Considering a Mac questions...

Allin4greeN

Allin4greeN

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Dec 13, 2005
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I didn't intend my post to become a flame war over PC vs. Mac, although in retrospect, I should've realized that what I was asking for was based on a comparison and some heat in the discussion would be inevitable.

Just a quick clarification, my PC's have had a good long life and although I'm no expert, I'm also not an idiot when it comes to addressing problems. Like I said before, recent virus issues prompted me to spend a great deal of time getting my laptop back into shape, and reformatting just seemed like a last option, to me. I'm typing this on the laptop right now so, it's not a current technical problem... I visited the Knowledge Base and used free Symatec tools to deal with that. Even so, this thing is almost 10 years old! There's only so much one can do with upgrades. I'm trying to consolidate my desktop and laptop into one notebook and in the process, integrate it into my HT. The new Dell (running XP) my parents bought just gives me the heebies...

I went to the Apple Store today and took a closer look at the MacBook Pro. I probably would've had a similar reaction to seeing a brand spanking new PC running Vista but, man is that Mac a nice machine.

I'm not sure that the PowerBook is the best solution for my HT, however. Without some add-ons, it doesn't look like it will run 5.1 out, and although it has a DVI out, I'd prefer VGA for more configuration options on my PDP.

I'm also going to take a closer look at some PC's running Vista Ultimate with a BDD on board. I already have an HD DVD player and it would be nice to add some BD titles to the mix.

I suppose I'm looking for a notebook that can serve as a media center and run the typical office productivity apps seamlessly. It would be nice if it came with some new toys to play with, also (photo/video/sound editing).:D

EDIT: One of the primary reasons I'm looking at Mac is because I was under the assumption that I wouldn't need to deal with antivirus/spyware crap. I won't elaborate much, except to say that those products and people who support them leave something to be desired, IMHO...
 
s8ist

s8ist

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Oct 26, 2006
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I was a PC-zealot for a long time. I would laugh at the prospect of buying a Mac. Games were certainly one of the major reasons why I would never buy a Mac, and frankly, I think this is the one category where they need to pick up major points. Part of it has to do with how they divide their markets, requiring gamers who desire expandability and the ability to upgrade to purchase their Pro line-up which is really meant for Shake and Final Cut rather than a substantially more costly session of fragging.

What changed the debate for me though was the simplicity and high quality of console gaming. It now seems pointless to invest the large amounts of money into constantly upgrading graphics cards when high-resolution gaming consoles provide consistent gaming experiences in the preferred atmosphere, my living room on my large HD screen. Rarely experienced are crashes and performance hiccups, and downgrading my gaming experience to meet my dated system configuration is not required. I'll think I'll survive with the lack of a dedicated physics chip.

When it comes to the various computer issues I've dealt with over the years, which have been exclusively PC considering my long-held bias toward the WinTel platform, some have been my fault, some were unavoidable. But I also have learned more than I feel I should HAVE to learn. Now that I no longer have the time to dedicate toward keeping a PC up and running, my Macs suit me quite well. Trying to figure out why there are fatal errors, or what those cryptic TSR's are doing in your task manager, or why you can no longer open the FL studio song you've been working on for hours is not an enjoyable experience.

I say enjoy your platform whatever it is you choose. But less policing and maintenance is a part of the Mac experience. It is more secure, partly because it is not as widespread, but also because of a UNIX based platform, it requires that you authorize most system changes by password. Windows, in its ultimate wisdom, often does not protect from unsigned code and for you to even know about the threat means you have already experienced the sort of malicious attack or are an expert on it. It could be as simple as typing in a commonly misspelled web address!
That being said, I'm sure hackers could develop more malicious code that would attack Mac users, but why haven't they? There's an increasing market and the platform's popularity is growing. Until then however, I'm confident in letting other people use my computer to browse the web in a way that I was never confident about with my PC. Here's to not having to cross my fingers every time I let someone, or I myself, browse the web, or when I'm working on music in Ableton Live!
 
