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The Punisher
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to replace the laptop I have, and since I'm really getting sick of Windows, I'm considering a Mac. From some of the opinions that I've read here and elsewhere, Vista seems to have it's "problems".:D:

Since I'm really fed up with Microsoft and Windows, I was wondering if anyone has made the switch to a Mac. Specifically, owning a laptop/PC with Windows XP, and then switching over to a Mac. Advantages/disadvantages, any problems I may encounter?

I know the owners of Mac's will chime in, and extol the virtues of their machines, but I'd like to get specifics on WHY a Mac may be better than a laptop running Windows.

Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. The good, the bad, and the ugly.:D: Thanks.

Edit to add: I use the machine for email, watching videos and live sporting events, documents, etc., but don't do much in the way of online gaming, so I'm not concerned about that.
 

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a mac would be fine for everything you stated. If your smart though you would get a solid windows pc and put linux on it.
 

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trois pour cent
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It just works.
Not a single virus in the last 5 years.
New software easily installed, no problems.
The operating system is very intuitive and requires little effort to learn.
The system preferences are easily configured.
My first mac is five years old and still works fine.
Time machine with backup system keeps me free of worry.
I've never bought software designed for the mac that was not really easy to use. The one exception to that was Intuit Quickbooks. Their mac version sucks. I keep my books on an Excel spreadsheet now instead.
I dropped my first mac, a G4 laptop down a flight of stairs. It has a significant dent in it's aluminum case. Still worked.
The spam filters on the mac servers work really well. I rarely get spam.
I can build quick simple websites using just the software that comes with the mac.
To build more complex ones, I can use Rapid Weaver which is much less expensive than Dreamweaver or alternatives. The Rapid Weaver gives you much better file structure.
For graphics, I can use Pixelmator, again saving me hundreds of dollars by not needing the Adobe software.
By combining an IPhone with my mac, I am able to stay very organized and up to date even when I'm in the field and don't want to carry the laptop. Love the GPS and direction features when in a new area.
Imovie, IPhoto make handling all my video and photos a complete breeze. Does everything I need without additional software.
All mac programs play well together.
Their customer service has been outstanding.
The only tech issues I've ever had resulted from adding memory which was not approved for the mac. They are a little finicky about memory. Replaced it and no more problems.
I used to carry my Apple Express with me when I traveled. Plug the ethernet cable in at the hotel and it gives me instant wifi.
Now I have a cellular card which gives me broadband connection pretty much anywhere.
I've never had an apple product that did not work as advertised. Everything seems to be very well engineered.
Apple's free online "how to" seminars for business are very good and I'm constantly learning new things.
I could go on but you get the idea.
Hope this helps. Happy to answer specific questions if you have them.
 

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cute is not always enough
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2,232 Posts
Specifically, owning a laptop/PC with Windows XP, and then switching over to a Mac. Advantages/disadvantages, any problems I may encounter?
Go for a MacBook. Unless they wind up with unexpected problems from the recent chassis changes they are great little . If you hate OS X just run Winblows under BootCamp. Not to mention they are not very expensive.

You can run Parallels (or other products) to have your favorite Windows applications or for legacy needs like tax software.

Be prepared to pay for more things. Many of the 'must have' Mac apps cost. There are lots of free things and you can do a lot with what comes with the OS. There is UNIX under the hood and you can do just about everything with that so long as you want to invest the time figuring it out.

You will find some peeves with the OS. I despise the finder. Hate it with a passion. Also, the UI is limited and many things (networking, especially) are hard to get into the guts of.
 

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The Punisher
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies so far. I've just been perusing some of Macs and looking specifically at the iMacs. For the home, I'd like to move away from the laptop, and get something with a 20" or 24" screen. Reason being, I only have an antenna where I live, so other than NBC, PBS, ABC, any sporting event I'm watching on the laptop with a 13" screen.

The reviews seem to be good for the iMacs, and like I said, I'm not looking to do anything complicated with it. Anybody out there with an iMac with a bigger screen that can give an opinion? Thanks.

Maurepas, I'll let you know when I've come up with a list of specific questions for ya.:thumb:
 

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I am still amazed at other peoples experiences with windows. I do hate vista. Hell, it's making me angry just thinking about it! But xp... I can see no problems with it. Properly balanced pc /laptop build with xp is very quick, stable and reliable.

I don't use any anti virus programs that slow my system and are just a pain in the butt, I don't do updates and... I never have any issues! I can't get over how people trash their machines so quickly with nasty softwarez while having all those machine slowing protections running in the background. I do instal a few programs every 6 months or so to do some complete scans and never find anything of consequence. OMG! Cookies! :p

I'm online 24/7 and make use of my 40gb allocation each month actually dl "stuff", have updates turned off, don't use anti virus protection and I have a smooth running, reliable and fast xp system that does everything I could want. Oh... and a well built x86 system will be just as quick and reliable as a mac (assuming a semi careful user) but half the cost!

