I’ve been a devoted Mac girl since 2005, when I replaced my creaking, crash-happy Dell laptop with a shiny new PowerBook. That PowerBook, by the way, is still going strong, and I’ve since added an iMac desktop to my little Mac family.
But last week, I partitioned my desktop’s hard drive and installed Windows XP on my Mac. Why would I do such a thing? Why would I ever consider booting my computer in XP when I have the beauty of Snow Leopard available to me?
Two words: Mass Effect.
The biggest drawback to owning a Mac, by far, is the lack of gaming options. A few games, like Bioshock and Dragon Age: Origins, have released Mac versions, and I hope this becomes a trend. But unfortunately, based on the reviews and research I’ve read, Mac versions of computer games are usually inferior to their PC counterparts.* The general consensus is that if you want to play games on a Mac, your graphics card and processor need to blow the minimum specs out of the water, otherwise the game will freeze, crash, and be painfully slow. And many games are still not available for Mac, including Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.
So now I have two operating systems on my computer. I still use OS X for all of my dissertation work, but at the end of the day, when my brain has been thoroughly re-fried, I’ll reboot in XP and play some Mass Effect as I wait for my hardworking husband to come home so we can fix dinner. I feel like I’m cheating on OS X, but really, my occasional forays into infidelity ultimately reaffirm my commitment to my true partner. Gaming ability aside, I kind of hate XP. What kind of operating system downloads updates to the F drive and then gets angry when it can’t install the downloaded files from the C drive? You didn’t save the files on the C drive, genius!
Also, I do like the “Windows 7 was my idea” ad campaign, but if I see them bragging about their fabulously innovative task bar one more time, I’m going to throw something at the TV. I’ve had a task bar in OS X for the past five years.
Straw poll: are you a Mac or a PC? Why?
* Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft and Diablo, is an exception here.