Why Mac? (revisited)

December 11, 2008  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

In the past two weeks, I have had two laptop computers malfunction in some way (three actually, but I didn’t have the third laptop for more than a few hours). The first is my work laptop. It’s a Dell Latitude, provided by my law firm. The second is my wife’s home laptop. It’s a MacBook Pro (a first generation model from 2006).

What’s remarkable isn’t that both problems had problems, but in how easy it was (or not) to recover from those problems. The Dell died first. Or rather, it didn’t die, but had to be put out of its misery. I managed to contract a bad case of spyware/adware. All the adware removal and anti-virus tools at our disposal couldn’t rid the computer of its unwelcome guest. IT hooked me up with a replacement laptop, but that one burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp (it had an undiagnosed hardware problem). The third laptop worked. All of my files were transferred over and I was ready to get back to work. Or was I? The replacement came installed with all of my “core” applications, but I use much more than just the core applications. So I had to install a number of other applications and set up all my preferences and options for the applications before I could really begin using the computer.

The experience rescuing my wife’s MacBook Pro was quite different. The computer still works, but it appears to have the graphics problems that have plagued the early MacBook Pros (the computer still works, but the screen is black). We connected the MBP to a spare Mac Mini with a firewire cable. Then it was simply a matter of running Migration Assistant, selecting the user accounts, and letting it run. A couple of hours later, the Mac Mini was up and running with my wife’s account and applications intact. The only real problem we encountered is a few applications that store a full path name in the preferences (for reasons I won’t get into, when we imported the account we changed the account name). These problems were pretty simply to solve, though. Overall, the whole recovery experience was fantastic on the MBP compared to the Dell with Windows XP. Just another reason I am sold on Mac.


  1. A friend gave me his old G4 MacBook a few months ago as he knew how much I hate everything Microsoft (including XP). I was most grateful. However, the old XP laptop I have now runs Suse Linux – and you don’t need to input or know ANY code these days! – and I’m never off this machine. Why the heck does the world put up with Windows?

    Anyway … Greetings from the UK. I like your site.


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