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Showing 101-125 of 301 posts in this discussion
Posted on 15 Jan 2010 22:00:26 GMT
J P LOKER says:
I buy a number of PC laptops each year for my staff and have to have a rolling programme of replacement as they break down regularly and staff need new ones. I'm the only member of staff who wanted Mac instead of PC. My laptop is the only one that has never broken down despite being much older now than the others. Its sheer longevity justifies the additional cost let alone the fact that is a vastly more satisfying machine to work with.

Posted on 27 Jan 2010 06:58:20 GMT
OK. January 2010 and after Gawd only knows how many years of DOS. OS2, Windows 1.0 al the way through Windows 7 with the last 'scare' and a forced download and reboot of security updates, I finally threw my toys out of the pram and ordered a nice white Apple Macbook from the Apple Store (a refurb saved me a couple hundred off list)

first thoughts? Wowo this is so different. Years of shortcuts with the CTRL key now seem to work, in part, with the CMD key. For a day i had the MAC telling me everything it was doing, reading web pages to me etc, it turns out i pressed the F5 key - I was probably trying to refresh the screen? It does computing, yes, but it is a different thought process, and my fingers have thirty years of DOS and windows built in, I have to unlearn everything.

There are iritations, such as It has a built in webcam, but I cannot get it to work with Messenger which is what ALL the people I would want to use it with have. They do not have iChat, perhaps I can find away around that, it is, after all, early days it might just be a learning curve. I used to run an 'app' to play poker, that doesnt work on the Mac, irritating but not the end of the world. Microsoft Office, which I have used since I first migrated from Wordplay, 123 and Gem Draw has its own version which is irritatingly different from the PC versions, something else to get used too.

I am sure that I will get there, and I am sure that eventually I will get to love it, I know that I like the speedy start up, and I like the fact that i dont have to have loads of anti virus, anti spy, anti trojan etc programs running slowing everything down, yes, I do like those things, but guys, it is not an easy transition. I think I feel like an alcoholic at a first AA meeting.

Hi. My name is Andy. I used to PC

Posted on 1 Feb 2010 12:51:47 GMT
bib says:
i used windows xp which kept slowing and slowing the more i put on it, in the end i gave in and installed ubuntu, this was ok exept i found myself problem solving every time i had a device that didnt have linux software included i.e. my tmobile wireless internet, i now have a macbook pro which even after 4 months still amazes me, its smooth running, and good os with lots of usefull easy to use toys, i find myself more productive now and find that the computer waits for me and not me for it. im so impressed with apple i since got an iphone and that apple tv box thing,

Posted on 1 Feb 2010 12:56:36 GMT
bib says:
i used windows xp which kept slowing and slowing the more i put on it, in the end i gave in and installed ubuntu, this was ok exept i found myself problem solving every time i had a device that didnt have linux software included i.e. my tmobile wireless internet, i now have a macbook pro which even after 4 months still amazes me, its smooth running, and good os with lots of usefull easy to use toys, i find myself more productive now and find that the computer waits for me and not me for it. im so impressed with apple i since got an iphone and that apple tv box thing,

Posted on 1 Feb 2010 12:56:43 GMT
bib says:
i used windows xp which kept slowing and slowing the more i put on it, in the end i gave in and installed ubuntu, this was ok exept i found myself problem solving every time i had a device that didnt have linux software included i.e. my tmobile wireless internet, i now have a macbook pro which even after 4 months still amazes me, its smooth running, and good os with lots of usefull easy to use toys, i find myself more productive now and find that the computer waits for me and not me for it. im so impressed with apple i since got an iphone and that apple tv box thing,

Posted on 1 Feb 2010 19:52:38 GMT
S. Barnsdale says:
try upgrading a mac lol

Posted on 5 Feb 2010 23:16:13 GMT
5ket says:
User Friendly, Reliable and it's not a PC

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2010 00:04:26 GMT
L Tilbury says:
Have you ever thought about running win 7/xp as a virtual machine? Have a look at VMware Fusion or Parallels desktop. I felt much the same as you to begin with but these wonderful programs aided the transition massively. They are very versatile and impressively speedy even on my 2.5 year old iMac.

