Five reasons why you don't actually need a Mac

24

Comments

  • PetraPetra Palmdale, CA USA
    edited May 2010
    Good article and very solid points. I think part of the reason for the continued "Macs are different" view from a hardware standpoint is 1) terminology (Mac vs. PC... people seem to have forgotten what "PC" even means, which is clever brand positioning) and 2) holdover from the PPC architecture era.

    With that said, some of my PCs are Apple laptops, some of my PCs are of the modded-together-enthusiast-grade persuasion, and others are built from re-purposed Intel server hardware. Wiggle a few mice to bring monitors to life and you'll be exposed to a gamut of operating systems... from OS X to Ubuntu (including variants like EEEBuntu), Slackware to various versions of Windows. I've been messing around with OS X since the release of the public beta and, amusingly, I didn't feel the OS was really "ready" until 10.2 and it took the release of 10.3 to solidify that feeling (yes, I was triple booting OS 9, X, and PPC Debian for a while).

    I buy computers from Apple (specifically laptops--I have no interest in their other offerings due to the way I work) because I genuinely like working in OS X (dual booting Win XP and OS X while on the go is nice, too). I also have a soft spot for the attention to detail that I see in Apple's products as well as the overall build and design quality that I've observed. This appreciation actually drove me to work as an Apple tech circa-2004 (not for Apple, though) and I couldn't help but smile every time I disassembled an unfamiliar machine--it's a feeling I never experienced when working with stuff from other PC manufacturers. The joy of working with quirky things, perhaps? Anyway, yes, Apple screws up (just like everyone else), they are not some messiah corporation like many make them out to be, and many of their designs from the early to mid '90s are just as retarded, if not more so, than everyone else's. Do you pay a premium for a modern Apple computer? Absolutely. Is the extra expense worth it? For the vast majority of computer users, likely not. Does the price premium bother me? Considering I only pay it once every 5-7 years, not really.

    Most people don't need PCs from Apple or OS X for the same reason they don't really *need* Windows or half the processing power they've got… "need" isn't the way to look at this issue. People should decide what they like best and what's best for them through experimenting with what's available--don't buy into the marketing and don't be dogmatic about your choice. Granted, since most people don't seem to be interested in learning, I do realize I'm being a bit unrealistic with that one.
  • liquienceliquience Ann Arbor / Detroit
    edited May 2010
    Canti wrote:
    Largely I think it's because Apple does an amazing job of advertising and people who haven't the slightest idea how to use a PC get sucked in and never bother to explore alternatives. So basically ignorance and laziness. There are people who have a real reason for using them like Fatcat mentioned but those are the minority of Mac users.

    I wish it wasn't the case, but I do think that I'm very much in the minority when it comes to type of person who understands the whole picture and has chosen to use a Mac based on its merits.

    That said, I'm not sure "ignorance and laziness" is a completely accurate portrayal of the situation. Why the quickness to blame the user? Perhaps Apple has actually done a few things right and is presenting an option where the perceived barrier to entry is much lower? Note that I said "perceived". I do think it is the case that Apple's interface and interaction design is definitely a strong point (most of the time), and so in some cases the actual learning curve is probably a bit more gentle for many users, but the alternatives aren't so bad that this is a key issue (in my opinion).

    I guess the biggest "experiential" reason I use a Mac can simply be summed up as attention to detail. If "the little things" are a big deal to you - like they are for me - this point goes a long way toward justifying the purchase. ;)

    Edit: I should mention that I also use Win XP/Win 7/Ubuntu and have been a developer for Microsoft (and Apple, and other) platforms for many years now.
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA
    edited May 2010
    After you meet your tenth stereotypical Mac user, it tends to sour your perception of the platform.
    20020712h.gif
  • PetraPetra Palmdale, CA USA
    edited May 2010
    drasnor wrote:
    After you meet your tenth stereotypical Mac user, it tends to sour your perception of the platform.
    True, those who buy into the brand image thing hook, line, and sinker can be obnoxious... but that can happen with almost any product (just look at BMW).
  • edited May 2010
    LOL, I agree that most elitist a**holes prefer Mac. But this is not to say that most Mac users are such.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI
    edited May 2010
    Unfortunately, as with all things, the reasonable ones are quiet. The rest are the only ones we get our impressions from.
  • septimusseptimus Toronto, Canada
    edited May 2010
    Beneath the fragile aluminum exterior of a Mac beats the heart of a PC. They are even assembled in the same factories.
  • MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von Puttenham California
    edited May 2010
    So why DO people buy Macs? What justifies the increased prices?

