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Advantages of Mac of Windows

by tbyron / April 22, 2005 2:41 AM PDT

many people have asked this already probably, but i was wondering about the advantages of Mac OS over Windows. i've heard some but they never made any sense to me. i've become somewhat tired of windows and the associated programs. but Mac is also very expensive. can you people give me any opinions or even links to hard facts about the differences between the operating systems.

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Define expensive
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 22, 2005 6:39 AM PDT

The difference between Windows OS and Mac OS.
One runs on a Macintosh, is free from virus attack, spyware, adware and malware and has a great set of installed software. The other does not, is not and has not.

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Mac vs Windows? Never heard that one before...
by lampietheclown / April 22, 2005 5:27 PM PDT

I've been a mac user for 19 years now, and have heard (probably) all the arguments for and against each platform. Here's my take on some of them.

The mac is easier to learn.
Used to be so true, that it kept many power users away, because they considered macs to be "toys". Todays mac can do much more than the macs of OS 6 and 7. A steeper learning curve is part of the price. At the same time PC's have learned a few things from Apple, and figured out a few things on their own, making them easier to learn and run. The gap is closer, but PC's are not there yet. Mac's are more consistant throughout the OS, and from application to application. If you learn one app., that knowledge will give you most of the basics of every other app. including the Finder. All common commands and menus will be found in the same places, and work the same way.

Macs are more stable.
More true now than ever. Back in OS 7 mac people were shouting this from the rooftops,... and lying through their teeth. Crashes were common, and even if the OS held you had to reboot when an app. crashed or froze, due to unprotected memory. Having said that, most of the unstable macs I ran across back then were suffering from owners installing silly amounts of OS hacks to do things like change the cursor, the colors, the way it booted, etc. It gave meaning to the term "personal computer" and many owners would defend the Christmas lights on their desktop, or the eyes that always followed their cursor, even if it did crash more often.
At this moment I have 3 powerbooks and an i-mac in my house, running OS 10.3.8, networked with Airport wireless, all up and running. It has been over a month since any of them was rebooted, and that was for a software install that required it, not a crash. All of these computers are used every day, and the i-mac (DV500 grey) never sleeps, as it serves i-tunes to the other computers, movies to my TV, does most of the e-mail and i-chat. Macs are more stable.

Macs are faster... PC's are faster...
All true. Macs are faster... at some things. with some software. AND PC's are faster... at some things. with some software.
If you only use your computer for one thing, take a hard look at these issues. most people I know use their computers for 50 different things, making a speed comparison out of the question. Most modern computers are fast enough for the average consumer's e-mail, surfing, book-keeping, photographs, music, DVDs etc. If you use your computer for rendering video, creating 3-D models, or serving websites, etc. you already know enough to figure out which one is faster for your purpose.
The one exception that comes to mind is games. I'm not a big game player, but those who are demand graphics speed that will tax any consumer system, so they add graphics cards and memory to make things look and work better. I am told that PCs win on this point hands down, because there are more, better, faster graphics cards made for the PC. Any Gamers want to tell me I'm right, wrong, or something else, feel free. Like I said, I'm not much of a game player.

There is more software for PCs
Go to any Fry's or Best Buy, and you will see how obvious this is. There are at least 10 times more titles for the PC. My opinion? So? There are whole isles devoted to word processing software for Windows. There are maybe half a dozen good WP titles for Mac. I have one question. How many word processing programs do you need? Me? I use two. One small and light for quick looks at read-me files and quick notes, and one "full on spellcheck in 30 languages, 5000 font, html, writes a novel in it's spare time, fat app." I can not conceive a reason for more than 3, but then most people consider me a bit slow. Another point about the PC isle, is that some of the titles only work with NT. Others only work with 95-98-whatever. That thins it out a bit.
There are good apps for the mac to cover just about anything you want to do. If there is an app. that is only PC, and you must have it, the mac solution is Virtual PC. It will run Windows 95,98,NT, and I guess, others on your mac. It works by creating a "shell" for the software to run in, the same way "Classic" works in OSX.
The often overlooked side of the coin is apps that you can only get for the Mac platform, like i-Movie, Garage Band, and i-DVD. Add the fact that they come free with the computer (along with i-Tunes, i-Photo, Appleworks, Quicken etc. and the size of the software isle becomes less important.
Note. Games are the exception here also. you do not want to play PC games on Virtual PC. Ever. You want to play them on a PC with a fast graphics card.

