Topic

Very important question: Mac or PC?

I'm trying to decide what new laptop to buy. Mine is on its last limb (literally.... it's being held together with duct tape...) and it's nearly time for me to get a new one for school and such. 

I've been a "PC" (windows/microsoft/whatever) for all my life... and I'm wondering if now is the time to make the switch to a Mac. (This would actually be my first Apple product ever xD)

Is it worth it to shell out 1k for a Mac? (Poor college kid here... that is a LOT of money) Not worth it? Worth it to stick with PCs, but risk having to keep replacing them because they're usually lower quality (saying this from experience--this computer is only a year old x_x)? Any suggestions on PCs that I should take a look at? Any advice? I know a lot more about PCs, and I know quite a few of the "best" ones, but I always like to hear more opinions. Any bad experiences you'd like to share?

What do you use? Do you like it? Do you want to switch to (the other kind that you don't own)? Why?
How do online games like Glitch run on a Mac?

What can you do on a Mac that you can't do on a PC (and vice versa)?

 Do you want to send me money so I can afford a new laptop? (:D)

If this turns into a stupid fight... I will personally kick all of y'alls asses. :| Mmkay?!?

Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink

Replies

  • Does it need to be a laptop? 
    Posted 8 years ago by Jennyanydots Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yes, Jenny. Thank you for the question, I'll add that in :)
    Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Personally, I prefer the PC. I've used a Mac, but everything I want to do, I can do on a PC. And more, considering I use it for games, and many of them don't run on the Mac. Mac is good for editing things, I believe, if you work with movie clips or music or photos and stuff, but I've always just had an easier time with PC. I would say, stick on a PC, but maybe look into a better PC and a warranty extension. And maybe have somebody who knows computers try to figure out why your computer might be having issues only a year in?
    Posted 8 years ago by Jia-pop Subscriber! | Permalink
  • i have a mac desktop and a pc laptop.

    i LOVE my mac, but my laptop's just a machine.

    when you spend the extra bux for a mac, you're getting some things that to me are worth it: there's a certain ease of use to it; you just plug it in and it works. and i like itunes, but the PC version of it is bloated and icky.

    i'm a precious little artist/musician, though, so i LOVE that mac creative software (that comes with the machine, by the way) works the way it does.

    if you want to run spreadsheets and stuff, apple doesn't do as well with those. they're ok, but not professional caliber.

    other hand, i have some very nice music processing/editing software that's industry standard and while it runs on both machines, it's clunky on a PC.

    garageband (comes with a mac) looks silly and useless -or it did to me when i got it, since i have a suite of other recording software, but there's a LOT you can do with it and i find it so easy to use that i often do recording projects on it.

    by the way, i have to buy a new laptop, but it will be a PC. i need a machine i can toss in the car in any kind of weather and run in the front seat for weeks at a time and not care if it gets scratched. i wouldn't do that to a mac! a mac should not be used to hold up your pizza box on the road. it deserves better.

    oh. and glitch plays just fine on a mac. and browser-based thing usually does.
    Posted 8 years ago by flask Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Simply get a PC and install Linux. :) No Window's bloat and no Apple arrogance. 
    Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I had this whole thing written out, and then everything went kerblooey.

    I <3 my Mac. If you're near an Apple store, it's so worth the extra bux for free look-sees when something goes pear-shaped. You can always partition and run Parallels or something if you need PC shizz. But get what will work for you.

    ETA: I haven't "made my own" or done a wipe for Linux because, well, I'm a student with no free time and no money and I need my lappy to work both consistently and now, not whenever the hell I have the time to figure out a workaround for some wonky driver. It's bad enough dealing with Adobe.
    Posted 8 years ago by Jennyanydots Subscriber! | Permalink
  • +10000000000000000 to everybody above for not throwing PCs and Macs at each other in a bloody techno-war. Look at us, being all civilized!
    Posted 8 years ago by Jia-pop Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I'm typing this on a 4.5-year-old MacBook named Buffle. Four and a half years is a pretty good run for a laptop. This isn't to say it's been completely trouble-free -- Buffle has outlasted two power cords (just grudgingly bought a third) and one battery, and it's subject to a (known) case-cracking problem that I just never bothered to go to the Genius Bar to get fixed.

    But I'm satisfied with value for money. Four and a half years old, and the machine will still run Glitch! That's not bad. If you do buy a Mac, though, they're the ONE consumer purchase I will recommend getting the extra warranty on.

    (Also, I'm a huge fan of Apple's Genius Bar, if you have an Apple Store in your area. HUGE fan. A couple years ago they sorted a problem I was having with Buffle, related to my fumblefingeredness in installing new RAM. We just had to take my husband's laptop in because it was acting weird. Genius figured out the problem in half a second -- I would NEVER have guessed it, and I'm fairly tech-savvy -- and she comped us the expensive replacement part that fixed it.)

