Mac versus PC: The Eternal Struggle

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Nostradamus
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Mac versus PC: The Eternal Struggle

Post by Nostradamus » Aug 23rd 2004, 12:45 am

I've been thinking of switching over to Apple whenever my current PC kicks the bucket and thought I'd solicit the nerdy ken of my fellow Lifers.

:-P

First off, I know this is one of the all-time biggest flame-war starters on the web, but I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be like that here. I don't care whether Bill Gates or Steve Jobs was the bigger dweeb in the 70's or which OS will get me more chicks :wink: , I just want your honest opinions on comparative quality.

For the most part I've used PCs but I did cut my teeth on Macs about two decades ago. I have almost no experience with contemporary Macs; I have only heard of their reputation, which is almost always positive. My experience with PCs is that they get the job done for a wide variety of aps but are very buggy and aggravating.

The general consensus seems to be that the Mac is a little better in most respects, with a big advantage in stability and multimedia applications. Meanwhile the PC is cheaper and offers a much wider selection of hardware and software, especially for gaming.

So, what do you think...?
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 23rd 2004, 1:26 am

I'll give you my lame assessment: I have the best of both worlds because I have a Mac at work and a PC at home. I grew up using Macs at school, but always had a PC at home (my parents' choice). At this point, I have no preference because any software I use is available for both machines. Granted, I don't use my home computer for anything to complex - anything remotely complicated is on my work computer. The two big pluses to having a Mac are (1) we don't have to deal with viruses since most people don't bother trying to affect such the small population of Mac users and (2) you can copy copyrighted stuff. I am not advocating illegal copying - I am a paranoid person because I have had people break into my car before, so usually when I have a CD in my car, it's a copy. It's frustrating not to be able to make a copy of a CD that I bought legally, so I was ecstatic when I learned I could burn those copyrighted CDs on my Mac.

:mrgreen:
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 23rd 2004, 1:44 am

I am a Mac person all the way. My family has ever only owned Macintoshes, and I just love them. Doing work on my Dell at school is such a pain for me. I've always herad that Macs are better for a lot of things, but in all honsety, I don't know the technical reasons why, and because I only use my work computer for really basic things like word processing, internet and a grading program, I can't really testify to which is a better computer. I'm used to Macs, and switching to PC's is irritating and confusing for me, but I'm sure PC users feel the same way switching to Macs. The solid benefit I do know Macs have over PCs is that you are much less likely to get a virus. Macs are definitely more expensive, but I think they also last longer. You can save a lot of money by buying them 1 or 2 years old. My dad is a computer junkie and buys a new-to-him Mac every couple years as a gift for one of us or himself. He's gotten great prices on floor models and off of ebay, and never had any trouble. The only computer games I play is solataire and sometimes dominoes or Shanghai, so I don't knw about that aspect, although if I think about it, it does seem that all of my friends who play games have PC's, but then that might have nothing to do with it; most of my freinds are young and poor, and the price difference is probably the real factor. One thing that I know bothers a lot of PC users when they switch is the absence of the right click button. On the way superficia level, Macs are way sexier, even the packaging they come in is cute. Anyway, good luck with the decision! :D
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 23rd 2004, 1:48 am

candygirl wrote:2) you can copy copyrighted stuff. I am not advocating illegal copying - I am a paranoid person because I have had people break into my car before, so usually when I have a CD in my car, it's a copy. It's frustrating not to be able to make a copy of a CD that I bought legally, so I was ecstatic when I learned I could burn those copyrighted CDs on my Mac. :mrgreen:
Huh, I have never ever heard of PC's doing that.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 23rd 2004, 3:02 am

The only thing that has annoyed me about the Mac situation lately is how it seems like there is a new version of OS X every two weeks.

:evil:
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Post by fnordboy » Aug 23rd 2004, 10:18 am

Well, I have to go with PC on this one. I have used both Macs and PCs over the years and overall I prefer a PC. 5 or 6 years ago I would say, yes a Mac is better for working on large graphics files or film/multimedia stuff. Nowadays that is just not the case IMO. You can get just as much out of a PC for a lot less money.

The virus situation. If you just do the updates and scan your computer every now and then you are fine. I don't understand why so many people get viruses as much as they do. It isn't hard work to keep your computer up to date on the updates for windows or your virus definitions. And running Adaware every couple days or so helps too. I've been online for well over a decade now and I have NEVER had a real problem with a virus. I download stuff all the time and have for a long time...never had a problem I couldn't handle quickly.

Does Windows suck? Yes it is a pain in the ass to have to run updates all the time, and you would wish that they would get their act together. In the long run you are better off with a PC IMO. You could get a top of the line Dell for $1000 or more cheaper than a comprable Mac. That alone makes the PC a better choice IMO. Plus I really don't like OS X. And looking towards the future Longhorn looks like it might be pretty friggin cool. :wink:

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Post by Nothingman » Aug 23rd 2004, 10:55 am

Nostradamus, I got a top end dell, but not the fancy gammer one or anthing, last fall and have no complaints other than Windows is evil, but that's not their fault. If you are shopping for a Dell I HIGHLY recomend going to http://www.gotapex.com. This site keeps and eye on the dell site and finds you incredible deals and provides links to them. It saves you all the trouble of trying to sort through their deals and specials. Figure out what you want in your PC and then watch the site for a similar model to pop up. Most of the time you will find one with more than you were looking for for less than you would have paid just specing out your minimum requirements. New deals pop up daily and many are only avaliable for a few days so be patient and you'll usually find a screaming deal. You can upgrade most of the models if they don't have a particular item without voiding the deal, it just tacks on a couple extra bucks for the upgrade. Good luck.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 23rd 2004, 1:18 pm

