My New Computer

Apr 23 2010 Published by under Flash

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It’s not a Mac! It’s a Sony!

E_Brown_-_Front_to_Back_610x426

A Sony Vaio E-Series to be exact.

Yes, I’ve gone back to the dark side. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore. I’ll make a long story short, since I’ve started out to write a long explanation of why I’m going back to Windows, and I think the less said, the better. I started out on Commodore machines and eventually made it to PCs. I used PCs since the early 90′s with Windows 3.0. Was always happy with them. Did the Mac thing for 3 years, and it was great, but I’m a bit disillusioned with Apple right now.

Again, I don’t want to go into senseless details, but I will say that it has a lot less to do with Flash CS5 and 3.3.1 than you might think. I was never a big supporter of the push to get Flash onto the iPhone in the first place, as you can see here. And last October I expressed my doubts over the Flash CS5 to iPhone publishing route. So before anyone accuses me (again) of being a whiny Flash developer, forget it. It’s overall about the general direction that Apple is going in, in both their attitude towards those who develop for their platform, and their insistence on overprotecting their consumers. As someone tweeted recently, “Balmer: ‘Developers! Developers! Developers!’ Jobs: “Developers?’” I am not starting a boycott or any kind of movement against Apple, and I’m under no illusion that my switching is going to have any impact whatsoever on Apple’s policies. I just didn’t feel good personally working on my Mac as of late, and feel more comfortable working on a PC right now.

I have to say that Windows 7 is a nice OS. I’ve worked with just about every flavor of Windows from 3.0 up to XP. I skipped ME and Vista. But 7 has some really nice features, looks good, and already feels like home. One thing about the PC platform is that it’s all about choice. Maybe too much choice. Just deciding what model machine to get was a tough process. Took me a couple of weeks to come up with a decision. But my wife had a Vaio a few years back and I really liked it. I shopped around a lot, got lots of suggestions, tried many models in various stores, read lots of reviews and spec lists, and watched lots of Youtube reviews. But I’m happy with the Sony. It looks good, feels good, nice and snappy. The base model wasn’t even that expensive, so I fitted it up with the biggest fastest hard drive, best video card, and highest CPU they offered. Still just came to around $1000.

I’ve been having fun digging up old programs and utilities that I used to use a few years back. Finding that some of my old serial numbers still work 3 years later! Owning a PC also tends to mean knowing a lot more about the internals of your machine – both the hardware and how everything works, drivers, etc. I guess to a lot of people that is a pain in the neck, but it was also one of the things that I used to really enjoy about computing. The hacker mentality. Relearning a lot of that old stuff as I go along too.

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61 responses so far. Comments will be closed after post is one year old.

  • Matt says:

    Nice. I always just felt I had more options with Windows machines. More free software, more hardware, upgrades, etc. I also like when preferences for apps have more than 2 checkboxes. I don’t need Steve making all my decisions for me.

    • kp says:

      That’s exactly how I feel. Windows can be a lot more confusing with all the options. But there’s almost always a way to make it work exactly the way you want to, if you dig in deep enough.

  • James Penman says:

    I’ve tried to remain platform agnostic over the years, but I’ve been loving the Mac for the past 3 in a very serious way. I’m on Windows7 in Boot Camp daily for testing purposes (aaaand I like to enjoy my Steam account occasionally too), but I’m so comfortable on this keyboard, rely heavily on certain OS X-only software like Things, and have fully internalized the consistent keyboard shortcuts for OSX, that investing in Windows7 almost feels impractical right now.

    I remember my switch to my Macbook Pro was a thrilling one, full of a sense of adventure and finding new ways to do things that might even be faster/better. And it was a giant relief to not have to be updating drivers all the time, running the regular maintenance routines, and so on.

    Buuuut, my history with computing is a lot like yours and there’s something fun about all of that stuff. Feeling empowered, learning and loving all the little details that make your computer your computer. When I first spent time in Windows 7 I was fairly sure that it might be what gets me to switch back. But then, I pretty much can right now on a whim – I just use Boot Camp. A Sony Vaio doesn’t have the equivalent of Boot Camp where I can boot up OS X; truly giving me the choice. Right now, my MacBook Pro allows me more choice than that.

