Why get a Mac

This is a post that’s been in the queue for about a month. I forgot about it until recently.

Over the past few weeks I’ve gotten a few question about the Mac, since I was the only one at the office that had one. Many of them think the Mac doesn’t crash. Many of them still think that their files won’t work. In general, just a bit of misinformation.

This is for you Windows users out there that might be a little curious about the Mac. The following observations are from my own experience. Your mileage may vary.

  • Yes, Macs crash. Not as often as Windows, but they do.
  • The Mac does not have a BSOD. Instead you get a Kernel Panic, and much less often. In 2 years, I’ve seen 2 on my Mac.
  • Yes, applications of the Mac crash. Yes, just as often as they do on Windows.
  • The Mac, just like your Windows machine, benefits from the occassional reboot.
  • The Mac, unlike a Windows PC, works. Wifi works. Networking works. Plug and Play works.
  • Just like the ad says, the Mac works out of the box. When I turned on the iMac for the first time, I ran through the initial set-up. Once Leopard was running, I started Garage Band and mixed a podcast.
  • The Mac costs more. You definitely can’t go to Walmart and get one for $400. But, if you want to spend a week removing all of the software that is subsidizing the cost of that machine, go right ahead. If you want to compare a Mac to a PC based on price, then at least look at comparable equipment from Dell, HP or Lenovo.
  • Anything you create on your PC you can open and edit on your Mac.
  • The Mac is easier to use for most tasks. Some things that you can do on Windows easily, however, aren’t as easy on the Mac.
  • The Mac will run Windows. You can install Windows directly so you can boot into Windows like you do now or you can install it virtually so it runs like a program on your desktop.

You have probably heard this a million times already, but if you are thinking about a new computer for home, you should take a few minutes to research the Mac. You can get them at BestBuy now, so you don’t have to be intimidated by the Apple Store snobs.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

3 comments

  1. …or build a nice Ubuntu/winXP dual boot machine. i’m starting to learn me some linux stuff so i can build one for our home machine. i have an iMac too but my wife needs a windows machine for work when she VPNs in. but for browsing and such, Ubuntu is great. i’m soooooo sick of effing malware, viruses and such.

    although, my first attempt at a dual boot machine didn’t work so well. i overwrote the XP install with ubuntu when trying to partition with the drive. try, try again.

  2. I like the Mac, but you need to be a unix wiz to properly power user it – espeically if you are in a win/mac mixed environment. I can do a lot more on my win machine without resorting to CMD.

    Having said that – this feature makes it perfect for home use – my wife has one – it can’t be broken, just works and (as long as you have a bit of Unix wizardry) can be gotten working on a mixed env network with all your file servers etc.

    oh, and did I mention they just look damn sexy 🙂

  3. I don’t think you need to be a Unix wiz to power use the Mac, but you do to be able to troubleshoot problems and fix some issues. But I have also found that to be the same with Windows, where I always go to the command line when I need to fix or troubleshoot anything.

    I can say that networking Mac to Mac is easy, but I’m finding Mac to Windows to be more difficult than Windows to Windows. Stupid things like printers that can be seen by windows, print a test page but not work with any Windows apps is my current frustration. I haven’t had any luck getting files from Windows to Mac either. But I am a bit of a noob with stuff and only have my Mom’s Vista laptop to test with.

    But that might change soon. More details to follow.

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