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Pros and Cons of Switching From Windows To Mac

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-just-another-fan-boi dept.

629

It's been a couple of years since Apple ran their Switcher ads — but folks are still making the switch. Rockgod writes to point us to his list of pros and cons after he switched from Windows to Mac recently. From the article: "It took me a long time to be convinced that Windows 3.1 was a better program launcher than X-Tree Gold, but it happened eventually. Since then, I have been a sucker for every upgrade — 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP... I bought the cheapest Mac available, a Mac Mini with a single-core Intel chip and the minimum of RAM — 512 MB. It cost me AU$949. Since plugging it in, I have barely used my $3000 Windows desktop... All this time later, I have almost exclusively switched to the Mac."

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well... (3, Funny)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529449)

PRO - you won't be using windows
CON - Your sexual preference could come into question...not that theres anythign wrong with that of course

Re:well... (2, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529799)

Your sexual preference could come into question...not that theres anythign wrong with that of course

Right, nothing wrong with that, unless the answer is...

Re:well... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529823)

sexual orientation, you insensitive clod.

Re:well... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529929)

Your sexual preference could come into question

That's right. Once you stop using Windows, people won't think you're so gay.

To: Mac Users (5, Funny)

uglydog (944971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529969)

Really, there's nothing wrong with being straight.

stay tuned, I'm waiting for my new mini (5, Interesting)

yagualterego (975945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529453)

First, it isn't 10 Pros, and 10 Cons, it's 10 Pros and Cons (which I guess is technically what the article "says").

I recently ordered and am expecting a Nov 29 ship date (why?) for a new Mac Mini, the very first Mac I'll have ever owned. I'd never hesitated in the past to recommend to friends and family an Apple over a Windows box, and those who chose Mac virtually never came back with support issues.

As the blogger states, he's never looked back - my reasons for getting a Mac are more for being able to test my software on all platforms. I will review my experiences in my journal when the box gets here and I've burned it in for a few laps. I'm looking forward to it.

For the record, though the author loves his machine, I'd guess anyone considering today a Mac should look at a heftier configuration. (I'm getting the dual-core, super drive, 2G memory, 160G drive configuration.) I guessing I'll be happy with this box.

Re:stay tuned, I'm waiting for my new mini (1, Insightful)

scotch (102596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529681)

Off-topic advice: Never trust the opinion of someone who "never looked back". When did the phrase "I never looked back" become a way to endorse a product? To me, it only says something about the objectivity of the reviewer, e.g. "I joined the Heaven's Gate cult and I never looked back!!!!".

Re:stay tuned, I'm waiting for my new mini (4, Informative)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529907)

Well, when it comes to switching, it tends to mean that you liked the thing you switched to more than the thing you switched from. In this case, preferring Macs to Windows.

Uses for "I never looked back!" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529923)

"I just backed over a family of four in my SUV, and I never looked back!"

"I was miraculously born with no neck, and I never looked back!"

and so on...

Re:stay tuned, I'm waiting for my new mini (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529979)

Switching computer hardware isn't the major life change that joining a cult where your every movement is monitored is.

"Never looked back" to me says "completely satisfied" or "can't find any reason to look for alternatives" or "haven't missed anything from my previous situation" or even "see no reason to change". If it's that good, it's that good. We shouldn't have to expend the energy and time to critically examine our OS choices as we do religion. It's just a computer for crying out loud.

Basically "never looked back" is a good enough endorsement for me from someone who doesn't take operating systems as seriously as they do a religion.

Lack of Mac Games is not a "Con" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529469)

You'll just be able to buy more of those $300 jeans with all the money you will save not buying games.

Woah (0)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529857)

You'll just be able to buy more of those $300 jeans with all the money you will save not buying games.

Woah and I thought I had some money left money for a PS3. Actually not that it matters, my PC friend didn't either.

$3,000[!] (4, Funny)

jscott (11965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529481)

A $3,000 Windows desktop?! Fucking gamers...

Re:$3,000[!] (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529529)

It's Australian dollars, not real money.

Re:$3,000[!] (1)

jscott (11965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529611)

No mod points today, sorry. I'm stuck at work on a Saturday -- so thanks for the laugh.

Re:$3,000[!] (2, Funny)

DaMouse404 (812101) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529905)

Threeee dollars
To the poundd

sing it with me!

-DaMouse

Re:$3,000[!] (0, Redundant)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529531)

There's nothing wrong with gaming, it's just idiots who spend $3000 on an Alienware or Voodoo instead of building a better machine themselves for half the price that are the problem.

Re:$3,000[!] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529747)

There's nothing wrong with gaming, it's just idiots who spend $3000 on an Alienware or Voodoo instead of building a better machine themselves for half the price that are the problem.

Since when is spending more money on computer hardware a problem? So what if you can't afford it. There has always been hardware like this. Itanium chips, RD-RAM, Sun hardware, enterprise equipment. Suck it up.

Re:$3,000[!] (5, Funny)

ianmh (818287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529837)

How is that a problem? Some people do not want to build their own machine, how much is your time worth? Some do not know how. Others just have a lot of money, and some just need their computer to look like a giant alien head.

Re:$3,000[!] (0, Redundant)

BridgeBum (11413) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529537)

Presumably 3000 Australian dollars, given the Mac was priced in those units. Call it 2000 USD.

