My month with a Mac

Aside from an occasional few minutes playing with a Mac, I’ve spend the majority of my two decade involvement with computers with Microsoft-based systems (including several versions of MS-DOS). I had purchased a Mac about 6 months ago to experiment with iOS development, but still didn’t use the 13″ MacBook Pro much more than occasionally.

More recently, I’ve taken a job with a large consulting firm that has a fairly reasonable BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, and I’ve converted my Mac to my “daily driver.” The primary reason was not what one might expect. Basically, the standard-issue Windows computer supplied by the company is loaded with corporate “crapware” (management, monitoring, asset tracking, etc) that essentially slows the otherwise capable system to a crawl. While most of the business-critical applications I use work on the Mac, the preponderance of corporate crapware does not, allowing me to run a fairly “clean” system and still comply with corporate policy. Furthermore, I prefer not to put personal applications on a company machine, and BYOD flips the equation, allowing me to carry only a single laptop.

I’ve not experienced the magical and revolutionary enlightenment, singing choirs of angels, or inner peace most Mac advocates describe, but I can say that it’s a high-quality bit of hardware, married to what’s essentially a commercially supported and tightly integrated UNIX-style OS.

At clients I’ve seen increasing numbers of Macs wandering corporate hallways, and it’s fairly easy to see why. Most companies are loading their machines with “lowest common denominator” images, and software that appeals to IT but ruins the end-user experience. With attractive hardware and a quick, crapware-free, modern OS, it’s hard not to like the Mac.

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