Why use a Mac?

This is a little off my normal subject material, but what the heck – when ya get religion, whether theological or technical, you want to share it! A few months ago I got a Macbook. I know several smart people who have moved to Macbooks in the past couple of years, and they have urged (OK, made great fun of) me to do the same. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

I started with a used Macbook from Ebay because I have a history of having a cool idea, spending a bunch of money to get started, and then not using what I bought (Gail will be happy to vouch for this). I thought doing this would allow me to cheaply find out whether the Mac would increase my productivity and if it did, I could then spring for a newer, better one. Which I plan to do soon – my only decision now is whether to get a 15″ or 17″ Macbook Pro.

Here are a few things I love about my Macbook, compared to the Windows desktops and laptops I’ve used for more than a decade:

  • The hardware is better. Sure it is a lot more expensive than a Windows notebook. But it isn’t throw away stuff – it is meant to be used by serious professionals (whether or not that’s what you are) and it is built to last. This has been my experience, and from what I read, that of a lot of people.
  • The support is better. Apple really stands behind their products. I’m sure there are always some bad experiences, but mine has been similar to this: My friend Ryan walked into the Apple store in Huntsville recently and said “I was playing with my son and dropped my iphone (that I didn’t buy here) on the sidewalk and now it is having problems.” Their response? “Here’s a new one.” If you are getting this kind of support from Dell or HP or Verizon, that’s great, but that hasn’t been my experience.
  • No viruses. Maybe there are some out there, but they haven’t bothered me, and I spend zero time buying, configuring, managing, or upgrading virus software. And no time messing with the viruses themselves. I wonder how much money that adds to your Windows PC cost and how much of your valuable time is wasted messing with that stuff?
  • No (OK, very little) rebooting. I have always had to reboot my Windows PCs all the time. Things hang up, quit working, or just get slow. I rarely have to reboot my Macbook.
  • It is Unix. I first started using and writing software for Unix around 1986 or 1987 at Intergraph when they came out with CLIX. While there are some pretty technical Windows fans for who I have a great deal of respect (my old Intergraph buddies John Allen and Tony Dye come to mind), my personal experience is that Mac OS X and Linux are a lot more stable, easier to use, and cheaper to administer than Windows. And with Apple continuing to make inroads with their Mac sales, the days of having to use Windows because that’s where all the software is are coming to a close.

Like most religious wars, this one won’t be solved in my lifetime. I’m not trying to convert anyone to the Mac. And this guy says it better than I can anyway. All I’m saying is that I’m much, much happier and more productive with a Macbook – maybe you would be too…

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2 Responses to “Why use a Mac?”

  1. John Allen Says:

    …well maybe not better, but the Windows of today is a long way from the early attempts that ran on DOS. NT is a sophisticated operating system and while it’s not without its problems it doesn’t deserve much of the reputation that is owing to its early roots. I have a 2003 server and honestly its never down.

    Having said that, Apple is clearly the biggest innovator in the market and I can tell you the iPhone is *simply* an amazing piece of technology.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I’m certainly a fan of Unix-based systems, and I gave up bad-mouthing Apple a long time ago. For what I do, the PC is still a better fit. I know that’s not true for all. In other words, I can’t find anything to disagree with in what you’ve said1

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