Re:$3,000[!] (2, Informative)

jscott (11965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529583)

For under $2k each, we just got a bunch of HP DL360 G5s [hp.com] at work. Granted I work in education... But still $2,000 is too much for a goddamn desktop machine.

Re:$3,000[!] (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529825)

yeah but a dl360 has crap for video, a TINY power supply and is as wide as a nissan, even though it is pizza box thick...Apple makes great hardware as long as you don't want to game..Personally anything I can do on a mac I can do on linux for less, my wintel box is for gaming and work.

Re:$3,000[!] (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529539)

I'm assuming he means $3k AU since he mentions how much the mac cost in Australian dollars earlier in the blurb. 3k Aussie dollars is about 2275 [yahoo.com] USD, still a bundle but....

Re:$3,000[!] (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529567)

$3000 AU, which is approximately $1500 US.

Re:$3,000[!] (2, Informative)

observer7 (753034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529579)

a Mac Mini with a single-core Intel chip and the minimum of RAM -- 512 MB. It cost me AU$949. Since plugging it in, I have barely used my $3000 Windows desktop... All this time later, I have almost exclusively switched to the Mac." ill bet a swich to linux and you could bring that down to 400 au dollars

Re:$3,000[!] (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529751)

Yeah, and one of the listed pros will still be true! Totally worth it!

Re:$3,000[!] (-1, Flamebait)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529691)

A $3,000 Windows desktop?! Fucking gamers...

Note that's $3000 *Australian*, so that would translate to about a $1500 PC in the US.

Must be a slow news day (-1, Redundant)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529543)

But this is a great way to generate comments.

Slow news day? (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529597)

It's been a slow news week. Nothing to see here, move along.

Back to the insipid article - yep, I'm on XP, nope I'm not going to Vista. And I'm probably not going to Apple - too much of a pain in the ass for another vendor lockin.

When I get around to it (next year or so, perhaps), I will start playing with linux again and getting Photoshop and Vue to behave on crossover. Until then, XP just keeps on kicking (and rebooting and rebooting).

Well, I have to go know, Zone Alarm wants me to reboot and I really should do something more useful than sit in front of this screen.

why must it be a slow news day .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529601)

But this is a great way to generate comments.

What's bad about discussing someone who made the switch?

was :Must be a slow news day

Re:why must it be a slow news day .. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529957)

What's bad about discussing someone who made the switch?

The old-time reporter this kind of story an evergreen.

Something to be tossed off betwen a round of beers at the gin mill across the street.

a step above any Linux distro ? (5, Informative)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529569)

"The GUI: It didn't take me long to get used to it. It is super smooth, even on the cheap Mac Mini .. It makes Windows XP look very late-nineties."

"It's Unix!: You've got a very, very nice GUI but under the hood is good ole' Unix"

"It is only when you open the Terminal and get to a shell that you see all the ancient Unix directory structures, combined with Apple's more hip and happening directory names like Applications, System, etc"

"Notice I didn't say anything about viruses, trojans, spy-ware? I haven't been infected in three months on the Apple .. I don't run as an administrator. This simple action protects you from about 99% of malicious software. It is a simple fact."

"unless you are a rabid freedom-fighter it is a step above any Linux distribution out there. KDE and GNOME are still a long way away from achieving the polish that Apple has delivered with Mac OS X"

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (4, Insightful)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529621)

"unless you are a rabid freedom-fighter it is a step above any Linux distribution out there. KDE and GNOME are still a long way away from achieving the polish that Apple has delivered with Mac OS X"
One man's polish is another man's useless eye candy... Some of us enjoy having a simple, uncluttered, low color, high contrast GUI. And a terminal.

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529755)

So why not use Enlightment [sourceforge.net] instead of KDE or GNOME?
It's slim, uncluttered AND pretty.

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (5, Insightful)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529787)

I disagree. Polish is the art of making less seem more. It's a time-intensive process and isn't really one geeks do very well - it's that indefinable quality that makes good closed-source software feel good. Don't get me wrong, I'm used to gnome and KDE, and they're impressive efforts, but they've not had hundreds of focus groups full of arts students and old ladies.

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (5, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529863)

Let's see, OSX's interface is...

simple..............check
uncluttered.......check
low color...........most interface elements are black/white/grey, so check
high contrast.....if not enough so, you can increase the contrast, I suppose, so check
has a terminal...check

So you're an OSX fan, then?

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529883)

One man's polish is another man's useless eye candy... Some of us enjoy having a simple, uncluttered, low color, high contrast GUI. And a terminal.

Well some of us are still dealing with punch cards and are crazy about it ( or is that because of it? ), so there!!

Yep (1, Flamebait)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529715)

Yep, it's true: OS X is a better desktop OS than Linux. Who knew?

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (1)

Pacifist Brawler (987348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529791)

How vain do you have to be to prefer a nice GUI to having several hundred dollars in your pocket?

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (4, Insightful)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529913)

How vain do you have to be to prefer a nice GUI to having several hundred dollars in your pocket?

vain: [reference.com] excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.

It's not vain to want a nice GUI. First because people don't usually show their GUI off, it's something they use, unlike say a flashy car or clothes (although those don't necessarily reflect vanity).

A nice GUI is useful to some people. It's not just about the shiny buttons, but it works differently/better. The GUI is part of the function of the software, so to say it's "vain" to want a nice GUI is to say that it's "vain" to want nice software.

And some might say wanting "several hundred dollars in your pocket" is a "vain" act, anyway.