For xmas my daughter got a Fisher price digital arts and crafts studio package. Macs weren't supported but thats no problem! I loaded up my xp virtual machine, dragged the xp v.m window onto my other monitor (TV) and she can play it on there and I can still use my mac. marvelous! :)

You can get free trials of both Fusion and Parallels from their websites. Both are highly recommended.

Posted on 6 Feb 2010 10:29:56 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2010 10:30:36 GMT
Mr_P says:
I'm a PC user. I grew up with the ZX81, Amstrad, Commodore 64, Amiga, Windows, 95, 97, XP etc...... 6 months ago i made a 'risky' purchase of a mac book pro. £1300 is a lot of money, but the facts are simple. Quick, slick and stable. I still have an XP desktop but there is no comparison. I have even got my son a Window 7 laptop for christmas. I don't disagree that moving OS had its problems but that is only down to knowledge, once you work it out it's not an issue, but i'm guessing for some it will be a tough transition - using the ctrl key is now cmd key for example. Graphics are good but gaming software is limited (but i have a PS3 now for my gaming needs) you can use XP on the mac via bootcamp but not sure i want to. I'm not missing windows and this is the best piece of kit i've ever owned and this is from a PC nut who can build his own computers. If you want to upgrade graphics cards every 6 months and use a PC for gaming i say stick with PC, i will miss opening up the bonnet and playing about but i'm older now and just don't want the hassle or have the time.

If you don't play games and want photo management, video, web, creative, office, skype, poker (PKR wasn't apple compatible but it is now), storage, calender, mail, itunes then for me there is one clear winner. Think about that statement i have used PC all of my adult life (now 37) i'm new to Apple - thats how good it is. Intuitive, fast (30s to boot EVERY TIME - less than 10s to close), user friendly, limited updates, yet to crash, blue screen (not even sure it exists on a Mac), consistent speed, can run windows.

Just ensure you are ready to invest a bit of time to understand the infrastructure otherwise you will hate it. It takes a bit of time but worth it IMO. 6 months in my mac has the same slick feel as the day i first booted up, wish i could say the same about my sons laptop (with win 7) that is 2 months old. Facts are facts. The question remaining is do i change my XP desktop for iMac.......just try and stop me.

Posted on 8 Feb 2010 15:00:31 GMT
I'm also in the position of needing to chose Mac or PC for the next computer for the family

To be brutally frank, the main reason I would consider the MAC is that the quality of the display (27") looks fantastic.
Perhaps a bit shallow, but for the kids playing with photos, video or what have you, it seems important.

If I go for a PC, is there an equivalent quality display?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2010 16:14:46 GMT
Willybizz says:
Well Phil
You an always get a tower PC, configured to your own spec's and get a HD monitor or a HD tv as a monitor !
But the point is you cannot beat the iMac for the loaded software that comes with it, and the operating system is a dream.
After many years of PC use I bought a iMac 24" and can honestly say it changed my life, it is just a wonderful tool for all the family. Never has any problems, it could run all my PC software I have if I needed it, but I have found no reason to turn my PC;s on yet, except to get the latest windows downloads for all the virus killers on the PC's etc and updates in case I ever need to use it again! Though I doubt it, the iMac is just so reliable. Just to know that you do not have to worry about "virus's or drivers etc is so good. everything just works. It's Magic.
For Photo's you have iphoto, for video there is iMovie, you can make a DVD in minutes, watch a movie in HD , make slideshows , for music there is garage band, itunes, , I downloaded "spotify" and get all the music I want for free ! you name it, the imac can do it.and the browser Safari is so stable and fast with new features auto downloaded when and if available.
Its a different world from my PC days, and one that I would be loathe to leave.
And of course there is lots of software you can add if you ever think you will need more !

