I have always been a P.C. man. Apple didn’t appeal to me for many years because it couldn’t run all my business software. Also, Apple computers were too expensive and I didn’t trust any computer that was named after fruit.
However, I have been watching with interest those new Apple TV ads that have a guy in a business suit (who is the P.C., or IBM compatible personal computer) talking to a young with-it guy in jeans (who is the Apple computer in the ad). Well frankly, I look more like the P.C. guy and at first I resented the ad’s subtle put-downs of IBM style personal computers, the ones like mine who run Microsoft Windowss.
The most recent ad, however, really hit me where I live. It shows the PC guy at a party with a bunch of other guys in suits, and the Apple guy is there too, in his usual jeans and casual wear. Overhead there is a neon sign with VISTA blinking. The PC guy remarks, some party, as Vista is the first major Microsoft update in five years. The PC says that with Vista, now he has to replace his graphics card, install more memory and now some of his old programs and peripherals no longer work. “Ain’t that the truth,” I find myself responding.
I bought a new HP notebook computer in January, and installed Vista for Business and liked the way it looks and works. However, some of my older programs really don’t work with it, though most of them do. The thing that really griped me though, was that my printer no longer works. They don’t use parallel ports anymore, and now I have to buy a new printer. Okay, I went to Staples and bought a reasonably priced HP 1020 laser printer. I installed it, and guess what? It doesn’t work because Hewlett Packard hasn’t written a Vista driver for it yet, though they are supposed to do so by July. I took the printer back. Now when I want to print, I hook up my old Compaq, which has a parallel port and works with my HP 1100 printer.
This was bad enough, but in February I had a liquid spill that damaged my new HP computer. The damage was not covered by my warranty. I took it to an HP partnered repair site where they kept if a full two months, unable to get the needed replacement parts from HP. The computer needed a new motherboard and a new keyboard. HP said that only they could replace the keyboard, and it would cost $600. Fortunately, the repair shop found somewhere else to order the keyboard, so it only cost $135 to replace. But HP wouldn’t supply a new inner cable (worth about $5) so my cute blue lights on the dashboard no longer work. One of my USB ports no longer works either, and ditto my built-in web cam. So after paying $945 for repairs, my HP notebook computer now functions, but without all of its original hardware accessories. Hey, thanks HP. Your customer service sucks.
Yes, Apple, you have finally got my attention, after being a PC man for 20 years. The Apple ads are very effective because they tell it like it is. Microsoft’s performance with VISTA and HP’s lack of performance with customer support have made me a potential defector to Apple. If you can’t count on the software or the hardware being fully functional, why but it at all?
When I’m flush with cash again, I will give serious thought to buying a Mac Powerbook. Besides, who wears suits these days anyway?