Monday, May 23, 2011


I bought my first computer, an Apple II, with 16KB in 1978. Eventually we bought more memory (all the way up to 48 KB) and a 5.25 floppy drive. Next up was a 16KB expansion card, so I now had 64KB, and could load floating point basic onto the 16KB card. Also I got a modem (300 baud), parallel printer card. My next computer was an Apple IIe. I added two 5.25 floppies, a 3.5 floppy, a Z80 Card so I could run COBOL on CP/M, serial interface for a printer, external 2400 baud modem. These two computer satisfied our computing needs for a long time. In 1991, I bought my first MS-DOS computer, a CompuAdd store, now out of business. No Windows yet, but a nice text manager so I did not have to do everything at the DOS command line. Eventually I did buy and install Windows 3.1, eventually upgrading to Windows 3.11 (the networking version) once I had purchased an IBM butterfly-keyboard ThinkPad. My home network used the BNC cables, not Ethernet.

My daughter bought a Compaq (Windows 95), which was added to the network. The Apple II and IIe were never networked, but I was able to hook up a printer that had both serial and parallel interfaces to the MS DOS computer and an Apple II computer and send print jobs at the same time. It all worked out quite well.

We have had many computers over the years. I bought an IBM PC (Windows 98), a Ford HP computer (Windows 98 2nd edition), another Compaq (Windows 98 2n edition), HP laptop (Windows 98, later overwritten with Windows NT 3.5), another IBM laptop with Windows 98 2nd edition and OS2.

My son had a Dell computer (Windows 98), We got another another HP laptop with Windows XP (still in use) that went to Europe in 2006, and another larger HP laptop (no longer working), and two HP Media Center PCs (Windows XP Media Center Edition). My son now uses an HP with Windows XP, put restored/refurbished by my daughter.

In most of these computers (including the Apple IIs), we have added memory, added or upgraded hard-drives, floppy drives and CD- and DVD-drives. Special input/output cards have been added for serial, parallel, USB, Firewire, TV Tuner, modem and other special interfaces. in late 2008, I was having some problems with my HP Desktop Windows XP Media Center PC. So I began looking around for a replacement. Vista was out and based on the reports of its performance, I just did NOT want a computer with Vista. I would have taken a new computer with Windows XP, but that was beginning to become difficult to get. One day, I saw a MacBook (white) at MicroCenter, a local computer store, priced at just $799. Windows laptops were ranging in price from $599 to 1099 for similar features, but they only had Vista. After a couple weeks, I bought that MacBook.

I was installed OpenOffice (office suite, MS Office compatible), Thunderbird (email and calendar), Firefox (browser) and I was ready to go. I bought a book to read, and I surfed and read and found free programs for the things I needed (HTML editor, FTP program, Accounting program), Apple already had the rest of the programs I needed (see the iLife suite). Later, I liked it so much I investigated how I could run the couple Windows programs we still needed.

Using Parallels, I installed Windows XP and Ubuntu on my Mac. I was able to run Legacy, my preferred genealogy software program, which only runs in Windows. Reunion, a Mac genealogy program is just not quite as good as Legacy. So now I was ready to convert Diane!

I have had my MacBook for about 2 years. The iMac is about 1.5 years old and the MacBookPro we've had for about a year. Last year I got a Mac-Mini. There are still 4 Windows XP computers being used in the house and all are networked, along with one networked printer.

Macs have built-in Wireless-N, cameras (not the Mac Mini). Today most Windows machines have these also, but not in 2009. Computers that had Wireless-N and cameras, cost more that comparable Macs!

Macs do not have the bloatware that Windows computers have. There are no free trials that keep asking you to purchase something. There are no links to game companies or photo print companies or online companies.

Installing new software is easy - just click on the downloaded DMG file and you are in most cases just asked to copy the application into the application folder. If you want to delete and application, just delete it from the application folder and the application is gone; sometimes that are some files in the library that should be removed, but this is nothing like the registry. There is no registry cleanup required like in the Windows world.

Macs just work!