Last week, on the first “I have something to say” segment, we discussed some strategies for convincing our PC using friends and family to make the switch to Mac. In that conversation we briefly touched on what I consider to be maybe the best method for creating a switcher; get them to use a Mac. Now, that can be a challenge as many would-be converts would prefer to try before they buy and most are not willing to drop $600 plus bucks up front for a Mac test-drive. Luckily, many of us have a secret weapon hiding in the spare bedroom, the closet, or tucked away in the garage. It’s your old Mac and chances are it’s still a decent little machine. Anything with a G4 or better processor can pretty much be dusted off, loaded up with Tiger and iLife, and compete with just about any currently sold bargain basement PC. It’s a great way to go. So what are you waiting for? Pass on that OS X Mac goodness. Listener Eric did it and checkout what he experienced.
[Email to the Maccast, 7/29/2007]
I actually converted my parents to Mac when I was in college. Two years ago I gave my mom my year old laptop that ran Windows when I purchased my Power Book for school. My parents are as far from computer literate as they come… they had a computer that was running Windows 98 and was turned on about 3 times a year before I gave them my old laptop.
I listened to my mom complain that whole year about the Windows laptop I gave her because she didn’t know how to use it for anything other than the same tasks she does at work and wasn’t willing to put in all the time to learn it (not to mention all the “tech support” calls I would get from her asking me to fix it… from 200 mi. away over the phone…)
A year later when I upgraded to the Intel chip Mac Book Pro I decided that instead of selling my year old Power Book right away I would give it to my mom to use and maybe start enjoying the tasks she wants to do at home. I spent the weekend at my parents place and sat down with her one day and introduced her to the OS and explained that anything she didn’t know how to do she could figure out on her own if she “thinks simple”.
After only one week and 2 phone calls for help my mom was off and running with her new Mac. The digital camera she bought was finally getting used as was the mini DV. She started a mailing list to family and friends, created a DVD for a family event, doing all kinds of photography and basically having fun with a computer! After those initial 2 calls I haven’t heard a word from her all year about needing help to figure something out or fix something.
Giving that computer to my family was the best thing I could have done. I escaped untold numbers of phone calls for help, my parents have started enjoying/understanding technology and other members of my family heard about it and have purchased macs for themselves.
Reprinted with permission