A few months ago, I made the decision that my next computer will be a Mac. I have used Windows or DOS systems since I was a kid, so this is no small change for me. I have been unhappy with Windows PCs for quite a while, but the last straw was probably the laptop (a Dell) I got my wife as a replacement for her trusty IBM Thinkpad which had finally given out. The Dell, which we now refer to as “the crappy computer”, turned out to be a complete piece of junk. We just found out that the DVD drive doesn’t work, and there is a constant high-pitched whine whenever the mouse cursor is moved.
I have been relatively happy with the last few computer purchases (a Sony desktop and a Sony laptop) hardware-wise, but I’m not satisfied with the available Windows software for video editing and picture management. I use Photoshop Elements 3.0 for managing the family digital pictures (all 12,000+ of them), and while I like the picture tagging features, the whole product is not well-integrated enough, and it is way too slow. Picasa also didn’t do it for me because it doesn’t offer good picture tagging features. I’ve also tried in vain to find good Windows video editing software. Premiere Elements came close, but after trying to get used to it I found that I did not enjoy using the product, so I knew that the videos of our new baby would continue to pile up in the queue, waiting to be edited.
The iLife suite seems to be much better than anything available on Windows. I’ve really liked it when I tried it out in the Apple store, and Apple seems to be solidly behind the product, so I am confident that it will continue to improve as my needs expand. iPhoto and iMovie are great, and I was especially impressed with GarageBand, because I have never found any music recording software that was actually intuitive.
So the main reason I want to buy a Mac is because I need one to run iLife. Sure, the hardware looks cool. Sure, the new Tiger OS has some cool feature. And sure, I like my iPod and want more stuff from Apple. But just like how Visicalc helped to sell Apple IIs, the thing that has sold me on getting a Mac is the software that runs on it.
Update: On Tuesday, July 26th, I bought my wife one of the new 12 inch iBooks. So far I'm very impressed. One small issue is that I'm trying to figure out a good way to disable the mouse acceleration. Any ideas or tips?