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Apple's Windows LAN Manager On Why He Switched, & Why His iMac Is On eBay

Apple's Windows LAN Manager On Why He Switched, & Why His iMac Is On eBay

by , 11:00 AM EST, November 13th, 2002

"Mac OS X gets out of your way, while Windows wants to be in your face." So said Aaron Adams, Windows LAN manager and the star of one of Apple's Switch TV ads. When we heard that Mr. Adams was selling his iMac on eBay (link corrected), we wanted to find out why. That answer was easy, he's upgrading to a PowerBook G4 (TiBook), and is using proceeds from the iMac to pay for it, so we took some extra time to talk to this Switcher about why he Switched in the first place.

"I had pretty much reached the breaking point with my computer at home, and I was trying to figure out what to do about it all," explained Mr. Adams. "About that same time, a locally owned Apple retailer opened up just down the street. Every time I drove by I was tempted to go in and look. One Saturday afternoon I finally went inside. An employee there happened to be installing OS X on a Cube and I watched. My initial impression was that it was deceptively simple. Surely there had to be a catch. OS X just did its thing without needing attention. And when it first booted, it just came up and it was ready to use. Nothing needed to be adjusted, no hardware detection, no "saving system settings" and "updating the registry" for half an hour, and no nasty messages or product activation. It just worked."

Mr. Adams was hooked, and he promptly ordered a 500 MHz iBook. That's quite a change for a Windows guy living and working in a Windows world. It was perhaps an even bigger change when his mug was plastered all over TV, in magazines, and on Apple's Web site.

"My friends and family had a great time with the whole thing," said Mr. Adams. "They were very excited that someone they knew was on television and in Time magazine. I think I earned some additional amount of respect from them that I didn't have before." His coworkers, on the other hand, took the opportunity to use the commercial to tease him a bit. That didn't stop them from being interested in his Mac, however. "At the end of the day they're fascinated by it all," he says.

The life of a Switcher isn't all about adoring coworkers, however. "I've gotten every kind of positive e-mail you can imagine, and I've read very nasty, unflattering things about myself that I'd rather not see, and all of it from total strangers." Many switchers have been the recipient of increased attention, some to a greater or lesser degree than others. Says Mr. Adams: "I've had a tiny, tiny peek at small-time stardom, and I have a new respect for real famous people."

Fortunately, his experience with Mac OS X has been much smoother, and he is happy to have left Windows behind. "Everything that I used to do with Windows, I do on my Mac now."

In fact, he has been so happy with his iBook, that he added an iMac G4 to his tech stable earlier this year. "I ordered my [17"] iMac the day after they were introduced because it was exactly the Mac desktop I had been waiting for - fast G4, large LCD, SuperDrive, all in a single enclosure."

That led to helping some friends with digital video editing using iMovie. "I have friends who have their own DV cameras, but they don't have FireWire or anything like iMovie on their PCs. So they bring their cameras here to import, edit and burn." Life can be hard when you use a Windows machine, but having a Mac friend can help ease the burden.

Today, Aaron Adams finds himself with a new job as a Network Infrastructure Manager. "I'd like to use some of the Unix tools available with OS X to help me with that job," he explains, which is why he wants to buy a new PowerBook G4. But why not just use that iBook? "Because I've become addicted to G4 power!," he exclaims. "My little 500 MHz iBook runs 10.2 well, but it's simply not the performer a G4 is."

The iMac auction (link corrected) ends at approximately 5:00 AM CST on Thursday morning (the reserve is set at US$1800). Shortly thereafter, the iBook will go up for auction, too. In their place will be one of Apple's new 1 GHz Titanium PowerBook G4s with a SuperDrive for burning his friends' DV movies, and AirPort for wireless access. Aaron Adams is a happy Switcher.

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