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D1omedes
01-17-2012, 09:14 PM
Hey guys. I know there are some pretty tech-savvy members on the board and I thought this would be a good place to ask something. I am going to be in the market for a new computer within a few months and was wondering if it was worth it to consider an Apple computer. Do any of you have any advice?

To clarify, this will be my home computer. Portability is a plus but reliability is more important. I plan on web-surfing and typing up documents. I have experience with MS Office but not iWorks. Gaming/movies will not be a big deal since I have a videogame system.

I know that if a PC laptop has an issue, there's really no point in repairing it. The cost will be close to the price of a new laptop. Does this apply to Apple laptops as well? I managed to get 5 years out of my Dell laptop before something fried on the videocard and now I'm unable to use it.

syphen
01-17-2012, 09:18 PM
Macbook pro

/End.

SolidState
01-17-2012, 09:29 PM
If you're not planning on graphing, doing math or science with the machine definitely go Mac. If you plan on doing math or science, do what math and science people do and go PC. Mac does not have the capability or compatibility to run most calculation programs, Gaussian excluded.

Rwb1500
01-17-2012, 09:32 PM
While for the price you can get 3 PCs, I love the Macbook Pro. We have a 27 inch Imac too, but it was a write off... ;) (Hell, they both were.)

Franky, for your application you don't need a Mac. Do you have disposable income? If you do go for it. If not, get a midrange (or cheap) pc, and pay for a service plan, as long and as comprehensive as you can get. That way if you do have problems you can dump them on Best Buy, or whoever.

I don't mean to be insulting, but have you seen what these Macs cost? It's friggin ridiculous! We have a photography business, and use them pretty exclusively for editing. (Well, the wife does. I'm not a photographer, if you've seen any of my pictures. ;))

But if you don't need it I vote that it isn't worth the money. And that's coming from a guy who spent more on computers in the last two years than I did on my car.
:o

Slash
01-17-2012, 09:34 PM
Unless you're one of those appleheads, that has to have everything apple. Then get a pc. Windows 8 should be kool. I'm not upgrading till then.

Rwb1500
01-17-2012, 09:41 PM
If you're not planning on graphing, doing math or science with the machine definitely go Mac. If you plan on doing math or science, do what math and science people do and go PC. Mac does not have the capability or compatibility to run most calculation programs, Gaussian excluded.

But you have to look at the price point. Especially if it's just for web surfing and documents.
Hell, I use my phone for both of those things more than a computer.

If that is literally all a computer is used for (And I'm not directing this at the OP, just generally, I don't know what else you might want to use your computer for) I'd suggest a Netbook, unless you're constantly typing 30 page papers, than I'd want a bigger screen.

A $300-$500 laptop with a $100-$200 service plan covers your butt from just about anything for X amount of years, and comes in at half the price of a bottom end Mac.

A Macbook cost $1000.

A Macbook Pro starts at $1200 and goes up, way up.

Why spend that kind of cash when you don't have to?

Unless it's a social status thing. If that's the case... Grow up. :D

I'm not bashing Apple either, like I said we have two very nice ones, but if they weren't needed for a specific purpose (editing pictures and video) we sure as hell wouldn't own them.

Maybe a Mac Mini. :D

syphen
01-17-2012, 09:49 PM
But you have to look at the price point. Especially if it's just for web surfing and documents.
Hell, I use my phone for both of those things more than a computer.

If that is literally all a computer is used for (And I'm not directing this at the OP, just generally, I don't know what else you might want to use your computer for) I'd suggest a Netbook, unless your constantly typing 30 page papers, than I'd want a bigger screen.


A Macbook cost $1000.

A Macbook Pro starts at $1200 and goes up, way up.

Why spend that kind of cash when you don't have to?

Unless it's a social status thing. If that's the case... Grow up. :D

Well, by that logic, you should sell any Spyderco's and other knives worth over $80... because clearly that piece of steel from China sold in a discount store under their own brand name is clearly just as easily up to the cutting job.

While I still own a PC, and use it for the odd bit of gaming here and there, my day to day is on OSX via a macbook pro. I would never go back to a windows laptop for my day to day surfing or grind. Well worth the extra money. The hardware 'lasts' longer as it can continue to run updated versions of OSX whereas new Windows updates frequently antiquate hardware on at an atrocious speed.

Slash
01-17-2012, 09:50 PM
Yeah, macbook 2x the cost of pc and 1/2 the speed.

Blerv
01-17-2012, 10:01 PM
Comparing stats to stats it's hard really. Apple has a friendly OS and a cult following. It's a solid product especially for the normal word processor type.

Stat wise some pc's like from Asus are killer and they don't charge ya an arm and a leg. They are on par with Mac reliability wise if you're smart and get a good virus program m. I love ESET. Pc's are used more so like 95% of the virus' are written for them.

Frankly tho for real speed and reliability custom built is pro. We put together a tower for my wife (digital artist) and it flies for $1300. She has two hard drives to further prevent data loss from one failing. Not to mention a towe (vs laptop) per star simply performs better, is cheaper, and can be repaired/upgraded instead of junking it. Oh, and ours didn't come with webcams and all sorts of random crap to delete.

Rwb1500
01-17-2012, 10:04 PM
Well, by that logic, you should sell any Spyderco's and other knives worth over $80... because clearly that piece of steel from China sold in a discount store under their own brand name is clearly just as easily up to the cutting job.

While I still own a PC, and use it for the odd bit of gaming here and there, my day to day is on OSX via a macbook pro. I would never go back to a windows laptop for my day to day surfing or grind. Well worth the extra money. The hardware 'lasts' longer as it can continue to run updated versions of OSX whereas new Windows updates frequently antiquate hardware on at an atrocious speed.

You're absolutely right, but not everyone places as much importance on longevity. Computers have become disposable. That's why you can buy a $200 PC.

You're correct about the hardware "lasting" longer as well. I have a buddy who still uses a Macbook that is ten years old. Again, I don't have anything against them, frankly I love ours, and the new Windows OSs are frightening to say the least.

I'm just saying that some people balk at the price, and some people balk at the price of Busse blades. Doesn't make it right or wrong.


I'm waiting for the Android OS to continue expanding and Windows to go the way of the Dodo. (No sprint runs please. :D)

D1omedes
01-17-2012, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the info, guys. Although money is tight, I am willing to save for an Apple product if they are more reliable. As far as OS, Apple seems to run a superior one for a casual user like me. Their aesthetic designs are also appealing.

Blerv mentioned custom computers. Do any of you know of a company that can provide a good computer for less than an Apple?

Slash
01-17-2012, 10:22 PM
I think looking here will help.

http://www.computerforum.com/

Or

http://www.hardwareforums.com/

Holland
01-17-2012, 10:39 PM
once you buy mac, you cant go back.

user friendly, more reliable, no viruses. great machine

Anonymous
01-17-2012, 10:45 PM
Mac is superior to windows as far as error free efficiency goes. Also, macs aren't really prone to virus' either. I've used a Mac for a few years and I think it may have froze twice. I've used pc's almost my whole life and from experience you will have errors and other misc. problems down the road unlike the macs. The downside is, Macs are usually quite pricy. If I wanted to have very good efficiency another option would be to get a pc and run Linux as the operating system but that usually takes someone who is decently tech-savy.

I don't know who told you that you might as well not repair a pc laptop because that's not the case. First off, it would depend what went bad such as the hard drive, motherboard, etc. As for the price, you can look that information up yourself. The repairs could be done by you if you knew what went bad and bought a replacement part. I don't know off hand but I would guess that Mac parts would be more expensive but that's just a guess. Now if the screen went out or something.....I don't have any experience with that so I can't comment.

Slash
01-17-2012, 11:00 PM
I would read this. http://m.wisegeek.com/should-i-buy-a-mac-or-a-pc.htm

Bottom line is it's your money and only you know what you're trying to do with your computer.

My bro works for Microsoft as a senior programmer
and of course he doesn't use a Mac for anything.

jtoler_9
01-17-2012, 11:28 PM
I love these debates. It facinates me what people say. I like both products and I have worked for a Mac reseller as well as a very large PC company. Both have their place. Long story short, any computer can do simple word processing and web browsing. In my opinoin if you shell out 1.5k for an Imac just to surf the web, well more power to you, but you could do those things much cheaper. Apple is overpriced and almost always behind the tech curve. But theY make some of the coolest looking tech gear and toys on the planet. I like and use both. Good luck with your choice.

Blerv
01-17-2012, 11:59 PM
I see reliability in multiple ways. You have the warranty and non-warranty period.

In the first phase the Apple way is cooler than many companies (like Dell). A good place that knows their stuff is as easy to deal with and will keep you protected as well. Either route you arrive with something broken, that shouldn't be, and they fix it. I'm counting hardware problems not user or software (ie: I don't have a quality virus scanner and love to click spam email). As to which flukes more that really is a mystery.

Once the warranty dies things get interesting. Since your on the hook reliability really does matter. Rather than taking one testemony over another (which is the most narrow survey you can ask for), here is a recent article...take it with a grain of salt:

http://ctwatchdog.com/business/2011-computer-reliability-reports-lenovo-asus-on-top

Suppose you found a shop well respected in the area. A place that is a dealer/repair facility for a brand like Asus. They could put you together something cheaper than a similar model at Best Buy and far more performance/buck than a laptop. They would prob give you a similar warranty and IF you had a problem they could repair anything w/o mailing it off. Hard drive? No problem. Monitor? They fetch a new one. If you had multiple drives set to back themselves up you prob won't even lose files.

Laptops are like cars made by magic elves who then welded the hood shut. Working on them is nearly impossible (but not completely) and everything is so crammed it heats up and runs like crap. Performance versions generate more heat than the Deathstar and still won't keep up with the tower equivalent, especially for the money. Then if you get the average life out of one at peak performance, or stretch it to 4 years you toss it and start over.

