Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why we've decided to convert to Mac

Well, I've been thinking about it for a while now, but we're finally taking the plunge. We are selling off our Windows computers and converting to Macintosh. I've put a lot of thought into it, and these are the factors that pushed me over:

1) Risk-free. Now that Macs run on Intel processors, it is no longer necessary to choose between Windows and Mac. Macs can run Windows in two different ways. The first is "dual boot", meaning you choose when you boot up whether to load OS-X (Mac's operating system) or Windows. This allows Windows to run at the same speed it would if you were on a normal Windows computer, and Apple provides Windows drivers for its hardware (mouse, camera, etc). The second way to run Windows is through "virtualization", which takes advantage of some nifty new technology in the more recent Intel processors to be able to run Windows from inside OS-X, in its own Window. There is a performance penalty to this, so you can't use it for 3-D games or anything really intensive, but for typical applications, it apparently works pretty well. But the general idea is that moving to a Mac doesn't entail the risk it once did, or require you to abandon all your old software.

2) Best for what I do. The consensus seems to be that for what we use a computer for, Macs are a much more pleasant, stress-free experience. Before, I was reluctant to go to a Mac because I played a lot of computer games in Windows. But I rarely play games anymore. Instead, I use office software (Word, Excel, etc), Internet & communications software, and media editing and management (music, photos, and videos). That is pretty much it. I went through my Start menu, looking at all the software I use, and discovered that there is only one program that I currently use that isn't available on the Mac: Picasa, Google's photo management software. But Apple has their own well-reviewed photo management software, so I don't think I'll be unhappy with the switch.

3) Stability. Windows XP has been crashing on my computer recently. It's frustrating. My normal solution to this is to make a fresh start on my computer, reinstalling Windows. I figured, if I'm going to make a fresh start, why not do it on a computer that doesn't crash like Windows does?

4) My iPod. Analysts and reporters love to debate whether there is an "iPod Halo" for Apple. What that means is, does Apple sell more Mac computers thanks to the success of the iPod? Well, I don't know how significant it is, but there is an iPod Halo. I would not be buying a Mac if it weren't for the fact that I have owned a second-generation iPod for more than four years now. iPods are reliable, well-designed, and above all, extremely easy to use, both the device itself and the iTunes software that works with it on my computer. I have great confidence in Apple's ability to make well-designed, reliable, and above all, easy-to-use products.

So, how will our grand Mac experiment work? We'll see. But I have little doubt I'll be happier. When we were trying to decide whether to move to Houston or Dallas after business school, we decided on Dallas because we realized that everyone we had ever met who had lived in both places preferred Dallas. The only people who preferred Houston were people who had never actually lived in Dallas.

Well, the PC vs. Mac debate isn't quite as lopsided, but I can say that most people who don't like Macs are people who have never tried them because of compatibility concerns, etc. When I talk with people who have owned both, the vast majority prefer the Mac for their home computing needs. I think we'll love Macs just like we loved Dallas.

Monday, March 19, 2007

David's Birthday Parties

David got to have not one, but two birthday parties due to Spencer being under the weather on his actual birthday. On Friday, we had a birthday party with just David, Daddy, Mommy, and Spencer. David requested a white birthday cake with blue frosting. Due to the fragile nature of white cake, he ended up with only one layer of cake, and it looked sortof like a cloud, so we called it a blue cloud cake.

We postponed David's first official birthday party with friends until today. His friend, Lorin, arrived first, and they had fun dancing around to music while Jonathan and I finished preparing things.

At the beginning of the party we just let the kids play with toys while we waited for everyone to arrive. We then played "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" using a donkey that I (Audrey) drew this morning from a picture found on the internet.

Following the donkey mutilation, the kids had a mini-marshmallow relay race. Two teams had to scoop mini-marshmallows onto a spoon and carry it across the room to deposit the marshmallows on a plate. Sadly, many of our fluffy white comrades were lost in the heat of battle, but at the end of the race we let the kids eat as many marshmallows from the clean plates that they could in 60 seconds.

Finally, we had the cool "Cars" cake and opened presents. It was a lot of fun, and we all really enjoyed the party. Thank you to Lorin, Jacob, Dallin, and Jack for coming to the party--and for their wonderful gifts!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

We pray for Izzy

Our good friends, the Costleys, are facing one of the worst trials possible. Their daughter, Isadore (aka Izzy) was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. They are still trying to diagnose the type and the stage that she is in. She is only 3 years old. We love her, and are praying for them all. They have three daughters, Izzy is the second oldest. They have a blog set up for her with updates:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fun Feb-Mar 2007

Click on this photo link below to see the full web album:

Our recent family history...a couple weeks ago we had two of our friends' daughters over to stay for a few days. David had so much fun with them, it was a blast. (Photo of him with his friends watching a movie included.)

On Saturday, David woke up with a high fever and we were able to get into the pediatrician to confirm an ear infection. He was extremely mellow and lethargic all day--which for David is very rare, but the next night his fever broke and it seemed like he was making up doubly for all the fun he missed the day before. (Photo of him looking pathetic included.)

A few weeks ago we were in the car and because it was so cold, David could see his breath. As the interior started to warm up, we heard him say, "There is no more wind in my mouth!"

Today he snuggled in bed between Jonathan and me. I said, "David, I love you." He replied, "I love you." Then Jonathan said, "David, I love you." David replied, "And, I love toys."

David has finally started interacting with Spencer a lot more lately. He loves to play Peek-A-Boo with him. (Photo of Mid- Peek-A-Boo moment included.)

Last time I checked, Spencer couldn't yet speak, but he is very vocal. He babbles consonants and when he is upset his noise seems to be more of a yell than a cry. He only cries when he is really very upset. He is a fairly mild-tempered fellow.

He absolutely loves to hear David laugh, and even if he can't see David, if he hears him laughing it makes Spencer start to giggle.

Spencer has a very expressive face and so many facial expressions. His hair has grown quite wild and sticks up off of his head. He also has a chapped chin. (Photos included.)

Jonathan only has two classes in this last term of his MBA program, and we are about to begin to pack in earnest--one of these days. I (Audrey) have just finally finished my 9 identical quilt squares for the "Michigan Quilt" group project that I am part of . (Photo of a finished square included.) After multiple stab wounds, I can say that I have blistered and bled for this quilt, and it better be beautiful! I will probably never volunteer for a quilting project again.