This is the third post in my series "I Went Mac, But Then I Went Back." If you want to catch up on the previous posts, click the links below:

Hardware

There are a number of hardware components that helped me make my change to a PC from a Mac. Some of them were more important to me than others, but there were a few that were major factors.

  • Blu-ray CD/DVD drive. This one wasn't a major factor, but it was a nice bonus. For the last several years Blu-ray discs have becoming the "norm" when it comes to DVDs. Sure you can still buy regular DVDs but I have noticed that they are slowly being eliminated from the store shelves and Blu-ray discs are becoming more prevalent. I like to watch movies on my computer, and even though I have Netflix and Amazon Prime, I still like to buy the physical discs. The more Blu-ray discs become the standard, the less I would be able to watch movies on a Mac because Apple does not give the option of having Blu-ray readers/writers in their computers. In fact, Apple is completely eliminating CD/DVD drives in their laptops. 
  • For Apple users who have purchased a new laptop in the last year or so, most likely their laptop does not have an optical drive (CD/DVD drive). Apple thinks that they are not necessary anymore because everything can be downloaded from the Internet. While I do have an Internet connection most of the time, I do not like the idea of having a computer that cannot read/write a CD or DVD. I don't think "the world" is to the point where we can completely eliminate CDs and DVDs. There are several software programs that I have installed on my Mac in the past and my new PC that I have a CD to install it. Yes, I know you can use another computer and wirelessly use that computer to access the CD/DVD on your Mac that does not have an optical drive, but that seems like such a pain. You can also buy a separate "SuperDrive" that plugs into your USB port and use it on your Mac. I want the drive in my own computer and I personally am not ready to have a computer without one. 
  • My new HP laptop is a touch-screen. Although I don't use that feature for every single program and task on my computer, it is really nice to have. There are also some really cool apps I downloaded from the Windows Store that are meant for touch-screen devices. I'm sure more and more programmers are going to be incorporating "touch" into their programs for Windows computers. I am also sure that eventually Apple will incorporate touch-screens in their laptops, but for the time being they do not have that option.
  • My new laptop has Beats Audio speakers. For those not aware of Beats Audio, they have become very popular in the last couple of years, particularly because of the audio quality. My speakers on my old Mac were alright, but nothing compared to the speakers on my new computer! Not only can I turn up my speakers very loud, but the bass and overall sound quality is great! For those of you who know me really well, you know that I love music! In fact, I am listening to music right now as I am writing this post. So, for me the quality of sound coming out of my speakers means a lot.
  • This next feature was definitely not a requirement, but I like it! My new computer has a fingerprint scanner, so now I don't have to type in a password to unlock my computer. I can just swipe my finger and unlock it. Again, this was not a necessity, but I feel a bit more secure since I know that I am the only person with my fingerprint! :)
  • Some of you may think this might be weird, but one thing I never liked about my Mac or any other Mac computer I have used Apple's mice. In my opinion they didn't flow as smooth and easy as mice on Windows computers. And not only was it Apple manufactured mice, but even if I were to use another brand of mouse on a Mac, it just didn't feel "right." Somehow, the feeling of mice on Windows computers feel so much better and smooth.
  • Okay, this hardware feature I am going to talk about was a MAJOR factor in my wanting to go back to PC. I know some of you are going to think "big deal" but to me it is. Apple laptops do not have ten-key.
  • I use ten-key every day, especially when I am at work doing genealogy. It is so much easier for me to use the ten-key to enter dates, social security numbers, etc. than it is for me to use the numbers in the horizontal row above the letters on the keyboard. The images above show the ten-key for those who are unfamiliar with that name for that section of the keyboard. I know that you can buy external ten-key keyboards that just plug into a USB port on your computer, but just like the Blu-ray drive, I want that feature built into my computer and not some external component I need to buy separately and carry around with me in my backpack.
  • It seems like laptops are getting smaller and smaller. Look at Apple's Mac Book Air. That thing is so small and thin! Sure, I think that would be great for carrying it around because it would be light, but I would be afraid of snapping it in two! For me, I love having a laptop because I can take it everywhere. But at the same time, I don't want a laptop screen that is just as big as an iPad or other tablet. In my opinion iPads and tablets have different purposes and uses than a laptop has. I value the screen real-estate I can have on a laptop. The reason for this is because like I have stated, most of what I do on a computer is genealogy research. I am annoyed when the screen is so small I can't have two or more applications open and showing on the screen at once. I like to have an Internet browser, my research journals and a window where I can view the files on my computer pulled up. If my laptop screen is so small that I can't have multiple windows open and viewable at once, I get really frustrated because I have to tab through all of the different programs. Therefore, I went big and got a 17" screen on my laptop and I love it!! Yes, it does add weight and size to my laptop, but again, I value the real-estate space of the screen and the ability to have multiple windows open at once.

