Author Topic: Mac or PC?  (Read 1997 times)

Offline EOJ

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (34)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7082
Mac or PC?
« on: June 03, 2010, 11:27:32 PM »
Which do you use? I've been a PC user from the start (many moons ago), and while I've used macs at school and work, out of necessity, I've never clicked with their overall user interface. Due to problems with annoying PC viruses, malware, and spyware over the years, despite diligent efforts to thwart these threats, I'm now considering the comparatively "threat-free" macs. Should I switch? Enlighten me.

My score archive
twitter: cavexstg
XBL gamertag: eojx9999

Offline brentsg

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 713
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 12:13:40 AM »
I use both about equally, Win7 on the PC side and OSX for work.  In terms of user interface I really don't feel that they are all that different.  There are little things here and there I guess but both are fine.  I've never really had issues with malware so I dunno about that, but I definitely don't worry on my Macs.

Apple positives:
-Unix core
-Nice and clean UI, some great apps, very easy to run Windows via VM Fusion, even mixing and matching windows from both OS at once
-Love the form factor of the laptops
-Love the form factor of the mini
-Outstanding networking products
-Clean installation and removal of apps (no system registry so it's generally just drop the app in your apps folder and delete it when necessary)
-Applecare is quite good
-In-store training is great for folks that need it and are close to a retail spot
-iLife is a very, very good suite of apps for most people.  Nothing touches it on the PC side IMO.

PC positives:
-Windows 7 is quite good
-Tons of apps
-Better for gaming, though Macs now have Steam
-Superior if you want to fiddle with hardware upgrades and such
-Cheaper (though I don't take issue with Apple's pricing really)
-General familiarity for most folks

To me Apple's biggest issue is that they don't really have a prosumer desktop that I would like.  I don't favor the all-in-one, though the pricing is pretty good when you figure in the outstanding quality of the LCD panels they use.  I'm just a guy that wants to keep a monitor I like for several computer generations.  That being said, the latest iMacs now let you use it as a display only so that helps a lot.  I love the Mac Pro but it's tough for me to justify the price on that model compared to a home-build.  Mini is killer if you don't need power.  It's so small and quiet.  I generally use Macbook Pros though.  It's "docked" 95% of the time but I have to have the portability for work.  My "other" machine is a PC that I built, with Win7, etc.  It's the power box for gaming or video encoding.


Offline EOJ

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (34)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7082
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 12:35:34 AM »
Thanks, that post is very helpful. What about Office 2008 on the Mac? Is it easy to import office stuff done on a PC? I've read conflicting reports.
My score archive
twitter: cavexstg
XBL gamertag: eojx9999

Offline gsl

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 422
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 05:33:33 PM »
I'm PC all the way--Thinkpad with Windows 7 (my second Thinkpad; this is the laptop that God himself uses) and a Frankenstein-ian desktop, also with Windows 7, that I've cobbled together over the course of 8 years, replacing the weakest component when I get a bit of spare cash.  Of course, my family's first computer was a 486 DX2 running MS-DOS 5, so I've basically grown up with Microsoft products, which obviously informs my choice a good amount.  I'm not saying it's the best way to go, but for me it's the one I'm most comfortable with.

I'm really not a huge fan of Macs for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, I do a fair amount of PC gaming, and despite a slowly changing tide (and recent moves like Steam for Mac), you really can't pretend there's a huge gulf between the two, and from that standpoint the PC is the clear victor.
 
I had to use a Mac for about a year at my last job, and while I was able to get work done (thanks mostly to our software being web-based), there were a lot of little details that kept me from getting completely comfortable with the system.  I do a lot of typing, and the quality of keyboards is really important to me.  Apple can't make a non-mushy keyboard to save their lives, and I especially hate the trend they've started with the terrible chiclet design--ZX Spectrum, anyone?  I'm also not sure what era of computing they're paying homage to with their stubborn resistance to offering normal, two-button mouse functionality without having to resort to multitouch tomfoolery.  And to be honest, that work computer--as well as all the OSX machines I dealt with in school--had some slight stability issues.  It was generally nothing major, but the UI occasionally felt unresponsive, and was prone to the occasional lock-up or momentary freeze that brought me back to the numbered OS or pre-2000 Windows days.  The experience as a whole never just gelled with me.  I also hate Apple culture, but that's neither here nor there.

