Mac vs PC: What should I choose?


Dec 4, 2006


The Bottom Line Regardless you should try it out for yourself, maybe you'll like the features of a Macintosh and Convert. "To Each His Own"

Ah, yes an age old argument juxtaposed only to Politics, Religion, and Sports. Once converted to a Mac user, you’ll be expected to openly foist the views of world conversion, and global take back of the Computer World.


Subjective Matter

Look I’m sure many critics defending Macintosh have all kinds of comebacks and "statistics" to prove any claim or experience wrong, but truth be told my experiences with Macintosh has never really been a positive life changing moment.

Statistically Speaking
Anyone who has taken a basic business or statistics High school level course knows that all charts, pie graphs, bar graphs, and statistics information can be shown in a distorted manner, which may make certain information appear highly different than it may actually be.

A good example of this would be a Bench Test shown on an Apple G3 processor verses a Pentium based processor. While working at Best Buy, they had the apple representative showing off how fast the G3 was in comparison to its competition on a (Apple Computer) basically showing a video of how the apple just smoked the Pentium computer in gaming, videos, and even web surfing. Whatever I thought well, I read the *Fine Print and the Mac was running a stronger graphics card with more RAM(Random Access Memory) funny, you could barely read this print at the bottom of the screen. (BUT WAIT THERES MORE)

The PC and Mac were both rated at 333MhZ but the processor they were comparing was not a Pentium, but a Celeron Processor, which is much slower as the L2 Cache Memory is 128K (On Die) as the Pentium II Has 512 L2 Cache Memory (On Board). A Celeron Processor is the cheaper/slower version of Pentium Processors (Almost everyone knows that).

Now that your confused, let me break it down, Apples to Oranges. The bench test means nothing, it was a test created by the manufacture to try and sway buyers towards the Mac. Now I have seen similar tests with AMD Comparing Bench tests against Pentium so Mac is not all to blame as this game goes on for all manufactures.

Basically just make sure it is a third party, un-bias, fair test that is given if you are to compare statistical information.

Go Ahead Tell me the Last Time you "Built Your Mac"
Mac computers are not something you build. When was the last time you heard about someone replacing the processor in a Mac or even upgrading the ram. This does not typically occur, as a Tech I knew many other Techs and not a single one of them Built a Mac or spent much effort into upgrading them. Difficulty opening the system and getting to key components is partially to blame, but finding the parts was another underlying issue altogether.

How did we handle repairs?
Well that was a bit tricky, when we started selling Macintosh again, service was challenging. The computers were not repaired, typically a store credit was issued to those whom had purchased an extended warranty. Parts were a factor as clients were waiting 3 weeks for a bad hard drive or worse yet a failed power supply. Usually the management would end up giving the customer a credit to purchase a new computer, well guess what most of them ended up purchasing a PC as a replacement. My experience was always a challenge when it came to replacing hardware components of Mac units. Customer service for the units we handled was nearly difficult to get a hold of, and it seemed that service calls made were never handled accordingly. Communication between the manufacture and authorized repair centers seemed both poor and unorganized.

But Mac are SO reliable
So it would seem if I only had a few units in a month, well that is subjective to the number actually in circulation, don’t you agree? Well If I sold 1,000 IBM computers and 80 of them had a problem with service that would equate to 8% of the product overall. Now if I sold 200 Macintosh computers and only 20 of them came in for service that would equate to 10% of the total. This was the trend we were seeing even though we saw less Macintosh computers, the overall total was near or higher than the IBM models. So issues regarding reliability seemed somewhat inflated from a technical standpoint.

Mac Users Reinventing the Wheel
My biggest issue with a hardcore Mac user is their inability to face the harsh reality that they are not special because they own a Macintosh Computer. While working at Best Buy these users would usually approach me in with a cocky mannerism, and believe that because they run a Macintosh they know something I don’t know. Well guess what buddy I don’t care if you’re the 3% of people that use and own a Mac. (I really Don’t) Further more you have not reinvented anything or have superior abilities in the world of computing, your just running a different operating system on a piece of equipment that is difficult to find and is considered rare.

