Just over two years ago I was really excited about a purchase of my IBM ThinkPad. It had a really “fast” processor and “state of the art” security. How quickly my enthusiasm waned, however. My computer became slower and slower and more and more frustrating every day.
At the same time I purchased a PC my partner Victor Lund purchased a Mac Book. His computer was intuitive, fast and just about never crashed. It was great for building slick graphics for power point presentations and terrific at collaborating and editing documents. It was getting consistently “smarter” with the way it interacted with CRM programs and social networks. I was JEALOUS!
This experience led me to really want a MAC Book Pro of my own. While I am solidly NOT an early adopter of hardware solutions, I could see how much time I could save every day by the move. Still I hesitated, though, because I was fearful of client repercussions. What if I sent a file from a MAC and my PC clients could not read it? What if I sent a Power Point presentation from a MAC and the margins or graphics did not project the same way on a PC? How difficult would it be for me to learn an entirely new usability structure? What if I lost my files in the transition from one operating system to another? All of these concerns delayed my decision to make the move.
Finally, after installing the VISTA operating system and completely choking my computer, I was finished with my PC. I got in the car and took a ride to the MAC Superstore. They had exactly the computer I wanted in stock so I walked out with one. In several hours all of my files were transferred to the Apple. I lost no data at all. Usability was really easy to pick up. I have been using it for only a week and I am already feeling very comfortable with it. I used it to produce my Power Point presentation for the MLXChange User Groups last week with out a hitch. I have sent several files to clients and have experienced no PC compatibility issues yet. So far, so good.
There are still a few things that I am adapting to, however…things like how fast it is. I think there’s something wrong because a PDF of a 172-page document is saved within seconds. Creating a PDF that large on my PC that would have been a very painful process. I am also still learning to adjust to the fact that I can just plug-in my printer without having to install any printer drivers. It’s so easy sometimes that I almost don’t trust it!
Now here’s the best part I have learned through this process. Macs are so powerful that you do NOT have to give up your dependence on Microsoft until you are completely ready! Using an inexpensive program called “Parallels” (79.95) my Mac Book Pro actually is operating three computers on one machine. I have complete access to all of my files in VISTA and in Microsoft XP. That is in addition to full access to all of my files on the MAC operating system. I have, in effect, been able to keep all of the comfort and familiarity of my Windows machine while transitioning over to a MAC. While the transition has been pretty painless, it still provides me comfort to know that I can go back to Windows whenever I feel the need.
We hear many times from REALTORS® that they are frustrated that they cannot use a MAC because their MLS system can only be accessed via Internet Explorer. The great thing about Parallels software is that you can get access to your Windows-based MLS system while having all of the fun and functionality of a Mac for all of the rest of your work.
So if you are like me and have been thinking about switching to a Mac, but have been hesitating, here’s my advice… GO FOR IT! It’s a lot easier than you think!
By the way, Apple is NOT a client of the WAV Group. I normally do not write product endorsements. This product has made such a big difference in my business life, however, that I felt compelled to write this post, not as a consultant, but as a computer user.