I understand portable and it often makes sense. It made WAY more sense before smart phones (I use an IPhone ;)). Prob is you pay for it and end up with a paperweight at some point instead of just fixing or upgrading before it breaks.

You might find a shop in your area and talk to them with a budget and goal. Get some quotes and opinions. They will always have a MacBook at the Apple store.

Zenith
01-18-2012, 12:13 AM
I have PC for work and my Girlfriend uses mac for her personal use so naturally I have spent some time on it.

My GF's boss uses a Mac 2 or something (one of the first flat screen ones). Way out of warranty, but still running without problems.

Mac has less operating bugs to be sorted out, if you have a problem you take the damn thing to Mac store and they sort it out for you. I like that. It is your product, make it work.

I really cant complain about either one. For work, using office etc a cheap laptop can do that for you. Mac is a complete package and you pay for it, you cant nick pick what you want in the operating system etc.

Either way, both good, just different.

J D Wijbenga
01-18-2012, 03:03 AM
once you buy mac, you cant go back.

User friendly, more reliable, no viruses. Great machine

+1

Anonymous
01-18-2012, 04:33 AM
Working on them is nearly impossible

Nearly impossible? Not hardly, if you know how to work on a desktop you could figure it out. Everybody thinks they are so hard to work on yet most of these people have yet to do it themselves. I've fixed many laptops, the components are definitely smaller and you have to pay much more attention to placement of said objects but it's not like the hardware is a totally different technology than desktops....it's actually very similar. Also, usually you can find how-to videos on how to replace just about anything.


Mac has less operating bugs to be sorted out

By far, correct.

I'm not saying to just go with the mac as I myself am back to using a pc. I'm saying that the more user friendly and error free machine is going to be Mac...that's undeniable.

ChrisR
01-18-2012, 04:52 AM
My vote always goes to PC unless you are a real Apple fan - in which case you'll love Mac.

Macs do have a safer OS than the older versions of Windows but if you're running Windows7 and you don't download from dodgy sites or click every link in every email you are sent then PC/Windows can be just as virus-free as a Mac. Also, Macs are more stable because less software is available to run on them and less hardware is compatible with it ... whereas PC/Windows was designed to run just a huge range of 3rd-party hardware and software so there are more chances of it being influenced adversely.

Macs: less software & hardware available; safer & more stable; more costly to buy; looks trendy; easy to use and has a loyal fanbase; harder/costly to repair if it goes wrong

PC: the widest range of software/hardware available so more flexible; targeted by more malware/virus writers; cheaper to buy & cheap to fix; billions of users around the world.

boxer93
01-18-2012, 04:54 AM
cost is definitely a consideration. I like the stability of mac. While my kids were young I had a desktop PC. My wife also has a dell laptop with vista. It will take a lot to go back to a PC. typing this from a macbook air that will give me 7+ hours on battery. Daughter has a macbook pro for college.
My .03USD
Chris

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 10:25 AM
I'm saying that the more user friendly and error free machine is going to be Mac...that's undeniable.

I'll deny that. I disagree completely. Where is everyone getting this? Mac's don't have viruses. Mac's don't have "as many" problems. Who is coming up with these numbers? Did you read Blerv's article? Again, grain of salt needed here, but that report had Apple in 4th place in reliability below 3 PC companies. I worked for a Mac reseller for 2 years and we sure had a very busy service department for a platform that is "problem and virus free". Am I as a consumer supposed to believe the Apple fan hype that the evil virus hacking community is too stupid to penetrate the Mac OS? Is the Apple logo a magical form of kryptonite that no savvy programmer can ever penetrate? I am working from a PC I bought 7 years ago. I have never had a virus or a software problem. Was I lucky? Come on. Itís all a bunch of hype BS made to sell something. We are literally comparing Apples to oranges. They are both good with some bad in the bunch. They are also different. Comparing the 2 will never help you make a decision. I would base my decision on what my budget is and what I am actually going to be doing with the machine. For me it's all about the software, but for others, who knows. To each there own. There's room in the market for both platforms. I would just suggest you stay away from hype when deciding. Good luck man. Let us know what you decide. I'm sure you are going to be happy with either platform.

cosmo7809
01-18-2012, 10:30 AM
After buying an iMac, I haven't used a PC since. Love it!

araneae
01-18-2012, 11:03 AM
My Toshiba has been great at almost 1/2 the price of a macbook. $600 is a lot of spydies.

Blerv
01-18-2012, 11:14 AM
I think the Mac OS is more streamlined for ease of updates and such (compared to Windows frequent security updates). Its also better designed than Window especially compared to some aweful previous editions. They aren't perfect though as I've dealt with problems using iTunes and my dumb phone, lol.

Apple had a cleaner UI that's for sure; they also come with some software perks.

As for reliability and performance much of it is stigma and the fact hackers aren't targeting Macs. You can still encrypt and virus protect a PC. As mentioned with ESET we haven't had a virus problem or even miss a security update in years and Windows 7 is a decent OS.

The average computer user would be better with an iPad than a laptop, IMHO.

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 11:25 AM
The average computer user would be better with an iPad than a laptop, IMHO.

I just updated my Ipad with the update from Itunes. It wiped my device. I lost my pics and movies. Lucky for me I know how to make a backup. Just go ahead and google I lost my files on my IWhatever Lot's of frustrated Itunes customers after this most recent IOS update. I friggen HATE Itunes. Also I find myself reaching for my laptop when I am web surfing on my Ipad. So many sites seem to be incompatible or glitchy on the Ipad. Course I was an early adopter and I have the Ipad 1. So those issues might be fixed in the Ipad 2. Wait the 3 is out now? Or did they just announce the 4? So hard to keep up. :p It's all good fun. Security updates vs app updates telling me they are fixing glitches. Hmm..

Edit.
I would also ask you, what good is an IPAD without a laptop PC or MAC to tether to? I think it would be worthless. The IPAD ships with a friggen umbilical cord to tether itself to a smarter device for updates. Don't get me wrong I love the IPAD for what it is. A cool toy. Laptop replacement? Not by a long shot.

D1omedes
01-18-2012, 11:26 AM
The average computer user would be better with an iPad than a laptop, IMHO.

Trust me, I've looked at the iPad. :p

Thing is, I need to be able to word process and utilize spreadsheets. That kind of kills the tablet market for me.

I've been looking at the Mac Mini, since it's the cheapest computer they sell, and it definitely strikes an aesthetic impulse. But no disc drive really kills it, IMO. What I don't understand is that Jobs was always claiming to make "affordable machines for the masses," but Apple's computers are some of the most expensive available.

BTW, I received his biography for Christmas and my interest in Mac grew as I've read the book. :D

I think the recommendation of visiting a custom computer repair shop is important. The laptop I'm typing on now is my sister's and she's had it for seven years, I think. It had some issues but they took it to a local computer repair guy (literally three minutes from the house) and he repaired it. It's been working well ever since. I'll definitely start contacting repair shops to see what they can offer me with custom built towers and such.

What I don't like about Acer and other PC companies is that they release models that are bundled. I'd like to customize it a little bit (ie. software, RAM, monitor, etc.). Dell seems like a likely option but their repair service is so BAD that I want to try something else. I looked on Newegg and I wasn't impressed with what I saw. They listed Gateway as a top-rated brand. Really? Those computers have been terrible since they first got popular - I'm shocked they are still selling.

zunedog31
01-18-2012, 11:40 AM
Don't mess around with Mac. They are very overpriced and have such good marketing that you think it is so great when in reality is is just a status symbol. Windows 7 is outstanding and in my opinion is MILES ahead of Vista and is better then Mac.

Blerv
01-18-2012, 12:00 PM
The nice thing about custom is you only get what you want. No clutter programs and spyware. Computers like all technology are expenses not investments, there are no vintage desktops out there that people use like classic cars. Even the best Apple is fighting to stay current 6 months from when you buy it. So what people don't consider is that $1500 laptop has a realistic lifespan of 2-5 years depending on usage and your needs. It won't get passed down to the grand kids. So really a computer (especially a laptop) is a depreciated good per year aka "cost to own".

Oh and Asus and Acer are different brands. Asus has made a name for themselves for years building beefy hardware and in the recent years started building laptops/desktops, etc. Acer is know for their mini laptops that sell for like $300.

Sorry, I'm posting way too much. Just interesting topic :). Great discussion all! For the record I do love Apple product and the company, just don't believe in it being the only path.

tpro68
01-18-2012, 12:13 PM
Getting stuck on the price of a mac is not unlike getting stuck on the price of a Spyderco. There are some things that would make a pc necessary, when people talk about buying two or three pcs for the price of a mac I remind folks of how long most mac owners hold onto and use their macs. I passed my six year old mac on to my son fully functional. I have never owned a pc that worked for that long. Add good local customer support at the apple store and for me it is not a hard decision at all.

Anonymous
01-18-2012, 01:37 PM
Mac's don't have "as many" problems. Who is coming up with these numbers?

Mine comes from first hand experience. I've used pc's for 15 years or so. That isn't just use but making repairs, building computers, troubleshooting/fixing problems. I used a Mac book for probably ~3 years and it froze on me twice...only problems I ever had. Maybe my Mac experience was better than others? That's a good possibility, you seem to have more knowledge on Macs seeing how you worked around them so often so I'll take your word for it.

Really, I would personally go for the PC. I can't personally justify spending $2400 on a Mac book. I would just recommend getting the PC how you would like it and then BACK IT UP. That way, if you ever run into a catastrophic problem you won't have to reinstall or hunt the problem down.

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 02:06 PM
you seem to have more knowledge on Macs seeing how you worked around them so often so I'll take your word for it.