    I'm guessing you already know this, but as a college student you're entitled to educational pricing from Apple, and probably a lot of other laptop manufacturers as well.

    (Edited to add) It may be worth remarking that Buffle the MacBook has not led an easy life. I do a fair amount of traveling (including overseas) for work, as well as dragging the machine between home and work often on normal workdays. Given that, four and a half years is even more remarkable. If you don't get a lemon model (which DOES happen), what they say about Apple's amazing build quality is pretty much true.
    Posted 8 years ago by Clumdalglitch Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Ubuntu Linux does not require a "wipe". It will install under Windows (believe it or not). No need to partition and should have full, immediate support for most, if not all your drivers. I just installed it on my mom's machine a week ago and she hasn't gone back. Less than hour so for download, install, and installing the Adobe and preferred brand of Java. You'll have a dual boot system that is stable and ready to go. :)
    Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink
  • People who've sunk an investment in a Mac tend to defend that investment.  And there are nice things about a Mac as opposed to a dull 'doze machine.  But most of everything you'd want to 'add on' is easier and cheaper to obtain for a PC.  Even Adobe's stuff is now better maintained on the 'doze platform.

    If you were technically inclined you could build a Hackintosh, which is a generic PC coerced into running MacOS (which Apple frowns on severely.)

    My most recent machine was an eee PC, though, and I got it on eBay.  It runs XP and is slow and older.  But was only $80 and I wanted an extremely light wifi machine for casual use, and an iPod Touch was really limiting me.

    Linux is strongest for server technology, not the desktop.  I've run Linux in various shapes and forms since 1993, but prefer my Unix experience on NetBSD these days.  I would hesitate to recommend it as a desktop alternative, especially for someone pondering a 'Mac versus PC' decision.  Linux is a none-of-the-above choice in the Mac vs. PC debate, but it's not for people who simply want to be end users.
    Posted 8 years ago by Parrow Gnolle Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I own and use both PCs and Macs. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

    In my experience my PCs take a lot more routine maintenance. Between malware, viruses, etc, they are just more easily susceptible to those kinds of things. And even without those things they just need more TLC.

    I've not had one of my Macs infected with anything in the last 4 years. Can't say the same about my PCs. This one factor was enough for me to setup Macs at home for the wife and kids as it requires a lot less of my time to keep them up and running.

    In terms of available software, hands down a PC has so much more selection of available utilities, freeware, shareware, games, open source software, etc. So in terms of flexibility, a PC has many more options (in my experience). There have been many times where I had no choice to use a PC because a particular type of software wasn't readily available on a Mac. That said, it's getting better as the years go on.

    If you are doing any kind of graphics, video editing, or other media centric work, a Mac typically excels in this area. That said, PCs are more than capable of doing this type of work, but in my experience the Mac is a better creative tool for that type of work than a PC. However, I still prefer to use PCs for doing anything 3D or CAD.

    If you spend a lot of time in Excel, Word (Office), I tend to prefer PCs despite the availability of Office For Mac. Office just seems to run better on the PC. And I have not yet been won over by Numbers or Pages yet (but I expect they will only get better over time).

    Dollars and sense! If you are on a tight budget, you will get more bang for your buck buying a PC. Macs are expensive but they deliver an incredible user experience and are much easier to maintain. I absolutely love my Macbook Pro, but I wince at the thought of having to buy another one in the near future.

    If you like to play games, just make sure to get a good GPU in your computer and enough RAM despite it being or PC or Mac. FYI, I play Glitch on my blown out Macbook Pro and it plays wonderfully, but on my base model Mac Mini, not nearly as nice. So if you are truly on a tight budget and graphic performance matters to you, a PC will get you there for less money.

    All in all, this is just one guys opinion. Best of luck!
    Posted 8 years ago by en Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I switched to a Macbook about two and a half years ago and I love it. I still use PCs at work, but I have to say that I've come to favor my Macbook over just about everything I've used.

    I'm not a heavy gamer at all, but I do video, image, and audio editing, which I've found to be much easier (for me) on a Mac. Glitch, and other browser games, I've played on my Mac have run just fine, and I've played Sim 3 without a problem. I use Scrivener and Open Office for all the writing and office type things that I do, and I'm in love with Scrivener as a writing program (though you can now get that on PC as well).

    What it comes down to for me, is I haven't had the physical problems with my Macbook that I've had with the PC laptops I've had. The unibody metal case is a huge boon for people like me (who are a little (or a lot) clumsy) and who take their laptop a lot of places. I got the extended warranty (totally worth it) and Apple has replaced both my battery (about a year and a half in) and my power cord (just a few months ago) for free, which covered the price of the warranty twice over. I've found the people who help with Apple stuff to be very helpful and friendly, and they are really good about helping people learn how to use Macs when coming from Windows. Overall, I've found my Macbook to be very intuitive and to suit the needs I have for it.