Mac's don't get viruses and spy-ware.
Not entirely true. but close. About a year ago I installed Norton anti-virus, and ran it on my laptop to see what it found. I got big eyed when I read it's report. over 600 viruses, trojan horses, and pieces of spy-ware were on my internal drive. A closer inspection showed that they were 99% in my junk mail folders. It sounds like a lot, but I run a couple of websites, and get about a thousand bits of junk mail a week. A detailed look at what viruses they were exactly (there were about 6 different flavors), found them all to be harmless to the Mac, unable to run in OSX. If I had that situation on a PC, it would be dead from trying to get a clock tick in and failing. I just emptied my junk, and trash. problem solved. NOTE: That doesn't mean I couldn't infect someone's PC if I sent an infected e-mail to them.
There are viruses, hacks, and spy-ware, that DO run on OSX. Not very many, but I have seen, for example, spy-ware that was cross platform.
Call it Luck, Karma, or the Lord looking out for fools, but the bottom line is, PC's are targeted, hit and hurt by these attacks on a daily basis. Macs are not.

I know 7 people who have crossed to apple from windows, and all of them are happy for the change. I know one person who gave up on macs for windows. It was 1987, and he wanted to use Auto-Cad. He is still on PC's, still thinks Macs are toys, and is happy with his decision.

When any novice computer buyer asks me which to buy, I ask what all of their friends-family have, and usually suggest the same thing. My reasoning is that no matter what system or OS you have, there are times when it will stump you, confuse you, or break on you. It's 12:26 AM, and you only know one person who will answer your call that late, for a question (or 300) about computers. What does he use? If it's the same as yours, you might just get your work done by morning. If not? Customer service opens at 9:00AM, a half hour after you should be at work. Mac or PC you are going to have questions, and need guidance every once in a while. Friends and family support is usually 24-7.

As to cost. Mac's are more expensive, up front. Two weeks after the computer purchase, when you've added to your PC all the things that come standard on the mac, it's about even. A year down the road, people who have switched say the mac has saved you time. Lots of it. It's not just the time saved with spyware, viruses, windows updates, and hackers, even though that is what you hear most.
It's this.
The hardware, the OS, and much of the software I use are all designed and built by the same company, to work together. Apple is very good at it, and it really does make a difference in the day to day world of getting things done.
Other people will say different, and they are welcome to tell me where I'm wrong, but my answer is...


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Nice, lots of info to think about
by soc_wrkr / May 30, 2005 1:36 PM PDT

I'm a windows user tired of spending more time fixing and less time using. Even with Win XP (thankfully I was able to upgrade...Win ME was the WORST OS ever put out!!!!) I've learned that using new programs that might be great addition to your PC is good only if you have two PC's. One to test them with (so when you PC crashes you don't loose too much time) and one that you actually use on a daily basis. So, since I don't have the luxury of having two PC's I don't put ANY new programs on my PC unless I absolutely need them. The iTunes program has been WONDERFUL and a DREAM to use. Wait, it was created by Apple...not surprising. I've always heard that MAC's are more stable then PC's. I'm seriously looking at a MAC for my next purchase.

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Good choice
by grimgraphix / May 30, 2005 3:05 PM PDT

Apple's Mac has been a great upgrade from the frustrations regarding stability and security holes that most Win machines present you with not to mention the extra hours and added cost of programs to monitor said security risks. Security is a+++.
It is a different OS however and you will encounter a learning curve and your own personal pet peeves if you switch. It's kinda unique as far as the window management goes and the mouse issues are frustrating if you are switching from windows. Overall the minuses are zeroed out by the pluses if you plan on switching.


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What do you mean by mouse issues?
by soc_wrkr / May 31, 2005 8:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Good choice

What kind of mouse issues?

As far as pet peeves I would expect that in any OS.
Over the years of fixing issues with my PC (which include reformatting my hard drive umm....3 or 4 times I've lost count and starting my PC as if it just came out of the box -- oh, the memories of a fresh new PC out of the box....) I've developed pet peeves but I've found that when my PC is working I don't have any major pet peeves.

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Reply to: What do you mean by mouse issues?
by grimgraphix / May 31, 2005 2:50 PM PDT

If you have got used to using a multi-button mouse then the limited functions that os10 offers for a multi-button mouse can be frustrating. You can use the right click but it is the same as pushing the control (ctrl) key and clicking the one button then get a very limited menue. There is no assigning button functions from the system pref menue. There are after market drivers that can be installed to expand on these capabilities but I have yet to find one I like yet.

