T Nation

From PC to Apple - Should I Switch?

I’m looking to draw upon the collective wisdom of my fellow members of T-Nation who are tech geeks like me. I am an IBM kid. My Dad worked there for 30 years and I have an instinctive amount of loyalty to good ol? Big Blue. While they don?t continue to crank out a lot of PCs for home use (they are much more of a corporate juggernaut between their laptops and servers), I guess I still remember my younger days of IBM vs. Apple. ?Damn those Macs and their self-righteous fans? I used to think.

Well, fast forward to now. I own an iPod, use iTunes and love them both. My home computer (an aging IBM Aptiva desktop) is on its last legs and will be in need of an upgrade soon. Despite the fact that I am stunned to even consider switching to a Mac, here I am thinking it over verrrry seriously.

So, I wanted to get the input of those on T-Nation about which they prefer, especially from people who have used both or switched from one to the other. I know there are obvious differences (PCs tend to be cheaper in comparison to Apples, PCs are easier to upgrade, Apples tend to be more stable and just easier to use, etc.).

Any thoughts?

Kuz

  • Return with honor.

yes.

depends on what you want, of course. There’s the eMac, the all in one that’s about 7 or 800 $$ including the super drive (I believe). There’s the iMac, the G5’s, as well as leftover and refurbed G4’s of all kinds.
And don’t forget the new little mini.
Freakin’ thing…it’s the size of a couple of CD cases stacked on top of each other.
You supply monitor and keyboard–possibly what you’ve got already?
and it starts at $500.

But you need to switch. Without knowing what you use the machine for it’s hard to say, but think I might look at a leftover or refurbbed G4, either a tower or the iMac.
Or an eMac. Or that mini…

btw, the iMac and the mini’s are not easy to upgrade unless you’re a tech at heart. But the G4 and 5 towers are very easy.
And OS X–which I refused to get until I was given a new iMac–is really quite wonderful.

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:
yes.

depends on what you want, of course. There’s the eMac, the all in one that’s about 7 or 800 $$ including the super drive (I believe). There’s the iMac, the G5’s, as well as leftover and refurbed G4’s of all kinds.
And don’t forget the new little mini.
Freakin’ thing…it’s the size of a couple of CD cases stacked on top of each other.
You supply monitor and keyboard–possibly what you’ve got already?
and it starts at $500.

But you need to switch. Without knowing what you use the machine for it’s hard to say, but think I might look at a leftover or refurbbed G4, either a tower or the iMac.
Or an eMac. Or that mini…[/quote]

Thanks, JW. OS X and iLife '05 are really two of the big draws for me. My home computer I like to use for Internet, music, photos, e-mail, etc. Games I pretty much stick to my XBox and for heavy work applications, I have my work laptop.

I was checking out the Mini and it is pretty intriguing since I have a monitor, keyboard and mouse, so making the switch would be incredibly easy. The iMac (17 inch) is really catching my attention right now more than anything else (although their notebooks are great). The hardest thing about all of Apples computers is the premium you pay for them. Maybe if I made the move all would become clear to me, the heavens would open and I would be serenaded by cherubims and serraphims… but having not made the switch, I think I’m still a little gun shy. I will say that I’ve not run into anyone who has switched to Mac who has not echoed your sentiments of “You just HAVE to switch. There is no comparison.”

Kuz

if you just want to dub around the mini would be a good choice from the sound of it.
I have the 17" iMac (G4) and still have a G4 tower.
I love the iMac. I’m not sure about the G5, but mine can be upgraded to a gig of ram, which I’m sure will really help–I’m still waiting for the tech to get it in stock (the right one. Of course they make 37 different chips, right?)
Yeah, I guess you do pay a higher premium for macs, but on the other hand, check out the used values on some of the web sites. lowendmac.com is a good place to start as far as gathering info.
A mac will hold its value a lot longer than a comporable pc.
My girlfriend just bought a used Dell laptop for $500. The comporable Apple is still up over a grand.
Plus you don’t have to sweat viruses and as far as I know there’s never been a mac infected with spyware.
My father got a trojan horse on his Dell that Norton couldn’t touch, it took about 10 days for the repair shop to root it out of everywhere it was hiding.
Not on my Mac!

I’ve worked extensively with Windows machines at various schools–I’ve been a network administrator for years. I’ll never own a Windows machine at home. There is no way to cover this topic easily and quickly, and an open forum is likely to produce rabid responses from both sides.