Alright, I'm talking desktops. Ranting actually. Second rant on here this morning :p
 

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cute is not always enough
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If you want to get away from the laptop then I would strongly suggest you wait until the new year. Apple has hinted that there will be some love for the Mac Minis. The Mini is a great way to get into Apple products. They are quite cheep and reasonably powerful for most home uses; especially if they get a spec bump to the Santa Rosa chipset and better graphics. Quiet, small, low power consumption... all round good performers. If it gets a bump in the new year I will buy one.

The iMacs are fine but the all-in-one nature means if anything important breaks it is toast. If I bought an iMac I would probably get Apple Care as well. At least I would have a guaranteed three year life span. Also you have no expansion/upgrade potential.

If you want to use your Mac as a media center and have any thoughts about Blue Ray you should do some research. The screw-the-consumer DRM is giving a lot of Mac owners problems. I have not looked into this as I refuse to give Big Media any of my money but I have seen posts about problems.

My mom has a 24" iMac at work and absolutely loves it. My dad also wants one after seeing it. They both switched years ago and will never go back.

Have you heard of The Unofficial Apple Weblog? (TUAW.com) It is a good place to keep up with current Apple news as well as find all sorts of good software, tips, and tricks. But you do have to put up with a lot of iPhone crap.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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I had a series of PCs from the very beginning. In 2006 I bought a MAC. I will NEVER go back to a PC. Never. They are pathetic pieces of crap in comparison. Let me tell you what I do with my MAC. I turn it on and in 12 seconds I am on the internet, or making a movie, or writing a report. There is never an error message, there is never send a report to Windows, there is never having to nurse the computer to get it to do what you bought it to do. No virus, not spyware... none of that crap. The MAC simply does what it is suppose to do. The PC simply does NOT do what it is suppose to do. The MAC is a joy to use because it is problem free.
 

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I turn it on and in 12 seconds I am on the internet, or making a movie, or writing a report. There is never an error message, there is never send a report to Windows, there is never having to nurse the computer to get it to do what you bought it to do. No virus, not spyware... none of that crap.
And that's the exact experience I get from the secondary, $600 budget pc I built for myself 6 months ago :p
 

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tinfoil bandana
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And that's the exact experience I get from the secondary, $600 budget pc I built for myself 6 months ago :p
Also what I get from the P4 based small form factor cube running Linux, with the benefit of a price tag of $100 for the box and $0 for OS and software.

Linux allows a lot of performance tinkering as well.

Linux runs on most webservers as well.

My only real beef with Apple is their stuff is even more proprietary than Microsoft. The last hands on I had with Apple was with the fruit flavor iMac, it was nicer than Windows, but not enough to take me away from Linux.
 

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I have three macs today, none are in use. I have a nice iMac bought in 2005 which I spent a hefty sum upgrading, then I have an older iMac (music server) and a really old Mac which used to be used in the schools. (From 1994, got it from a friend, couldn't say no hehe.)

I've had two mac laptops as well, one iBook G4 and a MacBook from 2007 which I ended up breaking. (Don't leave it in your laptop bag on top of your car.)

I've been real pleased with them. But the reason why my daily computer isn't a Mac is because 1.) They cost too much and 2.) I have _TONS_ of programs like Microsoft Office which I don't feel like getting a Mac version.

Ask yourself this; "What do I normaly do on a computer?" Is it crusing the web? Graphic design? Then get a Mac, or take a look into Ubuntu which is free and runs ok on older hardware. (Give Linux a try, it's free!)

If you use your computer to game on, stay away from Macs.

And yes, Vista has it's problems... Oh man it does... Like constant freezing where it has to close Windows Explorer, timeouts on programs so they lock and freeze... But other then that, it's an AOK OS. Windows 7 is around the corner, and it's gotten rave (!) reviews.

My 0.2 Ameros.

SOLIDUS
 

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Junior Oldie
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817 Posts
To me "upgrade to a Mac" is an oxymoron. If I won a top-of-the-line Mac tomorrow, it would be on eBay, unopened, and the money spent building a computer with the parts and OSes I wanted to run. People who complain about Microsoft and proprietary products and then rave about Macs have no grasp on reality. Apple's stance is very straightforward - we have an OS and if you want it, you have to buy a computer built by us. Look at Psystar - they started installing legitimately purchased copies of Apple OS on computers and Apple is suing them saying it's a breach of their EULA to install the OS on any computer that isn't built by them. Yeah, MS has problems, but I can go tomorrow and buy all the parts for a system and be running their OS legally at a third the cost of a similar Apple. And, therein, lies one of the major reasons that Vista and XP (which actually had worse problems when it was new) crash and hang - they have no control over the hardware. Apple controls every step of the build and the hardware and, with so few variances, can ensure that their OS can handle their hardware. Their OS is built off of Darwin-flavored UNIX, so it's a given that it has great flexibility, but that flexibility is somewhat nullified by the fact that there's little to be flexible about. Apple doesn't have to worry about someone doing a motherboard swap, adding some off-brand capture card, or replacing half the working parts on a whim.

