Friday, April 20, 2012


I found out today that a peer of mine passed away last year. We had the same major in college. He was a really cool guy, who was doing cool things with his life. And now he is survived by his wife and child.

I don't know why, but finding out about his death and reading others' tributes to him had a really powerful effect on me. It made me realize how delicate life is. One moment you can be breathing, and performing other bodily functions and the next moment not.

Here's to life. Here's to living life to the fullest everyday. The only regret you should have each day is that it wasn't long enough.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why I prefer a Mac over a PC

When I bought my first MacBook in 2007, I drank the Apple Kool-Aid deeply. I was a big fan. But over the years, as the number of programs I installed increased, as the storage space decreased, and as the average complexity of software increased, I became somewhat less excited with Macs. Also, because I had the old 10.4 Tiger OS, there became a number of programs that I couldn't run or update. I thought about going back to a PC. Who knows, I thought, maybe the new Windows 7 made some significant strides in catching up with Macs. My chance came when I had to buy a PC for my job.

I went to Best Buy and bought a brand new Acer Aspire with 2.13 Ghz duo-core Pentium processor with 4 GB of ram and a 500 GB hard-drive for $300. I then sold my 5-year old, that had a Pentium processor duo-core 2.16 Ghz, 1GB of ram MacBook for $300. Even though the free market said that the deal was equivalent, I thought I got a better deal by buying the Acer because it was brand new. I would soon find out that even though 5 years had passed, my MacBook was the better deal. Here are four ways that illustrate this.

Superior DVD players - I don't really understand how DVD players work, and I don't know how much of the DVD experience is due to the software or the hardware, but this much I do know: MacBooks play DVDs a lot better than other products. I have some DVDs that I cannot play on my laptop or the standalone DVD player. But put that disc in a MacBook and there is no hesitation. My analysis may be biased because I have lower-end types of DVD players (i.e. Acer laptop, and a relatively cheap Sony DVD player), but the point is that Apple excels at video content.

Processing power and memory (efficient and strong and powerful) - I expected that since I had quadrupled my ram in my new purchase, that I would be able to have all sorts of programs open at the same time with little to no lag. I was disappointed when the first day I was waiting abnormally long for a couple tabs to run at the same time (one of which was a video playing). The fluidity and seamlessness of running programs on a new MacBook cannot be overstated. It's a magical experience.

Reboots - One thing that I have always hated about Windows is the number of reboots that are required. You ever have a problem and the first recommendation is to reboot. Install a new program? Reboot. System update? Reboot. I thought that some of this would change with Windows 7, but unfortunately that is not the case. Not only am I pestered with annoying popups on a regular basis that I need to restart my laptop for a security update, the longest I can delay the reminder is 4 hours. The other annoying thing is that if you are not attending to your computer when this notice appears, it will restart automatically closing the programs you were running. I hate this more than almost anything.

Quick reboot (turn on) - I was spoiled over the years by my MacBook by getting accustomed to opening up my laptop, and being able to immediately get to work. The PC is not very instantaneous at all. Windows 7 has made improvements since XP, but nowhere near where Apple has been for a long time.

There are other features that I like about Macs, but these are the main ones. In sum, Apple is way ahead of the curve. If you are debating about the two, and you want your computer to last a long time, go with your gut and choose an Apple product.