Convincing friends to respect the mac platform?

Discussion in 'Community' started by pagemap, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. pagemap macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #1
    I am the odd one out in my circle of friends in that I own an iBook. They all are fairly hardcore PC people (we are all studying electrical engineering) and I can't seem to convince them of the mac's superiority.

    I have shown them the G5 information and it's impressive gate length, etc and they are still unimpressed. Unfortunately I can't offer any real data on its performance since its not released yet. Most of my friends are of the mindset that OSX is for artists only and not engineers. I say why generalize, it's for anyone who enjoys computers. I don't really care waht they think - I am not going to stop using my mac on their behalf. I just am tired of having to defend my mac and why I use it. What tactics have you guys found most helpful in convincing your friends to give the mac a little respect?
     
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Nov 1, 2001
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    VA
    #2
    What about the terminal in OSX? If you're doing EE I'm sure you must have had some Unix work....

    D
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #3
    Show 'em a G5:D

    Seriously though, I don't think you want to try to prove the mac superior, because there are plenty of reasons to use one platform over the other, you just want to show parity, and that the mac is an equally good choice. Once people accept that, then they get to see how sweet the OS is and then they find out it's a unix machine...
     
  4. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #4
    They already know that. Thanks, though.
     
  5. wowoah macrumors regular

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    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #5
    All of the EECS professors at my school (Berkeley) use either Unix or Macs cuz they can't stand x86 chips and their inefficiency, as well as the volatility of Windows. That point usually gets me the most respect.

    Of course, there're some people who are just stubbornly committed. My girlfriend is not in any way a computer geek, but she refuses to even consider a Mac to replace her eMachines P3 that's literally falling apart. Why? Because Macs are "weird" and she "doesn't like them" because they "work funny." Women. :p
     
  6. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #6
    HAHA, most of my fellow students could care less about how the computer looks. I think aesthetics is part of the complete package - if I am going to spend a lot of money on a computer I better enjoy having it sit on my desk.

    And I wish I had some solid data to show the G5's performance but until it's released looks are about its only selling point.
     
  7. jbomber macrumors 6502a

    jbomber

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    #7
    i find that brandishing a 2x4 usually helps when people need convincing....
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    It should be out soon! Then you'll have some basis to argue from.
     
  9. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #9
    How are x86 chips inefficient (just curious)? Bear with me, I am still a freshman and havent got into my major classes yet. Is it because macs use RISC processors and PCs use CISC?
     
  10. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    I wouldn't argue the Macs "superiority", both platforms have their merits, trying to claim one is better than the other will only end up with never ending arguments from both sides. The fact is both have their pros and cons, what you need to do is argue are the Macs pros. e.g. The G5 will be hugely powerful, the OS has a UNIX backbone, more secure, more stable etc, etc.
     
  11. wowoah macrumors regular

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    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #11
    That's a big factor in their inefficiency. Intel rushed their processor to market after IBM threatened to use a competing processor in their first PC back in the 80s. Intel knew that their instruction set was flawed, but they also never expected their processor to attain the popularity that it has today, predicting that it would eventually be replaced by a better-designed processor. Consequently, the modern Intel x86 instruction set requires 2-3x more instructions to perform the same function as a RISC processor, which is why a lower-clocked RISC processor can perform as well as a higher-clocked x86. My professor used the (somewhat extreme) analogy that the PPC is like a Civic and the Pentium is like a BMW, except that the Civic is driving on a huge 6-lane superhighway and the BMW is on a two-lane rural road. In the end, the Pentium *needs* the extra MHz to achieve the same performance as the PPC.

    Add to that the fact that the x86 instruction set is riddled with inconsistencies (like varying opcode and instruction lengths) and such, which creates bottlenecks in the processor and slows instruction execution, and you have a processor that is hated by the computer intelligencia.

    Don't worry, you'll have this all drilled into you in your machine language class :)
     
  12. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #12
    Some things to consider:

    Scott Kelby's book

    An exhautively researched site

    Also, ask them to add up all the time they spend starting up and shutting down their computers. Then show them your "uptime" stat. in terminal.

