Now I remember why I switched

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by blodwyn, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #1
    I moved from Windows to Linux about 1 year ago, and then to a Mac last summer. Since then I've hardly touched Windows at all.

    Yesterday a single Mom neighbor asked me if I would install Office 2003 on her PC for her. No problem I thought. The PC is a HP 1.8GHz P4 with 512Mb RAM, running XP Home. She's had it a couple of years.

    First off when I booted the PC, a bunch of DOS windows popped up trying to find files that didn't seem to exist. When it was up and running it was running dog slooooooow. I looked at what was in the startup, and there were a lot of startup items that weren't familiar. The trouble is that HP seem to load a bunch of background stuff, and the AOL (!) service she uses also loads a bunch of stuff, so it's hard to know what's good and what is suspicious. I deleted a bunch that I thought didn't look good.

    Then went to the add/remove programs section and got rid of a load of programs that neither of us had heard of. Finally, another reboot, and we were ready to install Office 2003.

    First off, the Office CD (brand new in it's shrink wrap) was stuck to the sleeve it was in. Managed to peel it off, but it left marks on the CD. Attempted the install, but got a read error pretty quickly. Cleaned the CD up a bit and tried again - success! Office installed OK. Tried opening Excel, and got prompted by the activation box. Chose the internet option but it couldn't find a valid connection with or without AOL logged on and functioning. So we were left with the phone option. BTW, AOL is really clunky and seems way more complicated than a regular browser and email/IM setup would be.

    We had to call a 1-800 number and read out a number string that was 54 digits long into a phone voice recognition system. In return we were given a 54 digit string to enter into the activation dialog box. In all fairness the recognition worked pretty well, but 54 digits !!!!

    Completed this and Excel seemed OK. Tried Word, which loaded OK. Then tried to close Word and got 'Application not responding' message, so had to force close. Rebooted one more time and all *seems* well.

    Probably spent 1.5 hours on this simple task, and on the way home I said to myself - "Now I remember why I bought a Mac"
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    well it seems that she just doesnt take care of her system, which in all fairness hardly anyone does because they just dont know how to

    glad you made it out alive though, reasons similar to this are why i got a mac, and i finally convinced my gf to get a mac, shes planning on a 'book at the end of the summer! woohoo!
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #3
    Should people know how to do a lot of maintenance?

    I watched over 30 machines at once place and it was a chore but they stayed relatively healthy, excluding viruses. However, asking the general public to do everything that I did seems to be asking too much.

    I wonder why I haven't had an x86 machine since 1993. Anyone? :D
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Superior intelligence? :) That's my reasoning behind never having a PC :)
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    I don't know. I was using Atari machines and there was a huge deal for an IBM laptop computer in 1991 at 25 percent of the original price. Two years later, the mouse port had died and the servicing company gave me approximately $1000 to call it even. I went to buy a Mac then and haven't looked back a whole lot since I was still using x86 machines at work. Of course, I can't say that I've had the greatest Mac experience either but all things are relative. ;)
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    Of course, as Mac users, our need for maintenance is substantially reduced. My "family" iMac has been left more or less totally to my wife and 4.5-year-old for well over a year, and there haven't been any issues. My wife does install the software updates, but that's all she does. Various children's games, etc., have been installed, many applications have been used, vast hours of web browsing have occurred, and the Mac has had no problems.

    Not true for Windows users, at least not normally.
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    Nope, but they should know that a computer SHOULD be maintained. Whether they hire it out or do it themselves is up to the user. Just like a car.
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #8
    exactly my point, you have so much to do to just take care of windows, hence why macs are better. and there are many ignorant people out there using windows

    take my cousin for example, she just got a new dell laptop, whatever, its a POS in my opinion, and i saw her using IE, & i mentioned FireFox because it is safe and is all around a better browser. She asked why she shouldnt be using IE, i told her that it is basically a gateway for spyware and viruses and its an out dated program. Told her to go to mozilla.org. Then she got snotty with me and was telling me that she has NEVER gotten a virus or had any problems using IE and that she doesnt like mozilla, although she couldnt give me any reasons and she has never used FF, which i politely told her is not mozilla, just made by the same people
    of course she didnt download FF and im sure it will end up causing her problems in the long run, oh well, its ignorant people that make things worse, but what can you do?
     
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #9
    I suppose but maintaining the Registry was a full-time job in itself. :eek: How in the world something supposedly so simple could be so convoluted is beyond me. Of course, as a developer, it's a whole lot easier to visualise than the reality. ;)
     
  10. Solafaa macrumors 6502a

    Solafaa

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    #10
    Yup, windows blows. I have to use VPC to do lots of work but i rather use it then a PC, i mean its not worth doing anything online when you have to update your system everyday and still get tons of stuff that slows your PC.
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    True. The /Library/Preferences and /[username]/Library/Preferences files, when combined, do almost the same thing as the Registry but are decoupled and vastly less problematic. Same problem to solve, much nicer solution.
     
  12. Jagga macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    hamilton
    #12
    .

    Great story blodwyn. Just a heads up. Just wait until that same neighbor calls you over to find out WHY MS Word doesn't always spell check correctly; even for simple words like "conceive", even when only 1 language (system & in Word) was installed or support since installation. I know, as I've been using almost every iteration of MS Word since 1998. Imagine my fustration with words like "favorite" or "color" when writing documents here in Canada?

