Incredibly, I have realised that it is exactly four years since I was converted from PC to Mac. I wasn't exactly on the road to Damascus when it happened; I was on the A4 motorway driving out of London. An acquaintance telephoned to say he'd just bought a Mac Mini for (I recollect) £299 in order to try out the Mac operating system. That weekend I made my first visit to an Apple Store, with absolutely no intention of buying. I saw the Mini, decided I could manage with an existing monitor and totted up the total cost, including a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. It was affordable, so I thought what the heck. Out came my credit card and I carried the very small Mini home. I fully expected to be selling it on eBay before the month was out. The rest is history, to borrow a phrase. Over one weekend I decided that OS X was definitely for me and got so enthusiastic that the following weekend I was in-store buying a PowerBook G4 (which is still bravely soldiering on).
Switching really was not a problem, although initially there were one or two must-have programs I couldn't replicate on the Mac. I continued with Virtual PC for a time, then along came Boot Camp, Parallels and VM Ware to give a more satisfying PC experience on the Mac. Now, after four years, the software stock is amazingly wide and it is difficult to imagine not finding what you want. I now use my Parallels Windows machine for only two applications–my Sony eBook reader and the annual tax return. I can live with that.
After four years (it feels much longer than that, and I can hardly remember the time I paid homage to Microsoft) I have not regretted the change for one second. Apple has opened up a whole new community to me. Apart from the excellence of the products and the software, the Mac community is extensive, friendly and helpful. The podcasts are magnificent (thank you Leo Laporte and friends) and Mackery has become an important part of my life.
Since that first Mini and PowerBook I've had a 17-inch Intel MacBook, a 13-inch black MacBook, a 24-inch iMac and, of course, my MacBook Air and new MacBook Pro. So if there are any doubters out there, put a toe in the Mac water and you'll soon be jumping in hook line and sinker.