Steve Borsch’s tale of how he swapped his father’s malware-ridden PC for a Mac mini, to make his own life easier, exactly mirrors my own experience.
I made the icons huge so he can see everything, it’s easier to navigate, and the spyware and adware are now a complete non-issue. There’s nothing that he cannot do on this computer and I rarely have to do any remote logging in to fix something.
Some years ago, my mom was given a cheap eMachines PC as a gift. As time went by she got very interested in digital photography, and became a keen web user. But every time I went to visit and sat down in front of the computer, it got slower and slower.
Last year it reached the point where nothing could be done without a wait of 30 seconds to a minute for each instruction to be completed. The machine was all but useless.
My mom, thankfully, was not resistant to the idea of getting a Mac. She’s seen my PowerBook enough times to know how the two platforms were different. So with some of her savings, late last year she invested in a basic model MacBook, and hasn’t looked back since.
She happily uses Mail and Safari, and keeps almost everything else she needs to write (letters, creative writing, and notes) inside Journler. (I recommended she use this, as it removes the need to save everything she writes as individual document files - Journler does all the saving work on her behalf, freeing up her mind for the creative stuff.)
On the down side, she is disappointed with iPhoto and wishes she could go back to Picasa. This is a common sentiment among switchers from Windows to OS X, and one I entirely agree with; Picasa is generally better.
There’s a plus side for me, too. When I go to visit, I don’t have to spend any time doing basic system maintenance. No need for scanning hard disks, removing malware, trying to improve firewalls and antivirus. My mom gets a better computing environment, and I get to enjoy some peace of mind.