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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #1
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ok ok this is probably going to get a very biased arguement here, however i still have to ask.

Mac vs PC.

i'll say it, i am a PC user.. always have been... however i have recently begun to get into digital animation and those sort of things, as well i have taken up a computer science course in university.... that said.... i am slowely being purswaded (i appologise for my spelling), to converting to a mac (mac runs on unix system... i.e. i am learning unix in university), the power of the mac is so much more powerful then a pc, and seems to render on an entirely different level than a pc especially when it comes to animation etc.. i find this very seductive from a mac. and finding this forum an all mac forum i thought that posting this here would get the mac proffesonals as well as the basic users to give me their input which i would find very valueable, i am hopeing that users will explain to me the pro's as well as the CONS (i put cons in capitals to stress that i wish to know whats bad about the mac so i can get a better grasp on what i will be dealing with so i can handle things for when i make the switch over)
as i have been with PC for a while now and know all too well the CONS of a PC and i am certainly sick of the constant little annoyances that pcs have.(constant rebooting, spyware/viruses, overpriced software/ hardware conflictions/ etc...)

so in short i am asking to have a reasonable "Calm" debate/discussion of macs vs pc's.

p.s. if you have stories of why u changed from pc to mac, i would welcome that very much so. thank you.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 05:06 PM   #2
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Last edited by SkyHook; Nov 8th, 2008 at 02:39 PM.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 12:10 AM   #3
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What are the pros and cons of moving to any platform? You're always going to have to give something up, in order to gain the advantage of another platform.

I, personally, enjoy the fact that the system software I'm using is written explicitly for this machine. I like the awesome driver support and the total lack of useless options that seem to do nothing but cause problems and waste time. I love going to one source for all my questions, and parts, and new machines, it makes things a heck of a lot easier.

On the performance side of things, the G5 puts Apple into the "high end" of computing. I've heard the G5 has the fastest bus speeds around, and some mean number-crunching skills to boot. After hearing such things as Intel designers being hellbent upon increasing the clock speed of their CPUs, chiefly because it makes a good selling point, and not because it actually determines performance, I'd rather go with the child of IBM's high-end POWER4 CPU, the G5. Bare number-crunching (such as pure integer or FP tests and such) aside tho, the G5 has fewer "weak spots" and slower instructions than its competitors, It's bred for jack-of-all-trades goodness!

And last of all, things like Apple computers cause spontaneous groups such as this one to form, and isn't that the best part of all?
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 04:52 AM   #4
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So many questions!

Perhaps a bit of clarity on what your aims are would be useful... Here are some general guidelines:

- If you want to tweak your machine, replace different bits at different times and play games, go for a PowerMac G5 (tower) with a good graphics card

- If you want speed and 64 bit future compatibility at a reasonable price but don't intend to upgrade your machine beyond basics (e.g. memory), get one of the new flat panel iMacs

- If you want a fast notebook capable of running 64 bit programmes, wait 3-6 months for the powerbook G5 (not announced yet, but expected)

- If you want a medium speed but very capable notebook with everything built-in (i.e. DVD burner, bluetooth, 54g wireless, etc.) choose from the current line-up of portables

- If you want the cheapest possible Mac experience but still get amazing value for money, go for the eMac, especially with a student discount.

All Macs come with exactly the same OS which is OS X 10.3 a.k.a. Panther. There is no 'home' or 'pro' edition. Even the server edition (priced separately) has the same look and feel as the standard OS. Finally, the OS can be used in 'passive' mode i.e. just enjoy its incredible slickness or 'under the hood', looking at the Unix heart in the machine...

Hope this helps
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #5
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I'm coming out of retirement just to help out this guy. When it comes to a "switcher", I heed the clarion call!

My background is that I'm a composer for TV, have owned Macs since 1995, have used PCs regularly (including being my sister's PC techie) but have never owned a PC. I also have read TONS of various information about Macs and PCs over the years. I'm kind of infamous for that here at ehMac.