    It almost makes me feel a bit trapped now. I’m shackled to my Apple hardware because it gives me the broadest range of software. :( I envy the powerful computers that don’t have to cost 3K!

  • Mike says:

    You’ll have to get Jobs to touch your Vaio so you can change your tag line.

  • Eric Dolecki says:

    So what are you doing with your Mac hardware – are you going to hold onto it, shelf it, ? I collect Mac hardware if that means anything, haha.

  • I’m THIS close to switching but I’m scared about font issues I might have with clients / designers. Is that really an issue anymore? If not, I’m there.

  • Stephen says:

    As someone who used windows for 10 years, used Ubuntu and Kubuntu for 3, and has been using Mac OS X for the last 3 years, I have to say that out of all of them I’m most productive in Linux. However, with Spaces, the Warp application, and a couple other modifications, I’ve gotten pretty close to how productive I was under Linux. Windows 7 is unquestionably a great operating system – it’s light and fast on my gaming machine. However, with my workflow of 20+ windows open at all times, Windows 7 just doesn’t cut it. If they add a nice virtual desktop implementation I might switch, but until then I’ll stick with my mac.

  • felix says:

    Interesting. I’m also considering ‘reverse switching’. Since all of the software I use regularly is available on both platforms there is not a huge cost to switching either way. The biggest pain for me is re-learning key combinations. Once they are in your muscle memory it’s hard to unlearn them.

  • You need to get Steve Jobs to touch your Vaio ;)

  • kp says:

    Felix. yeah, I remember the pain of that when I went to Mac. Strangely, the PC keyboard memory came back a LOT faster than I expected.

  • kp says:

    David. Someone beat you to that joke. :) Read higher.

  • Tangent says:

    Welcome back to Windows, besides CS5, FB4, you can also use the Open Source Flash Develop for heavy yet fast ActionScript coding.

  • JLM says:

    If adobe release cs5 photoshop and flash on linux I would switch tomorrow, but flash seems to be going with the excessive real estate properties panel so not in a hurry to upgrade. Not happy with Apples ‘polices’, it may well have put pay to all Huge’s haxe work and many others for no logical reason, it really seems to go against the mixing of open and closed software which I think is healthy. So I am not rushing to replace my battered mac pro, but switching back to windows does not appeal… windows seems to require maintenance skills that I am not interested in learning. Maybe I need a better toy than flash I would like to explore using linux for other creation… i am quite tempted to play with Max msp – http://cycling74.com/downloads/ but there does not seem to be a linux version so it won’t help me change. I see the complex project setups people use for flash creation these days I have to question if flash still has the magic, it seems to be converging on M$ development where I can’t just open an project in any text editor and develop code which is where I hoped flash was going but it seems not.

  • welcome back to the dark side. jejeje

  • If you are looking for good developer tools for Windows, one program that I love and haven’t found anything that comes close on Mac is Beyond Compare from Scooter Software. Excellent tool for file comparison, folder comparison, and three-way merging.

  • Step Schwarz says:

    Congrats on the new machine! After a run of 14 “Designed by Apple in California”s — from a //c to a 27″ iMac — I scored Dell and started playing around with Fedora. Really sweet OS. I’m having more fun than I’ve had in a long time. I hate being negative, so I’ll spare the Internet the list of reasons why, but your quasi-retweet pretty much says it all. :)

  • fede says:

    have you ever think about html 5+ webGL+ linux?? much more confortable than windows, very good looking with gnome shell environment, and definitely free.. :D

  • Welcome home! Good to have you back.

  • Caio says:

    So, that means no more Iphone development aswell, right?
    And wellcome back =)

  • sascha/hdrs says:

    You’ve manged to break out of the walled garden of Apple! Welcome back to the ‘open’ side! To me Apple is a little bit like that company in the (horrible) movie ‘The Island’ … Everything is sterile and clean and everyone is healthy and has to follow their daily programme to stay healthy and of course everyone is shielded off from the outside world.

