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Old Jun 25, 2006, 5:22 AM   #1
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There are 2 distinct factions in the marketing department I work for: the PC people and the Mac people. I just got a brand new Mac Power PC assigned to me so I thought I'd make some observations. First, the PC people have the attitude that a computer is just a tool, not a lifestyle preference. The Mac group, on the other hand, are "religiously" fanantical about Macs and use every opportunity available to preach that Macs are somehow inherently better performing then PCs and they dread having to use PCs as their primary office computer.

The common myth has long been that PCs are better suited for office/business tasks and Macs are better for graphic arts and creative tasks. Having used the new Mac for the past few weeks and running some of the the same applications I have on my PC (Adobe CS2, MS Office, Quark XPress) I can't find any basis for the the zealous attitude that Mac lovers have.

The Mac is a very nice piece of hardware, but not significantly different from the many PCs I've built and worked with. Setting up a brand new Mac with the latest OSX operating system was about the same as setting up a new Windows XP PC. Installing software on the Mac seemed to take a few more steps than a PC but otherwise was pretty intuitive. Getting the Mac on the network was as easy as the PC. Organizing and editing digital photos with Photoshop is no different than on the PC. The main thing that leaves me dumbfounded is that I could not see where the Mac could do anything that the PC could NOT do. Nor could I see where the Mac did anything better or quicker than a PC.

The bottom line is if my company suddenly decided that we would become a "Mac only" shop, I could easily make the transition from PC use to Mac. And I think that Mac "purists" have merely been indoctrinated with unsubstantiated marketing hype that Macs are better at certain graphics and media tasks than PCs.

Any comments from the peanut gallery?
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 6:00 AM   #2
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I've not used a Mac, so can't say much about it, but I've had Windows XP go down on me a few times. Last time i had to wipe my hard drives, i installed Suse Linux and put Windows XP in as a dual boot system. Linux is more stable and i'm safe with it, but i like Windows XP better.

Anyway for a normal house hold computer user who likes doing a bit of all sorts and plays around with photos on the computer. I should imagine a PC is better. I could be wrong though.
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 8:22 AM   #3
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Hi FB. My oldest son is a software engineer, #2 is a graphics designer....I know exactly what you are talking about:-)...I don't see a whole lotta difference either, though I use his Mac rarely.Differences I've seen over the years...Mac software and hardware was more expensive, peripherals were more expensive, Macs seemed to be more plug+play long before pc's. What is really amazing to me is how Apple managed to make such fanatics of their followers. I'm not knocking either, but for the smaller to survive and prosper so long, truly is a testament to the company.


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Old Jun 25, 2006, 10:02 AM   #4
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I agree with Dan and 12noon and Facia also. I used Mac very few times in my lab. One of my friend insisted me to buy Mac laptop but it looked to me toyish at that time. Design and looks are elegant though but I am not sure about performance difference. I think everybody jumps in a wagon with so-called experts to propagate this myth, just because they dont want to sound stupid.

However linux is a totally different story. Using linux was a fun and thrilling experience and may be can take your boredome away.

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Old Jun 25, 2006, 10:20 AM   #5
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I have very little experiance with Macs as well, in fact, my main observation about them is that they look (like the machine itself, not what you see on the screen) a lot nicer than the average PC.

I'm also aware of a new bit of software for OS X called Boot Camp that allows it to run Windows XP, a huge advantage in my books.

For my use though, a PC is almost definately better, I don't have to worry much about compatibility and extra costs or difficulty finding accessories. And for more of a casual PC user like myself, thats a major benefit.

I also find it a lot easier to get a cheap PC, for example, the desktop I'm on right now, which not top of the line, is pretty good for everything I use it for and it cost around $300.
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 12:19 PM   #6
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Atindra, I'm certainly not bored. Yeah Linux is an option, but I need to remain more mainstream to get my business done.

Interesting thing is I saw one of the new Mac commercials on TV this morning... it focused on how long it takes to get up and running right out of the box. It talked about how with PC's you have to uninstall all the preinstalled "Trial Software" that comes with them. This IS partially true and one thing I always do for friends with new PC's is clean off all the factory installed crap and tweak the performance settings for them before they begin using their new Dell or HP.

