Paying the Apple Tax

By: Brooks Clarke Editor-in-Chief


I believe last issue I told you guys I’m a graphic design major. Up until this semester I haven’t been doing much “graphic designing” in my classes; they’ve mostly been basic art and gen. ed. classes.

Quick aside: does it ever seem like the further you get into your major’s advanced classes, the more enjoyable they become? I’m not saying any of MC’s students or professors are bad, but I feel like I can better relate to them than in something like MA101.

Anyway, this semester marks the first class where I’ve actually gotten to work with modern tools of the trade like Photoshop and Indesign (though most of what I know about the latter has been learned on the fly while putting together the Advocate). It really is amazing how many tools are at your disposal in Adobe’s Creative Suite.

Though over the past few weeks, it feels like my brain has slowly been shifting. You see, we work on Mac Pros in GD110 and I’ve been a Windows user most of my life. Now when I’m at home I’ll catch myself repeatedly trying to use keyboard shortcuts with “Alt” because that’s where “Command” (the equivalent of “Ctrl,” for those PC-minded folks) is on a Mac keyboard. And the more I use Finder and Explorer on a regular basis, the more I wish Microsoft would just bite the bullet and copy Apple’s superb file management system. Seriously, even Microsoft’s own programs like Office have a better interface on a Mac.

I wasn’t originally going to do an entire piece on this, but I feel like I was unknowingly convinced by Stephen Weigel, the Advocate’s Photo/Web Editor. After slowly watching me go from, “This Mac stuff ain’t so bad,” to, “Good god, why doesn’t Windows do this or that more like OS X,” Stephen, outfitted with a “you’re so going to cave and pay that Apple tax” smirk, said, “You sir have been bitten by the Mac bug.”

So now I find myself weighing the benefits of a Macbook versus an iMac, and checking Apple’s hardware release cycle, waiting for the right moment to jump in. Damn you Steve Jobs and your futuristic toaster-looking stores!