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AaronHall
06-23-2008, 08:41 PM
Which do you prefer: Windows or a Mac?

I am a Windows user and just upgraded my Windows XP Home to Windows Vista Home Basic and I love it so far.

I am thinking about buying a Mac to see how they are, but I don't know if I am willing to spend that much for one when I can get a good PC for less.

brewbuck
06-23-2008, 09:27 PM
Which do you prefer: Windows or a Mac?

I am a Windows user and just upgraded my Windows XP Home to Windows Vista Home Basic and I love it so far.

I am thinking about buying a Mac to see how they are, but I don't know if I am willing to spend that much for one when I can get a good PC for less.

How about buying an Intel-based Macintosh, and you can do both at your own leisure? VMWare Fusion will even let you run Windows apps inside the Mac OS X environment.

Since I started buying Macs, I have never looked back.

(Posting from Ubuntu Linux on an Intel Core 2 Duo Mac Mini)

dwks
06-23-2008, 09:51 PM
My vote is for Linux. :)

I've never had a Mac myself, but I know people who really like them a lot. I'm under the impression that they're better, but a lot more expensive.

brewbuck
06-23-2008, 10:16 PM
My vote is for Linux. :)

I've never had a Mac myself, but I know people who really like them a lot. I'm under the impression that they're better, but a lot more expensive.

One common argument is that the Mac is "dumbed down." But since Mac OS X, and the switch to a UNIX-like core, I can only say to those people: it's only as dumb as you want it to be. If you want to get to the guts, it's all right there in front of you. And what other machine can you triple boot? I've got mine set up for WinXP, Mac OS X, and Ubuntu. What do you feel like doing today? ;)

I've considered, just for the hell of it, throwing Solaris x86 on there. To my knowledge it hasn't been tried, but I see no reason why it shouldn't work -- although there will probably be some difficulties with the boot loader, but I can hack around that. Good thing about being a programmer.

DavidP
06-23-2008, 10:33 PM
Go for the Mac man. Macs are great.

It is an excellent operating system providing lots of power and also ease of use. Although every operating system has its flaws, I have never really felt inclined to throw my monitor out the window while running Mac OS X, while I have felt quite the opposite running Windows.

indigo0086
06-23-2008, 11:04 PM
I've never had problems with windows, I grew up with macs, I was a mac person as a kid, but then we did a switch to mac and it was so much more functional I think in the long run. I know people that can run circles around me with macs just simply checking their mail, when I try to use my friend's mac I feel retarded because I can't use it all that well. I can probably learn it, but really I just want a functional OS that I don't have to re-learn. Unix is great, but only because I took a unix programming course so I can navigate pretty well around the linux variants.

Mad_guy
06-24-2008, 03:08 AM
For the first, I'd say, 15 years of my life (approximately) I was a windows user, exclusively.

Then I switched to Linux for about 2-3 years.

And most recently, about two weeks ago I finally got a MacBook Pro as a graduation present. To be quite honest, I'm happy with it. Switching over wasn't that big of a deal, really. It took about a day to get used to the way Applications get installed, the general filesystem layout and really how to navigate and work some of the included applications themselves. Past that, I really haven't had any sort of major issues or found many drawbacks. I've found adequate (in some cases I think better) supplements for a lot of the software I used before.

Another reason I like OS X is because yes, it is Unix under the hood (remember, for the past 3 years I've been using Linux and I liked it.) To be fair, OS X is actually more of a bastard child of several, very very different ideologies and technologies - moreso than probably any other mainstream desktop OS out there, but it works really well I've found, and the fact that I still have similar or standardized APIs and technologies available on OS X (POSIX-compliant) is just a really nice benefit and it's because of this that I didn't even have to find supplements for a lot of the applications I used on linux, because they work on OS X too!

To put it briefly: as someone who went from windows to linux and then to OS X, I'm overall pretty satisfied. If you've used windows your whole life it might be a little different of an experience, but I'd suggest perhaps going and to an Apple store or something and seeing if you can test drive one first to get a feel, because yes, they are an investment. At least you can just remove OS X and put windows on there, right?

Mario F.
06-24-2008, 06:06 AM
I would say a Intel Mac too :eek:

For all the reasons mentioned. Just recently I finished a small project for a films company over here in Flash and C++. During the whole week I was struggling to make sure it could compile also on the Mac machines they have there. Lots of guess work and having to constantly go there to test it.

The machine I was using to compile the C++ component and DLL was running Windows XP and OS X. That would have been an invaluable tool had I one at home.

indigo0086
06-24-2008, 06:24 AM
The biggest question I ask myself when wondering if I am going to switch operating systems is "What can I do on this OS that I don't already do on a PC. For every application I use (mainly open source) there is some variant on other OS. For me it really boils down to the UI.

