Monday, September 28, 2009

Questions For Mac Users


I’m still surprised by the wars and the loyalties between PC people and Mac people. I’ve used both machines and think it just depends on what you are used to using. I personally prefer the PC platform though one can spend more money and get a Windows operating system on their Mac.

My problem with Mac is when comparing (pardon the half pun) apples to apples there is something that doesn’t make sense. If you were to build a computer from scratch you will find they both share most of the same components and RAM, hard drives, motherboards and ports all cost about the same so why do Macs cost on average a thousand dollars more than PCs?

It is totally untrue that Macs do not crash and freeze up. It is usually a software conflict that is at fault. It is untrue that Macs don’t get virus attacks, they do get them. On the other hand I’ve never had a virus attack on any of my PCs. I do employ software to keep me safe.

With technology changing so quickly how can one justify paying double for equipment that will be obsolete as quickly as its PC competitor? Right now I’m using an under $700 HP laptop. It is the fastest most reliable computer I’ve ever had. It’s never crashed and the only problems I ever had with it was with one brand of virus protection that didn’t get along well with Vista and my version of Vista has one quirk that I can’t get around where I can’t name a folder. There is a patch for this problem, but I’m sure the problem will go away when I load Windows 7 on it later this year.

So to all the readers out there with Macs, am I off base asking these questions? How is double the price justified in your eyes? Is it just a "Cool Factor", or
"I have lots of money to throw around factor", or is it "I'm afraid of learning something new factor", or "I hate Microsoft factor?"

12 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

It's the herd instinct. The Chevy vs Ford thing. The designer labels vs thrift store hand me downs thing. The urge to be in the "in" crowd thing. The same insanity that will force people to eat something completely nasty and high priced just because it is high priced. Have you ever tried caviar? Bleagh! Me, I use whatever works for me. I wear what is comfortable and I eat what tastes good. Fortunately for most of these suppliers, there are fanatics and just fans of their stuff. If they based the worlds economy on my likes and dislikes the place would become rather bland and Walmart-ish.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I learned on a Mac, so have stuck with them but the pricing thing has always irritated me for the same reasons as yourself.

I do have a PC in the house (Mikes old one as well as his old laptop) and I use a PC at work, but part of the sticking with Macs IS that fear of learning something new...maybe not so much fear as not having the time to learn...

5:49 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

The Mac mini I'm getting will cost either $599 or $799. Of course, I'll be using my own monitor and hoping it doesn't bite the dust. This will allow me to find out if I think a Mac is worth the extra money or not.

I hate that windows updates WILL NOT update for me, so that message is always at the bottom of my screen. I'll use the free AGV antivirus for Apple that you can get online.

It's an experiment that will help me know if I really want a Mac next time around.

Oh, and I won't be getting windows for Mac; if you use Windows online, you run the same virus risk as with a PC.

6:06 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

I've been using Macs since they were the best option for dealing with graphics and photographs. Windows used to absolutely suck at color management.

Then I watched my sister's experiences with Windows machines for her home-based business. She spent a lot more money for visits from repair people and techies than I did on my initial investment. The last time I had an Apple in for repair it wasn't really an Apple, it was a Mac clone on which a power module or some such went bad. Cost me about $125 to repair. My sis spent more than that several times a year, not to mention the amount of data lost, plus down time without computer access.

I look at it as you might your John Deere vs big box store riding mower. It might cost more initially but not in the long run.

I should also point out that you're wrong about Mac crashes. It's been many years since I had a crash. Individual applications sometimes crash, but the overall system keeps running. No need to reboot (or restart in Mac parlance) the whole system, it's just a matter of relaunching an application.

Viruses? Nonsense. I haven't done a virus scan for years. I used to do them a couple times a year and they never found anything. I was just wasting my time.

I've been using the same camera system for years. Not because it's necessarily that much better than another, but because to buy another maker's camera would also mean buying new lenses and accessories to go with it. Same would be true of software if I wanted to switch from Mac to PC.

Oh, and if you look at the new MacBooks you'll find that not all computers are made of the same stuff. http://www.apple.com/environment/reports/

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Macs generally stay in service longer than PCs, so the total cost of ownership may tilt a little more favorably in Apple's direction.

2. Never had a virus? I'm skeptical. More likely "never had a virus I was aware of".

3. The overwhelming majority of the world's compromised computers are PCs. True, Macs can get viruses, but Windows-equipped PCs out-of-the-box are less secure than out-of-the-box Macs. There are many more security-breaching viruses, worms, etc. written for PCs because it's easier, and because there are so many unprotected PCs out there.

4. You can't name folders using Vista and this is just a "quirk"? This isn't a problem for Linux or Windows XP or OS X. It's that kind of quirk that infuriates many windows users and drives them elsewhere.

11:32 AM  
Blogger g said...

Since 99% of the nefarious viruses/malware are targeted/engineered toward PC, what do you expect?

I tried to get mac friendly and couldn't do it. The problem I had is macs are so incompatible with too many applications.

For now, I remain PC. FWIW, my new PC w/windows7 has yet to get a virus or crash.

6:50 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The jury is still out and there really isn't any good explanation for high cost of a Mac. History is history but Vista is the most stable OS for PCs yet, and I'm sure 7 has good things in store. I've never had a virus and I've been down some dark rabbit holes. The only thing I don't like about my present laptop is that the keyboard is black and hard to type with in low light situations. A lighted keyboard like a cell phone would be nice.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

A lighted keyboard...Brilliant!

9:05 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

i learned on a mac as well, and own one now.

before i had a mac, i could've sworn i really wanted one, and now that i have one, i wonder what all the fuss is about. i realize i prefer my HP, and now that it's been repaired, i'm happy to have it as my backup PC.

macs are NOT intuitive, friendlier, or easier to use. i'm pretty technologically-savvy, and after six months of being a macbook owner, i'm still stymied.

i also hate the fact that it's white (as i mentioned, t'was a gift, and i didn't have any say in the colour), altbough i do like its teeny-ness. it's 14 inches and a hell of a lot easier (and lighter) to haul around than my 17-inch HP pavillion.

still, i use my mac because it's here to use. i have no intentions of getting rid of my HP, and i figure that when the mac up and dies, i won't be hard-pressed to purchase a replacement.

4:50 PM  
Blogger g said...

i use and highly recommend the logitech G11 lighted keyboard.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

Grew up with Macs at school and a PC at home. Currently use a Mac at work every day and come home to a Vista machine. The Boy has a PC lappy with Windows 7 pre-release version (looks great, runs good so far).

I've crashed my Mac at work several times (my IT guy looooves me), just like I can crash my Vista machine at home about as often. I haven't had any virus problems on either computer, and I am comfortable switching between them...

I honestly have no idea what my next computer will be, but I'm leaning toward PC. More programs function successfully on a PC, plus they're cheaper. Cost is a big deal to me.

10:10 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

g, it would be a nice ideas for laptops.

Dalia and Jaggy, thanks for your total objectivity on this subject. What I'm coming away with is that Macs really aren't worth the extra money. Back in the day they were great, but now no so.

5:25 AM  

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