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Should I go Mac?

Old 09-30-08, 10:31 PM
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Should I go Mac?

Ive been a PC user my entire life..but damn those Mac Books look slick! With new models almost guaranteed to hit in a few weeks and a bit of a price drop...I've been contemplating switching over to mac. I love my iPhone and my AppleTV...so I'm hoping I will love a Mac as well. I typically only use my laptop for Internet, Word, Excel and a bit of photo/video editing so how hard would it be for me to "convert"?
Old 09-30-08, 11:28 PM
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it was pretty easy for me to convert. If you already use the iphone and appletv then i'm thinking it'll be easy for you to convert over.
Old 10-01-08, 12:46 AM
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That's what I'm thinking...tired of Vista crashing so damn often now.
Old 10-01-08, 02:00 AM
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Long answer:

Mac OS X is based on BSD which is a derivative of UNIX, just like Linux is. In fact, the latest version of OS X (10.5) is considered to be a UNIX system.

This in and of itself wasn't that big of a deal, until Apple switched from PowerPC chips to Intel, which put them on the same x86 architecture that the Windows world is using. Suddenly any program developed for Linux, etc., can be easily ported to Mac with very little effort. Windows apps can be fairly easily ported over. Running Windows on a Mac, either natively or inside of a virtual machine, is no big deal.

In other words, Mac OS has long been considered the better OS, as least as far as usability is concerned, but the hardware was holding it back. Now that they are on the same hardware as everyone else, combined with better brand recognition thanks to the iPod, and now the iPhone, Macs have been gaining market share by leaps and bounds.

Support for Mac, both software and hardware, is increasing every day. There are very few programs that I can't use on Mac. There are even fewer than I go out of my way to boot into Windows to use. I thought switching to Mac would be hard, but it's really not. Microsoft has a version of Office for Mac, and a lot of people seem to think it's better than the Windows version. For every Windows program you can think of, there is generally a Mac alternative that is just as good.

Short answer: You'll be happy with Mac, but don't do it because the computers are sexy!
Old 10-01-08, 02:30 AM
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I was a Windows baby.

And then I got a MacBook Pro.

I ain't ever looking back.

I'll be getting a MacPro whenever they announce new models, and then run Boot Camp/Windows XP to play my PC games.
Old 10-01-08, 04:55 AM
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I've done a little programming under OSX, and the best thing I can say for the OS is that it has a decent shell and a working X server so you can ssh into a linux box and get some real work done without installing any third party emulators. The dock drives me nuts. Sure, it looks cool, but the freakin' windows95 taskbar was about a dozen times more functional and useful, albeit fugly. Like the software, Mac hardware is built to look cool and exude a feeling of quality that is, occasionally, illusory, plus the planned obsolescence is frequently quite blatant. (e.g. soldered batteries.)

The MacBook pros are pretty cool looking, but the sharp edge at the end of the keyboard has always annoyed me. (Seriously, how many decent laptops designed with even a passing thought towards ergonomics don't taper down towards the end of the keyboard these days?) Also, they're horrendously overpriced for what you get. You can get similar or better build quality, better ergonomics, better specs, and a lower price, although it's typically not easy to get better looks at the same time. Woe be unto him who tries to customize his mac when ordering, for he shall be taken from behind without foreplay! Also, Macs are so darned trendy and popular with clueless people who want fashion accessories that I just can't bring myself to like the brand anymore.

If you hadn't listed video/image editing as a priority I'd push Ubuntu on you. This is a version of Linux that is finally reaching the point where relatively inexperienced people can use it without banging their heads against the screen. The upgrades are free, the security absolutely owns OSX (which has fallen in hacking challenges before even Vista!), and it's about a bajillion more times customizable. However, the video and image editing software for Linux still sucks. e.g. Gimp is theoretically as capable as Photoshop, but the interface is shit. (I assume you're doing serious photo editing, and not just simple stuff that a photo-album manager would do.)