    Good luck! I hope you find something that suits your needs.
    Posted 8 years ago by welfy Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Do you want plug and play or do you want hand-to-hand computer combat? If easy, Mac. If you prefer to fight with your own machine, go PC.
    Posted 8 years ago by RM Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I want a Hackintosh that does Windows, Linux, and OS X without any compromises. :) Then I'd be happy.
    Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I really like @en's response because it's a lot of what I have experienced.

    I use both interchangeably for work and personal (I work at a design agency). I've owned a PC that I helped build and the parts and software were always cheaper. More maintenance (especially virus and spyware scanning) is true but I also experienced more bugginess with the processor getting overwhemled. But -- I prefer to code and play games on a PC. It just feels cleaner. Also, on a PC you have the Windows 7 interface which works a lot like OS X in many ways. Definitely get the PC if your dollar is the ultimate say.

    Mac is great on the eyes because the graphics cards are stellar. It's easier to learn than you may imagine, and you can run a PC OS on it (but that's more $$). If you're trying something fresh and new, remember you will need all new software and add-ons because there is very little compatibility with what you have.

    I've made the transition between both twice (business needs). What is priciest is the software. Mac software seems slightly more expensive, but you rarely have to replace or pay-to-upgrade to keep it running. Warning, there is a new Mac OS. It could very well be something you hate. I love my MacBook Pro and I really don't feel like I'm missing anything from my PC. Also Microsoft Office works great for me, but it is very different than the PC, but I like it better on a PC.

    Note: You do not need a Mac in order to use Apple's other cool toys (if you're interested in those). Also, the newest Mac laptop (Air) doesn't have a CD drive... So watch out for what you do and don't get. Lastly, consider refurbs if you set your heart on Mac. The warranty and customer service are incredible!

    And lastly, check out this video from 2007: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkr...
    Posted 8 years ago by Spellbound Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Rumor has it that MacOS is going toward the iTunes App Store method.  That means that future Macs, at least those for the consumer, are gonna be closed off.  You'll only be able to run stuff you download from the approved official 'App Store' that Apple runs.  That isn't how it is right now, but that's the direction that Apple is tending towards.  It means a more secure environment, but also means everything you run on your machine, you effectively have to ask permission from Apple to install.  A lot of us find that a little chilling.  It's okay for my little toy iPod Touch.  Not so okay if it's the whole deal on my 'real' computer.
    Posted 8 years ago by Parrow Gnolle Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yes Parrow! Exactly. That is much more eloquent than my vague warning about a "new OS". It is s slippery slope.
    Posted 8 years ago by Spellbound Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yes, @Parrow, I've heard the same thing. It's why you hear me refer to Apple as "arrogant".  It seems that the see your computer as their property still and you must use it on their terms. Windows seems clunky because it tries hard to be backwards compatible with thousands of hardware profiles. Apple controls the hardware design and they don't have to code for all the variations as much. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Chilling Effects have not always had kind words about Apple. Graphics-wise they shine, but that's about it. And the idea that they are virus resistant is a fallacy due to a more limited user base than Windows. The virus writers simply go for the machines that are more accessible with the greatest target base. That's been changing and the industry mags have been warning about it. Also "OS X" is a custom Unix system. Rather than taking the open source route with Linux, Apple chose to buy the proprietary system and pass the licensing cost onto the consumers. Nice of them, huh? With Unix only Apple handles the kernal. No user mods or improvements here. By the way hate the company, not the machines. Good systems despite the crappy creator.
    Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I use a MacBook for my me stuff, making music, photo and video editing, writing, every day Internet use and of course Glitch - and am forced to use a PC for some work stuff.

    Admittedly if I spent more time running a PC I probably wouldn't find it so baffling - but using my Mac always feels so straight forward. I want to take some photos off of a camera, or add a printer, or join a new network - i plug something in and it works.

    When I try those things with a PC it often "helps me" with a "Wizard" of some kind that asks me lots of questions and has me click lots of things before telling me that what I want to do isn't possible or tells me I'm missing the necessary drivers or that a cable I've never heard of isn't plugged in somewhere. Eventually I Google it and figure out the solution but I personally would not use a PC unless I had to for work. But since you are already a Windows user you may not have issues like this and it is just my low PC I.Q.

    That said, while Glitch works perfectly well on my MacBook, if you are interested in other MMOs like WoW or virtual worlds like SL, you may want to consider a P.C. with a fast graphics card. While both of those sites function just fine on my MacBook, if I try to view them the top end of the graphics scale the games become very sluggish and laggy. Hard core gamers always seem to wrinkle their nose when they hear about someone playing MMOs on a Mac.

    It really come down to what you need and what you are willing to spend. For me the extra money for a Mac is worth it to avoid the frustrations described above.