Please don't take my word for it. :) I am not an all knowing PC Mac guy. Yes I have used and worked in both industries for over 10 years. I just hate all the hype that goes along with these types of discussions. Like any product, there are good and bad ones. But like you said. Everyone's experience is going to be different. It really does boil down to personal preference. One platform is NEVER going to be the ultimate winner, IMO. It totally depends on what you like. One bad experience can certainly ruin someone's opinion of one platform over the other. I have no dog in this fight. I like both PC and Mac. My house has a few of each.
So to the OP, I think ignoring the hype and making an unbiased decision will lead to a happy purchase vs a buyer's remorse situation.

jwingfie
01-18-2012, 02:08 PM
I own at least one computer running OSX, Windows, and Linux. My everyday computer is a Macbook pro. I can bring it anywhere with me and when I am home I have it docked and hooked up to a 24" IPS Display. My main desktop computer is a Shuttle running Windows 7. If I had to guess, I turn in on maybe once a month. I just prefer OSX.

Macs can be/are pricy, but if you shop around you can get really good deals. If you are looking for a desktop, a Mac Mini can be had for $599. You are then able to use your own peripherals. All in ones like the iMac are great, but if the monitor breaks, you have to replace an entire computer.

If you are looking for a Laptop, check out apples refurb store. They have white MacBooks starting at $750, Macbook airs starting at $850, and Macbook Pros starting at $929. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking you need to spend $1200+. Apple refurbs are great quality for the money.

Evil D
01-18-2012, 02:15 PM
I'm a Windows/PC guy. That's all i've ever known. I try not to bash Apple, since i don't have a lot of experience with them. I taught myself how to put a computer together, i've never bought a complete PC before, everything is from scratch. If a knuckle dragger like me can fiddle his way around a PC, anyone can.

Blerv
01-18-2012, 02:58 PM
Please don't take my word for it. :) I am not an all knowing PC Mac guy. Yes I have used and worked in both industries for over 10 years. I just hate all the hype that goes along with these types of discussions.

Exactly and that hype has been promoted by Apple's marketing dept.

These days if you admit to owning a PC (and not loathing the fact) its easy to catch grief. In fact, I used to get a few chuckles at my second job...it's friggin high school all over.

"Wow, 2gigs of ram. The Apple icon glows too? Ok, you win. I'm a stupid PC."

I really like Apple. The sanctimonious club house mentality (for some) gets old.

Evil D
01-18-2012, 03:01 PM
If a pic is worth 1000 words...

http://mvenini.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/windows-iphone.jpg

dcmartin2001
01-18-2012, 03:15 PM
Wow, nice to see love for the Apple here. I was strictly a PC guy around 4 yrs ago, got my first iPhone and never looked back. If I did a 3 yr side by side comparison of my HP laptop vs my MacBook pro.... Let's just say my Apple producs have all functioned slicker than a sardine's whoozit... I swear if I had to look at another blue screen of death or witness another "kernel memory dump" I was going to loose it.

The damn MacBook is a tank! Let me put this out there... I sometimes go for months without rebooting my Mac! The graphics card drives my 52" Samsung flawlessly.... I can use my big screen like a monitor with no discernable degradation. No special graphics card no special memory... Right out of the box, ready to go!

I love my Mac, and what I havn't seen mentioned here is that you can run both PC & Mac operating systems simultaneously Via the program parallels. You definitely get what you pay for. Best of luck whichever route you decide to go

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 03:21 PM
I swear if I had to look at another blue screen of death or witness another "kernel memory dump" I was going to loose it.


What on earth are you doing with your computer to get so many blue screens and kernel memory dumps? :eek: I've run my tower for over 7 years and I have yet to see a single blue screen or memory dump? I have even upgraded the OS twice, and upgraded the Ram. My ram doesn't even match. I guess I am just really really lucky. :p

D1omedes
01-18-2012, 03:24 PM
Well, I appreciate all of the input. This thread has become much more informative than I thought it would be.

I have been looking at the Mac Mini and am sorely tempted. Problem is that I don't have a monitor and keyboard ready. If I add that cost, the price is around a iMac. How reliable are the Mini's? They seem like a laptop. How is Apple's service after the three year service ends? Do they just expect to upgrade to a new model? How are the prices for repair work?

Evil D
01-18-2012, 03:26 PM
The last time i got a blue screen was around '98 on a computer that had 256mb of ram and a 366ghz processor. I literally have not had a single crash issue since that was Windows related. I've had about a dozen hard drive failures though. I just don't get all the drama over blue screen of death.

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 03:37 PM
I have been looking at the Mac Mini and am sorely tempted. Problem is that I don't have a monitor and keyboard ready. If I add that cost, the price is around a iMac.

If it was between the 2 and you don't already have a monitor. I would defiantly go with the Imac. I have wanted to buy one for a while because I love the screen on those things. I'm rocking the Samsung TV/Monitor and let's just say I wish I had a better display. Especially for the photo/video editing I do. The Imac does have a very nice looking display. As for price of service. Wish I could tell ya. I do all my own service in house. It's probably expensive no matter which way you go, once the warranty expires. Labor rates are the killer. It might be faster to go online and check out a youtube vid on do it yourself before you take it in for repairs.

D1omedes
01-18-2012, 06:04 PM
Evil mentioned building his own computer. How many of you guys have done this? I'm kind of intimidated by doing this but I like to learn new things and believe myself to be more intelligent than most.

The way I see it, if I have PC problems then I will take it to a custom shop for repair anyway (Dell stinks and I've worked at Best Buy and know the Geek Squad is made up of morons). Is it feasible that a guy who has no specialized training with computers build a reliable computer of his own?

I found this website (http://www.diyallday.com/how-to-build-a-computer/) and it's got me in an "empowering" kind of mood. :p

Blerv
01-18-2012, 06:12 PM
You can easily with some understanding. I possess none of this :p.

Fact is by finding the right shop, usually gamers with tons of tattoos, you are going to get a great deal. Shop around for quotes and ask for the best place to have one built.

My wife's friend is a programmer who has built his own comps for 10 years. We gave him our build sheet and he said it would have cost him more to do it for free. My guess the discount they get on components is just silly.

Was a pretty cool process, we picked the huge case, all the USB slots we wanted and all the goodies. They gave suggestions and not a single blue shirt was involved ;).

Note: ours was done about a year ago with the intent to beat it with art software. With two 23" led monitors I recall the bill was $1600. If you want something reasonable and find the right place I bet the stats will shock you.

Macaulay
01-18-2012, 06:29 PM
Building a computer is easy with some instructions and common sense.

As to the price of a Mac vs a PC, Macs are simply more enjoyable. Maybe I'm shallow and immature or something, but doing any sort of work is just more enjoyable. I just feel like getting things done when I use a Mac. It feels cleaner, less crap in your way.

Having said that, I allocate different amounts of money to parts of my life based on how much time I spend on them. I'm about to have a loaded semester so I'm getting a Mac because doing hours of coursework will piss me off less. Also if I were to get a PC it would be in the $800 range anyway.

EDIT: Laptops

Slash
01-18-2012, 06:31 PM
What on earth are you doing with your computer to get so many blue screens and kernel memory dump?must being running 10 different porn sites at the same time.

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 06:49 PM
Evil mentioned building his own computer. How many of you guys have done this?:p

It really isn't as overwhelming as you might think. I have built them before. I got all the parts for the build online at places like zipzoomfly.com and newegg.com. My wife wanted to learn way back when, so I walked her through building my parents computer. If she can do it, you can. My only discaimer is you might find that the sum of all the parts is probably just as expensive as buying a prefab or name brand box. It might even be more expensive. It used to be much cheaper to build your own, but now days all the name brand stuff comming out of asia is so stinking cheap. There is almost no margin in hardware today. So building your own isn't the most cost effective from a price point today. Once you get your first built, then upgrading becomes much cheaper than buying a new PC. It's the first one that costs the most. The next build will be better, because you can reuse parts from your first build. I can do a part list for you if you are really interested, just so you can see all the different pieces of the puzzle you need. As for tools, all you need is some screw drivers.

Zencowboy
01-18-2012, 06:57 PM
I've done IT work/computer repair work and know both PC and Mac world to a fair degree. I TRULY find Apple's operating system to be soooooooo much more intuitive and easy to find/tweak stuff. More seamless software/applications installs. Rarely any hiccups and use my MacBook Pro 10+ hours a day. I respect both companies but to me, you get what you pay for in the short And long haul!
Just my $.05 (inflation)

Anonymous
01-18-2012, 06:59 PM
I'm sure you could learn how to build one as it's not that difficult. I learned how to build computers at a very young age so I'm sure you could manage. As for the price, figure out which components you want and search the web/stores for the cheapest prices. I haven't built one for a while so I'm pretty clueless on the prices nowadays.

Don Ellis
01-18-2012, 07:24 PM
I read the first page but couldn't go farther in this old debate -- just checking in to say I have the best of both worlds (for me): I run Windows 7 on a 17-inch MacBook Pro. In the office, I use a stand for the computer and an external keyboard and mouse.

I considered using Mac OS, but there isn't a good extended clipboard program -- as there is with Clipmate (http://thornsoft.com/) for PCs (I've tried them all for my wife who uses an iMac and Mac OS) -- and that's a program that I use a hundred times a day, perhaps more.

Which reminds, me it's all up to your personal usage. As was said earlier, for simple tasks like word processing and browsing, nearly anything will do, including an iPad. :)

casey1
01-18-2012, 07:35 PM
my moms 2008 macbook just failed. did apple replace it? NO. they made her pay 400 to fix it. are macs any more reliable than nice pc computers? Nope. get a 700 dollar Sony E Laptop or a nice 700 Dell lappie and get great CS and great price. why pay 1200 for a facebook machine? It's like getting a custom knife and using it as a box cutter. Not that apple has the quality of custom knives imo... but either way i recommend macs to certain people, although most of them are girls who can spend the money.

you won't see problems with a pc :) and think: that extra 400 bucks goes toward a few spydercos! A para 2, stretch zdp, sage 1, and a delica zdp could be yours!

Jay_Ev
01-18-2012, 07:39 PM
This.

jtoler_9
01-18-2012, 07:41 PM
That's one expensive operating system.

