Macintosh Advantages... Please Name them!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Pixeled_Apple, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. Pixeled_Apple macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    MeLbourne, Vic Aussiee!
    Hi, if you known my other Thread, I'm gonna buy a 15" PowerBook SD, I've made my decision but...
    My parents, won't let me buy one :( :( :( !!!!! But they said, if you get the advantages of a mac, I'll buy it for you :D

    So, Can you people, kindly please tell the advantages of having a Macintosh? ( I know that it Runs on UNIX and only has 1% of Virii )

    And O yea... I have some questions I needa ask too... if you can answer them, please do!

    1.) Can Mac Run, Visual Basic, Liberty Basic, JAVA, C,C++ ????

    2.) If I run tons of apps, will it in the same peformance? ( like running 5-20 apps )

    3.) Is a mac easy 2 switch? is it easy to handle? what learning curve is there?

    4.) Will mac support the printer model : HP PSC 1210 ; and will it support the Modem : DSL-302G running OptusNet?

    This is a major question

    5.) Many people say MAC is bad, why? My parents said that they are not buying
    a mac because none of the Software work on Mac? Is they a solution 2 it? (Or do I need 2 buy Virtual PC?)

    Big Thanks!!

  2. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    1. I believe so, but I'm not a software guru.

    2. I normally have 16 apps running simultaneously with not decrease in performance (TiBook 667). Not processing information at the same time, just open. If I try to import pics off my camera and work with iMovie at the same time, things do slow down - a lot. Also, I NEVER leave any MS Office apps open, they are processor hogs (10%!), even when they are not being used.

    3. It's an easy switch - kind of. The file system takes some getting used to, but after that, you've just got to remember: "If I knew nothing about computers, how would I do this?" 99% of the time, that works.

    4. Couldn't tell you about the printer, but why would you run a different modem from your laptop? It's got one built in. If it's a cable modem, it should be supported through an IP address using HTML, so that's not a factor.

    5. Macs are not bad - and there's plenty of software available, and it's affordable. Yes, the windows world has a hundred apps available for anything you'd want to do, but only 2 or 3 are worth buying. In the Apple world, there are maybe 10 apps available, but you've still got 2 or 3 that are worth buying. The only area I've had difficulty finding an affordable app is database, although Appleworks offers one. I'm just not sure of compatiblity with the Windows world with the Appleworks database. There is an excellent database app available, it's just a little pricey.

    Here's an idea. Go to, and spec out a system, complete with software, RAM, video RAM, a decent monitor, etc... Don't forget to make sure it's got XP Pro - the full OS - not "Home," the dumbed down version. Then, go to, and do the same. Remember, the Mac will have a processor that is roughly 1/2 to 1/3 the speed of the comparable Windows computer. What you should find is that the Mac comes in at roughly the same price as the Windows machine, probably within a hundred dollars.

    Don't forget, the lifetime of Macs is far longer than Windows computers. Your new Dell will need to be replaced in 3-4 years, your new Mac will last 5, 6, or possibly more years - with no hardware upgrades!

    Good luck. Hope your 'rents see the light.
  3. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I'm probably not the best qualified to answer these questions, but I'll get things started...

    1) I do believe that there is a Mac version to run all of the various programming languages you mention

    2) Performance using multiple apps will very much be related to the amount of RAM you have installed.

    3) If you are currently using Windows, I won't kid you, there will be a learning curve, but not as steep as you might imagine. Once you get down some of the basics, you will find things much more intuitive... and you will find that they work.

    4) Don't know the specifics of model numbers, but the answer is "probably"

    5) Virtual PC is a solution, but not a very good one. What do you want to run? MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Photoshop, Illustrator, Quicken, Web browsers, Acrobat, you name it, there is most likely a Mac version. Compatiblity between platforms and file sharing can be an issue in some cases, but most apps are either cross platform compatible or have a solution. I have existed in both worlds without any real problems. Most people do. We use the Mac out of preference.

