Switching to Mac after 15 years of Windows, security expert says he’s ‘too stupid to use Macs’

After three months, SearchSecurity.com’s Winn Schwartau admits there’s still much to learn about his newly adopted Apple Mac OS X operating system, and writes that he’s “too stupid to use Macs.”

Schwartau writes, “After battling the WinTel world for 15 years (DOS used to work before that!) I am still overthinking my computer usage, and that is a sin. So in front of the world, I confess my newly recognized sins.”

• I assume the computer is going to fail. There are so many problems, my first reaction is the technology has failed yet again. I confess to this sin.
• The network is to blame. Other than a lightening strike the other day which did in fact fry the main router, our network is highly reliable. (Yes, I do have UPS and surge protection. But crap happens, OK?) So why do I blame the network? Some WinTel wireless and LAN and dial-up networking configurations are a nightmare (read: less than automatic). For some unknown reason I could never decipher DHCP, and other advanced networking configurations get changed by the office Poltergeist. He seems to have gone away since we switched to Mac. (Saves a bunch of time, I’ll tell you!)
• I have not run antivirus software in more than three months.
• I have not run any spyware software in three months.
• I have not defragged.
• I have only checked the integrity of my firewall three or four times.
• I forget that there is a simpler way than I am used to. Somewhere, there is an easy button to do 99% of what I need.
• I still use a PC and will defend it all day long. It doesn’t connect to the Internet though, and sharing is controlled carefully. Sorry folks! I also still use Linux as I watch it prepare for its prime-time appearance in 2007.
• I curse the one-button mouse, use a Microsoft Mouse and begged the Apple reps at the meeting for free Mighty Mice. They look cool. I also despise the standard Mac desktop keyboard. Boy, did I hear about that.
• We’re good now. Mac is my office.

Full article here.

Disgusted by security issues and poor performance, Winn Schwartau makes the switch from Windows to the Mac and details the bumps in the road along the way in his Mad as Hell installments here.


  1. Okay you ignorant buffoon.. 15 years of dumping thousands into a product without doing research.

    Now that I got that off my chest.. thanks for publishing your findings..many are being helped by your honesty..

    Er… what’s wrong with the Mac Keyboard??

  2. I never saw anyone that “was too stupid” to use a Mac; go in the system and do a lot of technical stuff, yes, to use a Mac, no. I’ve seen 5 and 6 year-old kids pick up the basics in no time at all.
    If Winn is sharp enough to try the Mac perhaps he’ll be smart enough to stay with it. It’s a lot less wear and tear on the nerves.
    Note to Winn: DOS worked, still does…but it really, really sucks.

  3. Hey all you long-time Mac users:

    I’m relatively new to Macs (although I did use them at work in the early 90s). Is all of this tech-media buzz about Macs a recent phenomenon? Is the growing groundswell of opinion in favour of Macs a new thing?

    Or has it being going on for a while, and I just didn’t hear about it?

  4. Good Job, I don’t think anybody hs really hammered him for this, just stating the obvious. And if you bothred to read the article, the tech writer himself states he was “too stupid to use macs” not MDN.

  5. Hey Gog, it has been growing for a while but the shift to Macs has been more noticeable of late because of a variety of factors coming into play at the same time.

    1. The iPod and ITMS have put Apple back in the limelight and the fact that they are cross platform has given many long time windows users their first experience with a Mac product. Since they are great products, these first timers then consider other Apple products. This is known as the “Halo Effect”.
    2. Malware is out of control on the windows platform and currently there are ZERO instances of Malware in the wild for the Mac.
    3. OS X is far more stable than the Classic OS in addition to being far more secure. This has people coming back to the Mac.
    3. OS X is unix based so all of the uber geeks are switching to the Mac – while at the same time the OS X user interface which sits atop this unix core is the simplest, most intuitive, and easiest to use available. This results in the interesting situation of having a predominance of users at the the high end and low end of the spectrum. Grandma should buy a mac AND Johnny UberGeek at MIT should buy a mac too. This is gradually spreading towards the middle of the bell curve.
    4. Certain high profile mass media tech experts such as Walt Mossberg and Leo Laporte are actively promoting the Mac Platform as the best option available.

  6. I’ve helped a number of people to switch to Macs and I think that Mr Schwartau’s experience is very typical.

    The biggest problem that most newcomers face is that the interface is similar enough to make them think it’s the same, but different enough to trip them up. That’s not to say that Apple is wrong, far from it, Apple does things for consistent, logical reasons and when Microsoft copy, they don’t always copy very carefully.

    The other common problem is that they think they know better. They’ve used PCs for years and feel that they’re very knowledgeable about computers, so they partition drives, install all sorts of security measures and change settings like they’re going out of fashion. When things go wrong, they re-install the OS as a first thought rather than a last resort.

    My advice is always to leave it alone for a while, just get used to using it the way that Apple intended it to be used and if something doesn’t work the way you expect, talk to an experienced Apple user and find out how they do that particular thing and why.

  7. If you read Winn’s writing you would know that he uses humor, sarcasim, irony, etc, to make a point. I believe that Winn is making the point here that being used to using a Windows PC has made him over complicate everything about computing. So the simplicity of the Mac makes him feel stupid because he is having trouble breaking the old Windows. He knows that the Mac is simple to use. Most Windows users would call mastering the needless complexity of Windows great knowledge. I encounter that arrogance everyday in the IT world. So give the guy a break, he is a great Mac advocate.

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