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The Macintosh Webmaster Forum

Why Mac?

 3:36 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

What’s the different between Mac & PC and why do the arties prefer Mac, is it a software issues



 4:17 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I try to keep discussion away from Mac VS Windows because the worst answers come out and shows arrogance on both parties behalf.

I believe it is a preferences issue for the most part. The hardware is nice, always new inventive and up to date things coming out for it. Firewire innovention on their behalf is one of the reasons I prefer the platform, now I can use my firewire stuff with my PC too.

A lot of people prefer Macintosh computers to PCs from a graphic artist standpoint. The computer being able to render and visualize at a faster rate than other computers. Handling of the programs is another, less frequent crashes. Both parties have come a long way on that part.

I enjoy the Macintosh because of the people uses them, it's a smaller crowd but it is people loving their machines or hating them. The hackers for the OS learn a lot more quicker because they have more experience with multiple OS's.

A lot of PC people have never used a Mac yet trash it, the same goes for Mac users - To me its all about the people who can sit down and use any operating system and being able to handle it.

Final Cut Pro is one of my new favorites as software is concerned. :) It's all about preferences - what you like.


 4:28 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are many differences between a Mac and a Wintel machine. A few of the reasons I recommend going with a Mac:

1) Fewer viruses. In supporting 100's of Macs, I have had only Office viruses (and they are crippled on a Mac). The Windows support people kept busy updating/installing new anti-virus software.
2) And related to that: fewer security problems. With pre-OS X, the Mac was incapable of doing many things that normally open up holes. With the Mac OS X core, because it is open-source, the code has been looked at by many eyes, and the holes would be spotted.
2) Easier to use interface. Often used items, like the menu bar, belong at the edges of the screen. (You cannot overshoot them like you can a menu in a window. Do a search for Fitt's law for more info).
3) Mac OS X. Although I used Macs before OS X, it allows me to write perl code, run apache, do FTP, and use powerful Unix commands like sort, cat, and other command line things, that isn't doable in DOS.

To specifically answer your question about the arties (I'm not one, but I do tech support for them): They use Macs because it was the first platform that could properly translate what was on screen to what would print out (WYSIWYG). They still use it because it is still better at that, and much of the software available for doing arty stuff runs better on the Mac.


 4:32 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

EliteWeb has it,

there have been a bunch of threads about this in the time that I have been around and it always degenerates and gets the slightest bit nasty. The reason being that it is a preference based argument, there is no answer.

There are pros and cons each way. I find that, for me, the OS is just so much more intuitive and intelligent in regards to the way I work. It has the ability to do everything I need it to do and do it well. I have worked on macs and pc's for years, my Dad had an Apple 2e and we used to run tests against our 486 and later our pentium 120. It was great stuff. I work on a PC every day and have it tweaked out to be stable and have scoured the web for programs that I like.

I am happy with it but my eyes still glaze over as I sit dreaming about titanium G4's, phenomenally beautiful desktops and flat screens that make me feel like a little kid. I have stacks of software for the Mac and I always pick up the newest stuff for it even though I don't have one.

I am too poor to buy a cpu of any kind but I go get quotes for a new mac every once in a while.

OK, so I'm nuts .... but that is the difference.

<added>not an artist either, just a lowly programmer


 5:25 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I started working on a Mac in 1990! At that time, it was strictly for designing traditional print media. I believe we had a 8MB hard drive with 16MB of RAM, I can't remember that far back.

Started working with the PC in 1995. The two platforms have their Pro's and Con's as with any other systems.

For me, the Mac is the only choice when designing for traditional Print Media. I've become a master at using Quark and a novice user of Illustrator and Photoshop. I'm looking forward to testing Quark 5 and the new HTML features just to see what it does. I'm a FP groupie!

I will point out one thing, the Mac processor is far superior to the PC processor, and it should be because of the file sizes that are typically encountered in graphics. Heck, we have images that are 500-700MB in size that open fairly quickly on our G4's. Not so on the PC! Add a few layers to those images and you've crossed the 1GB zone! You better have a powerful graphics card!

I spend about 80% of my time on the PC and the other 20% on the Mac. It took a while for me to get adjusted to the keyboard commands but I can outdo almost anyone when it comes to using keyboard shortcuts!


 5:34 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

My Mac guy say's he prefers them as "Macs are kind" :)

>why do the arties prefer Mac

I think it is historical, in the early days the Mac was THE platform for graphics and that has continued. I think that they are also a bit trendy nowadays, they whole "think different" pitch.

