Confessions of a former Mac lawyer

31 Jul 18

I recently took a major personal and professional leap: I switched to Windows from Mac, after nearly 20 years of being a dedicated Apple fan-boy.

I have been a Mac-addict since 2002, when my then-new employer at the time allowed me to acquire whatever new computer I wanted. MacOS X had just been released, with much buzz and hoopla. I chose Mac as an act of defiance, a repudiation of what I perceived to be an oppressively conformist Windows environment. It was also a nod to my past; my first ever home computer was an Apple II+, purchased by my father when I was fourteen.

In law school and throughout my early years as a judicial clerk and an associate, Windows computers were ubiquitous and, essentially, mandatory. At that time, lawyers had two choices for document creation: Corel WordPerfect, or Microsoft Word. Like many lawyers then, I started off with Wordperfect for DOS, with its pervasive blue-screen minimalist workspace. Lacking a mouse or any kind of graphical user interface, one either had to memorize dozens of keyboard commands, or purchase a plastic-laminated cheat sheet with all the commands listed.

Word eventually displaced Wordperfect, at least in my circles, especially after the first Windows operating system emerged. Eventually, Microsoft offered a version of Word for the Mac operating system. This paved the way for my switch back to the Mac in the early aughts.

The last Mac computer I just retired (actually, gave away to a repair-hobbyist friend of mine who thinks he can sell if for parts) was a top-of-the-line 2017 MacBook Pro, the most expensive and technically advanced laptop Apple offered. After nearly a year-and-a-half of use, I came to experience certain frustrations with it, inter alia:
  • Outlook for Mac would constantly throw off error messages for no apparent reason. I just got used to them and let them sit there. And, in order to keep the email program from hanging, I had to constantly archive emails more than a day old.
  • Word for Mac would constantly fail, particularly with redlining. Sometimes it became impossible to distinguish between authors of various changes, and when I would edit my own redlined text, the edit would appear as though a different user made the changes.
  • Random open program windows would suddenly become completely red; to view the window, I would have to resize it, shake it (literally, with the trackpad), or close and open it again. Often it was the browser, so my day would be filled with me shaking my browser just to see what’s happening on the intertubes.
  • The sound speakers would crap out with no warning and for no apparent reason. I would have to reboot to reinstate sound.
  • Speaking of, rebooting was at least a once-a-day phenomenon, as the only cure for various crashes and freezes.
  • One day, my space bar stopped working. Meaning, pressing on the space bar would not result in a space placed on the page. Pressing the space bar did nothing. This renders the entire keyboard, well, kind of unusable. I was able to fix the problem by blowing highly compressed air under the space bar, but many others have not been so lucky. Class actions against Apple are pending. My keyboard was a ticking timebomb, ready to crap out on me on a moment’s notice, perhaps in the middle of business trip. This was the last insult. I could tolerate no more.
I am now the proud owner of a Windows 10 laptop, and it’s like night and day. My productivity has increased dramatically. Suffice to say that Word on Windows is infinitely better than Word for Mac in innumerable ways. Everything is intuitive and easier. It just works. Being able to use a digital pen to strike out and insert text, like normal pen on paper, for example, is a delightful experience.

I don’t think I can ever go back to the Mac.