    As far as advantages (I'd prefer to say pluses)...

    1. Ease of use
    2. Overall experience
    3. Quality
    4. Ease of use
    5. Stability
    6. Ease of use

    Hope this helps some, and good luck
  4. Palad1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2004
    London, UK
    Answers... looooong ;)


    Congrats pixeled :)

    I have a 1.5 SuperDrive 15'' Powerbook, 1 gig of ram, 5400 RPM 60Gigs HD, 128Mb VRAM, I guess that's about the same setup as yours.

    You have so many questions, let's look for the answers inline first:
    I am making a living as a Software Project Manager, here's what my Mac runs:
    • Java SDK 1.4.2
    • Eclipse (Java IDE, free version of IBM's industry standard WSAD, which even in its free version, kicks major ass especially when it comes to refactoring)
    • Mono : .net CLR, for all your C# needs
    • MySQL : SQL Relational Database
    • Apache: Industry-wide standard HTTP server
    • PHP: Web application authoring language, easy
    • GCC : GNU free compiler which groks (amongst other things:
      • C
      • C++
      • Liberty Basic
      • Pascal
      • Objective-C
      • You name it
    • Xcode: Apple's free objective-C / C / C++ / Java IDE. Most software vendors use this tool in the Mac world.
    Same performance as what?

    Do remember that PowerBooks are high-end machines, so if they buy a 900$ DELL lappie, chances are your powerbook will just kick the crap out of it performance-wise.

    On the other hand, I made some tests between my 1.5PB and a VAIO (P4), on some points the VAIO won : games, raw speed, but the PB clearly won over th VAIO under high load. Seems like OSX fares much better than XP when the system load is >100%

    For what I do (coding/surfing/light photoshop and of course the Fabulous 4: Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook), 1 gig of RAM bought me peace of mind. The Kernel is really good at managing lots of applications at the same time, I can't complain (see here for a much more detailed discussion about RAM: )
    My GF made the switch in two days. She's a translator, spends her days using Word and Firefox, and I have to bitterly fight with her for the privilege of using MY powerbook every day. I NEED AN IBOOK :)

    I made the switch 5 months ago, I'm a programmer, used PCs since I was 12, the first week as an ex power-user was a bit frustrating, but once you get used to the fact that the Mac way to do a thing is always the most evident/straightforward one, it just keeps on getting better and better!
    See here:

    As for the modem, it has an ethernet port so yes, it will run. The rule of thumb here is:
    • It has an USB port it is highly probable it will live with OSX
    • It has a FireWire port, it will run OSX
    • It has an ethernet port, it will run OSX, plus you'll be able to hack it :)
    Apple support for non PCMCIA peripherials is really impressive. Just plug in any camera on a Mac and you'll understand (as opposed to plugging it in an XP box for the first time. oh gawd)

    I use Virtual PC for 2 things:
    • PSN8.5 (microsoft Project clone)
    • Visual Studio.Net when I'm not at the office

    The thing is, if you have a PC desktop near you, you are better off using Remote Desktop Connection in order to run windows applications. On the other hand, I don't need VS.Net everyday thanks to Mono (

    As for the comments made by persons who hate the Mac, I can relate.

    The thing is, I used to be the most offensive Mac basher ever. My first computer was an Apple][/e and I never forgave Apple for ditching the CLI in favor of its stupid Macintosh interface. Let's say I was not a fan of OS7-8-9 either, so many things were hidden from the power user it was just freaking me out.

    Then came Steve with NeXT, and OSX with it Unix goodies. I gave it a try 3 years ago, and was quite impressed with the whole thing, it did not relate to any previous Mac experience I had (this must have pissed several OS789 users by the way :) ).

    What I wanted to say (instead of telling my life ;) ) was that these person are as misinformed as I used to be and still have preconceptions dating back to classic OS789 days.

    Most Windows apps now are either
    • Cross platform (MS Office, Java)
    • Cloned by open source projects (Eclipse, Mono,Firefox)
    • Utterly ridiculous when compared with their Apple equivalent (Logic,Motion...)

