I'm thinking of coming over to the dark side.

Everything else, basically.

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I'm thinking of coming over to the dark side.

Postby mcnichol » September 9th, 2011, 1:34 pm

...to Apple, I mean.

I've been a lifelong Windows/PC/non-Mac person (1981 Tandy Color Computer --> 1986 Tandy 1000 SX --> work/roommates PCs --> 1999 Gateway 500Mhz --> 2006 Dell Pentium D 2.8 GHz) but have been increasingly frustrated by all of the b.s. (viruses, stuff shutting down without reason, bloaty OS, having to reinstall Windows every 2 years). At the same time, I got an iPad as a combined birthday/Father's day/etc gift a few months ago and it just seems so easy to use. Over the years I've replaced components in my PCs and am comfortable with that, so where a couple years ago I thought I would just build my next PC from scratch with Windows 7 on it, I'm now considering just ponying up and buying a new Mac.

I just wanted to know from y'all, as I'm new to this world, is there anything I should be aware of? Anything I should consider or watch out for? I've read about some of the on-going yellow screen issues on iMacs -- is there anything else like that to look out for? Are there issues with refurbished models? ...I'm just doing research and reading as much as possible at this point but wanted to make sure I asked folks who have used them and have had positive or negative experiences with them.

Thanks in advance for any help!


(edit: I posted this here as I figured it would be seen by more folks than in the Tech thread, and it's not super-technical anyways)
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Postby Jastroch » September 9th, 2011, 2:49 pm

A lot of the problems with Macs from the 90s -- OS instability, slowness, crashing, etc... -- aren't really an issue any more.

I don't know about specifics, but I've had my imac for four years and haven't had any problems.

I'm a believer. More $$ = a reliable machine.
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Postby kbadr » September 9th, 2011, 3:00 pm

I switched over to Mac earlier this year when I became a freelancer. I'm pretty happy with it. I have heard some weird things about the newest version of the OS, though, so you might want to avoid that if you can.

Took me about 2 weeks to get used to the interface differences and the mac way of doing things, but after that it was fine.

I have a MacBook air and I do development stuff on it, as well as all my day-to-day tasks, and it's great. I've been very happy with it.

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Postby gene » September 9th, 2011, 4:55 pm

I own a an old ibook and I occasionally use the newer macs.

One thing is to use keep using your old PC mouse so you have access to the right click and middle scroll button functionality. Macs have that functionality but Apple mice don't or they don't do it well.

The Apple stores are pretty nice. You can bring in your computer and they can fix simple problems for no charge. The folks there are friendly.

Marc Majcher had his stolen but he was able to recover it using software. Here is his blog about it:
http://recovermymac.tumblr.com/
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Postby ratliff » September 9th, 2011, 9:20 pm

I was part of the cult for many years. I've switched to Linux, but I still think Apple's design of hardware and much of their software kicks everyone else to the curb. They've been getting a little more Microsofty in recent years -- e.g., making more assumptions about what you want to do with the software, making it harder to export data from proprietary formats -- but if you're comfortable with the command line you can negotiate your way around a lot of that, and I'm sure those things aren't any better on Windows.
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Postby Alex B » September 10th, 2011, 2:48 pm

I was pretty much in your situation a while back -- always used PCs b/c they were cheaper and mainstream and Mac seemed like a goofy cartoon computer.

Around 2 years ago, I had a very old Dell, and I was tired of bloated crapware, constantly running Ad-aware to fight worms, reinstalling Windows, etc. I switched to a macbook pro and couldn't be happier -- it has been a flawless and wonderful machine so far.

Tips:

--If you buy a mac, you will pay more for memory directly from
Apple. I just put in 8gb memory for $50 from newegg.com (whereas Apple charges $400 holy shit).

--I too was afraid of not having a right-click mouse button. But actually the newer macs have these double-taps and finger sweeping jazz that let you do pretty much whatever you want--you'll see.
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Postby Jon Bolden » September 10th, 2011, 4:13 pm

I will also say that the software issues on Macs are far fewer than windows machines in my experience. Also – The free software is infinitely better quality. The people that make things beautiful use macs, therefore everything mac-related looks better, which makes you feel nice inside (I know it sounds weird, but it's true).
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Postby beardedlamb » September 10th, 2011, 7:23 pm

mac. all the way. i had a pc for a while. it was HP so it sucked even worse than a normal pc. switched to an imac a year and half ago and i absolutely love it. everything works. it takes about 20 seconds to turn on and be ready to use. and the new mouse has more functionality than the old pc ones. right click, touchscreen type scrolling, and 2-finger gesture stuff. the apple web site is pretty good about pointing out what's sweet with their stuff. spend that extra $500 if you can. its worth it.

http://www.apple.com/imac/
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Postby zyrain » September 10th, 2011, 8:02 pm

I absolutely need my windows thinkpad for work (e.g. Client with proprietary VPN). I however have a Linux server at home for file shares and such, a Mac mini for iPhone development, and an iPhone.

