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  • So why do you buy a Mac?

    Posted on Nathan Parker Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS So why do you buy a Mac?

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      • #2315615
        Nathan Parker

        Putting a twist here in the Apple forum on Susan’s blog post on why do you buy a Windows PC, I thought I’d ask the question to Mac owners. Why do (and did) you buy a Mac?

        I bought my first Mac back in 2006 after dealing with a Sony notebook running Windows XP I had custom-built that must have been custom-built in hell. It was one nightmare after another with it, and a lemon so bad I couldn’t even make lemonade with it. Once it died on me again (the first time it died under warranty), I decided to try a Mac. I thoroughly loved my little PowerBook G4 running Tiger, and I still have it sitting on my desk until this day (it now runs Leopard).

        I also owned a couple of Intel MacBook Pros, plus I still had a couple of lower-cost test Windows PCs around I kept until they became old, in which I handed them off to a friend to tinker with. I replaced them with an Intel iMac I still keep around (it’s running High Sierra), and for a while, I used it to run my Windows-only apps.

        After having some support issues with Apple about four years ago, I decided to re-try Windows again, first starting with a Dell workstation, then after returning it, trying a Surface Book (both ran Windows 10). It was also where I first heavily got involved with Windows Secrets (which is now AskWoody) since I needed a place to ask Windows questions from someone who was mostly familiar with Macs.

        I quickly learned I was born with a label on me that said “Not Windows Compatible”, and I didn’t care for the Dell workstation at all, and my experience with the Surface Book wasn’t much better. My corporate attorney received the Surface Book as a thank you gift when I shut down my IT company to focus on my PhD program, and I officially went back to the Mac, using my older iMac until the iMac Pro came along. I bought an iMac Pro shortly after it was released, since I enjoyed the form factor of the iMac but wanted the internals of a professional workstation. It is now my primary Mac I work on for everyday use.

        In between all of this, I also briefly tried to build my own Linux PC to run some weather apps on it, but it wasn’t a great experience, and I eventually just ran the weather apps on my iMac since its BSD UNIX foundation allowed the apps to run easily.

        I also changed my usage habits to use as many Mac apps as possible, and there are only a couple of Windows apps I use for work, and those I access on a Windows VM I VPN through work, allowing me to run those few Windows apps without managing a Windows PC or VM on my end (so I don’t have to deal with updates, security on the VM, etc.). One app I started using on Windows I am able to easily run on my Mac using CrossOver, and one app I was using in CrossOver has merged its content under another Mac app I use, so I’m able to run all Apple hardware in-house and not need to manage Windows on my own.

        I also use an iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, and I recently acquired another iPad (mini), a few HomePod minis (order placed), and I’m looking at getting a second Apple TV. My goal is to move to as much of Apple’s hardware as possible to streamline my setup fully in Apple’s ecosystem. I’ve given away some of my non-Apple hardware (such as my Amazon Fire TV stick, and I’m giving a student my Amazon Echos and my Amazon Kindle).

        So that’s my Apple story. What’s yours? You’re welcome to mention other Apple hardware besides Macs as well.

        Nathan Parker

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315631
        AskWoody Plus

        After more than twenty years working with a variety of mainframes, from a PDP8 through an Amdahl 470/6, a PDP11 etc. etc., in the late 1980s I started working first with a Mac IIx and then with a Mac IIFx, both as remote terminals to NASA mainframes. The IIFx twice burned out its motherboard as a result of mysterious short circuits. After that, I had to move from the mainframe IBM JCL language to Unix first and the to Linux, still with Macs as remote terminals to some mainframe. In 1997 I got a loan at NASA of an used early Mac laptop with an LCD screen to take with me on an extended visit to Delft University, in the Netherlands. It was rumored by some NASA colleagues to be infected with “computer VD”, meaning some kind of malware. I would not know about that, but it was very unimpressive as a stand alone computer, barely adequate as a dumb terminal. So, up to that point, my experience with Macs was not really spectacular.

        Along the way I had encountered and even used some earlier versions of Windows, pre-NT, and was reasonably well impressed: by then, with floating-point coprocessors and faster CPU and memory chips all around and a conveniently organized OS, those Windows IBM clones could be used to do some real world calculations! I kept this in mind when I came back to the USA.

