Saturday, January 23, 2016

Back to the Mac

My wife and I have an annual tradition of buying ourselves something around Christmas each year. Not only is it Christmas, it’s bonus time at the company where I work. These things frequently take the form of electronic gadgets.

This year, my plan was to buy a Chromebook. These are pretty inexpensive laptops that run Chrome OS. I ordered one online at Best Buy, and arranged to pick it up in the store.

However, when we arrived to pick it up, it wasn’t ready. So we started browsing. That’s where the trouble started. They sell Apple gear.

To make a very long story short, between then and now, I’ve managed to replace most of our gear with Apple stuff. We traded our Android phones for iPhones. We replaced our Android tablets with iPads. And I ended up replacing my PC with an iMac. (my wife will still be using a Windows PC)

I was fortunate to be able to sell my old desktop PC for a reasonable price. So that helped. But my allowance will take awhile to recover from this.

So far, I’m enjoying being an Apple user again. I originally became a Mac user back in 2002, shortly after they introduced their new operating system based on FreeBSD (OS X). I think I sold my last Mac somewhere around 2009.

So Macs aren't new to me. I had a bunch of old software licenses for stuff that I used to use back then. I've renewed and updated the licenses for a number of those things. Of course some of them are now defunct.

Before this, I was pretty deep into the whole Google ecosystem. All my stuff was on Google Drive. I have used Gmail for many years. But I figured if I was going to do the Apple thing, I would go the full route.

So I am now using the Apple iCloud stuff. It's not perfect, but it seems to work pretty well. I have cloud storage, plus a lot of the Mac and iOS software use iCloud to sync data. I'm also using iCloud email. There was once a time where I had higher-end needs. But now for the most part, any reasonably capable service will fit my needs just fine.

And of course we're using the Apple Music service for our tunes. When we switched our phones, we also dumped Verizon in favor of T-Mobile. One nice thing about T-Mobile is, they have free music streaming. So that's what I end up listening to in my car most of the time.