DavidP
06-24-2008, 07:43 AM
What can I do on this OS that I don't already do on a PC.


- you can boot faster
- you can get better response times
- you can use a bash shell which is actually part of the OS (unlike Cygwin which is not)

Just those 3 simple things are enough to convince me about a Mac.

Mario F.
06-24-2008, 07:52 AM
And you can run more OSes

laserlight
06-24-2008, 07:59 AM
And what other machine can you triple boot?
Many others, of course, counting different Linux distros, various flavours of *nix, including Mac OS X if you install it (illegally?) on a non-Mac box.

indigo0086
06-24-2008, 08:06 AM
- you can boot faster
- you can get better response times
- you can use a bash shell which is actually part of the OS (unlike Cygwin which is not)

Just those 3 simple things are enough to convince me about a Mac.

I meant to add, "that I don't mind not doing".

Those aren't dramatic enough that I would want to switch entirely. They are simply three minor perks which don't change the overall operation of my system when it is fully booted. I have a pretty fast system so I don't suffer from 2-3 minute boot times or slow system response times, and I rarely use unix shell's unless on linux or logging into my school machines with putty. I just have no use for the third, and the first two don't affect me.

brewbuck
06-24-2008, 09:28 AM
What can I do on this OS that I don't already do on a PC.

Gain experience which will lead to a wider array of employment opportunities?

mike_g
06-24-2008, 10:13 AM
To me Macs are just one of those annoying things that wont go away. Actually its not what Macs are but the mentality of "Mac people" If they want to spend a stupid amounts of money on a nice shiny box then thats fine, but it gets annoying when they develop a fanatical devotion to their toys. What makes the problem worse is that Apple understand how these people feel and deliberately make adverts to propel their ego. The thought of all the people (and I know several of them) out there creaming their pants with glee chanting the latest slogan urging them to buy the next iExpensiveThing makes me want to stick a pen up my nose and bang it on the table.

indigo0086
06-24-2008, 10:18 AM
I like that my friend is a mac guy, because we can toss insults at each other equally, but stuff like thsoe annoying mac commercials and hearing about macs being so much better is pretty annoying. I understand if it's reactionary but generally mac users who feel they need to defend a piece of software by attacking the competitor is pretty silly. If you want to treat operating system's like a religion, worship it in private like most churgoing citizens do.

brewbuck
06-24-2008, 10:21 AM
I like that my friend is a mac guy, because we can toss insults at each other equally, but stuff like thsoe annoying mac commercials and hearing about macs being so much better is pretty annoying. I understand if it's reactionary but generally mac users who feel they need to defend a piece of software by attacking the competitor is pretty silly. If you want to treat operating system's like a religion, worship it in private like most churgoing citizens do.

A Mac is a box with some fancy hardware in it. I'm kind of tired of being called a fan boy just because I wanted to play with something new.

indigo0086
06-24-2008, 10:26 AM
I'm not calling people who generally have an interest in an OS a fanboy. No one called me that when I thought Ubuntu was pretty cool. But there are those who think that it's the end-all operating system because they have been using it for a long time and are used to it.

I do consider myself a microsoft office 2003 fanboy because I can do so much on it compared to the new 08. I can't find anything on it and generally when I'm trying to help people with it I feel dumb because I just am not used to it as much as 03, but then again I know people who can use it and whenever I claim to like 03 better, I catch it because they know how to use it.

I'm mainly turned off by the pricepoint of mac machines and what they give in return isn't much value for me.

SlyMaelstrom
06-24-2008, 12:32 PM
I would agree with indigo on his perspective. The fact is, Macs are just too expensive for what they offer. In fact, in the range that I expect my PC to operate in, almost all "PC" manufacturers are too expensive. However, I have no problems building a Windows- or Linux-based PC, where are Macs are not quite as simple in that respect. Sure, I can hack a version of OS X onto a PC if I desire, but I don't.

The only Mac worth buying in my opinion is the Mac Mini, which for general purpose computing is quite cool in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that, if you buy from the right places, they are reasonably priced for what they are. I certainly hope other manufacturers start producing some Mini-ITX or Nano-ITX based computers in the near future. One with an Intel chipset that supports Intel processors, not a freakin' VIA... *shivers*

brewbuck
06-24-2008, 01:04 PM
The only Mac worth buying in my opinion is the Mac Mini, which for general purpose computing is quite cool in my opinion.

Which is exactly what I buy.

