My Mac Attack

My day job is working on a Helpdesk. In our company, we have a few users who apparently insist on using Apple Mac computers in a overwhelmingly Windows environment. Being a diligent employee and all-around good guy, I decided to see if I could find a way to get some "hands on" with a Mac, to help with those occasions where I have to assist one of our Mac users.

To be completely honest, I should admit that our Mac users know much more about their systems than the vast majority of our Windows users . . . 

Anyway, a local computer chain was selling some old Mac laptops at a bargain price, so I bit the bullet and purchased one. It's one of the old white, shiny plastic Intel MacBooks and is running OS X 10.6.8 [Snow Leopard]. Apple users will now be chuckling, no doubt, as what I have purchased is a 10-year-old laptop essentially running the Apple equivalent of Windows XP.

I knew that going in, but I just wanted to get my foot in the door at a bargain price, and I think I accomplished that. As a Linux desktop user of several years, I am familiar enough with the Unix-like operating system and file structure, but wanted to actually get to use a version of OS X on my own time - the GUI, the hardware etc.

The hardware is nice, I have to say. Even a ten-year-old Mac laptop is a pretty thing to look at and pleasant to use. The GUI is not that difficult to get used to, and in fact is seems to me like a very polished Linux distro, with a good dose of extra panache thrown in.

The reminders of the "closed" Apple ecosystem do not sit well with me though - they make the hardware and the software, you are tied to an Apple ID for most things, and they decide when they will cut off your upgrade path; a strategy that Microsoft seems to be moving towards too, unfortunately (to my mind, anyway).

While I don't think I could be entirely comfortable actually investing in a new Mac computer (even if cost were not an issue), I just wanted the opportunity too futz around with the Apple OS so I can more confidently help our little Mac enclave at work, and this should serve the purpose in that regard.