Tuesday, December 02, 2008

PC vs. Mac

I have always been an MS boy. I went through a phase where I hopped the wagon and talked trash on them, but for the most part, I always respected MS and what they have done for technology. For the longest time, Mac users were a quiet group. It seems that recently, however, that they have been growing bolder with the famous "I'm a Mac" commercials. Because of this I have had to defend my position as an MS boy to many Mac users and I have come up with the following reasons why Macs really aren't better than PCs:
  1. Reliability - Hardware - Most people's biggest gripe with the PC is that it's unreliable and it crashes too often. Granted, this is partly true. However, there are solid reasons why this is. First, hardware. Windows is sold on machines that are distributed by companies that try to sell the cheapest hardware to consumers to drive down prices. On top of that, everything is so customizable, people are putting things into computers they shouldn't or don't need. Apple makes all the hardware for their Macs, so they know the performance each will have, they don't have to program for missing hardware, old hardware, etc. This adds much more unreliability when you're not sure what kind of hardware your OS will be operating on. If MS managed their own hardware and put it out with an OS programmed for AT LEAST that hardware, then Windows would probably increase in reliability, at least on a hardware point of view.
  2. Reliability - Software - One of the reasons Jobs and Gates went two seperate ways is because they had different opinions on the user experience/permissions for the computer. Macs hide system files and really cattle-shoot the user, unless you're extremely advanced and know where to go. On the other hand, Windows is wide-open. Windows has people poking around where they shouldn't be, moving/modifying/deleting files they shouldn't be. This isn't bad programming, it was a choice they made. It makes jobs like mine (programming) easier.
  3. Third Party Apps - MS gives out free development software for Windows; anyone can get Visual Studios Express and make an application. On the other hand, Mac users typically have to apply for applications. This stems into reliability (I think most of these issues do) as well, but when you have people who don't really know what they're doing making programs, you're going to have crashes. A good amount of these third party apps are by people who don't understand what memory allocation really means, what the trash collector does, why this square peg won't fit into this circle hole. So, you've got people downloading bad apps that are corrupting files, wasting memory, etc. Again, not bad programming, just the choice Windows made to go to open the OS to everyone.
  4. Viruses - One of the big things Mac users have over Windows is viruses. Yes, we know, you don't have a lot of viruses out there. Again, this is due to people being able to easily make a program. In 10 mins, if I can get a dumb enough user out there (and there are TONS of you) to install my app, I can wipe their computer clean. It's not hard. Also, PCs are so common, so many people/corporations use it, they have become a target. Why develop a virus that will only effect 12% of the community? Can't really blame that on Windows.
  5. Consumer Idiocy - As aforementioned, PCs are much more customizable than Macs. This has people putting parts into PCs aren't good enough to run what they are trying to, but in the end, they just blame it on Windows. Really? Really?! You're trying to run iTunes, Office Excel, Mozilla, AIM, and a video game all at once on a 1.7 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM? If people put more research into their customization, they'd have a better PC.
  6. Price - One thing PC does have over Mac right out of the box is price, which as I said before is driven down by Dell, Gateway, etc using cheaper parts and competition to run down prices. The cheapest Mac out there still costs close to 2k. If you sunk 2k into a PC, and sunk it into it right, you'd have a hell of a computer. Instead, people are buying the $700 Dell Inspirion and loading it with downloaded music, PC games, and other large applications. I bought my PC for about 2k and it works great. I have a dual-core 2.4 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM on a Vista machine and it boots in less than 15 seconds.
  7. OS - I'll give it to Apple, Mac has a nice UI. Vista is a step in the right direction, but it still doesn't compare. Apple's generally ship with nice ass graphic cards and video cards and have crisp, nice lines and colors. I'll give it to Apple, they do the UI right (mostly!! I have a few gripes with the Mac experience!). Another thing Apple does right is the external devices eject. On my XP/Vista computers, ejecting my external HD is a gamble; it might erase my crap, it might not. I never really know. When I ejected it from my father's Mac, the HD immediately stopped spinning and I knew it was safe to take out. Good job!
  8. Applications - Office is great. I don't know what people are doing to bring it down all the tiem, but I use it often and rarely have issues with it. And the people on Macs usually end up buying Office for Mac anyway. iTunes sucks. It's awful. It's slow, clunky, and not very nice to look at. Did you know iTunes has several services install on the computer that run constantly, wasting memory? For instance, the iPod service checks every few seconds to see if an iPod has been inserted. WHY?! Is it that hard to grab an interrupt, check to see if it's iPod, and move on? That and Bonjour, which I have no idea what it does, but it messes up my VPN to work all the time and most of the people I know have uninstalled it completely. It uses an incredible amount of memory even when NOT running and still is not compatibly completely with Vista.
  9. Other Issues - I hate, hate, hate that I can't double-click on a Mac window and have it expand. I'm a full screen person, I like all my windows full screen. Mac completely screws the pooch on that one. I hate it. The iDisk app doesn't always work. My father was trying to reformat an EHD he had, and iDisk kept messing it up. We had to use my Vista comp to fix it every time. My last issue has to be the attitude Mac users get. Oh, well I have a Mac so my shit doesn't smell. They get their little Apple car stickers and post it on everything. I love the ones that are forced to use a PC for whatever reason and put the Apple sticker of the Dell/Gateway/etc logo! That's hilarious. And I love the people that buy a Mac, then install that application that then allows them to install Windows on it! WTF is the point? Just sink that money into a PC and you'd have a damn good PC!

I guess that's about all. Again, I gave credit to both sides where it was due. This isn't a "PCs rule, Macs stink" post, just a "people don't see it this way" post. Again, I'll grant that Vista blows, but reading about Windows 7 and I'm pretty stoked. Think they'll give Vista users a discount as a sorry? :-P