Something I don't understand...


macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 13, 2004
I'm a fairly experienced PC user. I built my PC, and have been using Linux for almost 3 years now. I finally have a decent job, and have money coming out of my ears. I'm considering purchasing a Mac. But there is something I don't understand. I know quite a few Mac users, and all of them say the same thing about the operating system. "It becomes your friend." I just can't bring myself to understand that for the life of me. What is it about OS X that makes it become your friend? Is there a specific feature, or is it the OS in general?


macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2005
My Mac is always willing to entertain a girls ugly friend for me, letting me have the pretty one. My PC would never do that for me... :rolleyes:

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
It's something you'll discover through personal use. It's difficult to explain, but basically, OSX just works how you'd expect it to. :)

Dr. Dastardly

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
I live in a giant bucket!
One thing that I noticed myself doing when I switched was when I was stuck trying to do something in OSX when I knew how to do it in Windows just fine was I asked myself "how should it work". 9 times out of 10 it was correct.

Like stated before, its hard to explain. Like trying to discribe how a rose smells.


macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2005
OS X lets you do stuff your way and get it done. Windows makes you adapt to their weird techniques. Example, you need to connect to wifi and do some email for work. My old windows laptop made me go through some little icon down on the sys. tray (half the time it was hidden) and click through weird screens to log on. In OS X, I just choose the network from the drop down list after clicking on my easy to understand airport icon. <--One example of friendliness.




Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
When the fans turn on, they're not cooling your Mac. They're distributing hypnotic agents. ;) They don't turn on that much on the notebooks, because they're relatively inexpensive, and it isn't that hard to achieve the reality distortion field. They have to cover a larger area and make up for a higher price tag on the PMs, so they run much more frequently. :D

Seriously, most of the time, the little things do endear me to OS X, and make me loath using a PC. Although there are some things that work the opposite way, and make me loath OS X. But I think I do find OS X more generally pleasant, and find that it makes me want to use my computer more, than Windows of any revision so far.


macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
its probably because things just end up working easier. i just replaced the hard drive in my powerbook, and cloned the system from my external. amount of software issues i ran into: 0. ease of use to clone the system involved downloading SuperDuper!, running SuperDuper, selecting my options and letting it do its thing. took a half hour to clone my system and then all i had to do was reboot off the new drive. simple, easay, and no issues. another example, i bought a USB BT adapter, just plugged it in, paired devices from the BT menu and it worked. thats all.

its easy to use and non-obtrusive. thats why i like my mac OS X.


macrumors G4
Like others, I wouldn't say that it was my friend. Thankfully, I've got others who are more lively on a night out!

I think it's that OS X is pretty much invisible when you're trying to accomplish most tasks. You don't have to work your way through wizards, you just take the most obvious route and it tends to work. It means you can get on with doing things that you want to use your computer for. Add in the lack of hassle most Mac users have since there's no virus definitions to update, spyware to search for and it adds up to a good experience.

One caution though. It seems to be the more experienced the PC user, the harder it is to get the hang of OS X initially, partly because some ways of working are so ingrained that the Mac seems alien - don't get people started on the differences between Cut/Copy & Pasting files within the Finder for example. And the ease of use of the Mac in some things is because there's often only one way to do things rather than the multiple routes in Windows. And the options available can be only those which 99% of people want to do rather than trying to cater for every possible scenario in Windows. That 1% (probably a higher proportion of geek users) can often be catered to through Applescript and clever apps from 3rd party developers but for them some things may seem more convoluted rather than less.


Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
Gone but not forgotten.
It's the way things have been thought out. You don't have some wizard guiding you, simply because it's a much simpler process than that. It's that the 10 step process in Windows is 1 or 2 steps only. (There are exceptions, such as renaming files when saving other files.) I generally don't have to guess to get anything done but when I do, it's easy to guess correctly. That's usually where Windows yells at me and I end up re-booting.

It's why I call Windows the 65 percent solution. MS spends 100 percent of their time solving 65 percent of the problem. Things just seem to work better with Mac OS X.


macrumors 68020
Aug 5, 2003
It's something like... and you feel, when it works and you want to ... it's difficult to explain but it works and you only wow! about the whole package.


macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2004
You want specific features? Well, when you mouse over a dock icon, it makes itself bigger, making and awesome effect. I love to minimize windows just to see the genie effect. When you press F9, all windows arrange in your screen so you can easily pick one. When you enter a wrong password, the text box shakes, instead of making a BEEEEP, or opening an alert box.

