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Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 07:34 AM   #1
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Mac or PC?

I'm certain this has been covered, but please indulge me since I am computer challenged. I need a good, reliable computer and even better printer for word processing and casual net surfing. I do not need lots of bells and whistles. I write and frequently have to send in manuscripts. Kinkos, etc. is just not all that convenient or cost effective. An all-in-one printer would be ideal for me. Sugestions? Thanks.

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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: Mac or PC?

If you don't need the latest games AND don't mind paying a little more I would recommend a Mac.

If you want to save money, or want the newest games, PC. With a PC you do need to protect it with virus/spam software. Once set up it is fairy automatic.

If/When Macs gain marketshare, they will see more virus/spam attacks and very well may need similar protection software.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: Mac or PC?

Used both extensively.

Choose the Mac whenever a choice is available, which is 99.99% of the time for me.

Only computer I own is a Macbook (has intel chips, just like most windoze computers); it runs windows through a program called Parallels for the rare occasions when that's necessary.

Durable, heavily used without any issues.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Mac or PC?

We have both Macs and Pcs. The macs are less maintenance, easy to learn, come with a lot of installed programs such as Pages that opens and saves files as Word docs, Keynote that opens and saves files as Powerpoint presentations, a mail program, a web browser, iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, GarageBand, iCal (calendar), etc.

The Macs come with everything you need to work right out of the box and the other programs you don't think you need but are a lot of fun to work with. You may only need the computer for the web and to work on manuscripts but you may find yourself creating your own home movies, creating music, easily setting up and printing customized tabletop books of your family photos as Christmas gifts, etc.

I have an intel mac mini with a flat screen 17" monitor and I couldn't be happier. Yes you can get a cheaper Windows computer but for a novice the aggravation and maintenance/virus problems won't be worth the savings and time you'll spend troubleshooting or paying someone to do it for you.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 09:19 AM   #5
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Re: Mac or PC?

I have both PC and a Mac. For someone not particularly computer savvy, I think the Mac is clearly the better choice. It is very simple to use and far less susceptible to viruses or other problems that plague PC's. I have the Mac versions of the Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) installed and they work fine. I have never had any document compatibility problems.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Mac or PC?

I've been a PC user since the days of DOS, but my next computer will probably be a Mac Mini. I like the form factor, the price is right, and as a techie I really like the idea that the Mac operating system is Unix underneath.

For someone computer challenged, who isn't already tied to the PC world, the Mac is close to a no-brainer.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 09:39 AM   #7
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Re: Mac or PC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc
as a techie I really like the idea that the Mac operating system is Unix underneath.
Guilty here, too. BTW, the default unix shell is pretty slick. I run PHP and mySQL locally, and with phpMyAdmin and other tools can pretty much do it all without even being on line as far as development is concerned. I never even bothered to get a dedicated commercial database app - just use mySQL from a browser for all data needs.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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Re: Mac or PC?

We have had both in our home for years. We always recommend the mac to others.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 09:49 AM   #9
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Re: Mac or PC?

Sorry, voice of dissent here. Most of the positive attributes to a mac are marketing oriented and IMO not based in fact...at least since Windows XP came out.

I've had both, the mac bought for my wife because she wanted to try it out.

We saw no practical difference between the mac and a windows XP pc in usability, maintenance or reliability. In fact, the mac blew two hard drives over 3 years because they werent adequately cooled. The hardware in the far more expensive mac was no different from a decent budget PC.

While its possible to run both windows and macosx on the newer macs, theres a small amount of technical complexity, and you may have to buy both OS's.

As far as "virus problems" on the PC, I have a scanner that came with the PC, it self updates, I've never been infected with a virus on it or had any problems with the scanner. If I took the 'tray icon' away, I'd never even know it was there. There is absolutely nothing special about a mac that protects it from spam. Many security experts are not pleased with the number of open exploits in the mac os and apple seems pretty lax in fixing some of them. So, its not that the mac is virus proof in any way...its just that nobody has bothered to write a virus to attack a small market share machine.

