The Aftermath of Part I

Before proceeding with this article, please read through the first Mac article, "A Month with a Mac article", to get a foundation for the purpose, perspective and background that led to this article. This article is very much intended to be a sequel and not something that will stand on its own. If you've never used Mac OS X at great lengths or haven't read through the positive and negative points of the Mac platform from a PC user's perspective (from the first article), go back and read Part I before continuing.

When I originally committed to doing a Mac section on AnandTech, I actually committed it to the readers before discussing it with the rest of AnandTech staff. So when it came time to implement it, the rest of the staff didn't see much of a place for Mac articles on AnandTech. It took a lot of convincing (as well as some executive privilege) for the establishment of the Mac section, and then came the publication of the first Mac article: A Month with a Mac: A Die Hard PC User's Perspective.

Within the first three days of publication, that little Mac article skyrocketed to becoming one of the all-time most popular articles ever published on AnandTech. The flood of emails that came in as a result of that article is greater than the response to any single product launch that I'd ever seen. Even to this day, I get tons of emails from users just now stumbling upon the article, searching for PC user experiences with OS X as folks contemplate trying out OS X for the first time, thanks to the release of the Mac mini.

Immediately after the publication of the first Mac article, I already thought about doing a follow-up. The scope of the first article was already quite massive and the depth was as thorough as I could be without writing a book on the experience, yet there was already so much more to cover.

Then there were the responses to the article - Mac users complained that I was being too harsh on the one-button mouse, PC users complained that I was being too positive on the OS, but then the vast majority of users actually provided some very good feedback, asking for more information in certain areas. In fact, I'd say that the Mac article resulted in the most positive email responses that I've had from an article to date. I introduced the original article by talking about how difficult of an article it was to write, but after the overwhelming response to it, a sequel didn't seem that difficult.

One problem with these types of articles is that they inevitably take much longer to put together, simply because there are no structured tests to run and analyze. Articles like this are very much about the experience, and to do the experience justice, it's truly something that you have to integrate into your daily routine for a while. Prior to the first Mac experiment, I'd used Macs at various stages in my computing life, but never actually trying to integrate them into my daily routine. Writing an article based on any of those experiences would have turned out very differently compared to what the first article ended up being.

The downside to these long-term subjective evaluations is that the hardware industry changes at a spectacular pace and a lot happened during and immediately after the publication of the first Mac article that changed things dramatically. Before diving into the focus for this article, I'd like to briefly touch on some of the hot items that have surfaced since Part I.

What's Changed Since Part I
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  • MIDIman - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    As always - great article! Two of my friends last year moved from PC to apple notebooks, but kept their PC desktops.

    Here's to looking forward to your Mac Mini article ;)
  • xype - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    I predict in one year's time Anand will be advocating Macs on the anandtech forum, flaming PC users and wearing Steve Jobs themed tshirts all the time! Teeheee!


    Ok, maybe not. But the article is nice and I hope it manages to get more users to look into alternative platforms, be that Macs or Linux desktops or whatever else is interesting and/or useable.
  • jtntwozz - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    nice article
    well done anand
  • zekester - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    Yes, Sidetrack might be just what the doctor ordered. Personally I've been using Mac notebooks long enough to have developed the knack of hitting modifier keys and the trackpad simultaneously -- with one hand, no less -- but for the PC switcher/adder who's missing that second button, Sidetrack can separately map the hardware button and touchpad to yield "left" and "right" clicks.

    BTW it seems to be $15 now, but still shareware so you can try before you buy.
  • grug2k - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    I thought I'd point out theres a program called Sidetrack available at It allows you to fully customize the trackpad behaviour. I have it set up so tapping the trackbad now acts as a mouseclick, I don't have to use the button at all (except click+dragging). Additionally, tapping the bottom right corner acts as a right click (fancy that), and the very right edge acts as a scrollwheel.

    It used to be free but I think its $10 now. Either way, well worth it, and I consider it essential for any iBook or Powerbook user.
  • crazycarl - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    nice article!
  • addragyn - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    Apple recently released their results for the previous quarter, iBook sales were up 35% over the same quarter last year.

    271,000 iBooks / $297 million
  • knitecrow - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    last i checked, apple ibooks sales weren't too good. I wonder if centrino marketing and Penium-M had anything to do with it.

  • HermDogg - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    I still say new PBs show up tomorrow or Tuesday. Mark my words!

    Excellent article.
  • habibbijan - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    Nice article Anand. I enjoyed it.

    You don't need to "ctrl-click" the Applications shortcut in the dock to expand it. Just click-and-hold for a second. You'll get the same results.

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