Wulf's Webden

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Some who’ve known me a long time will be surprised to hear that I’ve recently welcomed a new computer onto my desk… running Windows 10. Why have I gone back to the ‘dark side’? Macs are just too expensive for my current position as a part-time worship pastor position. Sure, they send the message that you are a trendy and creative person but I can’t be doing with shelling out an arm and a leg for the sake of fashion statement at the moment.

Linux? Left to my own devices, that would be the obvious choice but I’m working with a lot of non-technical Windows users and it is helpful to feel their pain – and to be able to pass on tips and suggestions of programs that might help them. That doesn’t mean I won’t be touching Linux. One of my first installs was the ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’ (WSL) so I’ve already got a full Ubuntu-powered command line on the new box and there will be a virtual machine or two running not far behind it. Windows gets to be the host though.

So, I’m on Windows 10, Pro edition (the one that includes bit locker for whole disk encryption). It’s okay although it’s early days and I’ve not had to sit through too many enforced updates and inconvenient restarts. I’ve been able to get up and running on my current video production software of choice (Hitfilm Express) very quickly and it can chew through playback and rendering without raising a sweat. Indeed, it was the fact my MacBook would run its CPUs at up to 100°C and often fall over when trying to export the results which necessitated a change. Reducing the strain I put that system under means that I can hopefully nurse it along for sometime to come and still get the benefits of some Mac only software like Logic Pro (although I’ve got Reaper in my sights, as a cross platform, scriptable DAW).

A little begrudgingly, I am quite enjoying many things about the Windows experience. For example, my initial impression is that Windows Explorer seems to make it easier to hop round the file system than the Mac Finder does. Biggest downside? The Mac is definitely prettier than Windows.

In particularly, I am noticing this around font display. Windows boasts something called ‘clear type’ but the Mac wins, hands down. I’ve played with Windows settings a bit but that’s a bit like when the optician tries lots of different lenses and none of them really do the job; the font-rendering on the Mac just looks right to me and Windows doesn’t even seem to be in the race. I found an old article to illustrate this (2007) but, 13 years later, it seems it still holds true.

So, this far in, I think Macs still look cooler; I just wish they ran a lot cooler too (and, yes, once, I’ve got the Windows box fully operational with the software I need, I’ll probably risk popping the lid on the MacBook and seeing how much dust has built up inside and whether I need to redo the thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink).

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