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PC to Mac: My Not-So-Genius Switch - Page 38  

post #556 of 637

Full disclosure: I've used windows all my life and will probably switch to Linux if I ever switch.

 

It's interesting to me that people are still having (on many forums) the Mac versus Windows argument.  I've seen (and been a part of) big Linux, Mac, and Windows deployments in businesses and one large university.  Every system has major kinks - even Windows desktop products sometimes fail to interact with Windows server products or worse (two server products by the same vendor don't work easily with each other).

 

IMO all three operating systems have reached the point where they do a large majority of what "average joes" and even advanced users (e.g. programmers need) and they do them with speed, ease, and stability on even older (5+ years old) systems.  You could give any WORKING system to a person and they could use them without major complaints.

 

Linux, MacOS, and Windows in 1998 - now that's an interesting argument.  Linux and MacOS users were delusional.  Windows users had so many problems there was nothing to be delusional about :)

 

IMO where Windows and Windows based hardware vendors are failing is in a) selling to the general public and b) technical support after the sale.

 

To talk about a)

 

When I go into major electronics retailer I really feel sorry for a lot of the buyers.  There is a cacophony of hardware, much of which seems to be configured to confuse the buyer and squeeze maximum profit from greatly increasing the possible twists from the salesman's mouth.  Beyond that, Microsoft made the asinine decision of having multiple versions of their ONE operating system.  So if the hardware isn't confusing enough, the salesman can say "Oh this one has Home Premium 32 bit so it's not going...".  "You'll be upgrading to 8 gb of RAM in a year the future so you'd better get the X windows version."

 

Compare this to buying an Apple product.  I'll bet you could narrow down the answer to "Which computer should I get" to 3 or 4 questions (e.g. How portable does it need to be).  Figuring out which computer you buy is actually pretty easy.  To a lot of people Apples restricted choices are better, especially since the variety of configurations on Windows systems really makes little practical difference (2.4 ghz versus 2.66ghz - big difference right )  

 

To talk about b).

 

IME the service you get from Windows hardware vendors has fallen to a pathetic level.  Back in 1998 a major online computer vendor called one of my friends and scheduled an at home appointment to replace a fully working hard drive that *might* be defective.  Two years ago I went through an irritating process with the same well known vendor.  The hard drive in my wife's laptop was failing.  But since their "diagnostic" did not detect a problem it was obviously a software (read: Windows) problem not a hardware problem.  I wasted 2 hours on the phone and so much for "at home" service.  I'm glad hard drives are so cheap because I cloned the failing drive to a new one and voila - the problem went away!

 

Compare this to Apple.  You typically have a store you can drive to, even if it's an hour or two away.  If I get frustrated and angry, it's with a real person, not some voice on the phone.  I can demonstrate the problem to them and they can't use the "We didn't make the operating system" excuse.  They also can't say "Well this computer came with XP but you installed Vista on it so we don't support it."  It's an Apple product from software to hardware so deal with it.

 

Maybe to a computer geek (like me) all this doesn't really matter.  I usually build my own computer and can solve problems myself.  But I know plenty of people who can't and have sat on the phone arguing with technical support about what requires and does not require "at home service" or what needs service at all (It's a software problem so it's not our problem).

 

As for the cost of buying a Windows machine versus a MAC, I think Apple kicks you in the privates when you buy the machine, but not later.  Windows hardware vendors give you a lower buy in price, but then progressively kick you in the nuts when you have fill in some of the gaps (e.g. Windows 7 built in backup solution is only fully featured on some Windows versions and even then it's not that great...)

 

Apple simplifies things (sometimes way too much) but I think they've done a pretty good asking what they could to to keep the customers happy during and after the sale.  I think vendors who sell Windows and hardware that runs Windows really need to kick themselves and realize a computer needs more support than a microwave or TV does.  Dell tried with the Kiosks and Sony with Sony Style stores.  I won't even get into those...

 

Small (read: local) vendors were pretty good at support the Windows systems they built.  But most of those are gone and mostly people buy laptops now - local owners can't make those.  It's just the big vendors now.

 

My apologies if I'm repeating what's said in this thread.  I didn't read the entire thing.

