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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be replacing my 6-year old PC in the next 3-4 months. While not particularly unhappy with my PC experience, I have thought about the possible benefits of switching to an iMac, for two reasons: the Mac OS' much-hyped stability and the apparently elegant and easy-to-use digital photo/video applications.

Putting aside the claims of Apple's ads, my questions are basically: do Macs never, or almost never, crash....really?; and are these digital applications actually so superior to similar PC versions?

I appreciate that most of you folks are Mac die-hards, but please be frank about any shortcomings I might expect with an iMac.

Thank you!
 

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Darwin,
I am a 5 year switcher now, and It is awesome!
I am a hardcore user who has been running OS X for about a year and 3 months. I have experienced 2 Major crashes (Known as Kernal Panics), 1 I caused myself trying to run a really old shareware app through the Classic environment (Didnt work!) and the other wqas caused by the pepole across the street doing construction, they did something to the power in my building and it was in Kernal Panix when I came home.

I have had about 2 dozen freezes, but not freezes that I had to reboot for, I force quit the app and start agian, good to go. And I had about 4 freezes where I actually had to reboot to computer (In over a year!!)

The digital applications are amazing. I work at a Mac-Reseller that also sells the SONY VIAO line and after using both, Apple has hands down, the easiest, most functional software around for Digital Audio, Photo's and Video.

If you are a hard core gamer, you will run into a problem, as there are WAY more games for PC than mac (Though we are starting to play catch up on that). You may want to get the Microsoft Office Suite as well, this will offer you a cross platform solution for reading, saving and editing Word, Excel and Powerpoint files both going and coming from the PC environment.
Alot of people say there are more apps for PC as well, and it is true and false at the same time.
Example, where Mac may have 5 major video applications (For new or experienced users), the PC will have 50 video applications, but they all do the same thing, just a different company, so they have more variety of the same software (Which is not always a good thing when Your shopping for functionality and compatibility).
Other than that, I dont really have any reason to tell you not to get a mac, I do everything my friends do on their PC's except for gaming (Thats what PS2 is for anyway!!)

Hopes this helps in your decision.
 

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Mac OS X does crash, but no where hear as often as any version of windows. I have only managed to crash OS X three times since the 10.1 upgrade, on my home machines. I have only managed to make the machines at work crash a few times more, but when i am bored I try to make them crash, so I dont know if that counts.

One thing you may not like is that there is a helluvalot more software available for windows, but rest assured that most if not all of the best stuff is ported to the Mac, and personally I take quality over quantity every day of the week, and twice on sunday.

Also the mere fact that OS X 10.2 can easily join a windows network, share files with a PC, and even share a printer with a PC with a little work (note that sharing a printer with windows is not supported, not implemented in the GUI, and your mileage may vary).

That and open standards compliance of OS X vs proprietary standards of Windows makes OS X quite a bit more comfortable for me.

--PB
 

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I'm a die-hard Mac user who uses PCs at work. Other than the occasion Kernel Panic (crash) maybe once every few months, the only major kernel panics I've had are:

- a recreateable kernel panic with Norton Anti-Virus Autoprotect. If autoprotect is on, it crashes my mail app if the mail app is the first application I start. That I assume is Norton's problem.

- a recreatable kernel panic with the update from MacOS X 10.1.5 to MacOS X 10.2 with a Radeon PCI card as a second video card. Took the card out, all works well.

What I like is the plug-and-play... hook my camera up to my computer and it's there just like a HD. My computer will also open up a photo app if I wish.

Talking about PCs... I was trying to find the Mhz of a PC with Windows 2000. I'm used to NT. I couldn't find it... me and a couple other guys gave up and settled on just finding it out when the machine is rebooted later. All it takes is one or two clicks on the Mac. By the way if anyone can help me find that info on the PC, it would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MacDaddy:
Darwin,
I am a 5 year switcher now, and It is awesome!
I am a hardcore user who has been running OS X for about a year and 3 months. I have experienced 2 Major crashes (Known as Kernal Panics), 1 I caused myself trying to run a really old shareware app through the Classic environment (Didnt work!) and the other wqas caused by the pepole across the street doing construction, they did something to the power in my building and it was in Kernal Panix when I came home.

