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Prodigal Mac: Excuse Me While I Pull My Hair out

The frustrations of picking the perfect Mac By Kevin Schmitt
For those Prodigal Mac readers that go WAAAYY back with me to the column's humble beginnings, which was all of about four weeks ago, you've probably noticed my fondness for analogy. I wouldn't dare disappoint both of you by skimping on this installment, so let me take you back to an experience you've probably had (or may currently be having) in some form or another.

Tell me if you've heard this one: You're dating someone, and for whatever reason, this person begins to annoy you. It's not big stuff; maybe some petty things, like the classic Mike Myers "she smells like soup." Over time, though, your annoyance grows like a nasty weed, and everything this person does bothers the hell out of you. It's obvious the relationship isn't going anywhere, so you break it off.

Fast forward a few months, maybe even a few years. You only remember the good things about this person. Nice hair, good smile, stuff like that. Maybe it's a chance meeting, maybe it's a deliberate one, or maybe it's because the person you're currently with is even more annoying, but for some reason or other you decide to give your old flame one more chance, so you get back together.

Again, please indulge me as I fast forward, this time just days (or maybe even hours). However short a period of time it is, you begin to rediscover very rapidly why things didn't work out the first time around. And this time, you have a set of all-new annoyances to deal with. If things are going to work over the long haul, there better have been a lot of improvement in other areas during the time you were apart to offset the bad stuff.

This is where the Mac and I currently stand in our renewed relationship.

Let's put aside for a moment the unsettling and highly disturbing fact that two of my three columns have compared computers to women and focus on the topic at hand: where the relationship is going. If you recall from my first installment of Prodigal Mac, I had to decide if I wanted to reacquaint myself with the Mac OS, specifically Mac OS X, after abandoning the platform in 1998 in favor of (gulp) Windows NT. The column name, as well as the Web site you are reading it on, seems to suggest that I do, in fact, want to transition back to the Mac. Now that we're all caught up, I'm at a fairly important crossroads in what is sure to be a protracted switch from the dark side back over to Steve's Forces of Good and Righteousness. The question that faces me now is a simple one:

How am I ever going to be able to choose the right freaking Mac?


Man, I forgot how crazy this made me. I absolutely hated shopping for a new Mac before, and I hate it even more now. How could I possibly have forgotten the pain and anguish associated with trying to decide which Mac is best and at what point to pull the trigger on it? Jeez, it's absolutely maddening.


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