 

*edit* -  I'm not trying to say Apple customer service is magical or anything of the sort.  I've read enough complaints to know people have had major problems.  I'm just pointing out the benefits of having a physical location to visit (Apple store) and having the hardware and software from the same vendor.


Edited by odigg - 6/1/10 at 6:43pm
post #557 of 637

I'm just happy that I've had relatively few problems, and those I have had I either knew how to fix, figured out how to fix, or went online and found an answer for.  For my dad, when he needed a new computer, I recommended a local computer shop I know. It's a one man business - consultation, hardware, software, and in his case the construction of a desktop PC. It is a well built machine, very cheap compared to anything you'll find in a store or online, and as you stated the service is top notch. Call basically anytime, six days a week, and if there's a problem just drive it over and you usually get it fixed that day.

 

Local vendors rock!

post #558 of 637
post #559 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post


 

 

With this I have to disagree. Apple is just following a slightly different approach to this. Whether it will work remains to be seen, although it is working so far.

 

Basically, as I see it, Apple just reversed Dell's business strategy. What Dell originally did was mass market its computers to businesses as business machines. The philosophy was that if everyone at your workplace uses a dell, than most likely when it comes time to order a computer for home use employees would also order a Dell. It worked. And thus Dell grabbed both halves of the market.

 

Apple, unlike Dell, instead chose to market to the general public. The philosophy was that if the Mac is so very good for home use, then people might be tempted to try it out for  business use. And if a CEO happens to own a mac at home, he just might decide that for the next upgrade the entire company will get macs. It worked (so far at least). That's part of the reason apple's market share in the industry is growing.

 

They clearly didn't have the problems we did.

 

@Currawong

I'll also admit that your other points are salient. If I ever have the chance, I would certainly enjoy trying out a mac for personal computing. My experience at the workplace has (if you haven't guessed by now) left a bad taste in my mouth for macs, so trying them out at home would be nice. Heh, for that matter I would welcome the chance - should I find the time- to try out Ubuntu as well.
 


Uhh, where can I begin with this, other than with "No"?  

 

First, Apple are hopeless at selling entire solutions to businesses as the Wintel companies are.  They just don't have the kind of sales and support teams Dell, HP and the like do, let alone Microsoft or any of its relevant vendors.

Second, major companies don't choose to go with a vendor because the CEO uses the same brand of computer at home. While there is an increase in people using them, and people in major businesses aren't as put off as they used to be by the idea that Macs are no good in business, that's a far cry from a major business switching from Wintel to Mac. It's more likely that the switch to web-based "cloud" solutions will remove a lot of the interoperability issues that have shut out Macs, but big businesses are VERY slow moving and such a change would be too much for them.  

Third, I don't know the status of Apple's market share in business, but I'd say it's still quite small.  They have always had a strong education presence. 

 

You should try a Mac at home. It'll be different and you may find it uncomfortable at first, but if you appreciate the attention to detail and functionality over the discomfort of the unfamiliar, then you'll love it. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post

Full disclosure: I've used windows all my life and will probably switch to Linux if I ever switch.

 

It's interesting to me that people are still having (on many forums) the Mac versus Windows argument.  I've seen (and been a part of) big Linux, Mac, and Windows deployments in businesses and one large university.  Every system has major kinks - even Windows desktop products sometimes fail to interact with Windows server products or worse (two server products by the same vendor don't work easily with each other).

 

IMO all three operating systems have reached the point where they do a large majority of what "average joes" and even advanced users (e.g. programmers need) and they do them with speed, ease, and stability on even older (5+ years old) systems.  You could give any WORKING system to a person and they could use them without major complaints.

 

Linux, MacOS, and Windows in 1998 - now that's an interesting argument.  Linux and MacOS users were delusional.  Windows users had so many problems there was nothing to be delusional about :)

 

IMO where Windows and Windows based hardware vendors are failing is in a) selling to the general public and b) technical support after the sale.

 

To talk about a)

 

When I go into major electronics retailer I really feel sorry for a lot of the buyers.  There is a cacophony of hardware, much of which seems to be configured to confuse the buyer and squeeze maximum profit from greatly increasing the possible twists from the salesman's mouth.  Beyond that, Microsoft made the asinine decision of having multiple versions of their ONE operating system.  So if the hardware isn't confusing enough, the salesman can say "Oh this one has Home Premium 32 bit so it's not going...".  "You'll be upgrading to 8 gb of RAM in a year the future so you'd better get the X windows version."