Posted on 10 Feb 2010 23:20:43 GMT
After much prevarication after 15 years PC use (3.1/XP/Vista) I have moved to a MAC, I will not be moving back to a PC. It just works.

Posted on 13 Feb 2010 10:46:58 GMT
WeyWiz says:
Unfortunately nothing in life is black and white, there are fundamental philosophical differences between Windows and Mac. If you your philosophy is that you are OK with Apple controlling everything to ensure the most seamless and quality user experience, you should go for a Mac without much further thought. If on the other hand your philosophy is that you want to roll-your-own, plug in new things that Apple don't support, you should not consider a Mac.

A few examples of the price to pay for going Mac, the operating system does not support native blu-ray, the operating system has very strict controls about how you access memory etc, this provides a much more secure environment which blocks virus replication, but does not allow you to make hardware and software tweaks (which gamers like to do).

Ironically, the majority of people do not understand or care about the underlying hardware and software, so technically would be better off with a Mac and most Mac Fanboys are more hardware and software literate than the majority of PC users, so would actually be able to make sense of the PC flexibility.

I personally use a Mac at home and PC at work. I think they both have strengths and weaknesses. For example, I would like to be able to upgrade hardware on the iMac, which is not straight-forward. At the same time, it would be great if the PC could boot up quickly and remain stable. There are those that say a PC is as stable as a Mac, they just have not used a Mac. It is impossible to come to this conclusion, unless you are working with a broken Mac.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2010 23:34:41 GMT
DT says:
Lawrence Maunder has made many comments about editing video on a mac and a few other general comments - all of them incorrect in one way or another.

In his first post he says he bought Final Cut Express (allegedly the industry standard). Wrong. Final Cut Express is the little Brother of Final Cut Pro - which (along with AVID) is the industry standard. The baby brother is iMovie (which when first released was an amazingly capable video editor - unfortunately the current version is not as good).

The current version of Final Cut Express is called Final Cut HD and is a seriously capable product. As a consequence learning it is not easy, it's almost as powerful as Final Cut Pro. One thing - it's not as simple as iMovie .
Final Cut Express is lacking a DVD burner because basically it is running on a Mac and the mac already has that iDVD he says is so extremely basic - he's obviously never used it. Perhaps he's launched it and that's as far has he's gone. - MY PC Video editing colleagues can't believe what the extremely basic iDVD can do - and it's included in every Mac - for free - so no extra cost at all. I have Toast 10, but I've never used it for DVD burning.

Now we come to utility. Yes a database is not included in a mac anymore - but for £29, Amazon will sell you Bento from FileMaker. (Or you could buy Access from MS and run it under WINE if you are that desperate.) Or you could buy Appleworks - it's still available and works brilliantly. With databases generally, it depends what you want to do with them that decides whether they are more useful than presentations. Judging by the number of .pps files I get sent it would appear that presentations are used more than a little. I work in Mac support, and have done now for about 15 years. Most people that I come across who say they need a database tell me it's to make mailing lists and labels for Christmas cards. (Out of about 200 clients I have only 5 who are serious database users, that is actually use them to do productive money-earning work. 4 of them use Filemaker and the other uses Access running on WINE). The mailing-list database is already built into a mac - it's called Address Book.

"They say macs don't get virus's. They don't say they don't get 'key loggers' so I won't use it on the internet for anything sensitive. An iterenet protection program for a mac is double the price of pc ones."
As I said earlier, I've been in this game long time. Key-loggers, viruses, malware, trojans - I've yet to see one. Security software (both MAC and PC) is generally closing the stable door afterwards. In all my years I have yet to install any and my Macs (an entire house full) and those of my clients are still as free of malware and the like as they were the day they were taken out of their boxes.