Re:a step above any Linux distro ? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529987)

How vain do you have to be to prefer a nice GUI to having several hundred dollars in your pocket?

Depends on what you mean by a nice GUI. If you mean 'Look at all the colours and OMG wobbly XGL windows!!!11eleventyone' then, I have no idea. If you mean things like:

  • Good visual clues (e.g. thicker drop shadows on the active Window)
  • An efficient mechanism for switching between windows / applications (e.g. Exposé)
  • Working drag-and-drop everywhere.
  • Easy integration of everything with a PDF-based workflow
...then you will find that there is no dichotomy. The nice GUI makes you sufficiently more productive that you can make back the extra few hundred dollars quite quickly. Assuming, of course, that you actually use your computer for work...

Migrate to GNU/Linux and have more pros than cons (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529573)

Our company did last year, city of Vienna did, it should work out very nicely for you too. Our former XP users love KDE.

No need to put yourself through pains when you can improve security, save money and achieve a good deal of vendor independence all at the same time. Why exchange overpriced software (Microsoft) for overpriced hardware (Apple), when you can run Free software on the industry standard (and thus inexpensive) hardware?

Knowing everything I know now, I only regret that we did not migrate to GNU/Linux sooner.

Got money? Not anymore (-1, Offtopic)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529581)

"It cost me AU$949. Since plugging it in, I have barely used my $3000 Windows desktop"

Pro: You have a lot of high end computers.
Con: You've shown how Western society values electronics more than charity/equity.

Pro: You have a choice of computers.
Con: Most people in the world don't have a telephone.

Re:Got money? Not anymore (2, Interesting)

maeka (518272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529673)

Con: Most people in the world don't have a telephone.

While this is indisputably true, it isn't really the point.
Do most of the households in the world have a telephone? That is a far more relevant question.

And the sad fact is, yes, most of the households in the world most likely do. Despite Kofi Annan's 2000 statement to the contrary, it is very probable that more than 50% of households in 2000 did, and with the explosive growth of cell phones in Asia and Africa, an almost certainty that >50% do today.
 

Re:Got money? Not anymore (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529721)

Pro: You have a lot of high end computers.
Con: You've shown how Western society values electronics more than charity/equity.
- I don't understand your Con. Even if it was the case, that he has shown something, why is that a Con?

Pro: You have a choice of computers.
Con: Most people in the world don't have a telephone.
- How is that a Con for him?

Re:Got money? Not anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529889)

"I don't understand your Con. Even if it was the case, that he has shown something, why is that a Con?"

If there is gross inequality in society, it tends to result in revolutions between the poor and the rich. Civil war tends to be a con. While switching from a $3000AU Windows to $1000AU Mac isn't likely to be the sole cause of such a revolution, it certainly paints a picture of a society more concerned with trivial details, than putting even a tenth of that money into something that matters to his community or world.

"How is that a Con for him?"
See above. Not only that, they can't even phone him up to tell him they think his OS switch is very important, considering there are $3000 worth of technology sitting around.

Re:Got money? Not anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529767)

"Pro: You have a choice of computers.
Con: Most people in the world don't have a telephone."

Con- you are a fucktard that is using a computer to type this message... and I'll bet you have a telephone.
Pro- Your so mentally retarded you don't realize you are a hypocrite.

Re:Got money? Not anymore (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529891)

Pro: You have a lot of high end computers.
Con: You've shown how Western society values electronics more than charity/equity.


Stop posting on Slashdot and join the International Youth Core then!

But seriously, buying electronics actually helps these people because it sends jobs to places like India and China. Wheras if the electronics industry did not exist, then they'd be unable to feed themselves and be stuck with living on meager charity handouts.

Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu (5, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529591)

Probably more relevent to the /. crowd would be this article from someone that switched to Ubuntu from OS X and then went back to OS X:

http://digg.com/apple/Mac_OS_X_vs_Ubuntu [digg.com]

Let me say that if I could go into a store right now and buy a reasonably priced copy of OX X that would run on a plain PC, I would be running OS X at the moment (Yes, I understand that running on *any* hardware would make OS X less stable, but I would be willing to take the risk...and huge amounts of people would rather pay more for Apple's hardware and stability, and I wish Apple could see that and make us both happy).

But since that isn't going to happen, I'm really considering going to Ubuntu because I think MS is just going insane with Vista.

As the above mention, he doesn't think Ubuntu is too far behind OS X.

I would be interested in hearing others thoughts on this?

Transporter_ii

Re:Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu (3, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529765)

I installed Ubuntu this Monday. I really had to hammer at it to get the programs I wanted installed and get settings the way I wanted them. Linux still has a way to go before the average Joe will be able to pick it up and use it...

My first problem resulted from Ubuntu's installer assuming my system clock was set to GMT and not asking me. When I corrected the clock +4 hours from the LiveCD's meddling and installed Ubuntu, it adjusted my clock +4 more! I didn't notice until I had worked with Ubuntu off my hard drive for a bit. When I set the clock back -4... I was locked out of SUDO! This restriction would have to be lifted or at least EXPLAINED to the average user who is not going to understand why he must wait 4 hours to perform any administrative actions. Not to mention the fix is not intuitive... I had to adjust my clock +4 again, run sudo -k to kill my sudo timestamp, and finally set my clock correctly. Then sudo worked again. No way the average user could have done that.