    Oh and to second what someone said above - if you go with a Mac - pay for the Apple Care - their Customer Service is superb - both by phone and in person at your local Mac Store.
    Posted 8 years ago by The Cat Face Subscriber! | Permalink
  • What an incredibly balanced set of arguments... I agree with pretty much everything that everybody's said.

    I'm an Ubuntu Linux user... our house has been exclusively Linux for the last three years cos I said "if you expect me to help when it breaks, you better be using something I can still remember how to fix!" and everything's been fairly smooth (even the transition to Ubuntu 11.04). I love it cos it's free, it's safe, it's reliable, it makes me feel good inside, there's completely free software for everything I ever want to do installable in about 3 mouse clicks, I never have to worry about what that weird bit of shareware might be doing in the background and every six months I get a new release with shiny new things to admire. But having said that, Linux isn't something you can safely recommend to people... the community is great but if something doesn't work you do find that it's YOU having to go find a solution rather than turning to the person sitting next to you or living across the street/hall. It's like Linux has to be something you choose for yourself rather than being pushed on you by someone else.

    As for Mac/PC, XKCD said it best: http://xkcd.com/934/ - it makes less & less difference these days as you do more & more through the browser.

    Yes, Windows is more susceptible to evil software - but Mac is partly only safe cos historically they've had such a low market share... as the sales go up so do the attacks.

    Mac hardware is generally prettier (although there are some pretty Windows laptops - for more $ of course). Apple hardware is beautifully designed but generally prone to problems - most of the Macheads I know swear by the Applecare warranty & consider it an essential purchase. I think, of the 8 Apple products that have passed through our house, only one hasn't had a premature hardware-related failure... usually just outside the warranty.

    If you're going to do any sort of graphics design or web development then you'll be out on your own if you go PC. Everybody I know in these fields has a Mac. I think I'm going to have to build myself a virtual Mac... I keep getting emails from my designer saying things like "but it doesn't look right on MY machine" LOL

    OK, so I don't really like EITHER of your options LOL.

    Given that you say your current laptop's falling apart after a year, that either means that the brand is poor quality (Windows machines being built down to a budget... unlikely to get a sturdier machine for similar money) or else you're tough on laptops (in which case maybe best to avoid investing $$$ in a Mac - which you'd need to last you a while to justify the extra expense).

    If you're on a budget I'd probably go Windows... you'll probably save a couple hundred dollars over a Mac. I'd probably go Dell... the hardware is generally fairly decent... unadventurous but decent, and the prices are good. Plus you get to avoid the annoying salesman in your local computer warehouse. You know the one... the one that's telling you how wonderfully reliable brand X is until right after you agree to buy it at which point he starts telling you how UNreliable it is and how you really should buy the extended warranty.
    Posted 8 years ago by Snazzlefrazz Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I've been both Mac and PC, but I keep coming back to Mac. I think it just comes down to your personal preference.... which makes you happier? Go with that one.

    (Probably not the technical advice you were looking for.)
    Posted 8 years ago by emdot Subscriber! | Permalink
  • However you decide to go, remember to count in the student discount on Apple products. It may not make a difference in the end, but its upward of $200.

    I've done both/all: PC, Mac, Linux. Currently on a MacBook Air that I find ideal for my use: light, speedy, runs cool (unlike my first gen MacBook Pro), solid battery life, and so far (knock on wood) trouble free after a year. Sort of miss having a DVD/CD drive. That is an adjustment.
    Posted 8 years ago by Lord Bacon-o Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I use Mac, Windows and Linux on a daily basis. There are good (and bad) arguments for and against all three, and it really just boils down to personal taste. I think emdot's advice above is the best. Choose the one that makes you happier.

    For me, that would be my MacBook Pro.
    Posted 8 years ago by dopiaza Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I like my MacBook. One of the reasons I bought it was the long battery life, in the beginning the battery could last for 5 hours. That was 3,5 years ago, now the max is about 4 hours. I'm still impressed.

    Another thing I like is the OS. It's really easy to use. I hardly have problems with it, it just works.

    The only downside is the prices. For the same price you can get a Windows laptop with better specs. I still prefer Mac, but you really have to take that in consideration. Also, keep in mind that repairs have to be done by Apple and are expensive. Also, you will probably have to buy a new powercord after 2 years, that's kind of expensive. 

    When you decide to buy a MacBook I want to give you some advice. Take the one with the smallest harddrive & RAM. Those are really easy to upgrade yourself (you need a fancy screwdriver for the harddrive though). And much cheaper.
    Posted 8 years ago by Victoria Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Lots of replies! Sorry everyone, Glitch crashed right about the time I was going to bed, so I didn't try to stay up to get back on.

    I will read through and reply to your posts, but I just wanted to comment on this first, because I was trying to comment on it last night just when the site crashed:
    And maybe have somebody who knows computers try to figure out why your computer might be having issues only a year in?