I do like the IDEA of OSX's UNIX underpinnings, though.  *NIX with a unified and standardized design where you don't have to play whack-a-mole with hardware issues sounds like a hacker's dream, but I was never struck by the same "Wow, I could do ANYTHING, and all I need is time!" sense of possibility on an OSX system that I've had from any of my attempts to partially move to Linux.

I wouldn't go as far as to call the Windows situation re: viruses overrated, but...  Windows PCs are obviously the biggest target by far, but if you're a semi-literate computer user who knows how to keep your system and virus definitions updated, has a decent idea of what not to be clicking or downloading (and how to scan possibly sketchy downloads), and actually runs full AV scans with some regularity, malware shouldn't be a problem at all.  If something bad does happen (had a copy shop computer infect my USB flash drive) and you've been diligent in your preventive measures, it should be something you can easily address without having to go through a full system wipe.  I figure the virus problem is as big as it is right now thanks to a lot of stupid or gullible people who don't properly know how to use computers and who really think they can Win A Free iPad By Voting On Their Favorite Avatar Character.  There's a wealth of free antivirus and firewall programs that serve as the first and most important line of defence and work just as well as the subscription-based programs, minus the bloat, cost, and overall crappiness (you ever try to uninstall any Norton/Symantec program from someone's computer?  Might as well be a virus).  I used to go with AVG Free until their latest version got too bloated with unnecessary UI clutter and started taking up too much space.  I'm currently running Microsoft's own Security Essentials on both machines, and I'm amazed at how well it works in comparison to dedicated AV programs I've used in the past.  The desktop is currently running the free version of Comodo's firewall software, but on the Thinkpad I'm using the standard Windows Firewall, which is also proving to be incredibly adequate--though I'd probably switch to a dedicated firewall program if I needed to do any real advanced configuration just for simplicity's sake.

Christ, this is long.  Why don't I have a voice in my head that tells me when to shut up, even online?  My take on the bottom line is this: if you're computing for work-related reasons, any switch you make is going to be followed by a period of adjustment, both in terms of standard user interface as well as the various programs needed to accomplish your required tasks.  If there's a specific piece of software that with vastly improve your productivity and your current situation has no viable alternative, then it'd probably be worthwhile to jump through the hoops of a whole new system.  If there's no compelling reason to make the switch one way or the other, though, then you'll just be wasting a lot of time getting acclimated to a system with no clear advantage over the one you were familiar with.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 05:46:50 PM by gsl »

Offline EOJ

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (34)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7082
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 06:00:55 PM »
I have McAfee Enterprise 8.7 always on, and also periodically scan with Counterspy and Malware-bytes Antimalware. I've still had a couple really annoying viruses / malware hit me in the last year, one wouldn't let me log on to Windows (that was a pain in the ass to fix - needed another laptop in order to do it), the other was the google redirect virus. I've never had to reinstall Windows to fix a virus, and I've never had to ask anyone else to fix a virus for me, but they still take some time out of my day, and they are annoying.

Anyway, thanks for the additional input.
My score archive
twitter: cavexstg
XBL gamertag: eojx9999

Offline brentsg

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 713
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 06:14:35 PM »
I especially hate the trend they've started with the terrible chiclet design--ZX Spectrum, anyone?  I'm also not sure what era of computing they're paying homage to with their stubborn resistance to offering normal, two-button mouse functionality without having to resort to multitouch tomfoolery.  

You know, I thought this too.  But I had a coworker that types a million pieces of code a second insist that I kept after it for a couple of weeks and damn..  you couldn't pry this keyboard out of my hands.  I love it and I'm so productive with it.  

I ended up buying their $50ish USB keyboard for all my boxes (with numpad) and man... after I adjusted to the angle at which my hands needed to be it's great.  But yes, this is obviously a very subjective thing.

And the current mouse does 2 button fine, despite how it looks on the surface.  The previous one.. not so much.