When an application crashes, ONLY the application has to be forced quitted, not the whole system (like it often happens in Windows). In a PowerBook, turning off the lights, brightens the keyboard. When you put your Mac to sleep, the power led, goes on and off, like if it were really sleeping.

When you fast-switch an user, a cool cube transition changes your desktop to the other user's screen. Mac OS X, comes with Aqua, a great eye-candy-interface.

You almost never get what Windows users hate the most:

Since you are a Linux user, I tried to make you switch using interface arguments, but if you want to switch a Windows user, just talk about how stable Mac OS X is.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2005
BarfBag said:
I just can't bring myself to understand that for the life of me. What is it about OS X that makes it become your friend? Is there a specific feature, or is it the OS in general?
Maybe this description from Apple's website sums it up best:

It just works...


macrumors 68000
Feb 1, 2005
As stated above, the OS works the way it should. You don't need a manual to operate it. And it has that exceptional ability to have so many capabilities and features, but without making the OS too complicated for the average user to understand.

PS. Have you ever questioned yourself why in windows the "Shut Down" button is located at the "Start" menu? It doesn't make sense. In Apple, you will not find such inexplicable things.


macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
Tampere, Finland
bousozoku said:
It's why I call Windows the 65 percent solution. MS spends 100 percent of their time solving 65 percent of the problem.
ever heard of the 80-20 theorem? in my opinion it fits microsoft perfectly - they spend 80% of their resources solving 20% of the problem, and still 80% of the time they only get 20% work done. and 80% of all windows software are useless or hostile whereas only 20% of system resources tend to be in productive use.

in comparison...

apple spends 20% of their resources solving 80% of the problem leaving much resources for the r&d), and i tend to get +80% of my compter's resources in sustained productive use whenever i do real (audio) work; something luxurious i wouldn't dream of having with windows.


macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
Tampere, Finland
Soulstorm said:
PS. Have you ever questioned yourself why in windows the "Shut Down" button is located at the "Start" menu? It doesn't make sense.
it does make sense for microsoft, as the start button is meant for being a common starting point for "tasks", one of which is shutting down the computer. the problem is, regular joe (humans in general) doesn't think that way. geeks do. windows is for geeks.


May 26, 2004
Randy's House
I work on my Mac about 14 hours a day.

For me, it's about productivity. How many images can I process and bill at the end of a day?

I tried to hook up this POS Dell (brand new 3.20 P4) to do some batching and it sends me effed up files, corrupted images...burning a DVD is a freaking nightmare.

I don't have time for virus windows popping up every five minutes, automatic update BS popping up, having to run a program to delete a program. Windows is just BS.

I'll never, ever go back.


macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
The Mac is such a joy to use, not because it has a lot of features or even a particular feature. It has a lot of features, but many users don't know they are there and never use them. The Mac is such a joy to use because it allows you to work the way you do. In so doing, even people who start out with little or no computer skills become quite proficient without really even realizing it. It is truly amazing to see the high-quality work produced by Mac users who insist that they don't know how to use a computer.


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Lots of feedback here, but I'll add mine as someone who is pretty capable with both the MacOS and Windows, and is sitting in front of a computer for a good 10 hours a day at minimum, most of which is in front of a Mac if I'm not repairing or doing admin work on Windows.

Personally, I've never heard anybody think of the MacOS as a friend, and I wouldn't call it that... but I can certainly see how someone might feel friendly toward the Mac experience as a whole--sort of a welcoming feeling when you sit down in front of your Mac to do something, particularly folks who use Windows at work and a Mac at home.

For me, the MacOS is pleasant, capable, and does what I ask of it generally the way I expect it to--it doesn't pester me or get in the way, it and the applications on it just function. When I need more out of it, that almost always seems to be there, be it through the terminal or a new or interesting tool to do what I want. The hardware, likewise, is unobtrusive but attractive (and, I might add, usually feels nice as well--try stroking some brushed aluminum some time).

In contrast, Windows usually feels, to me, like one of two things: Either a guy who wants to be your friend but just ends up annoying you by trying to do everything for you (the endless XP wizzards that make any moderatly technical task twice as time consuming as it should be), or a bureaucrat who seems to enjoy hiding vital features in hard-to find places (almost every server admin tool I've used--the most common tasks are usually in a dialogue box accessed from a 2nd or 3rd tier right-click menu).

This contrast leaves me feeling very friendly toward my Mac whenever I come home to it after working with Windows, which is perhaps where the comments you've heard come from.

That, by the way, is why I really use a Mac: I spend hours a day fixing other people's computer problems, so when I get home I'd rather have my computer just work.
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