PC vs. Mac Redux

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The following is republished from the Tech Times #174.

The forum threads associated with my editorial last issue, Mac vs. PC: What Floats your Boat? and Mac vs. PC and the Future of the Web, are running hot with nearly 400 posts at last count.

“Is Apple Hardware Crummy?” in the SitePoint Forums

A few of you did write in via email, however, to let me know your thoughts. More than a few of you suggested that moving to Linux will get all the benefits of Mac OS X that I mentioned and without getting locked into Apple hardware. Having not given Linux a fair shake on the desktop for a few years now, I have to admit that Ubuntu and the like may be a very good option for the extra adventurous who don’t need commercial apps like Photoshop to get by.

Speaking of Apple hardware, Tech Times reader Bob Deloyd wrote in with this perspective:

“I have friends who have Macs and it seems that there is always something going wrong with the logic boards or other parts. [...]

“You buy from Apple, you are stuck with Apple. Why don’t they just let their OSX run on any INTEL machine? I would love to have it run on my Toshiba laptop, or my Dell desktop machine. I do have an INTEL MacBook because I want to get better acquainted with OSX for my business. I like it for its 12″ screen and lightness, but I will keep my AppleCare up to date!!!”

Many of the Mac users here at SitePoint have been plagued by similar hardware issues, Bob. I seem to have lucked out with this MacBook (knock on rounded, black plastic), but I certainly keep my system well backed-up and protected by a solid warranty.

What do you think? Is Apple hardware crummy?

“Is Apple Hardware Crummy?” in the SitePoint Forums

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  • shmlco

    My MacBook Pro is as great a computer as I could ever want. No issues whatsoever. Same with the Aluminum Powerbook which preceded it, and the same with… well, I could go on, but suffice to say I’ve never had to take a Mac in for service. I’ve replaced maybe two failed hard drives in the last twenty years, but that sort of thing happens with any computer.

    The tech department at one of the places where I work, however, has a massive shelving unit filed with Dells, HPs, and quite a few no-name PCs awaiting parts, repairs, or just a complete Windows reinstallation after a virus or trojan has taken it down.

    There was, however, one MBP on the shelf last week. When asked, I was shown the cracked screen. Seems the user had accidentally sat on it.

    And to reply to another comment, it’s the access to the commercial software world that helps make the Mac what it is. For better or worse, I need Office and Photoshop and lots of other software that, in all probability, will NEVER be ported to Linux.

  • Anonymous

    For photoshop you can use WINE on linux or the gimp which is free and for office, use open office. I’ve used it on windows and linux and haven’t bothered with M$ for it for years.

  • krdr

    OSX can be run on ANY Intel platform, There’s solutions from “dark side”.
    But, there’s quite good reason for Apple to keep customers on their hardware. Only with controlled hardware, Apple can obtain stability and reduce size of customer support. Users are discouraged to change/tweak/mod hardware as is usual on PC platform. I wonder when was the last time some regular Mac user took the screwdriver and opened Mac

  • Killswitch

    shmlco, the repair issue you brought up is a little off the mark as I see it. Windows is the most commonly bought OS, as it can be loaded on most any computer any mainstream store sells. Apple users for the most part, are more experienced with computers and turn to Apple for something they are either more in control of or just something other than Windows.

    I have an old AMD 1 gig that I’ve had for many years now that I’ve never had to service (have had HD failures though) and that was some non-name brand machine. My current is about two and has yet to have any problem.

    Most everyone who brings their computer to a tech shop to have it serviced usually bring it there because they don’t know how to fix a problem with computers themselves.

    I haven’t gotten my hands too dirty with Apple, but from what I have experienced with their notebooks I wasn’t too enthusiastic about giving it a good run (not going to buy a $1000 laptop if I can’t adjust well to the OS). Afterall, I am perfectly happy with Windows XP.

    I did recently install Ubuntu on my older machine and I really like it. It has the same feel that Windows has, but you have an incredibly higher amount of control over your system. If Wine improves, or Photoshop is eventually released for Linux, I will definetly move to Linux.

    There is one issue that people like to bring up about the Apple vs Windows debate that usually throws a flag for me – the visuals. Windows has a handy little tool called Adobe Gamma that you can adjust, you can even adjust it to match Apple’s color profile.

    As far as the debate goes, it’s really left to the user, with what they are more confortable with, and for what purpose they need a computer for. I am a php developer / graphic designer, but I also use my computer for gaming and general internet use and it’s perfect, I don’t need to learn to use a Mac and don’t need to move away from Windows. Other people often use my computer as well so they too don’t need to struggle getting around.

    My mom is completely out of touch with computers, but she gets around to her email and the internet well on my Ubuntu computer (she really doesn’t know the difference between Windows and Ubuntu).

    My preference would be a Windows XP machine (not Vista, that’s entirely different debate). I am confortable with it, I know how to run commands on it, and I can get around it quickly. Not to mention, I have a ton of programs that won’t run on anything else.