Blerv
01-18-2012, 07:46 PM
Boom! Nice Jay. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words; that one is worth about $5k ;)

Don Ellis
01-18-2012, 08:27 PM
you won't see problems with a pc :)
Good to know. :rolleyes:

Pinetreebbs
01-18-2012, 08:31 PM
All things considered, browsing the web and working a spreadsheet requires:


Browsing software and they all work pretty much the same.

Microsoft Excel, there is no other serious spreadsheet and Excel comes in both Windows and OS X versions.


Both run fine on either operating system.

Over the last 25+ years I have worked both with and on computers with Apple and Microsoft operating systems. You can make either one reliable and bullet proof. Just as you can them both fail. Try a Google search for things like OS X beachballs or iTunes lockups etc. I have run windows boxes month after month without a reboot, the same for OS X.

http://www.om3gapc.com/beachball.png

Today they both run on Intel chips, Windows also runs fin on AMD and OS X can be coaxed into running on AMD too.

That OS X is immune or safe from trojan and virus problems is a myth. The bottom feeders that write them are interested in criminal acts. There are vastly more Windows PC out there to attack. Keep the OS/browser/AV application updated and stay away from sketchy sites or 'free' software and you will be fine.

Some specialized software applications may run better on one platform or the other. If you must* use one of them, by all means go with the flow.

*i.e., it makes you money

The computer I am using to type this post is a hackintosch, OS X running on PC hardware. OS X is OK, but very inflexible and intolerant, by design, not function, of any non $$Apple$$ parts. Too often the 'solution' is something like, "Well I hope Apple issues a fix for this." or your hardware is no longer supported, you will need to purchase a newer Mac.

To make a honest comparison, spend as much for a PC as you do for a Mac.

If you are just going to surf the web and write a few letters look into Linux, it's free.

IMO, some Apple fan boys take their dedication to a religious/cult/gang level. Don't bother talking to those folks, their mind is made up and nothing you say will change their mind.

defenestrate
01-18-2012, 09:19 PM
For web surfing/email/office type apps, either machine would suffice. Macs no longer run on non-PC hardware, so what you are paying for is style, the Apple name and the operating system. MacOS X will run on many machines built for running Windows and the hardware quality is often comparable at this point. A Mac will be simpler for many folks partially because of its out-of-the-box configuration, partially because it is hard to clutter up as easily (the Windows model and much greater availability of software are both factors) and the underlying framework is based on a UNIX-based OS with a consolidated developer model (FreeBSD). Take away the advantages (and disadvantages) of each OS and you pay a premium for Apple design and the feeling of community that many Apple folks have. Is it worth it? I can't answer that for you. I use PCs but I usually run FreeBSD or Linux and I would just as happily run FreeBSD on a Mac if I got a good deal.

jwingfie
01-19-2012, 09:09 AM
In all actuality, price difference is going to be negligible from a PC tower to Mac mini. You can get a 21" LCD for around $100, non-apple wireless keyboard and mouse for another $50-100. Add a PC tower or mac mini for $600 and you are only in $800 for a desktop set-up.

You need to decide what you want and don't let anyone else decide for you. That's the great thing about this world we live in. We have the option to choose. I like american cars, other like imports, we like Spyderco, others like Benchmade. Apple vs. PC. Neither is correct, its all personal opinion.

JNewell
01-19-2012, 09:50 AM
FWIW...

I have been using PCs since the very first IBM PC, and have used Macs since the SE - we are talking +/- 30 years. I am very comfortable tearing apart electronic devices; I have built radio transceivers as a hobby.

I have owned and used Android and iOS phones and tablets and last year came to the conclusion that as far as I was concerned Apple mobile devices, though not perfect, we so much better than the comparable Android devices that I got rid of the Android tablets and phones and went with Apple/iOS. (The gap between Android and iOS was much greater in tablets than in phones; I think Android phones vs. iOS phones is a much closer call than it is with tablets.)

So, with that as background I recently needed to replace and upgrade my notebook. I really, really, really tried hard to persuade myself that I should go with a MacBook Pro 15" and just couldn't get there. I went with a kludgier, slightly bigger Dell notebook that is much less satisfying to the hand and eye than the MacBook because (1) it equals or in some cases greatly exceeds the MacBook Pro and (2) it does so for about a third of the cost. It is perfect or perfectly better? Nope. But I have one kid still in college and just couldn't bring myself to pay the premium for the MacBook Pro.

Obviously, for long term flexibility, repair, upgrade, etc., and therefor for long term cost of ownership, a desktop is going to be a vastly better choice than a notebook.

YMMV, just as it may with knives. :)

Bradley
01-20-2012, 09:45 AM
I've used pc's all my life, but when I leave for college i'll be bringing a MBP. Reliability, dual boot, battery life, security, seamlessness with my phone, easy/cheap to update, lifespan. All my reasons for going with a Mac. To each his own.

Bradley
01-20-2012, 10:08 AM
http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x386/bradleyryanb/Snapbucket/60A76EDD.jpg

This happens almost everyday </3 windows

phillipsted
01-20-2012, 11:19 AM
I gave up on expensive laptops a couple of years ago. I buy cheap-a$$ tablet-style netbooks and outfit them with big SSDs and a bluetooth KB/Mouse. About as disposable as you can get. I think I paid $350 for my last tablet (an Acer).

I then use one of the Cloud backup services (currently Carbonite is my favorite) to keep copies of everything on the tablet in near-real-time. If I lose or break a tablet, I usually never have more than a couple of hours of work that might not be backed up - and if it is really important, I just drop it on a USB stick when I'm finished as insurance.

Cheap, disposable, replaceable: "utility computing".

TedP

D1omedes
01-20-2012, 03:23 PM
Well, the more I look into it the more I think I am going to build my own PC. I believe I can do it with all the help that is available. Mainly it will be a great learning experience and may save me some money. I also like to know that I made something and can tweak it the way I want to. I know I will never be a car mechanic but this seems possible. :)

One user has j_totler has been kind enough to help. Do any of you guys have advice I should hear?

Whieee
01-20-2012, 03:38 PM
The fun thing is that I can create a picture on which the PC is about as expensive as the Mac Pro. It's just a matter of what hardware you pick.

Does the PC mentioned above have a 'normal' Core i7 CPU, or does it have the Xeon processor which the Mac Pro has? Is it possible to add a second CPU? Is the memory standard unbuffered DDR3, or is it registered ECC memory? Is the PC _silent_ ? Does it have dual gigabit ethernet? Does it have triple Firewire800?

That all adds to the cost. I won't deny that the Mac Pro has a pricetag that's not very consumer-friendly, but frankly it's not a consumer machine. You should compare it to the iMac, which is a great machine, unless you want to roll-your-own, or add in a different graphics card later. In that case, the iMac (or actually any Apple product) just isn't for you. No big deal.

Aside from all the price and specs debate, it simply comes down to: do you want Mac OSX, the integrated Apple experience, no hassle, no 'tweak-it-yourself'? Get a Mac. If not, get a PC. It'll work just fine.

PS: I have multiple Macs, and a Thinkpad T410 with Win7. I love them all, the Thinkpad has really nice hardware. But for me, OSX gets the job done better.

mil
01-20-2012, 04:38 PM
Macs are too low value for what they provide. If you already have a gaming PC, you should consider getting a Chromebook.

- Nearly instant booting
- Extremely secure OS, very little chance of ever getting any kind of malware
- Cheap

That said, there are quite a few limitations to Chrome OS. Do your research if you're interested, but I find the idea of a thin client based around cloud-computing appealing for the tasks the OP outlined.


The fun thing is that I can create a picture on which the PC is about as expensive as the Mac Pro. It's just a matter of what hardware you pick.

Does the PC mentioned above have a 'normal' Core i7 CPU, or does it have the Xeon processor which the Mac Pro has? Is it possible to add a second CPU? Is the memory standard unbuffered DDR3, or is it registered ECC memory? Is the PC _silent_ ? Does it have dual gigabit ethernet? Does it have triple Firewire800?

That all adds to the cost. I won't deny that the Mac Pro has a pricetag that's not very consumer-friendly, but frankly it's not a consumer machine. You should compare it to the iMac, which is a great machine, unless you want to roll-your-own, or add in a different graphics card later. In that case, the iMac (or actually any Apple product) just isn't for you. No big deal.

Aside from all the price and specs debate, it simply comes down to: do you want Mac OSX, the integrated Apple experience, no hassle, no 'tweak-it-yourself'? Get a Mac. If not, get a PC. It'll work just fine.

PS: I have multiple Macs, and a Thinkpad T410 with Win7. I love them all, the Thinkpad has really nice hardware. But for me, OSX gets the job done better.

http://s8.postimage.org/4orhc0tpf/1313528084616.png

Sorry couldn't resist :D

Blerv
01-20-2012, 07:46 PM
ROFL! You had me at Pop Tarts. :D

Sequimite
01-20-2012, 09:18 PM
I'll never have a desktop again. My last three PC's have been laptops. I bought the one I'm using "write" now for the keyboard. I like some tightly sprung travel on my keys and tried out all the laptops I could get my hands on. Fortunately for me I found a laptop with a great keyboard which also lights up so I can type in the dark. I often get up before dawn and, as I have a nice armchair in our bedroom, I can surf and tap away with out disturbing my wife. I got an Alienware M11x R1 for $650. The Thinkpad also has an excellent keyboard and a very good Trackpad which my wife uses exclusively. Like the M11x it was an old version and was just $350.

I like Macbooks but they have one way of doing things, take it or leave it, and I don't care for their keyboards.

If you do build your own, spend some time and money on the keyboard and mouse.

David Lowry
01-20-2012, 09:50 PM
I'm a MCSE, Linux+, MCP+I certified network administrator for an NFL team. I've been doing computer/network/server/cisco stuff for 13 years now.

I think MacOS and Windows both have their places. I however, am typing this on a MacBook Pro booted into OS X Lion from Google Chrome. I also have Windows 7 64-bit loaded on this MBP via BootCamp. So, when I need to use Windows 7 for something I can, for everything else I use MacOS.