The final paragraph gives lie to Mr Maunder's abilities - "You don't even get a map of the keyboard with it so you know which shortcuts you can use." I'm guessing here - guessing because it's so hard to believe - that he has never looked at a menu. Every single menu item that can be carried out using a keyboard shortcut has that shortcut printed next to it - it's been that way since I started using Macs - and there's more - with lots of them you don't even need to use the keyboard, you can talk to your mac and tell it what to do, (and no - you don't need any extra software to do that).

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2010 23:44:21 GMT
DT says:
The Windows version of Excel is different to the Mac version as far as I can remember as the mac version doesn't run those altivec things that seem so prevalent on Windows. Although Excel was originally a Mac program my understanding is that the windows version is actually better - they look the same though and the files are meant to be interchangeable.
The post about Apple's version is misleading, Apple doesn't do a version of Excel, it's a Microsoft program. The Spreadsheet program in iWork (which is probably what the poster was referring to) is very capable, opens and saves XLS and XLSX files but has a very different user interface and may take a bit of getting used to.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2010 23:49:53 GMT
DT says:
Hi Andy

There is a way to use ichat to talk to MSN users - I can't off hand remember what it is but it's out there if you google about. I use mine to talk to AOL users - but that's already part of ichat.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2010 23:54:22 GMT
DT says:
Upgrading in what respect?

OS - piece of cake
Apps - piece of cake.
RAM - piece of cake (unless you've already maxed it)
HD - depending on the model - piece of cake (some can be a bit of a pain though)
Video - only on the towers.
Processor - was possible on some models - at the moment I don't think the current models can be upgraded.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2010 00:07:01 GMT
DT says:
I've mentioned this a couple times earlier but in many cases you don't actually need to install Windows on a mac in order to run windows programs.

Apple actively promote VMware Fusion and Parallels desktop and they are very fine apps - but you still need to have a legit version of whichever Windows you are installing and you then have to make sure you have the necessary licenses as well as all the additional anti-this-that-and-the-other softweare that windows seems to need.

There is a Mac application called Crossover, produced by a company called CodeWeavers. It's a mac implementation of WINE. Basically it creates bottles that individual windows programs run in - you get a windows style window opening on your mac desktop with the program running in it- just as it would in Windows. I have one client running a substantial Access database without any problems at all. The only things I have found that don't work particularly well are those windows apps that need to have a CD in the draw while they run to prove that you are a legitimate user and not using a pirate version. The CodeWeavers website has a comprehensive list of what works and what doesn't.

Posted on 24 Feb 2010 01:06:56 GMT
DT says:
A bit of my own observation.

As I mentioned above, I do mac support and lately I've been dealing with lots of 'switchers'. The commonest comments I get when I'm installing software or extra hardware are along the lines of "gosh that was easy" and "is that all?".

Many folks don't actually appreciate the overall integration of Mac software, not only between the hardware and the software but between the applications themselves.

For example. While I have been out and about I take some photographs on an iphone. Later on I buy some songs or a video from the iTunes music store while sitting in the park watching the girls. When I get home I stick the phone in the dock to charge it's battery and iPhoto automatically open up and indicates that I have new photos on my phone to download. iTunes open up to transfer the songs and the video. The calendar updates itself and the new addresses in my address book automatically move to the phone (I'm not using any additional software like MobileMe - just what came in the Mac).

Later on I connect my video camera to download some shots for short film I'm thinking of making. Automatically iMovie opens and ask me what I want to do. I bring in the movie and start editing. I decide I want to insert a couple of those photos i took earlier. With one click I'm looking at them (and iPhoto isn't running - I shut it down earlier. I crop and adjust them and put them into the movie. Then I want to use one of the tunes I bought from the iTunes store. Again, 1 click and I'm choosing it and 2 click its in the movie. 3 or 4 clicks later it's topped and tailed and its level is adjusted.