I have had about 2 dozen freezes, but not freezes that I had to reboot for, I force quit the app and start agian, good to go. And I had about 4 freezes where I actually had to reboot to computer (In over a year!!)

The digital applications are amazing. I work at a Mac-Reseller that also sells the SONY VIAO line and after using both, Apple has hands down, the easiest, most functional software around for Digital Audio, Photo's and Video.

If you are a hard core gamer, you will run into a problem, as there are WAY more games for PC than mac (Though we are starting to play catch up on that). You may want to get the Microsoft Office Suite as well, this will offer you a cross platform solution for reading, saving and editing Word, Excel and Powerpoint files both going and coming from the PC environment.
Alot of people say there are more apps for PC as well, and it is true and false at the same time.
Example, where Mac may have 5 major video applications (For new or experienced users), the PC will have 50 video applications, but they all do the same thing, just a different company, so they have more variety of the same software (Which is not always a good thing when Your shopping for functionality and compatibility).
Other than that, I dont really have any reason to tell you not to get a mac, I do everything my friends do on their PC's except for gaming (Thats what PS2 is for anyway!!)

Hopes this helps in your decision.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank you for your candid comments. Most appreciated. I'm learning all the time.
 

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It will be 2-years-ago next month that I switched to Mac from PCs...and I will never go back. I switched in the days of OS 9.0.4 and I must admit that I had many crashes (still less than Windows though).

However, in the year that I have been running OS 10, I have not had a single need-to-reboot crash. Freezes...oh yeah...but you just force quite those and launch the application again. Unlike Windows...where one app crashing causes the rest of the OS to implode.

Also, consider the options: OS 10 is smooth as silk, easy as pie, user-friendly and beautiful to look at. Windows XP looks like a bunch of monkies slapped it together with crayons and the bugger crashes more than a demolition derby (just ask my Dad).

Yeah, I am Mac die-hard...because the system is innovative, solid and easy to use. Nothing makes digital music, photos and video easier to manage. The best part...the applications (iTunes, iMovie & iDVD) are made by Apple for Apple computers to be effortless and perfect for experts and novices alike.

Buy your iMac...you will ask yourself why you didn't do it sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PosterBoy:
Mac OS X does crash, but no where hear as often as any version of windows. I have only managed to crash OS X three times since the 10.1 upgrade, on my home machines. I have only managed to make the machines at work crash a few times more, but when i am bored I try to make them crash, so I dont know if that counts.

One thing you may not like is that there is a helluvalot more software available for windows, but rest assured that most if not all of the best stuff is ported to the Mac, and personally I take quality over quantity every day of the week, and twice on sunday.

Also the mere fact that OS X 10.2 can easily join a windows network, share files with a PC, and even share a printer with a PC with a little work (note that sharing a printer with windows is not supported, not implemented in the GUI, and your mileage may vary).

That and open standards compliance of OS X vs proprietary standards of Windows makes OS X quite a bit more comfortable for me.

--PB
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks! You make some good points. This is very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kosh:
I'm a die-hard Mac user who uses PCs at work. Other than the occasion Kernel Panic (crash) maybe once every few months, the only major kernel panics I've had are:

- a recreateable kernel panic with Norton Anti-Virus Autoprotect. If autoprotect is on, it crashes my mail app if the mail app is the first application I start. That I assume is Norton's problem.

- a recreatable kernel panic with the update from MacOS X 10.1.5 to MacOS X 10.2 with a Radeon PCI card as a second video card. Took the card out, all works well.

What I like is the plug-and-play... hook my camera up to my computer and it's there just like a HD. My computer will also open up a photo app if I wish.