My advice to anyone buying a computer is to go to a store where you can “test drive” several models. Don’t let a salesman convince you of anything. Check out the feel of the mouse, quality of the screen, speed of the apps. Take your time. And then WALK AWAY and think about what you want to spend and what you need to do with a computer.

You’re in Connecticut? You really need to go to the Apple Store at WestFarms Mall and check them out, or find the nearest CompUSA where they have an Apple Store-within-a-store. Explain your situation (not the family history, but what you own, what software you need, what you do), and see if they can tell you what switching will involve.

If your current keyboard and mouse are USB, you can buy a Mac Mini for $499 and use the keyboard + mouse + monitor that are on your PC. You could even buy a KVM switch and keep both computers, sharing the keyboard + mouse + monitor. That gets you on a new platform without completely tossing out your old investment.

A “higher premium”? Do you drive a Yugo? Seriously, you get what you pay for. The Total Cost of Ownership for a Mac over several years is considered to be much less than a Windows machine, due to less time lost in learning the machine, the machine being down from repairs, or needing to upgrade to run software.

Go to http://maccentral.macworld.com and see the 2/28 report on Macs in business. It’ll give you a taste of how some large corporations view the value they get by using Macintosh/Unix technology.

If I knew that my accounting software would run on OS 10, I’d already be Mac-in it.

I played with a few, and they just seem to be a much better computer than a PC.

I’m slobberin all over myself to get a mini. It’s probably just the ‘wow’ factor, but they look soooo cool.

You can easily block ALL spyware by using firefox as your web browser. If you build a computer by yourself, you will save a LOT of money than either buying a pre-built PC or imac.

I dont know how it is now, but DELL used to be nortorious for crappy quality PCs.

Anyways, I recommend buying a PC (pre-built or self-built). Software compatibility is more than enough reason to buy a PC. Besides, ease-of-use is overrated (although I consider PC and imac to be equal in ease-of-use).

Macs are really nice. An Apple tech came to my school to teach us tech guys about them, and they have some great features. OS X is really nice.

That said, I doubt I’ll ever buy a Mac. Mostly due to the software and hardware markets, but also from cost. If you have knowledge of computers and how to keep yours free of malware and viruses, there shouldn’t be issues. Mine has been trouble free, all from free software, too.

PCs are more flexible. Macs are simpler. If you just have basic computing needs, or are into video editing, then a Mac is the way to go.

[quote]harhar wrote:
You can easily block ALL spyware by using firefox as your web browser. If you build a computer by yourself, you will save a LOT of money than either buying a pre-built PC or imac.

I dont know how it is now, but DELL used to be nortorious for crappy quality PCs.

Anyways, I recommend buying a PC (pre-built or self-built). Software compatibility is more than enough reason to buy a PC. Besides, ease-of-use is overrated (although I consider PC and imac to be equal in ease-of-use).[/quote]

What software does Mac not run that is so important? I used to think the same thing until I tried out Office on a Mac at the Apple Store and it actually seems
better. That seems to be the most used software. That said, I haven’t switched yet but will almost definitely get a mini to really check the difference. Something always seems to be screwing up on my Windows machines.

[quote]TShaw wrote:
You’re in Connecticut? You really need to go to the Apple Store at WestFarms Mall and check them out, or find the nearest CompUSA where they have an Apple Store-within-a-store. Explain your situation (not the family history, but what you own, what software you need, what you do), and see if they can tell you what switching will involve.
[/quote]

Funny you should mention it since I’ve been to that store a bunch of times (picked up my 40 GB iPod there) and there is a definite quality difference between Apples and PCs that I’ve noticed (barring something from, say, Alienware or the like). I don’t want anyone to get me wrong - I am fairly experienced with computers having used them since the earliest days of the IBM PC, but I really do appreciate all of the feedback on people who use Macs. From what I can tell, it looks like switching over is not really too painful since I can swap over my Outlook info, my Quicken data plus all of my photos and MP3s. I think I will probably end up taking the plunge in the near future, but I do like to hear from those who are a lot more familiar with Macs than I am (plus I get a kick out of the PC vs. Mac debate).

Kuz

[quote]harhar wrote:
I dont know how it is now, but DELL used to be nortorious for crappy quality PCs.