Offline gsl

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 422
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 06:39:32 PM »
EOJ:  If you're able to, I really recommend trying another antivirus program.  McAfee and Norton/Symantec used to be synonymous with virus protection a few years back, but I really can't recommend them to anyone anymore.  They're bloated, take up unnecessary system resources when scanning or updating, and do a piss-poor job of keeping your system clean in general.  You'd think that for the subscription money you're paying they'd be able to be the top entries, but in my experience they've been anything but.  Avira, Avast, and AVG all have free versions as well as more feature-laden professional versions if you need them, and I'd recommend any one of them over McAfee or Norton.  Also, some standalone firewall programs have an antimalware component that notifies you of programs trying to access the Internet or certain system features.  It's helpful in the fact that you can then choose to deny access to these rogue programs and root them out, but you have to go through a lot of false-positives ("Yes, I really do want Google Chrome to be able to access the Internet...") to train the software to your system first, and unless you're super familiar with what you have running, a lot of benign system processes are going to force you to do a good amount of searching to figure out if this is really a sinister program trying to send out personal information, or Java's stupidly named updater.  As I said I currently use Comodo's free firewall on my desktop; Zonealarm also worked well in the past, though I'm not sure about their current version.

brentsg:  Yeah, that keyboard just doesn't do it for me.  It feels like the keys are too widely spaced, and I can't get a reasonable typing speed on those square flat surfaces.  Of course, my main keyboard is a mechanical buckling spring IBM Model M, so that should tell you where my typing preferences lie.  As for the mouse...  Well, it might be just a failure to adopt, but I'm not at all sold on touchscreen/pad devices.  The Magic Mouse still has this backward petulant feel to it, like Apple grudgingly decided to allow for a second button, but like hell were they going to put an actual physical button on the thing.  I know you can easily provide your own USB mouse, but still.

Offline EOJ

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (34)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7082
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 06:48:00 PM »
Thanks for the tips, gsl. I don't pay for McAfee though. I get a free license from my university.  :righton:
My score archive
twitter: cavexstg
XBL gamertag: eojx9999

Offline Ast-Kot

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 214
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010, 10:18:34 AM »
I'm using McAfee total protection on my pc too, thanks to a free license ^-^
. I've also used the Avg free version fot fixr some times but I ve found some virus that this version could not fix.
あの痛みが君の事を守ってくれた、その痛みがいつも君を守っているんだ

Offline SuperPang

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 629
    • Arcade Otaku
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2010, 11:48:50 AM »
I'm surprised about the keyboard/mouse criticism. I'm using the wireless keyboard and magic mouse here and they're the best I've ever used. I love the touch functions for scrolling and such, especially the Macbook Touchpad. Windows laptops seem so lame by comparison.

Offline lillin

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2010, 07:58:12 PM »
The magic mouse is the first mouse they have done right!
 All the older ones just broke or got clogged after 1-2 months of use.
The Macbook Touchpad is wonderfull, especially the scrolling function, it makes life easier =D

Offline rtw

  • Trade Count: (1)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 379
    • http://www.world-of-arcades.net
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2010, 08:32:42 AM »
Thanks for the tips, gsl. I don't pay for McAfee though. I get a free license from my university.  :righton:

My 0.2 cents.

I use Linux in various flavours at work, Ubuntu & CentOS.

I run XP SP3 Pro on my home machines.

The best Antivirus (that also is free) that I have come across is: Avira

http://www.free-av.com/

I will never install any Norton antivirus or McAfee since they steal too much CPU.

I do not use any wireless keyboards or mice on my system.
The future of ST-V rests upon our work and your work

Offline Medal

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2010, 10:52:56 AM »
Much like rtw, I use both Windows (XP) and Linux (Ubuntu at the moment). Linux is fine for almost everything, including most of the gaming I do. Ubermame takes good care of arcade emulation, and that's about all I require in that department. My Windows machine is only ever turned on if I need to burn a CD, because it's the one with the better optical drive.
It's handy to keep around for things like Steam and doujin games, but I don't play anything on Steam, and I don't like any doujin games very much.

I use membrane keyboards because I'm far too poor to buy a mechanical one, and I got my Razer mouse for free. I don't like wireless peripherals, generally.

AVG and Avira are good. I scan with Spybot occasionally. Malwarebytes is also good. With Linux I've never had to worry about any attacks whatsoever (so far).

Offline skykid

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 289
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2010, 09:03:41 AM »

I'm lazy and I don't like re-formatting hard drives, de-fragmenting, cleaning, fixing, virus protecting, spyware cleaning etc etc.

