Friday, July 3, 2009

Switching to a Mac

In late April, I switched from being a lifelong PC user to being a Mac user so that I could be more efficient for my day job. Mac computers are very easy to use, and in many ways they are far superior to any Windows based system. 

1. The start up menu pops up within 15 seconds. This is a lifesaver when I'm on a deadline.
2. Most of the software that comes with a Mac is software that I actually need. New Macs come with a program called I Life which offers photo software, basic text software, video software, and Itunes. The only program that the computer came with that I don't use is Garage Band. I suppose I would use it if I was a music composer, but at this point, it is just wasted space.
3. For under $100, I was able to purchase IWork - a program that is very similar to Microsoft Office. It includes a spreadsheet program, a more sophisticated word processing program, and a presentation program. I can create a document using these programs and then export it to a PDF, Word, or Excel document.
4. No more worries about computer viruses! No more updates to my antivirus software, because hackers just don't bother creating viruses for Macs. 

My favorite new addition to the computer is the video camera and built in microphone. With this, I am able to talk with my family who are thousands of miles away. I'm going to have a baby any day now, and hope to bring the mac to the hospital with me so that I can do a Skype video call and introduce my new baby to all of my friends and family. More on Skype in a later post.

The main drawback about the Mac vs. the PC is that all of the money that I've spent over the years on Windows based software is now in the trash can. I invested in hundreds of ebooks that I can't open unless I purchase an add on like Windows Vista for the Mac. Also, the Microsoft Office suite that I purchased a couple of years ago will not work, so if I ever want to use a true MS Office app, I'm out of luck. Probably the most annoying thing about the Mac is that the touchpad does not offer two mouse buttons, and the computer doesn't include a mouse. I've invested in a new mouse this week, to bring the functionality back.

Macs are more expensive than PCs. Nowadays, you can get a decent PC for under $500, but to get a decent Mac, plan on spending $2,000. Normally, I would not suggest investing such a large amount of money on a computer, but after my experiences with Mac, I'll never go back to a PC for work. I know people who have had Macs for 10 years, and they say that their computers are just as fast today as they were when they purchased them. I have never heard the same praise for PCs.

What is your experience with Macs vs. PCs?

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