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whats so great about...

macs? its not intended to be a biased question or anything, i really am asking. i've been a loyal pc user ever since i've started to use computers. my knowledge with using pcs can be summed up between intermediate and advanced. however, i've been hearing a lot of good stuff about macs for some reason. not so much what they can do or how they perform, but just how much people are so "happy" to own them. why is this? what can they do that pcs can't? i'm off to college in a couple months and its that time where i need to buy another laptop... so i've been debating whether i should stick with pcs or go with macs. according to everyone so far, macs seem like a really good choice, but before i make that decision... i really would wanna know... whats so great about it?

Thanks everyone!

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A view from both sides

In reply to: whats so great about...

Ok I am lucky enough to use both on a daily basis, this is being written on a Mac now, in the office, and my Windows box is at home. I have discovered that a lot of people like owning a Mac just because it is not a windows box. Of course that statement isn't that true now with the Intel based Mac's being able to run Windows alongside the usual Mac OS . They are just different enough to offer a fresh perspective on computer use as a whole and while the differences are noticeable they are good differences in my opinion.

Today's software market is able to meet the needs of both very well. Gaming is a bit of a grey error in the past for the Mac but this is only getting better as time passes. You didn't mention what you were going to study but you may find that using a Mac may give you a certain edge in some "multimedia" based professions. And they do tend to look a bit better in standard configuration than most standard spec windows boxes!

As for getting one for college, why not? College is the start of a whole new chapter in your life, why not change over your computing habits as well!

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A few things

In reply to: whats so great about...

1: Quality. Apple hardware quality tends to exceed that of any PC maker by leaps and bounds.

2: Mac OS X. Compared to any version of Windows, OS X puts it to shame in almost every way

3: It Just Works(tm). The majority of the time, you plug some bit of hardware into a Mac, and it Just Works(tm). There's no lengthy process of installing drivers and support programs, then fiddling about with settings, etc. I will say that the drawback to this, is that if something doesn't work immediately with a Mac, it probably never will. Though one could argue this is better than a partially functional setup that is compromising the stability of the system, like is far too common on Windows.

4: Innovation. Apple is hardly the innovator it likes to make itself out to be, but at the same time, it still does far more than Microsoft, or almost anyone else in the PC world. Apple is the single biggest reason we don't all still have your basic beige computer case still. Most of the current Windows interface (Win95-XP) is incredibly similar to versions of the Mac OS that date back as far as the Apple ][. Apple didn't come up with it, but they did largely perfect it. Microsoft has never really been an innovative company. Most of their good ideas are either from acquired companies, or shamelessly stolen.

5: Low maintainence. Apple systems are as close as you can get to an appliance computer. There's still a long ways to go, but it's also quite a ways ahead of Windows on the same front.

They aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, they're just better than their PC counterparts running Windows IMO.

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IMHO, it became so...

In reply to: whats so great about...

Mac and IBM type PC followed two principles when they were first brought out. They were "open and closed" systems. basically, the closed system was only options offered by Apple and then later what some 3rd parties could offer. Generally, speaking Apple took care of its users and listen and thus options and such were made available, maybe not on a timey basis but usually covered everything. Plus anything Apple offered was expensive once you got away from playtime. What IBM pcs were are very open systems and they thus became popular because just about anything could be had in some form or another. More importantly, s/w was offered by so many and possibilty free or cheaply it became the real reason it broke so far ahead of Apple. This leads to two later forms of the IBM and Apple camps. Stability and usage. With Apple whatever was offered pretty much worked and was supported from day 1 with open arms(sorta) while IBM Pcs to were supported, so many versions of s/w and h/w caused problems and/or conflicts, fixes, patches, to include the OS and then if something else thrown into the mix, it become unstable again, but with all those users and companies it fixed them again. Time heals all wounds and the modern IBM type pc is very stable and so it seems at least for practical terms. Happy

I was in the IBM camp and followed through since day 1, from the beginning. I never could afford an Apple or all the earlier Ataris, Commanderes, PETs, Adams, etc, until IBM came out. I figured if IBM was in the store, it was money well spend. So far that has proven correct. As for Apple, it changed it flavour so much, but not the thinking, it's still around but not in the same vein as IBM types.

Macs provide great graphics and OS before IBM could but that lead is gone. IBM is here more because as 9-out of-10 users are IBM ones and business so warmly accepts it. On top of all that servers are IBM types as well. The only things Apple has offered that save thier bacon first are: 1st dependable computer, GUI, graphics, OS, printers, ipod and maybe now iphone.

Maybe not everything is listed above or sorted well, but you get the basic picture.

tada -----Willy Happy

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In reply to: whats so great about...

so it does sound like a lot more people are happier to be mac users. i see the some of the main reasons being its stability, user-friendliness, and graphics. however, can it still achieve everything that a pc can, while still excelling in all these areas? i'm mostly looking for a computer that will complement my major in college (computer science, computer software engineering, or computer information general). i know apple makes quality products, ipods being proof of that. but still, i'm not sure if switching to macs would be the best thing for me. thanks for all the current suggestions! they are much appreciated

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Go to the source

In reply to: hmm

CS major = Windows computer. You'll want to put a Linux distribution on it, too. This could also mean a Mac with Bootcamp (

Best thing to do: Ask the school's computer departments (CS, CE, IS) what hardware they recommend for incoming freshmen. They may even have this listed on their website. You may find some other goodies, like a list of free/discounted software available to students.

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Let's not forget..

In reply to: hmm

It is a taste, not a must. While I am usually strictly PC, I have worked on\with Mac and they are nice pieces of equipment. User friendly? That highly depends. It takes some getting used to when jumping into a Mac, it's somewhat a new world there, albeit a refreshing one. Now, my cousin had Mac and now went to PC, I asked him why and he said he was tired of not having the features of Windows, Windows apps, etc...That's his take. I am not big into Macs but I would think you can find an equivilent to any Windows Media Player or app that runs on Windows. "Not to mention virtual Windows I believe" While they seem more solid of a machine, smoother running, great with graphics, you have to consider price as well. The parts PRICE, at least in my area and surrounding states, are much more than that of a PC. Depending where you shop, you may be hard pressed to find Mac parts unless over the internet. We can't get any where I live, no one sells Mac parts. But I doubt this would be the case in most areas, it's a smaller area here so probably why. Just a consideration.

I wish I could own both, if I had the money, I would. One for my graphics work and play, and the PC to practice my repairs every time it crashes. ;P


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In that case

In reply to: hmm

I would say you should at least be very familiar with the Mac platform. You don't need to go out and buy a Mac, but you should be aware of it from a technical standpoint.

And like all other Unix platforms, OS X comes with a complete development suite. You've got all the command line compilers of the GCC suite, and then there's Xcode or Eclipse to provide you with a nice IDE.

Anyone in the IT field should be aware of as many different platforms as possible. At a barest of minimums, that would be Windows, Mac, and Linux. You might be asked to write a Mac app some day, or to make a program that can be ported to the Mac or Linux. If you do web development, you'll need to make sure that sites work in Safari, or you may need to know where OS X stores configuration files to tinker with Apache mod_php settings.

There are all sorts of ways in which being familiar with other platforms will be beneficial to you, and not a single way it can hurt you professionally.

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