Thoughts on moving to Windows


Maybe it’s a horrendous lack of imagination and vision on my part, but I don’t mind the “lack of innovation” because there’s not much I long for. Come to think of it, there’s not a lot new I want in my OS, whether desktop or mobile – just a pretty stable base for the apps that run on top of it.

Maybe I’m missing out by having switched to consoles for big video gaming in the 90s. (and these days, precious little of that) .. just wanted to avoid the upgrade treadmill of hardware then, followed by a lack of standards in controls (and I guess not digging mouse-WASD) – though I missed out on some cool stuff like GTA III – era mod tomfoolery, minecraft, and am only on the outskirts of some Indie gaming stuff… but for stuff I create, I’m generally ok keeping it in the browser for maximum sharability (and lets be frank, show-offness) anyway… Kirk

Interesting discussion as always. Windows 10 was a major upgrade but I could argue that it was needed to fix the mess that was Windows 8. And the external differences between 7, the previous “good” release, and 10 aren’t that great. It’s still Windows. Maybe I’m missing the nuances, but if, as Kirk says, what we want is a stable base for our apps, MacOS usually has it over Windows.

On the hardware side, where are the major advances in PC technology. Sure there are more powerful CPUs and GPUs and the boxes are prettier, but is it real innovation? The catch on the PC side is that you usually need a new PC every time a new version of Windows comes out. Not so with MacOS.

I’m sure there are Windows users that would disagree with me, and they may well be right, but at this point, I’m still on the Mac side of things and since my fully tricked out 2014 Retina iMac can run most new games at close to maximum and easily handles all my apps, there’s no reason to change… Bob

The Kirk and Bob show is back:)

Categories: PCs

15 replies

  1. Related tangent via Daring Fireball – – 90%+ penetration for Mac in Offices. Now, that’s likely a different 90% (to guess) that Windows enjoyed in the…. err- 90s, which was more exclusive – an office might not have ANY Mac unless it had a designer or two in the place.

    And I know, Windows is now the definite outlier for people doing tech work in Boston.

    Still, as Gruber points out – for Mac to be so strong in Enterprise, but seemingly losing ground in Education (at least for what’s bought by institutions for students, trending to cheap chromebooks) and Design (with Microsoft taking the baton of physical interface) – kind of odd stuff.

    But then again, if it runs chrome (but doesn’t have a value proposition of mostly just working via the cloud, unlike chromebooks) I could probably be content with it.

  2. Kirk and I are here all week. Enjoy the show. Come back soon 🙂

    Seriously though. Large companies prefer to buy something that lasts a long time. I’m surprised that it took so long to switch to Macs. Part of the problem is inertia. Not just not having to change hardware, but having to change apps and systems.

    35 years ago, the education and writing departments in the company I worked for used Macs. That’s where I got my introduction to Macs because I did some tech writing and coursework. As PCs became more common, they and I reluctantly had to switch to PCs. Fast forward to a few years ago, and people had their choice of a PC Notebook or a MacBook Pro. With a few high end exceptions, there were apps on both to get the job done. Unfortunately I just missed out, having a PC at work and a Mac at home.

    • It’s a good note about how special the first Mac was.

      Computers were more diverse then as well. Even though the Mac was such a swerve, even it had the Amiga and Atari ST providing some very different lifestyle choices before Windows copied and leverage the hardware to be the standard.

      It’s easy to draw parallels, some informative, some misleading, with iOS and Android. I guess one critical difference is Apple has really gotten its manufacturing mojo down. Yeah they still have disdain for the low end of the market, and studiously avoid a “race to the bottom” on prices, but the way they make SO much profit on hardware that’s more than the competitors, but not THAT much more.

      (Counterpoint: Nokia, a former employer of mine, also made a TREMENDOUS living on manufacturing chain brilliance/scale and brand loyalty… and then they didn’t. Again, parallels, some informative some misleading)

      • Ah memories. I owned an Atari ST. It was my first personal computer (as opposed to PC). My brother had a Commodore 64. Mid to late 80s, a Mac at work, and the Atari at home. Some other people at work had PCs but most used terminals hooked into our HP3000 mini-computer. And then Windows 3.0 happened. Macs were still very expensive and PCs started coming down in price. And of course there were so many more PC choices.