    Oh, I have. I've been researching computers for months now, because my computer stopped working properly waaay before it made it to a year old. Have looked online for solutions, have called Dell's "customer support" (if you can even call it that e_e), have taken it in to a tech, etc. etc. I have done everything I can to save this computer. The final time I took it into a tech, he told me that it wasn't worth my time and money to try fixing any more, because it was just an inferior, low-quality machine. (though it sure cost a helluva lotta money) My sister has the exact same computer as I do (well... I *think* she might have Vista instead of Win 7, because she got hers before me), and she's had a crapload of problems with it as well.

    I am going to use it till it bursts on fire (which it feels close to doing all the time when I use it) or explodes or just doesn't turn on any more. I'm hoping it'll last me a few more months, because I can't afford a new computer right now (tuition hikes /sigh). But... with everything that's wrong with it, I often fear using it. When I'm not pissed at it. xD So it's just so frustrating that such an expensive machine is so low-quality. Eurgh. I have started to try and do fixes on my own when Dell told me to FOAD and the tech told me not to waste money on repairing it... I've used duct tape, I upgraded to Win 7 Ultimate (which, if anything, works WORSE than my Win 7 Home Premium, so I dunno), just done a bunch of things to try and make it last a little longer.

    I will go back and reply to other posts in a bit :) Thank you everyone for the replies!!
    Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Regarding the Mac App Store: True for off-the-shelf software and much shareware. The Mac's Unix underpinnings will remain untampered-with, however, so if you're a command-liner, all the lovely Unixy goodness will still be there.

    May not matter to many people, but it matters a LOT to me. :)
    Posted 8 years ago by Clumdalglitch Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @flask - "there's a certain ease of use to it; you just plug it in and it works."
    See, that's something I would just love. With all the Windows computers I've had, I've had to spend so much time just getting the thing set up. You turn it on and immediately after it's telling you to turn it off to take an hour to do updates. That has ALWAYS frustrated me about PCs. I'm not really into computers, in the way that I like customizing it and getting into technical hoo haa (as long as I get to pick the desktop image I'm fine LOL), and I really would like something simple that "just works".

    @Fokian Fool - I know less about Linux than I do about Macs XD Actually.... all I know about them is that it has a creepy pengiun thing as a mascot, haha. I don't think Linux is an option for me, but I'm not sure...

    @Jennanydots - I'm several hours away from any Apple Store :( That's my problem. If I have problems with it I'll always have to mail it out somewhere.

    @Elemmire - That sounds really great. I'm fine with replacing things, as long as it actually lasts for a few years. I would love to get 4 or 5 years out of a computer. I've had other computers that have lasted a long time, so... I guess I picked a bad one this time. Dx

    @Parrow - Yeah, I'm not technically inclined xD Haha. My brother might be able to help me do it, but the talk of "building a machine" doesn't sound like my kinda thing. Like I said up there ^, I want something that I can just turn on and it works.

    @en - Your post was really great :)
    "In my experience my PCs take a lot more routine maintenance. Between malware, viruses, etc, they are just more easily susceptible to those kinds of things. And even without those things they just need more TLC."
    This is exactly it!! Even with a good anti-virus, I've gotten probably 20 viruses on my computer in the past 6 months. Luckily, I know a little about removing them now (due to having so many), but it's still such a pain to see a fake anti-virus pop up and you just KNOW you're going to now have to spend the time to get it off. (and even worse when it's the really bad ones that don't let you open ANYTHING). I take care of my computer, but I don't want to baby it. I'll be careful and keep it in a case and install antivirus and install the updates I'm supposed to, but things are still going wrong and it's so frustrating.

    The thing I worry with PCs is that I don't want to be replacing it AGAIN in a year. I've tried a Dell, Toshiba, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP, and maybe something else, and I've had problems with all of them (well, except the Acer). Loads too slow, didn't have the right specs, etc. Maybe I'm just too picky XD

    @Spellbound and @Parrow Gnolle --Huh... when is that coming? Do you know? I don't want to be tied into a computer like that... yeah, I don't do a lot of downloading and customization, but I do some, and don't want that restriction. hrmm...

    @Snazzlefrazz - Haha xD I wrote my previous post before I read yours. I will never go with another Dell product :P I like the look of theirs, but I wasted over 500 bucks ont he one I currently own and I'm not gonna do that again.

    @emdot - Haha, I would do that, except I've never used a Mac! xD I need to go over to best buy or something and check one out.

    Even if I didn't specifically reply to you, I read all posts :) Thanks so much for your help, everyone. This helped me a lot more than the other site forums I've read that's just everyone yelling at everyone else about what's best XD

    Basically, it seems I like everything about the Mac but the price. And I don't like most things about PCs, except for the price. :[ Gah.

