Early last week, my new Dell Computer arrived. Luckily I was at home and it did not have to sit on my door step very long. My nearly twenty years at Apple might have caused some good natured teasing from my neighbors.
Setting up the Dell was an interesting experience. I really did not run into any trouble, but it did take a lot longer than the Macs that I have used. There are a lot more cables. I was absolutely amazed at all the security precautions that for the first day or so seemed to take up most of my time on the computer. I did get Firefox, iTunes for Windows, and the Microsoft Office updates all installed.
My surprise of the day was when I went to shut down the system and was told that I could not shut down since someone was logged into my computer. It did not take long to figure out it was MS once I was told that they would shut down the system after they were done with it.
Somehow the next morning, updating my virus definitions caused my virus program to reinstall but I have managed to get back to normal.
The key reason I actually bought the system was so I could upload GPS maps under Windows. Now I can buy my GPS and we will have a Pentium based Linux box as a bonus. Of course there are a few other reasons that made the purchase worthwhile.
We expect to get the Linux going by installing a second drive this week when my son, Michael, visits for Thanksgiving. I think the plan is to install Fedora. I was told Linux on the Mac has enough additional driver and software challenges that a Linux beginner like myself would have better luck on a Pentium based system.
The Dell also has the added benefit of providing Windows Office experience for anyone in the family who wants to venture into the Windows-centric business world.
One of the other reasons for the Windows box was to test web pages and web enabled databases that I am building over the winter.
It has been rewarding to see how the other 98% lives. I now can understand why most people find MS Windows an acceptable substitute. The prices in the Windows world are exceptional and there is plenty of choice out there. My whole Dell 3 ghz system with flat panel display, MS Office, four years of warranty and accident policy was only about $300 more than Apple's cheapest flat panel display.
Of course I still feel much more secure on OS X but perhaps that will change over time. It should come as no surprise that I am doing this writing on my trusty Mac. It just seems more natural. I believe most people would be very surprised at how easy computing is on a Mac, but perhaps they would run into a similar software challenge like I did on GPS and end up with a Windows box anyway.
It will be interesting to see how easy the Linux installation is and how well the Dell software handles some of my many digital pictures.