        So in 1998 I bought my first Windows (98) computer. My decision was based on the fact that these computers were being used by most people, that most people shared data in Windows formats, that I needed to communicate with many people in other countries as well as within the USA, so Windows having become more or less the standard OS, that was the one to go for. No complaints: it worked very nicely for me, specially Win XP and then Win 7, bypassing Vista. But then, after deciding to bypass Win 8 and wait for the “next Win 7”, there came Windows 10! I had a long and careful look at it and decided that was definitely something I didn’t want in my life. So, still running Win 7, I got to mid-2017. Then some colleagues at the Polytechnic in Barcelona, Spain, with whom I had collaborated on and off for many years, decided to make me the gift of a personal computer of my own choosing, fully loaded, no expenses too high, as a way to thank me for our years of fruitful collaboration. I had by then a pretty clear idea that, if not a Windows PC, it had to be a Mac. I had had my eye on the newer Mac models for a while and liked what I saw. And Macs run an OS that was a kind of UNIX! My colleagues at NASA are Mac devotees from way back, even since the days of the IIfx, some of them! So I had a pool of Mac knowledge right there! Therefore I accepted my Spanish colleague’s kind offer and bought my MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, shunning the newer models, because that one was the last with HDMI, Ethernet, two USB ports and also a socket for a standard earphone jack, besides those tiny Thunderbolt ports de rigueur now days in Macs, as well as keys with scissor-type mechanisms in the keyboard.

        This laptop has served me well and I hope it continues to do so for years to come, although I must admit that the OS and hardware changes from Intel CISC to ARM RISC, around which the OS is being built now, do make me feel more uncertain than I used to be about the likely endurance of this so far happy Oscar-Mac partnership.

        So now I am watchfully waiting to learn whatever can be learnt of the shape of things to come. In this stage of my life in computing (and imagine also in that of others), Nathan is a kind and helpful guide. As, now and then, so is KP.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315634
        AskWoody Lounger

        Bought a MacAir in 2015 because I wanted something I could cart around in my backpack. It also runs my Lightroom and Photoshop Elements software without a glitch. Apple has served me well with the iPhone and iPad, and the MacAir.

        Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315731
        AskWoody Plus

        I switched from Apple PCs to Windows PCs.

        My first personal PC was Dragon 32 (~1983). I switch to Apple IIe, Apple IIc, Apple IIGS.

        I was working at the time in the IT department of a big bank developing software for NCR 315 mainframe, NCR Century mainframe, IBM 370 mainframe….

        I was the first IT employee to receive an IBM-Compatible DOS PC (having a personnel PC at home) and started to develop some apps for it.
        In the next years more IT employees received Windows PCs and as I moved to IT security and managed Intranet/Web projects I has to switch to Windows (95) PC at home too.

        In the last couple of years I checked the possibly of moving back to Apple (Mac) but didn’t fine adequate solution to some of my most important Windows apps, 16TB of NTFS data…
        So, I am still with Windows 10 (pro 20H2).

        I use an iPhone XS Max (will order iPhone 12 Pro Max), iPad Pro 10.5″, Apple Watch 5.

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Alex5723.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315791

        I switched from Windows to Macs just earlier this year, mostly because I was heavily invested in photography (as a hobby) and needed a new laptop with a colour accurate monitor. Macs seemed like the best option due to having colour accurate monitors out of the box and for generally having better image editing software (programs like Photoshop, Luminar, and Affinity Photo were all developed for the Mac first before Windows). I was also getting majorly sick of Windows updates and wanted a clear and simple option to not download and install updates until I was ready to do so.

        I had been a lifelong Windows user up to that point, and while I still do regularly use Windows machines and run Windows 10 in a VM for programs that I need for work, the MacBook Pro I purchased has been my daily driver for the bulk of this year. Personally, I feel that macOS and Windows aren’t honestly anywhere near “superior” to each other in terms of features and capability. There are some things that macOS just does well that Windows inexplicably doesn’t, and there are some things that Windows just does well that macOS inexplicably doesn’t. I’ve heard arguments from both the pro-Windows crowd and the pro-Mac crowd, and while both sides make good points, it’s not sensible to be as polarized over the debate as some people make it out to be. Besides, I am not you and you are not me: what you may consider important may not be important to me, and vice versa. If a Mac suits your needs, go ahead and get it. If Windows suits your needs, go ahead and get it. Both are capable systems at this point. And Windows needs macOS, just as macOS needs Windows. There are features that macOS borrowed from Windows, and features that Windows borrowed from macOS. I’m glad that there are two operating systems competing with each other, as in doing so, they’re pushing each other to be better and to not repeat the same mistakes (I wish that was always the case, but the overall trend is in that direction). I think, rather than being polarized about being pro-/anti- Windows/Mac, we take some time to appreciate how both systems have changed our world, and how both have actually complemented and reinforced each other.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
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