    And remember, just like some people will never be convinced that they consistently date people who are bad for them, some people will never be convinced that they choose sub-standard computers.

    After all, a random reinforcement schedule is far more addictive than a regular one. That's my theory on why so many people use PC's.
     
  13. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #13
    Thanks. Do both current AMD and Intel chips still have these flaws? One would think that they would be removed these flaws or found out a way around them by now. Also how are RISC chips simpler than CISC? What makes them more efficient?
     
  14. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #14
    Huh? Please elaborate on this. Thanks. This could prove to be a great card to play. :)
     
  15. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #15
    I am in the same boat as the original poster, all my friends are pc users, and despise apple (although one agrees the iPod is the best mp3 player..). I often get the blanket pc user statement "they aren't upgradeable", or "macs suck", and to this I usually just laugh. The best way I have found to get to a pc users heart, is to mention drivers. There is no way they never have to install drivers.... :)

    ;)
     
  16. wowoah macrumors regular

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    Jul 16, 2003
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    Berkeley, CA
    #16
    I'm not totally acquainted with AMD's processor technology, but from what I do know, they use an independent instruction set, but use a front-end to convert Intel x86 instructions to AMD instructions, which ultimately results in the same problem. The reason Intel can't simply remove these flaws is that the instruction set forms the very basis of all computer software programmed for a system. If Intel came out with a whole new processor with a whole new instruction set, every single PC software manufacturer would have to rewrite their software from the ground up to support it. This is exactly why the 68040 --> PowerPC migration was so difficult and long for Apple, because 680x0 processors used a different instruction set than the PPC, requiring programs to be completely rewritten. Luckily Apple only had 5% of computer users to migrate; imagine having to convert the entire world of Intel users.

    As for what makes RISC more efficient, there's no real easy way to answer this without going in depth into machine language and such. There're lots of factors (many of which aren't coming to me right now), but the biggest one which I can think of right now is the non-standard instruction length. PPC processors and other RISC processors employ a standard instruction length, which means that a machine language instruction to the processor will be 32 bits long, no exceptions. This makes processing very easy, since the processor just needs to bite off the program in 32 bit chunks to process. Intel's language, however, does not have an instruction length standard, which (as you can imagine) makes processing machine code much more frustrating and slow.

    Another factor is the fact that the RISC instruction set is "reduced" (hence the acronym, Reduced Instruction Set Computing.) We studied MIPS in class so I can only really relate to that, but PPC is supposed to be very similar. Basically, in a RISC processor, every single operation that can be possibly done is reduced to a small set of 30 or 40 very basic operations (like add, subtract, shift bits, store, read, etc.) These operations are then optimized to be incredibly speed efficient. Intel, however, has hundreds of operations, which makes programming incredibly difficult and processor design incredibly complex. As a result, the RISC processor is faster, simpler, and more efficient (thus consuming less energy and generating less heat.)

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #17
    blah blah blah

    Your iBook is better because it runs OSX.

    As an added bonus, it's has superior industrial design and will retain its resale value better.

    But it's mostly about OSX. If they prefer XP or whatever, that's fine. Some people like Hershey's more than Belgian chocolates. You can't argue with personal taste. You really can't argue with ignorance either.

    Heck, they're probably secretly jealous anyhow! :D
     
  18. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #18
    There's this guy at work who thought I was stupid when I first bought my ibook. To be fair he'd used the really old macs and the portables you couldn't plug into a projector so he was a bit bitter. Anyway, his mother who had a really old mac just upgraded to a new shiny imac. He tried to persuade her not to but she knows what she likes (clever mum that one). Now this guys tried out his mums new imac he actually says it's really nice and he would even consider buying an apple :eek: Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when he said that.