 

Compare this to buying an Apple product.  I'll bet you could narrow down the answer to "Which computer should I get" to 3 or 4 questions (e.g. How portable does it need to be).  Figuring out which computer you buy is actually pretty easy.  To a lot of people Apples restricted choices are better, especially since the variety of configurations on Windows systems really makes little practical difference (2.4 ghz versus 2.66ghz - big difference right )  

 

To talk about b).

 

IME the service you get from Windows hardware vendors has fallen to a pathetic level.  Back in 1998 a major online computer vendor called one of my friends and scheduled an at home appointment to replace a fully working hard drive that *might* be defective.  Two years ago I went through an irritating process with the same well known vendor.  The hard drive in my wife's laptop was failing.  But since their "diagnostic" did not detect a problem it was obviously a software (read: Windows) problem not a hardware problem.  I wasted 2 hours on the phone and so much for "at home" service.  I'm glad hard drives are so cheap because I cloned the failing drive to a new one and voila - the problem went away!

 

Compare this to Apple.  You typically have a store you can drive to, even if it's an hour or two away.  If I get frustrated and angry, it's with a real person, not some voice on the phone.  I can demonstrate the problem to them and they can't use the "We didn't make the operating system" excuse.  They also can't say "Well this computer came with XP but you installed Vista on it so we don't support it."  It's an Apple product from software to hardware so deal with it.

 

Maybe to a computer geek (like me) all this doesn't really matter.  I usually build my own computer and can solve problems myself.  But I know plenty of people who can't and have sat on the phone arguing with technical support about what requires and does not require "at home service" or what needs service at all (It's a software problem so it's not our problem).

 

As for the cost of buying a Windows machine versus a MAC, I think Apple kicks you in the privates when you buy the machine, but not later.  Windows hardware vendors give you a lower buy in price, but then progressively kick you in the nuts when you have fill in some of the gaps (e.g. Windows 7 built in backup solution is only fully featured on some Windows versions and even then it's not that great...)

 

Apple simplifies things (sometimes way too much) but I think they've done a pretty good asking what they could to to keep the customers happy during and after the sale.  I think vendors who sell Windows and hardware that runs Windows really need to kick themselves and realize a computer needs more support than a microwave or TV does.  Dell tried with the Kiosks and Sony with Sony Style stores.  I won't even get into those...

 

Small (read: local) vendors were pretty good at support the Windows systems they built.  But most of those are gone and mostly people buy laptops now - local owners can't make those.  It's just the big vendors now.

 

My apologies if I'm repeating what's said in this thread.  I didn't read the entire thing.

 

*edit* -  I'm not trying to say Apple customer service is magical or anything of the sort.  I've read enough complaints to know people have had major problems.  I'm just pointing out the benefits of having a physical location to visit (Apple store) and having the hardware and software from the same vendor.


Nice write-up.  Incidentally, you'll be amused to know that the bane of Apple's existence is support.  It's easy for people like us, who know our way around computers to know how things are, but if you remember that 99% of people are clueless and remember all the silly things they do, then Apple's decisions, such as preventing batteries being changed in iPods and iPhones suddenly makes a lot of sense.  The geeks criticise them not realising that many decisions were aimed at everyone else.

 

Incidentally, I just bought a new MacBook Pro 15" 2.66 with the 1680x1050 matte screen and the thing is like a sculpture sitting on my desk, not a computer.  The screen is so good (anyone with sense gets the matte and not the lets-fake-it glossy) that I think I'm going to have to ditch my cheap 24" Samsung -- there's a pic of my daughter on the desktop on the Mac's screen and I just want to stare at it, each individual hair on her head standing out.  Turning back to the Samsung i just unpleasant. The lid closes with the kind of thunk reserved for luxury cars, a far cry from the dodgy latches of my old one, let alone any Wintel laptop.  Ok, I'll shut up now, but you get the idea.

post #560 of 637


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post

Local vendors rock!