    Oh and yes, I know about Apple's education pricing. It offered $100 off in the form of a gift card to the apple online store, or something.
    Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Oh, one more thing:

    @Lord Bacon-o: How to you adjust to not having the CD/DVD drive? I was looking at the Air, and it looks nice due to its small size, but I do a lot of ripping music from CDs and watching DVDs and various other things I need the drive for. Do you have to have two computers to do that kind of thing? Do you not do it?

    I'm thinking that wouldn't be something good for me. Portability is number two on my list (price always comes first), but that drive seems like something I wouldn't want to be without.

    I think if literally all of my money I've made this summer wasn't going to paying for school I would be all over a Mac right now XD Might have to wait for Christmas or my birthday, lol. Will have to ask Santa u_u Or... the birthday fairy?
    Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink
  • oh.

    here's my best advice:

    go and try out both macs and pcs. test them, poke them, pkay with them in the stores. ask a LOT of questions. get the salespeople to show you all the fun features. get the feel of them.

    then buy the best one you can reasonably afford, if by "best", you understand it to mean "the one you liked most".

    it works when you're shopping for bikes, too.
    Posted 8 years ago by flask Subscriber! | Permalink
  • My eee pc doesn't have the cd drive.  I cope with it two ways:  I have an external USB DVD-RW drive for when it is really needed.  But most things you can copy from dvd to a thumb drive.

    It might even be possible to find a low cost external enclosure and salvage and move the dvd drive out of your old laptop and turn it into an external USB drive that way.
    Posted 8 years ago by Parrow Gnolle Subscriber! | Permalink
  • yikes. my kindle made me double post.  second copy edited out...
    Posted 8 years ago by Parrow Gnolle Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I second @flask's advice.  

    I've had Macs since 1985.  I've worked on PCs almost as long.  I have a PC/Mac setup at work (dual monitors) and the only reason I don't use my Mac more is that it's only set up for single monitor use and I hate the keyboard (I like the keyboard on my MacBook Pro - so it's not Apple keyboards I hate, but if given the opportunity I'd be using the legendary IBM Model M - I likes me a noisy, clicky keyboard with a positive strike and springy keys).

    I did buy a netbook a couple of years ago so I could run specialized software on it for freelance purposes.  For the most part, that little beast sits in a corner.  But again, keyboard.  It's small.  When I did do freelance work on it, I used a separate USB keyboard.

    I don't think that as a PC user you'd have any issues jumping to a Mac, and I admit the guys in Redmond are getting things more right than they used to.  So for a lot of people what it boils down to is form factor and "feel."  Get your hands on the machine.  Type a lengthy e-mail to yourself.  Fiddle with spreadsheets - do what you would normally do with the machine for more than 2 minutes.  Let your fingers and your eyes be your guides - do you like what you see on the screen?  Do your fingers fly automatically to the right places?  Do you make a frustrated grunting sound every 20 seconds when you miskey unexpectedly?  Try out the machines as close together as you possibly can for the best comparisons.

    Take some notes and sleep on it.  You'll have the right answer.
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Thanks :) I will definitely be trying that. In two weeks we are taking a vacation to go visit my sister in Minneapolis and we're going to be going to the Mall of America, and I'm fairly certain there's an Apple Store in there so I'll be able to use one and talk to the people. Who knows, I might find out I hate the Mac xD Haha. That's what happened to me with the Toshiba I tried. Tried it for a week and returned it because I just hated it.

    I'll probably head over to best buy too, just to plunk around with one.

    Those of you that have Macs: How's the speed? How long does it take to turn on/start up and how long does it take to do tasks/surf the web? Does it seem exceptionally fast? Slow? Just average, you'd say?
    Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink
  • yikes triple post.  the back button on this kindle is dangerous.  I will be more careful.
    Posted 8 years ago by Parrow Gnolle Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Zoei, as to the CD/DVD drive issue. I don't use my Mac for ripping, etc., so it wasn't a big concern for me. At some point, I will be getting and external drive. There are obvious work arounds using online sources, but if that is a concern, you need to think about it.

    Apple is switching to solid state hard drives... no moving parts. Very speedy. My start up is maybe 30 seconds from off to working. And everything is quicker. But you can get that in a PC (but probably not a bargain basement one.)
    Posted 8 years ago by Lord Bacon-o Subscriber! | Permalink
  • My startup/launch/surfing times are very zippy.  Takes a bit longer for my work PC to start up in the morning, with a similar RAM profile.
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • This --> http://xkcd.com/934/
    Posted 8 years ago by Widdershins Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Re: Acer... s'funny Acer are supposed to be pretty much the bottom of the pile for reliability.

    Re: no CD/DVD... my laptop has no DVD and the only time I've even noticed it has been when I do OS upgrades and it's just as easy for me to do them via a USB stick (and wastes less reusable stuff). But a) I have another computer (although I only ever use ITS DVD drive for ripping my music CDs) and b) I'm running Ubuntu so all my additional software is downloaded via the Software Centre. But maybe you like to use your laptop for watching DVDs.