Personally, I still use one windows box. It's in my theater, just for Bluray. You still can't play the fuggers in Linux or OSX at present. I really hope that changes. The next version of OSX has been rumored to have Bluray support for nigh-on 3 years now and people aren't even making up rumors for Linux. (Thanks Sony!) If Adobe ported Photoshop/Illustrator to Linux and Sony deigned to offer Bluray support as well, I'd happily never pay for an OS again.
Old 10-01-08, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus View Post
I was a Windows baby.

And then I got an Imac.

I ain't ever looking back.
Edited to fit my answer to this thread.

I say switch. I use a Mac at home and a PC at work. Everything that I do on a computer is done much easier on a Mac.
Old 10-01-08, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000 View Post
Mac OS X is based on BSD which is a derivative of UNIX, just like Linux is. In fact, the latest version of OS X (10.5) is considered to be a UNIX system.

This in and of itself wasn't that big of a deal, until Apple switched from PowerPC chips to Intel, which put them on the same x86 architecture that the Windows world is using. Suddenly any program developed for Linux, etc., can be easily ported to Mac with very little effort.
Porting from Linux to OS X was fairly straightforward on the PowerPC platform as well; there are good number of Linux distros that run on PowerPC. OS X had an X window system available before the switch to Intel, and there are a lot of mac ports that are Universal binaries:
http://www.macports.org/
Old 10-01-08, 11:39 AM
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Ok, feel a bit more confident now in switching.

I have not played a PC game since Worms Armageddon so games is not an issue with me. So besides using Firefox, MSN Messenger, Word, Excel and some Adobe Photoshop...I should be good then.

Would I have any issues connecting it to my current WiFi network (Linksys router)? Would anything need to be changed to make it connect as well as my other PCs in the house?

I'm sure these are pretty 'duh' questions but I have not used a mac since I played The Oregon Trail in 4th grade. But with all the issues I am having with Vista and my laptop constantly freezing etc....its time for a change. I'm hoping the new models include Blu-ray playback and/or a price cut though.
Old 10-01-08, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
Would I have any issues connecting it to my current WiFi network (Linksys router)? Would anything need to be changed to make it connect as well as my other PCs in the house?
Macs use standard 802.11b/g/n wireless cards, and OS X has built-in support for Windows file sharing.
Old 10-01-08, 12:46 PM
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With Macs being able to also run Windows (or linux) stand alone or side-by-side with OS X, there is really no danger in switching. If, for example, you decide you hate OS X, you can just run XP (or Vista). And, IMO, Macs are no longer more expensive than their PC counterparts (note that I'm talking here about quality PCs, not bargain computers). For example, the 8-core MacPro is no more expensive than a similar 8-core Dell machine.
Old 10-01-08, 01:15 PM
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I won't touch a desktop PC/Mac...so it would have to be a laptop. Right now the cheapest is $1100...still a bit too much for me.
Old 10-01-08, 01:36 PM
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I grew up between both Macs and PCs and since I've been Macing it up with my iPhone, I've become determined that my next computer will be a Mac. I'm waiting for the new MacBook next month and I'll be a convert.

I'm not anti-Windows, I'm a computer guy all-around but I just really like the MacBooks.
Old 10-01-08, 02:06 PM
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Before you completely blame the crashes on Vista, how sure are you that it's the operating system? I've run on Vista since day 1 of it selling and have never had a crash. You didn't specify exactly how your computer crashes and whether it's consistent, random, a/w starting certain programs, etc. However, there are a few things you might want to try first before you go and drop a couple of grand. First thing you might want to try is to find the latest video driver for your laptop. Video drivers are said to cause a vast majority of problems. Next most common, in my experience is the RAM memory. Get some memory from a place where it's returnable. Switch out the memory and see if it runs okay. If it does, then you know where the problem was.

