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December 7, 2011

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Mac vs. PC – Put Your Pitchforks Away

Mac vs. PC - Since all you do is look at lolcats and Facebook, we're functionally identicalI’ve been to the future. What I saw wasn’t pretty. All these years, I was sure Skynet was going to bring about the death of the human race. But who knew it’d be civil war caused by an age-old conflict: Mac vs. PC?

Citizens of the Internet, you see it every day – Mac and PC users blindly firing shots at each other, back and forth, without end. What’s sad is that many of these people (on both sides – don’t kid yourself) do so without any idea as to the facts behind their own statements. They operate on hearsay, rather than formulating opinions for themselves.

I like to think I have a well-rounded perspective on the issue. As an IT guy who supports and uses both platforms, I know that both have their pros and cons. And my personal preference for Microsoft Windows doesn’t mean I’m going to criticize someone for choosing a Mac. That said, for the sake of educating the naive on both sides, here are my thoughts on Mac vs. PC:

“Macs are so over-priced.”

Yes, I’m starting this off by defending Apple. Ignorant PC users often complain that Macs are over-priced. Really? It’s true that you’ll probably shell out more for a Mac at your local Best Buy than you will for a PC. But have you looked at the hardware you get for that price?

Apple designs their hardware to be beautiful. It appeals to the senses. Smooth curves, aluminium unibody construction, sleek form factors… My sister’s iMac looks and feels awesome as part of the decor in her living room. I pick up a Macbook Pro, and it’s clear to me that it’s built well. I have an iPad, and I can tell you that it is solid. I toss it around all the time without ever worrying about it snapping or cracking. That’s more than what I can say about my notebook.

If these are things you place value on, then you aren’t wasting your money. Most PC manufacturers don’t pay that much attention to those details, and that’s why you pay them less. An exception: You’ll usually pay more for a Sony Vaio; But, well, look at them. They’re beautiful, and they’re built with high-quality materials. You get what you pay for.

“Macs never get viruses.”

People who insist that Macs simply do not get viruses – These are the people who make me laugh. Your Mac not getting a virus is not the result of good security. Here’s the truth of the matter:

For years, PCs have held the vast majority of market share in the computing world. If you’re writing malicious software, and you want to hit as many computers as possible, are you going to write it for a platform that only 1% of computers run on? Of course not.

Here’s a scary thought: With Mac popularity (and with it, market share) skyrocketing, virus programmers are seeing a much tastier target in Apple products. And because, up to now, OS X was left relatively untouched, Apple is facing the enormous task of plugging security holes that were largely ignored for years.

The fact is that Macs can and do fall victim to malware, with more and more viruses being written for them.

I use a PC, yet I never get hit by malware. Your best defense on the internet is, as always, common sense. (See: Discount Pharmaceuticals – Get ’em While They’re Hot!)

“Everything on my Mac just works.”

Come on, people. Your Macs crash all the time. I see it happen all the time. Some of the most unstable computers I’ve worked with were made by Apple. But you know what? PC users don’t have it any better.

Software is written by imperfect developers who miss things and make mistakes. Windows and OS X are both full of bugs, but they’re getting better. Mac OS X is, for the most part, very stable. Guess what? So is Windows 7.

Some Mac users claim that PC users constantly have to deal with installing drivers. I’ve used Windows 7 since it was released, and I can’t remember the last time a peripheral didn’t just work on its own. Granted, you do run into problems with some devices on Windows, but there are simply so many more available. Mac peripherals are fewer in number, so quality control is easier.

Both platforms have some truly amazing and innovative products. Case in point: Time Machine is a superb backup product. Well done, Apple.

“PCs are real computers. You can’t do real work on a Mac.”

Someone said those words to me last week, verbatim. It’s funny, if you consider that the PC is definitely the dominant platform in the gaming community.

You can be just as productive on a Mac as you can be on a PC. You may do it with different software at times, but there isn’t much you can do on Windows that you can’t on OS X, anymore.

Chill Out

Good Guy Greg doesn't complain about eitherThere are things I like about Macs and PCs alike. There are also aspects of both that frustrate me immensely.

To PC users: The next time you’re about to blindly criticize someone for using a Macbook instead of a Dell, think first. Consider that calling them a “fanboy” actually makes you seem strangely obsessive, yourself. So just be cool. To each his/her own.

To Mac users: I understand the appeal of the platform you choose to use. Just remember that your computer is not immune to the viruses you tease PC users about, and no computer is 100% stable, all the time. Still, I have to say that Macbook Pros are sexy. I’d love to buy one and put Windows on it 😉

Kudos to Apple for those funny commercials, but unless you work for their marketing department, this isn’t a war. So if Skynet wants us dead, let’s not make it any easier for it by killing each other over our choice of computers.


This crunchy poast was inspired by a series of tweets by Jeff Broderick. I don’t know him, but he seems like an interesting dude. And he definitely isn’t ignorant or naive. Thanks for the inspiration to write, Mr. Broderick.
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  1. Feb 19 2012

    penus

    Reply

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