Also the lack of up-to-date precompiled packages (Wine package is still back at 0.9.9, ScummVM 0.8.0) for my favorite programs was annoying enough for me to have to search out more recent binaries... now I really like the Linux idea of putting program files in /bin (which is also in the path env... ooh Linux has Windows beat on this!), settings in /etc, user settings in ~, etc etc. But most precompiled binaries aren't like this! They just throw everything in one directory... so if I want these "distributed" files, I need to compile from source and make install (right? well that was my solution >.>).

Also Linux will need out-of-the-box support for Windows apps. This is critical for it's success, I believe, as if you tell a Windows user he can migrate to Linux without having to give up any of his favorite programs while gaining all the advantages of Linux... well I think that would help alot.

Currently Wine seems OK, but it still has some problems with XP profiles (it tries to use hardcoded 9x profile paths... I can't figure out how to override them) MDI dialogs (they don't work quite right, fooling around with them crashes wine) and fonts (I can't get a font dialog to pop up, font changing doesn't work in my favorite app...).

Furthermore, I still haven't gotten some things to work QUITE right (Cedega overwrites Wine when I make install it! And it's broken... it complains a SO can't be found. I'll probably figure this out eventually). Also when I built Firefox 2 and Thunderbird 2, they ended up with the internal names "Bon Echo" and "Mail/News Client"... bah... plus Ubuntu's Firefox 1.5 and Thunderbird 1.5 have different program names than my compiled versions, so the old ones still occasionally pop up when another program runs them...

Re:Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529803)

Actually tried running OS X on unsupported hardware.

When it ran, it ran .. moderately well. The drivers would cause rather odd things, like every single media type would play 20% faster than it needed. CD's, MP3's, flash movies, you name it.

Since it wasn't supported hardware, it didn't run smoothly. Oddly enough I've seen VMWare do better with OSX on the same computer. Go figure.

That being said, since I could run most of the stuff I want to run in Windows on OS X as well (native versions of course), I'm definately hooked on the idea of getting a Mac myself. I'll probably start with a Mini, once they get upgraded to Core2-versions.

But I'm not running it on unsupported hardware again.

Re:Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529955)

I'm still getting used to Ubuntu (I'm new to *nix for the most part), and it works really well for me. I still need my other OS's to run specific programs (e.g.: SolidEdge, AutoCAD, etc.), but from downloading the image to using the OS, it has been not only better than my experiences both with OS X and XP, but also free. Once you're used to the UI, there's little diference between this free package and something you'd go buy off a shelf, from what I've found.

Re:Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16530001)

I dual boot OS X and windows on my macbook pro, and run ubuntu on a web development box that also serves as a file server and desktop machine. I like ubuntu because it runs efficiently on cheap and standard hardware. It does what I need it to do, and it does it well. I have a pretty advanced setup with it, and it was really not difficult at all. This includes a LAMP server, NFS file server, and Remote Desktop using X11 forwarding. Awesome support through the community forums. I like os x because of its Unix core with a clean and sleek desktop. 3rd party applications aside, it beats windows in every aspect. It's configuration applications are more simplistic than windows, but allow for great flexibility at the same time. One of many examples, is the ability to use DHCP with a manually entered local IP address. The hardware is top notch and is very well designed (once the thermal paste is reapplied, which is more of a manufacturing issue). With 2gigs ram, i have no problem running everything that is involved in a web design project, which includes adobe running via rosetta, parallels running windows for IE testing, a text editor, firefox, opera and safari with multiple tabs, and whatever misc stuff i may have open. I like windows simply because it is the easiest of all operating systems to get 3rd party applications up and running. This is not so much a compliment of the design of windows, but is a positive side-effect of being the defacto standard.

Re:Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu (3, Interesting)

spisska (796395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16530005)

Let me say that if I could go into a store right now and buy a reasonably priced copy of OX X that would run on a plain PC, I would be running OS X at the moment (Yes, I understand that running on *any* hardware would make OS X less stable, but I would be willing to take the risk...and huge amounts of people would rather pay more for Apple's hardware and stability, and I wish Apple could see that and make us both happy).

But since that isn't going to happen, I'm really considering going to Ubuntu because I think MS is just going insane with Vista.

Actually, you can get OS X to run natively on a PC [uneasysilence.com] . You just need to ask yourself if its worth the trouble. I'd think you're better off just getting a Mac mini.

As the above mention, he doesn't think Ubuntu is too far behind OS X. I would be interested in hearing others thoughts on this?

There's no doubt that Mac is more polished and more user-friendly. But Ubuntu is a complete, polished, intuitive, full-featured environment. Provided you're not using non-standard hardware, pretty much everything works straight out of the box with very little tweaking.

In fact, Ubuntu on my laptop handles the various power-saving modes (sleep, hibernation) flawlessly and with no special configuration, whereas Windows XP would sometimes sleep, sometimes not, and refuse to come out of hibernation if and when it hibernated (which often had little bearing on how, or even if, it was configured to hibernate).

Much in contrast to a Windows install, the Ubuntu install is fast, easy, intuitive, contains all the software you'll need, doesn't require multiple reboots and separate installation (with more reboots) for installing software and device drivers, and doesn't require yet further instalalation and reboots for OS and software updates.

Last time I had to reinstall Windows after a drive failure it took over three hours and no fewer than 10 reboots to get the system installed (reboot), upgraded (reboot), upgraded to SP2 (reboot), updated again (reboot), install/update drivers (reboot), install Office XP (reboot), update to Office 2003 (reboot), security and other Office updates (reboot), more Windows updates since I now had Office installed (reboot), etc. Installing other necessary software required more reboots.

