In 2005, after almost two decades of working exclusively with Windows PCs, I decided (along with about a million other people) to switch to a Mac. My Windows-based friends, family, and co-workers constantly ask why I switched; after repeating my "101 Reasons" over and over, I finally decided to write them down.

Whereas other "switcher books" focus on how to switchhow to copy files from the PC to the Mac, how to install USB-based peripherals, how to migrate an address book101 Reasons to Switch to a Mac is a "Why To" book. Instead of covering the switching process in excruciating detail, it tells stories about how switching to a Mac will help you save time, save money, and get things done.

Reading this book should be like having a chat with a close friendsomeone excited about all the cool things you'll be able to do after you switch to a Mac. Thinking about switching?

This book will give you a glimpse of what life with a Mac can be like. Have you just made the switch? This book will help you discover new applications to explore. And finally, if you've been one of the Apple faithful for years, this book provides you with 101 talking points you can draw on when explaining why you love your Mac.

The opinions expressed are honest, and the experiences described are real. The hardware, software, and websites I discuss are all solutions I've personally used. I have no connections with Appleother than loving its productsand none of the companies referenced or recommended in this book have paid or compensated me in any way.

Mark McElroy

Summer, 2006

1. It Just Works

The Friday after I bought my first Mac (the classic 12-inch PowerBook G4 pictured in Figure 1), I had to mock up 78 files for a publisher's art department. Each file contained a small amount of text, plus four big, fat, high-resolution images.

Figure 1. I still love my very first Mac: the classic 12-inch PowerBook G4. (Image courtesy of Apple.)

I'd done this before on my Windows-based PC. Because Photoshop or Microsoft Publisher would crash every other hour, the project took two days to complete. But my Mac didn't crashnot during editing, not during saving, not during printing. As a result, the job took just two hours.

Weary of losing data to crashes? Tired of figuring out which .ini file is calling on that .dll file that you erased from your computer last week? Alarmed by unexplained hard drive chatter? Sick of printers, scanners, and other peripherals that plug and don't play?

The number one reason for switching to the Mac is simple: it just works.

2. Ooohs and Aaahs

My friend Phil has an iMac on his desk, along with an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse. To the untrained eye, the iMac looks like nothing more than a sleek flat-panel screen on a stylish stand. His Windows-based co-workers can't believe their eyes. "Where's the big box that goes under your desk? And where are all the snaky cables?"

Not long ago, I sat down at a coffee shop in Clayton, Georgia, and started answering email. In the course of an hour, four strangers paused at my table, nodded at my Mac, and said, "Nice."

At a family reunion, my tech-savvy nephew borrowed my Mac. When he minimized a window, it curled up and slid sensuously down to the lower edge of the screen. He raised an eyebrow and whistled. "Very cool."

Mac hardware is sexy. Mac software looks great onscreen. You spend several hours a day staring at a little box. Shouldn't that little box make you oooh and aaah?