dashaund

dashaund

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Jul 13, 2006
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I love how these PC crazed guys constantly bicker about how Mac is an incompetent product. You CAN use a Mac to play games...there just aren't that many released. I can run my Mac for months and months and never reboot it. I NEVER had to wipe my iMac for as long as I had it (four years) until I upgraded it...my XP laptop I usually have to wipe it twice a year AT LEAST because it gets bogged down...and I don't install many apps. I put a ton of apps on my iMac...didn't effect system performance. For those haters, try out Mac OSX for two weeks...dedicate yourself to it and find out just how good it is. How effortlessly it is to do anything. How it doesn't slow down after using it. If you don't agree, then fine...that's your opinion. But don't knock it just because it's different from what you have. I can count on one hand how many times Mac OSX has crashed on me...I wish I had a dime for how many times Windows has. Yeah, it's more expensive. But man it's worth it! Once you go Mac, you never go back. Once you fall in love, you'll ask yourself "Why doesn't everyone else use this?" Gamers...okay...stick with Windows. Everyone else, give Mac a shot...you'll be amazed.
 
AllieVi

AllieVi

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Sep 11, 2003
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… But I also have learned more than I feel I should HAVE to learn. …
That’s my feeling, too. I want a computer to perform tasks for me, but I don’t want or need to know how everything works inside. I just want it to reliably do what I ask.

The same is true for other aspects of life. I want my car to go when I turn the key and I don’t need to know what the Johnson Rod does or how often I should grease the brakes. I want the TV and DVD player to work without getting out any tools.

A friend is into computers to the point that he can diagnose and solve almost every computer problem that arises. That level of knowledge requires him to be constantly reading and learning about the latest problems and solutions. I don’t need that level of commitment.

The fact that the newest software is usually first written for the Windows platform (and maybe never for the Mac) keeps me a Windows user in spite of the downside.
 
Allin4greeN

Allin4greeN

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Dec 13, 2005
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So, I'm taking a closer look at PC specs now and, it does look like a gaming rig is more likely to have the features that I'm interested in, even if I don't use it specifically for gaming...
s8ist said:
...But less policing and maintenance is a part of the Mac experience...
This is the thought that keeps me circling back to the Mac option.
 
shanewalker

shanewalker

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I wholehearted encourgage your impulse to get a MacBook Pro.

They are excellent machines, and OS X is no slouch either.

I use Macs and PCs, and love aspects of both...but there's no arguing against the fantastic track record that Macs have had in my home. I have a 1997-era 9600 still chugging along as my household music server (including flawless streaming to my XBox 360 and main A/V rack, no less, with an astoundingly good little app called 'Connect 360' by Null River). I have a 2001-era PowerBook that I've upgraded over the years w/ a dual-layer burner, more memory and a bigger hard drive...its running the latest greatest media apps and Tiger (OS 10.4). Try doing that w/ a 6 year old PC laptop. I'm fairly certain that the tricked-out Toshiba laptop I bought in '06 won't be faring as well in a couple of years (but I do like it).

The BIG reason to buy Apple hardware over a PC equivalent--BOOT CAMP. Have one machine w/ the flexibility to be both a Mac AND a Windows PC...and a quality machine at that. In fact, you CAN have the best of both worlds. As a matter of point, the new MacBook Pro runs Vista better than anyone. I plan on getting a new desktop in the Spring, and its going to be whatever monster Apple unleashed at MacWorld '08--it'll be running dual boot OS X and either XP Pro or Vista (haven't decided). I'll be able to run whatever apps I desire on world-class hardware w/ great reliability and customer service...what's not to love?

Oh, if you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe, I dunno, PC World?:

PC World - In Pictures: The Most Notable Notebooks of 2007
 
pjmrt

pjmrt

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Oct 13, 2003
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I totally agree - give the MacBook Pro a try. Shane - I like your idea of using a 9600 for a music server. I have an old 9600 myself gathering dust, might just give that a try.