My last Ubuntu install (incidentally, my first) took all of 45 minutes start-to finish with OS and all software installed and upgraded. Much simpler than any other Linux I've installed (FC3, FC4, RHEL, Mandriva, SuSE) and in a completely different league than Microsoft.

But don't take my word. Try it out for yourself [ubuntu.com] . Installation is even easier with Automatix [getautomatix.com] for adding bits that aren't in the core Ubuntu distribution like all the multimedia codecs and various packages that don't meet Ubuntu's strict libre-only policy.

Not that much of a sucker (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529599)

Since then, I have been a sucker for every upgrade -- 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP...

He at least had the good sense to skip Windows ME.
 

Re:Not that much of a sucker (4, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529643)

"He at least had the good sense to skip Windows ME."

That's implicit in his statement. He said he took every upgrade...

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Not that much of a sucker (2, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529853)

Aw come on, ME wasn't that bad. As long as you didn't you install unneccessary programs like antivirus or firewalls or blinked, it ran perfectly. Everyone should know by now that Microsoft stability is the stuff of legends.

Huge Mac con: mouse acceleration sucks (4, Interesting)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529607)

God I hate the mouse acceleration on my Mac Mini. Either you set the acceleration high so you don't need, you know, the entire desk to move the mouse a reasonable distance at the loss of fine movements, or you set the acceleration low so that you gain precision at the cost of having to drag and drop the mouse a few dozen times to get the cursor across the desktop. Windows doesn't have this problem. If you move the mouse a tiny amount your cursor moves in tandem; move it a lot and so does the cursor. Wow. Why can't my Mac do that? It's so retarted.

Don't get me wrong here, I love my Mac, but the mouse thing drives me nuts.

Re:Huge Mac con: mouse acceleration sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529711)

I have seen what you are complaining about on a 24-inch iMac, but only on a 24-inch iMac. The same behavior exists on a Windows machine hooked up to a 24-inch display (in this case, a 24-inch Samsung the user paid far too much for). If you have found a solution, patent it. Because Windows does not have it.

mouse acceleration is just fine (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529731)

So, I have a 3840x1200 desktop (2x23" displays), and I can move from side-to-side with ~4 inches of mouse movement on the desktop if I move it fast. At the same time, when moving slowly, it's perfectly pixel-accurate. I guess I don't see the problem. FWIW, I have my tracking speed set about mid-way.

As far as I can see, it works in exactly the way you describe as how you want it to work. Not so "retarted" after all... Maybe you need a better mouse ?

Simon

Mouse Acceleration Solution (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529757)

To solve the Apple's mouse acceleration problem, install a utility called SteerMouse or better yet, buy a third party mouse like Microsoft and Logitech and use their driver. Then your mouse acceleration will be just like Windows. Switchers are always complaining about this and rightly so, it's a pain if you aren't used to it.

Re:Huge Mac con: mouse acceleration sucks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529817)

For better USB Mouse control try SteerMouse: http://plentycom.jp/en/steermouse/ [plentycom.jp]

For laptop trackpads, try SideTrack: http://www.ragingmenace.com/software/sidetrack/ind ex.html [ragingmenace.com] -- It even has a setting called "Redmond switcher acceleration."

Many of my switcher friends have been very happy with these two applications. Heck, I've been using Macs since 1990 and I like the acceleration from these two apps better than Apple's.

2nd Mac con:The Theme/Fonts are Not Handicap-Ready (1)

Nutsquasher (543657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529835)

I completely agree with the Mouse Acceleration issue. If you use nothing but a Mac, you get use to it. But if you switch back and forth between PC/Linux/MacOS X, it's a HUGE pain.

Another big concern is that you can't change the system-wide font sizes on a Mac. I'm stuck having to upgrade my grandparents 17" LCD (1280x1024) to a larger 19 or 20 inch screen.

Why? They can't read the system-wide fonts, and there is no way to increase the system-wide font size except for dropping the screen resolution down. Of course if you go too low, you lose out on desktop space. The only option for me anyway is to buy my grandparents a larger monitor and run it in 1024x768 so they have larger fonts, or switch them back to Windows.

I feel sad for people who invested in those 30" Apple LCD's (which are overpriced now compared to the Dell's - ~$1250@ Dell, or $2000@ Apple). You've got this glorious amount of workspace, made impossible to read by tiny-text.

Windows does a VERY good job with handicap-assisted features. It has themes and font-styles built in for hard-of-site users. Apple has some features (magnifier, read-text-aloud), but they still lag severely behind Windows and even Linux (KDE and Gnome have most of the features seen in Windows, plus you can change system-wide font sizes).

I have a hunch that design has taken a step ahead on usability on this front, particularly seeing that Microsoft has had this stuff in Windows for more than a decade, debuting in Windows 95/98.

Re:2nd Mac con:The Theme/Fonts are Not Handicap-Re (3, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529973)

Finder > View > Font size.

For looks (5, Interesting)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529615)

I'm buying my Mom an iMac, for the sole reason it's SEXY. It's slim, compact, and doesn't make alot of noise. Better tha the dell portable desktop they just made. Macs are like computing with a built in safety net. You can almost never break it. The only people I know that hate windows are the poor souls that manage to still run AOL, download weather bug, and install every piece of software that wants to install itself. I run windows XP, with firewall and firefox, and I watch what I download. My virus infection rate? 0. People need to LEARN how to surf, instead of just going out there all willynilly.