I build my own PC's so I never have to deal with that. My personal machines run fast and cool and NEVER crash. My office PC is built by a local company whose advertising is based on the fact that its machines come with clean Windows installs, all updated drivers, everything tested and tweaked and nothing more. This boring looking little black box is "bullet proof" and can run circles around the new Mac for overall speed. Meanwhile all the company Dells and HPs are constantly freezing and crashing. I believe this has contributed the most to the Mac myth of superiority over PCs.

Here's a pic of my current home PC.
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 12:10 AM   #7
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I like to build my own and with macs it is not really feasible plus I NEED two mouse buttons.
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 1:08 AM   #8
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I'm surprised no Mac people have chimed in yet. They're about the most opinionated people you'll ever hear from.

I've been hearing from Mac fanatics since high school, and at least back then they had some obvious advantages over Windows 3.1. I didn't bite back then because I was also into games.

I really had to deal with them in Art School. They would go on and on about how superior the machines were, but of all the computers in the school that I used, the newest and least reliable machines in the building were the Macs. The OS was a sloppy mess, it took about 10 minutes to boot, would crash if you tried to run Illustrator and calculator at the same time, and when I made Director movies with them, the programs would run twice as fast on Windows machines that were 3 years older.

Then a couple years ago, I got my current job. I had to deal with the same crap for a while with a G4 running OS 9, but eventually I got to work on a G5 with OS X. This was the first Mac I've used that I even thought was comparable to a Windows machine. Not that I would ever buy one. They cost over $3000, but don't run any faster than my homemade $800 machine, and I still like to play games.

The fact is, the Mac does have some advantages. You don't need to know too much to keep a Mac running fast and secure. The OS is slicker than XP in a lot of ways. And, because there isn't a market of Mac compatibles, you pretty know exactly what you're getting with a Mac. It's very much like buying a Playstation or Xbox.

That's also part of the problem, it's very much like buying a console system, with a limited selection of software that's all quite pricey, unlike with a PC where you could do almost anything with freeware. And for commercial software, you have about 1,000 times more options for Windows.

Basically, if you have a lot of cash to burn, you know exactly what programs you'll need to run, and you don't want to know a lot about computers, a Mac is probably fine. But if you're thinking of getting an IMac, just get a laptop, you'll get the same performance plus the convenience of being able to take it with you.
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 7:39 AM   #9
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I have never used a Mac, although, I do have a few friends who are Mac fanatics. With the recent switch to intel by Apple, the main difference between Macs and PCs (other than cost) is the OS. So whatever differences are claimed in the future will be due mainly to the OS.

I have to agree with the poster above about all the preinstalled crapware on commercial system. I just bought two Dell laptops, and there was so much crapware on them, it was rediculous. The machines ran like slugs, while all the software (all designed to start on bootup) was trampling all over each other. Rediculous. And now Dell doesn't even supply a 'Recovery CD'. You get nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Yet you have to pay for an OS and they do not even supply you with a CD. Plus they will not sell a computer without an OS. They also will not do an OS only machine. The crapware is not optional.

The first thing I do when I get a new PC, is turn it on and let it boot to verify that everything is working, then make a list of devices (video, LAN, etc). I then go to the Dell site and download all the drivers for my model. Once that is done I wipe the HD and partition it up for OS, programs and data. Then I do a clean install of XP and tweak it for improved peformance. Then I install MY software.

I think this kind of Dell setup is one of the main reasons people do not like windows, not that it's a good OS. It's not. It's bloated slugware. And just wait for Vista to arrive. It will make XP seems speedy and svelt by comparison.
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Old Jun 26, 2006, 7:06 PM   #10
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Corpsy wrote:
I'm surprised no Mac people have chimed in yet. They're about the most opinionated people you'll ever hear from.
That is a correct observation.

A lot of people think that Macs are better than windows for photo and video work, and I am honestly not sure why. With the right software both machines are capable of photo and video. The thing that is true about this, is that the Mac is much more capable of photo and video right out of the box, and the apps seem to work together better.

Are Macs really that much more expensive? It depends. They come with a lot of great software and they are very very stable... in my opinion that is worth the 1 or 2 hundred extra I paid for my iMac. (And most of the new Macs come with a built in webcam, which is pretty expensive if bought separatly). Anyway, for the price of my iMac, I could have bought a windows machine with twice the power. I'm not complaining though.

I think the Mac mini is a great way to try out a mac... you can use it without leaving the Windows machine behind (and only for around 500 dollars).

Oh, pagerboy, Macs do use two mouse buttons... in fact the new apple mouse has two mouse buttons, or you can use any mouse that you want.

That's my opinion...
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