reviews,  techno-babble,  the writing life

I Hate My Mac

That is a sentence you rarely hear a writer utter. Most writers love their Macs. We’re trained to them. I don’t know about the rest of you, but back in college, when working for the college papers, all we ever used were Macs.

At the risk of upsetting Mac and iFans everywhere, please hear me out.  My issue has nothing to do with worshiping the other team. I have a very sound argument behind why I hate my Macbook Pro.

First you should know that I really do believe all operating systems are created equal. For a writer, like me, and for what I use my computer for — THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.  I don’t have any issue with Windows, I like Linux Mint (though Ubuntu seems more streamlined) and I’m totally down with the Lion OS.

On my Windows and Mac machines I use the EXACT SAME software. Both MS Word and a little program (that first came out for Mac) called Scrivener. I also use Calibre and Sigil (which comes in both OS flavors).

My Dell (Windows) laptop, our Linux laptop, and the Mac laptop all have onboard video, can all connect to the interwebs via wi-fi at similar speeds. Our Linux machine is one of those tiny netbooks, which makes it impractical for anything except traveling – so we’re going to exclude it from this argument entirely. Especially since I don’t use it for writing.

My Dell laptop (running Windows), has a full size keyboard, a 17.3 inch display, and backlit keys. All of these things VERY helpful for a writer. I can be mobile, I can have a full size keyboard (without having to attach another keyboard) and the monitor is big enough that I don’t have to strain my 40-year-old eyes to see what I’m working on. Plus, I can see what the hell I’m doing when I’m typing in the dark, which happens more often than you’d think. This machine cost about $1K fully loaded back when my husband bought it two years ago.

My MacBook Pro late 2011 build has a 13″ screen and a keyboard 2/3 the size of the one on my Dell.  The keys themselves are a bit smaller as well, and there’s an odd space between them.  While the keys on the Mac are backlit, too, there is no 10 key (which I also use more often than you’d think) and my fingers are constantly tripping over themselves when I try to type. Not to mention I have to squint at the screen to see what I’m doing. This little machine, barely larger than our netbook, cost me a little over $1K , and that was the sale price so they could get rid of the old models.

Here’s the difference in pictures since I’m not so sure the problem will be immediately evident to those reading this:

You see what I mean now, right?  Which machine do you think is more comfortable to write on for hours and hours at a time?



Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at


    • Steph

      Ha-ha – Ms. Valerie! You know, someone else told me the same thing, but as it turns out they have 2 models for the Macbook Pro and one is the 13 inch, the other is a 15 inch. For those two extra inches you pay another grand. They have the Macbook Air’s, too, but they aren’t much larger either and the next size up are the actual desktop models. My brother-in-law has one of those. Too big and it keeps me at a desk. I really only bought the thing so I could work with iTunes, so I won’t sell it, but it drives me crazy when I use it, too. And, as a last resort it can act as a backup machine. I’ve also heard they’re very durable and can take a beating. But still…

  • Morgan Eckstein

    The only Apple made computer I have ever used was an Apple II back in the 80s during high school. Just coming out of college (I was a late bloomer), I only saw a single classroom with Macs, and all three of the college newspapers were using PCs. Of course, this is Denver–we are not tech savvy here…who knows what they are using at the really good schools.

    • Steph

      Went to MSCD in the early 90’s and we were using Macs for the entire journalism department. If you worked at The Metropolitan, you used a Mac to turn your stories in. 🙂 Same thing with the Plainsman Pathways. I worked at that school paper (NJC – Sterling CO) and we used Macs there, too. ::shrug:: Maybe it was a 90’s thing?

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