Three weeks ago, I received my "New Year's Present" from the lab:
And a little piece of my died inside. Have I mentioned how much I hate Macs?
Now, it was nice to finally get a computer. I was really starting to feel like a second-class citizen. When I first joined the lab, the rule was that since money was tight, no more computers would be purchased -- graduate students had to provide their own (i.e., bring in our own personal laptops), and post-docs and techs had to make-do with the current computer situation. But then they started getting upgraded computers, and the other grad student had an unfortunate incident with her laptop and a can of peach spritzer (laptop: 0, peach spritzer: 1). She declared that it was the fault of dragging her laptop back and forth everyday (and not the fault of storing a can of liquid in her laptop case) that it met its untimely end and she would not be bringing her new computer in the lab... so of course, the lab bought her one. And before I knew it, everyone had a fairly new-ish computer... except me.
Then, the lab decided that since everyone else was too lazy to back up their computers on a regular basis, and Macs have a habit of running totally smooth and then just up and dying one day (hence resulting in regular, major data loss), we were going to invest in a terabyte hard drive and network all the computers to it for nightly back-ups. Except that everyone had to be on a Mac... and I still had my PC. And hence, a brand new 20" iMac appeared next to my desk.
Three weeks later? I hate Macs even more than I did before... and I didn't know that was possible. Now, if you're not particularly knowledgeable about computers, I get that they are straightforward and far more idiot-proof than a PC. But... they just don't do the things I want! I know my way around a computer well, and made dozens and dozens of tweaks to my PC to have everything run exactly the way I want. And the Mac? It just doesn't do that. In three weeks, I have called Apple seven times to ask how to get something to work the way I want it to, and seven straight times I was told that Macs just don't have those capabilities. Really? Why on earth would anyone pay significantly more money for an equivalent computer that doesn't do what a PC does? Considering the price, I would expect the Mac to go above and beyond my PC... and it has failed, terribly.
Although, the 20" screen will be useful come poster-making time... if only all the figures I previously made would show up on the Mac (they won't). Just look at the difference between my tiny little portable laptop, and my new ginormous lab computer!
On the other hand, I do sorely miss having all my personal things with me in the lab. Waiting for 10 hour column runs on the weekend is so utterly boring when I don't have my own files (hence the lack of posts lately -- everything I want to post requires pictures, and all the pictures are on my home computer).
However, a big screen isn't enough to sway my vote. Two thumbs down for Apple.