I have a Windows Desktop in the other room and I rarely use it. I use my MBP 90% of the time. My next "desktop" for home will be a iMac 24" if they still have them when it's time to look.

Side note: At work we rarely have problems with the Macs. We have Windows issues all the time (with users getting malware/viruses etc). Never happens on the Macs at work. Only time we have a problem is hardware. When that has happened we have replaced the bad part and been back up with no problems. Cake.

Jay_Ev
01-20-2012, 11:17 PM
This.

Macaulay
01-21-2012, 01:28 AM
Comparing PC to a Mustang Mach 1? Please.
No PCs have been that classy since the VooDoo Envy and the HP Blackbird.

Try the 2012 Civic, maybe. Decent "car for the money"... But literally everything inside is hard plastic. Or a Prius, since it gets 50 mpg driven aggressively but is a crappy drive, and it creaks and stuff.


I heard mention of Lenovo in this thread.
Are their computers high value? Not really. If you consider what they ask in terms of MSRP, it's worse than Apple. Is their build quality high value? Depends.

Note that Lenovo in particular have terrible customer service (they outsource it to people who can only read off lists), and some (x1200e) have had loads of issues the customer had to deal with.
Dell customer service is bad too.
Sony's is garbage, I had the Vaio Z generation before this. They couldn't fix my issues and it took them literally 5 months to get me my money back. Yes, they held my $1800 for 5 freaking months.
Asus (Had a G73jh) has the worst customer service I've ever dealt with. They literally sent me to the ghetto to a gated service center they outsourced and probably never visited for fear of their lives, and didn't even fix my issue (which rendered the computer unusable). Note that my computer from them was $1400, more than a MacBook. Never again.

PC Computer boutiques? Oh my... I know you're not considering this personally but I'm posting this as a warning here. I've competed at the highest levels of "mousesports", so I know a lot of suckers that have purchased "customs", which are just clevo/sagers or painted overpriced ****boxes that might as well be clevo/sagers (Falcon Northwest).
Customer service? Forget it. Quality? They got Unskilled labor in the back putting your computer together while they count the money they reamed you for. For gaming, desktops or bust.

Apple's CS is generally excellent in my experience and the experience of everyone I know. They have a lot of flexibility in what they can do for you. If one store won't replace something, try another and ask more nicely. Apple's replaced an out of warranty phone, and an ex's out of warranty MacBook screen. She's super cute though, YMMV.

Then again, if you build your own computer you are your own customer service.

razorsharp
01-21-2012, 01:33 AM
Dont like macs, cant get used to the single button mouses

Macaulay
01-21-2012, 01:41 AM
Dont like macs, cant get used to the single button mouses

Do you still ride horses to school or has the gas engine propogated to NZ yet?

Whieee
01-21-2012, 04:53 AM
Macs are too low value for what they provide. If you already have a gaming PC, you should consider getting a Chromebook.

- Nearly instant booting
- Extremely secure OS, very little chance of ever getting any kind of malware
- Cheap

That said, there are quite a few limitations to Chrome OS. Do your research if you're interested, but I find the idea of a thin client based around cloud-computing appealing for the tasks the OP outlined.



http://s8.postimage.org/4orhc0tpf/1313528084616.png

Sorry couldn't resist :D

You know that a top-of-the-line Xeon Westmere by itself costs over $1000. So getting a Mac Pro with TWO of those will cost you well over $2000. In fact, it will cost you a lot. That said, Apple overcharges on SSD/hard-drives and memory. But that's noting new. HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc all overcharge on those components.

Try to compare a Dell Precision workstation to a Mac Pro. That's actually a proper comparison, and you'll find out that the Mac Pro isn't that much more expensive. But trying to bash on Apple by comparing a Mac Pro to a consumer desktop is like saying Spyderco overcharges because the Ti-Mil is more expensive than a $30 Buck.

You won't buy a Mac Pro is you're looking for a gaming machine. Games usually don't use more than 2 threads, so having TWO 8-core Xeons (with hyperthreading, so total of 32 threads) won't make performance any better. Neither will having registered ECC memory, nor will having a Quadro workstation GPU.

What will help is a kickass dual-core i7 (way cheaper, but for gaming actually better), unbuffered DDR3 (same) and consumer GPU (less geometry precision needed, so drivers are optimized for fill-rate -> that's what you want for gaming).

Getting a Mac Pro (or a Dell Precision) for gaming is like getting an axe for peeling oranges. It'll work, but a $2 kitchen-knife will do the job better.

Just comparing by price and MHz is pure ignorance.

rosconey
01-21-2012, 07:15 AM
i got a cheap hp at wallyworld a few months back-

3.1ghz quadcore -1gb hard drive and 6mb ram=425$-no monitor

Jay_Ev
01-21-2012, 08:30 AM
Lol

jtoler_9
01-21-2012, 09:12 AM
Apple's CS is generally excellent in my experience and the experience of everyone I know.

I would hope that it's good, something needs to justify that price. I think it's important to note that the customer support you are talking about comes at a price. You have to purchase Applecare on top of the price of your Mac. Other companies have similar support. I have an HP laptop that I purchased their accidental damage extended service plan. My experience couldn't be more different than what you described. I can literally back over my laptop with the car and send it back in pieces for a replacement. I have found that with any company once you are in the "pay for support" group, your experience changes a bit. YMMV. I understand how after a few bad experiences it's hard not to judge an entire platform. But I really do think comparing Apple and PC is futile. They are both fine, different strokes. I use PC right now because I have more software I already invested in for PC.

Whieee
01-21-2012, 09:47 AM
If I compare my -similarly priced- Thinkpad and MacBook Pro, here's what comes out:

Specifications and build-quality:
The Thinkpad is well-equipped. It has a slightly slower CPU than my MacBook Pro, but a beefier GPU, more USB ports, it has eSATA, it has both VGA and Displayport, it has a matte display (big win) but color accuracy and brightness are actually quite ****ty You can swap in a bigger battery if you want. It's robust but the case has quite some flex above the optical drive, can take a beating, and even the accidental water spill. The Thinkpad has a little LED-light above the screen to illuminate the keyboard in the dark. It's a little low-tech, but it works. The Thinkpad keyboard is legendary, and for a reason. It's great. The touchpad is kinda 'meh', and the trackpoint is very good - if you like trackpoints.

The MacBook Pro has a slightly faster CPU, but has no dedicated GPU. Too bad, but since I bought neither the Thinkpad nor the MacBook Pro for gaming or serious 3D work, I don't really mind. The MacBook Pro has less USB ports, no eSATA, but faster Firewire and it has Thunderbolt. It has a glossy display (epic fail) but the color accuracy is fairly good. Brightness and contrast are awesome, and make up for some of the reflections. The battery is non-removable, but considering it lasts for over 7 hours, I don't really mind. The MacBook Pro is robust with NO flex AT ALL, but an accidental fall will damage the MacBook Pro more than it will the Thinkpad. It's also allergic to water. The MacBook has a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor. To me, it sets the standard. It's not the very best keyboard on the market, but from all chiclet-keyboards I've tested (a lot) I like this one the most. The multitouch trackpad is fantastic. In fact, it seems like Apple is the only manufacturer who seems to get buttonless multitouch trackpads right. HP and Lenovo do a mediocre job, most others just suck.

Warranty:
The Thinkpad came with 3 year pickup-and-return next business-day warranty, which is really nice. I have dealt with customer service once (recovery media was broken) and they were friendly and resolved my problem quickly.

Apple offers 1 year of carry-in warranty standard, which is sub-par in my book, considering the price you pay. However, I have had multiple cases in which Apple took care of issues way beyond that year. I refuse to pay 400$ for AppleCare, but Apple's customer service -to me at least- is great.

Operating System and software:
The Thinkpad came equipped with Windows 7 Pro 64bit and the Thinkvantage utils. Most of those utils are -to me- totally unnecessary, so I don't use them. That said, for a Windows machine, it's not that bad. Most come with tons of crap-ware.

The MacBook Pro came -obviously- with Mac OSX, and iLife. No trialware, and no crap-ware. iLife is actually very nice.

Battery life:
Lenovo has made some huge steps in the newer version of my Thinkpad, and with the 9-cell battery, it lasts for about 8 hours, but my version (T410) is actually pretty crappy when it comes to battery life. I get about 3.5 hours out of the 6-cell battery, but only if I dim the screen and use some of Lenovo's "battery stretch" thingies. My MacBook Pro gives me about 7-8 hours easily without dimming the screen or disabling bluetooth or wifi. So this category is a big win for Apple.


So, which one do I like more?
Well, it comes down to the operating system. Both machines have their strong points, and I actually use both. However, I use the MacBook Pro way more.

I really don't like Windows for anything except gaming, so I dual boot my Thinkpad with Windows and Linux (currently Arch). I like Linux a lot, but for desktop use, the ease of use that Mac OSX gives me is way better. So for me, the Mac is better. If you don't give a rat's ass about OSX, your choice probably will be different. If you really like Windows, don't buy a Mac. Windows drivers for the Macs are mediocre at best, and OSX won't suit you unless you're fine with letting go of all your Windows-habits ;)

computernut
01-21-2012, 09:58 AM
Hey guys. I know there are some pretty tech-savvy members on the board and I thought this would be a good place to ask something. I am going to be in the market for a new computer within a few months and was wondering if it was worth it to consider an Apple computer. Do any of you have any advice?

To clarify, this will be my home computer. Portability is a plus but reliability is more important. I plan on web-surfing and typing up documents. I have experience with MS Office but not iWorks. Gaming/movies will not be a big deal since I have a videogame system.

I know that if a PC laptop has an issue, there's really no point in repairing it. The cost will be close to the price of a new laptop. Does this apply to Apple laptops as well? I managed to get 5 years out of my Dell laptop before something fried on the videocard and now I'm unable to use it.