Talking about PCs... I was trying to find the Mhz of a PC with Windows 2000. I'm used to NT. I couldn't find it... me and a couple other guys gave up and settled on just finding it out when the machine is rebooted later. All it takes is one or two clicks on the Mac. By the way if anyone can help me find that info on the PC, it would be great.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks, Kosh. Good to know this stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VertiGoGo:
It will be 2-years-ago next month that I switched to Mac from PCs...and I will never go back. I switched in the days of OS 9.0.4 and I must admit that I had many crashes (still less than Windows though).

However, in the year that I have been running OS 10, I have not had a single need-to-reboot crash. Freezes...oh yeah...but you just force quite those and launch the application again. Unlike Windows...where one app crashing causes the rest of the OS to implode.

Also, consider the options: OS 10 is smooth as silk, easy as pie, user-friendly and beautiful to look at. Windows XP looks like a bunch of monkies slapped it together with crayons and the bugger crashes more than a demolition derby (just ask my Dad).

Yeah, I am Mac die-hard...because the system is innovative, solid and easy to use. Nothing makes digital music, photos and video easier to manage. The best part...the applications (iTunes, iMovie & iDVD) are made by Apple for Apple computers to be effortless and perfect for experts and novices alike.

Buy your iMac...you will ask yourself why you didn't do it sooner.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Glad to hear that those applications are everything Apple says they are. Thanks for responding!
 

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As for stability, I have no qualms about recommending OSX. My G4 is now over a year old, and has never crashed. Not once. My Windows XP Pro box will typically crash about once per month with non-demanding tasks and more often when dealing with demanding tasks, itself an excellent achivement for a Windows OS.

For A/V applications, I can add that the applications provided by Apple (and others) are indeed easier to use. Having said that, you can find apps (for a price) that will do the same stuff on a PC, although generally slower and more difficult to use.

Perhaps more important (where most PC systems have difficulty) is hardware problems. Those who have success with A/V and Sound recording/manipulation/mastering on a PC are those users who can dedicate a PC to the task. This generally means setting OS (Windows) options in a specific manner and careful selection of generic devices (particularly PCI cards). These machines are not used to surf the web or play games; a PC set up as a general purpose desktop generally will fail to give good results.

Right there you have the main reason why Mac users are unimpressed by advocacy for PCs that mention the number of games for each platform, etc. You can't run games on an AV PC and expect good results.

As an example, where I work we must use the tools we have on site; we are very remote. Our Windows 2000 box is set up to d/l photos from a wide variety of digital cameras and upload them to a web site daily. For the most part it works, once you install specific drivers. However, one model Sony camera won't work; Win2K for some reason simply erases all the images as soon as it's hooked up. In another case (Canon camera) Win2K alters the file format so that the image can only be uploaded once; if there is any problem with the upload those images can't be read by any computer a second time.Without my Mac, these cameras would have been unusable for the 4 month period we are at the remote jobsite. I would read the files and send them to the Win2K box via CD-RW and our problems were solved. All this with iPhoto alone-no drivers installed for any specific device.

As for expanability, you will find that most Macs have support on the MB for things that require a PCI slot on a Wintel box (modem, ethernet, firewire, USB, analog audiio out are all supported without a PCI card slot required; my G4 has 4 free slots).

On a Mac you should be able to use the same compter for all your computing needs. There are a few OS settings that will make the job nearly foolproof but they are few and easily set up (basically, you disable things like checking automatically for a network time server or software updates, etc).

The biggest question you should have would revolve around what you now do on your PC and what tools are available on the Mac to replace your PC tools. Although there are many programs available for a given task on the PC platform, many cannot be seriously recommended. You should also know that "for Windows" usually means for some version of Windows and not others. All serious Mac apps run in either OS9 or OSX and there are over 20,000 of those, any of which you could run on your iMac.

You will find more games available for the PC; Mac users generally just buy a playstation/Xbox/etc if they need game choice.

Since you have managed to run your PC box for 6 years either you need some very specific tools which run only in an older OS (Win98SE?) or your needs are not so demanding and you will easily find excellent programs on MacOS.

