What do you use?

I get asked that question a lot when people hear I do artsy stuff. The short answer is I use a PC. The long answer is...

From 2002 to 2008, I did all my personal computing on PCs, but I worked on Macs. I had the best of both worlds. When I moved to Charlotte, I no longer had that luxury--it was just me and my dated Windows XP running laptop.

In Spring 2009, I needed a new computer. I was doing a lot of illustration work and my poor laptop was struggling to keep up. I really wanted to get back to the Mac world; specifically with an iMac or MacBook Pro.

I took the money I got paid for the illustration gig and went shopping. I desperately wanted the Mac, and I'll admit, part of it was because I wanted  to be one of "those" people. I'm an artist and writer. Creative types are all supposed to be on Macs right? My problem was that if I was going to get a Mac, I wanted it to do everything I would need it to do without a hitch. I wanted all the bells and whistles.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the budget for that. I started doing some comparisons and I found out I could get a pretty sweet desktop PC from Dell for the same price as the weakest MacBook Pro. Those that know me know that I'm a frugal and logical spender. As badly as I wanted to be a Mac guy, I couldn't bring myself to spend my money on a weaker computer just for the brand name. So I bought the PC with all the bells and whistles I wanted. Vista was as bad as everyone said it was, but the actual computer was such a drastic upgrade from my laptop that I didn't care.

Three months went by and I upgraded to Windows 7. Now I'm not sure I'll ever return to Apple. Windows 7 is an excellent operating system. I love the task bar, the sleek transparent windows and the snap feature--as simple as it seems-- is awesome for a dual monitor user like me. It gets along with all my software and many of the annoying little bugs and notifications that plagued Vista are gone. I spent six years splitting my time between Macs and PCs and I came away from that time wishing I could combine the things I liked most from both operating systems. I feel like Windows 7 does that for me.

For the record, I got over that "ALL CREATIVES MUST USE APPLE" thing too. The Adobe programs I used on the Mac work great on the PC and I don't have any compatibility/usability issues with my Wacom tablet (I had them all the time with my Mac for some reason). The overwhelming smugness coming from Apple these days helped me move on too. I'm not saying I wouldn't gladly use a Mac, but I'll never gladly pay for one.