As already pointed out in the thread - the principle problem with macs is the availability of some software. Video & audio editing - I think Mac has everyone beat. MS Office is available for both and personally I think the Mac version is better. Games - well that's for the mass market and although Apple is a close 2nd in market share of machines - their OS is in the minority. So much more windows games. Still with the dual boot capability of the current generation - I wonder if that even is true.
 
Z

Zombie069

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Sep 25, 2005
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TheForce

TheForce

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Haha, while I like your analogy, I wouldn't insult BMW.
The reason there are "vulnerabilities" in windows machines and not in macs is because macs are not as popular.
You say pc users have mac envy because we "can't afford one.".. Why would I want to pay 2x's the amount, for a fourth the ability. If you do nothing but watch your stocks and make a couple word documents, then by all means waste money for the mac. If you do video editing, content creation, etc. you SHOULD have a mac.
Hack losers don't try to exploit, or write virus's for, a platform that isn't popular, thus macs are deemed "safer" when the fact is it's not worth it due to limited target machines.

Macs do a couple things, exceptionally well.
PC's do a lot of things, pretty good.
Figure out what you can live with and run with it.

I don't agree with this statement. There is more to it than the blanket statement in red.

While Mac's Final Cut series is quite popular and very high end Hollywood productions are Mac based such as Avid, the average TV producer and amateur video editor is much better served using PC based edit platform with windows XP OS. I qualified that because the latest Vista is not considered ready for prime time multimedia work yet. The PC has much faster productivity for media content creation than the Mac and offers far more choices to select the right software at a lower price point.

I use both here and the least profitable system is the Mac with Final Cut. It is just way too slow and restrictive. It works fine inside it's own world but don't try to integrate to other systems. One nice thing is that I can load windows XP on my Mac and then load Sony Vegas video editing inside that . But that is not a good way to do things in Vegas, just convenient when I have to take a Mac on the job because the Client insists on it. When not looking I can switch to Vegas build the edit 10 times faster and port the rendered output back to FCP for playback and approval. I generally don't work for clients who dictate which brand hammer I use to pound the nails, but if necessary the Mac has the capability to run both!
 
harshness

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Take that new dell POS and wipe it and do a clean install of windows.
Specifically Windows XP.

The latest version of the Mac OS is being crucified for having an almost inert firewall.

The key is to consider carefully all of the applications that you might use and make sure your bases are covered on the other side. This includes any bookkeeping/tax programs or other mundane software.

My personal computing experience would suffer greatly without some of the shareware/freeware titles available on the Pee Cee side. Imagine a world without Google Earth.
 
P

peallen

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Sep 17, 2003
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You know what they say, "once you go Mac, you never go back."
 
EvilEuro

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The BIG reason to buy Apple hardware over a PC equivalent--BOOT CAMP. Have one machine w/ the flexibility to be both a Mac AND a Windows PC...and a quality machine at that. In fact, you CAN have the best of both worlds. As a matter of point, the new MacBook Pro runs Vista better than anyone. I plan on getting a new desktop in the Spring, and its going to be whatever monster Apple unleashed at MacWorld '08--it'll be running dual boot OS X and either XP Pro or Vista (haven't decided). I'll be able to run whatever apps I desire on world-class hardware w/ great reliability and customer service...what's not to love?

You know, I would love to do that on my generic, hand built, custom component PC and run OS X in a nice virtual machine via VM Ware... but I can't because Saint Steve won't deign the regular masses to run his operating system on anything but his personally badged hardware. Sure, you can have the "best of both worlds"... so long as Steve Jobs himself benefits by having you buy his incredibly overpriced hardware.

There is one thing and one thing only that makes a Mac different from a PC in terms of the parts inside of it right now... the Trusted Platform Module. That's it. Everything else, motherboards, sound, processors, RAM, etc., is as absolutely generic as it gets. Without a TPM you can't install OS X on a machine and that's what allows Apple to take 1100 dollars worth of hardware and charge 7 grand for it (using an 8 core Mac Pro as an example).