Stability and security more than make up for this oversight but it is one thing I miss.


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Mac's are just better machines!!!
by mini87 / June 20, 2005 10:53 AM PDT

To me, Macs are overall better machines. Not only for the OS and the design, the quality is also better. For example, I've owned my eMac for the last 8 months and it has never had a problem with the hardware, software, or etc. The Panther and Tiger OS'es are very simple to learn. When I did purchase my eMac in October 2004, I thought it was going to take forever to learn a new OS. It acutally took about 3 days! No computer is trouble free, and you do have to do upkeep to a Mac (repair permissions, disk utility, etc.) but they are easier to keep clean than a Windows machine. Plus, the OS is just better and the hardware looks better than anything out there!

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Macs are just better machines !!!
by geek49203 / April 19, 2006 1:52 PM PDT

Amen to that. Macs ARE better machines, partly due to the concept of being a ''Closed System.'' Seeing that Apple makes the hardware AND the software, they know EXACTLY what to do, to get the operating system to be totally compatible with the hardware. Windows XP on the other hand can be VERY frustrating, when you consider the fact that you must use parts that are ''compatible'' with Windows XP. Otherwise you're gonna run into some problems that will cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. For all of that money, one could purchase a robust Mac Mini with the Intel Core processor for LESS than $1200. Who could ask for anything more?

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mouse issues switching from windows
by jcrobso / June 3, 2005 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Good choice

The stock mouse that came with my MAC is in the desk darwer and I have a very nice 3 button mouse that I'm using. John

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Never heard that one before?
by taboma. / June 11, 2005 2:31 PM PDT

Lampie, you are no clown.
Great post and very smooth writing.
I think you are a professional writer. Technical or Editorial?
For what publication? Very well written. Easy to understand from the first paragraph to the closing. NICE! Have not experienced this form of writing on the forum for a while. Printing your post out and will show it to professionals at work.
Great post!!! Please post again. Looking forward to your writing. NICE!

Kevin Smith

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Wow! you didn't even ask to borrow money!
by lampietheclown / June 12, 2005 2:44 AM PDT

Honestly, I've never made a cent by writing.

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Is that where "lampie" comes from? getting off the subject
by grimgraphix / June 12, 2005 2:42 PM PDT


"lightbulb appearing over my head"

I'm on the call list for the local theater union (rigger, carpenter,electrician) Are you one of those wierd folks that wear nothing but black all the time?


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What you mean wierd? Doesn't everyone dress like that?

I thought I was a trendsetter because I did it before "goth" was cool.

I got the nickname a dozen years or so ago, on the road with Cheap Trick. Rick found out that I had spent a year with Ringling Bros. and wouldn't let it die.

Morgantown? Is that near Hamilton? I used to live in the capital of West Virginia. You know...



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Which came first...
by grimgraphix / June 13, 2005 12:27 AM PDT

Which came first...the Goth or the Punk?

Gaba Gaba Hey!

Trick would have been so cool ! I did get to do a few Kiss shows but the wierdest was WCW Wrestling...A bunch of huge people circled around a monitor going "ooh, that hurt!" or "whens your que? dont forget your mark"

You know, everyone from across the river was originally from WV...Too many jokes and none of them polite so lets just leave it at that.

I did get to watch 2 bear cubs play in my yard last night and I saw a taiko drum recital the night before...West Virginia is almost heaven but dont tell everyone...we are trying to keep the rif raf out.


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Gaba Gaba Hey! Off Subject
by lampietheclown / June 13, 2005 3:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Which came first...

Ahh the memories of Joey and Dee Dee. Last time I saw them, I freaked. Joey is better preserved than Keith Ritchards! Still looks the same as when they made ''Rock n Roll High school''. Must be the Youngstown water. Is Dave at ''Specialite'' still up there? or do you guys get your production gear from Pittsburg?
The reason I asked about Hunington is that I used to do shows at the Civic Cernter, One of them was Kiss, during the Crazy Nights tour. First time I ever ran a truss spot..There used to be a really good after hours place... just up and to the... Ahh... Sorry, ...wrong forum.

Gee, I guess Texas isn't too different from WVA. I watched 2 crackheads fight over a bag of pretzles last night in my yard. It's good to live in the country, isn't it? So much more peaceful!

