: Pc vs Mac; Help a canadian out


Ohmsford
Feb 29th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Hey guys, I'm new to the site, and new to this forum. I have been a lifelong Pc user, just to give you an idea

-I grew up with a old 33 that keep me entertained
-moved on to a dell pentium 3 500mhz
-then onto a amd athlon 1800+ system I built
-next was a amd 3200+ s754 system I built
-then a core 2 duo e6600 system I built
-and now with an hp dv2000 series laptop

Coming from a small community and a farm, I used to be pretty closed minded when it came to a lot of things, including apple computers. But recently I've been intrigued by them greatly, and basically devouring any information I can get. I love the idea that you can load windows on a mac load with the intel cpu's, but lets face it, you don't buy a apple computer to run windows, you just ain't getting enough hardware for your money in comparison to a custom built windows machine. But this new concept of having windows on a mac really gets rid of most switching problems.

I'm looking for testimonials from people that have switched, people that are thinking of switching, and I'm really looking for comparisons from people that use both on a day to day basis. I've used mac's before, my hometown school (K-12) always had apple computers in the computer lab, spent most of my time on the eMac machines when on campus. So i'm not completely foreign to the topic, but I'm in no position to make any decisions.

Please refrain from posts that basically include "windows SUX os X ROXX", i'm not exactly looking for that kind of input.

Also, the opportunity has presented itself that I could get a old PowerMac G4 400mhz sawtooth for pretty damn cheap. If i did so, would this machine really give me a proper representation of what using a apple computer would be like? Or would I need to upgrade it (basically pour money into it) to get it running similarly to a newer mac? By getting this machine, what limitations will I have?

Thanks alot for reading guys, hope to read some great responses

Benito
Feb 29th, 2008, 10:02 PM
I'm relatively new here and relatively new to the Mac World. I have for years worked in PC's and for the most part was pretty happy with my PC's. It wasn't until recently when my trusty Toshiba laptop's monitor died that I suddenly needed to replace it and I took the opportunity to change to a Mac. I decided on a MacBook Pro and haven't looked back since. I can't tell you how happy I have been with working on my Mac. The quality of the build of the MBP is so much better than any other laptop that I have owned to date. There are a lot of little things that Apple thought of when designing the MBP that I just don't see on PC's. The Leopard OS has also been a pleasure to work with. I have been so pleasantly surprised with how little instruction it has taken for me to ge the hang of using Leopard. It really has been easy to use and quite intuitive. I have had to continue to use Window XP pro at work though. I have VMWare installed which allows me to run Windows and Leopard at the same time. This allows me to run my work software while still running everything else I want to in Leopard at the same time. The only time I use Windows is at work now and I only use it for my work software. I don't think I'll ever buy a PC again now that I have had the pleasure of using a Mac.

I'm not sure if this helps you at all but I hope it does.

chas_m
Feb 29th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Being that I want you to have the best experience possible, I'd suggest buying a used or refurb Mac of more recent vintage. Since you express an interest in the Intel chip and its potential to let you run Windows alongside Mac OS X, I'm not sure why you would want to buy a machine that does not have this chip and therefore doesn't let you do this. Still, if the money we're talking about is so low as to be an impulse purchase, then by all means go for it -- but please run at least Tiger (10.4) or higher, and with the processor so slow I'd *strongly* recommend maxing out the RAM.

FWIW, I used to work in a Mac shop and when the Intels came out we got a LOT of PC people switching over who were VERY VERY concerned that they be able to run Windows alongside the Mac. Sold a lot of Parallels, VMWare and/or instructed people on Boot Camp.

Very very few of them found themselves still using the Windows side after six months. We got a LOT of questions about how to reclaim that space. :)

This is because most consumer Windows users don't really believe Apple's claims of ease, of no viruses/spyware, of document interchangability -- and why should they? They've been lied to by Microsoft the entire time they've used computers, so naturally they are skeptical.

They've been told for decades now that the NEXT version will fix that problem, that OF COURSE you're going to lose data from time to time, that computers are COMPLEX and ideally you should always have an IT dept guy handy. They don't really believe Microsoft Office for Mac is equal to or better than Office for Windows. They don't really believe that a computer can come without solitaire pre-loaded and still be any good. But if you're the least bit open-minded (and you CLEARLY are), I think you'll find the Mac world surprising and fun.

I hope you'll enjoy your forthcoming Mac experience, and please continue to rely on EhMac.ca as a resource. We've seen a lot of "new to the Mac world" people (you should talk to Sitting Bull as an example) and we're delighted to have you.

Pat McCrotch
Feb 29th, 2008, 10:26 PM
Hello. If you are into creative things like movie editing and music and photos then a macs for you. I love the interface, so beautiful, customizable and relatively easy to use.

One caveat is that I've had trouble getting good performance from my mac. With a PC I would know what to do but with my mac i've always had trouble. I've tried using onyx and plenty of different utilities and I still find that my Mac tends to throw a million beachballs (equivalent to PC hourglass) at me for no reason. However, just the fact that you don't have to deal with registry and viruses and a bunch of hassle makes macs worth it. Get applecare though, I've found apple hardware to be prone to defects, especially in first generation technology.

seymorerage
Feb 29th, 2008, 10:51 PM
I just bought my Mac this past weekend. It took alot to make the switch I know mac people and PC people but even the PC people say macs are good. It has been so easy to make the switch. When they say everything just works they are not lying. It is worth the switch.

Sitting Bull
Feb 29th, 2008, 11:08 PM
Welcome ohmsford!.
Well I am going to tell you one thing. If your now thinking about it, save yourself a whole pile of agony and "JUST DO IT":D That's how one of the members here put it to me.
I got to tell you, I hummed and hawed for weeks not believing, second guessing, scared of leaving the windows world and all that stuff. I found this site and started to ask all kinds of questions.I just know the basics to get buy.I am not one that has ever been comfortable with computers actually always scared to experiment or explore.I decided to" just do it" I have never been so excited about a PC purchase as I have with the Apple. The whole experience from how I have been received here at ehMac to the service received at Apple.ca has been amazing. I bought my imac 20" refurbished from Apple.ca and it is so drop dead beautiful..., sorry i'm getting carried away here.:rolleyes: I am just starting to get used to it , the Mac is a little different than the pc as far as a few how to's and where's this, kind of thing.But I am doing just fine. I am a little bit more of a slow learner I guess and Iam a visual learner.So if your kind of comfortable with computers you will love and it will be a piece of cake for you.
I was going to run windows on mine as well, thinking I needed it for my accounting program. You know there is a lot of big business and much more important people than I and they do fine with the Apple.So why shouldn't I.
Well I guess this does not really answer your particular questions. I thought it important to share my experience. Plus I am just so darn happy what can i say:)
Ask lots and the people here will help you reach your decision.

Have a good night .
S.B.

harpoon
Feb 29th, 2008, 11:38 PM
What do you generally do when you use a computer?

If you game, or are a big Office user, or are married to certain Windows apps (the only one I miss is utorrent), then PC should do you fine. If you're comfortable customizing and getting in the registry to get things just right (again, depending on your level) and don't mind the maintenance time virus updates, spyware etc can take, PC is fine.

But if you're into messing around with media (music, photos, graphics) it's more intuitive on a Mac. The iLife suite is mostly useful for beginner and intermediate users, and Leopard is sound.

Overall, it's a matter of if you feel you're not getting enough from your PC for certain things, or are just frustrated with it. No point in changing what works, though, PC or Mac.

Personally, PC was a headache for me, I've cut a quarter of my time out of sitting at my computer futzing with settings and troubleshooting...I've used both on jobs, PC at home because it was cheaper but I 'switched' a couple years ago and it's a load off my back for what I like to do with a computer at home.

