To Mac or not To Mac

Mac Book Pro
I am going to buy a portable computing device. Yes, I know, I just bought an Evo 4G which definitely qualifies, but I have some additional specifications that are required.

  1. Must sync with my M-Audio Fast Track Pro (for voice recording, i.e. Podcasting)
  2. Must be able to run Idimager better than my current desktop (which I purchased in 2005)
  3. Must not screw up my life with respect to my workflow

Item number one is fairly simple. Pretty much any computer nowadays will fit the bill, it just has to have enough oomph to be able to record without too much latency. I ran a test with my friend David Tyberg’s Asus EEE netbook and it seemed to work well. I also ran it on a Macbook Pro (belonging to yet another member of The Extraordinary Contraptions, The best Steampunk Rock Band in this or any other universe!) and that worked just fine as well.

Before all you insane audiophiles get up in a dander, yes I realize there will be a quality difference between running Qubase on a Macbook vs. Audacity on a netbook, but it generally won’t matter until I start putting in a sound-deadened room with excellent quality compression mics and better pre-amps than the M-audio has.

Item two is actually more of a general statement about Windows-based programs. I cannot survive without MS Office. I need it for my job and have developed an expertise level with it that I would be stupid to abandon. Likewise I have utilities such as Idimager that only run in a Windows environment and I’m not interested in finding their Mac-based replacements (although I just discovered that MS Money, which has all of my financial information since 1993, has been discontinued and I better get a copy of Quicken anyhow).

Item three is the big one. I am not a Mac user. I have limited knowledge of how Macs function. I’ve been a Dos-then-windows user since 1985 when we got our first PC. I know an awful lot about the windows environment and I have a lot of stuff around here that was purchased for windows-based computers. I’m frightened that if I jump to the Mac, I’ll have some serious growing pains with trying to get everything talking to each other (if it will at all).

So, what do you think? Should I pay the extra and go with the smaller form factor, nicer feeling track pad, more reliable environment and sexier-in-general computer, or should I stick with a Windows-based laptop of one sort or another.

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