My neighbor should be in a Mac ad

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View
Here's a true story.

My neighbor was in the market to replace his aging PC, running Windows XP. While he was debating what to get, I made a small effort to convince him to switch to a Mac ("It can run Windows when you need it and be a Mac when you don't"). He has an iPhone and loves it; his daughter has a MacBook and he is impressed with it. All in all, he seemed ripe for a switch. Still, in the end, he chose to get a Dell PC with Windows Vista pre-installed.

At first, he was thrilled with his purchase. He could not believe how much faster the new machine was. His only lament was that he had waited as long as he did before upgrading.

Within a few days, however, his mood had changed. "I returned the computer," he told me — with a sheepish look on his face. I was a bit surprised. Naturally, I wanted to know what had happened.

The first glitch was when he found that he couldn't run his copy of FileMaker Pro 8 on his new PC. He was told that, in order to work under Vista, he would need to upgrade to FileMaker Pro 9. He did -- at a cost of almost $200.

Next, he discovered that his old HP printer wouldn't work with his new PC. Once again, the problem was a Vista conflict. The old driver for his printer was not compatible with Vista –– and HP did not intend to release an updated Vista-compatible driver. The advised solution was to get a new printer -- at a cost of another $200.

Then came the last straw. He has two monitors, each a different brand. They both worked fine in tandem when connected to his old PC running XP. However, on his new Vista machine, he could only get one of them to work at a time. He was eventually told that Vista only permits dual displays if the two monitors are of the same or similar brand -- and thus use the same driver software. His choice at this point was to get a new monitor or return his new PC. He chose the latter.

If you're thinking this is where he switches to a Mac, you'd be wrong. He stuck with Dell. However, he wound up getting what Dell claimed to be the only PC they sell that still ships with XP.

My neighbor did not give up on Windows. At least not yet. He did say sayonara to Vista though. In this regard, his travails fit nicely with Apple's recent "I'm a Mac" ads.

To be fair to Vista, some simpler, less expensive, solutions may have been possible (such as a universal driver for the printer or displays). I don't know. And, although they happen less often, similar problems can happen with a Mac.

Still, listening to my neighbor's woes with Vista, I couldn't help thinking that I should have him contact Apple. Maybe he could replace John Hodgman as the PC in Apple's ads.

Comments

aelliot

My Mother in law is a switcher - I got tired of fixing her @#$%ing PC laptop and told her to buy a MacBook or I wasn’t helping her anymore. I got her set up an running and havne’t heard from her since. It’s a beautiful thing.
——-

Spork
[quote comment=“1575”]My Mother in law is a switcher - I got tired of fixing her @#$%ing PC laptop and told her to buy a MacBook or I wasn’t helping her anymore. I got her set up an running and havne’t heard from her since. It’s a beautiful thing.

Anytime you don’t have to hear from the mother-in-law for long periods of time is a bonus. All technically inclined people should push Macs for their in-laws.  smile

jimothy

That he couldn’t use two different brand monitors at the same sounds like a tail. Not from you, Ted, but from whomever in customer support he spoke; probably someone trained to get the person to spend more money. I can see a video card making a difference, and monitor specs to some extent, but the make of the monitor shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

In any case, I’m sure glad I’m a Mac user. Your neighbor’s welcome to join in, when he’s ready!

MJ Eizen

I have had this argument over and over again with Windows users, who proudly talk about how they got a loaded PC for much less than a Mac. While this may be true about the upfront costs, over the long run, a Mac is cheaper to own. I am still using hardware that is 5-6 year old on a new mac without problems.

RobStyles
[quote comment=“1579”]I have had this argument over and over again with Windows users, who proudly talk about how they got a loaded PC for much less than a Mac. While this may be true about the upfront costs, over the long run, a Mac is cheaper to own. I am still using hardware that is 5-6 year old on a new mac without problems.


I have the same issue with PC users.  Although I’ve been sucessful in switching over 6 friends, my brother, cousin and Grandmother (her Mac is actually the 1st computer that she has ever owned), all who are 100% converted to Mac users.  The funny thing is that they all thought they were going to partition their hard drive with Windows but after using OSX never felt the need.


Viva Apple!!

ron lichtenstein

I ran into this same problem last winter. After updating to Vista my Peachtree 2007, Act v 9, MS Office 2002 , HP Printer and HP monitor would not work with Vista. I had to replace or upgarde all of these items, not cheqp. I got so upset with the ensuing problems I threw all the equipment and software into the trash. I have gone through before this with, Win 95, ME XP….no more for me. I went to the apple store in Braintree ,Ma and purchased a new I Mac, Quickbooks, Office, Daylight and my only issue was how stupid i felt for not making this change sooner. The apple I Mac and tiger is the best system i have ever owned, the thing just works like everyone says. No more putting ups with Microsofts bullshit ! While i did have to learn some new software my I Mac runs rings around anything coming out of Microsoft.
There is an old saying ” screw me once shame on you , screw me twice shame on me”. I dont care if Vista pc’s are given away free, i’m not interested. I will never purchase another Microsoft product or service for my home or business again. Bill Gates Im done with you…thank God.

Partners in Grime

A thing I like about my Mac is that it is as fast today as the day I bought it.

Bosco

You have good neighbors. Most of my neighbors are poster children for abortion.

Terrell

Your neighbor couldn’t run FileMaker 8 on Vista, and they want to sell him version 9? Hah! I am still running FileMaker v. 5.5 on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). As well as a lot of other old software that works just fine for me. Like Apple says, “It just works!” Microsoft’s products are their own worst advertisements.

Andrew

FileMaker 8 will work fine on Vista, as will Office 2002 (XP) or just about anything made in 1995 or later.  Yes, some older applications have some compatibility issues, but the vast majority work fine, and those that don’t work initially, usually do when the compatibility mode is activated to simulate an older OS.

Most hardware also works, and the idea of Vista not recognizing different monitors is ridiculous.  Vista has a “generic” monitor drive and even a generic video card driver that actually perform adequately for basic use.  You won’t get Aero, but office, the web, and similar office-type applications work fine on the generic drivers, even at higher resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong, I find Macs infinitely superior to Windows and have converted my entire law office from PCs running XP and Vista to Macs running Leopard.  Microsoft does do some things very well, and I laugh at all of the rants who think it is all crap.  A case in point is that even with all of my employees (and myself) running Macs, we still use Microsoft Office 2008 (absolute necessity) and our email is still based on a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. 

The world communicates in .doc and now .docx, and to use anything other that real, actual Microsoft Word means hours and hours of time wasted reformatting complex documents.  Exchange is a revelation when compared to other email and calendaring systems, and Entourage 2008 is (finally) an excellent client.

Oh, I have a 64 Bit Vista Business partition on my Mac Pro and on that partition I run FileMaker 3, yes version 3, quite a bit older than 8.  Even this ancient 32-bit program written for Windows 95 works fine on 64-bit Vista.

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