Adrian.
Mar 1st, 2008, 12:33 AM
It depends man. If you are a hard core gamer then don't bother. If you like doing day to day stuff then just get a macbook, mini or a 20" iMac. If you are just a normal user (some light gaming, the avg stuff and possible some photo and video editing) then get a mac.

Honestly, the only reasons I can see why anyone would stay with PCs is because:

A) They are hard core gamers. Fair enough.
B) They like constantly trying to fix Windows and writing repair codes. And, or, enjoy being constantly frustrated.
C) They are too cool to go for Macs. (these are usually people who know little about computers). Sort of like punk rockers who cried "anarchy" without knowing what it means. They just didn't want to cry "civil society and socialized democracy!" because they were too cool.

bgw
Mar 1st, 2008, 12:41 AM
A quick story about switching. I'm not the switcher - I'm a Mac programmer. (I've also done a ton of Windows work too.)

At the company I've been consulting at the President needed a new computer. The General Manager uses Macs and loves them. The President has only used Windows, only wants to use Windows and is not interested in any alternatives. General Manager goes on campaign for Mac's. President of the company relents and gets a Mac planning to only install Windows on it. Two week later I turn up to do some on site work – President has new Mac and now uses:

Safari
iCal
MS Office for Mac
Parallels
etc.

He now only using one package on Windows (running on Parallels), a program that can not be found on the Mac. Conversion complete...

fjnmusic
Mar 1st, 2008, 01:21 AM
Sure you can run Windows on a Mac, probably better than a lot of PC's, but why would you want to? Seriously. When you run Windows on a Mac, the Windows side becomes just as vulnerable to viruses as if you were on a PC. This leads me to speculate that it is not the machines so much as the Microsoft software that is the problem. When I ran ClamXav on my iMac, I got three infected files, all Microsoft documents. I trashed them and now look ma--no more cavities!

The lack of viruses/spyware/malware ALONE should be enough reason for PC users to switch to Macs. Unless they honestly enjoy scanning their hard drive for that stuff every time they use their machine.

For the record, I use a PC at school because that's the only thing that's supported and hooked up to the internet. This is the prairies, you understand. PC country (in more ways than one).

Adrian.
Mar 1st, 2008, 07:56 AM
I have friends with Dells, they hate them two weeks later. I have friends with HP and Toshibas, they hate them two months later. They go buy the next newest computer because they have been told their computer is out of date and therefore is why it has slowed down to a complete halt.

I have a Mac, five years later, I still love it.

garf1108
Mar 1st, 2008, 08:03 AM
About 2,5 years ago, became a mac convert. Only 1 pc at home - for gaming - and at my work as programs don't run on mac. Totally happy
:)

mc3251
Mar 1st, 2008, 10:06 AM
Welcome to the forum. You'll find most of the people here are very supportive and helpful, with the occasional flame war breaking out for entertainment value ;>)

I am an IT executive, and have used PCs for years. I switched to an iMac 24" last October, and shortly thereafter replaced my basement office PC with a mac mini. My wife is still using an Acer notebook part of the time.

I am running Tiger, and have not yet made the switch to Leopard. Honestly this is more a function of time, although I do have some concerns about potential problems and am procrastinating to some degree. I am totally happy with my new macs, although there have been some minor challenges and disappointments.

Really, when you chase away all of the hype, it all comes down to what you use your computer for, the degree to which you enjoy tinkering with hardware and OS level software, and how much you value the cool factor.

Advantages from my perspective:

1. worked better and more easily out of the box than any PC, ever. Turned it on, it found my Linksys router, took my password, connected, asked me which file folders I wanted to access, hooked me up, done. Sharing files and folders and printers between the macs in my house (and the PC notebook) is a snap.

2. definitely more intuitive, although as a long time PC user I still find myself wanting to use pc commmands (like CTRL V). In cases like the copy and paste commands, I'm not sure why COMMAND V is more intuitive than CTRL V. This is the hype factor...it isn't all more intuitive and it's a different set of commands to learn. There is a huge amount of stuff that is more intuitive, though...burning CDs, drop a file onto an Alias ("shortcut" and it goes into the actual file folder) etc.

3. Virtually no problem with viruses or malicious code. This is huge from my perspective. I had to put a lot of effort into locking down my PCs so that my kids and spouse couldn't screw it all up by searching for porn or accessing questionable sites, etc. I gave up a dual core PC that I built myself. No one used it but me, and it was rock solid, lightning fast and totally reliable. Still, lots of maintenance work required-virus scanning, spam filters, Adware, etc, etc. Pain in the butt.

4. The hardware seems very high quality and solid, and the esthetic design of these boxes is awesome. I think this is why you see a lot more emphasis on new toys in mac forums than in PC forums. Mac people are generally true converts and love their toys. Each new Apple product announcement is anticipated, predicted, debated with great relish and zeal.

5. Much better and easier for managing music. iTunes takes some getting used to but I found that switching to mac made my iTunes experience much more stable and reliable. Burning CDs and other related tasks is just so easy.

6. Photo editing is pretty much a wash. I'm not crazy about iPhoto as an editor, and am now using Pixelmator and waiting for Elements. Heavy hitters that use Photoshop or Aperture swear the Mac is better for this and I suspect they are right.

7. The mac culture. People using macs are in my experience very helpful and dedicated to helping non technical users solve problems. I also find that there is a preponderance of liberal thinking creative types which I love, but this isn't based on anything other than my experience. This forum has some very knowledgeable and helpful folks on it.

Disadvantages:

1. Cost. Macs and peripherals are more, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The price gap has narrowed significantly though, to the point where I think the added stability and lack of hassles with viruses and stuff make it worth it.

2. More limited sw choices. This isn't a huge deal for me because I can do what I need to do with available SW, but you will notice a significant difference here. As market share grows and it is doing that quite quickly, this situation will improve. This can be solved by running Windows on your mac but I don't want to do that.

3. Mac religious zealots who have a huge investment in trying to help lost PC souls find the light and escape the evil empire. Some of these folks become totally incensed if anyone criticizes Apple. Fortunately these folks are in the minority.

I am pretty smitten with my new macs, I have to say, but wanted to try to provide a reasonably balanced perspective.

krs
Mar 1st, 2008, 11:31 AM
Disadvantages:

1. Cost. Macs and peripherals are more, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The price gap has narrowed significantly though, to the point where I think the added stability and lack of hassles with viruses and stuff make it worth it.

2. More limited sw choices. This isn't a huge deal for me because I can do what I need to do with available SW, but you will notice a significant difference here. As market share grows and it is doing that quite quickly, this situation will improve. This can be solved by running Windows on your mac but I don't want to do that.

3. Mac religious zealots who have a huge investment in trying to help lost PC souls find the light and escape the evil empire. Some of these folks become totally incensed if anyone criticizes Apple. Fortunately these folks are in the minority.

I am pretty smitten with my new macs, I have to say, but wanted to try to provide a reasonably balanced perspective.

I'm surprised that cost still comes up as a "disadvantage".

I now have five Macs in the family and theyhave saved me a ton of money compared to a PC on several fronts, the most significant one is that I don't have to replace them every two years like the PCs in the office.
I still use my 1999 G4 Sawtooth everyday and it runs better than ever on the latest version of Tiger - came with OS 9 originally - in comparison my 1999 PC has had to be replaced a few times over.

As to software - yes there is a lot more available for the PC but as long as I can get what I need and want and it workd well (which a lot of PC software doesn't), I don't see that as a disadvantage either.