I'm a Unix admin (Linux, HPUX, Solaris) and have a FreeBSD server, a PC gaming machine, and a Mac Mini at home. I'd say if you know how to fix your own computer and can build one, get a PC (Win7 is pretty good), if you want a laptop or need to take your computer to someone else to fix, get a Mac. PC vs Mac is like asking people what their favourite car or knife manufacturer is, they usually tell you to buy what their favourite is rather than what is right for you. Macs suck or PCs suck is just closed minded thinking. With Apple products you need to factor in the Apple Care warranty (don't buy some Best Buy extended warranty) as it'll keep your laptop from turning into a boat anchor before its time. There are certain applications that are better suited to one or the other but a MacBook is a nice laptop for most uses. I tend to prefer smaller screens for portability and hook up to a larger monitor when at a desk.

Whieee
01-21-2012, 10:32 AM
Yay, a fellow Unix admin :) (Linux, Mac, BSD over here)

Blerv
01-21-2012, 10:57 AM
Comparing PC to a Mustang Mach 1? Please.
No PCs have been that classy since the VooDoo Envy and the HP Blackbird.

I'm going to refrain going car geek on you for that statement. ;) A 1964.5-1965 Mustang with some add-ons and a 1969 Mach 1 (first year) have very little in common past the 2 doors and 4 wheels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Mustang_Mach_1

Back to the topic :).

I think most people here have been civil and open minded. Perhaps sarcastic on both sides but that's all fine if people aren't getting hurt feelings.

Apple makes a good product. They have a great OS which really is their saving grace. Even once people start writing more viruses for it, it will still be a very efficient platform. I don't buy the Genius team as being the end-all of customer service even though they get payed more and Apple has higher employee standards/training than some other places (like the Geek Squad). I have Genius buddies and they used to be Barista's at Starbucks, so. :rolleyes:

PC products are subject to the critique of various makers from Asus and Lenovo to Acer. Basically its the "other guy" whenever someone has a bad experience from a $300 crap box to something snazzy. That isn't to say they can't be made efficient or reliable (software wise) nor that the hardware can't be of the highest quality as 3rd party warranty companies have been proving for years now. Yes, Apple products break too :eek:.

I would probably have a Mac if a few things changed.

1.) If my family's requirement of stats was lessened I could buy a similar Mac for the same money.

2.) If I had all the money in the world and didn't care I would probably have a house full of Mac's. Paying $5,000 for a home computer that will keep up with our $1,300 one wouldn't matter. However, I would rather deal with my tattooed game junkies any day than a squad of shirts who make me stand in a queue with a broken product in my arms.

3.) My view of a computer (especially laptop) would have to change from a tax depreciated wear product to something I have more affection for. Namely I would have to deal with a slower unit that is more susceptible to hardware failures. As a previous poster mentioned, for me laptops are a portable work station which should be backed-up frequently. Period.

Personally I haven't had a hardware problem in years (which all computers have occasionally) or a true software problem either unless you count Adobe's lack of coding polish. The learning curve of Windows is steeper and more glitchy but not black magic. Also, since I don't need an electronic product to put forth a superiority complex a PC is just fine. :)

PS: In the event it wasn't made clear enough, laptops suck but are tolerable as a necessary evil. Expensive laptops suck more. Gaming laptops suck so bad that makers should be imprisoned for extorting money from n00bs with more credit line than sense.

jtoler_9
01-21-2012, 11:27 AM
Gaming laptops suck so bad that makers should be imprisoned for extorting money from n00bs with more credit line than sense.

Great post and great discussion in this thread. I'm glad to see that there are some fellow geeks in here.

+1 Blerv, I stay away from "gaming laptops".

Bradley
01-21-2012, 11:41 AM
I have a Lenovo idea pad (y560) what a hunk of garbage! Build quality is bad. I get the blue screen almost everyday because the amd radeon thing fails and shuts the computer down. You can't game on it regardless of the supposedly good specs. Battery life is a joke. Would never buy it again. And it was stupidly expensive for how good it is.

Whieee
01-21-2012, 11:47 AM
PS: In the event it wasn't made clear enough, laptops suck but are tolerable as a necessary evil. Expensive laptops suck more. Gaming laptops suck so bad that makers should be imprisoned for extorting money from n00bs with more credit line than sense.

Were all the laptops you've worked with that ****ty? ;) I'm typing this from my 13 inch MacBook Air, and I can seriously say I could use this laptop all day, every day, without suffering from RSI or getting urges to jump down bridges ;)

However, most (especially cheaper) manufacturers seem to skimp on the 3 things that matter the most, just to save a buck or two:
1. screen
2. keyboard
3. touchpad

Most laptops ship with ****ty screens. They're mostly WAY too glossy, WAY too dim, the colors suck, and the person who allowed 15.6 inch notebooks to ship with just 1366x768 pixels should be thrown in prison for life. If I'm buying a BIG laptop, I want to display MORE CONTENT, not the same content, but just bigger. Good screens should be anti-glare (matte) or at least not overly glossy (my MacBook Pro can be a real mirror at times, but my MacBook Air hardly reflects, even though its display is glossy), be sufficiently bright, have decent viewing angles, decent color accuracy ( >60% of Adobe RGB would be nice), and decent resolution. My MacBook Pro has 1280x800 on 13 inch, which to me is on the low side. My MacBook Air has 1440x900 on the same 13 inch, which is actually really nice.

Most cheaper laptops have ****ty keyboards. They flex as hell, have crappy layouts just to cramp in a few more keys, the keys are mushy, and non-backlit. Most of the time, the keyboard is also placed off-center, so you're never right in front of your screen. Both my Macs and every decent Thinkpad or Latitude I've worked with had a decent keyboard, often backlit (or a thinklight), centered, with good tactile feedback and a simple layout that actually makes sense.

Touchpads are mostly ****ty. They are too small, not very responsive, have weird 'scrolling zones' or multitouch gestures that just don't work. The buttons are mushy, and all in all they're just a pain to work with. Then there are a few manufacturers, Apple being one of them, who manage to ship notebooks that actually have decent touchpads. In fact, I hated trackpads back when I used PC laptops. After I bought my first Mac, the touchpad began to grow on me. Now, eight years later, I have Apple's Magic Trackpad on my desk, cause I like it better than a mouse (please note that Mac OSX Lion has quite a few multitouch gestures that really make things easier, but you can't do those on your Logitech mouse ).

Contrary to what most cheaper manufacturers make us believe, most of us don't need the fastest Intel quadcore CPU. My MacBook Air has an ultra-low voltage dualcore Core i7 running at a mere 1.7GHz. Certainly not Intel's fastest CPU. But it can handle everything I throw at it, from video transcoding to RAW image processing to compiling to medium-heavy virtualization. Why would I want a faster CPU, if that would mean getting a crappy display, sucky keyboard or a frustratingly small touchpad?

That being said, the best performance upgrade I've _ever_ done to my notebook is swapping out the harddisk for an SSD. Yes, they are expensive, but they're so damn fast I can't live without one now :p I still use 'spinning disks' for my 'slow storage', like movies/music/photos, but running your operating system, applications, and virtual machines off an SSD makes all the difference. It makes so much of a difference, that my boss (with his MacBook Pro with quadcore i7) actually preferred using MY laptop (MacBook Pro which only had an old Core 2 Duo, but it had an SSD).

Whieee
01-21-2012, 11:49 AM
I have a Lenovo idea pad (y560) what a hunk of garbage! Build quality is bad. I get the blue screen almost everyday because the amd radeon thing fails and shuts the computer down. You can't game on it regardless of the supposedly good specs. Battery life is a joke. Would never buy it again. And it was stupidly expensive for how good it is.

If you're getting BSODs you're either suffering from broken hardware, or your AMD videodriver is broken. Have you tried installing the latest Catalyst drivers? Those might fix most of the issues.

Except for batterylife. You shouldn't be expecting badass battery life from a notebook that you bought because it had the fastest CPU and graphics on the market. Faster chips generally need more power, which equals '****ty battery life' ;)

Blerv
01-21-2012, 11:51 AM
Great post and great discussion in this thread. I'm glad to see that there are some fellow geeks in here.

+1 Blerv, I stay away from "gaming laptops".

You too! (everyone as well, great thread)

We have used "gaming laptops" to run art programs. My wife used the Asus units through 5 years of college for 3D rending. The problem is they are heavy as hell and put out more heat than a WWII space heater. :p

Still, with as much as 36 hour renders in 3DS Max and Maya or Zbrush sculpting they work decent. They still don't keep up with quality desktops which can be tweaked/expanded.

Nothing is more depressing than a $1600 laptop that has been decommissioned as a paper weight. Well, perhaps losing your laptop HD and almost failing Senior year is (which happened to her friend).



Were all the laptops you've worked with that ****ty? ;)

No, they are just expensive for what you get and are like politicians/diapers. They should be changed frequently. :)

Our workplace in the last 4 years has gone through I think 6 Lenovo's. Every 2-3 years we back them up and decommission them (3 employees). None ever has a problem but when you work for yourself a day without your computer is a disaster. Each costs around $600 but function as docking-bay portable workhorses.

My brother's wife has an Macbook Air which is very cool. We could switch to similar computers which we would STILL replace every 2-3 years. It would just cost us more even after tax deductions. *shrug*

I'm not saying our workflow is the best or even the ideal one. It's just our particular workflow. If you decide to buy a very nice spiffy laptop that's great but I would always go for light/convenience similar to the Air (over performance). With cloud-based backups, etc it's probably just as safe and give you better perks. We are trying to move our archaic office over to the tech age (even the old man) so things could change.

Waffle
01-21-2012, 01:03 PM
I work as a production photography artist and it's mac all the way. PC's have their uses, e.g., counterstrike or the web. The only downside is that mac's are pretty costly. If I didn't have a thing for Spyderco's, I'd probably already own a real nice mac of my own. Mac > PC, however Spyderco > Mac :D

D1omedes
01-21-2012, 02:09 PM
Can someone explain the differences between an SSD and a disc-based harddrive?

