This was not entirely unexpected. It was getting old, gets worked hard, and has been on its last legs for a while. I had just been hoping to get a few more months out of it.
So once I had dealt with the fact that this time it was not going to come back on, I had to face the age old dilemma - Mac or PC*?
A lot of people feel pretty strongly about this question, and many strongly identify with being one or the other.
The Mac users I found were especially passionate about Macs. When asked 'Mac or PC?' They would all reply, 'Mac definitely'. 'Why?' 'Because they are better.' 'In what way?' 'In every way.'
I liked the fact that they were so confident, and obviously very dedicated to their chosen brand, but as Macs are relatively more expensive than PCs, I sort of expect them to be better, but wanted to know in what ways, and why I should pay a surcharge for Mac when obviously PCs work well for a lot of people. No one seemed to be able to give me a good answer to this, except that perhaps I would get a longer lifespan out of a Mac, and that if I decided to sell it, it would retain its value better than a PC.
I tried to do as much research as possible, and the one article that I came across that probably helped most in making up my mind is this article by Hunch. It is an article about a study done about the traits and characteristics of people who identify as a 'PC person' or a 'Mac Person'.
Some of the key differences were that Mac people saw the world in a light of 'sameness' and therefore 'express a need to be perceived as different or unique' whereas PC users see the world as different enough. This difference is reflected in their aesthetic choices such as Mac users being into retro design and one-of-a-kind clothing, whereas PC users are more likely to make practical choices to get the job done rather than making an overt design statement. Media choices are also likely to be different, e.g.; Mac users more likely to be into Indy films, PC users into more mainstream films and also sport.
So yes, when it came to investing a substantial amount of money in a piece of technology, I was most influenced by the fact that Mac and PC users have different aesthetic taste.
I am pretty conservative in many ways, but don't like to see myself as mainstream. I am attracted to handmade things, old furniture, and love op-shops and markets. I hate watching sport on TV.
So, I am now the proud owner of a new Mac. Am I happy with my choice? Change is hard, but time will tell whether I have made the right choice. So far it works, and that is a lot more than I can say for my old PC.
Do you identify with being a Mac user or a PC user?
Do you not identify yourself in these terms? :)
* Obviously as PC stands for Personal Computer, they are all PCs, and it is in fact a Windows vs Mac question, but as most people phrase it as a PC vs Mac issue, I decided to use this terminology as well.