    I build my PCs by myself, Every three or four years it’s time to go checking out components, see what works best and fits best. No big deal for me. I assemble the machine by myself, overclock it, test if it runs stable and everything is done and well. I’m not a total overclocking nut who buys new hardware every three months to stay absolutely up-to-date but I do enjoy the fact that I use a self built machine that runs not only faster than the lastest Mac Pro Quadcore but also costs less than it.

  • kp says:

    To answer a bunch of questions at once…

    Not quite ready to switch to Linux. I’ve tested the Linux waters for almost as long as I’ve had a pc, but never ran it full time. Maybe someday.

    I still have a few Macs in the house and have no plans to give them away. And I’m not swearing off iPhone dev. We still have customers at work asking for iPhone apps, so I’m sure there’s more Objective-C in my future. And I did buy an iPad with the intend of creating some stuff for it. Still plan to when I get some time. But my day to day work will be on the Sony.

    And Sascha, yes, for most of my career, as I mentioned, I built all my own pcs from scratch. Or sometimes bought an old, cheap one and bit by bit built it up into a powerhouse. It was a lot of fun. But since I’m mainly a laptop guy now, my pc building days are mostly over. I miss it.

  • Mike says:

    I made the same move,
    My new Laptop is an HP Mini 311 and I love it running Windows 7. I even have CS4 Master Collection installed on it and it runs great along FlashDevelop ofcourse ;-)

    I know you might say you’re not boycotting Apple but I am. Not just to do it for the policy 3.3.1 but I want to support a company that supports me.

    I had the iPhone for 3 years and I ditched my iPhone and got a Google phone and I’m gearing up to build my next i7 Machine this month.

    The point is I Love the Flash Platform and Flash Development and I’ve devoted my entire career to becoming the Best Flash developer I can be and I just can’t live with myself if I’m using a machine or supporting a company that wishes we would all just die.

    – Mike Kerr
    theBrokenApple.com

  • Won Lee says:

    Hello Keith.

    I just returned to huge fan of you. Nice write.

  • TheDarkIn1978 says:

    i hear that! i’ve been a mac user since the 90s and i’m personally responsible for switching many of my friends from PC to Mac. however, i’ve become increasingly disenchanted with Apple over the past few years, 3.3.1 being only the most recent heartache of many. my Vista-loathing brother has been waiting to switch and buy a MacBook Pro for over a year, but much to his surprise i suggested he get a Sony Vaio instead. Now, not only does he not have to learn Apple’s new tricks (or support their business), he also saves over $1000. it’s certain my next computer will be PC as Windows 7 truly is great.

  • Robert says:

    @Brad,

    Font concerns are still alive and kicking. There are 2 equally bad ways we solve it at my company. 1. Build on a PC, compile on a mac. 2. Build font swfs and import them in (works fine for flex, but makes for tons of extra positioning code in flash because you can’t see it until you compile). The other option that I don’t have is to develop on a mac, which I would probably choose just because that problem annoys me enough.

  • Thomas says:

    No Apple bashing here – also in the comments. I like this attitude. :-)

  • Kevin Newman says:

    I see the protecting your consumers thing both ways. I feel like end users need to be protected more than they are now (my 20 year old sister doesn’t click the update button because it is “annoying” and “breaks things”, just as an example). I also feel like they should be able to open the hood and see what’s in there. I really hope Android comes through on the new mobile devices to solve both of these problems – locked down by default (with more reviews of apps in their market place) but with a warning plastered switch to get it unlocked. That’d be ideal in my opinion. Laptops and Desktops will become professional tools again, and that is how it should be.

  • Charles says:

    Welcoming you back with “open” arms. It’s nice to hear about more and more folks Devigning on systems other than Apple these days.

  • Allen says:

    This brightened up my day time a million. I bought the same same vaio and color about 2 weeks ago. As a flash developer myself, its nice to know that one of the all time flash gurus works on the same machine. I’m definitely bragging about this at work…

  • Colman de Silva says:

    I am with you man. 1 week ago I switched out my iPhone and not using my MacBook pro either. Same reasons as you. Not a whiney Flash developer. I just do not want to support a company whom I do not believe in.

