The PC-Mac Debate Continues

I want to own a Mac.

I just don't think I can justify it.

I know Apple computers are more stable, but, and this may only be my impression, PCs are far cheaper, and they have infinitely more programs available by actual count… because I'm still counting.

And never having used a Mac, I don't know how much easier it is to use on a daily basis, but I do know that Vista is unnecessarily complicated, though once you get through the learning curve, it's not so bad, I think… but I'll have to let you know for sure when I do.

There's a Microsoft ad running now that tells how people were given Vista to use and they were apparently told it's a future operating system in development – and the loved it. The point apparently is that the wonderful new operating system is available right now, so rush out and get one.

Except that the ad has me screaming every time I see it, so it's fortunate that I've only happened upon it a few times.

First, you know these ignorant morons were thoroughly coached, something that Microsoft doesn't do for people who actually buy their product, and second, the ad talks about some great features and things you can do with Vista, but it doesn't tell you that you can't do them with the system as it comes installed on your computer. At minimum it requires add-ons and upgrades.

And on the other hand, I thought I needed Vista to take advantage of all the news technology that's out there – and I do, but only because Microsoft abandoned Windows 98 and XP, and so outside developers must as well.

But here are the bigger problems in switching to a Mac, at least as I perceive them:

1) The cost is prohibitive. last May, I bought the Dell with a 2.4g processor, 320g hard drive, Blu-ray ready video card, and a 24" monitor for $750. delivered. My belief is that a Mac of similar configuration would have been fifty percent more?

2) I haven't bought a program for my computer since the early nineties. Everything is available for free, and more comes out everyday, and I marvel that I paid forty bucks for Print Shop in like 1990, and now you get programs that would have cost hundreds back then, and they cost nothing.

And I probably install two or three on an average day (which is likely one of the big reasons I have problems). There are programs for literally everything – sticky notes, checking all your email accounts, web and POP3 from one program, and other utilities that wake your head spin with delight, a lot of which you didn't realize you needed until you see them and read what they do.

And then there are the tweakers – which are probably another huge reason why I have to reinstall Vista every other month, but some of them work shockingly well, such that I bet I've sped up and already fast system by a third to fifty percent.

In other words, I think I'm going through a painful period of readjustment, and that when I find what works, and what doesn't destroy the system I'll be a lot happier. So I expect some problems, it's just that I'm never prepared for the size and scope of some of them.

Regarding the Mac, I'd be willing to pay more if it could do all that I can do with a PC, but only marginally more – like fifty bucks, and I'd go a hundred for something dazzling. Otherwise, Dealing with Vista is both painful and stressful, and the help screens are worthless, but I can usually find answers on the Net, and when I can't, I know it's because I've done something no one else is experiencing, and yes, that means I take responsibility for causing a number of my problems…

But I'd never tell Dell that.

Besides, I like those darn Indians, and I get to talk to them for five more months. I'll tell ya, if I didn't already have a wife… who better than an Indian woman who knows Vista?!

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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24 Responses to The PC-Mac Debate Continues

  1. Trailblazer says:

    I guess I'm partial – this is my third Mac – a delicious 20 inch iMac. They are well worth saving your money for . . . my last one, a G3 is about 8 years old now, and although the new software won't run on it, it's still working and making someone else happy.

  2. Jack Yan says:

    My issue is that I depend on fonts a lot for my work. Now, when I have licensed tens of thousands from my colleagues for PC (and I do have the capability of converting them to Mac), it’s just not that easy saying, ‘Switch’. Of course, all my own stuff is in both Mac and PC, but that’s around 250 fonts or so. Plus the UI since OSX has not been very user-friendly, in my view (Macheads love it, mind). I remember using Macs regularly in the 1990s and loving them—but then Windows started catching up on certain areas like memory management for the high-end stuff. But I remember the time when three people sent 90 minutes trying to burn a CD on a Mac in 2005. The blank CD icon plain didn’t show up and we went online, through the help pages, and even called Apple, who was of no help whatsoever (the usual crapola about ‘But it should be there’—yeah, no s***, Sherlock). The owner of the Mac was calling Apple Australia to get an answer when one of us accidentally stumbled on some setting three menu hierarchies down. PCs do stupid things and I am the very first to tell you that, but Macs have their day, too. However, the smaller user base means you don’t hear the stories anywhere nearly as often. Per capita, I am willing to bet Mac OSs are every bit as buggy as Windows.