Well, there are a few of the hardware features that I really wanted in my laptop and that helped me make the choice to switch back to Windows from a Mac. I'm sure there are some other little hardware features that I'm not thinking about right now.

Stay tuned for the next post of why I went Mac, but then went back!

 
 
I use my iPad every single day. I love all the things I can do on my iPad. Here are some of the things I use my iPad for:
- Check Facebook
- Check my emails
- Listen to music on Spotify
- Surf the Internet
- Write blog posts
- Catch up on the latest news using Twitter and Flipboard
- Read books using iBooks, Google Books and Amazon Kindle App
- Manage my finances
- Access all my important files on my Dropbox
- Create documents using Pages and Numbers
- Watch movies and TV shows on Netflix
- Write in my journal using the Day One app
- View my family tree using the Ancestry.com and a few other genealogy apps
- View my photos on Flickr using FlickStackr
- Play a few games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Clash of Clans

So, as you can see I use my iPad for quite a bit. I use my iPad more than I use my laptop anymore. However, there are still some things that just can't be done on the iPad yet. There are many websites that require Flash. There are multitasking issues. I can't have two applications open on the screen on my iPad like I can a computer.

There are many other small things that you just can't do on an iPad that you can a computer.

I would love to see developers of website and apps making their websites mobile friendly or making apps available not just for the iPhone, but also the iPad. I have a few apps on my iPhone that don't have a native iPad version. I can install the iPhone version on my iPad, but it definitely isn't the same.

So, to all you developers out there, I know it takes time and money to make apps but please make your apps for both the iPhone and iPad! :)
 

One Week

11/12/2011

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I am a big movie buff. I really enjoy kicking back and watching a good movie.  Some of my favorite types of movies are those that make you think.

Tonight I watched One Week with my brother and aunt. My brother first mentioned the movie a couple of months ago but I had not watched it yet and neither had my aunt. 

One Week is about a guy named Ben, played by Joshua Jackson, in his late 20's early 30's who finds out he has stage four cancer. The doctor tells him he needs to start treatments right away. Success rate for his type of cancer is only 10%.

After talking with the doctor Ben buys a motorcycle and decides he is going to take a trip across Canada on his motorcycle. Ben tells his fiancé about his cancer and his trip. He tells her he needs time to "find himself."

He begins his journey in Toronto heading west seeing many landmarks. Along his trip he meets various people and learns more about himself and "who he is." 

One of my favorite things about watching the movie was the time he sent in Alberta. I served an LDS Mission in southern Alberta and so it was fun for me to see these places that were in my mission. He visits the Worlds Largest Teepee in Medicine Hat, the Dinosaur Park in Drumheller and Banff National Park

He continues on to the ocean in British Columbia and accomplishes his goal of making his way west. 

The whole movie is narrated with information about Ben and his movements throughout Canada. The last thing that the narrator states is a question asking what you would do if you found out you had only one week left to live. Where would you go? What would you do? Who would you want to meet?