Whieee
01-21-2012, 02:27 PM
Can someone explain the differences between an SSD and a disc-based harddrive?

SSD = Solid State Drive. An SSD has no moving parts. A regular harddrive has spinning 'platters' (usually 2 or 3) and heads that search for 'sectors' on those platters. You can look at it as an old vinyl record player. Solid-state storage however, consists of multiple flash chips (similar to the memory cards in your camera) and a controller.

Because an SSD doesn't have to 'spin up' or move heads to a certain position, seek times are more or less zero. The difference between 'zero' and 10msec seems negligible but combined with killer read speeds (the current crop will easily manager 200MB/sec, as opposed to 60MB/sec for regular notebook harddrives), and it literally makes the difference between having to wait for a minute for Photoshop to start, or just 5 seconds. Keep in mind that those 10msec of seek-time happen every time your harddrive needs to re-position the heads (it will happen WAY more often on a heavily fragmented drive).

And while read speeds are killer, the SSD shines in random write speeds, something that's usually painfully slow. Moreover, SSD's can manage WAY more IOps (IO operations per second) than regular SATA hard drives. The more IOps, the more the disk can 'do' in a second. IOps specifically matter when a lot of stuff needs access to the disk (not necessarily reading or writing MUCH data, just lots of reading and writing).

Another plus for the SSD is that is has no moving parts. Conventional spinning hard drives can crash if your notebook falls or hits something, as the heads damage the platters. No such thing with SSDs. No moving parts, so nothing to break ;)

Killer negative for SSDs: they're damn expensive

Jay_Ev
01-21-2012, 03:23 PM
Another :)

Whieee
01-21-2012, 03:46 PM
http://ukarmedforces.edublogs.org/files/2010/02/apple-vs-dell-pc1.jpg ;)

Sequimite
01-21-2012, 03:51 PM
Can someone explain the differences between an SSD and a disc-based harddrive?

There is a third option which should be your first choice in a desktop, a hard drive with a really big buffer. In tests that I've seen, a 2 gig buffer makes a hard drive almost as fast as an SSD for most applications.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_drive

Whieee
01-21-2012, 03:52 PM
And power adapters: Apple versus the competition:

http://i01.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/662/597/419/419597662_659.jpg

Whieee
01-21-2012, 03:53 PM
There is a third option which should be your first choice in a desktop, a hard drive with a really big buffer. In tests that I've seen, a 2 gig buffer makes a hard drive almost as fast as an SSD for most applications.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_drive

If you're doing lots of random reads/writes a hybrid drive won't really work though. YMMV. They are much cheaper than SSDs though. ;)

David Lowry
01-21-2012, 04:20 PM
Jay_Ev,

What is with all the Mac bashing bro? You ever owned one? You ever had problems with one? How about when someone can't build their own computer and they buy a Dell or HP and it comes loaded with all that "crap-ware" that is unneeded? All the preinstalled crap? What do you call that? That is what 90% of people get today when they buy a new computer. Sure they can get one built buy a friend or a local computer geek but then where is the warranty?

I'm an Network Admin and I am employed because of Microsoft and the skills I have configuring MS Servers, Linux Servers etc. I've used Windows and Macs both since 1995 and then DOS before that.

Windows is just not what it's pumped up to be. Yeah Macs are more expensive but after owning one and using one I would buy one again in a heartbeat. No questions asked.

I may have to work on Windows boxes by day but when at home I have no interest in them.

David Lowry
01-21-2012, 04:22 PM
Yeah, macbook 2x the cost of pc and 1/2 the speed.

I have a MacBook Pro that runs Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and it runs it better than most Windows boxes. Get your facts straight before posting useless crap.

Blerv
01-21-2012, 05:40 PM
The problem is Apple is only one company, "PC" is EVERYONE ELSE!

It's easy to control the idiots when they are under one roof and getting paychecks signed by the same guy.

If you go to Costco and buy a run of the mill Dell and compare it to the run of the mill Mac it's no comparison. Frick, Dell bought Alienware and drove it into the ground too.

Edit: Well, almost everyone else.

Jay_Ev
01-21-2012, 05:56 PM
Jay_Ev,

What is with all the Mac bashing bro? You ever owned one?

I apologize. It was all meant in fun, in jest. If it's that upsetting I'll stop. Although in my observation, all the Mac bashing was proportional to all the Mac praise so I figured it equaled out. Yes, I have owned one.

Actually, I will just post one more. Again, it is all in fun and not meant to offend anyone, so please, don't get upset, although it does seem to fit the given situation.

No hard feelings.

David Lowry
01-21-2012, 06:20 PM
I apologize. It was all meant in fun, in jest. If it's that upsetting I'll stop. Although in my observation, all the Mac bashing was proportional to all the Mac praise so I figured it equaled out. Yes, I have owned one.

Actually, I will just post one more. Again, it is all in fun and not meant to offend anyone, so please, don't get upset, although it does seem to fit the given situation.

No hard feelings.

So because there was a lot of Mac praise you wanted to, in jest, post a bunch of false stuff. I see. Why not contribute for real instead of posting a bunch of stupid pictures that you think explain everything? Why not build up the PC with praise instead of posting pictures that nobody can take seriously. :)

U mad bro? :)

jabba359
01-21-2012, 06:29 PM
My Mac and PC experiences at home and at work:

Macs have better design, being more attractive and less cluttered. PC's are much more flexible, as there is a much larger selection of cases, parts, and peripherals. I've had the video card die on my old PC (after six years of use) and various blue screens (Win XP and Win 7-64) that I was able to fix myself, as well as a fatal boot error that required me to re-install Win 7-64 components. The Mac Pro at work lost a video card, roommate's Macbook Pro got the Mac equivalent of a blue screen (Apple had to fix), older iMac HD died, older iMac needed the processor replaced, and newer iMac overheating issues. No virus problems with any of the setups.

I grew up using Windows systems, so I find them easy to navigate, troubleshoot, and fix. While I don't know how to fix a Mac, I find their interface and OS to be extremely easy to use, but if I want to change something on them, I find they lack the flexibility to operate outside the simple, initial parameters. I think both PCs and Macs are nice. I am more of a value person (getting the best for the least money) and find that I'm able to get much more for my money with a PC by building it myself. Those who lack the tech ability to do this may like the simplicity of a Mac. Pre-built PCs range from high-end all the way down to junk. Mac has high end and some mid-range, but no junk, however, you pay a higher $$$ price for this peace of mind. Personally, I prefer PC for desktop and power use but prefer the build quality and simplicity of Macs for laptop and portable use.

Blerv
01-21-2012, 06:57 PM
The building thing is pretty easy, at least in my experience.

People assume you have to do it yourself and it's a way to save a buck. The place that did ours beat Best Buy's price by far for a boxed piece of crap. We didn't have to de-clutter it once it arrived either. I think it had like 5 programs installed.

With the number of people building game platforms in legitimate shops it's not like you have to meet a guy in a van or pay a college kid in Doritos. It's a real industry by itself. I would think most places selling the components and doing repairs offer such services. Find the ones with empty cases on display and look at Yelp :).

Sorry for ringing my own bell so much. Seriously only we know the basics (my wife more than me). The PC folks offer themselves the chance to compare stats, parts and warranties. Who knows? They might just support a small group of enthusiasts and get something better/more personal than Costco has on the floor.

As far as the Mac vs PC debate, it's almost as old as Ford vs Chevy one. People are going to have pros and cons for both and if you truly think one side is superior in every way...you are naive. Archaic technology is seldom kept around, nerds aren't that nostalgic. :p

jtoler_9
01-21-2012, 09:40 PM
and they buy a Dell or HP and it comes loaded with all that "crap-ware" that is unneeded? All the preinstalled crap? What do you call that?

I think it's called super easy to fix. Being a network admin I kinda thought you might already know where the un-install feature is in Windows. In case you forgot, it's in your controll panel. :p. I can tell you from experience, I would much rather un-install a few programs upfront, than deal with all the Apple DRM nonsense in Itunes.
Hey Mom, I downloaded this awesome new Soundtrack. I wish I could throw it on a thumb drive and bring it over, but I would have to authorize your computer using my Itunes account. Since I can only have a few authorized computers, you are just going to have to come here to listen to it.

All joking aside, Itunes blows, and I am writing this from my Ipad. :). My HP laptop is sleeping.

Whieee
01-22-2012, 04:22 AM
I think it's called super easy to fix. Being a network admin I kinda thought you might already know where the un-install feature is in Windows. In case you forgot, it's in your controll panel. :p. I can tell you from experience, I would much rather un-install a few programs upfront, than deal with all the Apple DRM nonsense in Itunes.
Hey Mom, I downloaded this awesome new Soundtrack. I wish I could throw it on a thumb drive and bring it over, but I would have to authorize your computer using my Itunes account. Since I can only have a few authorized computers, you are just going to have to come here to listen to it.

All joking aside, Itunes blows, and I am writing this from my Ipad. :). My HP laptop is sleeping.

Why would I want to run a bunch of uninstall scripts on my brand-new PC if the software shouldn't be there in the first place? :P

That said, I used to do a fresh install on my new Macs right after I got them. Not because it's needed, but because I was used to doing it before I got a Mac. Nowadays, I just boot the damn thing, run through the 'first boot' process, and be done with it.

And please get your facts straight about DRM in iTunes. Apple dropped DRM from the iTunes Music Store a few years ago. You can actually play all your purchased songs on any device. If you can't, you're doing it wrong. Don't blame Apple for it ;) You want to 'throw the song on a thumb drive' ? Insert thumb drive, and drag the song onto it. Done. It'll probably be AAC or AALC encoded, but iTunes will convert it to -DRM free- MP3 in 2 clicks if you want to.