I disagree with everyone who says the hardware is better. Most hardware is the same between the platforms, at least for equivalently expensive pc hardware.

One thing you'll give up is timely access to PC games.

Also software on the Mac is far more expensive (even for the same exact software)
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Postby Tim Traini » September 10th, 2011, 11:21 pm

zyrain wrote:One thing you'll give up is timely access to PC games.


You know Steam works for Mac and you can play TF2 all the same?

"Macs don't have games" is sort of a lie these days.

edit: pretty much since the intel mac came out porting things over is a bit easier than waiting till Aspyr makes an awful version of it four years too late.
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Postby zyrain » September 11th, 2011, 1:46 am

I said "timely" access. The popular ones do come out for max, but usually they're delayed.
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Postby ratliff » September 11th, 2011, 9:14 am

Neal, the hardware may not be "better" in a technical sense -- I'd definitely defer to you on that point -- but from a design standpoint there's not even a comparison. Their industrial design is as good or better than any company in the world, and it's not just their top tier stuff; it's every product they make. If there's a company making computers that are consistently comparable at every price point, I'd like to know more about it.
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Postby mcnichol » September 11th, 2011, 10:32 am

Thanks for all of the information so far everyone.

To add a few things: I'm looking at the iMacs specifically. I don't need portability, but I need something that is powerful but afforadble and always on. These seem to be the best cross-section for that. The 27" ones seem so big so for now I'm only looking at the 21.5" ones. I don't play games (apart from the Wii) currently and don't plan to, so that won't be a factor in my decision. I also have a work laptop that handles vpn connections and whatever other Windows-specific functionality I'll need. That said, I believe I should be able to install Parallels or VMWare to achieve similar functionality on a Mac. I'm definitely going for the base memory option from Apple and then will put in affordable memory from somewhere else on top of that.

Has anyone opted for the SSD option? Does it make that much of a difference worth the extra $500? Are there any significant issues with SSDs at this early stage?
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Postby Jon Bolden » September 11th, 2011, 12:10 pm

mcnichol wrote:Thanks for all of the information so far everyone.

To add a few things: I'm looking at the iMacs specifically. I don't need portability, but I need something that is powerful but afforadble and always on. These seem to be the best cross-section for that. The 27" ones seem so big so for now I'm only looking at the 21.5" ones. I don't play games (apart from the Wii) currently and don't plan to, so that won't be a factor in my decision. I also have a work laptop that handles vpn connections and whatever other Windows-specific functionality I'll need. That said, I believe I should be able to install Parallels or VMWare to achieve similar functionality on a Mac. I'm definitely going for the base memory option from Apple and then will put in affordable memory from somewhere else on top of that.

Has anyone opted for the SSD option? Does it make that much of a difference worth the extra $500? Are there any significant issues with SSDs at this early stage?


I've heard amazing things about their SSDs and not much negative (besides price). I couldn't opt for it because I need way more space for photography. Unless you are doing something with video or just looking for insane drive speeds, it's probably not worth it.
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Postby MitchellD » September 11th, 2011, 1:34 pm

I switched over to Mac because they had finally gotten bootcamp - a program that would let you restart the comp to switch to a different os, such as vista. Then I could do anything a pc could, also my comp crashed from a virus and I was tired of those things so I got a mac. However, bootcamp wouldn't work. I tried 2-3 different OS disks, and even got a friend who had worked at best buy in the computer section to go through it but it never worked. This was pretty bad because I like to play computer games. And mac doesn't really support many computer games. Especially not the free ones that independent developers make. Even if I did have boot camp, it wouldn't run at full capacity. But then again, that's only if you have interest in that sort of thing. I'm going to get a pc eventually for games and programs only.

But other than that, Macs are great pretty much all around. Great for designers/photographers/editors and other. And they generally don't get viruses... none that I have heard of anyway.
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