Finally, if the issue is because your computer is infected with malware/spyware, you could try a spyware program (I highly recommend paying for SpySweeper). If that doesn't solve it, do a complete wipe and fresh install (which, if you've never done is a good idea anyways because of all the useless crap that pre-installed computers usually have on it). Before you do it, transfer your music/videos/documents onto a portable hard drive. It'll be a half day project to do this, but it beats dropping a couple of grand (plus new software).
Old 10-01-08, 02:09 PM
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I've done several fresh installs of Vista - all crash/freeze ar rnadom parts. For example I'll just be scrolling through this forum and BOOM it freezes. I've also had to replace my battery twice. I'm just getting sick of PCs in general. I already have other Apple items and a MacBook seems like the next logical step.
Old 10-01-08, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
I've done several fresh installs of Vista - all crash/freeze ar rnadom parts. For example I'll just be scrolling through this forum and BOOM it freezes. I've also had to replace my battery twice. I'm just getting sick of PCs in general. I already have other Apple items and a MacBook seems like the next logical step.
All I'm saying is that there are many reasons to go Mac, but crashes isn't one of them. I have 2 computers - one notebook and one desktop. Both of them have run Vista flawlessly since they've been installed. And other than reboots to install programs/drivers, I've never once had to restart either computer. If you look at any Mac forums, you'll see numerous people reporting problems with their Macs as well and they have to spend a lot of time on troubleshooting their computer as well. To me, it sounds like you've got a hardware problem (my bet is on RAM), but it's up to you whether you want to spend time troubleshooting it.
Old 10-01-08, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
So besides using Firefox, MSN Messenger, Word, Excel and some Adobe Photoshop...I should be good then.
Be aware that MSN Messenger on the Mac is woefully lacking (no video support, for one thing). There are freeware third-party MSN clients like Mercury Messenger and aMSN that fill some of the voids, but none of them are close to being 100% clones.

Also, if $1100 is too steep for you, no harm in checking out the refurbished section of store.apple.com, all of which come with a full warranty. We almost always purchase Apple-refurbished Macs at work, and haven't had a problem with one yet.
Old 10-01-08, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
I've done several fresh installs of Vista - all crash/freeze ar rnadom parts. For example I'll just be scrolling through this forum and BOOM it freezes. I've also had to replace my battery twice. I'm just getting sick of PCs in general. I already have other Apple items and a MacBook seems like the next logical step.
It could be a simple hardware problem. A lot of people have probably installed Vista on a somewhat older computers that had borderline inadequate cooling or a crappy PSU. Such machines might have worked fine with XP, but when Vista is installed on them the power draw and heat dissipation both go up thanks to all the Vista eye candy. A formerly reliable XP box could turn into a crash-prone Vista box because the PSU is going wonky or something is overheating on a consistent basis. Also, older computers tend to accumulate a nice blanket of dust inside, which makes overheating problems get worse as time goes by, if they were borderline to begin with.

Personally, I always build my desktops. It's cheaper and you can choose quality parts so that power/heat/noise aren't problems the way they are with a lot of pre-made systems.
Old 10-01-08, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
Ok, feel a bit more confident now in switching.

I have not played a PC game since Worms Armageddon so games is not an issue with me. So besides using Firefox, MSN Messenger, Word, Excel and some Adobe Photoshop...I should be good then.

Would I have any issues connecting it to my current WiFi network (Linksys router)? Would anything need to be changed to make it connect as well as my other PCs in the house?

I'm sure these are pretty 'duh' questions but I have not used a mac since I played The Oregon Trail in 4th grade. But with all the issues I am having with Vista and my laptop constantly freezing etc....its time for a change. I'm hoping the new models include Blu-ray playback and/or a price cut though.
I periodically consider switching to a Mac. But after each cycle of research I conclude that unless I will be happy doing nothing but stare lovingly at the screen then the Mac is not for me.