Most modern XP/Vista machines have everything you need in the box, work right out of the box, work with every application thats not mac specific (which is not many), connect to peripherals and the internet every bit as well if not better, and costs 20-50% less for the same product quality and performance points.

The bottom line on our mac experience is that it was a fine machine with a well working set of software, but that we spent extra money on purported benefits that really didnt materialize.

That having been said, and without trying to upset anyone (really), the mac is a "destination product" that, due to great marketing, people want to buy because there is a strong suggestion that it will change their image, make their lives better, solve problems, make them look more affluent or make them more attractive to the opposite sex.

The Apple/Mac marketing campaign has been geared up to make the buyer feel that the purchase will make them feel more creative, young, intelligent, artistic, cool and gosh, it'll be easy to use and solve all your computing problems.

Here's a different spin: http://www.internet-nexus.com/2007/01/im-mac-im-pc.htm

One thing my wife liked a lot was the colors, although that led to the purchase of some new peripherals to match the color of the computer. Yay, even more money spent...

All that having been said, you wont screw up by buying a mac. It'll work great for you.

Just be prepared for a bit of disappointment. And you'll soon discover that almost everything is done for the PC first, then belatedly for the mac. So you might have to wait for an application to come out for the mac, you may find directions on using a product or service on the mac to be somewhat inadequate or not as well fleshed out, and you may find that tech support folks are far more knowledgeable about their product on the PC than on the Mac.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:04 AM   #10
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Re: Mac or PC?

CFB always spoils the fun!

My mac is smaller, has more power, and is PRETTIER. So there! :P
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:10 AM   #11
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Re: Mac or PC?

Sooo - a Mac attack is like back in the 1980's - ya gotta own a Bimmer - once in your lifetime?

heh heh heh - I dumped my XKE and bought my very first pickup - a 1980 Ford F 150 AND got my first pair of white fisherman's boots!

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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:17 AM   #12
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Re: Mac or PC?

There has definitely been a convergence of Mac and Windows, but my impression is that the user experience remains quite distinct between the two.

Consumer Report rates these periodically and the reports are generally fairly sensible in my view. IIRC, Mac ranks very high in reliability and customer service, comparable to the highest ranking PCs. Windows machines tend to be a bit less expensive, feature for feature.

As a new buyer, I'd read the consumer report issue, spend some time with each at your local candy store, and decide from that. Notwithstanding CFBs explanation as to why viruses are less a problem with the Mac, it is a fact that at least for now, the Mac is less afflicted by a long shot.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:20 AM   #13
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Re: Mac or PC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
CFB always spoils the fun!
Its what I do...

Quote:
My mac is smaller, has more power, and is PRETTIER. So there! :P
My PC is large, powerful, and extremely satisfying.

Rich's summary is well done. Do your own due diligence, dont just buy the hype.

As far as the virus thing goes, I fully expect to wake up any day now to a story involving the first serious worm or virus introduced to the mac community wiping out about 95% of them because they're employing security through obscurity. This is akin to not worrying about gang violence in your town because hey...they only shoot each other, right?
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:25 AM   #14
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Re: Mac or PC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
As far as the virus thing goes, I fully expect to wake up any day now to a story involving the first serious worm or virus introduced to the mac community wiping out about 95% of them because they're employing security through obscurity. This is akin to not worrying about gang violence in your town because hey...they only shoot each other, right?
Not so sure it's just prevalence at issue here. Maybe some of our unix geeks can enlighten us but my understanding is that the virus protection and other security features inherent in the unix OS truly are more robust than what has been possible in Windows. No computer is immune, to be sure.

Great choices today. I remember having to choose between DOS and CP/M decades ago. With my usual prognostication skills, I chose CP/M. The rest is history.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:28 AM   #15
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Re: Mac or PC?