        • Yeah. I went to University in 1992. At my school Tufts, PCs were a bit more common, but I remember how my friends at Case Western Reserve tended to be standardized on Macs. (Of course, that campus was wired with fiber optics when I was lucky to get the 2400 baud connection and not the 1200 one from the modem pool, so…)

          I had asked for a PC “for college” the year before but mostly because I wanted to play Wing Commander – luckily we had a temporary foreign exchange student traveller who could show me how to configure the damn memory and soundcard.

          (Though i had sweet talked my mom into also letting me get a Tandy laptop – – I think it was a closeout at $500 or so. Oversized gameboy screen, roughly, and no hard drive (!) but a very solid text processor hard wired in, so time from boot to taking notes in class was seconds. There weren’t very many other laptops seen in the classroom then, but otherwise I couldn’t read my notes.)

          • I was about 25 years before Kirk. I took a computer programming course in 4th year at McGill. We used punched cards. Not quite flipping switches. I do remember playing Tic Tac Toe with a learning program on a teletype machine. And they installed Pong at a bar next to a coffee house I frequented.

            Yes Shaun. I remember it well. My manager at work had an Amiga. We had lots of interesting discussions. Luckily we could both play DungeonMaster.

          • Amazing that Amigas, too, could play Wing Commander 😀 But “A PC for college” was a much easier pitch to my mom.

          • Interesting time spans. 50 years ago, when I was in university, I remember very early pocket calculators that were under $100. And that was quite expensive in those days when annual salaries were under $10,000. In fact, the technology was so advanced that we weren’t allowed to use them during exams. We had to use a slide rule and/or log tables. But we did have electricity 🙂

            25 years later and 25 years ago, when Kirk was in university, we’re talking about PCs, luggable computers, and still expensive home computers.

            Now, we’re talking about dirt cheap lightweight or handheld computers that would have been supercomputers 25 years ago and magic 25 years before that. My grandchildren are growing up with iPads and iPhones. To them it’s just another toy. It’s going to be fun to see their looks of disbelief when I tell them about the “old days”.

          • Re: 25 year time jumps – true. But I feel like ’87 to ’97 and ’97 to ’07 was a bigger jump than ’07 to ’17. Not sure how ’77 to ’87 felt 😀

          • I know what you mean about the last 10 years. Obviously more power and refinement, but no earth shattering advances. At least not on the computer side. We did get smartphones and the iPhone of course.

            As for ’77 to ’87, the PC came out in 1981. I remember one of the people in the accounting department had an Apple II with VisiCalc. It was looked on with suspicion by the other people in the department. Those were the days of the mini-computer. Mainframes were still very large and ridiculously expensive. Our HP3000 mini was the size of a refrigerator. Another fridge-sized piece was the tape drive. Yes, reel to reel tape. I think it had 64K of memory and two 50meg hard drives, each the size of washing machines.

            LOL I still remember in the late 80s debating about getting a 20meg or 40meg hard drive in a PC. Who needed all that space!

          • Ha, yeah. I think my college PC had 128Mb… what’s weird when you talk about 20meg, 40 meg — because floppies were what 1.4 Mb? Maybe 720K. So a hard drive held a lot, but not THAT much more than the removable media.

          • Although they were called floppies, they were actually diskettes. I remember 5 1/4″ real floppies. The first 3 1/2″ diskettes were 360K. The Atari ST had double density at 720K. They eventually went to 1.4Meg.

          • Yeah, 5 1/4 were the standard for me on C=64 an Atari 8-bits.
            Hmm. Looks like 170Kb for the C=64. So like, a hard drive (heh, “Winchester Disk”) was 100-200 floppies in a box. I guess that moves it back into “oh that’s a lot” territory, relatively.

            I saw a 8″ floppy lurking around my computer lab once.

            Jumping forward- ZipDisks, they were kind of cool – 100 Mb, later 250 Mb and even 750 — not so great in a day when 16Gb can get lost in your pocket, but impressively on par with fixed storage of the time. Plus great industrial design for both the external reader and the disks themselves.

        • Has the Atari STE. Remember face to face trolling with Amiga owners:)

  3. As a child of the Commodore 64 who looked on with envy at my friend’s Amiga, they will always feel futuristic to me, even as i learn enough about them to see how PCs (obviously) eclipsed them many years ago through sheer horsepower

    (Oh, speaking of random old computer nostalgia, I don’t know if people know about , a blog I did going over all these type-in games from Compute’s Gazette. )

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