Sure, I could build a Hackintosh to get around that, but then I've got to find patches for the things that don't work right (usually sound) and then do a little playing around with kernel extension files. And then there's still the chance that things might not work completely right after all is said and done.

It would be very easy for Apple to release a list of hardware that they say will work with their operating system so I can install it on a custom made PC. They can make it very limited, it's their right. They don't have to support it or, if they want to make easy coin, they can offer support on a pay-as-you-go basis while still promising that they can't guarantee a resolution to your problems since it's not Apple badged hardware. But by releasing a list of hardware that their OS works with (and eliminating the TPM check), they could open up their vaunted user experience to loads more people. But they won't because it would then make more widespread just how much an Apple customer is getting ripped off for the right to have that little half-eaten fruit put on their case.

Which brings me to this story in today's Inquirer: Apple charges fortune for memory upgrade - The INQUIRER. If that isn't taking advantage of your lemmings, I don't know what is. For a comparison, to go from 512MB of memory on an HP latop to 4GB of memory is "only" $450.

And this is from someone that would love to use their stuff on a more regular basis (I have in the past, still do occasionally now), but certainly is not going to pay a 150% premium (or more) on the hardware to do so.
 
Allin4greeN

Allin4greeN

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Price may certainly be the deciding factor in my decision... As I started to "spec out" PC notebooks, and compare features or SW compatibility, I found some interesting things...

For one, BDD on PC's appears to be more or less a few hundred dollar ($200-$400) upgrade, while the one manufacturer apparently licensed to retail a BDD for PowerBook Pro sells theirs for almost $1,000, and it can only be installed on a 17" model (I was looking at the 15" to save some $$)... That's an awfully big price jump on top of an already premium priced notebook.

After adding in a copy of Vista and MS Office Pro, to cover my bases for work that I bring home and a few other apps that appear to be Win only, I'm just not sure I'm willing to pay the price for change right now.

I think that if I were in a different stage of my life and willing to lay out more cash, I'd pick up the Mac for sure. As it stands, I'm having a hard time justifying the price differential...

A lot of great input on thread so far, thanks very much!
 
shanewalker

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You know, I would love to do that on my generic, hand built, custom component PC and run OS X in a nice virtual machine via VM Ware... but I can't because Saint Steve won't deign the regular masses to run his operating system on anything but his personally badged hardware. Sure, you can have the "best of both worlds"... so long as Steve Jobs himself benefits by having you buy his incredibly overpriced hardware.

I don't want to get into the whole flame war thing about the "overpriced hardware" issue, but here's my 2 cents.

For those who love to build their own, my hat is off to you. I have good friends who do that for fun and profit (building for aquaintances for small fees) and I've worked with people who have insisted on building their own workstations and render farms in our post production facilities...so I 'GET' it.

Here's the thing...raw parts prices do NOT a total cost make. How many times do folks have to point out repeated studies and real-world stats that show that a personal computer COSTS not just what parts comprise it, but its functionality, reliability and maintenance, security and ease-of-use as well...its all about "cost of ownership." The VAST majority of computer users out there need a no hassle, fully warrantied machine that they can simply plug in and use, reliably.

Just like you could build your own kit car hot rod and claim it was 'cheaper' than a production model...you have to take into consideration your time to build and maintain the beast and its expected usable lifetime. I recall lots of times talking to my MYO buds and hearing of parts failures, lost weekends fixing 'mysterious' hardware issues and software probs (BIOS conflicts, etc.), and it seemed they were almost constantly chucking out systems and rebuilding them. Read the recent article in "Widescreen Review" on building your own HTPC and you see a very candid portrayal of the effort it takes to get a state-of-the-art machine together from scratch...it takes devotion, time and resources that most people would rather spend on other things.

So its all how you look at "value" and where you draw the line at the real cost of a computer.