I finish my movie and decide to send a copy to Youtube - 1 or 2 clicks later and it's on its way. Or i could put it onto a DVD to send to granny. Click send to iDVD and I can create an amazing front end for my DVD with chapters and subtitles moving images. Easy. Or I could put it on my own website that I knocked up in iWeb (100% WWW3 compliant). I could if I had the talent create my own soundtrack using Garageband - wow - I don't need talent - it's so easy (it does require a keyboard or a guitar though to make it really useful) Or I could create a podcast with my movie.

The same with other apps. Not just the Apple supplied apps. iWork (the productivity package sold by Apple) has all the same integration. I'm using Keynote on a regular basis (almost every day) to produce presentations. Without opening iTunes, iPhoto or imovie I can preview and use media from any of them directly in Keynote. The same applies with Pages and with Numbers (although music in a spreadsheet is a bit rich!).

Bento the Database from Filemaker works the same way - as do many other apps from other suppliers.

Going back to Garageband briefly, it is a seriously cool program (I'm over 60 so it IS cool). It can be used to learn to play an instrument using lessons available from the Apple website. It can be used to learn how to jam using Magic Garageband Jam - you choose the style and the other instruments and off it goes - you have to work out the key and join in. You can learn songs from famous artists (that's a payfor extra though) and you can create your own music using real instruments (just plugged into the mac or through a Mic) or samples and loops. You can also print out the dots - although if you want full scores you have to upgrade to Logic Express. I didn't realise the capability of this particular app until I saw a presentation from a professional music teacher - it's jaw-droppingly superb (and free in every mac).

I work in schools periodically and plug my macs into projectors in halls and classrooms. Several times I've had comments along the lines of "why does our stuff never look as good on the screen?"

I tell them it's because it's made on a Mac.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2010 14:13:49 GMT
CP says:
M. Gillespie's

"If you only want to browse the web, check email, write documents, video or photo editing, Get a Mac.
If you ever want to do anything more than that get a PC."

is a load of garbage! Clearly written by someone who hasn't the faintest idea what the two platforms get used for.

I wouldn't worry too much about software that will no longer be available to you. You will find pretty much every type of software well-represented on both platforms, though if you're a games addict then the PC has more selection, and many dedicated gamers make use of the greater customisability of PCs. If you intend to do *very* specialist work, then it's likely you will need to select your platform carefully - some specialist software runs on PC only, some on Mac only - but it seems like this isn't the case for you. [And by specialist, I really do mean highly specialised computing such as you might find in some scientific or architectural research etc.]

Many are under the delusion that the Mac only does home computing or graphics work: this isn't true. For example, many mathematical and scientific researchers performing computing-intensive tasks have transferred to Mac OS, because of the latter's very solid and long-established Unix kernel. Top-end Macs are very serious computers, and *every* mac gives you quite a bit of bang-for-your-buck. They are used for very challenging applications in a wide variety of fields.

The other common misconception is that Macs are 'more expensive'. If you compare a Mac with an *equally* specced PC, you will often find that the Mac is cheaper than the PC. The misconception arises because people compare dissimilar computers: there are *very* cheap PCs, but you do get what you pay for. Apple don't make the equivalent low-quality products. Apple computers often use the same components as some makes of PCs, so an almost direct comparison is possible. Visit Dell's website, for example, and build a computer there with components as closely matched in specs as possible to the Mac you're interested in (i.e. equivalent speed processors, same size hard drive, same size screen, same graphics card...); you'll often be able to use almost identical products, and you'll almost certainly find the Mac is about the same price or cheaper than the Dell.

Macs have the disadvantages of having a smaller market share (same as Linux etc.) - that is, less is developed for them. They also have the advantages of a having a smaller market share - less harmful stuff (like viruses) is developed for them!

While there are compatibility issues on occasion - some products just aren't designed to go with a Mac - you will find there's no shortage of compatible products, and - unlike on Windows - they work immediately they're connected. Macs really *are* plug-and-play...