Call me a Mac zealot if you want, but your iTunes problem is non-existant. You're just doing it wrong ;)

Blerv
01-22-2012, 06:55 AM
iTunes is first and foremost a commerce application. That means its better at letting you buy stuff than proper functionality. I'm not the only one who has deleted all my songs through a seemingly "simple" phone upgrade. I've been around computers long enough for basic common sense too.

It's a UI disaster and is slow as heck. I can agree that Apple makes a nice OS or a decent computer but iTunes is the drooling drunk cousin at thanksgiving you wish never showed up.

Whieee
01-22-2012, 11:24 AM
iTunes is first and foremost a commerce application. That means its better at letting you buy stuff than proper functionality. I'm not the only one who has deleted all my songs through a seemingly "simple" phone upgrade. I've been around computers long enough for basic common sense too.

It's a UI disaster and is slow as heck. I can agree that Apple makes a nice OS or a decent computer but iTunes is the drooling drunk cousin at thanksgiving you wish never showed up.

I take it you're a Windows user? Not to say you're stupid, but most people who rant about iTunes, rant about iTunes on Windows. iTunes on Windows is a UI disaster to Windows users, because it doesn't fit in with the Windows UI at all. And it's slow.

That said, iTunes on OSX is as fast as it should be, and the UI makes total sense (it is a little different from the Windows version too). So, if you're actually trying to say that iTunes for Windows sucks, I totally agree. I have used iTunes on Windows in the past, but only if I had to ;) On a Mac, it's just fine.

That said, one of my major complaints about Windows software in general is that there is hardly any consistency in UI design. Developers don't even seem to try to make their apps intuitive. Sure, if you get used to the app, you can be productive with it, but there just is no Windows-alternative to apps like Adium, Textmate, Coda, or even Mail.app. There are tons of apps that give you -more or less- the same things, like Pidgin, Notepad++ or Thunderbird, but they all fall WAY short when it comes to proper, clean, consistent and effective UI design.

jtoler_9
01-22-2012, 12:02 PM
That said, iTunes on OSX is as fast as it should be, and the UI makes total sense (it is a little different from the Windows version too).

That's good to know. So all I have to do to get a better user experience with Itunes and my IPad is to buy a 1.5k Macbook. No biggie. ;). Just to play the advocate, who designed Itunes? Guess it's Microsofts fault that Itunes on my HP hardware is painful to use. :rolleyes: I guess it's along the same lines as all the websites using Adobe flash are just stupid because, don't they know there is a superior product called quicktime? I find it insulting that if I as a consumer buy anything Mac, then I have to buy everything Mac. Thanks but no thanks.
P.S. don't forget to convert your thousands of digital audio files over to Mac approved format. User friendly????? I don't think so. In the war for computing dominance there is no user friendly platform.

Bradley
01-22-2012, 12:54 PM
If you're getting BSODs you're either suffering from broken hardware, or your AMD videodriver is broken. Have you tried installing the latest Catalyst drivers? Those might fix most of the issues.

Except for batterylife. You shouldn't be expecting badass battery life from a notebook that you bought because it had the fastest CPU and graphics on the market. Faster chips generally need more power, which equals '****ty battery life' ;)

I've downloaded new drivers for the graphics and everything, to no avail.

David Lowry
01-22-2012, 01:02 PM
That's good to know. So all I have to do to get a better user experience with Itunes and my IPad is to buy a 1.5k Macbook. No biggie. ;). Just to play the advocate, who designed Itunes? Guess it's Microsofts fault that Itunes on my HP hardware is painful to use. :rolleyes: I guess it's along the same lines as all the websites using Adobe flash are just stupid because, don't they know there is a superior product called quicktime? I find it insulting that if I as a consumer buy anything Mac, then I have to buy everything Mac. Thanks but no thanks.
P.S. don't forget to convert your thousands of digital audio files over to Mac approved format. User friendly????? I don't think so. In the war for computing dominance there is no user friendly platform.

Who designed Office 2008 and 2011 for the Mac? Microsoft did and it has always sucked compared to the Windows version. Both companies are doing the same thing here. :)

Pinetreebbs
01-22-2012, 01:20 PM
So, does the current or previous version of OS X come with a simple video editing application like Windows 7 Movemaker?

Pinetreebbs
01-22-2012, 01:22 PM
I've downloaded new drivers for the graphics and everything, to no avail.

You likely need a clean installation of Windows.

Blerv
01-22-2012, 02:22 PM
No offense taken.

I still hold that iTunes layout/UI is not intuitive for most . This is agreed by my bro who owns a Mac and a PC (but that's just 2 people). I would love to talk to the Genius squad to confirm this as its likely they have people daily with update/backup problems who are non-windows people.

Still, it's interesting that its faster on Mac OS than PC stat-per-stat. I'm not saying its evil as it does bring quite a bit of perks, just not perfect. Nothing is but Apple has such a comfortable user interface elsewhere that iTunes seems sorely lacking.*

* edit: at least within the Windows UI design.

Bradley
01-22-2012, 02:49 PM
You likely need a clean installation of Windows.

I completely wiped the computer about 2 weeks ago. Like factory reset, then updated all the drivers.

Pinetreebbs
01-22-2012, 03:10 PM
I completely wiped the computer about 2 weeks ago. Like factory reset, then updated all the drivers.

Sounds like you definitely have a hardware issue. Memory is a likely cause. Before sending it to a repair shop I would replace the ram with known good ram. If you have no source for ram to try you can download Memtest and run it to test the ram you have. Memetest is free, see: http://www.memtest.org/

The have a pre-compiled bootable ISO file for here: http://www.memtest.org/download/4.20/memtest86+-4.20.iso.zip

jabba359
01-22-2012, 03:29 PM
So, does the current or previous version of OS X come with a simple video editing application like Windows 7 Movemaker?

OSX doesn't include iMovie anymore as part of the OS (it's part of the iLife suite now), but if you're buying a whole new Mac, they include the iMovie app, which is far superior to Windows Moviemaker IMO.

cinticyklist
01-22-2012, 04:55 PM
Hi. Just joined the forum as I've recently bought my first Spyderco - which quickly led to to 4 more. Yes, I have a problem.

When I read the rules/code of conduct for this site before joining, I was very pleased with the "no politics/no religion" clause. Which is great, btw. Then I saw this thread. :)

I can't really talk about knives with authority at the moment, but I can weigh in on this.

I've been in the software industry for 24 years. I used and developed for PCs for 14 years, switched to Macs in 2001.

Our consulting company policy allows for Macs although we are a Dell shop, and while there are exceptions, on an average per machine basis, the Macs require less care and feeding. A lot of people trade their Dells in every 3 years when they are eligible. I kept my first Apple laptop for 5 years (then sold it for $600 on eBay**). The second lasted for 5 years as well and is now in use by my daughter. ** the company's Mac policy is different from the Dell policy.

For me, it's an OS thing. OS X just works the way I do. I can run anything I want (open source or Windows through virtualization). Yes, even science and math programs. My laptop goes to sleep when I close it, and wakes up when I open it and my current uptime is 122 days (and I'm a developer, if my crappy code doesn't crash it, that's saying something). Installing new software is drag and drop usually. No huge installation routine. If a want to delete an app, I can just throw it away. No weird registry ghosts hanging around after a de-install process. And I've never experienced the "6 month slowdown" that I used to with Windows that required either a spring cleaning or a reinstall (which may not be a problem anymore with Win7 - I run it as a VM with only a few programs nowadays).

As for the image, it's funny. There's hype, then there's hype about the hype. The latter seems more prevalent than the former. I don't try to angle the glowing apple logo on my laptop so it glints in someone's eye or anything like that. I just open up and go. However, I am guilty of letting my colleagues believe that my visuals are better than theirs because I use a Mac and they don't. I like to think it's me that's better, but they can believe what they want. :)

Pick what works for you. When I switched, I had to buy Mac versions of a bunch of stuff (Office, Visio, Project, Photoshop, etc.). I still use the Windows version of Excel, but everything else I use the Mac equivalent. My boss switched to a Mac, solely for the purpose of using Office, email, and browsing the web. I personally never thought it was necessary for just those things and if a client came to me with the requirements of the OP, I would probably say the same thing.

Me, I'll never go back as long as I have a choice - and as long as the OS continues to work that way I work.

Whieee
01-31-2012, 01:36 PM
No offense taken.

I still hold that iTunes layout/UI is not intuitive for most . This is agreed by my bro who owns a Mac and a PC (but that's just 2 people). I would love to talk to the Genius squad to confirm this as its likely they have people daily with update/backup problems who are non-windows people.

Still, it's interesting that its faster on Mac OS than PC stat-per-stat. I'm not saying its evil as it does bring quite a bit of perks, just not perfect. Nothing is but Apple has such a comfortable user interface elsewhere that iTunes seems sorely lacking.*

* edit: at least within the Windows UI design.

iTunes runs faster on the Mac because of libraries and because of sloppy Windows development. iTunes relies on Quicktime frameworks/libraries for actual playback. These libraries are tightly integrated on Mac OSX, and do not have to be loaded separately when you launch iTunes. On Windows, these libraries need to be loaded when you launch iTunes.

Aside from that, Apple doesn't spend a lot of time optimizing iTunes on Windows. If their code compiles and the binary runs the way Apple's testing crew finds acceptable, they stop working on it. Windows is not their core business, and they solely make iTunes for Windows so they can sell iPods/iPhones/iPads to Windows users. Moreover, iTunes is developed for Mac OSX first, and ported to Windows later. Porting usually means 'becomes slower'.

One thing I wanted to add to the UI discussion about iTunes: Apple uses iTunes as their test-bed for UI experiments. Some of those experiments obviously are less successful than others ;) Over the years Apple implemented various UI toolkits by testing them on iTunes, and implementing them throughout OSX a while later. As a result, iTunes will -mostly- work the way a Mac user can expect, but it will always be the oddball. I don't know exactly how many of those UI experiments also make it to the Windows version though, but as a Mac user I can usually pretty much predict which way Apple will go UI-wise for their next OS release, purely by observing recent changes in iTunes UI design.