I think the real disadvantages have already been mentioned - not great as a game machine - can't really build your own fom scratch - things like that.
Although there is one 'disadvantage' I don't think was listed yet that occasionally rives me up the wall - no way to play video files that require, I think version 10 or 11 of the Microsoft player on Windows.

eMacMan
Mar 1st, 2008, 11:55 AM
I'm surprised that cost still comes up as a "disadvantage".

I now have five Macs in the family and theyhave saved me a ton of money compared to a PC on several fronts, the most significant one is that I don't have to replace them every two years like the PCs in the office.
I still use my 1999 G4 Sawtooth everyday and it runs better than ever on the latest version of Tiger - came with OS 9 originally - in comparison my 1999 PC has had to be replaced a few times over....

Agreed I am still using a 2003 eMac running Panther and have a 13 year old LC475 running OS 7.5. The eMac will run Tiger but I like Panther better and really have no reason to upgrade. I like the KB on the old LC and still use it for serious typing and some older games.

Tait Kahray
Mar 1st, 2008, 01:29 PM
Also, the opportunity has presented itself that I could get a old PowerMac G4 400mhz sawtooth for pretty damn cheap. If i did so, would this machine really give me a proper representation of what using a apple computer would be like? Or would I need to upgrade it (basically pour money into it) to get it running similarly to a newer mac? By getting this machine, what limitations will I have?

Thanks alot for reading guys, hope to read some great responses

I used a G4 Sawtooth until I got a mini a couple of weeks ago. I had upgraded the processor to 1.2 GHz, the memory was 1.38g and it had a 120 gig hard drive. It ran on Tiger very well and ran on Leopard reasonably. If the G4 you can buy has plenty of memory and a decent sized hard drive, it should run decently on Tiger and give you a good sense of the Mac experience, but with no opportunity to grow. A Sawtooth with original specs will far less useful and satisfying compared to a current PC - it's nine years old, after all. Also, as a a G4 it will not enable you to run Windows programs natively like an Intel Mac does.

BTW, if anyone in the Montreal area is interested, the G4 is available (cheap, of course). :)

Depending on your needs and the peripheral equipment you have now, I would suggest something more current - either a refurb mini or a refurb iMac from the Apple web site or a reseller like MacDoc. And as the person who recommended to Sitting Bull to "just do it", I give you the same message.

Welcome to the site, and all the best is discovering the Mac.

iMouse
Mar 1st, 2008, 01:46 PM
Conversion complete...

Assimilation complete. :clap:

(First time buyer, 10 days ago. Using Safari, iCal, neoOffice, Alarm Clock, Calculator, so far....;) )

fjnmusic
Mar 1st, 2008, 05:50 PM
Welcome to the Mac collective. Resistance is futile…

8127972
Mar 1st, 2008, 08:15 PM
A question that was sort of like this was posted in another thread:

https://www.ehmac.ca/anything-mac/61921-why-should-i-buy-mac-instead-pc.html


I pointed to a blog posting that may help you:

https://www.ehmac.ca/anything-mac/61921-why-should-i-buy-mac-instead-pc.html#post642871

Adrian.
Mar 1st, 2008, 08:34 PM
Per unit macs are more expensive. If you consider though, the lifetime of a mac compared to a PC the situation radically transforms. I have an eMac sitting in my parents house that I had and it is still running fine. Almost five years now. I have a g4 powerbook and a wall street that still run for my cousin and uncle.

I would say the average lifetime of a PC (lets be fair and say for the average user. someone who has rather limited knowledge of what should be routinely done to maintain and protect the system) is about 2-3 years. For a Mac I would push it to 5-8, depending on your dependency on the latest most powerful technologies. To qualify lifetime, I mean the time that the computer maintains the speed and ability it did when at purchase.

Therefore, I would say that in the long run Macs are cheaper.

cheers

krs
Mar 1st, 2008, 10:22 PM
Here are somebody's comments and cost comparison between Mac and PC in June of 2007.
Is there anything on the net that is more recent?

Scot's Newsletter | June 2007 | http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/91.htm (http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/91.htm#macpc$)

FlaminWiz
Mar 1st, 2008, 11:56 PM
For a PC user switching to a Mac user, how long does it take to get used to it and run it smoothly?
A week, couple of days....
what?

Adrian.
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:34 AM
Depends on how computer savvy you are.

Apple OS is 100X simpler than any Windows OS by far, bar none. Your Apps are in the App folder, your docs in the doc folder, your pics in the picture folder, your movies in the movie folder etc etc. Most programmes operate within the framework of the OS. That is, iPhoto will save to Pictures folder and iMovie to Movies folder, iTunes to Music folder etc.

Almost everything is drag and drop. The Apps you want for quick access can be dragged from the Apps folder to your doc and if you want them removed from the doc you drag them away from the doc and they will "poof" with a nice little cloud of smoke.

As far as interface, the learning curve I would say, is knowing that the programme bar ( with file, edit, tools, view etc etc) is not connected to the window opened but to the top of the desktop and it changes to the app you are working with.


So I can be looking at the safari window but I have iPhoto as highlighted as the programme I am working with...so I will see a menu bar for iPhoto not safari. In order to get the safari menu bar I have to click on safari ( not too difficult eh!).



I would say two days to find everything and 2 weeks to know the computer fairly well. I have had macs for 8 years and I still find new things out everyday.

cheers

fjnmusic
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:50 AM
If you remember that Windows is essentially an attempt to copy the Mac interface visually, except with things in different places to avoid copyright infringement (menu bar at the bottom instead of the top, icons on the left instead of the right, recycle instead of trash) it helps to put Windows in perspective. The Mac is the interface that Windows was trying and continues to try to emulate, not the other way around. Mac is the real deal. Remember that prior to about 1995, PC's didn't even have a graphical user interface. That's a pretty big complement to Jobs, Wozniak, and Apple that nearly every consumer computer in the world is either a Mac or a Mac wannabe.

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:58 AM
If you remember that Windows is essentially an attempt to copy the Mac interface visually, except with things in different places to avoid copyright infringement (menu bar at the bottom instead of the top, icons on the left instead of the right, recycle instead of trash) it helps to put Windows in perspective. The Mac is the interface that Windows was trying and continues to try to emulate, not the other way around. Mac is the real deal. Remember that prior to about 1995, PC's didn't even have a graphical user interface. That's a pretty big complement to Jobs, Wozniak, and Apple that nearly every consumer computer in the world is either a Mac or a Mac wannabe.

But then what you are saying is that once somebody does something a certain way, no-one else can come in and do it differently (and possibly better). You have to give credit where its due, yes the visual interface is from apple (truthfully xerox...) so you're saying any other visual interface is branded a wannabe, which typically implies not as good as the original.

20DDan
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:24 AM
It depends man. If you are a hard core gamer then don't bother. If you like doing day to day stuff then just get a macbook, mini or a 20" iMac. If you are just a normal user (some light gaming, the avg stuff and possible some photo and video editing) then get a mac.

Honestly, the only reasons I can see why anyone would stay with PCs is because:

A) They are hard core gamers. Fair enough.
B) They like constantly trying to fix Windows and writing repair codes. And, or, enjoy being constantly frustrated.
C) They are too cool to go for Macs. (these are usually people who know little about computers). Sort of like punk rockers who cried "anarchy" without knowing what it means. They just didn't want to cry "civil society and socialized democracy!" because they were too cool.

lmao... nice way of putting it :D :clap:

20DDan
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:36 AM
Ohmsford,

I'd recommend picking up a book like The OS X Bible - Tiger Edition... I switched to Mac in 2005. Honestly I didn't think twice about it and I'm glad, since then my sister purchased a Macbook thinking she would install Windows XP on it and run XP instead of Tiger... she has yet to install it! It's been over a year now. On to my point... pick up the OS X Bible - Tiger or Leopard Edition. Even if you don't read the whole thing it's jam packed with lots of time saving shortcuts, tricks, hidden features of OS X. I only picked up that book about a year ago but the things I learned blew me away! It's also VERY easy to comprehend.