  • ladeng6666 says:

    This computer seems to be produced by our factory,ha!
    But I always want a Mac book!

  • jon says:

    i’m finding it tough to believe that so many have an impression that Apple *computers* are somehow closed. they’re unix boxes for goodness sake!

    handhelds, mobile devices, yeah (and even those are jailbreakable, with a bit of weak controls on that even…kind of a wink to the hacker) but the actual mac machines? hmm…

    j(15 year unix hack, longtime PC and mac user)

  • jon says:

    that being said–nice box :)

  • Charlie says:

    General question since so many Flash developers have vowed to switch to Windows. Do you guys think this will affect the direction of designs in the next years or so? Let’s face it, during the past three years every other Flash developer (and web designer) has, to some extent, copied one or more creative element from Apple’s site or its OS.

    Can’t wait to see if this will stop? Maybe this is the new start of a new phase in Flash interface designs.

  • kp says:

    Jon, I never said the computer was closed. As I said above, it’s about ” the general direction that Apple is going in, in both their attitude towards those who develop for their platform, and their insistence on overprotecting their consumers.”

    Charlie, I’ll also quote myself to answer your question: “I am not starting a boycott or any kind of movement against Apple, and I’m under no illusion that my switching is going to have any impact whatsoever on Apple’s policies. I just didn’t feel good personally working on my Mac as of late, and feel more comfortable working on a PC right now.”

  • Kent says:

    So does that mean we all should switch OS’s? I was just getting use to…..

    Just kidding! : )

    I tend to keep representative machines from each camp. In fact the only thing I am missing is an android machine (waiting until there are net-books running the OS in a way I can use it as test platform). I probably come across as a “fence sitter” but I really do think being a developer is, among other things, about not caring about platform. I will follow the money, to copy a phrase I heard somewhere once. Still like Adobe and Apple. I think the current issues over policy will work themselves out. I will say I am one who likes strong competition and the current mobile ecosystem is as competitive as it gets. Back to coding…….

  • personman says:

    So, you buying Flash CS5?

  • Brendan says:

    Yeah I switched back to windows too. Do not give me xp or vista but damn they got it right with windows 7 and visual studio free edition is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xcode would take years to catch up. All very good. Never tyhought I would say that I actually feel free on windows :) and my notebook cheap compaq 615 :) rocks!!!!! if only hp would bring that slate with win7:(

  • brill says:

    Hacker mentality? Try Linux. It’s the only way to be free to hack.

  • Isaac says:

    Great reading this. I’m actually planning on getting same viao E-series, customized to about $950 but am getting the coconut white version, looks sexy.

    I respect your you.

  • Jacob Correia says:

    Regarding being ‘disillusioned’, I feel the same as you do.

    I’ve been using PC’s for awhile simply because I can build them how I want and for less. I’ve wanted to get a new Mac around the house lately, but with all that’s going on I’ve made a personal decision not to for now; since I essentially got the you know what from Steve. Though I probably wouldn’t get a sony ;)

  • Zach says:

    Keith: welcome back to the fold. Happy to see the return of one of my actionscript heroes. its a good time to switch back.

  • jon says:

    OK, i hear you, kp. i do agree that it seems that, like many others before them, are becoming the thing they originally were *not* about. unfortunately i think that’s in jobs’ DNA…

    on a somewhat related note:

    http://paulgraham.com/apple.html

  • Dan Sumption says:

    Great to know that there are so many PC-toting Flash devs out there – at conferences nowadays I seem to be surrounded by a sea of brushed aluminium and glowing apples – though I suspect the tide may start turning the other way.

    I made a similar switch to you 2 years ago – I’d used PCs for many years, switched to a Mac for 3 years, loved some aspects but overall found the lack of choice (and the apparent preference for mouse actions over keyboard) didn’t sit with my style of computing. I’m now very happily back on a Windows platform.

    FWIW (and a bit late to be saying this now, I realise) I’ve had laptops from virtually every manufacturer, and am now wedded to Thinkpads. I’ve had a couple of Vaios, and they’re pretty nice, probably my second choice for a laptop, but the Thinkpad’s keyboard, trackpad and general build quality are absolutely outstanding, unmatched by anything else. Plus the Vaios tend to come stuffed-to-the-gills with bloatware, whereas the Lenovos come with very little except for the incredibly useful Thinkvantage range of system tools.