Anyways, I recommend buying a PC (pre-built or self-built). Software compatibility is more than enough reason to buy a PC. Besides, ease-of-use is overrated (although I consider PC and imac to be equal in ease-of-use).[/quote]

Dell sucks. I build PC’s in my spare time, and I cringe whenever a friend asks me to fix their Dell. Can anyone say proprietary?

While XP has made the Windows environment 1000 times more stable, It’s not without it’s glitches. And MS’s update’s are a crap shoot at best. Anyone here have any problems after installing Service Pack 2?

I think the mac environment is more stable, and while simpler to operate, much more customizable than Windows.

But being in the business I am in, there’s very few accounting software bundles that will work on the Mac platform.

Does anyone have any experience with any of the Windows emulators?

Made the switch 18 months ago at work. Great move. Bought my wife a 15"PB and she was the ultra anti-Mac person. Loves it now. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. Built in bluetooth, wireless, stable OS…make the switch. Just be prepared for the naysayers and all the experts who’ve never used a Mac. I was one & made the switch.

PC is better in my experience. I have had more problems using Macs then PCs. Every Mac I have ever used, and this only being at school Mac labs, has froze on me or completely broken down. And some of these Macs were brand new. Shitty products in my experience. Just build your own PC. It’s easy and you can buy quality parts. Oh, and if you are a gamer of course stick with PC. This is just my opinion btw, so I don’t want any Mac fanatics hating on me. Last thing, The standard mouse for a Mac has to be the worst device ever created.

[quote]harhar wrote:
You can easily block ALL spyware by using firefox as your web browser. If you build a computer by yourself, you will save a LOT of money than either buying a pre-built PC or imac.

I dont know how it is now, but DELL used to be nortorious for crappy quality PCs.

Anyways, I recommend buying a PC (pre-built or self-built). Software compatibility is more than enough reason to buy a PC. Besides, ease-of-use is overrated (although I consider PC and imac to be equal in ease-of-use).[/quote]

As far as i am aware, dells are fine now, customer service is reputed to be excellent. and they are pobably the price all computers should be.

The feel of the mouse? The quality of the screen?

What in the world does any of that have to do with the system? And then, a paragraph later, you suggest to reuse the existing set?

‘veruvius’ is the only one I’d listen to in this thread.

Within Windows, stability is a nonissue. If you have a clue, spyware is a nonissue. And if you’ve had an Aptiva for years, the learning curve is a nonissue.

Dollar for dollar, I can build a system that’ll beat the snot out of any Mac in anything, quality included. But if you don’t mind the performance disparity, it becomes a question of OS preference.

OS-X is totally decent. I personally can’t stand it, but I wouldn’t begrudge people who feel otherwise. If you do, buy a Mac. It’ll be new and shiny, and much less boring that what you already know.

DI

Good question. I always have been a PC fan , but lately the Mac has started to tempt me.

I liked to tinker and upgrade as need be. I don’t think I would find this ease in a Mac. I also really like to test software, found on P2P networks, before buying it. I think this will also be very hard with a Mac, because of the fewer users. Less alternatives too. If you don’t like the dominant software, you’re limited in your options.

On the multimedia side, I hate QuickTime as much as I hate WindowsMedia. Both are proprietary formats, the apps to read them take forever to load, and I don’t see that much improvement over a good ol’ DivX file.

However, I am getting older and I tend to prefer all-in-one solutions over tinkering, mostly for questions of time, so Mac it will be in the near future.

I’ve work extensivly with both Mac’s and PC’s. Personally I dont know that I’d go mac full time ever. If I wasn’t using windows I’d be working with one of the Linux Distro’s.

That being said it depends on what you want to do. If you are just browsing the net, sending emails or typing out the ocasional letter either one can do that. So I guess go with which ever one you think is prettier… But if you are playing games, trying to work with other people easily etc, stick with PC.

Either way use FireFox (www.getfirefox.com) and ThunderBird (www.getthunderbird.com) a 2+ button mouse (Mac has the functionality already, but they insist on pissing me off by having the one button standard), and proabably a different keyboard. If you do that Mac or PC dosent really make a difference.

Tabbed browsing all the way.

I use windows at work and I mac at home. The mac
is much more secure then windows. Plus when you
buy a mac everthing is high speed ready no buying
all those extra. Just check out apple web site.

Good luck
Ken