    I bought an Acer AS1410 2 years ago and love it. The 11.6" screen size is beautiful for a 2nd machine. High res screen (same number of pixels as most full-size laptops), full-size keyboard, long battery life, full power processor but as easy to carry around as a netbook. I actually do a lot of my development work on it (runs Linux wonderfully LOL). I'm not saying "buy what I bought", just mentioning some of the things that are worth watching out for & saying how much I like the form factor. I'm amazed that this screen size has taken so long to catch on - Apple's adopted it too now so it'll probably become more widespread. Having said that, for a main machine I probably wouldn't go this small. The 13.3" screen seems a good student choice... small enough to carry to lectures, big enough to use as a main machine. Given how successful it's been for Apple, I'm amazed it's so hard to find a non-Mac with that size screen.
    Posted 8 years ago by Snazzlefrazz Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Re Victoria's advice about upgrading a Mac. I upgraded a friend's MacBook (*) memory and hard drive a while back. In the older models it's fairly easy - you just need one of those special torx screwdrivers for the hard drive. However in the iMacs Apple has switched to an Apple-only hard drive connector to prevent people being able to do this to their machine - there's always a chance they might do the same for the laptops.

    (*) she's really bad with computers. She doesn't understand about them, she doesn't make smart decisions and she doesn't treat them well. She's a computer's worst nightmare. 3 years ago when she asked me for advice I told her to buy a Mac because I was sick of cleaning malware off her PC. Plus she had lots of cash to burn at the time and a boy she had a crush on had a Mac LOL. In 3 years she's destroyed one battery and had loads of hardware issues (first batch fortunately cropped up just inside the one year warranty - otherwise was a $400 repair). BUT the machine's still running and she hasn't had any major software problems. Having said that I HATE it. When she brings it to me to install updates I groan. I can adjust fine between Windows and Linux but for some reason I find everything in OSX to be counter-intuitive. Everything is "Apple knows best" - I usually end up opening a terminal and doing everything I need to do from a command prompt LOL
    Posted 8 years ago by Snazzlefrazz Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Snazzlefrazz, regarding Acers: Really? I've heard nothing but good things about Acers. That's odd :o My brother has an Acer, and he's had absolutely zero problems in the past three years. No replaced parts, no malware, nothing like that.

    Screen sizes: Oh, definitely agree. I want something smaller, but the 11 inchers are too small for me, and I want smaller than 15. Most only offer 14s, which... isn't that big a difference :/ I really like the 13 inchers, but yeah, it seems like Apple is the only one with them--that I can find, anyway.

    "Plus she had lots of cash to burn at the time and a boy she had a crush on had a Mac LOL"

    Err.... wow XD

    Hmmm... you just reminded me of something. I have a "computer expert" of a brother (the one I mentioned above) who helps me with what I'll need help with all the time (like malware--but instead of continually helping me he decided to teach me how to get rid of it myself XD), but... he only knows PCs. :P In fact... I don't know anyone with a Mac, except for my cousin, and he knows almost nothing about computers, besides going on the internet of course. So that will be difficult for me if I would ever need help... I usually prefer to figure things out myself or ask a friend, so that would be hard. Hmm.

    Though, I will have the campus tech support? So I could always go to them.

    Thanks again for your help, everyone. :) I really appreciate it. I have a really hard time making decisions so your advice on just seeing which one /I/ like best is appreciated, and all of your facts about PCs and Macs (and Linux ;)) are very helpful. I keep asking my brother for computer advice and I think he's tired of it, lol. I might see about going to Best Buy this week (I should go before glitch opens on thursday, otherwise I'll never get over there!!) to go play around with a Mac. (Though, if I buy I should probably get it from apple's online store, right? Because of that education pricing thing. *nods*)
    Posted 8 years ago by Nea Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Get a PC, but do not buy an assembled one. Read some sites, choose components as you need them and assemble it. It will be 100 times better than stock bought ones. Then install Linux, Windows even cracked Mac OS. Simply do as you wish. I like PC's because of this. 

    I got 2 PC's at home(both assembled by me) - both Debian Squeeze. One is 32 bit and it is used for gaming, browsing and all kind of stuff. Second is 64 bit used for torrent seed box and storage. At work i have laptop(Fujitsu Siemens) with Windows XP which i use for programming and administering. Machines i look for are linux, windows, hp-ux. 

    Get a PC if you want to experiment and be more free. MAC is little overpriced for me.