Be forewarned; once you switch you won't go back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gordguide:
As for stability, I have no qualms about recommending OSX. My G4 is now over a year old, and has never crashed. Not once. My Windows XP Pro box will typically crash about once per month with non-demanding tasks and more often when dealing with demanding tasks, itself an excellent achivement for a Windows OS.

For A/V applications, I can add that the applications provided by Apple (and others) are indeed easier to use. Having said that, you can find apps (for a price) that will do the same stuff on a PC, although generally slower and more difficult to use.

Perhaps more important (where most PC systems have difficulty) is hardware problems. Those who have success with A/V and Sound recording/manipulation/mastering on a PC are those users who can dedicate a PC to the task. This generally means setting OS (Windows) options in a specific manner and careful selection of generic devices (particularly PCI cards). These machines are not used to surf the web or play games; a PC set up as a general purpose desktop generally will fail to give good results.

Right there you have the main reason why Mac users are unimpressed by advocacy for PCs that mention the number of games for each platform, etc. You can't run games on an AV PC and expect good results.

As an example, where I work we must use the tools we have on site; we are very remote. Our Windows 2000 box is set up to d/l photos from a wide variety of digital cameras and upload them to a web site daily. For the most part it works, once you install specific drivers. However, one model Sony camera won't work; Win2K for some reason simply erases all the images as soon as it's hooked up. In another case (Canon camera) Win2K alters the file format so that the image can only be uploaded once; if there is any problem with the upload those images can't be read by any computer a second time.Without my Mac, these cameras would have been unusable for the 4 month period we are at the remote jobsite. I would read the files and send them to the Win2K box via CD-RW and our problems were solved. All this with iPhoto alone-no drivers installed for any specific device.

As for expanability, you will find that most Macs have support on the MB for things that require a PCI slot on a Wintel box (modem, ethernet, firewire, USB, analog audiio out are all supported without a PCI card slot required; my G4 has 4 free slots).

On a Mac you should be able to use the same compter for all your computing needs. There are a few OS settings that will make the job nearly foolproof but they are few and easily set up (basically, you disable things like checking automatically for a network time server or software updates, etc).

The biggest question you should have would revolve around what you now do on your PC and what tools are available on the Mac to replace your PC tools. Although there are many programs available for a given task on the PC platform, many cannot be seriously recommended. You should also know that "for Windows" usually means for some version of Windows and not others. All serious Mac apps run in either OS9 or OSX and there are over 20,000 of those, any of which you could run on your iMac.

You will find more games available for the PC; Mac users generally just buy a playstation/Xbox/etc if they need game choice.

Since you have managed to run your PC box for 6 years either you need some very specific tools which run only in an older OS (Win98SE?) or your needs are not so demanding and you will easily find excellent programs on MacOS.

Be forewarned; once you switch you won't go back.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not only is the feedback I'm getting invaluable, but I appreciate the lack of Mac hysteria in your replies that some Mac fans feel it necessary to use when extolling the virtues of the platform. Your advice is well stated. I wanted good reasons, not execessive cheerleading, and that's what you folks are providing. This is a great forum.
 

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Hey, Darwin, since you're already here, just poke around this site and see what kinds of problems we ehMac-ers have.
You will find that...
We solve them pretty much 100% of the time (most Windows users are forced, sooner or later, to give up on some problems).
The solutions involve easy-to-find control panels, that talk to us in English, not obscure and ambiguous language.
We use our boxes for what is considered "demanding" tasks by the industry. And still get the eMail and school reports out.
Since our computers don't make us crazy, we don't yell and scream insults like many PC boards do. (Of course, some of us ARE crazy, but as the doctors say, that can't be helped).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gordguide:
Hey, Darwin, since you're already here, just poke around this site and see what kinds of problems we ehMac-ers have.
You will find that...
We solve them pretty much 100% of the time (most Windows users are forced, sooner or later, to give up on some problems).
The solutions involve easy-to-find control panels, that talk to us in English, not obscure and ambiguous language.
We use our boxes for what is considered "demanding" tasks by the industry. And still get the eMail and school reports out.
Since our computers don't make us crazy, we don't yell and scream insults like many PC boards do. (Of course, some of us ARE crazy, but as the doctors say, that can't be helped).
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I hear ya, gordguide! I didn't want to give the impression that your enthusiasm wasn't appreciated. It's refreshing actually!
 