For starters, if you're getting into animation, that means you're getting into the film and television industry. Macs are BIG in the industry as a whole -- although, in high-end animation, the x86 platform running UNIX or Linux is fairly prevalent. With the advent of the 64 bit G5 processor, however, Macs are increasing their presence in your particular field. May has expanded their products to the Mac, as have Pixar, Luxology and others. It should only continue to increase. So, even if you don't end up buying one, getting to know more about them and being accepting of them will make your job easier.

Secondly, most of the components used in Macs are industry standard: PCI, AGP, Ethernet, Firewire, USB, IDE, SATA, SCSI, SDR and DDR RAM (making sure compatibility is right, like any computer), etc. etc. The catch is whether or not a component you're looking to use has Mac OS compatible drivers or not. In this regard, there are generally MORE drivers for graphics cards available for the PC than Mac, and more powerful GPUs for the PC than the Mac. This may or may not be relevant from person to person.

Also, the Powermac towers -- as my signature here at ehMac attests -- are very upgradeable. Among the components I upgraded, I got the 8X DVDRW, the 120GB hard drive and the dual NEC panels at PC stores. And, I also added 2.1GHz to my processing power via a dual G4 upgrade. The G5 Powermacs are new to the platform, so there will be a limited array of products for upgrading, like it processor (I suppose the same could be said of the x86 64 bit platform, too). There are newer ATI GPUs and many drive options (both optical and hard) available, however.

The real area of joy is the OS. Mac OS X is an awesome system! Apple did what everybody really would have wanted to do: take UNIX (a mature, powerful yet complex industrial-strength OS) and make it user friendly. Not only has Apple endowed UNIX with their ease of use and clean elegant design, but they have pulled it off to the point that -- for the most part and in most cases -- you wouldn't even now you were running a UNIX if you didn't want to know... and yet, the OS X user benefits from UNIX's capabilities. myself, I have used Mac OS X for three years, have installed TONS of software, have hacked the appearance and behavior of my Mac using GUI-based shareware, have used OS X for my work (of course), and yet I don't know ANY UNIX language! The ONLY time I have had to get into UNIX is when I wanted to run the disk diagnostic on my boot disk. OS X -- when fully loaded -- cannot repair the booted System disk. One can either boot off another device such as an OS installer CD, or boot into UNIX and run the diagnostic from the command line. And, the command to run the utility is even presented to you at bootup in UNIX. So you don't even have to memorize THAT.

Mac OS X is also stable and can run forever. As I said, I've been using it for three years -- ON THE SAME ORIGINAL OS INSTALL! It's updated to the current rev and I've never had to reinstall it. There is no Registry to get bloated or corrupted, it is easy to install or delete programs from your drive (just trash them). the UI is clean and Apple is very inventive. Check out OS X's superior window/app switching technology, "Expose", for just one (also, see the URLs in this post about Expose).

OS X rocks! I see it as the Holy Grail of OSes.

As for application support, there are over 18,000 titles available for the Mac, with solutions available in a surprisingly wide range of uses. To me, then argument that there's more software on the x86 side is moot. The SMART thing to do is, if one is considering a switch to the Mac platform, research YOUR NEEDS thoroughly. Who cares if there are fifty word processors for the PC and maybe 15 for the Mac, when one of those 15 are right for you? Also, the REALITY of the PC world is that THE MASSES who use a PC usually just start using the bundled software -- and that would be probably some MS product like Works or Office and the wretched Internet Explorer -- and leave it at that. That's the reality of "there's more software for PCs". The result of this is that Office compatibility is a must-have in this day and age, and there are several options for this on the Mac -- EXCEPT for MS Access, although the cross-platform database program, Filemaker Pro, can handle Access files. Even OS X's equivalent to Windows' "Notepad" can read and write Word documents, to and from PCs as well.

Apple's own software titles are usually fantastic. nothing on the PC platform works as well as or is quite like their 'iLife" media suite. The way this suite of apps shares music, photos and video between them is so easy, fast and cool! Also, because OS X is an open-source UNIX at its heart, Apple can partake of the open-source technologies out there -- whereas Microsoft can't or rather WON'T. As a result, Apple's own web browser, called Safari, uses KDE's 'KHTML render engine which runs their own "Konquerer" web browser. So, Apple has many choices both internally and externally for new technologies.