There are way too many applications that I use that have no reasonable alternative on the Mac. Yeah, I can find something that will "work" sort-of, but I'm left wondering what I'm actually gaining by going to a Mac if I have to spend more time and effort in work-arounds for the reduced functionality of the apps I use.

I'm no fan of Vista... and certainly not Vista-64. But my Toshiba a305 w/4GB RAM runs Vista as well as my fastest previous-gen system running XP. (Having said that, I'm tracking down XP drivers for this a305 and will eventually build an XP-based drive for it)

Obviously, your mileage may vary... good luck with your decision.
Old 10-01-08, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mbs View Post
And, IMO, Macs are no longer more expensive than their PC counterparts (note that I'm talking here about quality PCs, not bargain computers). For example, the 8-core MacPro is no more expensive than a similar 8-core Dell machine.
What you call a "quality PC" is all relative depending on who you ask though. Still, while prices are closer desktop wise, MacBooks are FAR more expensive then any PC laptop equivalent. Better CPU's, more RAM, and more disc space can be had at almost half the cost of the base $1100 MacBook.

Which sucks since I want to get a MacBook for my girlfriend for Christmas and its a pain when I know a $600 Dell would be more efficient. Hopefully new ones are announced in the upcoming weeks though and start at a lower price.
Old 10-01-08, 08:39 PM
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My next purchase will be a Mac, although I don't know which. I was hoping for more of a small Pro or at least an updated Mini. If not, then probably an iMac, but then again the Macbook Pro is tempting. ARGH!

Anyway, I too am soon to convert.
Old 10-01-08, 10:00 PM
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I'm a little curious about how switching from one OS to another came to be hyped up as some kind of religious style "conversion". Some people seem to think that switching to OSX will usher in some kind of computing nirvana and all of their computing problems will magically go away.

That's not exactly what's going to happen. Here's what switching OS's really means: For the first little while everything you need to do will take twice as long as it ought to. Then you figure out the OS and things go back to near normal. Your new OS will have new bugs that will most likely irritate you just as much as the bugs of your old OS. Contrary to what some people say, OSX *does* crash and do all sorts of idiotic things. Then you'll figure out what you want the OS to do instead of what it's doing now. All OS's can be tinkered with to a certain extent, but OSX is generally more restrictive than Linux or Windows. If what you want doesn't match the "Apple way" of doing things closely, you're basically buggered.

Last edited by Locomocha; 10-01-08 at 10:06 PM.
Old 10-01-08, 10:13 PM
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Get the Mac, you'll be glad you did.

There is a Firefox version for Mac.

Macs have great resell value.
Old 10-01-08, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by printerati View Post
Also, if $1100 is too steep for you, no harm in checking out the refurbished section of store.apple.com, all of which come with a full warranty. We almost always purchase Apple-refurbished Macs at work, and haven't had a problem with one yet.
I would concur. Switch and get a refurb. It has the same level of warranty and will save you anywhere from 15%-31%. Use that savings towards an AppleCare warranty (if you so desire) and some additional RAM. Don't buy the RAM via apple -- way overpriced. Buy it yourself. It'll be 1/3 of the price and is a 5 minute install job.

I've got an iPhone; 3 apple TVs; use a MacBook Pro at work and will be getting an iMac for the home later this fall. Two years ago I didn't own a single Apple product. I can't imagine buying a PC ever again.

Also, I prefer VMWare Fusion for running the Windows stuff. No reboot necessary and has a unity function where it runs it in your OSX environment.
Old 10-01-08, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Porting from Linux to OS X was fairly straightforward on the PowerPC platform as well; there are good number of Linux distros that run on PowerPC. OS X had an X window system available before the switch to Intel, and there are a lot of mac ports that are Universal binaries:
http://www.macports.org/
Yes, but not everyone is/was willing to invest the time in porting to a different architecture AND platform, testing, purchasing the hardware to test on, etc. Porting to a different platform on the same architecture isn't nearly as big a PITA.

Basically, there are lots of lazy developers.

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