PDA

View Full Version : Why Should I Switch?


StevieA
Jan 8, 2004, 07:09 AM
I'm a PC user, working in Graphic Design, and my systems need upgrading, so I'm thinking of changing to Macs. I havn't used Macs for about 5 years, but the recent speed increases of the G5s are tempting me.

What I often read from Mac users is the improved productivity of the Mac environment, can anyone elaborate on this, and give me examples of how this is improved over PCs.

Please note that I'm not interested in speed comparisons between PCs & Macs, simply useability.

Steve

jayscheuerle
Jan 8, 2004, 08:13 AM
OSX is a different OS, a different working environment. It will be a change for you. You'll either like it or not. If you can, go to an Apple store (or wherever) and play with it for a while. The only real advantage that Macs have is that their OS and their hardware are better connected.

Just do your research. Avoid zealots or ignoramuses on either side. - j

e-coli
Jan 8, 2004, 08:24 AM
The main reason, for me, is typographic. Macs have an extended font set that includes all the proper typographic marks and punctuation. Windows font sets simply don't contain these items.

And ColorSync is really a nice feature. The Mac gamma allows the monitor to display many more colors more accurately than Windows based systems, which tend to be much more contrast-y and tends to crunch colors on the high and low end of the spectrums.

And my Mac just works relatively zero maintenence, so I can concentrate on the work. I'm not being a zealot, but I was a PC guy when I started in design, and I switched. I would never go back.

But that's me. Everyone has different needs and tastes.

localhero
Jan 8, 2004, 08:39 AM
I've used Windows and OS9 and OSX (currently Panther).

When I switched to the Mac I just found it suited the way I work. My move to OSX has been pretty positive too, and the stability has been outstanding.

I've upgraded to a new 2Gig Dual G5. This is a lovely machine.

I know we pay more for these computers but I think from the OS to the Build quality, Apple, for me, have it pretty much right.

I've not used XP, and I have heard good things about it, however my experience on Windows has been spoilt by a lot of fiddling with the machine and less time actually doing the job I want to do. With the Mac I can just, usually, get on with it.

Finally, most print outfits (in the UK anyway) are Mac based, so this can simplify your workflow when it comes to print.

I could never go back to Windows.

isus
Jan 14, 2004, 12:06 AM
i like osx because it is:
stable
visually pleasing
and is practically virus free

also, there is no rush to upgrade equipment. in the pc game, your computer has passed it's useful life in a few months... then something twice as fast (in numbers) is out. i have seen apple computers that are 5 years old run osx at a pretty nice speed.

also nice about apple:
the software included. there is just no way to compare the iapps you get from apple to whatever is bundled with your pc. apple takes a good amount of time to develop these things and it shows.

revenuee
Jan 14, 2004, 12:36 AM
Why macs increase productivity?

5 words

"less rebooting due to crashes :)"

StevieA
Jan 14, 2004, 06:22 AM
I have been running XP on my desktop machines and laptop, and havn't had any system crashes in 2+ years.

Steve

edesignuk
Jan 14, 2004, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by StevieA
I have been running XP on my desktop machines and laptop, and havn't had any system crashes in 2+ years.

Steve
Same here. Slagging off Windows isn't going to make StevieA switch, saying that Windows constantly crashes and is unstable does not work any more fellas.

I think you should go and try one, you may hate the OS, you may love it. No one can tell you what you will work better with, it's down to you to decide. If you do decide to go the Mac route and get a G5, I'm sure you will not be disappointed, from what I here they are VERY fast...but it just depends what you work better with.

isus
Jan 14, 2004, 06:42 AM
i use windows xp on the computer i built for myself, and it crashes occasionally. usually the problems are due to flaws with the computer itself, ie bad airflow because it has to sit next to a wall.

however, it still bsod's about 2x a month. i've only had a kernel panic 1x, and i don't know why, but it only happened once, so who cares?

while the satbility thing works for some people, it doesn't work for everybody. i am not you, i do not use your computer, it bsod's on mine, so ta-da ;)

bubbamac
Jan 14, 2004, 06:55 AM
Macs are better for me because:

The software is designed for the hardware.

The hardware is designed as a unit - looks nice, works nice.

The software is stable, when doing things that the average Windows user might not even think of doing. I've routinely got 12 apps running, and as many as 18. I recently had 6 html pages open in an editor, with 6 corresponding browser windows (all auto updating, 2 finder windows, a text page, and a flyer layout in another program open and on the desktop at the same time - on top of the 12 open apps. No sweat.

When an app crashes (and they do), it is so nice to be able to simply open it back up again, and continue. The system simply isn't affected.

