I’m a Mac! I’m a Mac guy! Over the years I have gotten a bunch of abuse, joking and criticism for having a Mac and liking it. I have been in several systems support departments and the majority of computers and support folks in these departments are PCs. The folks who use and support PCs don’t like Macs, for the most part. They don’t understand them and don’t want to. They think some things on a Mac are neat and better than what the PC and Window operating system has to offer but they stick to their guns and still put down the Mac.
The Mac while it is easy to use or as we say “user friendly” with its operating system and most applications, is designed that way because that is what people want. Windows operating systems have improved over the years and some of my PC friends say that the Windows operating system is becoming more “Mac like”. And, yet they still Mac bash. “Mac like”, I’m not buying it, while Windows XP and now Windows 7 are steps in the right direction they are not based on a BSD Unix kernel that has been the result of many brilliant minds over many years of development. I don’t want to make this a Windows bashing article or session. Windows has its place and is dominant in it. Our banking, business and health care systems rely on Windows. This reliance on Windows is shared by everyone in the world. I like Macs and in the businesses that I am in, our goal is to have the Macs and Windows machines work in harmony.
Both Mac and Windows machines really compliment each other. We all hear that competition in the market place is good. I started out with a PC, a month or so later I saw a Mac and that was it for me, I had to have one. My PC stayed in the guest room and the Mac took up residence on my desk in my room. So what is it about the Mac that sets it apart for me?
1. Mac has a rock solid Unix based operating system that has a long history of development and stability with Apple’s gorges user interface on top.
2. “Macs cost more”, I hear this all the time, but the old adage is true “you get what you pay for”, Macs operating system runs on their hardware flawlessly. You may pay a little more but there is nothing to add on, and everything will work pretty much as soon as you take it out of the box.
3. Setup is simple, take it out of the box, put it where you want it, plug it in. You get a welcome screen and then you are walked through a setup and usually working within a half an hour.
4. Apple provides many applications with the Mac and included software. You get iTunes, iMovie, iChat, iPhoto, Preview, iDVD, Safari and tons of other useful things that you can explore. For a full specific list of what is included based on the model Mac you are considering go to www.apple.com
5. Apple provides an insurance plan called AppleCare, and is cheap for what you receive. It starts out as a full year of coverage with your purchase and that can be extended for another two years. If things break, which is rare, there are hundreds of Apple Stores and dealers who will repair it under the warranty coverage. You can also send it back to Apple in a box they will send you when you schedule the repair. And you get the unit back fast! For more info about AppleCare look at www.apple.com/support/products Tip: I do recommend AppleCare because of the screens that are used on laptops and iMacs these can be pricey, a little AppleCare can go a long way. Murphy’s Law says that if you have it you won’t need it and if you don’t have it you will.
6. Apple makes things simple through setups and available tutorials. There are many sites dedicated to just Macs. These include: MacNN, MacRumors, MacFixIt and many many others. You can post issues or questions on many of these sites including Apple’s site and set it up for the suggestions, tips and responses to be emailed directly to you.
7. Apple made the iPod and iPhone, so these devices work flawlessly with any Mac. As do thousands of other peripherals such as printers, scanners, hard drives and so much more.
8. If you want or need to run Windows, you can install it on Intel based Macs with additional software. Apple includes one application with the operating system that works fine running Windows, it is called BootCamp. Other options include Parallels, VMware Fusion, and CrossOver to name a few. Tip 1: CrossOver doesn’t require a Windows install but will run specific Windows applications and it is very reasonably priced. I use it on my MacBook running Snow Leopard. Tip 2: Running Windows on your Mac does open it up to Viruses, Malware and other nasty stuff but it will be limited to the Windows side, the Mac side will not be effected as it will not understand the malicious Windows virus code. Get some Anti-Virus software for Windows side to protect against this threat.
9. NO viruses, NO spyware, NO malware! None of these nasty things are written for the Mac operating system, its software and its hardware. If you are running your Mac as a Mac only you can relax and enjoy the computing experience without thinking about this nasty stuff.
10. Finally, enjoying the experience is what it is about and Apple and Mac have made that possible. We all get frustrated when we can’t do something on our computers. Mac’s simpleness and transparency makes many things easy for all of us. We can do what we need to do and do it quickly and easily while we enjoy the experience.
That is only part of the reason I’m a Mac guy. I will continue with my reasons in future articles.