Yes - if they are a good local vendor.  Back in the local vendor heyday (around 1996?) many local vendors were just as bad (some much worse) than the big vendors now.  I think by Apple stores replicate the idea of a good and trusted local vendor, which the Windows industry has totally lost sight off.  I think that's part of why the Apple store idea is so refreshing for many people.  Since Windows hardware vendors have been offering crazy low prices and (IMHO) dishonest promises of service, reliability, and support, many people have abandoned local businesses for big retailers.

 

For people who have been using good local vendors for years, the Apple store idea isn't anything new.  Actually, it might come off as a little crazy and antiseptic.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Third, I don't know the status of Apple's market share in business, but I'd say it's still quite small.  They have always had a strong education presence. 

 

Apple's presence in the education sector was hurt a lot in the late 90s and early 00s.  The prices of Windows based systems were falling quickly and software makers were moving to Windows from other established (and overpriced) antiquated systems (e.g. MacOS, SGI+IRIX).  There was also the growth of the networked environment, which was a total failure on MacOS. Thankfully (for Apple) OSX came along.

 

As for Apple in education today, I think growth has started again over the last few years.  However, one major issue is the restricted hardware.  For a desktop system you have a choice of an iMac or a Mac Pro.  The former is too inflexible for upgrades (you have to replace the entire system - monitor included - during upgrades), and the Mac Pro is too expensive for a computer lab when a lot of students need little more than internet access, office software, and basic use software like SPSS.

 

Apple needs to stuff something other than the between the iMac and Mac Pro.

 

And, as you have pointed out, Apple isn't really geared to sell in volume like Windows vendors.  A lot of educational facilities buy a lot (500+) computers at a time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Nice write-up.  Incidentally, you'll be amused to know that the bane of Apple's existence is support.

 

I think the bane of every computer vendor is support.  As a tech nerd and a professional, the bane of my existence is support.  Reducing these sorts of questions is in the interests of both the vendor and customer!

 

Especially since many of these questions make tech support people want to smash their heads.

 

I do agree with many Apple decisions that frustrate tech geeks actually end minimizing the support customers need and thus the support Apple has to provide.  I think it also simplifies the support Apple does provide.  Apple is pretty good at figuring out what the majority don't need and taking it out.


Edited by odigg - 6/2/10 at 6:32am
post #561 of 637

Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
I think the bane of every computer vendor is support.  As a tech nerd and a professional, the bane of my existence is support.  Reducing these sorts of questions is in the interests of both the vendor and customer!

 

Especially since many of these questions make tech support people want to smash their heads.

 

I do agree with many Apple decisions that frustrate tech geeks actually end minimizing the support customers need and thus the support Apple has to provide.  I think it also simplifies the support Apple does provide.  Apple is pretty good at figuring out what the majority don't need and taking it out.


You're right, I probably should have said this, having been between customers and vendors with support issues many times myself, each vendor responding differently to issues.  Maybe a better way to put it is, Apple have been addressing the support issue primarily in their product design, whereas other vendors address it after the fact, sometimes well, sometimes extremely poorly.  

post #562 of 637

Luckily, since I bought the 3 year extended warranty for my iMac, I've only called support twice and they have been very helpful.

 

Las year, I spilled a glass of red wine onto my keyboard of my Macbook Air which rendered the MAC useless, The Apple store wanted $700 to repair it, so I took it apart myself and found that there is a bladder under the keyboard that helped keep the wine from invading the electronics.

I was able (with the help of a knowledgeable friend) to remove the aluminum chassis that houses the keyboard and for $75 and made it work like new. i figured that I was going to trash it anyway, so I figured, why not try.

 

It's still working and saved me $625.

post #563 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post


You're right, I probably should have said this, having been between customers and vendors with support issues many times myself, each vendor responding differently to issues.  Maybe a better way to put it is, Apple have been addressing the support issue primarily in their product design, whereas other vendors address it after the fact, sometimes well, sometimes extremely poorly.  


Yes, that's very well put.  I don't like Apple's ecosystem, but this holistic thinking applies to Apple's entire product line, including stuff like Apple TV, Ipod, etc.  Apple (thankfully) tries address the headaches and destructive (to the average consumer) fragmentation that has occurred in the Windows world and that might happen (I hope not) with Android.

