March 19, 2012
by Mark Ollig
After much procrastinating, yours truly has decided the time has come to get a new computer.
My HP Pavilion laptop, running with Microsoft’s Windows XP, has served me fairly well over the last seven-plus years; however, lately I have been dealing with repeated annoying computer crashes.
The computer’s hard drive has already been replaced and the internal cooling fan is running a lot more these days, as it works to keep the computer components cool.
All the accumulated dust was removed from inside of the computer.
And yes, I do have the laptop sitting on one of those USB-powered fan cooling trays.
Performing a system restore, and using various utilities to check/optimize the hard disk and software program drivers, worked to no avail.
It was around 1983, when I first started using an IBM XT personal computer with PC-DOS.
In 1986, my next computer came with the new Microsoft Windows OS.
Since then, I simply concluded I would be a Microsoft Windows user forever.
It seems this conclusion was a bit premature on my part.
One reason for my decision to switch to a new operating system was after becoming disappointed (and somewhat confused) with what I had seen and read regarding the upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 “metro-tiles-pinning” operating system.
I have decided to skip Windows 8 for now and make the “giant leap” to Apple and their desktop OS X and mobile device iOS.
A few years ago, on my birthday, in their attempt to bring me into the world of 21st century computing, my kids gave me an Apple iPodtouch, which I still use today.
After talking with my oldest son, Mat Ollig (who today uses an Apple iMac and iPad), he suggested I make the switch to Apple.
“I originally got a MacBook because it was mandated by my college,” Mat said.
“Making the switch to Apple was hard at first. The interface was so well-designed, and I was so used to the arcane flow of Windows, that I hesitated in the beginning. But then, everything clicked. With Windows, I needed to install this, tweak that, and update everything manually. Once I realized that Apple worked tirelessly to understand and create an experience based on how people intuitively worked, I understood that I needed to stop thinking like a computer geek and more like a person. It made me realize that a computer could be more of a tool than a nuisance,” Mat told me.
Mat also talked about when he bought an iPad.
“I originally got the first iPad in concert with my first iMac, the idea being that I would have a powerful desktop that could run all my programs, and a small, portable device for showing off my artwork, sending email and surfing the Internet,” he said.
Mat concluded with “All in all, the combination of desktop and tablet make the most sense in the world. And with, iCloud backing up documents and calendars, it’s almost like taking your desktop with you.”
And with that, yours truly has decided (for now) to pull the curtains on Microsoft Windows.
With a bit of trepidation, I am going to get progressive and go with either the Apple iMac, or the Apple Mac mini, for my home computing.
While away from home, I will need a mobile computer.
Back in the day, having a mobile computer that was truly portable usually meant getting a new laptop, notebook, or even a netbook computer.
I needed to remind myself those mobile computers are being replaced with today’s more compact, mobile computing devices.
While talking with Mat, he told me flat out to forget laptops, saying he has never missed having a laptop since getting his new iPad.
And so, I’ve made the decision to go ahead and buy the new Apple iPad using the iOS 5.1 mobile operating system.
Last week I wrote about how remarkable the new iPad was; I think that column may have also persuaded me into buying one.
While on-the-go, some of the things I will be doing with my new iPad include: reading online newspapers, books, and magazines; reading and sending emails, interacting with my blog and social media sites, doing research, taking and uploading pictures and video; possibly playing Angry Birds, and of course, working on this column.
Being I will be typing a lot of text using the iPad, I will buy Apple’s wireless keyboard instead of tapping my fingers on the iPad’s flat keyboard display screen.
As many of you know, I prefer the tactile feel and physical feedback provided by a QWERTY keyboard.
The new iPad’s 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution within a 9.7-inch Retina display screen will be much easier on one’s eyes when reading and typing text, which yours truly will very much appreciate.
Hopefully soon, I will find myself comfortably seated at a table in the local coffee shop with my new iPad and a freshly brewed cup of coffee, happily typing away on next week’s edition of Bits & Bytes from a wireless keyboard.
I enjoy learning what is new in technology and sharing it with others who enjoy reading my particular slant on it via this blog. I am also a freelance columnist for my hometown's print and digital newspaper. - Mark Ollig