Rich and I have affectionately referred to die-hard Mac lovers as "MacTards". It has been an ongong joke around here, and we’ve both used the word in various posts around PCMech. It even has a budding entry on Wikipedia! Today, I ask the question: Am I turning into a Mactard?

The Background Story

Picture 1 Rich is the first guy to introduce the word "mactard" into my vocabulary. I found it hilarious. Admittedly, I had Mac users set aside in my head as a weird little band of renegade computer users. You know, the weed-smoking, free love people who happened to like computers. I’d seen people practically want to reproduce with their Macs. So, call it ignorance or whatever you want, I had this stereotype of the Mac user and the word "mactard" fit the bill quite nicely.

PC users KNOW that I was not alone in that assessment of Mac users. 🙂

I started in computers back in the DOS days. I was king of the command line and I really loved playing around. I started using Windows back with Windows 3.1 and stayed with Windows all the way up to Windows Vista. Everything I had done on computers in my life, including building this very website, was all done in Windows.

Rich is also a long time Windows user, however he is also a big fan of Linux. Rich, though, is not a fan of Apple. He did have a quick attempt at buying a Mac before I ever met him and ended up returning it rather quickly. I’ll leave him to tell the story on that.

The Switch

When I began using Windows Vista, I was disappointed. The computer was just flaky as hell, and I wrote about it quite a bit here at PCMech. While wrestling all the incompatibilities of Vista, I saw the promotions about the coming Leopard version of OS X. It looked enticing, as does most things Apple promotes.

I am also a blogger (obviously) and that means I follow the writings of other bloggers. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the number of techies who prefer Apple products. On my trip to Seattle to attend Gnomedex, I saw that most of the A-list bloggers in attendance used Apple products. These guys were every bit as tech inclined as I am, yet they preferred Apple. So, I did my research and I observed people’s opinions online. I was thinking about going Mac.

Long story short, I ended up buying a Mac Pro on the day of Leopard’s release. Yes, I even stood in line for about 15 minutes at the Tampa Apple store to buy this thing.

When I first started using the Mac Pro, I experienced a few hiccups. I also experienced some confusions inherent in moving your entire computing life to a new operating system. All in all, though, the transition was smooth.


Today, I own a Mac Pro and I have a Mac Mini on the way. In the near future, I intend to buy a Macbook. My current notebook is Vista-powered and, while it does work, it does like to throw me the continual Vista problems. Periodic lockups. Reset screen resolutions. Programs mysteriously not allowed to save files. Yet, on the Mac Pro, I have had zero problems. Zip. Nada. I run Windows XP in a virtual machine on the Mac and I use Spaces to go back and forth between the two operating systems as needed. I pretty much use Windows for those Windows programs that I just don’t want to use or can’t on the Mac. I use Windows for:

  • Quickbooks – because I don’t want to buy the Mac version
  • Quicken – same reason
  • Windows Live Writer – because this blog client is the best out there and is only available under Windows
  • Paint Shop Pro – because I’m used to it and haven’t yet found a similar option I liked for the Mac.
  • Excel – because I have a few spreadsheets that use functions particular to Excel and I’m simply not forking over the scratch for MS Office for the Mac.

All in all, I use OS X about 90% of the time and the rest I am using Windows.

So, Am I a Mactard?

Well, per Rich’s definition, probably not. However, I do now count myself in the ranks of those who actually prefer Macs, are willing to pay the extra money for it, and am actually excited about new developments from Apple. So, a borderline mactard, perhaps.

One thing you will never see me doing is getting emotional about my Macs. The Mactard video certainly doesn’t describe me and never will.

I have to use Windows still. Some of my programs use it. Plus, running a site like PCMech, I simply cannot afford to get out of touch with the OS that most of my audience uses.

That said, I have now officially delegated Windows to the virtual machine. And just as soon as I can afford to get that Macbook (have baby bills to pay off first), I will be 100% on the Mac. I honestly cannot see myself buying another Windows-based machine.