    As I understand, you will buy this machine for Computer Science college, right? if so, this is the _best_ tool for the job.

    Oh, killer argument for your parents:

    If you get a PC, you will spend your time playing videogames, whereas on a Mac, everybody knows there are no games, thus it's all productivity!!! ;)

    Hope that helped,
  5. Palad1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2004
    London, UK

    Pixeled, I read your other thread, it seems like you are 14, so don't forget you either qualify for:
    • a 10% educational discount
    • a 20% ADC Student discount (don't know if you qualify for this one though)

    Oh, and when you compile a list for your parents, make sure you filter off all the naughty words I littered my previous post with :eek:
  6. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    When I was shopping for my laptop I made a list of the things I needed from it and the software I was going to use. When compared most laptops did not meet these needs and those that did (VAIO's mostly) were as expensive or moreso than Apple's. Add in the one-stop-shop element of buying an Apple (I know most Window vendors will give the option of cheap pre-loaded software but it's cobbled together from a variety of sources on a cost basis) and for me it was a no brainer.
    As far as compatability goes I'm yet to hit a snag after three years of Mac and don't forget that even when it doesn't say it's compatible with a Mac I've found it nearly always is (cameras/camcorders/printers/scanners/BT etc)
  7. Pixeled_Apple thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    MeLbourne, Vic Aussiee!
    Thanks Every1, espically Palad1 !!!!!! Your'e a big help!!! I can't thank you enough!!!! Anyways... Big Thanks!
  8. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    advantages -big time

    all the posts have covered lots of what i'd have to say, plus some stuff i dodn't know about .

    there are some tremendous advantages to the mac and here are some of mine (some are repeats of prior posts).

    top 12 reasons:

    1 you are goint to love it and it will grow with you and vice versa.
    2 it is intuitive and easy to learn.
    3 far less problems than windoze.
    4 almost no setups for apps etc.
    5 stable.
    6 no viruses.
    7 fun and amaizing -i reccomend apple fully.
    8 less apps, but those that are there are excellent.
    9 there is nothing you can do on a pc that you can't do on a mac, usually better)
    10 the hardware and software is terrific- really plug and play, easy to use.
    11 software updates for the os and related apps like iphoto, itunes, safari, etc are always made available to you, usually for free.

    12... are you wainting for this? this is my number 1 reason to go mac and it is a killer reason. the computer, the os, and a number of your everyday apps, are ALL MADE BY ONE COMPANY!!!! so they work together seemlessly and are supported by 1 company, using 1 phone no. if you have any questions, you can have it attended to by one extremely qualified person, in one place -apple support- who knows the whole system and will sort all your queries out. in the pc world, everyone points fingers at each other and you never know what's what and you end up running all around trying to guess fixes (hardware, software, app, perioheral?).

    WARNING -that said, your parents really only have to worry about 1 thing when you get your mac (and i sure hope you do). they are going to love it so much, they are going to want one of their own.

    good luck!

  9. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    A little more inpu, if it will help.

    1. As mentioned, xcode is free with your mac, and can be used for c/c++/obj-c/java. I mostly code in java, and haven't ever bothered with visual basic, but I would have to imagine something is available. When I bought my before going to college I was concerned that it wouldn't work as well as a windows machine for my cs studies, but after my first lab and discovering that I could program java and ssh into the lab machines with no extra configuration, I knew I'd purchased the right computer.

    2. Running lots of apps. It's been my experience that it's not the number of open apps that slow a mac, but the number of windows. Ram helps here a lot.

    3. Easy to switch. Overall, both are are based on the desktop model. There are differences, however, which may take some time getting used to, such as keyboard shortcuts, some basic differences in methodology, and of course, the macs unenvironmentally friendly trash can. :)

    4. already covered. on dsl modems and routers, however, I haven't been able to access the setup pages using safari. That generally worthless IE install helps in this situation.