  3. Cori says:

    Come toward the light…get a Mac.It's so shiny.

  4. TedWest says:

    But you didn't mention price? I've never had a PC fail. I did have a hard drive fail around 1990, but that's been it. This Dell has two gigs of memory, and that seems adequate for now, and the hardware in general performs very well.
    Back when, I learned from my company's head of shipping that they always shipped "cheapest and best," which meant that you used the cheapest means consistent with acceptable delivery time. That's how I look at computers – never buy more than you need because you'll get it a lot cheaper later when you absolutely need to upgrade.

  5. TedWest says:

    Jack, you raised an interesting point. I use Maxthon for my browser. It's by far the best. A few years ago, a young hotshot computer geek told me to use Firefox because it was more secure and had all kinds of add-ons available. So I switched – for ten minutes.
    Firefox seemed to be a little faster, but it lacked so much that Maxthon has built in, and the add-ons were more nuisance than helpful. Plus, as I told Norm, and in line with your thinking. Firefox is probably only "more secure" because nobody had seen fit to exploit it yet. So now we learn that was exactly the case.

  6. TedWest says:

    Cori, my degree is in economics if that tell you anything? I mean, it hasn't done much for me, but it may show how I think.

  7. Cori says:

    I've been through three different PCs with problem after problem after problem. Blue Screen of Death on all three. One was so bad that they had to extract my documents through DOS. Took 72 hours. (Note: back up your computer frequently.)Got my Mac three years ago and have had NO problems. And for that, I'll pay a premium!

  8. TedWest says:

    I'd pay a premium too – is it like twenty-five bucks?
    I back up automatically now, but I'm going to get a second external drive when I can get a terabyte for under forty bucks. I paid fifty for 500 gigs, and I feel I paid too much, although I'd have dead now if I hadn't.
    You don't get blue screens with Vista, but you do get black screens of no booting.

  9. Cori says:

    Honestly, I don't remember how much I paid for my MacBook Pro. I had a student discount, which was two hundred dollars off. But after so many years of dead PCs, whatever the premium was, it was definitely worth it. :)My Mac has Time Machine which automatically backs it up. Pretty cool.

  10. Jack Yan says:

    Great to know there is another Maxthon user out there. I admire the philosophy and the fact it is giving people behind the Bamboo Curtain a chance to see beyond it. I used it for years, though two months ago, I switched to Firefox because I was using Digg more, and for some reason, my set-up was very slow on that site. My Maxthon really hated it—we are talking a minute to Digg a page, for example. Firefox also fixed a four-year-old bug relating to typographic ligatures and included on-screen kerning. (Being a type nut, these were good, if fussy to the layman, reasons to change.) I still keep Maxthon installed and browse some sites with it. I agree it is an excellent, stable browser. Having used both, I can report Firefox is slightly more stable than Maxthon, but not enough to warrant my recommending a change unless you really want those typographic features. So if you are happy with Maxthon, then stick with it.

  11. Darcy says:

    The price is a consideration. I don't remember what I paid but it was in the thousands. Maybe five. BUT, I bought the biggest Mac available with 100 GB hard drive plus a high quality scanner, a four color laser printer, and the Adobe software package including PhotoShop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

  12. I used to use Netscape 4.7 but the later versions seemed to be less effective, then I switched to IE. I don't even have Firefox installed and use IE exclusively. My son has a Mac and uses Safari more than Firefox.

  13. TedWest says:

    Cori,
    I forgot that it's more than price, that it's also a matter of time and need as Darcy has indicated. So we can't really compare Apples and Lemons.. er… PCs, or even PC and PC because everyone has such different needs and desires.
    Like I've always stayed away from laptops because they -seem- more liable to break, and if one does, I'd almost certainly have to pay for the repair that I could do myself if it were a desktop.
    As I mentioned, I've had no hardware problems over many years, so the only thing that matters to me is the cost of a machine that will do what I want, and for that, for me, it would seem that a PC can't be beat

  14. Jack Yan says:

    I used Netscape up to 4·7 as well. Netscape 6 was a dog and 7·1, which I still have, was only good for the news reader. I switched to IE at v. 5, then Maxthon afterwards. Give Maxthon a try, Zak, if you like IE. It keeps the same kernel but it is faster. It’s also very small so it won’t use much space. If you dislike it, it is very easy to remove.

