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PC or Mac - which to buy?

   
1:19 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Can anyone point me in the right direction of some sites for and against PCs and Macs? Currently use a desktop PC and want to buy a lappy for everyday work and home use. Can't decide whether to make the change to Mac. Other's opinions seem to be very strong each way - there's no middle ground!

It either an iBook/Powerbook (I know nothing about Macs yet, any input appreciated) or a Sony Vaio S1HP.

Must be light and compact, for email, web browsing and office stuff. I'm just a regular user with regular requirements! (if there is such a thing!)

Thanks for the pointers in advance.

Kate

1:32 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The usual arguments of cost and ease of repair are not so valid when talking about laptops. However, if you are just a regular user, unless you have a particular reason to switch to a Mac, I can see no reason to do so. Certainly, your choice of PC laptops will be much greater for any given price.

If you work in media or publishing, a Mac may be a good choice if the people you work with tend to use Macs.

If you have a strong desire to ditch Windows, Linux is a third option but I have read reports of poor support for some laptops so stick with a big name and ask the right questions before buying.

Kaled.

1:48 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks Kaled, that's great feedback! You're right - there is no great need to switch, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything with a PC!

Thanks

7:01 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Katie-

If you go with the Sony, keep track of the disks that come with it. My friend had a Vaio, and it was SO hard to recover from a crash. Sony does things so that if you don't have Sony drivers for the parts, it probably won't work. His HDD took a dive, and we replaced it. Then we proceeded to load a full version of XP Pro on it, and we could NOT get it to run the network card, firewire, or modem correctly. Just wouldn't work. We called Sony and he had to buy some expensive CDs to get it back to it's full functionality.

Don't be like my buddy and misplace the CDs!

12:45 am on Sep 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I would say move to a Mac for your laptop. If you are a webmaster you will want to know how your site looks on a Mac. Develop on the PC and test on the Mac. I am a PC guy myself but always am finding myself without a Mac when I need one.
7:59 am on Sep 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



hmmm all good tips, thank you! Decided to plump for the Dell Latitude D600. Decided it was a safe bet for support and was just too scared to make the Mac transition - call me a wuss!

Thanks all!

8:44 am on Sep 3, 2004 (gmt 0)



Fwiw (for future reference)

www.xvsxp.com has a reasonably in-depth and objective comparison study between the two OSs - Mac OS X and Windows XP.

It also has links to articles discussing and debunking some common myths about both Macs and Windows-based PCs.

3:52 am on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



For WEBMASTERING, it's hard to understand why you'd want a Mac. 98% of web surfer's are using a PC, and many of the development tools you might need to design websites are Windows only tools.

If you really want to test your websites on alternate browsers, then you need a second computer running IE 5, and THEN you get a Mac as your third computer.

4:10 am on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Mac? Why would anyone use a Mac? 99.99% of the world does not use them. I tried to do business with a guy that used a MAC and gave up. He always had some problem that had nothing to do with me. Look at your log files.
4:20 am on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



then you need a second computer running IE 5, and THEN you get a Mac as your third computer

Or you could get a Mac and run Virtual PC with IE.5.

I've been using Macs to earn my living for fifteen years, and I have yet to find a task I need to do that can't be done on a Mac. I spend a lot less time fussing with my computer than my PC friends do. Things just work. Hardware or software hassles are nearly nonexistent; things just work.

And then there's internet security issues ... want great virus and spyware protection? Surf with a Mac.

I can't comment on ease of repairs. The majority of the Macs I've owned never needed any.

12:40 pm on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Why would you need a separate machine to run IE5? You can install multiple versions of IE on one PC [webmasterworld.com]
3:26 pm on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member macguru is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>Why would anyone use a Mac?

Here is a couple of threads about it with lots of info :

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...] <!-- from a Windows user who bought an iBook -->
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

>>99.99% of the world does not use them.

On your site? You maybe right, if you sell antivirus software or scumware removers. :)

Most of my consumer's oriented sites show rougly 4 % of Mac users, some sites about arts and culture gets 35 %, and some Mac related sites gets 90 % of Mac trafic. Figures can shift pretty swiftly depending on the audience.

>>You can install multiple versions of IE on one PC

Exactly what buckworks said :

fussing with my computer than my PC friends do.

Now TheDoctor, can you tell how you can run them all at the same time?

Now katieG01,

You will get more information about human behavior than computers on Mac VS Windows topics. :)

Most answers you will get will come from people who never really compared both. They are used to a platform and dont want their little habbits changed.

I use both platforms daily.

I think the smart move would be to keep your keep your desktop AND get an iBook or a Powerbook. Using both platforms will enable you to do wall to wall quality control on your work, will keep you with an open mind, and give you an edge over plaform bigotery.