    5. You can find comparable software for mac and windows for most applications, if not the same product ported to mac. Games are not as prolific, but your parents may find that a plus. :)
  10. Buckyball macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    A couple of advantages


    1) You mentioned virii, but don't forget about the major threat of spyware. This can wreck a machine's performance; there have been a few articles by PC power users bemoaning this problem. Security isn't perfect on the Mac, but the threat posed by viruses, trojan horses, spyware and the like is minimal. I've seen several people have to effectively wipe a computer due to an infection.

    2) Ease of use. That means time. Period.

    3) Computer lifetime. I have invariably gotten a longer working life from a Mac than a PC. My home computer is a 4 year old Cube and I'm only beginning to think about replacing it. I'm not doing heavy-duty video, but some reasonably complex analysis of experimental data and my trusty Cube handles it all.

    "4.) Will mac support the printer model : HP PSC 1210 ; and will it support the Modem : DSL-302G running OptusNet? This is a major question."

    The DSL modem almost certainly has an ethernet port. Run it into a hub (preferably wireless) and you're good to go. You'll have to do the research on this particular model.
  11. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Really the I think one of the biggest advantages is that there is no spyware/adware for Mac OS X. You would not believe the amount of time PC users I know spend dealing with it. It seems to totally dominate their computing experience. I've also had to fix a number of computers that became so bogged down by spyware/adware that they were no longer useable.

    This is so true, and goes to show you just how easy to use Macs are. It is such a pleasure to use a computer that just works.

    Good luck convincing your parents!
  12. Palad1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2004
    London, UK
    Better yet, find a Mac user in your entourage and get him to talk to them so they can see firsthand why Mac is a Good Thing (tm) nowadays.
  13. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    That's a good idea. Seeing a Mac firsthand might help your parents understand the advantages better. Are you near an Apple Store? You might also take them there so they can see the PowerBook you want in person (who can resist the styling of the Aluminum PowerBooks?), and maybe one of the sales people will help sway your parents.
  14. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2002
    When I bought a Mac my parents responded, "Are they even still around?" :(

    If your need to run Microsoft Visual Basic you will have problems. (but could use VPC) Other then that all the langauges you mentioned are fully supported.

    The biggest pain you may have is if your work/school are very "PC" oriented. And require Visio, Project, etc. file support. You could always use VPC. Office your fine with Office for the Mac.
  15. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2004
    HP does have a Mac OS X driver for the HP PSC 1210 on their website.

    Good luck.
  16. Palad1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2004
    London, UK
    Visual Basic

    Be warned that Visual Basic is not supported on the mac, it is Windows-centric.

    If you have assignments in VB you'll have to either user VPC or if it's VB.Net use mono.

    On the other hand, I dont think you'll have many vb assignments in the near future ;)
  17. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    If you live near an Apple Store, you should take your parents for a visit. Or an Apple reseller if that is all that is available. Actually seeing a Mac and what it is capable of doing should go a long way to convince your parents. Good Luck! ;)
  18. V.A.Toss macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003

    I dont know if it has been said in a previous post, cos im just too tired to read them all. But here is a reason that WILL persuade your parents:

    A mac will hold its market value approximately twice as well as a PC. So if you fancy selling it and buying a new one at some point in the future, then it will be alot easier on your wallet.
  19. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    Lots of people has given good arguments here.

    I'll add that for a developer Mac OSX is a fantastic platform to use. You get most of the benefits from the Unix and Linux world with powerful and mostly free tools that will enable you to build anything you want on the server side. This includes built in Java, Perl, Python, Apache, shell scripting and lots more. For databases you can install among others MySQL or PostgreSQL. In addition to this vastness of tools from the Unix world, you have the incredibly easy yet powerful frameworks for building Mac OSX applications available for free. On Windows you have to pay a LOT to get proper application development tools. Cross platform Java development is a breeze as it is on most platforms.

