Good Riddance Windows!

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: June 22, 2020

Category: General | Kit

PLEASE NOTE:
This is a post about my own experience. If you have had nothing but love from your Windows machine then I’m genuinely happy for you. I haven’t hence the change.
 
In no way am I saying you’re wrong and I’m right…ok?….ok?
.   .   .

It must be 5 years or so ago now that after having used Mac I made the switch to Windows. Why did I change? Well simply because at the time I needed more processing power and Apple just weren’t cutting it.

I ended up moving over to a Windows based system from Dell and for a period of time there were no issues whatsoever. Of course making the transition from Mac to Windows took a bit of getting used to but I managed it.

Ok so when I say that there were ‘no issues whatsoever’ … that was initially. However gremlins did start to creep in. Through nothing I had done nor any updates having been installed the computer would decide it would throw out an error. These errors would cause my computer to shut down and then give the dreaded blue screen when starting up. I lost count the hours I spent on Dell Tech Help who I have to say were outstanding however they too were baffled on more than one occasion.

In the 5 years of using the Windows based system I’ve had to completely wipe the system and re-install Windows an incredible 4 times! A process that takes quite a bit of time especially when having to re-install all the apps / software you use.

Thankfully when it comes to my own files / work, I keep everything in the cloud and on external hard drives so recovering those was…well…there was no need because they were where they’d always been.

I could write a blog post detailing all the weird behaviour I experienced from the computer but what’s the point? Trust me has been a lot of weird behaviour; from plugging in a headset and it not being recognised, to then having to turn the unit off and then on, plugging the same headset in and it working. The computer suddenly restarting and so on…

Bottom line is that I had started to lose faith and trust in my computer, and that’s not a good feeling.

When your day to day work is heavily reliant on a computer just working but you don’t know from one day to the next what surprises it’s going to throw at you, it’s no longer ‘fit for purpose’.

I remembered back to when I previously used Apple and never, not once, did the computer crash on me; it performed day in day out without issues. The reason I changed was because of the speed, meaning it wasn’t quick enough for what I needed. However…it never let me down.

 

Moving Back

The decision was made…I’m moving back to Apple; not because I’m a fan boy or any of that rubbish…no…I just want my equipment to do what it’s supposed to do and for me that means Apple.

Since I changed 5 years ago the spec of their machines is significantly improved and more in line with ‘Pro Needs’ for want of a better phrase; but you know what I mean.

I’d already moved back to using an iPhone a few weeks ago but the computer change was planned for when we moved home in the next few weeks; however the decision was taken out of my hands this morning…

Windows Gremlins Strike Again

Heading into my office first thing this morning I noticed that the computer was frozen. I couldn’t move the cursor and no combination of keystrokes would make it respond so I had to force it to turn down by holding in the power button.

Moments later I turned it back on and all seemed fine. I checked emails, browsed the net a little and then left it alone whilst I popped out to drop some paperwork down to our Solicitor / Conveyancer for the current house sale.

Returning a couple of hours later I noticed an error message pop up on the screen saying something on the lines of ‘Unable to locate xxx on the C drive’.

I clicked OK but nothing happened. No matter how many times I clicked OK nothing happened. I tried to close the dialog box by clicking on the x in the top right…nothing.

So, another forced turn off but this time when I went to turn it on I was presented with a blue screen saying Windows had experienced a problem and needed to re-start. Ok I thought and just let it do its thing. However it didn’t restart…it just turned off. Each time I turned it on it did the same.

I tried pressing F12 as it started up and ran a diagnostics check; this came back with no errors. So, another restart and another blue screen, and another, and another.

Friends to the Rescue

Well my mind had been made up for me. It was time to make that move to Apple sooner than later so I messaged two great friends of mine, Steve Deakin and Peter Morgan who run Tech for Togs (techfortogs.co.uk) …

I called Peter first and explained all that had happened and without hesitation he offered to loan me free of charge a spare fully spec’d MacBook Pro 2015 to tide me over until my order from Apple came through. Not one moment of hesitation and he was there to help me out.