    The moral: Let them use it for a bit. People won't make the leap 'cos they're scared and feel comfortable with what they know (even if it sucks and they know it). Once folks try out a mac they generally get hooked. Unless they're gamers in which case they say 'Hmm...nice. Does it play counterstrike?'
     
  19. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #19
    I am actually a recent switcher. I was initially worried that I wouldn’t have all the apps I need but honestly with the help of versiontracker.com and Google I have found everything I need. I think basically the same software (functionality-wise) is available for both PCs and macs, but with PCs there is 10x the selection and most of it is crap. For instance I needed a terminal emulator and zterm works great where on the PC I used HyperTerminal. I used winamp a lot on the PC and now I'm hooked on itunes. If you are willing to put the effort into switching like I did I think most people would be happier using their computers in the long run. Just my $0.02.
     
  20. pagemap thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2003
    #20
    That does help. I can't wait to get into some of these classes. Unfortunately I have another year of prerequisites such as your usual calc, physics, etc before I really start on the EE stuff.
     
  21. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #21
    Rule 1 of arguing Mac vs PC: Don't be a zealot.

    You have to have lots of details (which I think you've already done) on Apple's hardware and software before trying to argue a point with hardcore PC users.

    Make sure you know of the merits of using a Mac over a PC, and emphasize them. Also, be willing to accept that the PC is better in some areas, because believe it or not, it is (like for use as a door stop, and boat anchor...)

    First, instead of trying to convince these guys that the Mac is better, just try to get them to accept the Mac. Inform them of the benefits, and don't have a "PC's suck" attitude.

    My friends will jokingly say "Macs suck!", but when it comes time to do projects, they all want to work with me, because they've seen what I've done with my Mac, that they could only dream of doing with their PC's.

    It really depends on what your friends are like, and remember that there are, and will always be die hard, anti-Mac, PC zealots out there, and be willing to accept the fact that your friends may be of this type. But that's ok, nobody's perfect ;)
     
  22. Coca-Cola macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    #22
    Don't worry about what people say. Just enjoy your Mac. I once had an awesome BMX bike. It was all chrome and very cool looking. But it wasn't a cool brand name like "Diamondback" or "Kuwahara". So, people would always try to tear me down about it. It wasn't a huffy or anything, just a sweet bike. I let people convince me to be ashamed of my bike. I stoped enjoying it. I really regret that. Now that I think about it, those other kids were just jealous. Damn them for being mean, but damn me for listening to them and letting them ruin something I enjoy.


    :)
     
  23. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    NYC, or thereabouts
    #23
    Random reinforcement

    It's my understanding that conditioned behavior in animals is most effective when done with a random positive reinforcement schedule rather than a regular one. Which means if you want a pigeon to peck a button from time to time, hook it up to food (one peck, one pellet -- every time: regular reinforcement) but if you want a pigeon to be fixated on pecking the button, hook it up so that it gives a food pellet every now and then.

    This works equally well with people: it's the basis for gambling addiction (and, I suppose golf -- my short game's pretty random!).

    I think that using a mac is more of a regular positive reinforcement mechanism, whereas using windows is more random, and therefore more mesmerizing. For example, when I was getting my Dell laptop (a millstone from work) to connect to the internet, it took most of an afternoon. Do I know what the ultimate solution was? No -- I just know that I got it to work. No reward; no reward; no reward; *Reward!*

    I may be off base, but the greater arbitrariness of the windows system may be what draws some people.
     
  24. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    #24
    What about the X windows support in OSX? I am a Comp Sci Grad and nothing shuts my friends up faster than UNIX under the hood and the ability to run X apps.
     
  25. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #25
    Re: Convincing friends to respect the mac platform?

    man , that's a tough crowd and traditionally a PC crowd...i still think artists tend toward macs so much that i can see why engineers don't think it's for the sciences

    if the PC did not exist tomorrow, they would have to look at the mac and that's the only way they could really respect it...until then, enjoy your ibook and let them think their PC boxes are the best thing around

    i use my ibook and i fix PCs...but actually, that makes sense;)
     

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