I can't see the attraction myself but the Mac people really do seem to love their Macs, to me a machine is a machine.

If you are going to work all day at the screen face it's best to have a machine you like, if you have people at the office who prefer Mac's then buy them one it will pay in the long run.


 5:37 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

How many of you Mac users have prompted the little Mac Robot to come out and laser beam your screen? ;)

That is the best way I can describe the little bugger. First time I saw him, we had a gas!


 5:56 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I sincerly hope we can run such conversations between civilised persons without getting arrogant on the other party.

This thread seem to prove it at this point. I rejoice many participants already used many platforms so they can compare them, and choose what fits them better for their own needs.

I use both Mac and Windows on a daily basis. I think the Mac for web production is the best choice for the simple following reason :

Emulation. A mac can let you run simultaneously many versions of windows on the fly. You can do quality control or spot checks on as many versions of browsers or OS you want. Just press "command tab" and reload between each versions. No rebooting. A great time saver that alone justifies the price difference for me.

Speed, stability and security where mentionned before, so I wont stress this point.

What I like better about a Wintell PC is cost and software choice. I also prefer the way Windows handles multi-tasking compared to pre MacOS X systems.


 6:06 pm on Jun 6, 2002 (gmt 0)


It's just like with people, it's always the minorities that are better at being bilingual! :-)


 10:02 am on Jun 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Having used Macs at my previous place of work, I much prefer them to PCs. Unfortunately, you need to be that bit much richer than I am to be able to afford a Mac! So I have to put up with Windows!


 10:28 am on Jun 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

>if you have people at the office who prefer Mac's then buy them one it will pay in the long run...

That's what I did. Result - a happy worker - so money well worth spending!


 10:35 pm on Jun 8, 2002 (gmt 0)


I started learning computers on a Mac (which helped) but then I went back to college and worked as a tutor in the computer lab on both PCs and MACs and then owned both. I also worked for Temp Co's mainly using PC's. However after wrestling with DOS on my own PC for a year or so I gave my PC to my son.

I like the Mac because my PC friends are always telling me about their PC crashing and freezing up and virus attacks (which MACs are pretty much immune to).

Plus I can format a PC disk and save data to it from my Mac without added software and then use it on a PC. Last I heard PC's can't do that.

MAC's may be more expensive but they usually last longer. I'm still printing on a StyleWriter II made in 1994 and I use at least a rheam of paper a month.

Even though there is less software available for the Mac I still won't give it up.

I will NEVER own an iMac however--they are UGGGGGlY!!!

BTW, what is the Mac Robot?


 8:24 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you're comming from a PC perspective there are some myths that need dispelling.

1) macs are not easier to use
It took me ages to figure out how to run applications - no programs menu, no "run" command.

2) macs are not more stable
I work in a place where there are about 20 macs all OS9 they all crash frequently.

I dont think there is that much difference between macs and PC's especially if you are using major applications i.e Microsoft, Macromedia, Adobe.

Bascially there are slightly different ways of doing things and different names like 'alias' instead of 'shortcut' etc.

Hardware seems to plug in better and the gamma settings and DPI are different.


 9:26 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just to add my little bit! I am head of IT down at a ad agency in London. I have used Macs since the early days of a Mac Plus printing to bromide and cutting and pasting artwork traditionally, through the installation of our first network (god it was slow!) and all the way to full digital artwork. I used to also be very anti-PC until I started using them! Now I can understand both strengths and weaknesses of each machine.

At work now I think we have got it right, the studio and creatives all use Macs, for creative software they are simply the best. i don't know what it is about Photoshop on the PC but it doesn't seem quite right, the tools don't seem to work as well as on a Mac. Quark on the Mac is fantastic and if you are sending work to a printer or publication then they will almost insist on Mac files, it is quite rare to find one that is comfortable with PC files, even if it is the PC version of quark.

Now on the other hand the account handlers (the suits) are half way from transferring from their imacs to Windows 2k PC's. The reason for this switch is basically the Macs weren't up to the tasks we needed them to perform. You will find that Aco**** Handlers, no disrespect to them, aren't as computer literate as people who would have used them in college etc and do stuff like forget so save all the time, and with the Macs unhealthy tendancy to crash a bit compared to the PC's rock stable W2K this is a bit of a problem!

Also a when a client wants a document sent over although the Mac to PC transfer is supposed to be seemless it never really is in practice. Jpegs would be sent over embedded in a word file that were CMYK which wouldn't show up on the clients PC etc.

