The Selfish Mac Evangelist

Roberto Baldwin's picture

The Selfish Mac Evangelist


Anytime a family member asks what sort of computer they should buy I immediately shout, " Get a Mac!"


While I'm telling them how great OS X is and how cool looking the new iMac will look on their desk, I'm thinking about how I'm sick of fixing their Windows machine.



It's a scenario many of use have encountered. We visit our less than technically savvy family members and they immediately produce a laundry list of problems with their machines.


"The sound doesn't work."

"It takes forever to boot up."

"The browser keeps sending me to porn sites."

"It's slow."

"It keeps asking me for drivers."

"What's a DLL file?"


We end up in the spare room that doubles as an office battling spyware, viruses and missing drivers for the better part of a day while our families continue with their day. After about the 15th Windows restart, you're ready to take a hammer to the machine.


My self-serving evangelism has produced some converts, my brother replaced his aging Wintel notebook with an iMac and I replaced my sister's second-hand PC with a second-hand G4. The help-desk type phone calls from my family have dropped off dramatically. In fact, since the change-over, the biggest issue I've tackled was my sister being unable to connect to her new internet service. Turns out the modem wasn't plugged into the wall.


My wife's family is another story altogether. Their eMachine had become the bane of my existence during our trips to San Diego. I almost had them on the Mac bandwagon when my brother-in-law gave them a new PC. I have secretly hated my brother-in-law since then.


I'm guessing I have another two years of forced PC trouble-shooting. After that, any PC's that enter that house will mysteriously disappear and be replaced by an iMac.


Not just for their benefit, but for mine as well.




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Here's some heresy for you. I have a business with 3 Macs and 12 Windows PCs. About 80% of the support is from the Macs, 20% from the PCs. Spinning beach ball of death, slow running, freezing, apps not starting - it all happens to the Macs. Thus, for me, the Macs generate 16 times as much work as the Windows machines.


Llib Setag

Get you Brother-In-Law to fix them!!!

Refer your relatives to your B-I-L by saying "you are not aware of how in the world to fix those problems on the computer that he bought you..."

HE bought the POC PC let him have all the headaches from it!!!



heh heh heh, I love how people still try to justify "o m g windos so much better guyz" by comparing prices. This is a fallacious, empty argument. Windows people who merely tolerate but aren't fanboys should save up a few hundred more, stop giving themselves headaches, and enjoy their new Mac. Time and time gain it has been proven that Macs are the best in the long run, while Windozian folks have to deal with viruses, spyware, random pr0nz popping up, and other crap since the beginning of its, and the internet's, existence. Not to mention sound cards, monitor issues, random unexplained slowdowns, and cryptic error messages.

And Rob, I love your strategy. Good luck trying to convert the brother-in-law.


some dude

why i insisted my sister get a macbook and an imac when it was time to replace her machines. i used to get calls from her all the time with computer troubles. i have not received one since the got the macs.


Erik Husby

The best way to deal with friends who insist on PCs is the Tough Love approach. Once they ask for your advice on what machine to buy, you tell them that if they by a PC, you will help them 3 times. After that they are on their own. If they by a Mac, you will provide help always.



I hate microsoft. Its a case of the turtle and the rabbit with apple being the turtle.
Microscrap has screwed too many people with rushed products that repeatedly fail to provide any kind of reliability. I find it not surprising that Vista is not doing well. People have simply had enough lousy support and ruined lives with bad programming. Even my 1970's Tandy colour computer has microsoft basic with errors built in. Things have not improved since.
Compare this with Steve Wozniaks Apple 2 which is reported to have absolutely no errors in the basic.
We've had the fast track to stressdom. Now users want more... reliability and ease of use.



These machines are not that bad there are inbuilt firewall in the windows,it is easy to operate, People can install it by themselve and rest about spyware than they can install spyware bot. More over that it cost lot lower than the Mac. Everyone can't have the high price mac machines.Speacilly in the countaries where pounds and dollars are not in trend.


John Patrick


I have lived this scenario for "many moons", as they say. For years, I had only two friends who were Mac owners but dozens who owned Wintel boxes. I am beginning to make headway, using the "strategery" that you so clearly outlined. Keeping the faith never felt so good!



It seems to me that the one who gave them the Windows machine is the one who should support it. I don't see the fairness in punishing you for someone else's bad decision.

When I have friends who want me to recommend which Windows machine to buy, I point out that we own six Macs, that there is a reason for that, and that I would never recommend any one buy a Windows machine if they don't know enough about the OS to maintain it themselves.

I should also add that my first OS was CP/M, and I rewrote the BIOS many times, hacked in extra drives by making both motherboard changes (traced out the schematic to find unused gates) and BIOS changes, and tweaked bits of RAM with the best of them. Now I just want to work rather than re-install and reconfigure my OS every few months.

Oh yes, my eight year old Sawtooth machine is running the latest Mac OS - 10.4.10. How many eight year old PCs are running Vista Premium?



Leydog wrote:
Oh yes, my eight year old Sawtooth machine is running the latest Mac OS - 10.4.10. How many eight year old PCs are running Vista Premium?

Better question: How many eight year old PCs are running AT ALL???



I'm in a 5 Mac - no Windows - household, but I tell family and friends to buy windows machines. Why? When something goes wrong with their XP or Vista, I feign ignorance. If something goes wrong with a Mac, I'm first on their list to call. The Mac idiots will say, "What can go wrong?" The list is too long to detail, but let me give you my main fear: They may buy a lemon and Apple 't doesn't respond well to their own mistakes. I went through that once with my own lemaon, and I won't go back again unless it's my own machine. There was one exception. I bought my elderly father a used eMac from a reliable source because I couldn't avoid dealing with my own father's computer problems, which were numerous on windows.



First, I realize this is a Mac page so I'm preaching to the choir but...

I want to you charge to fix your families PCs? In my world, I spent so much time of my own with my Windows based laptop just keeping it going. No charge for all those hours, of course. My brother a whiz got tired a few years ago having to help me. He's a big bucks computer guy but didn't want to spend as much time as was needed to keep my computer going.
So many people/friends just want to be helpful and will spend time with others computers just to feel competent about something, and thus good about themselves. They're nice people, too, wanting to help others.

My point is people get free computer maintenance from friends that normally would or should cost a good bit of money. If more PC nerds charged for their service more people would turn to Apple.

Early 2007 year I decided to make the change. Now I'm Mr. iMac, or growing into it, and I've had no problems since. What's interesting is that I have a % of nerdyness built in to me, too. I want to know things, legacy curiosity, I suppose, that Mac people never talk about - like does the hard disk ever defrag itself, etc.

But if there are PC people out there reading this...I made the change and I am really, really happy I did.


Neil Anderson

Mac OS X defrags on the fly. Cool, eh? :)



thats what OS X Journaling does..... you computer is always being defraged (so to speak)


Roberto Baldwin

While the idea of charging has crossed my mind, I could never charge my friends or family to fix their computers. 

I have been known to work for food though. 


You really don't have to worry about defraging or whatever on a Mac. There isn't even defragmenter that comes with your Mac. There are applications that will do this for you, but they cost, and they are of little benefit to most users. The only built-in matienence is something called repairing permissions, which again, is not that important.

If you really insist on doing this kind of routine, get a free application called Oynx. Just do a quick search for it. This application gives you options for matienence and adds more customization options.



Oh, by the way:

Welcome to the better side of computing.

Even if you don't care or use your Mac that much, it's still worth saying as you did pay extra for that Apple logo sitting in front of you.



Please try harder with that bunch in San Diego. If you need help let me know.


Digital Jim

Wow, can I ever relate to this!

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