Thursday, February 09, 2006

Jumping into the fray: Mac vs. PC

After reading another discussion of the perennial Mac vs. PC argument, I was reminded of why I switched over to a Mac for my own personal computer.

I found the discussion in the comments of another blog. The owner of the blog had just posted about deciding to buy a Mac instead of a PC for his next computer. As you can imagine, all hell broke loose.

The camps were as divided as the Jets and the Sharks, Crips and Bloods, Democrats and Republicans. It was a bloody fight, but reasonably friendly, unlike in the examples above.

Over and over again, the same arguments and then counter arguments were made: Macs are cooler, PC's are virus-ridden, Macs are for posers, PC's are for geeks, etc, etc, etc. Everyone's heard this over and over again.

Of course, it made me think of my own reasons for switching. I'm a guy with lots of experience in the PC world, including an associates degree in computer engineering. I've been in the IT business for going on 10 years now and most of this time has been spent in using PC's running some version of Windows.

First, let me say that the Windows operating system is certainly not junk. In fact, XP is a very good operating system and worlds better than any of the previous versions. It more or less does the job and does it fairly well. Like every other OS out there, it does some things very well and others not so well. On to my reasons.

One of the points that is always brought up in any such discussion is that there is so much malware out there targeting Windows computers. This is a fact. Since I spend a great deal of time on computers every day, I've likewise spent a great deal of time dealing with problems caused by viruses and spyware. This is pretty common across the PC world.

When confronted with the fact of the malware problem, there are always numerous protests bringing up Apple's rather miniscule market share and studies showing the myriad vulnerabilities present in OS X and the underlying BSD system. I'm willing to concede that these may also be facts. Here's where the argument ends for me.

So, there are vulnerabilities in OS X. Some consider it to be just as unsecure as Windows (I tend to disagree, but let's give them that for the sake of argument). Who gives a shit? Really, who gives a shit?

The fact of the matter is that there are very few instances of viruses or spyware affecting Mac systems. Can you think of one offhand? I know I can't. What I do know is that I have spent many hours fighting to rid my Windows systems of infestations of malware, but not one second dealing with it on my iBook. That's enough for me.

Yes, there is a coolness factor to Macs that is appealing. The bottom line, though, is that I can get to work on my Mac just about as well as I can on a Windows machine, but without having to worry about dealing with malware or being bogged down by anti-virus or -spyware software that is constantly prompting me about something wanting to change the registry or something trying to run a process or virus definitions being out of date. On and on.

I don't care so much about the reasons for the way things are. They simply are the way they are. Computers are all about making life easier and getting things done. In the end, though, a carpenter can't get much done if he has to stop and fix his hammer after driving every 10 nails or, worse yet, pay a fee for someone to fix it for him.


Anonymous Steve Leigh said...

The last paragraph is a good summation for me. I've worked on both Mac and PCs -- I've always owned Macs at home, but I worked for 12 years in a corporate environment that was PC-based.

I use a computer to get work done. It gets done better, easier, and faster on a Mac. End of story.

2/10/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

That has to be the bottom line. One size does not fit all in this circumstance and that's why all the demagogic cheerleading is so ridiculous.

2/10/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous San Diego Johnny said...

Interesting blog (no this isn't blog spam since that's how alot of that starts). I'm a long time Mac devotee and wouldn't want the headache of having a PC at home.

2/19/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

Thanks, Johnny. After using computers for a long time, I can really appreciate what Apple has to offer. I'm thinking of doing another post about cost comparisons between Mac and PC laptops...

2/20/2006 08:42:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Web This Blog
Get your own email button

Powered by Blogger

    Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    Add to Google
    Add to My AOL
    Subscribe in Bloglines