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May 25, 2009

Mac vs PC

by Dan

My aunt is in the market for a new computer and asked me for a recommendation. She said she was really tempted by the new Macs and wanted to know why I liked them. Since I wrote out my reasons for her, I thought I’d share them here too.

Stability

The thing I like most is that I no longer think about the operating system. Crashes, viruses, security software, instability caused by service packs — all have pretty much gone away. I just don’t worry about that stuff anymore.

I used to look forward to reinstalling Windows on my computer about every six months. I loved the feeling of having a fast computer again. Now I can’t imagine what I was thinking. With Mac OS X, I hardly even think about the OS anymore.

Included Software

The second thing is that Macs come with lots of included software. There is software for managing pictures, editing home movies, making DVDs, recording and mixing songs, publishing web pages, chatting, email, playing music, calendaring, local backup and more.

Some of that comes with Windows, though I don’t find it as easy to use. All of it is available with Linux, but getting it all set up is not for the faint of heart. With a Mac, it’s all there ready for immediate use.

Plug and Play

Another thing I like is that, if you limit yourself to their supported hardware, everything works without any setup or drivers required. When I plug in my camera, iPhoto launches and takes me to the import screen. When I plug in a new printer, it just shows up and can be used immediately. That sort of thing.

The list of supported hardware is pretty long. I just check the list of cameras, video cameras and printers before buying stuff. Given how nice things are when using the supported hardware, that’s one concession I’m okay with.

Windows

One of the best thing for Mac newcomers is that if you decide you don’t like OS X, you can just install Windows, which runs perfectly. I reboot into Windows to play computer games a few times a month but am happy to go back to OS X when I’m done.

Momentum

Over the last two years my company has become predominantly Mac. Most people still use Windows too, either virtually or by rebooting when necessary. Even a couple of our Windows programmers use Macs.

Of course, Apple has their own reasons you should buy a Mac. And I highly recommend watching Apple’s ads, which are hilarious. My favorites are Elimination, Bean Counter and Out of the Box.

I’ve been using Macs for five and a half years now and have never found myself looking back.

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