postheadericon TECH TALK: Are U a MAC, or Are U a PC?

In this introductory blog post on tech, I decided to pull out all the stops and start with a new-age (but old) controversy, ru a mac, or ru a PC?

Up until a few years ago in Nepal, it was not even a question. But  now this question is relevant, as the iPod generation has established itself firmly within the KTM valley, where even Samir, an older local cab driver hanging out in Bagdol, can be found ear-plugged in and iTuned out all day long.

But in the west, the controversy, the personal conundrum, and the often prestige or social climbing self-image driven decision for: “Do I buy a shiny new Macbook or do I go with a shiny new Sony Z?” is as common a question as “What phone should I buy, an iPhone or an Android?”

These dilemmas have not bothered the typical Nepali in the least...perhaps up until now. You tell me. Are you debating with yourself over your next college or business purchase...should you get a Mac or go cheap with a new netbook instead?

Years ago when I first arrived in Nepal, I was toting a huge Sony Vaio, bought just for my travels in Asia, thinking if I ever ran into trouble, at least I had a prayer of getting parts and new software for a Microsoft-based computer  - vs. having something Apple and no hope of finding the software I needed at a Nepali Department Store.

My logic turned out to be horribly wrong about the hardware, as when my Vaio did break within the warranty period, I got no relief from the Sony shop on Kantipath, or anywhere else within the Valley. So I turned to Digitek in Durbur Marg to purchase some inexpensive no-name Singaporean import for half the price as any Sony or Acer replacement, and surprisingly, I got much better service there - better then if I had stayed in America with a Sony.

So it was years ago in Nepal: cheap computers, and anybody would try to fix something broken, using baling wire and duct tape as they say. There was not much justification in the minds of my local friends to buy anything more then barebones, Chinese, or just the flat out cheapest computer on the market. And we all know how cheap software is down at Kasha Bazaar.

So the question was a non-issue, until today - this I propose. Look, I already have a few jet-setting Nepali friends who have made the jump to Apple, perhaps not for practical reasons, but instead to look cool at Bakery Café whilst sporting a new aluminum Macbook or MacBook Pro and sipping a coffee drink.

Even the more practical-minded Nepali partners of mine here at our A/V studio, voted to oust all PCs and purchase all new Macs to run our business. Initially the outlay of cash was almost 2 to 1, meaning we could have bought 2 HPs or 2.5 Acers for the price we paid for one Mac. But that was almost 3 years ago now, and my bet is we are coming out on top cash-wise, and here’s why:

No viruses. We have not had a single virus cause trouble on our Macs. No down time, no reformatting, no pulling your hair out, or no embarrassing moments with a client when a virus warning suddenly pops up. And we even run Windows XP and Windows 7 on all our Macs, with no problems there as well.

Another reason we are saving money is that our investment is still running strong, still valid, and still relevant tech-wise. A dual-core Macbook Pro with 4gb RAM and a decent-sized hard drive rivals any workhorse workstation bought on Butterfly Road. We use them for even the most grueling of work, such as audio and video production.

A Mac is (somewhat) built to last, and when it breaks, KTM is fortunate enough to have a world-class service center for all things Apple, the Neoteric F1 Center on Teku. I’ve even gotten home-delivery and house calls from these guys and gals...try to get that in California! (Forgettaboutit.)

So if you are seriously shopping for a new computer, I highly recommend looking at the Apple line up: Mac Minis, MacBooks, MacBook Pros, iMacs, and heck, even the new iPad when it becomes available in Nepal.

You could actually save pisa (over the long haul) and look cool - all at the same time!

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Jiggy Gaton
lives in Kathmandu and is an aging technologist - has been since the days of Woodstock - so in the words of Roland The Gunslinger "he is from a world now gone by." However, Jigs is extremely up-to-date on all things tech and is also available for hire.
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