So I use a Mac.  ;)
Quote from: SuperPang
Where DOJ rapes you, DFK grabs your boob then runs away

Offline GaijinPunch

  • Trade Count: (12)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1203
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 09:31:29 AM »
I use Linux about 90% of the time.  I watch videos in bed on my Mac, and it goes w/ me on work trips.  Anyting music related (DJing... my lame attempts at production) are on my Mac.  Windows is for MAME and one PC in my office that I'm using to test out an open source project I'm working on.

Downside of the Mac:
-Price
-They're not as awesome as Mac fags say they are
-Douchebags's like Jobs' audacity looming over head and included in every product.

Upside:
-It's really just a Unix box
-It "just works".  Until it doesn't... then you're fucked.

I like my Macbook Pro, but I do just as much retarded shit to make it work right as I have w/ any Windows box.  Unplug it and take the battery out to finally force it to reboot. Randomly restart it for no reason.  Wait for ages to get video to output.  Etc. etc.

Offline SuperPang

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 629
    • Arcade Otaku
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2010, 09:43:00 AM »
I watch videos in bed on my Mac

Quote
I do just as much retarded shit to make it work right as I have w/ any Windows box.

Next time, wipe it down afterwards.

Offline gsl

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 422
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2010, 04:11:41 AM »
Whoa, forgot about this thread.

Just started a new job where everyone else in the office is a diehard Mac user.  My non-silver Thinkpad sticks out like a sore thumb, and I'm forced to atone for sins committed in another life by being subjected to constant heckling by my officemates: "You know, almost everyone else was a Windows user when they first came here..." etc.  Doing some audio encoding on our old G5 server, I realized I really like the idea of the Unix underpinnings, but have invested so much time in Windows learning the ins and outs of the OS and various programs (while I'd hesitate to call myself a power user, I'm definitely more highly evolved than the standard troglodyte) that it would really be a negative time investment to try and reach that level of proficiency on a Mac.  Plus there's the whole issue of games and being able to upgrade the hardware yourself, etc.

I've been watching various projects that aim to put together the newer Darwin source code for general, as it would be fun to tinker with the non-Fisher Price's My First Computer aspect of the MacOS, but then I thought that one could probably get pretty much the same functionality just installing one of the BSDs.

Offline brentsg

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 713
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2010, 09:30:49 PM »
Kind of stoked..  Been working more in OSX lately and I've been choking my poor laptop with too much multitasking, simultaneous virtual machines, and disk access.

Have a new Mac Pro on the way, and will be tweaking it a bit with some spare gear I've got on hand.  It'll be a loaded 6 core, 3.33GHz machine with a sweet SSD. 

Anxious to do some video encoding on it too!

Offline SuperPang

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 629
    • Arcade Otaku
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2010, 07:28:50 AM »
I got myself the new Macbook Air 13". It's yet another beautiful piece of engineering and the Flash helps it punch above its weight in benchmark tests. I really feel no compromise in performance for the portability. The battery life is a bit shorter than my Pro was but the screen seems considerably brighter (probably because the lid is thinner) and I'm quite happy on half brightness all the time so that helps. It boots in seconds and wakes almost instantly. Love it to bits.

Offline brentsg

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 713
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 11:59:57 AM »
SP, glad to hear the positive impressions.  I'm seriously considering throwing my Macbook Pro up on Ebay and grabbing an Air. 

I'd been using the MBP "docked" as a primary work machine, and then taking advantage of the portability when needed for travel.  I now plan to use the Mac Pro for most of my work + personal business, and then the MBP for travel only.  But honestly I think I could recover enough $$ from the MBP to fund the Air.. gain that additional portability.. and have a few bucks left over to boot.

Tough call with the 11 vs 13" models though.  I dearly loved my 12" PowerBook. 

Offline EOJ

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (34)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7082
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2010, 08:36:20 PM »
Downside of the Mac:
-Price
-They're not as awesome as Mac fags say they are

So true. I've used macs and macbooks left and right, but I still can't see what's so great about them (other than the lack of viruses, but that's not enough in this day and age), and indeed, I don't like the way they work as much as PCs. And what's with the 2 USB ports? Bleh. I just can't bring myself to abandon my beloved Fujitsu laptops, they're so much better!

Quote
I like my Macbook Pro, but I do just as much retarded shit to make it work right as I have w/ any Windows box.  