Give it an open minded chance. I still use Windows XP for my Nokia Cellphone hacking application, and a few other applications. So I haven't said a total fairwell to Windows. I'm also looking to pickup Virtual PC to run Windows inside OS X to keep it all on one machine. There is lots of in-depth answers here in this community so feel free to search for them/ask them when questions come up.

krs
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:46 AM
For a PC user switching to a Mac user, how long does it take to get used to it and run it smoothly?
A week, couple of days....
what?

For basic use, I would measure that in hours rather than days or weeks.
Just try to do things logically and not the way you worked in Windows although a lot of operations are similar.
To install an application, you usually just open the .dmg file by double-clicking it and then dragging the application icon to the appropriate folder.
To selct anything - single click, to open anything double-click.
If I want to do something with a document or file and I don't know where to go next, I usually try a right click first and 9 times out of 10 one of the options that pops up covers exactly what I want to do.
Sometimes the terminology takes a bit getting used to - for instance zipping or compressing a file or folder ends up as "create archive for......" when you right click.
But in general I find the OS X software works pretty much intuitively the way I would normally think.
And if you do run into difficulties - the help menu is now infinitely better than it used to be a few years back - very very useful - and so is the ehMac group:D

fjnmusic
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:57 AM
But then what you are saying is that once somebody does something a certain way, no-one else can come in and do it differently (and possibly better). You have to give credit where its due, yes the visual interface is from apple (truthfully xerox...) so you're saying any other visual interface is branded a wannabe, which typically implies not as good as the original.

Correct. What has Windows come up with that didn't first appear on a Mac?

krs
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:44 AM
Correct. What has Windows come up with that didn't first appear on a Mac?

How about the "Start" button that you need to go to to shut down the PC?
The Mac still doesn't have a "Start" button.........or have I used a Mac all these years and not found it yet? :D

mc3251
Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:51 AM
I think that for a home user the cost question is complex. Let's just say for the sake of argument the cost is a wash, overall. I don't consider the $600 entry level pcs to be worth arguing about, they are just crap with third or fourth rate components.The problem that I have with the argument that macs are cheaper in the long run because they don't need to be replaced as frequently is that the mac people I've observed are among the hungriest upgraders and new computer buyers and lusters I've ever seen. And Apple want this, for perfectly good and valid business reasons. The more frugal users will squeeze more life out of whatever computer they buy, and will use the cheaper strategies on the pc side (component replacements) to avoid buying a new box. Where there is a HUGE difference on the cost side is resale value. Macs hold their value like nothing else.

At the end of the day for me cost was not really a factor one way or the other. Mac OSX is superior to Windows in every way I can think of. Part of this is that mac os was designed from the beginning to be a gui, for sure. Part of this is that Windows carries the legacy of DOS, even today, and there are historical and business reasons why this is the case. Whatever the history, the integration between the OS and the user interface on a mac is amazing, and once a new user gets over the major differences, the way things happen is just so satisfying.

Macs are more stable, and I think part of this lies in the history of apple technology as being fairly proprietary-not a dirty word, a choice-and as a result better and more stringently imposed standards for application interfaces. This more than anything has contributed to ease of use,imho.

I agree that there is lots of sw for mac. I also see the world changing in terms of business adoption of mac as their computing standard. If this adoption shift continues at the major corporate level, it will be interesting to see how Apple adapts and manages it. I do think that at the corporate level TCO for the mac can be lower (depending on how it is implemented of course.)

I have never regretted switching for a minute. This is elegant, superior, sexy technology and it's a joy to work with.

rgray
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:04 AM
How about the "Start" button that you need to go to to shut down the PC?
The Mac still doesn't have a "Start" button.........or have I used a Mac all these years and not found it yet? :D

I still get a chuckle out of the stupid "Start" button. Gates used part of the Rolling Stone's "Start me up" song as a theme for the introduction of that version of Whinedoze. I guess Willy doesn't listen to much music because the chorus - a much better theme for Whinedoze - is "makes a grown man cry". :clap: :clap:

FlaminWiz
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:29 AM
So about 2 weeks, eh?

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:59 PM
Thanks alot guys for all of your responses, they have all been very positive and very constructive, by all means keep em coming.

The gaming part of the Mac's is a bit of a sore spot for me. I used to be really into video games on a computer, and if I do a custom built windows machine i'm sure i'll enjoy the odd game here and there. But for me I'm looking way into the future, like starcraft 2. That game to me is a worth having a new computer to run it. And honestly, the video cards in the iMac's are terrible. The macbook pro has a better video card by far! Here is a visual comparison of almost all video cards released in the last 2 years VGA Charts 2007 | Tom's Hardware (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html)
its a shame where the ati 2400 xt and ati 2600 pro sit, it also gives you a good representation of how little the 2600 pro has on the 2400 xt.

Most of my gaming now has moved to my xbox 360 since I got it, and I absolutely love it. And with the ati 2400 xt I would still be able to enjoy some older games that I really enjoyed, the original starcraft, civilization 4, diablo 2, etc.

This is a complete shot in the dark, but is their anyway that you can use the iMac as a monitor? I'm pretty doubtful of this, I think it only has a dvi-d out, no vga in or dvi in. If so, it wouldn't be a stretch to have a sub $600 gaming machine hooked up to it, or my xbox 360, think of the possibilities!

I'm surprised to not hear any stories of people switching the opposite way. I figured it couldn't be all one way traffic. Does anybody have stories regarding a mac to pc switcher?

Thanks again for all the responses, I tried making a few posts a couple days ago but they never appeared..

iMouse
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:22 PM
First-time posters are always scrutinised first.

Almost all Boards do this as a matter of routine.

screature
Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:40 PM
I'm surprised to not hear any stories of people switching the opposite way. I figured it couldn't be all one way traffic. Does anybody have stories regarding a mac to pc switcher?

Thanks again for all the responses, I tried making a few posts a couple days ago but they never appeared..

You shouldn't be surprised by this at all. First of all they would be very rare to begin with and secondly if they switched from a Mac to a PC, why would they be on this forum.

I'd just like to pass a comment on part of your initial post, "you just ain't getting enough hardware for your money in comparison to a custom built windows machine."

You can't compare apples (no pun intended) to oranges. If you are going to compare a custom built PC to a Mac then the only fair comparison to make is compared to a MacPro. Why? Because all other Macs are in a form factor for which there simply are no real comparisons on the PC side. The Mini and the iMacs do not have true comparisons that you can "custom" build on the PC side. I know that Dell and Sony have come out with all in one solutions that attempt to take on the iMacs, but these are not "custom" systems and I dare say when you consider the overall build quality in addition to the individual hardware components, they don't even come close to the iMacs. I know there are small form factor PCs out there that you can custom build that are somewhat like the Mini, but they are no where near the compactness of the Mini (except if you get a Brand name PC, and then again you are not custom building it) and again the build quality is just not there.

Now if you want to compare a custom built PC tower to a MacPro then that is a fair comparison. However, when you do so, I challenge you to find any custom built PC that stands up to the build quality and internal design of a MacPro. If you do your sure as heck aren't going to be saving any money.

And after all that is said and done, if you opt for a custom built PC you are still stuck with Windows, which no matter how you slice it and inferior OS.

I think the whole thing here is that you can dissect systems down to individual components and compare the individual spec all you want. In the end what matters is what is your computing experience going to be? One where you enjoy yourself or you spend much of your time in frustration and as much time solving problems as being productive or playing? It is a matter of the whole, not the parts that matters.