Now many people that wanted to look at the Macintosh Computer were very nice and I took the time to inform them about the operating system, the different abilities for software that could easily convert Windows based programs to useable software on the Macintosh. I think it is great that people have a choice as IBM computers can be a serious pain in the rear, but it doesn’t mean that Macintosh units don’t have problems of their own. I experienced many pitfalls with the operating system, similar to those of a windows based PC, with locking up, freezing, and issues running software programs.

Show me where you have all the Macintosh Compatible Accessories?!!?
Sure you can find many products you need online, and even at stores like Comp USA, but the selection is very limited at these stores. Some stores do carry some software, games, and accessories deemed Mac compatible, but your best bet is a Macintosh store (Like in the Mall) or online at different websites that specialize in mainly Mac Merchandise.

However manufactures have started making devices like USB(Universal Serial Bus) which are compatible with Macintosh Operating systems, and this has helped when it comes to accessories. I still find it difficult to really find something that is truly designed for a Mac at stores, many things are just "Mac Compatible", but were originally designed with the PC user in mind.

Right! the School Computers are Macs, Save Early & Often...
Going back to my experience using the Mac, we used them at school for typing papers in a program similar to Word Pad in windows. What was funny is trying to find a Macintosh disk for our classroom computers so we could save our work every 15 minutes because the computers could "go down" at anytime. This basically meant it was your problem if the Mac decided to freeze up and you lost all your work for the last 30 minutes because you forgot to save. As for boot up time, wow how could it get any slower, we usually turned the computers on, then went to gym class for an hour, ate lunch, and returned just in time to see it enter the main screen.

I was never impressed with the units we used in High school. Fortunately the school got a slew of IBM computers, and the Macintosh lab became the tumble weed center.


Final Thoughts

My experience with Macintosh has never been a pleasant one, I guess I could give it another chance if given the opportunity. Truthfully I cannot find a reason to take 2 steps back and pick up a piece of equipment that is not used in the mainstream of technology today. I find the look, operation, and design unappealing as my experience merits.

Hey Apple, Stick To IPODS

Best of luck,

--DeRango


Credentials

This is some quick information about my computer experience and background on qualifications and training in the field of computers.

Early days
At a very young age I owned a Apple IIe it did not have a hard drive per say, but it did have disk drive that allowed me to save programs and games that I created back in the day, this was exciting to me as a young child, but I grew bored of the inability to do more than a few things with the Mac. So our first family PC was a Packard Bell 133Mhz, I can remember typing papers on it for classes as early as 4th grade. I really enjoyed my first PC experience, and from then on out we purchased and used IBM based systems.

Formal Training
I always dreamed of working at Best Buy even at the age of 11 I really thought it was the coolest place to be. So the day I turned 16 years old I applied for a job, and I had a great opportunity to explain my experience with computers along with how I was self taught on nearly everything when it came to computers. Lucky for me I had my big break and was hired as a Computer Product Specialist (Fancy Term for Salesmen).

I spent the next 2 years working as a salesman, learning about computers inside and out; along with training from the staff I was privy to seminars held by manufactures and representatives for different brands and components of computers. Soon I was promoted to a supervisor role, where I took our store from nearly last in sales to #1 in the company for 3 months in a row. I began to grow weary of the customer sales and opted to move to a technical role when the opportunity presented itself. So as a technician I learned the insides of computer repair, along with some cool details about other electronics.

My personal life has always included computers in one respect or another, and even though it is no longer my career I continue educating myself with the newest technology out there.

Formal Education
I have a Science Degree in: Digital Microprocessing Technology, which is basically a Computer Hardware Degree.

Training Seminars in Windows 95,98,ME,2000,XP,NT, Mac OS X, Linux(RedHat)… Along with various computer products like video cards, sound cards, processors etc...


Computer Hardware Links

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Videoseven E17PS 17 inch LCD Monitor

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Lexmark JetPrinter X1185 All-In-One InkJet

NetGear WG311T 802.11g/b Wireless Adapter

Hewlett Packard LaserJet 3055 All-In-One Printer

300GB External USB/FireWire Segate Hard Drive

Samsung SyncMaster 215TW 21 inch LCD Monitor

PNY Verto GeForce2 MX400, (64 MB) PCI Graphic Card

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About the Author

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Member: Jeffrey DeRango
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About Me: Computers, Land Surveyor, Love to share and learn new things...