True again. One of my colleagues actually had more problems with his Mac than his previous PCs (random freezes, slowdowns, etc), and dumped the Mac, swearing never to return again. When he booted up his new PC again, he had a look of true happiness on his face.
My score archive
twitter: cavexstg
XBL gamertag: eojx9999

Offline brentsg

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 713
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2010, 12:32:53 PM »
Sigh.. so much Apple hate.  I quite like it.  I still spend about half my time split between Windows 7 and WinXP .. and a bit with Linux but I've grown to prefer OSX and it's been solid as a rock (as is Win7).

I think much depends on where I'm at with life.  I used to LOVE building PCs for myself and others but I'm over it.  My overclocking days are behind me, etc.  Compiled my own Gentoo environment once, but yeah way over that.  I really like the iLife suite for working with all my family photos and videos.  Time Machine is really handy for onsite backup.  I've used other solutions but this one is very user friendly.  Lastly, I work pretty much with Solaris machines now on 20 or so customer networks.  It's convenient to do so with a *nix environment on my end too.

Anyways, my Mac Pro arrived yesterday.  Wow, the hardware is better than I'd expected.  Case is amazingly solid (being all aluminum and such), and there isn't a cable to be seen inside except the one supplementing the ATI videocard.  Nice sleds for the hard drives, with backplanes.. which is cool.  It's also whisper quiet even under load.  I thought my "old" workstation was quiet, but nothing like this.

Hoping to find time for the transplants today.  I bought a refurb 2010 Pro, base config.  I'll be swapping in a 980x hex CPU and associated RAM.  Also putting in my SSD and other hard drives from the old box.  At this point I think I'll leave the Ati 5770 card, as it seems fine.

Anyone interested in some leftover parts?  If so I'll setup a sales thread.  Planning Ebay otherwise.
-Antec case w/all Noctua fans
-OCZ power supply
-Boxed Intel i7 920 2.66 CPU
-EVGA Geforce GTX 480 SC
-EVGA Geforce GTX 285

Prob some other misc stuff too.. including a 15" MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM, 640GB HD, C2D 2.53GHz (mint)..

Offline EOJ

  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (34)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7082
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2010, 12:22:24 AM »
Sigh.. so much Apple hate. 

I like their ipods.
My score archive
twitter: cavexstg
XBL gamertag: eojx9999

Offline Icarus

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 97
    • http://namakoteam.thestudio-uk.com/
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2010, 10:21:39 AM »
I have a custom-built PC (old stuff mainly -> Athlon64 3200+ core, 3GB RAM, 3TB SATA RAID0), a 17" Macbook Pro (2010 model), an iPod 5th gen (30GB touch-wheel Video model), have had an iPhone 3G in the past, and an iPhone 4 presently (both jailbroken).
And all of them have no problems or issues at all.
I consider myself a power user, and love tinkering with both the hardware and software. Mainly because I enjoy breaking and fixing things, but also because my day job is partly tech-support related, and it is my job to know how to fix things. At the moment, my MBP is my primary system, and I have no issue working with Mac OS, since I have had nearly 7 years of experience with it, but I do have Parallels 6 installed with TinyXP (for ASP.NET development) and Ubuntu 10.10 (for fun). Best of all worlds in one laptop. I still use my PC, but as a media server, capture system, and for games that Crossover and virtualisation can't handle (which isn't many between them).

Therefore, I believe that a lot of the Apple/PC hate that usually pops up in threads like this, like the iOS/Android arguments and similar, no matter the forum or site, is due to both complete ignorance and lack of knowledge. "A bad workman always blames his tools", as they say.

Offline GaijinPunch

  • Trade Count: (12)
  • Ultra Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1203
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2010, 04:44:23 AM »
I watch videos in bed on my Mac

Quote
I do just as much retarded shit to make it work right as I have w/ any Windows box.

Next time, wipe it down afterwards.

Oh, you.  I have an arsenal of Tenga products to accompany me.

Offline ssfsx17

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Maniac Member
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Mac or PC?
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2011, 01:37:18 AM »
Mostly PC (due to Steam)

But one time my hard drive failed so I started using Ubuntu off of a DVD and now I like it a lot - it's really nice to install useful things without having to worry about an outsourced IT crew saying no.