I’ve found myself in several Mac vs. Windows discussions this week (and it’s only Tuesday; this does not bode well), so rather than type the same thing all over again, I’m posting it here…
I love Macs because I don’t have to upgrade my hardware every few months just to keep things running. I have three Macs, including the one at my office; in three years, the only piece of hardware I’ve bought was a wireless card for the laptop. I don’t count the keyboard & mice because I already had them, but I too hate the single-button mouse. First order of business with a new Mac: toss the keyboard and mouse, plug in ergo keyboard & wheel mouse. No drivers required; Apple key maps to Windows key, eject key maps to F12. Done. Mac hardware may be more expensive on the whole, and Windows zealots tend to bitch that they can’t upgrade the hardware easily, but it’s my experience that you buy it once and it LASTS. You don’t need to upgrade. How many PCs will run the latest OS updates on 3-year-old hardware with no performance hits? Mine certainly never did.
My Macs crash about once a year apiece. Whole system crashes, that is — individual apps crash occasionally but they don’t take the OS with them. Data loss has been practically nonexistent. And being virus-free is like waking up one morning without the nagging ache that’s been plaguing you for years: you don’t realize how awful you felt until it’s gone.
As a writer, let me just say these words: handwriting recognition built into the OS.
Microsoft Office actually runs better on Macs than on Windows, and has a few tiny extra features. (Screwy but true.) Adobe will let you transfer your licenses from Windows to Mac (or the other way around) once if you call them and ask. The Macromedia discs contain the Mac versions alongside the Windows ones; just copy the license key over and you’re in business. Dreamweaver 7.0 was awful on Macs, but the .0.1 updater fixed that.
I can’t tell you how handy it is to be able to set up your Mac as a development server and have all the basic UNIX tools available on your desktop. It’s just unspeakably cool that Macs are LAMP environments out of the box, even if 90% of users never twig to it. (OK, it’s BSD and not Linux, if you want to pick nits.)
Surfing the web is nicer, too. The anti-aliasing is amazing; ClearType doesn’t come close to matching its beauty. Text — plain old web text — looks almost as good in a browser as it does in Photoshop on the Mac. You have no idea how gorgeous the web is until you see it from a Mac user’s perspective.
Video can be tricky, but the free VLC player will handle most formats if Quicktime chokes. There are a lot of third-party apps like this that make life nice; Google “mac software inventory”– for some reason people like to post lists. I’ll post mine if someone wants it, but I’ve rambled long enough.
On the whole, owning Macs has been so trouble-free that my Windows years seem like a bad joke at my expense.
Scott Janssens says
I installed XP Pro on my box about two years ago when I built it. No hardware upgrades (except for video board) and not a singly system failure since.
For handwriting recognition, I really dig my TabletPC.
I suspect that Mac people have problems with Windows and Windows people have problems with MacOS (and UNIX folks have problems with everything because they’re into that sort of thing) becuase they’re used to the idiosyncracies of their system.
I’ve used and developed under Windows, MacOS, a handful of flavors of UNIX and I prefer Windows. Why? Most likely because it was the one I used first.
I have to say I disagree. I use a mac. In our house we have three. But I also have a PC. In our house we have 2. It is a tough disicion. Mac os X vs. Windows. Easy. The software case is a no-brainer. Mac os x is great! I mean, you don’t need to install updates whenever you get third party software, and you rarely need to upgrade. But, I hate, I HATE apple hardware. The real war is Apples vs. PC’s. I hate Microsoft, and I hate windows, but, I love open source os’s (Linux and BSD mostly). My PC is a desktop from 1995, that was built for Windows ’98. While running windows, we were so pissed off, we switched to macs. But now, I am dual booting Linux and Windows. People think Linux, people think geeks. So what? I’m a geek. But it doesn’t take an idiot to install linux! I mean, seriously! Get Fedora Core or Ubuntu. It’s easy. Anyways, PC hardware rocks, Apple hardware sucks. I have had my iBook for a year, I have replaced the Logic Board once, and had to upgrade the ram. Our iMac, we’ve had to buy an airport card, and now the dvd drive is broken. My friends iBook, the logic board broke five (5) times while in the one year limited warrenty! FIVE TIMES!!! Crazy huh. So, Mac software is good, Microsoft software is bad, PC hardware is good, and Mac hardware is bad. Linux software is almost as good as Mac software, and when run on a PC, it is by far the best. PC’s are cheap, Linux is free, and with open office, and the gimp, I can run ANY mac/windows file that I need to. For all of the other odd files, that one rarely encounters, I can just use my windows box, or my iBook. So I have a win win. Anyways, go to http://www.ubuntu.com/ and http://fedora.redhat.com/ for my favorite distrobutions of Linux. Just give the Ubuntu Live CD a chance. Download it, burn it, put it in the PC CD drive, and boot from the cd. You won’t lost any files, it won’t install anything, but it will boot into a fully functional linux system so you can get the hang of it. Hey, if you like it, keep it!!! Thanks a bunch for readin’