SlyMaelstrom
06-24-2008, 02:31 PM
Which is exactly what I buy.Right, except I (and we might assume AaronHall) am generally looking for something with a little more kick. :)

So, let me put this into some perspective. I went into the online Apple Store to price their top model (which by the way, is still below what I would ask a PC to do graphics-wise). The specs are as follows:

# 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
# 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
# NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS w/512MB GDDR3
# 500GB Serial ATA Drive
# Apple Mighty Mouse
# Apple Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
# Accessory kit
# SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
# 24-inch glossy widescreen LCD
# AirPort Extreme
# Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

The final cost of this system came to $2,399.00 (~1.540,00€) . Now, personally off the top of my head, I'm not sure where Mac is getting a 3.06Ghz C2D processor or a 512Mb 8800GS. However, for the sake of comparison I will replace the processor with the easily comparable E8400 @ 3.0Ghz and the 8800GT 512mb, which despite the marginal price difference, is significantly better than the 8800GS. Going onto Newegg.com, I was able to price a comparable system that I built using only quality components. Ultimately, I came up with a system using some superior components (the graphics card, the RAM) however, all in all, it's certainly a fine comparison to the iMAC listed above. Here you can find a wish list of the specifications. (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=6391074) As you can see in the list, the price comes to over $1000 less than the Apple competition. Neglecting the fact that it is missing Bluetooth functonality, as well as a (cheap) webcam, mouse and keyboard, all of which can be had for under $100, you have to admit that this is a pretty significant margin. So, I won't argue with your opinions on whether or not OS X Leopard is better than the Vista Home Premium offered in the example, but I will ask if you really think it's that much better. Wouldn't you maybe have a change of heart if you were shopping and saw something like this?

brewbuck
06-24-2008, 04:49 PM
Right, except I (and we might assume AaronHall) am generally looking for something with a little more kick. :)

I got kick out of my Minis by buying multiples :) I don't game or otherwise do any heavy graphics. The box is great for:

Browsing
Development
Playing video and DVD
Watching live digital TV (with a HD receiver dongle called EyeTV, cool little thing)

Plus:

Extremely small footprint
Completely silent

There are definitely some very cheap desktop PCs right now. In fact they are building me an awesome system at work for under $600. But at home I don't want a tower -- I'd have nowhere to put it, and the noise would be distracting.

I think Apple really hit a sweet spot with the Mini for a lot of people. My wife is obsessed with Macs, I just use one because the Mini was so different than anything else Apple had ever made and for $500 I thought it was worth trying. Just because I like it doesn't mean I'm drinking the koolaid.

Mario F.
06-24-2008, 05:07 PM
You'll buy a mac if you need one and that's just how it works.

When asked which one would you prefer, Mac or PC (which was the original question), again the answer is entirely subjective and any answer is, at the end of the day, acceptable. Despite the price I do think Macs are well worth it. And I personally don't mind paying twice for better quality, something that one can't say doesn't exist on a Mac build.

Again, going back to the subject of software development, a Mac just pays for itself if there is a need to develop for it. What is more interesting however, is that with a Mac it is possible to centralize the development in a single machine hosting the 3 major mainstream operating systems without risking jail. I can pay for that privilege. No worries. In fact, by doing so, I'm instantly adding another operating system to my products offer range at a a minimum cost.

As far as arguing over the fanboyism in the mac world... I find that quite entertaining. It's almost a photocopy of a recent thread here over a certain browser. Apparently, now it suddenly becomes annoying.

The fact is that Apple centered most of its strategy in creating a cult. They nurture this, they feed it and love it to the bone. If anything they aren't different than many other companies, Microsoft included and Open Source movement included. Only... Apple did it better.

laserlight
06-24-2008, 11:09 PM
The fact is that Apple centered most of its strategy in creating a cult. They nurture this, they feed it and love it to the bone. If anything they aren't different than many other companies, Microsoft included and Open Source movement included. Only... Apple did it better.
Yes, that is my analysis as well, though more modern popular usage of "cult" has negative connotations that do not apply to Mac users (or do they?:D)


As far as arguing over the fanboyism in the mac world... I find that quite entertaining. It's almost a photocopy of a recent thread here over a certain browser. Apparently, now it suddenly becomes annoying.
I find Firefox and Opera fanboyism (and fangirlism ;) ) annoying too, but my hypothesis is that Apple/Mac fanboyism is more annoying because the culture (or cult) is more successful. On a personal level, it is also more annoying for me because Apple is in direct competition with one of the subsidiaries of "Singapore, Inc." (Creative's Zen line of products), heheh.