I use Macs and PCs (PCs against my will for one of my employers) everyday. I even started out twenty years ago on a PC and I can tell you that I would never in million years switch back to PC as my computer of choice (not unless the OS becomes more like a Mac's).

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:53 PM
I think the whole thing here is that you can dissect systems down to individual components and compare the individual spec all you want. In the end what matters is what is your computing experience going to be? One where you enjoy yourself or you spend much of your time in frustration and as much time solving problems as being productive or playing? It is a matter of the whole, not the parts that matters.

I typically don't find troubleshooting to be a frustration. Their are times when I encounter a problem after a fresh build, a problem that no one else seems to have encountered. Having no computer background other then as a hobby, it can really be a great feeling when you are the one that solved that problem, and solved it for alot of people to come. But on the flip side of that, troubleshooting can have very inconvenient timing, as a full time student that seems to be happening more and more now as I have less time to devote to my computer.

I understand what alot of people have posted here about having a good computing experience compared to the frustration of solving problems. But I think a big point that most people are missing is troubleshooting isn't always frustrating. For some, they hate it with a passion. For some its a love/hate relationship.

I think it could be compared to two people, the first buys a used vehicle in rough shape, getting the parts needed from various resellers, putting it together, and tackling every problem they encounter head on. The next guy buys a vehicle in decent condition (used or new), but whenever that vehicle acts up, they take it to where they got it, or a mechanic shop, etc. The first guy has a hobby, its that vehicle. The second guy has a mode of transportation, but not really anything else.

So heres another question I ask for the mac owners, do you consider a hobby of yours "computers", or is your computer a tool in order for you to complete various tasks?

I'm not sure if I could handle it not being a hobby.

Adrian.
Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:54 PM
agreed.

MacPros would rock your socks through boot camp for any pc game.


If you want to build a custom build then do a hackintosh and load it up with graphics.

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:59 PM
I'd just like to pass a comment on part of your initial post, "you just ain't getting enough hardware for your money in comparison to a custom built windows machine."


By this I was refering to installing windows xp on that apple computer. In which case I do think you can compare it directly. A custom built windows machine won't look as nice, won't have the build quality say an iMac would, but in direct hardware comparison, their is a rather large price margin. Take the 20" iMac with the 2.4ghz processor. Built a custom tower identical in specifications to that iMac (even throw in a $200 motherboard, not something el-cheapo, something of good build quality). Throw in a beautiful samsung 20" display, that tower won't set you back much more then $1000. So in direct comparison, that iMac running windows xp or vista, and this tower running windows xp or vista, theirs a large price margin for a zero performance margin.

I do realize that the iMac does have other things that make up for this price margin. The iSight camera, the build quality of the computer, the added portability of a "all-in-one", having OS X installed, etc. But when I'm considering switching, and still possibly using windows for a majority of the time, its easier to compare it directly, especially when performance is the first thing I think about when running windows.

I just realized that is going to be the hardest thing about switching, to stop looking at computers on the basis of performance to cost ratio :yikes: . That is my only consideration when building a custom machine.

krs
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:16 PM
But I think a big point that most people are missing is troubleshooting isn't always frustrating. For some, they hate it with a passion. For some its a love/hate relationship.

I think it could be compared to two people, the first buys a used vehicle in rough shape, getting the parts needed from various resellers, putting it together, and tackling every problem they encounter head on. The next guy buys a vehicle in decent condition (used or new), but whenever that vehicle acts up, they take it to where they got it, or a mechanic shop, etc. The first guy has a hobby, its that vehicle. The second guy has a mode of transportation, but not really anything else.

So heres another question I ask for the mac owners, do you consider a hobby of yours "computers", or is your computer a tool in order for you to complete various tasks?


I think the basic difference is that after you tackle and resolve the problems of your "hobby" whatever that is, you are left with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment - tour car is gleaming and purring like a kitten or your model train can crawl without stuttering and never derails - with a PC, no matter how finely you tune it or how much you polish it, you are still left with Windows. :D

fjnmusic
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:27 PM
Something I don't get about Windows PC's is why everyone still seems to think they need a big butt-ugly tower in order to have a "real" customizable machine. The new (last year or two) iMacs prove you don't need a tower at all, or a fan for that matter, in order to have a decent computer. The customizing comes from the software and peripherals anyway.

Here's why I also love Macs: last night I was having problems with some webpages loading. I'd get the NetBlockade icon in place of the graphic, even on WebKinz, my kids' favorite site. No rhyme or reason. Then I remembered trying out some third party app from Smith Micro called Spring Cleaning which left some prefs files behind when I got rid of it. STAY AWAY FROM THIS PRODUCT. Ran ClamXav, which found no infected files in the System (a relief, but hey--it's a Mac). Problem still there, however. I found some help on this here very website, ehMac, that told me to download Pref Setter from the Apple website which cleared the problem lickety-split. Clean as a whistle again, no problem.

Show me a PC that can run without any anti-virus software whatsoever, and I might actually consider the argument that you can get a better computer for less money. The Mac really is designed to be self-sustaining. Mess with it, start installing unecessary third party utilities, and you may be courting disaster.

If you're switching from Pc to Mac, remember the words of the wise little green guy: "You must unlearn what you have learned." It ain't easy being green.

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:39 PM
Something I don't get about Windows PC's is why everyone still seems to think they need a big butt-ugly tower in order to have a "real" customizable machine.

That seems like a harsh comment, big butt-ugly...these are my favorite atx cases, yes they may be large, but I don't think their butt-ugly. First one is piano black, second has a top loading drive, third is just a gorgeous aluminum

NCIX.com - Buy Antec Sonata III Black ATX 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W 120MM Fan - SONATA III 500 In Canada. (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24294&vpn=SONATA%20III%20500&manufacture=ANTEC)
NCIX.com - Buy Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Gamer Case 900 ATX 9 Drive Bay No PS Top USB2.0 1394 Audio - NINE HUNDRED In Canada. (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=21123&vpn=NINE%20HUNDRED&manufacture=ANTEC)
NCIX.com - Buy Antec P180 ATX Advanced Mid Tower Aluminum Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS W/ USB & Audio Ports - P180 In Canada. (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=15126&vpn=P180&manufacture=ANTEC)

I'm not here to get into any agruments, I'm here to find out as much information as possibly regarding apple computers. But I still can't help myself when it comes to comments made about something I do know quite a bit about. I'm here to hear about what you guys know alot about.

krs
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:42 PM
I just realized that is going to be the hardest thing about switching, to stop looking at computers on the basis of performance to cost ratio :yikes: . That is my only consideration when building a custom machine.

Might be fun to see what the actual cost would be to build a PC as close as possible to the iMac - probably the basic one which I think is the biggest seller.
Start with a PC Firewire 800 motherboard and take it from there.

Trouble is that at the end you would still be stuck with Windows, but I think it would be an interesting exercise. I have seen numerous price comparison of PCs and Macs and they are typically a wash, give or take $100 or so.
Here is one of the more recent ones:
http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/91.htm#macpc$

In any case - even if the Mac was twice the price of an equivalent PC, I wouldn't dream of switching back if I would have to use Windows or Linux.

screature
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:44 PM
I typically don't find troubleshooting to be a frustration. Their are times when I encounter a problem after a fresh build, a problem that no one else seems to have encountered. Having no computer background other then as a hobby, it can really be a great feeling when you are the one that solved that problem, and solved it for alot of people to come. But on the flip side of that, troubleshooting can have very inconvenient timing, as a full time student that seems to be happening more and more now as I have less time to devote to my computer.

I understand what alot of people have posted here about having a good computing experience compared to the frustration of solving problems. But I think a big point that most people are missing is troubleshooting isn't always frustrating. For some, they hate it with a passion. For some its a love/hate relationship.

