Horrible Horrible Disillusionment

The good news is that my PowerBook G3 isn't actually dead. It's just that my power adapter has died. The bad news is that even though my G3 is now once-again alive, I'm coming to the end of a horrible horrible disillusionment about the state of the Mac as a computing platform.

In short, especially with Windows Vista, there's almost no advantage any more to owning and using a Macintosh computer. Even for photographers, web designers, and graphic artists.

This is where in previous blog entries, I would've tried to reassure you by telling you I'm not thinking about switching to Windows. But the truth of the matter here is that I've already got a great mobile Windows computer, that happens to run Adobe Bridge better than my desktop Mac computer.

To better explain the situation, I've got to ruin my next blog post and let the world know that I've officially taken my photography workflow to Adobe Bridge. It's probably a permanent move, and I'm overall quite happy with it. Even poorly behaved Bridge is fairly productive, and I've already got the first group of four gigs worth of DNG images keyworded, and I have been working on the second group. The workflow in question provides a clear path toward archiving things on DVDs, and it's a cross-platform solution.

In order to take advantage of the cross-platform nature of the Bridge workflow, I recently "acquired" Photoshop CS3, and installed it on my ThinkPad R61i. When I loaded some images into Bridge and started keywording a more recent set, I was surprised at just how fast everything goes. I don't wait for application of metadata, or for keywords to show up on images, I just work through the set, rather quickly actually, and all of the keywords are applied. The program doesn't start behaving oddly, and it can keep going for hours.

What a gyp! on my iMac, Bridge starts behaving very poorly after only about twenty minutes of keywording, and the whole program becomes unstable while it builds caches, applies metadata, and does anything other than sit idly. (Actually, I've also experienced extremely unreliable idle sitting Bridge. That was fun.) To use a trite expression, and to add insult to injury, the PC I'm running Bridge on is a low end business laptop with a slow processor and a slow connection to the external hard disc. It's got one gig more ram than my iMac, but the Macs at the School of Comm also have that extra gig, and they're just as bad at Bridge as my home iMac.

I've also noticed that I've got almost zero other Mac-only software. I like iChat and Mail, but Pidgin and Thunderbird have been doing a great job on my Windows machine. I browse the Web with Firefox, even on my Mac, and the other things in my dock are either not needed on Windows, or are available on Windows easily (like the whole Creative Suite group.)

So... while I'm not about to run out and replace my iMac this week, I'm really going to be looking at Windows desktop PCs and workstations when it's time to buy my next computer. I'm also going to be looking really hard at the Windows version of Adobe CS4, when that comes out, because as it stands, I can run Windows software very easily on my existing Mac hardware.

Such disappointment.

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