Oh, and so we don't get flamed for being off topic, Computer, Computer, Mac, Mac Mac, Apple, NTNTNTNT
Yuk.. All that NT left a bad taste in my mouth. Oh well, an Apple a day...


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apple, apple, hey!
by grimgraphix / June 13, 2005 5:06 AM PDT

hauled a few super troopers for dave in my day ...(os10)...haven't done a gig in a year though...(apple)...The old lower disk in the back thing...(iBook)...getting old is not for the weak...(pushup bra)...Now I am working on an iBook doing art for bands and selling t-shirts to the moon shine heads at local bars...check out the home page.

Texas huh? Drove thru it from arizona to mississippi during june back in 94.So hot it melted the tires on my pickup!
That same year is the last time I saw the Ramones...skipped working the show in favor of watching it. One I did work was the Violent Femes back in 97...good times (sigh).

Sorry Bob...thats why I depend on my iBook to get the job done. Macs rule!

Last post off subject, I promise.


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Last one, Promise
by grimgraphix / June 13, 2005 5:17 AM PDT
In reply to: apple, apple, hey!

By the way, a buddy of mine had a sister that worked with (assisted) the lion tamer for Ringling Bros. Name of Ohmstead. Ring a bell?

Really Bob, the last one from dont have to pull the car over...I'll sit on my hands...promise.


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Gaba Gaba Hey............!
by zuluking / June 19, 2005 10:11 AM PDT

he he he
well George Bush is from TX so go figure..........................

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Getting off the subject?
by taboma. / August 31, 2005 1:14 PM PDT

Grim, you are 1000% correct. And, your post to Lampie is humerous also! I had a big smile on my face reading your post! :

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No money.
by taboma. / August 31, 2005 12:57 PM PDT

Lampie, another funny post. Just great to review.
Keep it up if you can. Kind of, you know what I mean.
I am up to about 10 words a minute on a really good day. Bad days, back to zilch!
If I could figure out all the programs on a Mac, there is a program that has voice recognition so that I do not have to type a darn thing.
Are you into that also? What happens if you burp? How does the computer software react?
God Bless you!?


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Your Writting Ability
by geek49203 / April 19, 2006 2:03 PM PDT


I'm gonna be totally honest with you, and STILL be positive at the same time. Your writting skills are JUST as awesome as your story. I too have come to enjoy the journey and experience of browsing through message boards. Especially the message boards, which are hosted by CNET. In kind, it's amazing how our experience can grow, by "helping" someone out with a problem. While this posting is not a "Church" per se, I will say that it is my humble "prayer," that more professionals can be more like you, where they would "share" their knowledge online. Until then take care and make it a GREAT day.

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dvd burner
by hildred / June 20, 2005 12:14 PM PDT

is burner dvd on a mac how it is good or better that my dell 4100

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by Dinasis / August 10, 2005 3:09 PM PDT

yes, Windows is currently the preferred target by hackers, crackers, and virus/malware programmers. However, you can't deny that should the market swing to the favor of Apple and the Macs, that disgruntled Windows users or others (Linux users, etc.) would target them instead.

After all, one of the biggest reasons these OS wars began is theorized to be the Apple v. Microsoft court case after Windows 3 came out...which Apple lost because of a prior contract with Microsoft. If Apple users are angry about that now and more or less sabotaging Windows users for it, think of the more or less dethrowned Windows users if Apple were to come out on top.

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You Caught Us
by lampietheclown / August 19, 2005 7:46 AM PDT
In reply to: targeting

Am I reading this right?
Is it your theory that Mac users are the source of Windows viruses?

Im so ashamed.


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Can't be me...
by grimgraphix / August 20, 2005 2:04 PM PDT
In reply to: You Caught Us

I swear, I always use a firewall...well... except for that one night I was drunk. but that was the only time I ever shared files without protection. Oh, and that other time in college but that was it... really!


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Umm....Interesting point of view
by soc_wrkr / August 21, 2005 6:31 AM PDT
In reply to: targeting

I'm a long time Windows user :(. I'm definitely not knowledgeable enough to work in a PC support position but I have learned over the years of using windows that windows DOES NOT need any hackers/disgruntled MAC or Linux, or other OS users to "sabotage" it. Windows does an all to good job of sabotaging itself, whenever it pleases! This is regardless of what I do to keep my pc running smoothly...

In the event that the disgruntled MAC or other OS user does decide to "sabotage" Windows, they won't have to work too hard. So, the solution you say?! Just do what you can to keep the menagerie of programs you have to keep your Windows PC protected from those evil disgruntled MAC and other OS users!!!