This is all on at TiBook 667 - close to three year old technology, and 1/3 the speed of the current processors. Runs great.

And, in the end, it's just a smoother, nicer computing experience.

Good luck either way.

If you want to give it a try, get yourself an eMac and try it. They're reasonably priced (I'm amazed at how cheap they are), and if you don't like it, sell it.

Mr. Anderson
Jan 14, 2004, 10:04 AM
Just remember, aside from aesthetics, if you switch to a Mac, you'll have to get all new software....that's an additional cost. And some things aren't the same on both systems in regards to the software.

D

bryanc
Jan 14, 2004, 11:47 AM
I'm a scientist, so the way I use my computers is probably not representative of the 'average' user, but I'll give you my perspective as another data point.

I have a fairly capable PC running Win2k (I had XP on it, but found it an enormous pain-in-the-...). I bought a TiBook (667 MHz) a couple of years ago to use as my 'presentation' machine (liked the form factor, and had heard a lot of good things about OS X...figured if I didn't like it I could sell it) and fell in love with it almost instantly.

Despite being a biologist by training, I've been a computer geek for decades (started using computers in 1968). I've always enjoyed fiddling with them, programming, tweaking, trouble shooting, configuring, tuning, upgrading, etc. and consequently, I've been the de-facto IT support guy for many labs, and even whole departments at times. I've worked extensively with every version of windows there has been, not to mention VMS, MTS, unix, solaris, linux, free-BSD, DOS, Amiga-DOS, etc.

What I've discovered, somewhat to my surprise, is that OS X is the perfect OS for me...It's beautiful and easy to use when I just need to get some work done, and it's got all of the wonderful unix goodness underneath that I can play with if I feel geekey.

Another surprise to me was that I expected to use my PC for the heavy lifting, and use my pretty little TiBook for presentations and such. But I use my TiBook for almost everything. Yesterday, I was manipulating an 840MB data set on my PC (which has a 1.2 GHz processor an a GB of RAM) and it kept GPFing every time I tried to open the file. So I moved it over to my laptop, and processed it without difficulty (it slowed down, and the fan came on, but I could still listen to iTunes and surf the net while the data got processed). My PC is positively fragile compared to my laptop. I reboot my PC at least once a day to keep it running properly, and much more often if I'm working it hard. My laptop is currently on it's 32nd day since the last reboot, and it has gone longer than that.

So the stability of OS X is quite impressive, but more important than that is that the mac works as a beautifully integrated system, whereas the PC is ten thousand parts flying in loose formation. If you enjoy fiddling with them, PCs are kind of fun, because there is always something that needs fixing, but if you need to get work done, the mac is the way to go.

Cheers

StevieA
Jan 14, 2004, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the comments. I guess I'm being tempted by pretty, shiny things! I'm aware of the costs involved in switching my software, but the hardware price is also a deciding factor, I can buy several Dells for the price of a G5!
I can't help feeling I'll stay with PCs for now, mainly because I know the os/hardware so well, and I don't think there is a solid reason for me to switch right now. However I think I may buy a iMac and see how I get on with it. Wish me luck, I may well be back.

Steve

rueyeet
Jan 14, 2004, 12:30 PM
I find that while Windows 2K Pro itself has never crashed on me, applications seem to crash far more than on my home Mac. And this is with MS Office and Outlook...you'd think MS could design its stuff to work better together.

Also configuration is so much easier. Where in Windows so many of the Control Panels are complicated to the point where the use of wizards to do anything is encouraged over trying to set stuff manually (and some of those wizards are notorious for doing almost-but-not-quite what you wanted), the Mac's System Preferences are so clearly and simply laid out that it's comparatively easy to find the settings you want and get them configured.

In fact, you know how Microsoft products in general try to do things for you and you end up with almost-but-not-quite what you wanted (or something you definitely didn't)? Wizards and Office Assistants and Plug-n-Play and the like? The Mac is MUCH better at actually doing stuff for you. Usually in the background, and with the effect you wanted.

If you're currently using Windows in a corporate environment, then your company should already be running firewall and anti-virus software. If not, then a Mac will probably be a more secure choice.

Those are the immediate usability considerations that spring to my mind, as a user of both Windows and OS X, that don't have to do with just preference in how things ought to work. You really don't realize how much of that almost-but-not-quite you take for granted with Microsoft stuff, and how much time you've spent fighting with your computer to do stuff, until you work on a Mac for a while.

Thirteenva
Jan 14, 2004, 01:08 PM
One of the things I love about my mac...

Apple supplies most of the tools you need with the OS...