And Apple's hardware costs are now in line with any major PC manufacturer--the old mindset of overpriced Apple-specific hardware are all but long gone. Feature-for-feature, Apple machines compare favorably with the likes of HP, Toshiba, Lenova, etc, etc. And look up Apple in PC World, Consumer Reports, etc. Best reliability, tech support and their price/performance is up at the top...

Like I said--I don't want to entertain a flame war. I just wanted to point out these alternatives to your view of things.
 
EvilEuro

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I don't want to get into the whole flame war thing about the "overpriced hardware" issue, but here's my 2 cents.

For those who love to build their own, my hat is off to you. I have good friends who do that for fun and profit (building for aquaintances for small fees) and I've worked with people who have insisted on building their own workstations and render farms in our post production facilities...so I 'GET' it.

Here's the thing...raw parts prices do NOT a total cost make. How many times do folks have to point out repeated studies and real-world stats that show that a personal computer COSTS not just what parts comprise it, but its functionality, reliability and maintenance, security and ease-of-use as well...its all about "cost of ownership." The VAST majority of computer users out there need a no hassle, fully warrantied machine that they can simply plug in and use, reliably.

<snip>

So its all how you look at "value" and where you draw the line at the real cost of a computer.

And Apple's hardware costs are now in line with any major PC manufacturer--the old mindset of overpriced Apple-specific hardware are all but long gone. Feature-for-feature, Apple machines compare favorably with the likes of HP, Toshiba, Lenova, etc, etc. And look up Apple in PC World, Consumer Reports, etc. Best reliability, tech support and their price/performance is up at the top...

Like I said--I don't want to entertain a flame war. I just wanted to point out these alternatives to your view of things.

I hear you on what most computer users want. However, the bit you quoted was really me snidely referring to the fact that if you own a Mac you have the option of either a) using Boot Camp to set up a dual booting system so you can have the benefit of both Windows and OS X or b) using Parallels or another piece of VM software so you can run Windows from inside of OS X.

Either way, you actually have the choice to do so because Windows will run on that hardware. There is no TPM restricting your ability to install it. If you have paid your money and have a license key to install Windows, you can do it.

The same does not work in the other direction. That's what bothers me and was the point I was making there.

In all honesty, I'd love to run OS X in a VM on my Windows box... but I'm not afforded that option because Apple won't allow it. If I want to have the best of both worlds, I have to pay my respects to Saint Steve... in cash.
 
mike123abc

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One problem PCs have from major vendors is that they are filled up with useless demo programs. Yes they got marketing $$ for loading up your PC with this junk.

Apple also ships standard with some software that is hard to get quality software on the PC. Yes you can pay the big bucks for Adobe for Photoshop/Premier or you settle for some no name cheap or half demo program to make movies and such. Installing half these programs probably results in BSOD on windows from poorly written video capture drivers and other flakey behavior which the users put the blame on Windows.
 
Foxbat

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I bought a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz quad-core Xeon system back in January from the Apple store's refurbished systems. It was priced $300 less than the "new/never-owned" system price. I expected the price to drop when the 8-core Mac Pros came out some months later, but today, the same system I bought 10 months ago is the same price. That's the first time that has ever happened to me with any electronic device.

Sure, this machine has more power than I really need, but Scott fixed that for me by introducing us to the Folding @ Home project. My main intent with getting the Mac was to get a cruncher with which I would run NewTek's LightWave. Looking at other workstations from HP and Dell, the same 4-core Xeon boxes from them actually cost $200-400 for the equivalent system at the time.

Plus, if Vista was going to require all new software (and possibly hardware) to take advantage of it, that tossed the whole backwards compatibility issue in the trashcan. My in-Laws have had Macs for some time now, so I was comfortable with the OS. I learned a lot migrating my PC mail files over to the Mac Pro, clearly not something to be done too often ;). The Dashboard Widgets are pretty neat (Vista has Gadgets and there's Yahoo, too) and all the iLife applications are handy (iPhoto is great, especially now that photos are organized by events with the new version).
 

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