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Darwin,

Welcome to the community... hope we hear more from you once you pick up your new Mac!

One feature on OS X.2 (Jaguar) that ships on all new Macs is particularly impressive to me. Although all versions of OS X are multi-user, OS X.2 now provides the administrator (the 'boss' of the computer) the wonderfully valuable ability to decide, with a simple checklist, which programs the other users will have access to.

This is a profoundly great feature, particularly for parents who want to allow their children access to the computer, but not certain applications, either for security / their own good / age-appropriateness (no 4-year old needs Photoshop, for example, but a simpler paint program, or a kid's educational software title certainly).

We've implemented the restricted sub-users in our multimedia teaching lab, resolving huge headaches where our lab manager pretty much had to look over everyone's shoulder to ensure that they aren't taking advantage of their access.

This feature alone was worth the upgrade price to us.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CubaMark:
Darwin,

Welcome to the community... hope we hear more from you once you pick up your new Mac!

One feature on OS X.2 (Jaguar) that ships on all new Macs is particularly impressive to me. Although all versions of OS X are multi-user, OS X.2 now provides the administrator (the 'boss' of the computer) the wonderfully valuable ability to decide, with a simple checklist, which programs the other users will have access to.

This is a profoundly great feature, particularly for parents who want to allow their children access to the computer, but not certain applications, either for security / their own good / age-appropriateness (no 4-year old needs Photoshop, for example, but a simpler paint program, or a kid's educational software title certainly).

We've implemented the restricted sub-users in our multimedia teaching lab, resolving huge headaches where our lab manager pretty much had to look over everyone's shoulder to ensure that they aren't taking advantage of their access.

This feature alone was worth the upgrade price to us.

M.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good to know, and thanks for the tip. I have a young daughter whose use of the Mac I must control in just such a way.
 

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Hey Darwin,
I switched before I ever bought. All my computer friends said to stay away from Mac (I never could figure out their Windoze machines).. They said there is less software blah blah.
I find you don't need half of it and the stuff that is important is either avail. in a Mac version or Mac has a program to do the job.
My first iMac 333MHZ is still working fine after
4 1/2+ yrs. My kids now have it and play games, surf, MSN and email me with it and no problems. That is good as they live in a different city and I am not there to help them right away with any problems.
That one had a video card that fried from a weird sooty build up from some really cheap scented candles my girlfriend was burning. It built up on all plastic and electronics in the house. It shorted out the card but no long term damage. The guy in the shop said it looked like the inside had been in a fire, there was so much crap in there.
It is still running strong.
I know have an iBook. It works fine, granted the first one was a lemon with 4 major repairs (it happens to all manufacturers) but Apple replaced it with a newer and faster model 1 week before the warranty was up.(I had the extended warranty as a back up). Now I have a nice 700MHZ iBook that does everything I need. It is problem free.
My PC friends still can't believe how I can hook up to their digital cams and just download images without searching for some software. iPhoto is great.
My old roomie had two PC meltdowns..My current rommie is having problems with his and I know of at least 3 friends who are having major PC problems. None of my Mac friends are having the same woes.
Even when my first iBook gave me problems it still out performed the PC in the house.
I say switch....you will be glad you did. :D
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darwin:

Putting aside the claims of Apple's ads, my questions are basically: do Macs never, or almost never, crash....really?; and are these digital applications actually so superior to similar PC versions?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've been using a Mac as my primary laptop now for about two months, and it's been fairly stable; Mac OS X is more stable than Win9x, but it doesn't seem quite as stable as Win2K/WinXP.

I've only really played with iPhoto, and it works well enough that I don't have any major complaints with it. Granted, the only other software I've used is my own home-grown app and the software that came with my camera.
 
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