Re:For looks (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529685)

I'm buying my Mom an iMac, for the sole reason it's SEXY.

Dude, we didn't need to know that!

Re:For looks (5, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529739)

I'm buying my Mom an iMac, for the sole reason it's SEXY.


Your dad isn't doing it for her?

Re:For looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529881)

the real question, is your mom SEXY?

Re:For looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529989)

I'm buying my Mom an iMac, for the sole reason it's SEXY

Yeah, I buy sexy things for my mom, all the time, too.

Sincerely,
Oedipus

Re:For looks (0, Offtopic)

tomd123 (1007793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529995)

Dude, never, AND I MEAN NEVER, use "my mom" and "sexy" in the same sentence. Not only will people think your wierd, its just plain not cool.

Getting used to... (4, Insightful)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529617)

This are done slightly differently on OSX than on Windows. Getting used to adequately use OSX takes time and experience. This can be frustrating. It *really* helps if you have friends who can help you make the best out of the OS.

One simple example. I love Spotlight. This feature changes the way we work with computers. If you switch from Windows and no one told you to try if that feature is for you, than you're missing one potential benefit for switching. Same for many other features. Mail is very good too (I'm an open source fanboy, but hey, I'll use the best free/open tools available :-).

Be curious. Try things. Discover your new OS. Maybe the icons view is not for you and you'll prefer the column view? It's worthed to attend to some Mac User Groups in your area. They'll be able to show you some nice tricks, and, important, answer the questions you have. (oh, there's some great mac-oriented mailing lists for that too)

Switching is *not* that easy, especially if you're not a geek (but since this is /. ...). Learn, ask questions. After a time, you'll probably like your mac more than your windows machine. Why? It depends. Generally, it's for the details. The little intuitive things that makes you happier using a Mac.

Upgradability? (4, Insightful)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529623)

I'm enticed by the new iMacs -- particularly that juicy looking 24" -- but it would appear that it's impossible to add hardware to those machines. Over the years, I've gotten used to extending the life of a PC by upgrading components like memory, vidcard, etc. I get the impression that few MacHeads do things that way. I'm not sure I could get used to that way of life, since I love to tinker, and it's kept my last desktop machine usable since early 2002 and it's still my main workhorse. I'm guessing that the Pro models are more upgradable, but those prices(!) keep me from making that jump. Has anyone managed to open up a new imac and replace a hdd or the like?

Re:Upgradability? (1, Troll)

jbolden (176878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529683)

If you like to get a great value on your hardware, like to buy your own and tinker, and think several k for a high end computer is too much you will not be happy in the mac world.

Re:Upgradability? (5, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529759)

We don't do component upgrades often because they are less necessary in the Mac world. For the last five years we have enjoyed an OS where version n+1 runs (or at least "feels") faster than version n did on the same hardware. The only thing that really needs to be added internally to most Macs is RAM. For more HD space, that's what those nice FireWire and USB 2 connections are for. And when it comes to video-- let's be honest, what really drives video card upgrades on the Windows side of the fence? The latest flavor-of-the-month GPU-hungry game, that's what. Like it or not, this is still not much of an issue on the Mac side. When a (consumer-level) Mac user really wants better video performance, their existing machine is probably a couple years old... They'll likely just buy a new Mac and throw the old one up on eBay to offset the cost. Since migrating your stuff to a new machine is a completely automated and (IME) painless process, and since Macs retain their resale value much better, it's a quite palatable option.

~Philly

Re:Upgradability? (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529801)

People do want to keep there old monitor and the mini has POS gma 950 video that using 80+ megs of system ram.

Upgradability - Yes! (1)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529855)

Actually, the iMac could be upgraded in many ways. The CPU and GPU are socketed... so they could very well be upgraded down the road. Also, you can throw a good amount of ram in these systems.

The HD, RAM, etc. are obviously upgradable (We Mac users are sheep, but not THAT bad!), in fact, it's not that difficult.

If you need upgrades beyond USB 2 and Firewire, you really need a Mac Pro.

Re:Upgradability? (4, Insightful)

kherr (602366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529895)

I'm enticed by the new iMacs -- particularly that juicy looking 24" -- but it would appear that it's impossible to add hardware to those machines. Over the years, I've gotten used to extending the life of a PC by upgrading components like memory, vidcard, etc.

The Mac world mindset is different, for one very basic reason. An out-of-the-box Macintosh has all the hardware (most) people need: built-in Bluetooth, wifi, USB, FireWire, DVD burning, etc. There's little need to have an upgradable machine because each Mac has just about everything already.

RAM and hard drive are the only components people really upgrade. RAM is pretty easy in all Macs. Hard drives (and optical drives) can be done, sometimes easily and sometimes not so much. I've personally replaced hard drives in "non-upgradable" iBooks and PowerBooks with little effort.

Video cards are really the main stumbling point of the closed Mac models. But the 24" iMac has an upgradable video card, so expect to see some third-party offerings eventually. Or go with the Mac Pro, which is the upgradable tower Mac. The reality is, though, that 3D gaming lags on the Mac platform and you probably don't need the hottest video cards for the available games. If you're into professional video or something you'd be wanting a Mac Pro anyway, where you can swap out the video card.

Re:Upgradability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529911)

You can upgrade memory easily, hard drive with some work, and probably both the video card (albeit modern laptop-style cards only) and CPU with a lot more work than the hard drive.

