Warning: Contents contain high amounts of old computer nostalgia.

While I’m not exactly a frequent Mac user, I am more or less a not-so-closeted Mac geek. I actually got my unofficial start in the computer industry because of my passion for computers, and my Mac played a large part in that. It wasn’t my first computer, mind you, and I don’t want to diminish the roles my Commodore Vic-20 or Atari 800XL played. But my Mac was special.

For you old-timers out there, you might remember when the Mac first came out in 1984, they had a program called “Test Drive a Mac.” I test drove one, I think from an long-defunct Stereo store chain called Pacific Stereo, and I was hooked. Considering what was available in the PC world, it was truly revolutionary. By my senior year of high school (I’m dating myself here), I got my first job in the computer industry selling Macs (and early PCs) in a store near my school.

I remember taking my 128K (!) Mac of to college in its special Mac beige zipper case. I was one of the few people in my dorm that had their own computer (and ImageWriter printer), so guess who made beer money by typing papers?

Fast forward to today. I admittedly don’t use Macs much in my every day work in corporate IT, but I do keep very current on them. This is because more and more of my private and small business customers use them (perhaps part of a larger trend?). I got my wife an iMac G5 a couple years ago, and I love tinkering with it. I myself have an old PowerMac G3 tower in my home office. It was given to me by one of my customers, and with a new IDE controller and hard drive, it’s still very much alive and kicking.

So what exactly is this experiment I mention in my title? It’s this: a MacBook Pro. There was kind of a “perfect storm” of circumstances that motivated me to get one.

  • Apple had a great deal on some factory refurbished models – mine is a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 15.4″ (Glossy), 1GB RAM (I’ve ordered an additional 1GB of RAM), 120gb SATA HDD. These tend to go quickly because of the reduced price (21% off) and normal warranty period (I purchased with my American Express to give me two years). Last time I thought of buying one, I gave myself a day or two to ponder it, and when I went back to the Apple store online, they were gone. So the next time I saw some become available, I immediately made the purchase.
  • The move to Intel processors
  • Related to the move to Intel processors, the availability of Boot Camp and Parallels

So my big experiment, once my shiny new MacBook Pro arrives, is to setup Windows XP on it. I’m probably going to do this with Parallels, as I’m very keen on the “Coherence” feature that basically allows you to run Windows apps as if they were native Mac apps. I’m not quite ready to deal with Vista yet. But I’m excited about the prospect of having this kind of flexibility. I’ll keep you all posted once I get things rolling on this new rig.

[tags]Mac, Apple, MacBook, Commodore, Atari, computer nostalgia, iMac[/tags]