Mac Vs. PC

by Fred Showker, UGN

Quite frequently we get letters and calls from computer users all over the world asking "which computer should I buy" or "which is best, Mac or PC."

While my answer could be somewhat biased, it is backed my many others who have experienced or feel the same way I do. So, rather than spout off my own opinions, I went over back issues of InfoManager, where we've addressed this issue quite a few times, and compiled a list.

Last week there were two such inquiries, one directly to me, and one on a popular discussion list. The person who inquired directly to me was a school administrator building a case for Macs in their school. The other was a 7th grade student who was writing a persuasive essay on Mac vs. PC, taking the side of Apple. (Amazing! They're doing that in the seventh grade these days???) The writer asked:

"I need to know the pros of apple and the cons of microsoft. Please reply a.s.a.p."

Another reader/poster to the list, Ray Bowler from the Des Moines, IA Mac Users Group http://www.dmmug.org/ responded in kind:

I "switched" in 1997 when I retired (I now work part time at my old job) because the few Macs I had encountered were better machines with a better operating system the the Windows machines I was using. The last decent operating system MicroSoft produced was Windows DOS 6.1. I still miss it--idiot that I am.
Well-- the very obvious one is that nobody is writing viruses to attack Macs. Saves me a lot of time, trouble and energy.
My experience with both is that the operating system is more stable. Even XP on a Pentium is not as stable as either OS 9 or OS X on the Mac. The OS X system is powerful and very stable. I work in an environment where all machines are PCs and I am amazed at how much work has to be done to keep them all going.
If you need to work with movies go with the Mac. I know a High School teacher who wanted Macs and the school system gave her a Dell because it would do the same thing as a Mac. She got hold of a Mac and now nobody will even use the Dell -- it gathers dust. The Mac is much easier to use for the kind of movie production which she wants to use.
MicroSoft Windows needs updates and security patches very frequently. In earlier OSs Apple had little of this but with the UNIX based OS X there have been some updates and a few security fixes. When you have them the ones for the Mac are much easier to download and install.
Macs are like the Energizer Bunny-- they go and go and go. The Mac I am using was purchased in June 1977 and has had only one repair when a fan went out. This is normal for Macs.
Interestingly MicroSoft software for the Mac, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Entourage in Office X are (in my opinion) easier to use than the ones in Windows. The Office X for OS X is very good.

Thank you Ray. I'm in total agreement with you.

If you encounter situations where you need third party opinions, try some of these references pulled from the User Group Network Mac vs. PC

If you ever find yourself locked in one of those seemingly endless debates over which computer platform is best, just refer the unknowning to John Droz, jr.'s site. John has built, and now renovated, his site which features the most comprehensive Mac vs PC research ever done by anyone. Don't take our word for it, listen to the thousands of online readers who support it and who have linked to it. http://forgetcomputers.com/~jdroz/, or Download a PDF of the entire site

Bob LeVitus (Dr. Mac)

Dr. Mac has talked about his neighbor before. His neighbor saw what Bob could do with his iMac and iMovie and went out and bought a Dell and fixed it up to do movies. 18 months later he still hadn't produced anything. So Bob loaned him a G4 iMac, a camcorder and let him try his hand at producing multimedia on a Mac.

"How do I protect the right to have Macs in my business, school, etc."

PS: Someone once said...

Top Ten Reasons for Upgrading to a PC instead of a Mac:

  1. You enjoy reading computer manuals
  2. Buying parts 'not included' is your idea of being patriotic
  3. Blaming it on the PC is a great excuse... for anything
  4. Tech support is your idea of telephone dating
  5. Your favorite computer game is figuring out where your files are
  6. You look forward to today's new virus (or worm, or both)
  7. You like listening to telephone support hold-button music
  8. Letting the kids play on the Mac next door frees your time (eliminates after-school kid sitters)
  9. You think Bill Gates deserves the money
  10. You have nothing better to do with all the extra time

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