I think it could be compared to two people, the first buys a used vehicle in rough shape, getting the parts needed from various resellers, putting it together, and tackling every problem they encounter head on. The next guy buys a vehicle in decent condition (used or new), but whenever that vehicle acts up, they take it to where they got it, or a mechanic shop, etc. The first guy has a hobby, its that vehicle. The second guy has a mode of transportation, but not really anything else.

So heres another question I ask for the mac owners, do you consider a hobby of yours "computers", or is your computer a tool in order for you to complete various tasks?

I'm not sure if I could handle it not being a hobby.

Maybe that is the difference. If you enjoy tinkering with a a jalopy versus driving an F1 for a living, then I can understand your perspective.

I personally use the computer primarily as a tool, I make my living with it, I have for twenty years. That doesn't mean I don't play with it as well, cause I sure do.

I have built and fixed every PC I ever owned.I have also upgraded and worked inside the guts of every Mac I have ever owned so I don't think your car comparison is close to being accurate.

No computer or OS is perfect, they all require work and maintenance. The difference is that with a Mac that work is just plain easier and in general trouble shooting is easier and easier for the non-IT person to rationally figure out the problem and get things back up and running again.

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:47 PM
I have built and fixed every PC I ever owned.I have also upgraded and worked inside the guts of every Mac I have ever owned so I don't think your car comparison is close to being accurate.


Thank you for that comparison, thats always been a concern of mine.

krs
Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:50 PM
That seems like a harsh comment, big butt-ugly...these are my favorite atx cases, yes they may be large, but I don't think their butt-ugly. First one is piano black, second has a top loading drive, third is just a gorgeous aluminum.
I'm not here to get into any agruments, I'm here to find out as much information as possibly regarding apple computers. But I still can't help myself when it comes to comments made about something I do know quite a bit about. I'm here to hear about what you guys know alot about.

Are there any PC cases that simply unlatch and where the motherboard flips down leaving everything inside extremely accessible.
I just love that about the old G4 - it's so incredibly easy to add/replace/remove RAM, PCI cards, hard drives, the battery........

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:07 PM
Are there any PC cases that simply unlatch and where the motherboard flips down leaving everything inside extremely accessible.
I just love that about the old G4 - it's so incredibly easy to add/replace/remove RAM, PCI cards, hard drives, the battery........

To be completely honest, apple has a one of a kind with that machine. I have never heard of anything working quite so easily. Dell has tried with a few of their small form factor PC's, but it really never came close. Almost every wire needs to be disconnected to actually get anything done in the case. The G4 cases though, really are a marvel.

Might be fun to see what the actual cost would be to build a PC as close as possible to the iMac - probably the basic one which I think is the biggest seller.
Start with a PC Firewire 800 motherboard and take it from there.

Trouble is that at the end you would still be stuck with Windows, but I think it would be an interesting exercise. I have seen numerous price comparison of PCs and Macs and they are typically a wash, give or take $100 or so.
Here is one of the more recent ones:
http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/91.htm#macpc$

In any case - even if the Mac was twice the price of an equivalent PC, I wouldn't dream of switching back if I would have to use Windows or Linux.

Those comparisons are almost always using a dell/hp/sony or similarly built system. Thats not really a custom machine. For example, if you take any dell tower, a custom computer with the exact same specifications could be built, for probably $300-$400 less, if that dell is in the price range of $1200-$1400.

This of course does not get into the windows license. Every dell sold has a windows license with it, value of around $200. A good chunk of custom built windows machines are built without a windows license. Not getting into the morals and ethics of running a custom machine without a license, I suppose the true savings are quite small.

screature
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:08 PM
But when I'm considering switching, and still possibly using windows for a majority of the time, its easier to compare it directly, especially when performance is the first thing I think about when running windows.

I just realized that is going to be the hardest thing about switching, to stop looking at computers on the basis of performance to cost ratio :yikes: . That is my only consideration when building a custom machine.

There is absolutely no point in buying a Mac to run Windows most of the time. That is a kin to buying a yacht to go fishing, you could use it to fish from, but you would be kind of missing the point and not taking full advantage of what the yacht has to offer.

Also you missed my previous point. Even if you make your purchasing decisions based on a cost to performance basis, it isn't just about spec numbers. It should be based on real world performance.

Look at this way, I don't care if it speed or distance traveled, if you again use the analogy of the car that you used before. With a Mac because you are breaking down less, you are going to get where you want to be faster or will have traveled further in the same amount of time and additionally you will have had a better time while getting there.

I know you are only asking questions and trying to get answers, but like I said before I started my computing experience on a PC, so I know where some of your hesitation comes from. I had to learn to use a Mac on the job coming from a PC background, talk about pressure when you are working in a production environment. At first I didn't like the Mac at all, because it didn't work the way I knew. But once I got to know it it was far faster than the PCs I had been using again not because of some spec sheet, but because of the way you could work with it.

Until you get your feet wet, no let me rephrase that, until you dive in and immerse yourself in the Mac experience you are never going to understand that a spec sheet doesn't define cost to performance value.

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:13 PM
Until you get your feet wet, no let me rephrase that, until you dive in and immerse yourself in the Mac experience you are never going to understand that a spec sheet doesn't define cost to performance value.

I think you are perfectly correct, and you've hit the nail square on the head. I simply cannot understand how some people still function with an older generation mac, when comparing the specs sheet they seem like dinosaurs to me.

Bringing this back to the car example, I drive a car that pushes 150 horsepower, if somebody engineered a new type of vehicle, had just as much punch to it as my car, but only 90 horsepower, I wouldn't believe it till I drove it.

*Edit* The comment you made about "get a mac pro", i've been drooling over that apple page for weeks now, if the money was there, no doubt I would take that route

Adrian.
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:30 PM
Macs just work.

Besides the mac OS is so much more efficient with its resources than any MS DOS based system will ever be.

Looking at spec sheets is futile. I mean you can have an srt10 viper (Custom Built pc) against a Lotus Exige (iMac) and the viper would win the race in a vacuum. But you put that in context, or add corners and curves to the road and the Lotus will own the Viper any day.

Its not the raw power, its how it uses it. I would rather have a 2ghz, 1gb ram and 128 vram Mac over a 3.3ghz, 8 GB, 512 vram PC any day. The Mac is more efficient, graceful and more stable with its resources and therefore in its performance.



So lets put this into scenario:

If I want to drag race then I am going to get the Viper SRT 10. Immense power. With little handling. But I don't need handling if I am just shooting down the hole shot.

However, if I want to be able to race tracks or urban runs then the Viper really becomes relatively useless. Clumsy and it will spin out. It cannot run efficiently outside of its straight drag. It cannot utilize that 500+ HP sitting under the hood without some better stabilization and handling. In such areas, a Lotus Exige would be much more fitting to do the run. Sleek, small, best handling car in the world..but with a 4 cylinder twin turbo'd toyota engine. Pushing out just over 200HP. On a spec sheet the Viper would win every race--but spec sheets have no context, they evaluate within a vacuum.

Likewise, if the Lotus were to attempt to race against the Viper in a drag, the outcome is rather obvious.

Now let us contextualize this in real life. Say the whole shot is gaming. The PC will win. If you connect that pc to the internet (or add curves), run too many programmes at once, in effect, take it off the drag strip, it will run rather inefficiently.

A Mac cannot, as of now, pose any threat to a PC in so far as gaming is concerned. However, Macs are much more suitable for more pluralized functions.


In summary, we can conceive that PCs and Macs are two rather different machines with two rather different set of strengths. They are hard to compare. However, if you wish to be efficient within the context of the internet, multiple apps opened and a continuos barrage of malicious code then a Mac is your option.