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Great Points
by crash900s / November 28, 2005 4:45 PM PST

That has to be one of the most fair and well-written general comparisons of the two platforms I?ve ever read. I am one of those rare users that prefer to use both since they do have such different strengths. I like the Best of both worlds if you will or I?m just greedy is fine too. Anyway I like a good discussion as much as the next person and so to further confuse the issue and raise, slaughter, and beat repeatedly a very dead horse I would like to challenge just a few of your points.

I find windows to be very user friendly especially for basic tasks and regardless of who stole from whom the two systems are remarkably similar anyway, especially today. If we are talking about the beginner or average user the interface is really as simple as recognize and click. Also for those who switch it seems to me only natural that they must be able to do so because of this resemblance. Furthermore let us not forget that Windows is a tool for the masses it is made to be simple.

This obviously is the root of its success and at the same time its fatal flaw. Windows can use any use almost any kind of hardware from any manufacturer and all sorts of software. It?s like the Roman Empire eventually it just gets too big. Frankly though I like all the choices and chaos. I like all the different hardware and software but, as you?ve stated, this is reason Windows is targeted for spy ware and viruses. Then again if maintain your system you should be fine. Also since I own an Apple computer I want to dispel the myth that they run perfectly all the time. While not technically ?crashing? often enough, macs will run slow and freeze up which is tantamount to the same thing. There is no blue screen of death but unless you start over you will be sitting in front of a frozen screen a long time.

The cost issue is my favorite part. I find that mac users never deny that their machines were expensive because, not only are they not ashamed but, instead this is actually where the root of their pride lays. I don?t fault them for it because really as a status symbol goes a mac delivers like no other computer. An IBM is way to utilitarian to make any sort of statement about one?s socio economic situation despite its reputation for well-made computers. All that said you do get what you pay for in a Mac, but if you enjoy upgrading as often as I do then the longevity of your hardware is not an issue. Most computers are obsolete within two or three years these days anyway.

For the most part since you were so thorough in your analysis of the subject I can?t really contribute mush more. Which computer is fast? It depends what you use it for etc?etc? I do want to warn the perspective new user to be wary of the rhetoric that mac people use. It starts with Mac?s are better, they are intuitive, on and on and before you know it somehow this translates to I use mac, I am an independent thinker, I have spent way too much money ergo I am better. For the beginner and you already are if you have to ask which is better mac or pc, either system will work for you. Personally I like lots of choices and so most of the time I buy PC?s and windows based programs.

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I am thinking, and thinking, and it hurts
by lisette / December 1, 2005 6:56 PM PST

I want to buy another pc, because I think that mine is too "small". I have updated my pentium 2 with win98 and 6giga hard disk to what I have now, only 2-3 years ago. Since then I couldn't find the time to realy do something on the pc : the last 3 years I have been busy to update, get lost with virusses, I have at least formatted my disk a hunderd times, And there is always something to fix.......that stops working.
When I read your review of Mac I am tented... very much.
It's true, Mac is more expensive on the initial purchase, I compared the Compaq Presario SR1649FR +19''(1149 euro) with the apple iMac G5 MA064F/A (1799 euro). And ther is a grand difference. But is it really worth it?

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Good response from Lampietheclown...follow on
by winotwo / May 3, 2005 2:21 AM PDT

Lampie covered most of the areas. I switched to the Mac about 3 years ago when I started grad school. I have been happy ever since. I still run a Windows machine for those apps that are not native to Mac. As to the Virtual PC is an option however, it is a painfully slow one. Everything runs extremely slow in Virtual PC. I have a 1 Ghz Powerbook with 1 gig RAM so I have the computer to support, it is just not a very viable solution.

As far as games, there are some pretty cool games for Mac and the graphics for them are stunning. I have played a few games that were available for both PC and Mac and the Mac version seemed to have better graphics.

As far as Office type applications, MS Office for Mac is much nicer and easier to use than the PC version and is fully compatible with the PC version and will do everything you need. And now there is Keynote and Pages which make presentations and preformatted word type documents a breeze to use. Also compatible with PC version of Word and PowerPoint.

So, unless you are just looking for a machine to play games....get the Mac. If you want to play games, get a PS2 or XBox and a Mac!

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by osopeligroso / May 4, 2005 1:53 AM PDT

Do PowerBooks have the capability to hook up to an XBox like my PC Desktop does?


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