I then called Steve and explained all to him and before you know it he was on the case. Knowing the work I do and also wanting to give me a relative amount of future proofing Steve came up with an ideal spec for an iMac. The delivery time for a new fully loaded MacBook Pro from Apple was looking like mid July but with all the work I have over the coming weeks that just wasn’t an option; from experience though Steve gave me yet another option…a pretty much brand new, refurbished iMac with everything upgraded:

2019 iMac 27″ i9
128Gb RAM
8Gb Video Card
2 x 1TB Internal SSD

The full details I’ll share once I have it but needless to say the internals are pretty darn beefy 🙂

Best of all is that  I’ll be picking it up in a couple of days; just in time for my FREE Webinar with London Camera Exchange on Friday but also for a couple of camera club presentations I have on Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Talk about Timing

Timing was never going to be good when a computer dies on you but looking on the positive side at least I had no major presentations coming up today. In just under 3 weeks I’m presenting 3 LIVE classes for the upcoming KelbyOne Photoshop Online Conference on 14th and 15th July … if this had happened then I don’t think I’d be quite so matter of fact about it 🙂

But hey, I’ve a few days grace before I need to be fully up and running again so I can make use of the time doing other things. Time away from the screen isn’t such a bad thing.

I can’t thank Steve and Peter enough. Wow…when the help signal went up, they were there and able to offer a temporary solution and a permeant solution with the new machine with a spec that 100% fits my workflow now and in the future.

If ever I had a recommendation for you, it’s Tech for Togs ; two great guys who really know their stuff and pride themselves on first class customer service and support. Man, am I thankful to them!

As for the new MacBook Pro 16” I’ll be putting an order in with Apple once we’ve moved house in a few weeks. I don’t need that just yet as ‘in person’ presentations aren’t happening AND if I’m able to do a photo shoot then the old MacBook Pro I’m using to write this on is more than enough for tethering with CaptureOne.

To summarise (my own thoughts from my own experience)…

  • Windows is unreliable. Can’t say it any simpler than that.
  • The slightest thing can make it wobble. Updates are released and so often cause problems. Yeah I know Mac can have compatibility issues with some software we use when they release new updates however your computer still works!
  • Windows is for people who speak computer language and are conversant with how to fix (the many) errors by using command prompts, tampering with the workings and so on… If you’re not then avoid!
  • If you want a computer to just work then avoid windows. If you want a computer that you can rely on, even if it means it just works, then don’t use a Windows based Operating System.
  • Windows has moods! I don’t know how else to explain it.

Now I don’t write this to get into any Mac v  Windows debate or any ‘Yeah but, yeah but…’ conversations. It isn’t going to happen. I used Mac years ago with no issues. I moved to Windows and have had issue after issue. I’m now going back to Mac. Simple!

If you’ve had a different experience then good on you. I applaud you. However if in the future I’m asked what I recommend it will wholeheartedly be Apple.

I don’t get paid by Apple. I don’t know anyone at Apple. I don’t even eat Apples that often. I just want a computer that works…is that really so much to ask in 2020?

I know some folks might still be wondering why I moved away from Apple in the first place, and all I can say is what I have already; Apple weren’t providing machines with the spec I needed 5 years ago whereas Windows based machines were AND they were easily upgradeable. 

Now I can say that I gave it a go. I didn’t listen to others but instead decided to give it a go. Now I can confidently and with experience say what works best for me rather than having only used one system and being loyal to it no matter what.

As for the spec of the iMac I’m getting on Wednesday, it’s a beast! For what I do and will be doing in the near future this will be more than capable of making light work of it.

If you’re thinking of suggesting upgrading even more, heck I’m all ears…I’ll even send you my PayPal account details so you can send over the extra money needed for what you recommend 🙂

Excited about Wednesday
Glyn

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23 Comments

  1. Anders Palovaara

    Hi
    I agree, Been working on Macs since-86 in à print shop environment.
    Never had any issues.

