Am I a Mac or am I a PC?

The last time I entered this debate was in 2001. It was my sophomore year of college and it was time to buy my first laptop. I had been using a 5-year-old Compaq desktop, donated by my father for the greater academic cause.

I chose the iBook – it, too, was a sophomore (at least, the sleek white version we’re all familiar with today) . I had grand visions of becoming a graphic designer in my spare time. I think I really just fell for the clever marketing.

Here I am, six years later, asking myself: Am I Mac or a PC? And this time, the question is loaded.

Today, I can’t look at an Apple-produced laptop without an expression of disgust. The sophomore edition turned out to be a real loser after exactly a year, when the warranty ran out. It emerged with a permanently faulty logic board that had to be replaced by the company multiple times. The machine fell apart by its third year. I found myself contorting the monitor so I could see slivers of screen; restarting after crashes from overwhelming heat; simultaneously praying and cursing while watching that insufferable little rainbow wheel turn and turn and turn, waiting to resume activity – but it just never resumed.

I believe that a $1500 machine (including student discount) should last longer than five – never mind three – years. The machine I’m on now is a 7-year-old Vaio, still going strong (but, admittedly, not strong enough if I’m in the market for a new, trustworthy laptop; this baby is effectively a desktop these days).

Which brings me to my point. Aside from my deep trauma concerning Apple customer service in its handling of its faulty iBook effort, I do reside in Israel, where Mac-help is nowhere to be found from a proper Apple dealer or someone I can afford and trust.

What does an (Israeli) torn lover do? I am still attracted to the Apple philosophy, I am still wooed by beautiful design and concept. I am, on one hand, willing to give all to make this relationship work, and on the other, fearful of another abusive experience and of poor (or no) customer service.

Yet, occasionally, I see other Israelis using MacBooks. What makes them trust? Who heals their hurt? Can they help me decide if I truly am a passionate, yet volatile Mac over a dusty, yet trusty, PC?

P.S. If you’re also Mac-owner/victim, read this article for tips on beating the heat.