And from a IT point of view the PCs are much, much nicer to admin! Using W2K group policy you can do unattended updates, automatic software installation, lock down a users rights so they can't install that 'screensaver' their mate sent them which you simply can't do on a Mac. And the W2K Server allows Mac users to connect and use it fine. (don't start me on about OSX Server, I'll spit blood for years!)

So really to sum up, for Creative work, the Macs are tops, all other work, PC's are where it's at!


 9:39 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Also a when a client wants a document sent over although the Mac to PC transfer is supposed to be seemless it never really is in practice. Jpegs would be sent over embedded in a word file that were CMYK which wouldn't show up on the clients PC etc.

This is where the power of Acrobat comes through. We transfer .pdf files across various platforms all day long. A couple of years ago we were doing the .jpg thing and that is too time consuming. Just take your open document, print, select print to file, then save to file, set your preferences, and boom, its done!


 11:27 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

That is what we do and have done for a while now. PDF's are easily the future, more and more publications accept them ahead of film and cromalin. They are much smaller than a collect for output for ISDNing as well as stopping any font legality issues.

The jpeg thing showed up most with powerpoint presentations. They would be created on a Mac, sent to a PC laptop to view and bam, hla fhte pictures just had a quicktime holder saying can't display on this computer!


 6:16 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

knighty: #1 This argument is specious at best. One could just as easily say that Windows is not easier to use because the Start menu is difficult to navigate because of the large about of menus (for more info, see Miller's Magic number). Or that the "run" command is "unintuitive"-- who would think of typing something in to get an application open?

#2 PCs are not more stable either. Both crash. I've heard Win2K is very stable. But, I do know this: If a pre-OS X Mac is properly maintained, it is very stable. Also, Mac OS X is very stable.

bateman_ap: Your comment brings up an interesting point. People should buy a personal computer second, and the software first.

a) Find out what primary applications you need to run. Do this by talking to others who do similar work as what you want to do. See what they recommend. Also figure out what else you need: Office Suite, Text editors, or whatever.
b) See what hardware it runs on. If the majority of the apps run on the Mac, buy a Mac, or vice versa. [You can easily run some Windows apps on the Mac, if you need to.]
c) If that fails, then ask your niece or nephew what they can help you with, and buy that.

Computer choices are more limited, but folks should approach this problem the same as they approach buying a vehicle. Do you need to haul wood and tools? Do not buy a Camry. Do you need reliable transportation for a family of 5? Do not buy a Porsche. Buy what gets the work done.

However, I do not agree with the statement, "...PCs are much, much nicer to admin!" I was also in IT, and the Macs I maintained were much less of a headache than the PCs my 2 co-workers maintained, especially around Melissa time. And, all of the stuff you mentioned (S/W install, locking it down, etc), that you say you cannot do on a Mac, well, you can (or at least I can).


 6:39 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

> #2 PCs are not more stable either. Both crash. I've heard Win2K is very stable. But, I do know this: If a pre-OS X Mac is properly maintained, it is very stable. Also, Mac OS X is very stable.

Stability comes from proper maintenance. Instability on the Mac usually occurs when there are extensions issues. Back in the days, we found that the extensions were the biggest issue when it came to Mac stability.

Mac is susceptible to virus as clearly indicated by the 9508 A,B,C and D (I believe it was 9508) virus that hit a few years ago. What a mess that was! Removing a virus from the Mac is not as simple as the PC!

Both platforms are extremely stable if maintained properly. I can't emphasize enough about the maintenance aspect. If you are having problems, disable extensions and then go through the methodical process of enabling each one to see where the problem is.


 7:22 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Mac is susceptible to virus as clearly indicated by the 9508"

The Autostart 9805 worm (not technically a virus). It's been 4 years since that originated.

I never said Macs were not susceptible; they are, and EVERYONE should run some kind of anti-virus software. But, out of the 100's of Macs I have run anti-virus SW on, I have found 1 or 2 viruses. On the few PCs that I have run SW on, I found several (and I only do Windows when I have to). There are no two ways about it: the sheer number of virus/worms/security exploits on Windows far exceeds the number of those on a Mac-- literally 1,000s for PCs, and a few for the Mac. Since the virus writer's goal is to infect, and affect, as many machines as possible, they are not going to go for 5% of the computers-- they go for the 90%+.

"Removing a virus from the Mac is not as simple as the PC!"