Also, just look at both of these screenshots.

Windows XP [koti.mbnet.fi]
Mac OS X [en.wikipedia.org]

It's maybe subjective, but if I have to stare at something all day, it's better not be ugly. ;)

[edited by: Macguru at 3:48 pm (utc) on Sep. 4, 2004]

3:47 pm on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Mac? Why would anyone use a Mac? 99.99% of the world does not use them. I tried to do business with a guy that used a MAC and gave up. He always had some problem that had nothing to do with me. Look at your log files.

Even as a Windows guy, this disturbs me. I have one site that gets over 25,000 visits a day, with about 5% coming from Mac browsers. Every Mac browser issue we had, was easily fixed (and we have a TON of javascript). It's all about creating valid code, and understanding how HTML works.

Back on topic: As a Windows based web developer, I'm not too in tune with what Mac has to offer, but I know one person that couldn't find a suitable solution to admin their MS SQL database. That's the only real bad thing I've heard.

4:18 pm on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm glad that Microsoft has some competition. If MS had 100% of the market, then they'd just milk us for all we are worth. Linux and Mac keeps them honest.

But nevertheless, I personally have zero use for a Mac. I develop using ASP.NET and SQL Server. These are Microsoft only products, and they work very well too.

This is a Webmaster forum, and I just don't see the Mac being a useful computer for a WEBMASTER. Even if ASP.NET and SQL Server aren't your thing, as I understand it, most of the other good web development tools are Windows based.

Whether the Mac is truly better than Windows XP I have no idea, and I don't even think it's worth the effort for me at this point to find out. I would give the Mac people the benefit of the doubt and say "yes, they are right, the Mac works better." Despit that Mac working better, it's better for me to own a Windows XP computer because that's what I develop software with.

Even if the Mac is easier to use, you will have to learn how to use a PC because that's what will probably be at work or school or wherever else you use computers. So even if Mac is easier, it's still easier to just learn a PC than it is to learn a PC AND learn a Mac.

Furthermore, I don't necessarily think I should believe that Mac propagandists, becuase several years ago the Mac people said how much better the Mac was, but I used one and it crashed all the time and I couldn't figure out how to make it stop crashing. Was not impressed. Maybe the Mac today is better than the Mac 7 years ago... or maybe it's not.

4:50 pm on Sep 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In general, and "all else being equal", i like to buy from the defacto industry leader.

With Windows machines having most of the market, that is what i would buy. If Macs had the bigger share, i'd go for one - again, all else being equal, which is rare.

This policy seems to avoid a lot of problems when i specify products for my PC consulting clients or advise them.

3:23 am on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi

I guess I see some of your points. I thought MAC users were just trying to be difficult :). I guess being compatible and actually using one on a regular basis are completely different.

12:06 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



IM due to buy my next computer in the coming months and Im leaning increasingly towards a MAC.

Why? Gets me out of the grip of Micr$oft.

9:59 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Why? Gets me out of the grip of Micr$oft.

Of course Microsoft exists to make money, but it's not as if Apple is giving away the Macs for free.

The main reason why Microsoft dominates the market right now is because back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Windows solution was a lot less expensive than a Mac.

10:27 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member macguru is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>The main reason why Microsoft dominates the market right now is because back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Windows solution was a lot less expensive than a Mac.

Pretty accurate.

More than 10 years later, I see no reason to use it else for quality control for computers consumers are using.

10:39 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I live in just about the smallest county population-wise in California. Because the residents are heavily in the arts, they invariably buy Macs. Most conversations here about computers are about the Mac. There's even a Mac store here.

Because the populace here embraces Macs, they're frustrated when they find that others aren't compatible with them. Its hard for many to understand. I have to explain patiently that most of the world uses PCs which, to my neighbors, seems dumb.

Because I have only a laptop PC, I keep quiet because I'm sort of viewed as a creature of low degree. However, if pushed, my advice always is to "...get a PC."

10:46 pm on Sep 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's maybe subjective, but if I have to stare at something all day, it's better not be ugly.

Hehehe. Good point.

Not to mention, today's Mac users tend to say things like, "We use Macs. They're great, reliable, safe machines, and we love them." Windows users tend to say things more like, "We use Windows. Most everyone does, so there's more software for it, and it works OK for us."

I think there's a reason for the differing level of enthusiasm. ;)

Mac today ... Mac 7 years ago

A Mac today is a totally different machine than a Mac seven years ago.

Heck, I used some Windows machines years ago, and they crashed all the time... but I would never dream of implying that I can judge Windows XP based on my experience with Windows 95.