Less than perfect Apple experience

Dress MacSo I don’t get flamed, let me first say that there are a lot of things I like about my new iMac. It’s pretty and it has loads of power.

OK, that’s out of the way. Now I can complain about the things I’m not thrilled with on my new computer.

  1. It arrived with the wrong operating system. This cost me more than a few hours of my life. While it’s true I didn’t have to pay for Leopard, Apple shouldn’t have sold me a computer with their old operating system at full price without telling me. When I’ve complained about his to other Apple users I’m basically blown off as if this weren’t a big deal. It’s a big deal. I consider my time to be valuable.
  2. It won’t “just connect” to my Windows network at home. I have fiddled with it for ages trying to get the new operating system to talk to our XP Home desktop and my XP Pro laptop. The only solution I could make work was getting my laptop to talk to the Mac one way. In other words I can use a Windows computer to access the Mac but not visa versa. I’ve read dozens of tutorials and helps and it won’t work. That’s not cool in my book. It takes less than 2 minutes to do this in XP… 4 days and still not working on the Mac.
  3. There is really no introduction to Mac/Leopard available. I would consider myself pretty web/tech savvy when it comes to Windows and it has taken me a week to feel like I know how to do some things. If it weren’t for Patti and a few other long-time Mac users I probably would have just taken it back to the Apple store and went out and bought 2 new Windows desktops. At least with Windows I know how to make stuff work. Seriously, if they are looking for flocks of hardy Windows users to convert they are going to have to make the learning curve a whole lot less. I haven’t even figured out how to install new programs yet… at least not “the right way.” When I booted the thing up the first time I wish there was an introduction I could have watched to teach me most of the stuff I’ve had to ask about.
  4. Customer support is actually pretty average. Other than being American-based and not available 24 hours I don’t see anything atypical about being hung up on, put on hold for long amounts of time, and otherwise not helped. I explained my problem to a customer service person and she actually laughed at me. Way to make me feel like a million bucks, lady.
  5. Too many things that your expected to just know. Apparently you aren’t supposed to put DVDs with paper labels in an iMac. When I discovered this on an Mac users forum I was pretty annoyed. It’s just like the fact that my computer didn’t have Leopard installed… I was supposed to just know that too. So it took me a couple hours but I finally got that disc out.

I know I sound ungrateful. This is a very pretty machine. My kids love it. Heck, I love it. But my experience is so far is that Mac just proves everything Seth Godin wrote in All Marketers Are Liars. The marketing department created a “lie” (e.g. marketing strategy) that their users believe. And they believe it to the core. Whether or not Mac is better than Windows isn’t even the discussion. The assumption that the user base has is that it is a superior product in every conceivable way.

My point here is that I want people who are switching (as I am) to know that it’s not as easy as you think it’s going to be. Switching platforms is a radical change in how you use a computer. I am not saying “don’t do it” but at the same time I want potential people for the switch to know that it’s not a matter of taking the thing out of the box and plugging it in either. It’s a big change. It’ll take you a long time until it feels natural. All the time I am switching back to my laptop because I can do something easier, faster, and better on Windows than I can on Mac.

Put that in a commercial!



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12 responses to “Less than perfect Apple experience”

  1. V. Moore Avatar
    V. Moore

    Sorry about your support experience. No excuse for that!

    A great investment is ‘OS X: The Missing Manual’ by author David Pogue. It’s worth the money to any switcher. There should also be a User Guide in .pdf format in your Documents folder on the Mac.

    Good luck. Be patient.

  2. V. Moore Avatar
    V. Moore

    … and if you buy The Missing Manual, make sure it’s the version for Leopard, OS X 10.5, if that’s the version you upgraded to.

  3. Cathy Avatar

    It isn’t recommended to put dvds/cds with those stick on paper labels in any machine. They can easily gum up the works and cause a huge headache.

  4. Partners in Grime Avatar

    Hang in there … it gets easier!

  5. Dave Avatar

    Regards to #3…

    First, you’re a bit inaccurate. I’d consider yourself pretty savvy on web/tech stuff WINDOWS style. That’s okay – but it’s obvious that you’ve not become comfortable with other ways of doing thing. Which probably means that yes, you should sell your Mac and purchase two PCs. Or better yet, purchase one and then upgrade it two years from now.

    Now, as for “installing” an app bundle… that’s the dead giveaway that you’ve only been exposed to the Windows way of doing things. You simply need to drag the bundle to your Applications folder. There is no install. Uninstalling is the same thing – simply drag it into the Trash.

    Changing your base OS isn’t anything to take lightly. I did it back in 2003. Sure, there’s an adjustment. (Wait until you realize you don’t “click” to close out of Safari, and that – get this – it doesn’t really matter!) Maybe things’ll get better in time for you… but again, if not, then yes, maybe you’re better off selling that Mac for a Windows PC.

  6. Paul Gorishek Avatar
    Paul Gorishek

    Your blog on this topic has been “botted” and is identified on the “Macsurfer” website under the section “Analysis/Commentary/Editorial/Opinion” this weekend so the negativity of your topic may attract numerous Mac aficionados for comment. As a long time Mac aficionado I am disappointed by your experience. Seeing that you are local and being that I live in Troy I would be honored to assist you in your Mac learning experience until you are more comfortable in your purchase decision! Just email if desired.

  7. Jack Jerk Avatar
    Jack Jerk

    Can we read a rant complaining about your girlfriend?

  8. Hobbs Avatar

    I feel your pain. HINT: Please the Help menu in Finder (its the one with the smiley Picasso-like face). There is a section on Switching From Windows including connecting to Windows Shares. There are also some excellent books and articles on the web of previous Windows users who have successfully transitioned to the Mac. One in depth look is from Anand of http://www.anandtech.com/mac (A month with a Mac-in two parts). Have a little patience and remember if it worked just like Windows, it would not be a Mac-expect the behavior to be (somewhat) different. Go ahead and explore all the different Menus and check out the stuff in the System Preferences (the one with the apple logo and switch)-it used to called Control Panel in the previous version of Mac operating system. Within a few weeks you will become sufficiently proficient in the use of the Mac and you may wonder why you made all this public fuss. Good luck!

  9. Todd Porter Avatar

    When I switched from Windows to Mac 4 years ago, I had no problems at all figuring out how things work. But I think that that some of those things are just the way some people are wired to think and process things.

    And I have bought a Windows computer that was put onto the shelf before the new OS had come out and they included the upgrade to the new OS with it. That is a normal procedure when they come out with new OS’s and have boxes already on the shelves.

    In terms of networking, I have never been able to get my Mac and PC talk with one another. Of course, I never was able to get my Windows laptop and Windows desktop PC to talk with one another.

    But it is always nice to have friends who can help you solve problems that you may have. And now you have more people willing to help.

  10. Cathy Avatar

    Hey Adam, don’t rant about your girlfriend. Kristen might not like that so much. 😀

  11. adam mclane Avatar

    no kidding. I didn’t even know I had a girlfriend.

  12. Tim Avatar

    There are two versions of The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition. One is a regular version and the other is a “Switching to the Mac” version.

    The regular one is due to come out on December 15, but the switching one isn’t due out until February.

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