    Hey! Do your OWN research for the next article! I don't want to have to think for myself!
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou
    edited May 2010
    Myrmidon wrote:
    Hey! Do your OWN research for the next article! I don't want to have to think for myself!

    lol, had the same thought also, but hey whatev
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited May 2010
    Granted, since most people don't seem to be interested in learning, I do realize I'm being a bit unrealistic with that one.
    Learning and pocketbook, unfortunately in this case, are not mutually exclusive. I would thoroughly enjoy building a machine from cheaply sourced parts, pulling out an OSX CD, firing it up, and learning a new operating system. But....I don't *buy computers. I'm not spending several hundred dollars for a used (forget new) Mac just to learn an OS.

    * I do buy laptops, but I only use them for travel, and then mainly for very simple tasks like Internet, light office applications, and email. With that said, I can't justify an expensive, well-engineered machine, be it a Lenovo T series, a Vaio, or a Mac.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited May 2010
    Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Jobsophiles! Stay tuned for Jacqueline’s next article outlining the top five reasons why you actually do need a Mac.
    I'm looking forward to it.
  • edited May 2010
    Also, Mac can run windows, then it is a pc as well
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit
    edited May 2010
    The stereotypes, straw men, and over-simplicity of this argument kind of make me queasy.
  • AlphaTrinityAlphaTrinity North Wales, PA
    edited May 2010
    The DO article should have been published first imo...just so there are less initial negative feelings. Anyway isn't this topic pretty well worn?

    So why DO people buy Macs? What justifies the increased prices?

    Reasons I do need a Mac:

    The trackpad
    The fact that iWork is half the price of Office and the fact that Keynote and Pages blow Powerpoint and Word away
    The LED screen
    I've had to reboot my Mac four times in nine months - two of them because of updates - try doing that with a PC
    I manage an all-Windows network at work - enough said
    The intuitive audio-video software in the iLife suite. Find software of that caliber that doesn't jack the cost of a Windows PC over the price of a Mac and I'll erase this point.
  • edited May 2010
    I've had to reboot my Mac four times in nine months - two of them because of updates - try doing that with a PC

    Hrm.... my workstation went 6 solid months without needing to be rebooted. My server has been up about a year without a reboot. Neither are Mac. What's your point?
  • edited May 2010
    The DO article should have been published first imo...just so there are less initial negative feelings. Anyway isn't this topic pretty well worn?




    Reasons I do need a Mac:

    The trackpad
    The fact that iWork is half the price of Office and the fact that Keynote and Pages blow Powerpoint and Word away
    The LED screen
    I've had to reboot my Mac four times in nine months - two of them because of updates - try doing that with a PC
    I manage an all-Windows network at work - enough said
    The intuitive audio-video software in the iLife suite. Find software of that caliber that doesn't jack the cost of a Windows PC over the price of a Mac and I'll erase this point.

    We have a white Macbook and there is nothing special about the trackpad. If you mean large area of the trackpad, HP and Sony (maybe others as well) laptops have them too. LED Screen is not an Apple invention and it is available in many other laptops. I don't need to boot the Macbook but Windows 7 has the same stability and I don't boot my Windows computers either. My Windows XP server runs sometimes for months 24/7 between two system updates that might require a reboot. Actually, I don't like iPhoto in iLife and installed Picasa (free) instead. I hate Safari too and use Firefox instead. If you are comparing the iWork with MSOffice suit, you must be joking. Office is a must for serious business environment.

    Why don't you just say that you like Mac better, there will be nothing to argue about that. I like the Macbook too but I take my trusty Dell Latitude to the business trips.
  • PetraPetra Palmdale, CA USA
    edited May 2010
    Leonardo wrote:
    But....I don't *buy computers. I'm not spending several hundred dollars for a used (forget new) Mac just to learn an OS.
    Not really what I was getting at with that one... that was more a 'most people don't seem to be willing to learn all they can about their options and they give up the moment they run into an obstacle' (so, one part Linux hat tip, one part people paying attention to marketing bullet points rather than seeking real information because research is too much work). For me, though, a laptop is a primary workstation handling everything from graphic design (Photoshop), to presentations, to video editing in Final Cut, and everything in-between. Even so, I still end up jumping between computers depending on what I'm doing, how I'd prefer to view it, and what OS I feel like using at that moment--it's all part of my computer obsession. :crazy:

    AlphaTrinity: From my point of view, cross-platform services/software like Google Docs and OpenOffice make the "M$ Office is expensive" argument irrelevant.
  • AlphaTrinityAlphaTrinity North Wales, PA
    edited May 2010
    ardichoke - My point is that it's not the norm.
    mirage - I forgot that the trackpad I have is on the newer Macs - not sure if your white one came with what I'm talking about. I thought the article was aimed more at consumers - I would hope that any server os would be more reliable than a workstation os...whether that's true or not is a separate argument. Picasa is pretty sweet, but it only replaces iPhoto, like you said. I'm not joking about Pages and Keynote btw...don't know how you got that impression. I was merely answering the question why I have a need for my Mac - I didn't mean to start something where I would start getting blasted like this, take it easy.
    Petra - After I made the post I realized that the Office/iWork comment didn't even belong in this thread. My apologies. I was comparing more Microsoft vs Apple than Mac vs Whatever. I totally agree with you that there are better solutions out there that don't have Microsoft or Apple's names on them, and personally I always look for freeware to solve any issue that I have at home or at work.
  • edited May 2010
    uforgot to put that u can make a hackintouch for less lol and better specs
  • edited May 2010
    ardichoke - My point is that it's not the norm.
    Except that the "norm" from what I've seen is that people turn their computers off every night when they are done with them. At least "normal" users do. So your point is moot either way.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth
    edited May 2010
    tony wrote:
    uforgot to put that u can make a hackintouch for less lol and better specs

    We do not advocate illegal options.
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related
    edited May 2010
    tony wrote:
    uforgot to put that u can make a hackintouch for less lol and better specs

    How much lol does it take to do it legally?
  • edited May 2010
    The bean counter app is the best game on OS X.
  • JP
    edited May 2010
    Well the thing is that even though both PC and MAC get viruses, you get them less on mac because Safari is not directly attached to the OS X, which happens to be in the PC... so if you get a virus on your PC browser your operative system will be affected by the virus as well, in the other hand if Safari gets a virus it only affects or isolates Safari and never the operative system nor other applications.

    Secondly is about the apple environment as a whole: itunes, safari, ical, iphoto, mac os x, etc etc etc... all together functions perfectly

    Thirdly the display is way better calibrated than those PC displays, that's why most designers that use adobe applications such as photoshop prefers to work on a mac..

    I can understand PC has much more support since is a mass-product contrary to the exclusive elitist mac group.

    In the end I find the mac interface much more easily to use than the complicated windows interface (ie control panel it's a real headhache for me), sure if you have used more PC you are already used to it.
  • D
    edited May 2010
    BMV and Corolla. They both take you from point A to point B. They both require fuel. They both have a steering wheel and four tires, they both have a radio, they are both build for the same purpose! ITS luxury ladies and gentlemen if you can afford a BMW you will buy a BMW. IF you cant you will buy a cheaper automobile... whats up with all this hating, macs pcs there bought for the same use, buy whatever your little heart desires and move on!
  • edited May 2010
    I was a PC user for almost 5 years and I lost count of the times I had to call support and take my pc´s to the shop. Switched to mac about 14 years ago and I haven´t had to call support ONCE!!! so keep counting your beans. This article is for sheep. I pity you mortals!!
  • edited May 2010
    I use windows 7 mainly because I'm a student and can't afford a mac. But buying into apple is like joining a winning team. They are clearly on the innovative side of technology where as PC is just copy catting everything out there trying to stay ahead. Apple is ahead of the game in every-way and inspiring us all to look and use electronics differently. Yes, they look amazing! Yes, they come with a great build quality. And yes they do also introduce new innovations almost every year. On top of all that.. NO viruses (for the most part)
  • edited May 2010
    i have to completely disagree with this (apart from the price thing). Over the years i have had both toshiba and Sony laptops (as well as HP). All were crap......the toshiba broke about 3 times in the first year so i had to keep sending it back....in the end i gave up and got a Sony laptop. That was a slight improvement but was still not worth the money and stopped working after 6 month....sent back, it then broke just after the warranty ran out. Now i have a mac....it runs a hell of a lot better and never any problems with it, also all the software i need is available for a mac and imo much better to use.
  • edited May 2010
    if I had just spent an extra $500 I to would have a hard time admitting the other was better...Good choice of picture, I have always thought Apple was more of a granny smith and much less macintosh. Granny smiths typically have very tough skin with tart flesh which I think describe Jobs prefectly.
  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff
    edited May 2010
    Allen wrote:
    And yes they do also introduce new innovations almost every year. On top of all that.. NO viruses (for the most part)

    They do? Sure, they've come up with some good ideas along the way, but new innovations almost every year? Not even close. What have them come up with recently that's been so innovative? Don't say the iPad, it's nothing more than an iPod touch in a larger form factor.

    No viruses? Untrue. The reason Macs are relatively virus free has nothing to do with its BSD underpinnings and everything to do with quantity. Virus/malware/spyware coders go for the biggest bang for their buck. I guarantee that if Apple had the market share that Windows enjoys, Windows users would be strutting around talking about how impenetrable Windows is. And don't get me started on the dreaded Apple Kernel Panic.

    Lastly, MAC is not an acronym. Stop capitalizing the whole word.
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