    I would also like to comment on the market share of Mac, which I suppose could be a concern for your parents. With a marketshare of less than 5% in the U.S and less than 3% worldwide you might get the impression that the Mac platform is a small or dying platform. This is not the case at all. It as a very healthy platform. It does however not compete in as many markets as the PC.

    In some markets Mac is the platform of choice. This includes not only graphics and publishing as people like to think. Other well known markets are video and music. Then there's biology, maths and some other sciences that also use Macs a lot, and in lower education Apple is the second largest supplier after Dell. I'm sure that I'm forgetting some, but you get the picture.
  20. Pixeled_Apple thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    MeLbourne, Vic Aussiee!
    Thank You!

    I just want to say Thanks for giving me the advantages, and answer my questions! You have all been good help to me!

    I'll let u know the outcome!

    BIG Thanks!
  21. Pixeled_Apple thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    MeLbourne, Vic Aussiee!
    I showed the list that I made, thanks to you guys.... and my folks said, that if I get a real good Report Card, I'll have a good chance of gettin a pb in Xmas...

    Lets hope that i'll get a rep card :)
  22. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2003
    Good luck scoring that report card kid - here's a couple of things that might be handy as well -

    1. I have the same Powerbook - great choice! It will serve you very very well.

    2. I also have a HP PSC 1210 which is hooked in to my old iMac G4 running Panther and it works a treat. This is no problem whatsoever, the PSC 1210 comes with OS X drivers.

    3. You probably don't qualify for an educational discount if you are at high school. Shop around though and see what various resellers say. If they are unable to help you out, see if you can get on to any family or friends who are students or faculty at a university and get them to buy it for you - you'll save a good few hundred dollars on that Powerbook.

    Hope things work out for you.
  23. oldschool macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2003
    sorry man for being a jerk, but its viruses. My microbiology teacher layed into me for that, so i feel like spreading the joy. Have a nice day.
  24. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    I have been using macs afor about 1.5 years now and i can say this:

    1- They work. If your going to use it for school and homework it will work. If you do graphics and heavy work get a faster mac and it will work. If you play games like i sometimes do my 17" PB works. Macs just work and work good.

    2- Not much work. With Macs i dont check updates everyday both for the Operatin System and nortin. I dont worry about virus hurting my important work/files. You switch it on and do what you want and not spend 1 hour installing and updating your computer everyday which slows your computer so much that you cant do anything else.

    3- iLife. I have my photos, music and some video i have shot on my PB. I open iTunes listing to some songs while i work. I have all family photos on and make albums which i share with them. I edidted a 3 hour home movie into a great 45 mins movie with all the best parts left in.

    4- The main problem with PC's is that they crash, althou i have had some problems with mac its 3rd part softwares problems and not to do with macs. Macs dont crash, they work and you dont have to worry about saving your work ever 5 mins to make sure nothing goes wrong.

    5- Its cheaper. Yes Macs are CHEAPER!!!!!! Think of it, your not just buying a box, you are getting iLife, that alone is worth +$300 bucks. Its a great program where you get 5 utilities that are not found on the PC if they do i have not seen them of heard of them. You are buying stability, preformance and longer life. Macs last longer i would say 2-3 years longer so devide the amount you will spend on 2 computers on the amount of years it will last (pc about 3-4 years, mac 4-7 years if you dont need to do anything new).

    6- Macs are better looking. I have a LAN at my house where friends always come over most have switched to macs. There are a few PC users but they always say that macs are better looking and works better but they are to into gaming that they need a PC.

    7- The worst that could happen is that you dont like it. Its easy to sell them, look at ebay a lot of them get bidded on and bought. My friend who had a pc laptop wanted to sell it to get an iBook, it took him 3 times to posting on ebay to get it sold since it was 1 year old. My other friend had an old imac with the handle on the back (forgot what it was) and sold it like 2 months ago even thou it was something like 4 years old.
  25. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    The education discount is NOT for K-12 students. Only faculty and staff at that level qualify. Students of higher education institutions do receive the discount. Don't abuse the program; if enough people do it, the program might get pulled.

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