  15. Thanks Jack- this is the first that I have heard of Maxthon.

  16. TedWest says:

    Jack,
    I'd forgotten about the site by site issues. For example, I think it was Opera that gave me trouble with Vox, and I know that previous versions of Firefox didn't work with Mouseimp which, if you don't know what that is, it's a program I use for easier scrolling
    Also there The World Browser that's like Maxthon and even better in some areas, but overall, worse in others – like for blocking images your don't want to see.
    I didn't expect my posts to generate much response, but it's made me realize how individualistic all this is. For browsers, the machine itself can make a big difference. My wifes old computer can't run anything but Maxthon1x.
    And between browsers, I think it is between Maxthon and Firefox. I really like Maxthon's slide out side menu. I think there's a plugin for one for Firefox, but I can't remember if I liked it as well, and I'm very happy with some of the Maxthon plugins which I'd be happy to get into should there be any interest.

  17. TedWest says:

    Darcy,
    I don't have the heavy duty needs that you seem to have, I just want to do everyday things as quickly and efficiently as possible, but I do a lot with graphics, just for the fun of it, and I don't know if I could do everything you do, but I have fun with it.
    I haven't paid thousands for a PC since the mid eighties or so. I didn't even like paying $750. for this one. But so far, Dell still hasn't again matched the price I paid, so that makes me a little happy.
    Regarding software, I was furious that one small utility I loved wouldn't work with Vista, but I found a slightly inferior substitute, and that's a big advantage for PCs, the fantastic freeware selection. I visit a dozen sites a day. It's become a sort of hobby. I've even considered starting an entry to detail ones I find most useful, but that would take away from my complaining time.

  18. TedWest says:

    Hey, what's this "thanks Jack" business?
    Btw, Zak and jack, the guy who told me to use Firefox? I told him to get Maxthon, and later he said, and I quote: "Damn you, Ted, this thing's pretty good!"

  19. Missed the comment Ted. I tend to speed read and miss details. 😦

  20. Trailblazer says:

    Price for my iMac was around $1,400 plus tax and insurance. Now Apple is coming out with 'touch and pinch' technology sometime in the future. I have never had a virus, meltdown or any problems with any of my Macs. They just work, and they allow you to do the same.

  21. Darcy says:

    Zak, you said your son was a Mac user. He is a photographer too, is that right? When it comes to that sort of thing, Macs just can't be beat. Also, when it comes down to earning a living. You really can't afford to be down, ever. I'm also a Safari user.

  22. I built myown PC two years ago.

  23. Jeff D says:

    Ted, I'm assuming the computer you describe above is a desktop right?If that's the case a comparable iMac (24 inch screen, 2.88ghz processor, 320GB HD) is $1799. I did not see any option for Blu Ray. You could get one for about $1200 with a 20 inch screen, 2.4ghz processor and smaller drive. Zak, I debated building this one but just did not have the proper time to research the parts and make sure I'd get the performance I want. The Vista PC I just bought was expensive (about $1200) but it will suit my needs for several years, so I'm not too worried about the price. Also, since I'm currently working on a consulting contract I'm going to write off a chunk of it as a business expense, which will be nice. While I'm not a professional photographer like Zak's son, I'm a pretty dedicated amateur so I wanted a powerful process with lots of RAM and a good video card so I'd have no issues handling large photo files and doing editing. I just got Adobe CS4 and it runs much smoother than CS3 runs on my laptop (which is no slouch.) I've never heard of Maxthon, but I have no issues with Firefox and enjoy quite a few of extensions (Greasemonkey in particular is great) so i'll probably stick with it. And I agree with Cori, backing us is hugely important. I bought a 1TB backup drive that I write most of my files over to daily. Eventually I get a RAID array but those can be pretty pricey.

  24. Schomer says:

    I'd argue with anyone about capabilities between the two. I think, out of the box, a Mac offers more on board than a Windows machine.

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