And the whole idea of any OS being bulletproof against security issues is completely ridiculous. Apple issues security updates and has flaws, just as Windows, UNIX, and Linux do. Yes, it does have fewer crackers targeting it, and, therefore, has fewer actual threats against it (still more than Linux, it seems), but that is directly related to the fact that fewer people are running it overall. If you were writing a malware program and wanted to get it on as many computers as possible ($$$), you'd choose Windows, too. The more computers Apple sells, the more likely it becomes that those computers will be targeted. And, IMO, the attack could be very effective against those who think they are immune and don't need to worry about securing their systems and have little background in how to secure their systems. Apple can only secure so far before it comes down to the user making correct choices, and let's face it, most users are disasters waiting to happen. Folks reading this - on the tech board of a group of survival minded individualists - aren't likely to fall into that group, but we all know friends and family that will click on any link that looks interesting, especially if it says "FREE, FREE, FREE." There are plenty of websites aimed toward Mac security so it is an issue that has to be considered.

My OS choice on my main box is dual-boot: Kubuntu by default and XP Pro when I need it (I frequently run other distros, but always seem to come back to Kubuntu). Both are set up the way I like them and, technically speaking, I've made some changes in XP that are against the EULA. My second box is currently MepisLite, but that changes constantly. My wife boots XP Pro, but I have it setup as dual-boot so I can use Ubuntu on hers. My 4 1/2 year old daughter runs XP. In the past year, my wife has picked up one Trojan downloader that was stopped immediately and there hasn't been any other issues that I didn't create myself. I like to do the routine of "Hmm, wonder what this does...?" I have run Vista, but it really doesn't offer me anything I need - I could run it just fine. Besides, I work fixing Vista computers all day and want to work on something else at home.

I'm not ever going to say that someone who chooses an Apple product is an idiot, but I'm never gonna say that someone who goes with Vista is an idiot, either. They may be idiots anyway, but I won't base that call on their OS of choice. Different companies exist because people have different needs and wants. For my needs and wants, Apple is a losing game.

Just my opinions and maybe food for thought.

And, remember, the first virus ever considered to affect the home computer infected Apples.
 

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The Punisher
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Discussion Starter #14
Just wanted to bump this back to the top, as I've talked to my cousin this morning, who is an IT analyst, and he agreed that for my applications, the iMac is the way to go. Like I said, I'll be watching live streaming sporting events, email, surfing, and basic stuff. Don't need something more complicated, since other than that, I've got better things to do around here than spend all day on a computer.

I've basically narrowed it down to the 24" iMac, 2.8GHz, 2GB Ram, 320GB Drive, and upgraded vid card from the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256MB VRAM, to the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512MB VRAM.

I'm looking to see if anyone out there has one of these machines, and what their experiences are with it. Maybe not the exact same setup, but one of the newer ones with the 24" screen. Thanks.:D:
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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Just wanted to bump this back to the top, as I've talked to my cousin this morning, who is an IT analyst, and he agreed that for my applications, the iMac is the way to go.
I love my MAC Mini... it is absolutely an excellent computer. Not one problem in over two years of use. Not one, zip, zilch, nada, nothing, anytime about anything. A PC is a pain in the @$$ the moment you turn it on, and I know I had them all.
 

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I've had four Mac, two of them laptops and I've never had a single problem. And the viruses just don't attack Mac users.
 

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The Punisher
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Discussion Starter #18
Defending a PC is like defending Hitler. Get a MAC, you will never regret it.
Now that's funny stuff right there SR. I'm sure there will be some PC lovers replying to refute your assertions.

What's even funnier, is while I was perusing the Apple site the other night, I got not one, nor two or three, but four messages from IE that the "webpage could not be found", operation aborted sort of messages. Along with the whole "program is not responding" BS, end program now crap.
 

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i own a mac book pro and i havent had any problems at all. if your looking for a desktop and already have a nice monitor i would go with the mac mini and buy some type of external hard dive if you run out of space. my whole church uses macs and we have two mac minis and they have been great for the past two years. so i would most likly buy a mac pluse you can go to the apple store if there is a problem with you computer and they can fix it in front of you in a matter of minutes.
 

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AAAH GET TO ZE CHOPPA!
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I do NOT own a mac, but I have used them frequently in my line of work. My observations:

PROS:
-Most mac software "just works."
-Tight integration among the "i-everything" line of programs.
-Usually runs efficiently on the hardware it comes with
-More stable and virus/malware resistant.

CONS:
-Almost everything apple-made is hermetically sealed. If something isn't working right, the usual solution is "take it to a repair center" or "call Apple support (you DID pay for more AppleCare, right?)"
-You pay a premium for all of that style and shininess.
-Doesn't have nearly the variety of little freeware apps that Windows or Linux has.
-(Potential con) simplicity-focused design may feel stifling if you are the type that prefers to customize and tweak everything.

My advice: If you want it easy out of the box, get a Macbook. Then install XP in Parallels, so you can pull up Windows programs as needed. If you want more of a challenge and don't want to be constrained by proprietary software, or if you love being able to customize everything in your OS, substitute Linux for Mac OSX as your primary operating system.

In both Mac OS and Linux, it is pretty easy to configure and run Windows as a virtual machine (think Windows in a window). This prevents you from feeling crippled when you just gotta use some Windows app, or you find a website that is stubbornly windows-only, etc.
 
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