    Just works…

    Se have PC to run div. Printers, no work being done on them, puh.

    Good luck.

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Thanks Anders

      Reply
  2. Steve Bastiman

    Glyn,

    One thing you may consider is moving all your ‘admin’ / browsing / research type tasks to a Chromebook – something I did 3 years ago. I have one which I take in the fieldon photo trips when I expect to be away from the internet – don’t believe all the FUD which says you must be online all the time – I use it for quickly assessing results as it can run darktable and for immediately backing up my sd cards. I also have plays and audio books on it to listen to while waiting for astro shots, tides, sunsets etc. The thing weighs next to nothing and goes all day on a charge.

    steveb

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Thanks for that Steve and yeah I’ll always try things out myself as opposed to just listen to hype / negativity. At least having given it a go I can truthfully say from experience what is / isn’t right for me.

      Cheers
      Glyn

      Reply
  3. Barry Paffey

    I for one was very surprised when you moved to windows five years ago, and I remember thinking, I bet he regrets that. Therefore, I’m not surprised that you’re going back to Apple. I’ve been with them since 2010 and I’m only on my second iMac, in fact, my daughter has my old 2010 model and it’s still going strong.

    With out doubt they are the best thing for professional users, especially now with the later models coming along. You won’t regret making the change back.

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      I guess I had to give it a go Barry. Was good (for a while) but the worry of what an update would do and the ever so often surprises it threw back when it hadn’t been touched completely destroyed the trust.

      So…Apple it is 🙂

      Reply
  4. Chris Gallego

    Hi Glyn, I’m following you since I don’t remember when. I just know it was before you did a video about a tripod…Vanguard? could it be? By the way, I’m sorry my English in advance.

    Last PC I had was in 2009 with XP OS and I was boring about those kind of issues among others that in theory they could be fixed installing I don’t remember what. At the end I remember a bunch of (I don’t know how do you say in English) patches?. Like little piece of codes or.. I really don’t know.

    Well, I switched to apple with a macbook pro, the first unibody with speeddrive and I’m still have it. It doesn’t work very well because to a fan, a speaker but it still works with El Capitan OSX.

    What I did was, once I needed more power, was buy an iClone here https://iclons.com/iclon so I have a Mac pro in a tower pc with nvidia cuda technology.

    Now the problem is some software I use like davinci resolve and capture one, cannot be updated because of the apple OS.

    Apple and nVidia broke their relation so the maximum apple OS version I can run in this machine is high Sierra. If I want to upgrade to Catalina or Big Sur in a near future, I have to change the GPU to AMD.

    So… I don’t remember what else I wanna tell you. haha.

    Anyways, nice if you could find a solid solution.

    Cheers from Canary Islands 😉

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Hi Chris

      Blimey yeah the Vanguard Tripod…that’s going back a bit.
      Thanks for sticking around…you deserve a medal 🙂

      Cheers
      Glyn

      Reply
  5. Silvia

    Take the extra insurance to prolong the guarantee time if anything like that is offered. I know of at least 3 iMac users with graphic board trouble just a bit outside of the guarantee time required by law.

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Thanks Silvia

      Reply
  6. Dave Morgan

    Hi Glyn, can you email me the cost of your new spec MacBook please?
    Cheers Dave Morgan

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Refurb’d it’s costing me £3500

      Reply
  7. Rob

    I totally agree Glyn. I switched about 7 years ago and would never even consider going back to Windows.

    None of my windows PC’s, and I’ve had plenty since the late 90’s lasted more than 4 or 5 years max before grinding to a halt. My first iMac is over 7 years old now, and while it’s lacking in processing power, it still works perfectly fine, boots up as quickly as it ever did and is still the main family computer.