    • kp says:

      I had a couple of thinkpads before that I didn’t like at all. But I think both were pre-Lenovo. I bough my Vaio with the “clean start” or “fresh start” option. Something like that. Basically they ship it with nothing but the OS and the Sony specific tools. None of the other crap.

  • Rin.S says:

    I use sony VPCCW200C~

    feel good for FLASH CS5

  • adam says:

    it seems the real reason is that you guys don’t want to learn html5 and you are staying in your comfortable place with old flash technology. Besides, Mac hardware can run both operating systems, windows do not. So you get a machine that does 1/2 of the stuff and keep developing with old software to prove a point when there are millions of iphone and ipad being sold with 80%o f the market. Fast forward 5 years from now. Point proved now what ? The truth seems you have so much smart competition on the mac that you rather do not compete that lose miserably. Just learn HTML5 and move on.

  • LauryB says:

    Unfortunately actionscript and flash are dead or dying, so even if the Win hardware is more affordable, I need to stick to the Mac platform and Steve Jobs omnipotence.

  • kp says:

    adam, HTML5 is partially implemented on some browsers and cannot do a fraction of what Flash can. To be perfectly honest, if it were a viable alternative, I’d be more than happy to dive in.

    Laury, Flash and ActionScript have been dying for many years now. In all that time, I’ve made a pretty good living at it, and continue to do so. Nothing lasts forever, but a eulogy might be a bit premature still.

  • kp says:

    Also, adam, where do you get those stats for iPhone and iPad being 80% of the market. If you’re just going to make up numbers, I can play at that game too.

  • adam says:

    I though the people buying windows hardware were either governement/huge corporations offices or the clueless people that go into the store and don’t know any better. the salesman tells them they are the fastest and more powerful things around. I didn’t expect that people in this business especially developers like you would make such a choice. But hey, it’s your cash so if it works for you, I’m really happy.

  • adam says:

    The enormous success of the iphone and now the ipad, has completely changed the ‘cell phone’ market landscape and has created a new one for app developers. Every company in the planet is trying to catch up with apple. You too sold apps and made some money. It seems you have been living under a rock if you say someone else besides apple owns the mobile smartphone market. Even the government is investigating them since they are so powerful and popular.

  • adam says:

    Keith I admire you for your amazing talent. It is just sad the fact that from my iPad and iPhone I’ll not able to see all your animations and art. That’s basically it.

  • Keith Peters says:

    Adam, I totally agree that the iPhone revolutionized the mobile/smartphone market, and that everyone else is catching up. But when you look at the ACTUAL NUMBERS, it’s Symbian and Blackberry that rule the mobile market by a long, long margin. The iPhone is well behind them. Android is just behind iPhone, but catching up with serious momentum, and most analysts predict it will soon pass the iPhone in market share. In fact, Android sales have already surpassed iPhone for monthly sales.

    So you can throw around terms like “80%” and “living under a rock” or you can look at facts.

  • Keith Peters says:

    At any rate, I don’t see why people are so upset with this post. Again, I’m not telling anyone what they should do, or even recommending that anyone buy a PC. I’m not saying you should throw away your iPhone and get an Android. In fact, this post had nothing to do with HTML5, Flash, or iPhone/iPad, but for some reason people are trying to draw me into that whole ridiculous argument. All I said is that I bought a new PC and that I like it and that I don’t personally appreciate Apple’s attitude towards its developers and consumers.

  • [...] image speaks volumes, I believe, as previously loyal Apple fans (example 1, example 2) see the company for what it actually is: a commercial organisation driven by the pursuit of [...]

  • [...] I said back in April when I switched over to a PC, I had become disillusioned with Apple and not happy with the general [...]

  • ryder88 says:

    nice computer, the sony Vaio is one of my dream machine, next of course to the panasonic tougbook.

  • psychnosiz says:

    “Back to the dark side” ?:/
    This is the white side brother.