Examples: iChat (aol instant messaging), Mail client, iCal(Calendar), iTunes(digital jukebox), Preview(pdf and image viewer).

These are all things you would probably have to get supplied to you seperately in the windows world. AIM, Office, Music Match, Adobe Reader.

Yet on the mac, they're all ready to go and Integrated with each other. And they all get along...

My boss today was complaining about his Aol messenger crashing when those "movie ads" playing.

My parents complain that one app won't run when some other app is open.

Non issues for me, I have an add free fully integrated software environment.

I miss very little from the windows world i left 4 years ago.

Mantat
Jan 14, 2004, 01:12 PM
I just want to point to one thing: Dells box cost less for a reason, they are made of cheap plastic and use low end components. For the same amount on computing power, its impossible that you can fit many dells in a G5 price. They are about the same price for high end systems.

I think the biggest factor in you switching is the cost of software. You can try to sell them on ebay or forums or anev try to trade them for mac version.

I think the best way for you to know if the mac is for you is to go to an apple store and play with it a bit. You will soon realize that a lot of the iApps integrate so well in your life that you cant live without them.

Also, all the color management on the mac is leagues away from the pc world which is another big plus.

Try it, and you will see!

flyfish29
Jan 14, 2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by localhero
I've used Windows and OS9 and OSX (currently Panther).

When I switched to the Mac I just found it suited the way I work. My move to OSX has been pretty positive too, and the stability has been outstanding.


I have to second these comments! My new iMac has not crashed once since I received it over 6 months ago. I have had three different applications (mail, iPhoto, and Safari) either unexpetantly quit or freeze up, but none of those instances has required a restart. I have just forced quit the application, and restarted working by opening up the app,. again.

Stability and porductivity are the two key points for me. Not having to troubleshoot much, (a little, but nothing major) therefore give me the ability to be productive almost 100% of the time I spend on my mac.

I know PC's have improved quite a bit recently, but I would have to say that even though the mac was great a few years back with OS 8 - 9, OSX has transformed the entire computing experinece for myself.

Again, take a test drive on one. Spend an hour or more at an apple store on OSX. See how integrated everything is for yourself and how it works seamlessly

Good luck

virividox
Jan 14, 2004, 01:26 PM
i enjoy using apple cuz their software and hardware work nearly seamlessly.

i use windows a lot, still, by choice, and i can say both systems have their strenghts and weaknesses.

i am partial to apple because i can get a lot done with the apps they provide and the apps offered are very high quality and i dont have to really search for apps like i have to do in the wintel world, not to say wintel has lousy apps, they just have so many, sometimes its duanting

iShater
Jan 14, 2004, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by StevieA
Thanks for the comments. I guess I'm being tempted by pretty, shiny things! I'm aware of the costs involved in switching my software, but the hardware price is also a deciding factor, I can buy several Dells for the price of a G5!
I can't help feeling I'll stay with PCs for now, mainly because I know the os/hardware so well, and I don't think there is a solid reason for me to switch right now. However I think I may buy a iMac and see how I get on with it. Wish me luck, I may well be back.

Steve

I think that is what got many switcheds to notice Macs in the first place :)

The hardware cost will be very similar to a Dell highend machine, which you will probably need for your work. Since you seem to make your living through this, I would recommend taking your time to evaluate your options.

The cost is a factor, but the productivity is one as well. I think someone already suggested getting a low-end machine to try out OSX, maybe get some demo versions of the code that you have. After using that for a few weeks you will know if you want to make the switch or not, either case you can sell the low-end machine and then proceed to upgrade your system to either platform that first your needs.

I switched in May, and what I like:

- the fresh approach to computing compared to windows, different interface, different system.
- hardware integration.
- bundled applications.
- UNIX is available right on the same machine that Word and Photoshop are present, along with even games.
- Window layout in my opinion makes it easier to use applications.
- Everyday I am learning something new that makes me go either 'wow, that is amazing, this saves me a lot of time', or 'wow, this is so cool, and fun!'. Both which make me glad I switched.

Hope this helps :D

StevieA
Jan 15, 2004, 03:13 AM
Damn - I'd thought I'd decided to stay with PCs, and then the last few posts have me wavering again. . .

I particularly liked bryanc's comment "the PC is ten thousand parts flying in loose formation".