I have been a PC user since my original 8086 thru today. And I get to support my sister and MIL's PCs. But at home I will only use Macs when I have to pay for them myself. I 'maintain' three at home and it couldn't be easier.
Once you get to the browser level or Word application there isn't much difference but the Mac system always seems better to me than the PC, I do not yet use Vista but it looks a LOT like Mac OS10 which it follows. The PCs have somewhat caught up in interoperability of periferals but the Mac just seems to just work. My wife has a new intel chip Mac loptop, literally all she did is turn it on. My sistes new Sony Vaio laptop took me all day to get functioning, transferring her files and getting drivers for her printer and making necessary network connections.
I also don't think thing there is much money to be saved by going to a PC. To get the same component quality you need to go to something like the Sony Vaio which looks about the same price as a Mac.
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:39 AM   #16
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Re: Mac or PC?

After experiencing serious out-of-the-box issues with a d*ll laptop at work, I'd never buy another. Our PC support guys, who bring up all the incoming laptops, say they have something like > 10% of the incoming laptops have serious problems.

In my case the machine would spontaneously lock up after a variable amount of time. Turned out to need a new motherboard.

Then again I've never bought a mac because I'm too cheap.

Just my 2 cents,

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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 10:51 AM   #17
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Re: Mac or PC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Maybe some of our unix geeks can enlighten us but my understanding is that the virus protection and other security features inherent in the unix OS truly are more robust than what has been possible in Windows. No computer is immune, to be sure.
Perhaps since I've been working with unix since the 1970's, I might qualify

Read this: http://www.techworld.com/security/ne...fm?newsid=1798
or: http://news.com.com/Is+Mac+OS+as+saf...3-6043353.html

Pretty much sums it up. Lots of folks will argue with all the parameters, but the bottom line from this old operating system coder is that unix has plenty of deficiencies and the variant apple uses is arguably worse than most modern unix variants.

Apple, just like microsoft, regularly distributes updates to fix problems. That having been said, I can tell you that there are a handful of bad holes that apple hasnt fixed, and some security people are pretty pissed at how long its taking.

Just google "vulnerabilities mac os".
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #18
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Re: Mac or PC?

A year ago, I worked on a high-throughput application to be run on MacOS and Windows 2003 Server (and big iron as well). For our networking tests, we could make the 2003 Server, running on a heavy dual-proc box, slow to a crawl. The Mac Notebook we used could handle about 4x the sockets...until it crashed. That wasn't exactly satisfactory but the point is that FreeBSD out-of-the-box is a lot more scalable than Windows 2003S, which is meant for server purposes. Naturally, few people need that kind of firepower.


From CFB's techworld link, the highest category (34%) for the Mac OS vulnerabilities had a Denial of Service impact; system access was 24%. Windows had a 54% system access and a 21% DoS. impact
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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #19
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Re: Mac or PC?

I think a big part of the 'mac being more secure' just has to do with the size of the target.

If you are a loser that can't get la*d and are sitting at home writing a virus, you're most likely going to go for the most bang for the buck, which is the windows universe.

Reminds me of the old far-side cartoon with 2 deer, one of which has a big bulls-eye target on his belly - and the other one saying "Bummer of a birthmark, hal".

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Re: Mac or PC?
Old 02-23-2007, 11:55 AM   #20
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Re: Mac or PC?

There are some valid analysis of the possible vulnerabilities of the Mac OS but there is not much evidence of them in play, even below the market share of the OS. I work at a particular NASA center with about 10K computers, about 1.5K are Macs, we have never, never, never had a virus with them in OS 10 or AFAIK under UNIX. I think I heard a rumor about 5 years back of a person who got a worm virus, maybe that was a local myth. It is not just the market size, it also has to do with file structure. The old OS (OS9) was truly impervious, the new one *could* have problems but nobody has seen any yet. The new MS Vista system is more robust but the security *features* put in place to plug vulnerabilities will drive some people crazy and if disabled will have a different set of problems. Now Macs can pass on viruses in Word received from a PC on to other PCs but will not affect the Mac itself.
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