    Well I still haven't taken the plunge; don't ask just bad luck, and no job - so not even the Mac Mini is in range, yet. Personally I'm looking towards the powerbook 12" since even Apple's Pages application recommends 32MB of video memory.
     
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #13
    I once had to clean a Registry.... I don't think the computer works, even now...
     
  14. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #14
    Very true. If MS ever got rid of the "registry" and moved to something else, my god, Windows would be that much easier to maintain (in terms of spring-cleaning after S/W install/uninstalls).

    Spyware/Viruses/malware are already taken care of by using Firefox and some common sense. If something like JV16 PowerTools was part of Windows or an "MS default" application (a la recent Giant AntiSpyware aqcuisition), it would help tremendously. It does 1-click Temp folder, registry, .dll, old software trails cleaning. Too bad the other 99% of the Windows world probably doesn't know about it.

    JV16 + Firefox means I have a system that is still going strong after 2 years. Something I doubt most Dell/HP/white-box users can agree with.
     
  15. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #15
    Although I'm kind of embarrassed to say it here, I have a 3 year old Dell desktop that's used daily and still going strong. Of course, I don't use IE except for updates, and I have a router that acts as a pretty good firewall, and I regularly run spybot and ad-aware (less often than I should, I suppose, but the worst they've ever found is a few tracking cookies), and I don't believe I've ever had a virus (at least the virus checker has never picked one up)

    This, of course, doesn't mean I actually enjoy working with it. I spend more time on my linux machine.
     
  16. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #16
    I have to get on the PC's here at work sometimes and just really dread it.

    So tortured, so hard to use. I just don't get why people don't put up with it.

    Thousands of dollars have been spent to keep the PC's running in this place, especially from adware and spyware issues.

    They've never spent one cent maintaining my iMac or my old Sawtooth G4.

    Ugh it amazes me.

    I was like "maybe we should get a couple of Mac mini's (for the editors who don't use financial software)."

    "Well, we don't know about that...your Mac was kind of expensive."

    "The Mac mini is 500 bucks.."

    "Well, we'll think about it..."

    In roll 2 POS Dell's, which took an outside firm a day to get setup with everything.

    Duh.
     
  17. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #17
    Sounds like you had a blast. Thats basically why i switched too.
     
  18. blodwyn thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #18
    Yep. The troubles with the Registry are that it is so crucial to system operation that it's generally a bad idea to mess with it and it's also convoluted and cryptic enough that malicious stuff can be buried deep inside where it's impossible to find. Having individual system and application preference and setting files would make troubleshooting much easier and make hosing the whole system through inexperienced tinkering much less likely.
     
  19. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #19
    This thread is too good! I worked at Best Buy as a service tech for over two years. I saw 1 mac the entire time I worked there! And get this... it was in for a network card install haha. However, none of the techs would touch it because they "didn't know how to work on a mac". It was a powermac G4 and I opened it up and installed the network card in about 30 seconds and closed the tower back up. The other techs just stood in awe that it was that easy. Then, when I installed the driver and they saw how much easier it was they were floored. This was when I decided to switch to mac for good.

    We would have people just like the lady in the original post who would have their system tray icons stretching half the screen. After we fixed up their computers for them they could not believe how much faster they were. I have a Dell and I have used other PCs for years without any real problems, but it is an ongoing struggle. I probably install an update every 2-3 days just to keep it secure. I, too, have a router with a good firewall, antivirus software, and spyware search tools. Windows works..... just not as easy or as elegantly as OSX! I will always own at least one mac machine!
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #20
    A computer is not like a car. It shouldn't require regular maintenence to run great. Thats what I love about my Macs, I don't have to do any housekeeping on them to keep OSX running the way it was when I took the computer out of the box. Windows just seems to explode all over itself after a few months

    Now I need to convince my sister to get a Mac mini. She called me tonight and was like "I don't know what I did, I didn't install a thing, but all of the sudden, Windows XP only boots in safe mode" and she's on the other side of the country so me fixing it is out of the option. She'd be so much better off with a Mac, but convincing your average college student to spend $500 on a computer is usually an impossible task.
     
  21. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #21
    That's not embarassing. In my opinion, the older Dells (pre-2001) were actually pretty decent machines. When they started getting ultra-cheap is when their quality/reliability went out the door.

    And by using Firefox, I mean a machine that gets used regulary--from downloading silly themes/wallpapers to checking email, to sending e-cards >> what everyone does on the Internet. Use IE for those tasks then compare it to a PC that used Firefox doing the very same thing. I guarantee, if you wait a year, the spyware count on the IE machine will be easily by a number 4 or even 5-digits large...scary
     
  22. mrpaperknife macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisville, the Derby city
    #22
    I have come to believe that some people just should not have computers. If playing solitaire is the best use a person can find for owning a computer, I just can't see any reason helping that person fix all those little things that go wrong with a PC.
     
  23. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #23
    I've talked to the micro$oft voice recinition system once before because of my office machine. It actually worked pretty good and I was impressed...right up to the point that it hung up on me :mad:
     
  24. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #24
    Come on guys, that single mom probably really uses a 17" PowerBook. She only pulls out that ol' HP whenever she wants Blodwyn to come over and help her out!
     
  25. blodwyn thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #25
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Don't need that rumor. As it happens, she's single because her husband ran off with the wife of their next door neighbor. Bummer of a situation. I'm going to strongly encourage her to get a Mac next time though.
     

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