However, I realise from experience that switching computer systems is much more easily said than done. Apart from investing money into a machine, an operating system, software applications and peripherals, people invest a heck of a lot of time and effort in learning how to use those assets until they become proficient. Switching to another system cannot be taken lightly.
But if there was a cheap way to try an alternative, one that could be tested in addition to your existing machine, might it be worth giving it a test drive?
I was chatting online to another Mac user the other day, when he pointed out that there is one model of Macintosh that offers a lot of machine for the money. It's called the eMac and on eBay, these machines can sell for between $50 and $100. eMacs are all-in-one machines (everything's in the same case apart from the keyboard and the mouse) and resemble a pumped-up version of the small, colourful iMacs that came out in 1997.
The downside to the eMac is that its 17" CRT monitor makes it a heavy machine - about 56 pounds in weight - and its cooling fan isn't the quietest that you'll hear. But it will still run a recent version of Mac OS X, can take up to 1GB of memory (the later models will unofficially take 2GB) and if you don't like the idea of staring at a CRT screen, you can plug a cheap 1024x768 LCD screen into it. The eMac has a G4 processor which is more than enough for most of the day-to-day tasks that people undertake with their computers and can run the free Office-like suite "OpenOffice" or its Mac-specific cousin "NeoOffice".
So there you go. If you want to try an alternative to a PC without spending hundreds of dollars, check out the eMacs on eBay.
P.S. I'm not trying to start a PC vs. Mac flame war here. I just thought that if PC-using warriors are as tired of Windows as I was 5 years ago, then they might be interested in trying a cheap alternative.
Last edited by John Henderson on July 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Old photo stopped working