And for technical decisions made by Apple in OS Xs design, OS X is more secure than Windows. As there are WAY MORE Windows systems out there than Macs, the virus writers have little interest in coding for the Mac, too. So, Mac users fly under their radar, whereas Windows users live CONSTANTLY with a bulls-eye on their backs. It sucks!

What also sucks about Windows is that Microsoft appears to be impotent in their OS development. XP, while far more stable than Win9x, is still a pain. It's riddled with security issues. Also, Microsoft's future plans for Windows has been revised, reduced and pushed off further and further down the line. And yet, aspects such as Longhorn's GPU utilizing "Glass" transparency and 3D, as well as Longhorn's WinFS tagged database-like file system either already exist on OS X (like Quartz Extreme graphics) or will be YEARS before Microsoft (like next year's tag-based filesystem for OS X, called "Spotlight". Microsoft didn't even add TABBED BROWSING to Internet Explorer is SP2! Only pop-up blocking! I'd say that's pretty lame.

Also, OS X plays nice with Windows networks.

All in all, the Mac platform is much more exciting and fun to use.

Now, what stinks about the Mac platform? Here are a few:

The additional "special PC content" of just about every DVD I have played on my Mac is Windows-only.

Microsoft has not extended SECURE Windows media compatibility to the Mac. As a result, the ONLY way to legally purchase Mac compatible secure media is at the iTunes online store -- and it aint available in Canada just yet.

Some AVI filetypes can't be played properly on Mac OS.

Software that is destined for Mac compatibility usually comes out later. This isn't a huge issue unless you're a hardcore gamer, and those folks should stay on the PC (although I have enjoyed many recent killer titles on my Mac, as have others).

Although there is a lot of software for the Mac, you don't see much of it at your typical computer store. Online is where it's at.

Probably one of the biggest drags of using a Mac is telling PC users who don't know about the Mac that you use a Mac!. The level of ignorance out there is staggering.

There's probably more that isn't great about the platform, but those are the main ones as I see it. Although the disparity is nowhere near as bad as some PC guys say, Macs can be more expensive than PCs -- and in some equal configurations the prices are almost the same. Where the Mac platform has troubles here is that you can build your own PC but not a Mac. To the vast majority of PC users, however, this is irrelevant. Dell's profit reports can attest to this. And it's the same with Apple; Like Dell, HP, Gateway and the rest, they're not selling to the "tweakers".

Also, as you pointed out, there will be a learning curve, as there would be for anybody. Some things I would say to keep in mind are: think "drag-and-drop", think "do the obvious, literal thing I want to do with a file" (for example, you can drag text from one window to another, even across apps and even across Expose'd windows. You can drag an MP3 listed in iTunes to the Desktop or a folder and it'll be copied there. You can drag a file for attachment to an email to your email's app icon in the Dock and it will be attached to an email for you. Also, if you go OS X, learn about the Dock, it is extremely configurable, offering way more flexibility than Windows' Start Menu and Task Bar.

Here are some links you might find of interest:
A site comparing Win XP and OS X IN GREAT DEPTH. Regardless of any subjective judgments offered here, this site can also be used as an awesome orientation for people learning about EITHER OS by comparing it to the one they know. A real goldmine!
Apple's own hardware and software guide, listing over 18,000 Apple and 3rd party applications and thousands of peripherals. Someone go through that software database and tell me what you CAN'T do with a Mac?
Mac OS X's device compatibility lists. LOTS there!
Detailed system price and package comparisons between Apple and Dell.
A partial yet building list of Mac dealers in Ontario.

I hope this all helps! [img]smile.gif[/img]



PS: Just to be clear, the "X" in "Mac OS X" represents the roman numeral 10; not the letter X, as in 'XP".

PSS: if you were using OS X, you wouldn't have to worry about your spelling, because Mac OS X has system-wide spell checking [img]smile.gif[/img] I use it all the time for both my two-finger'd typos and for my several chronically misspelled werds -- er... "words"
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 11:39 AM   #6
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Anyone wants to open a book on Macaholic imploding soon?

He only allows himself the odd post, so they take him hours to compose!

Way to go Maco !!!
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #7
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Try forty minutes.

