Mac v PC

Original Date: July 25, 2006

Quite a number of us have seen those commercials put out by Apple in regard to Macintosh and PCs (Personal Computers) recently. One guy introduces himself as a Mac, the other a PC. The poor PC is struggling with viruses, trial software, and the latest lack of fun syndrome. The Mac is having a great, problem free time enjoying his photos and music.

So everyone knows those commercials are the biggest crock of marketing that I have ever seen. It is well known that a number of computer users in the world prefer Mac because of a few different reasons. It could be that they are rebels and do not want to submit to the imaginary Microsoft empire. Or, they think using a Mac is easier, or the person may like the graphical user interface (GUI) better.

Since I work in Information Technology as a System Support Analyst with workstations and networks, which include Macs and PCs, I am going to tell you the truth about both of them. Simply, they are both computers and they both have common problems and particular problems in regard to the software each uses.

Starting with Viruses, it is true that PCs running Microsoft Windows have a lot more malicious software problems, but that is simply because the OS (operating system) is used by more people across the globe. There are plenty of people out there that hate Microsoft for one reason or another as they sit behind their Apples or Linux workstations. Some of those people do what they can to attack and undermine Windows by writing malicious programs and viruses. Or the virus writer is just a crook trying to steal our identities or bank account numbers. Although, the IT world is beginning to see malicious software that is beginning to target not only the Windows OS but Macs and Linux platforms as well.

In my own personal experience with Macs, I have to say that I started out as an Apple user back in the early 80s when my aunt purchased an Apple IIe. I love my Apple (Fred, and I still have him), and I loved all the wonderful things I could do with it back then. Though I began to notice there was a problem with compatibility between what I was doing and my friends with PCs did. I have been a gamer ever since I can remember, and some of the games that I saw coming out for PC were great. Plus, my friends could share their word processing files and the like. Finally, I decided that if I was going to be one with the rest of the tech world out there, I might as well get into the PC game. Who wants to be incompatible all the time? I hated it.

I turned to PCs and became very happy being able to share files, gaming, bulletin boards, chat lines, and whatever else my friends and I chose to do before the Internet. So that is one of my biggest gripes when it comes to Apple is the incompatibility issue, which has been addressed to some degree. But, the problem with incompatibility is continuing to plague my user experience with Apple. I did keep up with the Apple OS and technology including learning to program on Macs in High School. So when I took a job in the IT field working with Macs I was able to fix what needed to be fixed. With the advent of OS X through OS 10.4, I had a horrible time trying to get software that was compatible with 10 through 10.4. It turns out that Apple does not support older OS (including OS 10.0 verses 10.4) and many software manufactures do not either. Windows is far superior to Apple in this regard to OS legacy support.

Also, the other day I decided to download some videos with iTunes, an Apple music/media software. The only programs that would play the videos that we purchased were iTunes and QuickTime (an Apple product). My wife and I wanted to burn our new videos to DVD to take on a trip, but the video format the videos were in were incompatible with any burning software I tried. I even bought QuickTime pro ($30!) to try to convert it to a usable format because the software claimed to be able to do that with different video types. That still did not work because iTunes has its own special format, and I found out that Apple purposely makes downloads incompatible so you can only use them with their hardware products. Needless to say I was hacked off! It is the same way with the music you download, but thankfully you can still burn the music to CD then you can RIP it from the CD back into other formats you can utilize on other hardware types. If we buy the music we should be able to use the music or videos the way we see fit.

One other thing I would like to point out is Mac users go on and on about how easy it is to use a Mac. That is ridiculous. If you are a person brand new to using a computer the Mac interface is just as complicated to use as a Windows interface. It has especially become more difficult when Apple brought out OS X and all its predecessors. The only difference is you have your menu bar at the top of the screen on a Mac and at the bottom on a PC. It is all silly propaganda. I found using a Mac as easy as using a PC.

Since I work on Macs at my job, I also have a Mac G4 Tower using the Mac 9.2.2 OS. I like the computer, but the other day the hard drive decided to crash. Sounds like a PC does it not? The difference is every time my hard drive has crashed in my PC it was either my fault or I was using it at the time and did something I should not have done. My Mac G4 Tower hard drive crashed when I was not even using it. I sat down to do something and it was gone. Plus, none of my handy Mac fix tools could repair it, so I had to reinstall the OS and set everything back up and try to find my lost data.

So when it comes to those cute little commercials being broadcast recently with the PC and Mac realize what it is, just marketing to get you to buy a Mac instead of a PC. Yes, PCs come with trial software, but it is cool to see what kind of products are coming out. Plus, if you do not want to use it all you have to do is uninstall. Do PCs have problems with malicious software, sure, but if you use a good anti-malicious ware program, stay away from shady areas on the internet, keep your computer updated, use a good firewall, and do not install all kinds of free and suspicious software off the internet you will be fine. I have never had a virus/malicious software problem on my home or work PCs.The most recent commercials deal with the upgrade issue for Windows Vista. Of course with a new and upgraded version of Windows coming out, Microsoft will design it to run on the newest and best machines available. That is a silly idea to think that there is something wrong with having to upgrade an old machine to run a new, upgraded operating system. Put the shoe on the other foot, if you own a iMac G3 machine and you want to run OS X.4 Tiger from Apple, you will have to buy a new computer.

When it comes to entertainment the Mac OS cannot compete with the Windows OS. There is a ton more games, programs, and activities that you can do with your PC. If a Mac does it, so can a PC. Plus your PC is compatible with everyone else out there using the Windows OS and programs. Apple was, is, and will be just a limited platform as long as they keep trying to limit us to using their products. Wake up and smell the roses, Apple, compatibility is what people want in their personal and business lives. If you want to compete and actually overcome, become compatible with everything else, then your superior products will bring the consumer to you. Give us our freedom.

Though in the end when it is all said and done: the Mac is a computer, and a PC is a computer. They both will do something to disappoint us.

About Daniel Silas
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