Re:Upgradability? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529931)

If you are buying a compact computer then you take limited upgradability as a given. Heck, its not any different with a portable, Mac or PC. You need to understand that these solutions are designed for a crowd that isn't really interested in upgradable options, unless they can it on, on the outside ( memory being an exception ). For them its like a video player: they'll replace it when they need something better. The only real upgradable computers are towers, and they are available on the Mac side too.

Re:Upgradability? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529981)

The problem I have with the iMacs is that it's very difficult (if not outright impossible) to reuse the display if you decide to get a better computer. It's a perfectly waste of a good display, especially when the iMacs become "obsolete" in the next 2-3 years.

Here they are.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529679)

Pros: everything
Cons: nothing (if you're a gamer, get a 360 or something... yes its a decent Microsoft product, unlike Windows and their other crap)

Re:Here they are.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529807)

Don't Have to, get Halo for the Mac.

Apple Should Dump Their Hardware (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529689)

Apple has some amazing marketshare math. It is constantly 'exploading' or whatever term the current crop of Mac loonies is but continues to remain down around ~2 percent worldwide.

Amazing.

Apple's hardware quality is a joke these days after getting dumped by IBM last year. It's like they went from IBM, getting rejected by PA Semi, AMD not having the capacity, and finally ending up with Intel as their 'first choice' has given Apple a who gives a shit mindset about hardware quality now.

The vast majority of the computing world just isn't waiting around to overpay for very average commodity x86 hardware - no matter how nice the case looks or the typography of the packaging.

OS X Satisfaction Chart (5, Funny)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529695)

One of my fellow goons created this to illustrate the mentality of someone going through the Windows > OS X switch, and I thought it was relevant to this discussion, as it perfectly illustrates the joy and agony of moving from one platform to another:

The OS X Satisfaction Chart [stunningabsurdity.com]

Disappointed (1, Interesting)

Peaker (72084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529705)

My roommate got the Mac, and I have to say that I was highly disappointed at using it.

It is just as slow, crashy, inconvinient and annoying as the rest (With a few less annoying "update me" popups than Windows, perhaps).

Expose is cool, and the smooth movements of some appearing windows (rather than a one-frame screen-update) is also nice. But these are the only 2 serious improvements I've seen. Things are still very slow to launch, programs crash, and things fail for configuration reasons.

It doesn't have any easy and useful way of exposing available keyboard shortcuts (as in KDE's readily available shortcut settings dialogs, Emacs's show-keybindings command, etc).

For people with a background of both Windows and KDE, who had no troubles with either or with Gnome/etc, it is still very difficult to figure out how to make shortcuts to applications, copy files (rather than make shortcuts), etc.

All in all, the Mac is yet-another-lousy-GUI, in my opinion.

Disclaimer: I'm a KDE fan [though I believe all of today's GUIs, including KDE are very lousy], and not too fond of closed-source applications in general.

Re:Disappointed (2, Informative)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529811)

I'm not sure what you mean. If option-dragging (copies automatically on MacOS) or control-dragging (you're given a choice about what you want to do) is too difficult for you, copying a file in KDE can hardly be easier. Or am I missing something.

Re:Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529829)

bullshit

Re:Disappointed (1)

tyldis (712367) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529947)

I figured I'd try a Mac and got myself an iBook.
I regret horribly ever after, mostly because it's so underpowered it's unusable for anything else than being a SSH terminal to my Linux server. Adding 512MB RAM helped a bit, but not much.
OSX might be great, but it will cost you. The low end MACs shouldn't be sold at all.

Unpopular on slashdot (5, Interesting)

maxrate (886773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529727)

I use on a daily basis: Mac OS/X Tiger, Ubuntu, Fedora Core and Windows XP Pro. I consider myself an advanced user and a very good sysadmin on many platforms. I still prefer Windows.... - why? I'm not sure myself! (No I do not work for Microsoft). I've been trying to switch to OS/X as a primary OS admitting that it's driven mostly because of peer pressure - it's just not happening for me. I don't feel that compelled to switch - I don't see a good reason and I'm being opening minded about it, I feel like it's much more trouble than it's worth. Is there anyone else that feels the same way? I feel alone!

Not a good comparison (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16529753)

Okay, so he purchased the lowest priced Mini Mac. Here is the specs:

1.66GHz Intel Core Duo processor
2MB L2 Cache
667MHz Frontside Bus
512MB memory (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
60GB Serial ATA hard drive
Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote

I'm just curious what the specs are on his $1500 Windows PC. Unless he bought it like 3 years ago (which would make this an unfair comparison), then it's hard to imagine that the Windows machine doesn't come with atleast a DVD burner and a bigger hard drive. It probably comes with more memory (very important) and a faster processor (isn't important for most people) as well. I've looked at getting a Mini Mac and when you try to customize it, the price gets ridiculous.

Want an extra 512MB of RAM? $75
Want a bigger hard drive? Add $50 for 80GB, $150 for 120GB (!!), and $250 for 160GB (!!!)

The next model up atleast comes with a faster processor (1.83GHz vs 1.66GHz), a DVD burner, and a bigger hard drive (80GB vs 60GB) but that costs $200 more alone. They offer you a base model knowing you will want more, and then rip you off when you customize it. I know thats how Apple "rolls", and they provide the "system of your dreams", but still the price can easily become anything but that.