BUT! That's forty minutes too much!
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #8
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i'll be a 2nd grader at his first time on a computer. not knowing how to even click properly, let alone, know how to run programs! i know that will take a few minutes to learn. but i asked this guy to show me his powerbook, and he was just showing me how mac works, it was very impressive, however when i took a go at it, i was such a lil child lost in a whole new world, lol, i guess its just so overwhelming for me...
If you know how to use Microsoft's Windows, you won't be as lost as you think. You may be a little lost for a couple of weeks, but that's about it. Being one who uses both PCs (at work) and Macs (at home) there really isn't that much difference in the basics between the two once you get used to working with both, after all, as most Mac Users would say "Windows is just a cheap knock-off of MacOS". You still double-click on files to open them up in applications, you still double-click applications to start them, there are the same keyboard shortcuts (just using the Apple key or option key instead of the Ctrl key), yuou can still right-click on things and bring up contextual menus (after you get a two or more button mouse), looking at the properties of a file is the same as Getting Info on a file, etc. Just take it one step at a time. Learn a new thing every couple of days or a week. Don't try and learn everything the first day.

u always want power, power is always a good thing, so i know little of macs and dont know the terminology.... ebook?, powerbook? emac?, imac? power mac?
Yes, there is some unique terms in the Mac world, just like there are some unique terms in most areas and there are various product lines like any other company. If you don't know what the term is ask, I always believe there is no dumb question, especially when it comes to learning.

iBook and Powerbook are Apple's laptop Mac line.
eMac, iMac, and Power Mac are Apple's desktop line. I think someone else explained them further.

Airports are Apple's wireless routers.
-- Mac Pro Dual 3.0 Dual Core, 4GB RAM, 150GB Raptor HD, 500GB HD, Superdrive, Radeon X1900XT, Bluetooth, Airport Exteme, Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speakers, 30" ACD
-- PowerMac G5 Dual 2.5, 2.5GB RAM, 160GB HD, Superdrive, Radeon X800XT, Bluetooth, Airport Extreme
-- Macbook Pro 2.53 15", 4GB, 320GB HD, SuperDrive, Bluetooth, Airport Extreme
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 12:30 PM   #9
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I've build and fixed Win boxes for 12 years for friends and myself [Win 3.1 > XP, Linux].
When I had a chance to get a Mac I jumped at the opportunity to try this platform, and have never looked back. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Switching over to OS X was easy, I found all the similar software that I ran on XP plus more [free apps], easier learning curve, fewer headaches [security/system, no antivirus, and no spyware updates]. And OSX just keeps going on and on, I leave the computer and it goes to sleep, I come back touch a key or mouse and comes back on, no blue screens or any of the idiosyncrasies like Windows.

My Win box is sitting in the corner now, only time I use it is .......... um............. can't remember, I haven't even done the SP2 update yet! My wife was using it for her business a year ago.

We are opening up an new business and I already have the POS software and business stuff all ready to go.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 12:42 PM   #10
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I've used PC's since the DOS 2 days and Mac's since the Finder 5 days. I still use both on a regular basis, I'm typing this on a Win2K machine!

- the UNIX underpinnings are the biggest draw, IMO. Drop into the command line and do *whatever* you like.
- Apple's seamless integration of applications. This even rubs off on the shareware, freeware and open source applications. iLife apps are worth the price of admission alone.
- Apple's build quality. There are very few machines that even come close to Apple's hardware design. They are the BMW of computer manufacturers.
- Software availability. There is so much high quality SW around and there is a *huge* base of UNIX and X windows software available as well. What isn't available as binaries can be compiled from source. There is a very large quantity of PC software, but it's much harder to find the quality stuff.

- Cost. You *can* build a very cheap PC, if you desire a really cheap PC.
- Games. There is a very large number of games on the PC that will never likely come to the Mac market.
- Installed base. If you are a Windoze newbie, everyone in the neighbourhood has a Windoze machine. *But*, if you have a Mac, you likely won't need anywhere near as much support.
- Warez. Much easier on the OS that has the largest installed base.

I would have a hard time working on one platform only. But if I *had* to choose, it would likely be OS X.
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