    The only downside I find with Apple is that it’s pretty hard to upgrade and they charge silly money for RAM. But with the 27” iMac that isn’t an issue, I bought mine with the lowest amount of RAM and upgraded with RAM from crucial at a fraction of the cost.

    Enjoy your new machine Glyn 👍👍👍

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      So looking forward to it mate. The PC (when it wa working) was definitely lagging behind with processing in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, so having this iMac beefed up is something I can’t wait to run with 🙂

      Hope you’re keeping well 😉

      Reply
  8. Gavin Hall

    Hi Glyn,

    Yeah what a pain in the arse situation. Windows is definitely a capricious beast and its update system is beyond terrible. In your case it sounds like you may well have had a defect in one of your RAM modules. This is something that could also affect a Mac but Apple just seem to turn out a far more consistent product than a lot of PC manufacturers.

    It’s absolutely possible to buy PCs with super reliable components but they cost a lot, at which point may as well go with the Operating System you prefer and get a Mac.

    A very well respected tech journalist I follow, Jon Honeyball, asserts that the best way to run Windows is on a Mac using a Parallels virtual machine. Any time there’s an issue, you can just roll back to a previously good snapshot and away you go.

    Anyway nice article, even if you missed a perfectly good opportunity to start a huge flame war! 😀

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Funny you should say that but I’ve actually had a few replies elesewhere from folks saying the same about Windows being stable on a Mac.

      So many people have had good experience and so many people have had bad; I’m in the bad category hence why moving back to my roots 🙂

      Cheers

      Reply
  9. Phillip Norgaard

    Read your blog post with great interest. Not to point fingers or “what did I say” comments. But of all who have written to you – then you know what you are talking about. At least you have tried – and worked on both platforms. Thank you for your input and I look forward to seeing your upcoming work – no matter what computer or camera for that matter you have used. – and good luck with the move. We are looking for a house as well – when we found it – You and Ann get an invitation to stay over tha’s for sure 😁
    Cheers mate

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Cheers Phillip

      Must admit now that I’m up and running again but this timw with the Apple I do wonder why I moved away in the first place; this set up is definitely suited to me and how I work.

      Happy Days and thanks for the best wishes with the house move

      Glyn 😉

      Reply
  10. Tobias

    Sounds like you definitely had some faulty hardware. Blame Dell, not Windows 😉

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      I’ve had a few people since say that it was the hardware and not the software. Trouble is I have friends who own different brands and say they have issues and my Mother owns a HP and that too crashes.

      I get the it’s what people prefer but to be hoenst for me I just need to know that what I get is going to work and it seems that Windows is a bit of a lottery. When it works it works great…i totally get that but the uncertainty I can’t afford to gamble with.

      Hope that makes sense
      Cheers
      Glyn

      Reply
  11. Steve Berry

    Must admit to being an Apple fan. They just work. I use Windows for my astronomy software but it constantly needs to reboot.

    Reply
  12. Trevor Ager

    Sorry to hear that you have had so many issues with your Dell WIndows PC.
    I run a Windows PC and then I have an iMac ans Macbook Pro.
    All my photography work is done on my iMac and it has been pretty floorless with good performance.
    I use my Windows PC for most of my office work and because of the work I do, I have to stay up to date with Windows.
    My Windows PC is is probably getting on for about 9 years old now and I upgraded the HDD to SSD. It is still working well and has not given me any real problems. I think the problem with Windows is that it has to cater for such a wide variety of hardware and this is where things can go wrong.
    For me I will keep on using my Apple for the heavy duty photography and video work and maybe one day when I don’t need to have two machines I would prefer to just go with the Apple alone.
    Good luck with your new equipment. It looks very well spec’d and should do you well for some time to come.

    Reply
    • Glyn Dewis

      Cheers Trevor.
      Yeah I totally get that Windows has to cater for way more variations in hardware but it’s this uncertainty that turns me off even more mate. I’ll stick with an Apple OS on an Apple Computer from now on; lesson learned for me 🙂

      Keep well
      Glyn

      Reply

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