Steve

denjeff
Jan 15, 2004, 03:54 AM
Exposť

the Dock

being able to run 20 at the same time (i think I did about 20 once with only 386MB of RAM on my G4 400)

UNIX (if you want to run any server, it 's easy to set them up... almost all is included in the system: http, ftp, ssh... and there are so many good open source programs, all ported to the mac an all free)

compactibility (I am able to open any type of document, every type of program has an excellent representation)

easiness of connecting to servers (any kind of servers)

almost no cost of maintainance (my computer is 4 years old and the only thing I added was RAM, for the rest there was never any kind of problem)

.......

I have a friend who recently switched (from XP)... after 2 weeks he says he will never go back again...

bubbamac
Jan 15, 2004, 07:02 AM
Earlier I mentioned getting a cheapie to try Apple out. I forgot to mention - Don't get a G3 processor, unless you're willing to understand that the G3 is way slower than any G4.

As far as comparing a G5 to a Dell.... You'd have to compare Dell's absolute highest end machine to get even close. Most of the G4 machines will compare favorably with Dell products. A comparable Apple product is NOT more expensive than a Dell. Promise.

StevieA
Jan 15, 2004, 08:08 AM
I used the Dell as an example only, I'm well aware of Apple's build quality.

If I went for a G4 (imac or lapop), are there any "essential" extra software I'd need to buy. I'd be using Adobe's Photoshop/After Effects/Illustrator, for TV-res graphics.

Steve

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 15, 2004, 08:12 AM
As a recent re-switcher I can offer this advice. I produce ads for my company. In the Windows enviroment I used Publisher and Photoshop. I won't get really into Publisher (it has it good points and bad points). What amazed me is when I brought over a PS file from Windows into my Mac and did the Acrobat magic, just how much better the output was. It showed me despite the compatibility statements by software vendors, there is a difference how the files are handled.

Let me expand on this compatibility issue a bit more. I had a PS file that disp[layed correctly in PS. All text layers were there. When I exported to Acrobat there were missing lines. I brought that file to PS CS in the Mac and did a Acrobat file and no missing lines.

The other advantage for me was in dealing with my publishers. While they do work with Windows formats, when I had a question they are better able to help me on the Mac platform. Even if they don't support the inDesign program, since they have Mac users that have used it (or know something about it).

I am looking forward to my Sony Windows system dieing so that I can justify buying a Mac desktop. Why? With all of the "extra" gear that I attached to the Mac, I never had a problem in getting it to work. Not even my cell phone (which required me to buy a seperate program).

I find myself being forced to reboot my Windows system after a day or to to correct system sluggishness, or erratic behavior. And so far I have not had any virus or spyware problems that seem to plague my Windows system on a regular basis.

My first Mac was back in the OS 8 days. While I liked what I had, when it came to upgrade I did not see any benifit. At this point I don't see me buying a Windows based system EVER again!

Iam using a new PB 12" with 512mb ram. So far the performance seems to better then what I had in Windows. I have Mail, inDesign, Acrobat, and other programs open at the same time and find switching to fast and "cleaner" than when I was under Windows with 1gb RAM.

Hope thsi helps.

Chip

musicjon
Jan 15, 2004, 09:13 AM
I switched 1 year ago Februrary.

I switched mainly because of marketing and Apple's reputation among my peers in the music field, but I'm glad I switched for different reasons.

#1 - Palladium (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2002/jul02/0724palladiumwp.asp) freaks me out.

#2 - Great resale value. I bought a refurbished iMac in February, and ebayed it in November. Net loss: $125

#3 - I don't waste time playing computer geek anymore. I make music instead.

Point #3 was made very evident last week as I watched a friend of mine rebuild his Wintel music PC. He spent 4 days messing with his computer setting up the same things that would take me 1 hour or less with my Mac.

I really hope you take the plunge and try out a Mac. Your creativity may soar.

Grimace
Jan 15, 2004, 09:30 AM
I was a hardcore Windows (XP most recently) user for a while. Then, I wanted a laptop and decided to use both OSs. Once I had used OSX for a week, all I could think of was, "This is how it always should have been." Everything just works, and works extremely well. You just have to do it to know.

ejb190
Jan 15, 2004, 10:44 AM
I use a Mac for one simple reason. I am not and have no desire to be a computer programmer or tech support person. I just want a computer that does what I want it to do.

I use a PC at work (which I am on right now). I find myself constantly adjusting settings and battling our IT department to get minor problems worked out. (Like when QuickTime kept crashing my system and they told me I shouldn't be using it anyway!) I am an educator, not a computer support person. I spend WAY TOO MUCH time fixing PC's and showing people how to do things that should be intuitive.

At home, my two Mac and a PC network just works. Period.

iShater
Jan 15, 2004, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by StevieA
I used the Dell as an example only, I'm well aware of Apple's build quality.