You're lucky Fnordboy! My brother-in-law has a Dell, and he religously runs the anti-virus programs, and still his computer is swarming with viruses. I've also heard from a lot of Dell users that they are not worth buying as there are no actual Dell stores or places that work on them... (I'm not quite remembering the exact issue)
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Post by Nothingman » Aug 23rd 2004, 1:39 pm

Jody Barsch* wrote: My brother-in-law has a Dell, and he religously runs the anti-virus programs, and still his computer is swarming with viruses. I've also heard from a lot of Dell users that they are not worth buying as there are no actual Dell stores or places that work on them... (I'm not quite remembering the exact issue)
Often times people download programs that are causing havoc because of trogans or other back door connections to the internet. Virus software does little to help this. MacAfee does provide a fire wall program that will allow you to control what programs are permitted to access the web. Adaware is also a great resore to find these programs and delete them since they are tough to remove.

As far as Dell service goes I'm not sure what the problem would be. you could buy a computer from Staples but you will likely get lower quality service than hiring a reputable private serviceman. Dells online support is rather good they will spend hours on the phone trying to sort out software issues. Hardware problems are a bit more difficult and though they will waranty their parts they won't always help you put them in. The only way I'd buy a computer from a local dealer is if a professional was going to build me one from scratch, and even then you are inviting a lot of potential problems, more so than a package deal online. Dell isn't always the best option, but I don't think it's a bad one.
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Post by emmie » Aug 23rd 2004, 2:21 pm

here is an opinion from a near computer idiot. I have used PCs all of my life and just had to switch to MACs for school. at first it was really confusing doing the most simple things because I had never touched a MAC. but now that I have experience and understand it better, I love them. the system just seems to make more sense and is easier. plus it's a lot faster to find files and such. but I'm working with video editing software and graphics. so I guess it really just depends on what you want to do on your computer.

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Post by MyLifeIsBrians » Aug 23rd 2004, 2:59 pm

I used Mac once or twice and could`nt understand it at all. I usally pick up on computers really quickly but with Mac I just did`nt want to bother but after reading some reviews I`m thinking I should`nt have given up so quickly. I have a HP and a couple of months after I had it, it crashed on me. I think a lot of it has to do with the so-called knowledge of customer support. Every time after I got off the phone with them something went wrong till one day it all went wrong and crashed. So HP in my opinion is no good. I used Dell at school and it seemed pretty reliable but with the lack of customer support I`d be wary of buying it. Overall I prefer PC but I would`nt rule out Mac.
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Post by fnordboy » Aug 23rd 2004, 3:37 pm

Jody Barsch* wrote:You're lucky Fnordboy! My brother-in-law has a Dell, and he religously runs the anti-virus programs, and still his computer is swarming with viruses. I've also heard from a lot of Dell users that they are not worth buying as there are no actual Dell stores or places that work on them... (I'm not quite remembering the exact issue)
Your brother-in-law is clearly doing something wrong then. If you are up to date on your security updates and virus defs there is no way you should be getting viruses (let alone swarming with them). He is either not keeping up with updates (which you can have Windows automatically do) or he is running files and programs that he doesn't know what they are. Most likely he opens stuff in his emails that he really shouldn't be opening.

As far as buying a Dell or not. I, personally, would never buy anything but a Dell at this point. HPs are nothing but problems for nearly everyone I know who owns one. Though I have to say we have a bunch at work and they work well enough, so their business class machines must be somewhat decent. Compaq is HP now so they shouldn't be bothered with either IMO. eMachines are good for a cheapo box that you don't expect to survive more than 2 or 3 years. Dell has been great. They are the easiest to upgrade that I have seen. Everything in the tower is easy to get to and remove. I remember trying to upgrade parts on my girlfriend's old Compaq :shock: a nightmare! Dell support over the phone is generally good, I have never had a problem with them. Also if you pay for their at home plan you can have technician come to your house to fix it. If you buy an HP you still have to send it to an HP repair place. So I don't know what you are talking about specifically. Yeah if you buy something at Best Buy you can bring it there to get fixed...but I wouldn't want some Best Buy 5.50 an hour slave to even get near one of my machines.

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Post by guitarchick » Aug 23rd 2004, 8:22 pm

PCs are for losers!

:lol: just kidding... but go with the mac. They're so much sleeker. Mine have always been good to me.

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Post by Nostradamus » Aug 27th 2004, 1:47 am

Thanks for all the info, everyone. Old Dorfl (my PC's nickname, see Discworld series) has been doing much better since he got his new hard drive; I suspect the original had been damaged in assembly or shipping or something. Anyone here have any thoughts on Alienware systems? I hear they're targeted mainly toward the hardcore gamers, so that may not be the kind of specialization I'm looking for. Well, I am hardcore, but I'm old-school hardcore, so I have little use for the new stuff...

:wink:
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Post by fnordboy » Aug 27th 2004, 10:39 am

Nostradamus wrote:Thanks for all the info, everyone. Old Dorfl (my PC's nickname, see Discworld series) has been doing much better since he got his new hard drive; I suspect the original had been damaged in assembly or shipping or something. Anyone here have any thoughts on Alienware systems? I hear they're targeted mainly toward the hardcore gamers, so that may not be the kind of specialization I'm looking for. Well, I am hardcore, but I'm old-school hardcore, so I have little use for the new stuff...

:wink:
They are sweet looking machines.... :drool: I think they are very overpriced though.

Seriously, I would just go with a Dell just make sure you don't get an integrated sound card or video card.

My girlfriend just bought this monstrosity and I am sooooo jealous:
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