I do not agree with that statement. I have found it much easier to remove worms or viruses from the Mac. On the PC, I don't remember what virus it was, but the recommended solution was to rename a particular file, move it, and reinstall it with a good copy. It was a cabinet file, or something stupid like that...I try not to remember. On the Mac, I just install the anti-virus software, update it, and run it.


 7:39 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am what you are referring to as an arty. The main reason for macs explosion in the art world was the gamma difference from pcs. I could layout a print graphic and have a much better idea of what the final product would look like on paper. The macs gamma is close to print white. PCs were always dark. This didn't help graphic artists.

I use mac for print and video. The mac processor it more equiped to handle video better. It is the same way with sound. Windows has really come from behind in the last few years. Today a really nice windows box can produce the same quality sound recording.

I use windows for the web. Most internet users run windows. I need to see how web pages look to my audience. I check them on the mac, but I need to see what the windows people are seeing more often.

Windows has always had a larger gaming and office library. That is why macs aren't as popular as windows boxes. Apple is making up for that now.

Mac is easier for a person to learn. It is very robust OS and lets newbies make mistakes without throwing exceptions. All of us get sad macs and bombs every once and a while, but all windows users crash apps and OSes a lot.

just my .02


 7:58 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)


I NEVER said PC's were easier to use or that they were more stable what I said was that IF you were used to a PC don't beleive that a Mac is a miraculous change-over.

If you are only using major applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, photoshop there is'nt that much of a difference anyway.

At the end of the day they both ue icons, windows, same applications, they both crash and both have their plus and minuses.


 11:09 am on Jun 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

As far as I'm concerned, for graphics, web or other, nothing touches the Acorn Archimedes A7000 or R7500+ as it is now known. It is the fastest, most stable computer I have ever used in my life! If only there was more software for it. It really does put the Mac and the PC to shame.


 1:28 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

knighty: When you said "macs are not easier to use," I thought you were making a comparison to PCs. i.e. macs are not easier to use, as comparied to PCs. Same for the crashing. I misunderstood. I think I understand now. I think you were saying that once you get used to one, learning the other requires a different way of thinking about what you are doing. And, that both platforms crash.

What did you mean by, "Hardware seems to plug in better...?" I do not understand that.


 1:45 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use both and happen to prefer a pc. It's cheaper to upgrade and there seem to be more titles for it. I can see why some people could get used to a mac and prefer it, BUT IT ALWAYS MAKES ME CRINGE WHEN A MAC USER STATES THAT APPLE IS BETTER. It's not better or worse.

Can't we all just get along?


 8:10 am on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>once you get used to one, learning the other requires a different way of thinking about what you are doing. And, that both platforms crash.

Exactly, neither one is better it all depends on what you're used to.

>>Hardware seems to plug in better.

External devices, Firewire etc seem to run first time..recently working with a DV camcorder to use a webcam and was impressed at how easy it was to set up and use.


 12:54 pm on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Another thing I like about it is you dont have to download 20 megs of patches every month to keep it working safe.


 1:42 pm on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

different names like 'alias' instead of 'shortcut' etc.

It's really worth to have a close look at what functions like this actually do on either system. Assume you have a file stored somewhere on your disk, and place a shortcut resp. alias to it on the desktop. Now you decide to move the original to a different disk, possibly on a networked drive.

What happens when you double-click the icon on the desktop the next time?

On windows, you'll get a message box telling you it didn't find the target, is still searching for it (rumble, rumble... for minutes), and if you're impatient, then you can search for it yourself and tell the system where it is. More often than not, the system will eventually come up with a "similar" file, which has nothing at all to do with the original.

On the mac, if the file is reachable anywhere on any connected drive, it will get opened immediately. If the drive where it was last moved to is not mounted, the system will attempt to mount it automatically, and if it's a zip cartridge that you removed from the drive, it will ask you to insert it again. All this normally without even the slightest noticeable delay.

Two ways to "solve" the same problem, one working well and one of debateable quality at best. Now we could argue that the MS programmers just had a lazy day when they implemented those shortcuts (which are more similar to symbolic links on unix, btw.), but the issue runs deeper. The reason why it is even possible to do it in this brilliant fashion on the mac is that the system has much better information available about the identity of all the disk volumes, and what is stored there in which way. It's the basic building blocks of the OS that are so cleverly designed, that most users never actually notice most of the cool voodoo that goes on behind the scenes.

Of course, Windows does a lot of voodoo too, but this is an example where the mac is clearly ahead of pretty much every other system.

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