Such can never be accounted for on a spec sheet.

MissGulch
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:45 PM
Macintosh OS is part of the UNIX family, far more stable and solid than Windows ever was, which as you know is DOS-based. The OS was rewritten from the ground up a few years ago, thereby improving the underpinnings of the software, giving us protected memory and other advanced features. To give you a bit of history, when you read Mac "classic," it's a reference to the operating system before this major redo. Classic ended with 9.2, and anything with an 10 or X is part of the modern OS.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told that Windows is a GUI interface that was layered over DOS.

bgw
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:54 PM
I agree with screature. You have to dive in full force.

My first experience with Mac was sink or swim. Got a new contract to develop software. For legal reasons the Mac was chosen. I had no input into the choice of machine or anything. The first time I used the machine I couldn't get anything to work. If you think going from Windows (a derivative the Mac OS) is hard - I went from DOS to Mac OS 6! I hated the Mac. Worst piece of junk ever created! Morons. (Why can't I edit this file!!!) Slowly I got used to the machine and how the program in the new environment. One month after I was very happy - the machine was faster, I was more productive, the programming environment was wonderful.

I now started loathing, and wanting to replace my home PC.

I still program on Window's (C#) on some contracts but I always look forward to programming on the Mac.

bgw
Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:01 PM
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told that Windows is a GUI interface that was layered over DOS.

The original Windows 1, 2, 3 (3.11) windows 95 and 98 I believe where all developed on DOS foundations. Windows NT (New Technology if I remember correctly) was built from scratch. One of my university professors referred to Window's as a bad implementation of the X11 windowing system!

At some point Microsoft brought their two operating system forks together but I don't remember the details.

fjnmusic
Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:22 PM
That seems like a harsh comment, big butt-ugly...these are my favorite atx cases, yes they may be large, but I don't think their butt-ugly. First one is piano black, second has a top loading drive, third is just a gorgeous aluminum

I rest my case. Piano black, without the piano. There's a lot of empty space in there. Apple makes 'em too. Butt-ugly big boxes. How do you feel about a computer that can run what you want it too with no tower at all? Just a thought. You might try thinking "outside the box," so to speak.

Ohmsford
Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:37 PM
I rest my case. Piano black, without the piano. There's a lot of empty space in there. Apple makes 'em too. Butt-ugly big boxes. How do you feel about a computer that can run what you want it too with no tower at all? Just a thought. You might try thinking "outside the box," so to speak.

Ok, thinking "outside the box". These all-in-one iMacs, yup, they're sexy. Yup everything you need now is included. Ok, you win that argument.

But, the guys that bought the previous generation all-in-one iMac, they don't have everything they need now. Firewire 800? Oh we're sorry, that wasn't invented yet. PCI expansion slot to plug in a firewire 800 card, nope, this is an all-in-one computer, we don't include expansion slots.

iMac G3's and early powermac g4's, only had Usb 1.1. Oh, two-three years later USB 2.0 came out, usb 2.0 external hard drives came out, sorry, you can't use those in the iMac g3's, but the powermac g4's, its a tower, its not an all-in-one, but you can now get the PCI expansion card for usb 2.0.

You can't focus on the advantages of an all-in-one when attempting to bash tower computers without including the disadvantages.

What about the previous generation iMac's that came with the core duo processor, and the ati x1600 video card. That video card does not support directx 10. So that new autocad that is going to come out in 2009, and has to be run in windows, and you need for work, your mac can't run because it doesn't support directx 10. With a tower system, windows or apple (mac pro) you can get this directx 10 card you need.

Thats the reason why the powermac G5's cost upwards of $1500 still, some more. That butt-ugly big tower has its bases covered, all of them. The uses we have for PCI slots is huge, and it hasn't stopped growing in how many years?

fjnmusic
Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:58 PM
Well, Ohmsford, you win for technical points. But at our house we have five Macs altogether, all running different versions of operating systems, from 10.3 Panther to 10.5 Leopard, all connected to each other with a wireless Apple Extreme 802.11n router, all able to connect to the same common hard drive, all able to swap files with each other wirelessly, including iTunes accessibility from one another's computers, and all able to stream to the wireless AppleTV in the living room. Not a single one uses virus protection, but I can run ClamXav if I need to quite easily.

The oldest computers (three of them) date from 2001 (including a clamshell iBook I bought on eBay) and all but the newest one are G3's. One is an 800Mhz iBook I bought on eBay for $400. They can also run System 9.2 which we still use on occasion (the OS of the 90's), while the newest computer does not. I type as we speak on the Intel 20" iMac because I like it the best and it plays video smoothly, but it can't run System 9.2 software. Tradeoff, which is why we kept the other ones. It also acts as the TiVo of the house using the EyeTV Hybrid to record our fave programs (got about twenty some episodes of House stored up) which can then stream to the AppleTV. I have a 2G Nano iPod, while the wife and oldest daughter have the newer 3G Nanos. My youngest has my old Rio800 MP3 player (from 2001) which still works as well, all 160 Mb. How much memory does a kid in grade 2 need, anyhow?

Even though many of these computers are approaching 7 years old (one G3 we bought from my wife's school for $100), we still use them all every day. So if you're measuring your cost/benefit analysis, take into account longevity and compatibility along with ease of use. It's a no-brainer for me.

Good luck with switching, if that's what you're going to do. It may seem weird at first, but once you figure it out, you'll see what we're saying.

krs
Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:07 PM
iMac G3's and early powermac g4's, only had Usb 1.1. Oh, two-three years later USB 2.0 came out, usb 2.0 external hard drives came out, sorry, you can't use those in the iMac g3's, but the powermac g4's, its a tower, its not an all-in-one, but you can now get the PCI expansion card for usb 2.0.


All depends what you are looking for.
Expandability and flexibility is the reason I bought the G4 in 1999. Cost me $2000.- then on sale which was a lot of money for a computer and it still came with OS 9.
But I have since added a USB 2.0 PCI card, a TV/DVR PCI card and a SATA PCI card that gives me two internal and two external SATA ports, also upped the speed of the processor and of course maxed out the RAM.
I have since bought four more Macs for members of my family, the current version of the MacBook Pro only a few months ago. For day-to-day use they are not really that much faster than the old G4 even though the specs are much better. A web page on those opens instantly, on the G4 it takes maybe a 1/4 of a second - from a practical point no difference to me.
The only place I really see a difference is with video conversions, but I run those in the background so even that is not an issue.

At this point a mid-size $1200 tower would be nice, but Apple doesn't offer that so I'll just habg on to the G4 and maybe get another laptop next.

chas_m
Mar 3rd, 2008, 05:15 AM
I just realized that is going to be the hardest thing about switching, to stop looking at computers on the basis of performance to cost ratio :yikes: . That is my only consideration when building a custom machine.

I was actually composing a post about this when I read your insight on this, and it's very true.

There's been a lot of talk here about this procedure or that practice/methodology way of doing things, but really there are only three things a PC user has to learn -- actually, UNLEARN -- in order to enjoy using a Mac:

1. You have to UNLEARN the "it's only a tool" mentality. The PC can be a very good tool at times -- I've often heard people who are particularly adept at a PC program say it's like an extension of their hands.

The Mac, on the other hand, is not a computer. It's a way of life. It's not an extension of your hands, it's an extension of your SOUL.

This can be very hard for PC people to grasp, because it looks much like a (stylish) PC. But if you've ever driven a Ferrari, or owned a really valuable painting (not a print of it), or actually created a really great work of art, then you know that a Ferrari is not just an expensive car, owning an original is always better than owning a copy, and the pride of creation beats "good enough for gov't work" by a country mile.

THAT'S the Mac.