Re:Not a good comparison (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529899)

If you want a new Mac with more features than the base model and still save money, you need to get the base model and upgrade it yourself. I got a base model black MacBook (the extra $200 USD covers a bigger hard drive and the black sexiness) and I replaced the 512MB memory with 2GB third-party memory for $80 USD that took only 10 minutes to switch out. I will eventually upgrade the hard drive when SATA laptop drives get more reasonable in price. I had no problems using my MacBook over the last three months and the only Windows system that I still use is my gaming rig.

iMac G3 333 $35 at the GoodWill store !! (2, Informative)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529777)

I couldn't pass it up. It's got 256 Megs of RAM OS-X 10.3. I use it, too, for checking how sites I design look on a Mac. Even given that it's old and a bit slow, the experience is not bad at all. I think a Mac Mini is in my future, too.

Quicksilver (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529815)

I have a small fleet of old laptops in my lab and Xtree is on all of them, been using Xtree for years.

I use a Mac as well and Quicksilver is better.

Home User vs. Business User vs. Gamer (2, Interesting)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529821)

Home User: No real downside since most home users surf the internet, send e-mail, do a little word processing, play some MP3's. Pretty basic stuff, easily covered by a Mac.

Gamer: Lots of cons, no real pros. Are there any games for a Mac that do not suck?

Business User: Many of the industry specific vertical apps are written for a baseline of Win2K. Some of these vertical apps *MAY* run on Win98 but many of them use very specific features that are tied very closely to the WinNT/2K kernels. Almost none of them, unless they are browser based and standards compliant, work with a Mac. Then again, the server side of many of these vertical apps require that you run them on a Win2k/XP/2k3 system running IIS.

OSX Talks to Everyone (4, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529827)

OSX gets along quite well with Linux (X11, Samba and ssh) and Windows (Remote desktop, Samba.) It also syncs to my Symbian 60 cell phone using bluetooth, can use the cellphone to connect to the Internet via bluetooth and does wireless networking on most Apple systems. It seems to be able to use those problematic Microsoft file formats and and you have your choice of DRMed and unDRMed media. It has a better selection of games than Linux does, though not as good a one as Windows does (No EVE Online client for OSX but you apparently can play WoW...) You also have tons of open source software that you can install on it.

Overall I'd say OSX is an excellent choice for Windows users who want the advantages of UNIX without having to learn arcane lore, for Linux users who need a laptop that will just work without requiring a virgin sacrifice during a full moon and for people who need to talk to a variety of different systems in a heterogenuous network. It's a bad choice for Microsoft executives, MCSEs or anyone else who makes a living on Windows being the dominant OS in the market. If you're somewhere in the middle you should probably pick OSX for the better security. It's not perfect, but any improvement is better than nothing.

Re:OSX Talks to Everyone (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529851)

OS/X pretty nice - but I can't listen to Sirius Satellite radio on it because there is no windows media player support for the Intel Macs! Any ideas????

Good info (1)

Einheri (1014253) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529861)

I like the level-headedness of the article, since there seems to be so few level-headed discussions when it comes to mac vs. ms. I'm thinking about buying my first mac. I went down to the Apple store the other day and played around for a few hours. I have to say that I was impressed.

Money matters. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529921)

I bought myself a Mac Mini G4 for about £250 and upgraded it to 1GB of memory - it seemed like a bargain as it came with a 3 year warranty as well. As it turns out, the warranty was a mistake on the listing, but the company honoured it, and I've been using it for about 6 months solid so far. I have my PC also hooked up, with a KVM switch letting me switch between the two. So far the Mac Mini has been used for everything, the internet and so forth. It's not used for games, but I have a 360 for that anyway.

Thing is, the small footprint of the Mini is appealing, and now that it can run Windows XP I thought about upgrading to an Intel Mac Mini some time in the future. So I did some price checking, and to get the spec of Mac Mini I want, 1.8Ghz intel, 1GB memory, 120GB HD, DVDRW and so forth, it'll cost me about 700 quid from Apple's site. Plus I'd have to add at least 60 quid to get a Windows XP licence, My local store, on the other hand, has a small footprint HP PC for £400 that comes with that same spec - actually, a 200GB hard disk in fact. So what it boils down to is that I'd have to pay 360 quid extra just to run OSX.

Granted, my Mac Mini is still working fine, and I'm not upgrading just yet, but the cost is a major consideration and right now it's not making financial sense to get a Mac Mini. Certainly, if someone could get a proper release of OSX - not the warez Developers Edition running on a PC, I'd go for that.

Happy after Switch to OS X (4, Insightful)

magic (19621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16529991)

I used to use Windows exclusively, with Linux at work when I had to. I recently got a Mac and figured that I'd still use Win32 most of the time. Boy was I wrong.

After using OS X for a few months, I'm very happy to use it *all* the time. My 'favorite' apps--Firefox, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, iTunes, PhotoShop--all run there. After I figured out the OS it seemed slick and easy to use compared to Windows. And the things I like about Unix are all there at the command line when I want them. Now my PC is for games only, and with the amount of hassle of PC gaming, it is second string there to consoles.

-m

Easier then switching to Vista... (2, Insightful)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16530009)

When I got my Mac, the control panel and features gave me no problem whatsoever. Very neatly organized, common-sense names..... But when I tried Vista last, the control panel was terrible... Different then XP, but by no means more user friendly. Might have changed since when I tried it (Beta 2 or Pre-RC1), but doubtful....
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