    Getting viruses on PC is mostly, because of user factor. If you use administrator account, if you open strange files, if you do not have antivirus, if you simply are not careful you get alot viruses. Else it is fine. Windows PC's i use are not re-installed with years and do not get bloated. A system is weak as weakest link in it. Most of times weakest link is the user. Human mind can be exploited pretty easy. :D
    Posted 8 years ago by Lilla My Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Depending on what your school calls "tech support," you should be able to take your lappy in to them, yes. Depending on who's staffing it at the time and the department's overall degree of cross-platform-ness, you may or may not get as much support as you'd like, though, so if they're gonna be your main go-for-help, you might want to check to see what kind of services they offer before making your final decision. (F'rinstance, my school actually has an Apple contract store within the bookstore. They still send you to the computing center for troubleshooting, though... they just sell the things.)

    If you do get a Mac, keep the box in case you find that you do ever need to mail your laptop in for service. It's not a very big box to keep around, and it makes shipping very easy. I hear that turnaround on mail-ins is relatively quick, but I know that doesn't help when you need your computer constantly in the middle of the semester.

    Education pricing is only available through your school (if there's a "store" like at mine) or via the Apple site. There's an "Education" or "Mac for Students" link, and you'll be asked for your school name. You may have to send them proof of enrollment; I just scanned my ID and emailed a copy. You can configure your new shiny just the way you like it, and each option has a price listed so you know exactly what you're spending. Make sure you're in the Education section before you buy!
    Posted 8 years ago by Jennyanydots Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Just skimmed the thread but my advice is - if you buy a Mac pay the extra for Apple care. It is absolutely worth every penny. My daughter has had two macs, the first developed logic board problems and it had to go back and have the logic board (yes that's the motherboard) replaced. Then she got herself a Macbook pro - it has had the motherboard, battery, casing, dvd drive you name it, all replaced. Now she has a brand new Macbook Pro because eventually they had to take the old one back and completely replace it. 

    My niece had a macbook, which went up in flames (a common problem with the electric adaptor, google it) with the insurance money she got a laptop, a fridge and a cooker.
    Posted 8 years ago by Momo McGlitch Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I forget where I read about Acer being unreliable... might have been Consumer Reports. But there's my beloved Acer AS1410 and an Acer Aspire netbook in my house & neither have had any troubles. Plus your Acer experience. So maybe they're not as bad as CR paints them.

    And yet Consumer Reports loves Apple and says Macs are very reliable. And yet my experience, the experience of most of my Mac friends, and the experience of several people on this thread is "they're nice but don't consider it without the AppleCare warranty". Maybe you could explain this as "Macs are so awesome that Mac owners use their machines more than Windows owners use theirs... hence more breakages", I dunno :-)

    Yeah, I told you my friend makes bad decisions... buying a Mac was a good decision for her but buying it cos she had a crush on a guy who had a Mac wasn't the smartest justification LOL

    I'd agree with Lilla My about the importance of anti-virus and practicing 'safe computing'. But I'd steer away from self-assembly (even though I have *looks around* 5 self-assembled PCs in my office right now LOL). And it's not really a practical option for laptops.
    Posted 8 years ago by Snazzlefrazz Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Re screen sizes... one option is an external screen in your room.

    That way you can comfortably carry a 11 or 13 inch laptop to lectures but when you get back to your room you plug in external screen, mouse & keyboard and enjoy all the comforts of a desktop.

    You can get a screen as big as 24" for $200 these days. 19" screen as little as $100 - although a 19" one will probably only have the same number of pixels as your laptop so won't show you more information, just show it to you bigger :-)
    Posted 8 years ago by Snazzlefrazz Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I have the solution to all the PC/mac crap. Buy a PC, dual-boot mac os of your choice. macs are too overpriced. PC are the way to go though lol.
    Posted 8 years ago by Some_Random_Guy Subscriber! | Permalink
  • The only issue I have with apple over my Imac is the changed from Safari 10.4.11 to 10.5 and up so I have to either upgrade and lose everything from my games to my not games stuff.  I had only ever used a pc before buying my Imac.  Huge learning curve in fact I can still do more things (keystrokes) than I can with my apple.  Biggest complaint is Apple does not provide any kind of book with their computers so its all guess or find yourself a guru.  The help books I have bought just haven't given me the information I would like.  Main problem with Glitch is I cannot climb down anything.  If I can't jump or follow someone I have to teleport, a pain in the ass.  No problem with viruses or malwear.
    Posted 8 years ago by xoxJulie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @ xxxJulie I am not a techie type AT ALL, so just passing on my experience with iMacs. I play glitch using Safari. I always upgrade and have yet to have any problems. It is now at 5.1.5. I also run Firefox when I play glitch. In fact I use FF (v5.0.1) more often, but only because of the Greasemonkey thingie.

    I have lots of keyboarding problems, but not because of my keyboard. It's because it is a new skill for me. I've improved tho. Instead of real sucky, I am just sucky---lol. Your problem with climbing down could be the keyboard itself. Wireless ones do not work very well for me. In fact, I bought an older model keyboard that is not wireless and it works like a dream. I can even use the WASD keys to move. YAY!
    Posted 8 years ago by GreyGoose Subscriber! | Permalink