Second thing:

2. You have to UNLEARN a lot of what you learned in Windows. More accurately, you have to LET GO of several levels of complexity. This may sound kind of zen, and in a way it is. It's like when the iPhone first came out -- I *struggled* to master the keyboard, because I'm a meticulous speller but I have big fingers. :)

I got a chance to ask a member of the iPhone team about the secret to the keyboard, and he simply said "use the Force." I thought about it for a while and realised what he meant -- stop trying to correct as you go. Type and 99% of the time the machine will figure it out and it will work itself out just fine. Damn if he wasn't absolutely right.

Macs and PCs aren't really very different when it comes to icon representations. "My Pictures" becomes "Pictures." Your stuff is in your account, the system stuff is in the system folder, folders and files are folders and files -- all just like or much like Windows. It's the attention to detail, the thoughtfulness of the OS design and level of interaction, that makes Mac OS X seem like the Mona Lisa and Windows seem like an Etch-A-Sketch version of the Mona Lisa. Learning the Mac on a file-level is extremely easy. Getting used to the elegance may, depending on how much of the "computers are complex and you have to be an IT guy to really make them work" Kool-Aid you drank, may take a while. :)

Third thing:

3. You have to UNLEARN the "fear of the computer" and the "me vs. them" attitude (I'm not saying you personally have either of these, I mean this as pertains to general PC mentality). On a PC, computing is a BATTLE between you and the OS/programs/hardware with the goal of getting your work done. Even when it goes fairly smoothly, that's due to your savvy, not Microsoft's.

With the Mac, it's almost the opposite. Apple is actually pretty good about working with you, not against you, to accomplish your goals. You'll find yourself wanting to pay for software (!!!) to support the developers who make your life genuinely easier. You'll want to buy more Apple stuff because they don't treat you like a thief or a moron like some companies *coughMScough* do as SOP. When you stop fighting the computer and team up with it, not only do you accomplish great things, but you find you have time and inclination to explore, to grow, to push the boundaries. Most PC users are scared to death to change ANYTHING or "experiment" (ie download a new program) lest they introduce (gasp) instability into the mix.

It's not that such maladies are impossible on the Mac, they're just so less likely that people lose their fear. It's a beautiful thing, maaaan. :)

chas_m
Mar 3rd, 2008, 05:28 AM
Windows NT (New Technology if I remember correctly) was built from scratch.

This is not correct. Microsoft approached IBM about fusing their OS/2 software with their newest Windows-Over-DOS in an attempt to do something not unlike what Apple and NeXT eventually *did.*

As per their business model, Microsoft screwed the living daylights out of IBM, stole a HELL of a lot of code, and left IBM unable to even salvage their promising alternative OS. History tells the rest of the tale.

At some point Microsoft brought their two operating system forks together but I don't remember the details.

Sort of. IIRC, Windows XP was the marriage of Windows 2000 with the remnants of the old Win9x codebase. Despite over a decade of promises to rid the codebase of all Win9x elements, they still haven't done so because their users would revolt.

(insert your own "I thought their users were *already* revolting!" Groucho-esque line here)

Until MS do what Apple had the courage to do in 2000: SCRAP the old codebase COMPLETELY, start OVER with a known-good foundation and virtualise backward compatibility (and be willing to sacrifice big chunks of it outright), they'll never catch up to Apple. Simple as that, really.

chas_m
Mar 3rd, 2008, 05:48 AM
But, the guys that bought the previous generation all-in-one iMac, they don't have everything they need now. Firewire 800? Oh we're sorry, that wasn't invented yet.

Scuse me?

Firewire 800 has been around for a long time (2003!), and in point of fact the last TWO generations of iMac (the original Intel iMac [2006, white casing] AND the current generation [aluminum casing]) had FW 800 on at least some models.

This further ignores the fact that apart from video professionals, almost nobody USES firewire 800 in a home-computer configuration. If you needed FW800, chances are you were a network admin, video professional or serious hobbyist, and you were buying a tower anyway.

iMac G3's and early powermac g4's, only had Usb 1.1. Oh, two-three years later USB 2.0 came out, usb 2.0 external hard drives came out, sorry, you can't use those in the iMac g3's, but the powermac g4's, its a tower, its not an all-in-one, but you can now get the PCI expansion card for usb 2.0.

I think we can concede that towers are SLIGHTLY more flexible than AIOs when it comes to future-proofing against changing standards -- if YOU'LL concede that in the main only propeller-beanie wearing NERDBOYS are likely to upgrade any of the things you need to crack open a machine to upgrade. Home users -- the iMac's target market -- don't do this. They buy new machines at that point most of the time. Furthermore apart from a couple of specific scenarios (one of which you covered), MOST upgrades consist of either RAM or hard drives. Most Macs feature user-upgradeable RAM slots, and thanks to Firewire there is ZERO need to upgrade internal HDs.

So that new autocad that is going to come out in 2009, and has to be run in windows, and you need for work, your mac can't run because it doesn't support directx 10. With a tower system, windows or apple (mac pro) you can get this directx 10 card you need.

This is a non-issue at best. First of all, it's a SERIOUS failing of AutoDesk to depend on DirectX10 when MS has already made clear they're moving on. Second, this is EXACTLY the kind of arrogance among PC software vendors that drives a lot of people INTO APPLE'S ARMS. How many *PCs* can't support that without spending serious money either? Doesn't Autodesk have ANY idea how SLOWLY architechtural firms upgrade their stuff?? Hell, many of them have JUST moved to *XP* and have ZERO intention of EVER moving to Vista. What's their answer -- "tough crackers, buy a new one!"

Mac users can generally go five years OR MORE without upgrading their machine, light users can often go a DECADE or more. Apple *encourages* upgrading but only very rarely FORCES it on us.

The uses we have for PCI slots is huge

Sorry, but this is pure PC wankboy fantasy. The last survey I saw suggested that fewer than 10% of PCs ever get opened AT ALL by a non-tech, and less than 30% ever got any upgrades OF ANY KIND done to them in the course of their useful life.

Power-users and time-wasters (sorry, gamers) may be in and out of the insides of their PC like bachelors to a cheap hooker, but the vast majority of PCs -- even consumer PCs -- are operated more or less as they came out of the box, for two or three years, then replaced after racking up some serious virus/spyware decontamination bills. That's the TRUE lifecycle of the typical Windows PC, period end of story.

agreenapple
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:22 PM
The thing I found about switching from PC to MAC was it's pretty easy! Mac operating systems are VERY user friendly. Almost everything about it, from installing software to connecting to the internet.. it's all right there and simple.

It's great, Mac's seem to run smoother, they are user friendly, and designed fantastically.

I think you'll definitely enjoy your Mac no matter which one you go with.

My two cents!

spitfire1945
Jan 27th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Ignore the useless Apple and PC factions and just get a Mac, short learning curve (providing u've worked with windows) and a much easier to work with.

End of story. No need to know how a Macintosh came into your life one day and it suddenly changed everything and from then day on you started dressing like Steve Jobs and yelling at your fellow co-workers for no apparant reason.

But if you are a gamer, DON'T buy a mac. You have been warned. Also don't fall for the "I only game on consoles" bullsh*t, PC is the only true gaming platform. But from what I've read I don't think your into that many games.

danalicious
Jan 27th, 2009, 09:08 PM
I made the switch a little more than a year ago when I burned through my third Windows laptop. I was so frustrated with windows that I just leaped and bought an iMac.

I have never made a better decision. I have put that machine to work more than I ever could on a PC and have only had the machine hang once - and that was my fault.

Last week, I added a MacBook Pro to my collection and I am just as thrilled with that as I am with my iMac.

Mac takes a little getting used to, but it really is friendly - and fun - to use. JMO....