth is, I've owned one or more Macs since summer 2005, and I'm a big fan of Mac OS X, albeit one who is perhaps more honest about the system's shortcomings than the typical Mac fanatic. That said, Apple's computer systems are viable for a wide range of users, including graphic artists, photographers, and other creative types. And a truly simple system like the Mac mini is perfect for the mass market, those people who simply need email, Web access, and word processing.

My wife is such a person.

Looking forward, I'm interested to see how well this switch goes. I'll publish updates as needed to my Internet Nexus blog.
I've wanted to write this story for a long time, as you might imagine. My wife isn't exactly a daily visitor to my blog, but I figured it wasn't worth the risk, so I waited until after the holidays. Besides, there was always the small chance that she would totally reject the notion of switching. After all, it's not painless.

Thankfully, that's not what happened, partially because she was excited to make the change and partially because I'm the person that did all the hard work anyway. Naturally, I'm still tech support.

I bought the Mac mini from on November 26, 2005. I ordered the mid-line 1.42 GHz model, with 512 MB of RAM, an 80 GB hard drive, a combo drive, and AirPort and Bluetooth wireless. Later, after unpacking and upgrading the machine to 1 GB of RAM--an unnecessarily tricky proposition involving a putty knife and a few pinched fingers)--I discovered that her Mac mini actually included a 1.5 GHz processor. My understanding is that many people have gotten a similar silent upgrade.

Overall, the Mac mini experience so far has been positive. The packaging is, of course, classic Apple: Tight and compact, and an ecological nightmare. :) The machine is silent and powerful enough for my wife's computing needs--as stated in the article, email, Web and word processing--and a welcome change from her previous machine, a loud and balky low-end Dell.

My wife took the opportunity of the switch to revamp her office as well, so we took out the horrible old corner desk and replaced it with a nicer traditional desk I wasn't using any more, and did some cable management to clean things up. I spent the day after Christmas adding the RAM, installing Office 2004 and Firefox, and converting her PC-based PC into formats that could semi-easily be transferred to the appropriate Mac applications. (That last step was extremely time consuming.) She's using Apple Mail for GMail and her personal account, Address Book for contacts, Firefox for Web browsing, and of course Microsoft Word. I also copied her music over and imported it into iTunes, which she was already using on the PC.

Now the Mac mini is set up in her suddenly silent and clean office, which is the picture of Spartan efficiency. Good for her.

[ Posted at 11:55 AM | Permalink ]


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