I sold my Alienware PC today. The new owner, one of my digital art professors, will make good use of it in her multimedia studio.
I would have got a lot less for my PC if I would have sold it on eBay. I got $1500 for the PC and I threw in the monitor as well. I won't need it anymore anyways (more on that later).
So even thought the original purpose of this site has been hazy at best lately, I still had a PC. Now not only do I not have a PC but this site no longer has to do with my life with my PC. Luckily for this site, it has branched out in other directions, and the site has not had much to do with my PC in the past few months.
The slogan is going to have to be modified. Maybe it should be something like "A Mac User back in the Mac world" or "A Mac user who tried to function in a Windows world but came back to the Mac because of frustration." That last one might be a little long.
I got my PC in January 2003, see Every story has a beginning, I started using Windows for web and media work for the first time. Not the first time I have used Windows by far, but it was the first time I had used one for an extended period of time for critical work. Well this journey has ended.
I had problems out of the box, the audio card would not work correctly and the two ethernet ports were conflicting (the one was not turned off in the BIOS like it should have been). Alienware tech support had me switch out every PCI card and put it into a different slot. This miraculously fixed the audio problem. Let me tell you, that was a pain in the ass. They don't make PC cases as nice as Apple cases, that was not fun. And it was not the last time that tech support had me do that.
The transition to doing work in Windows was not very difficult, and I just dealt with the annoyances because I wanted to give Windows a try for at least a year. You can check out the early Windows Commentary archives to see the worst annoyances I encountered.
In October 2003 my PC's HD died. For this I had to send my PC to Alienware. I got my PC back in December, and it still did not boot up. They scratched the case, how nice of them. After tearing the PC apart again and not only reseating the PCI cards, but reseating the HD and other drives, it finally was in working order again. The Promise RAID card never was the problem (I took the time to check box RAID cards and they both worked just fine).
I had a lot of hardware issues with my PC that I have never had to deal with in my long history of using many Macs. I didn't expect all the manual work I had to do on my PC. But I have been told that is the norm. Forget that.
I defended my PC and decided not to sell it in the past, I made excuses for the idiosyncrasies of Windows because I wanted to give it an entire year. Well I made it 5 months longer then that one year period I had set for myself. I stopped using my PC for critical work over 6 months ago though. I went back to doing critical work on my slower PowerBook, and getting the work done - minus the frustrations.
For those of you say you can work faster in Windows or faster on the Mac are full of dookie. I can work just as fast in WIndows as I can in Mac OS X. The only problem is the use of the Control key as the main modifier key on Windows, and the placement of that key on Windows. TradeKeys fixes this problem though. Once I had Control on my PC where Command on my Mac is everything was good again. Now that I have experienced Windows for over a year, I will not put up with people whining to me about how hard or how much easier it is to use then the Mac OS. I had no problems. The final straw was however Windows just being Windows. I just had it up to my eyeballs. I give up.
I gave Windows a try. I really wanted to see how it would go. This was an experiment. And experiment to see if I could work faster on a much faster machine that cost less then a Mac. The answer to that is a NO!
I just bought a Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 and payed less for it then I payed for my Alienware PC. If I would have bought a G4 in January 2003 I would have actually payed more then what I spent on my G5 or my Alienware. So Apple's pricing is getting much better IMO.
In response to Dave M's comments:
I have absolutely no idea why people have such a negative bias about Alienware. Their system is no different, or more expensive then a Dell, Gatway, whatever.
I priced a DIY, then I priced a Dell, Alienware, and a couple other vendors. I simply refuse to buy anything Dell. I have heard bad things. I am very happy with the Alienware tech support, which I have said in the past on this site. They back their hardware. Despite Indian tech support, I have no problem with them at all.
In the end Dell and Alienware were costing the exact same thing give or take $100. To prove my point I just priced out a Dell and an Alienware with the exact same specs. The Dell cost $2,346 and the Alienware cost $2,488.00. Aesthetically speaking the Alienware case is a lot nicer. And given that I refuse to buy anything Dell, I will take difference and give Alienware $142 (if I were in the market for my second PC).
And PLEASE! It is not the hardware I am judging. I am judging Windows, Microsoft Windows. I don't really care what name is on the hardware.
If you want to say I am "dissing" anything, I am dissing the fact that you cannot use an Operating System to get reliable critical work done when that Operating System has so many holes, and their are so many morons out their that think it fun to take advantage of those holes. It is not my fault that that portrait happens to be a painting of Microsoft Windows.
As for pricing, Apple's hardware will always be more expensive. It has improved. It will always be more expensive because it is not made by everyone and their mother. In some cases this means Apple hardware is of higher quality.
Sorry to hear about your G4 problems. Shareware programs on Mac OS seem to really mess things up. This is sometimes because the shareware community has to hack or reverse engineer things. OS X has made it a little nicer, but its still bad if you go hog wild with shareware on the Mac.
I will say this with an asterisk. Mac people should stick with Macs and Windows people should stick with Windows. The asterisk is for those people who are not afraid of trying things out on the other side of the fence. I am not sad that I bought a PC. I am very glad I did. I have gained so much knowledge from my Windows experience that will help me out in my current and future work.