If I went for a G4 (imac or lapop), are there any "essential" extra software I'd need to buy. I'd be using Adobe's Photoshop/After Effects/Illustrator, for TV-res graphics.

Steve

You will probably have to buy that software that you got. The only ones I ended up getting were MS Office and Toast.

Burn some of your files that you are working with on a CD. Go to the Apple Store, the G5s have Photoshop installed, not sure about the other software packages. Open your files and mess around with them.

Try to see if the staff can/would be willing to install additional software on the machine for you to try. I would think if you are interested in getting a G5 PowerMac, they would be willing to help you make the decision.

mms
Jan 16, 2004, 07:46 PM
A great thing about Macs are that they can last so long. PC's you have to replace after two or three years, or they get sluggish.

I'm kind of hoping that my computer would break so I would have an excuse to buy another one... but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. My Lombard (OS 9) works just fine, and I even hear of them running OS X perfectly, something I plan to look into. Even my Performa 6400 running 8.6 works fine for regular use, with no upgrades at all.

revenuee
Jan 17, 2004, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by mms
A great thing about Macs are that they can last so long. PC's you have to replace after two or three years, or they get sluggish.

I'm kind of hoping that my computer would break so I would have an excuse to buy another one... but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. My Lombard (OS 9) works just fine, and I even hear of them running OS X perfectly, something I plan to look into. Even my Performa 6400 running 8.6 works fine for regular use, with no upgrades at all.

Dude ... i'm so with you on this ... i've been dieing for an excuse to get a laptop .. but since i don't really need one and can get away with a desktop ... i can't justify getting one when i have a machine ... if this broke i would have an excuse to get a new computer .. .and then i would go powerbook

wowser
Jan 30, 2004, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by musicjon
I switched 1 year ago Februrary.

I switched mainly because of marketing and Apple's reputation among my peers in the music field, but I'm glad I switched for different reasons.

#1 - Palladium (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2002/jul02/0724palladiumwp.asp) freaks me out.

#2 - Great resale value. I bought a refurbished iMac in February, and ebayed it in November. Net loss: $125

#3 - I don't waste time playing computer geek anymore. I make music instead.

Point #3 was made very evident last week as I watched a friend of mine rebuild his Wintel music PC. He spent 4 days messing with his computer setting up the same things that would take me 1 hour or less with my Mac.

I really hope you take the plunge and try out a Mac. Your creativity may soar.

that's true: looking around ebay, even 5 year old imacs are holding their value quite well, compared to PCs which drop in price like lead weights - i guess it's like selling furniture: with macs you get a new piece of furniture as well as a computer!

ThomasJefferson
Jan 30, 2004, 09:11 PM
Ctrl * Alt * Delete

Counterfit
Jan 30, 2004, 11:11 PM
This isn't a login window... :D

James Craner
Jan 31, 2004, 03:57 PM
I switched a 1 1/2 years ago. I had been using Windows ever since version 2.0, and still use Windows XP at work. My original reason for switching was reliable DV video editing and burning to DVD. I was blown away when I got my first demo of iDVD at a John Lewis Store in the UK. I purchased a MDD Powermac soon after and late last year have also got a PowerBook 1.25 GHz 15" as well. I use my Powerbook at work now (I gave back my Sony Viao). Windows XP is pretty reliable these days, and I can't remember the last time the OS crashed. However I do use some badly written forecasting software at work that appears to drain XP's resources and requires a reboot about once a week. I have really started to see a marked increase in viruses over the last 12 months, which just don't affect (infect) the Mac World. I would not go back to Windows now.

pinto32
Jan 31, 2004, 05:00 PM
While XP is a wonderful OS when compaired to Microsoft's earlier products, it still is not up to the level of Panther. The longest I have ever gone on XP without a crash has been 8 days of continuous running. While this is pretty good, its still rather annoying when the system freaks on me in the middle of doing something. Also, the old memory-leaking problem is still there, in which the system gets progressively slower the longer you use it without restarting. But, this doesnt really matter to you, cause you obviously have your own idea of windows, so, hmmm....lets see if I can salvage my post....

OS X.....to borrow a line from so many other people......"it just works." I still use XP at home, and I still spend far more time than I would like to keeping the thing running. Sure, you can get Windows to run very nicely now, but Macs come like that right out of the box!

I guess that would be my biggest argument for you to get that G5...the time you will save playing with drivers, and msconfig, and all that lovely junk.

bubbagump
Feb 21, 2004, 10:34 PM
Read your software license agreements. I know with Adobe volume licensing you get a mac an pc serial number for each license you purchase, so you can choose to use your license on either platform.

Bubba