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2010 14:26:39 GMT
CP says:
A. Logan Riversby said: "Could you please coment on excel for PC and Mac? I am trying to figure out what to get as im training to be PA to CEO, so need excel now...? I currently have Mac, but not sure if Mac excel is similar to Apple excel? There are varius oppinions on this, so im confused now."

Excel is made by Microsoft and runs on both Mac and PC; it's extremely similar whichever you run it on. 'Mac' is a nickname for 'Apple' - it derives from Apple's very early 'Macintosh' computer - so Mac Excel and Apple Excel are the same thing.

In short: if you learn Excel on the PC or on a Mac, you will easily be able to use it on the other platform. I hope that sorts this out for you! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2010 14:28:53 GMT
CP says:
S Barnsdale said:

"try upgrading a mac lol"

I did, thanks. It was astonishingly easy.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2010 22:54:34 GMT
Willybizz says:
Sorry , But I'm not sure where you are coming from with regard to software applications etc on the mac !
I have run macs for many years in our dept where all the computers used for scientific research for our phd students are macs. (Physics and Pure Electronics Dept ).
From the basic word processor packages to the most advanced setups the mac's proved the most reliable systems.
Of course the PC microsoft systems can be great fun at a very cheap price, but they are prone to failure quite often.
But remember the new macs come fully loaded with software that costs a lot for similar results on a pc. Plus you can run any PC software on the new macs as standard.if you have packages you think you may need!
I cannot ever remember getting (virus ) issues on any mac in the last 16 years !
I wish I could say the same for the many PC's over the same period.
Watch a few Apple keynote podcasts on iTunes, FREE. = Apple WWDC 2009 Keynote Address .the one on the 64bit Snow leopard software.
All will be explained.
Hope this doesnt come across as too critical of microsoft PC systems, and hope it is helpful.

Posted on 5 Mar 2010 17:45:01 GMT
I think a lot of the points people have placed here are a little wrong:-

When a PC breaks it is NOT Microsofts fault a lot of the time. I'll admit they do eventually break down because of Windows XP or whatever but when the hardware breaks its your own fault for buying a cheap PC!

In experience and as an IT professional, Microsoft has a lot more to offer than apple as it is less restrictive and software to do virtually anything can be found on Microsofts platform as Macs are limited. Gaming is also pointless on a mac as usually there hardware will struggle to run if full res.

Whats the point of buying a Mac and installing windows on it to find you will always be using windows instead of OSX?

why not spend the grand on a decent Windows Based PC which will get you a lot better specs than apple could ever offer.

Posted on 14 Mar 2010 11:02:55 GMT
Kurt Farrar says:
In reply to Christopher, regarding Mac hardware for gaming, that's simply not true. The Mac hardware is excellent for gaming, more powerful that most Windows based hardware from the likes of HP & Dell, comparative hardware to the Macs are from the likes of Alienware, and when you start to look at those sorts of high performance computers, you're paying the same price as a Mac anyway.

OS-wise, both Windows and OS X have their own advantages. Music, video and photo editing included 'in the box' is better for the Mac (iPhoto, iMovie etc.), even iTunes runs better on a Mac. Windows has it's equivalent, but they just don't do as much, or as well. Windows however (in my opinion) is a much easier to use and more productive environment.

I have both Windows PCs and a MacBook... I use my MacBook most nowadays for performance. I run both Mac OSX and Windows 7, and tend to default to Windows 7 for most every day computing, and gaming, then boot to OS X for Photo & Video editing, and listening to music.

Ultimately, yes, you can buy a higher 'technical spec' computer for your money than you can buy a Mac, but those PCs (generally) are poorly optimised and result in you getting far worse performance than something of a much lower spec. Proof of this is when comparing the likes of an Alienware PC to an other manufacturer's PC... the Alienware is a very well optimised piece of hardware, and although you could buy a lot more for you money buying an alternative brand, you won't get the same performance from like for like 'spec'

I would strongly recommend a Mac to anyone wanting a machine that will perform well for pretty much anything you'll throw at it, running any OS you want and prefer to use.
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