 

I can't believe this - I don't own an Apple product (probably never will) and have been cursing Apple products since the MacOS days, but I'm praising *some parts of* Apple's philosophy.  I never thought I had it in me. :)

 

post #564 of 637


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post




so you used to use your computer to make music, and now you just sit around alone in the dark playing video games?  +1 for the mac


So F'in funny.

 

Im sticking to mac forever in fear of what happened to SillyHoney.

post #565 of 637

Lol I hate Mac's. Relatively hard to find them when compared to your normal desktop PC. They don't look all that good IMO either. The software costs twice as much as its Windows counterpart. They can hardly be upgraded. Trying to play games on them is a huge hassle. Heck, even trying to find a game that will work on a Mac is an issue. I hate the OS Mac uses. It is boring, dull and there is barely anything to do compared to Windows.

 

It is dead easy to build a computer. I started 2 years ago when I was 14. It is dead simple and researching different components is a whole lot of fun and in the future it is very simple to upgrade again. Heck, why pay $2000 for a Mac when you can build your own PC or even buy an already made one that can actually play games etc.

 

I wouldn't pay anything over $500 for a Mac. The only thing they are useful for imo are playing music and surfing the web. Standard computers can also do that and much, much more...

 

I don't see the point in Mac's. I have tried to, but I just find that they are a pointless waste of time and money.

post #566 of 637
stang, some of us have better things to do than play videogames. I'd rather bill hours or, hell, sit out back with a cold beer and a warm cat than fiddle with framerates and registry errors. Upgrades? Screw that. I find five or six year old machines perfectly adequate. I replace stuff when it breaks, generally. But I haven't had problems with my Macs, not even the old //fx or SE30 I keep around because I like them. Money really isn't much of an issue these days, either. I don't give much of a crap since they're reasonable and - most of all - don't give me any trouble. When you've burned 12-15 hour days in the office and still have a family business to look after, hardware that doesn't need to be dicked with or an OS that needs perpetual patches and reboots is just what you need. Something that works is comforting. Maybe when the obligations, commitments and responsibilites of being an adult start to weigh on you, the point of the Mac will become screamingly, painfully obvious. Until then, have fun spending countless hours researching video cards and playing games. Your life won't be like that forever; enjoy it while you can. Sooner or later, you won't give a crap about performance specs or a couple hundred dollars. You'll be tired, worrying about a bunch of things, planning what you have to do tomorrow, and will just want a machine that simply works.
post #567 of 637

Obviously we have better things to do than play games. But some of us are young.

I think a lot of people don't understand that most people have their first computer, and they can't get anything else, so they make it work. They find any problems, and they fix it. It's whether you get a Mac, or a Windows, or a Linux first that makes us like that platform. And because we made it work out when we had it, we can say that it performs better than another option, because it does in our mind. We've stuck with it so long, that it just feels right to have and use.

 

Apple makes consistantly quality products. It works. And it does a lot of things. It doesn't do them amazingly, but it doesn't do them bad. Ever. There are exceptions. Windows does everything. But it can also do everything wrong.

 

I just enjoy how much more freedom I have to do things with windows. Some people don't need that because they've settled down. I do, because there's a long way to go. Because it can do everything, there's always new things to try. And when it doesn't do it right, hey, everyone loves a bit of problem solving.

post #568 of 637

Stang. Perhaps we just have more productive things to do than playing games.. ;)

But to each their own. I prefer a computer that just works, every single time. Year after year...

post #569 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

stang, some of us have better things to do than play videogames. I'd rather bill hours or, hell, sit out back with a cold beer and a warm cat than fiddle with framerates and registry errors. Upgrades? Screw that. I find five or six year old machines perfectly adequate. I replace stuff when it breaks, generally. But I haven't had problems with my Macs, not even the old //fx or SE30 I keep around because I like them. Money really isn't much of an issue these days, either. I don't give much of a crap since they're reasonable and - most of all - don't give me any trouble. When you've burned 12-15 hour days in the office and still have a family business to look after, hardware that doesn't need to be dicked with or an OS that needs perpetual patches and reboots is just what you need. Something that works is comforting. Maybe when the obligations, commitments and responsibilites of being an adult start to weigh on you, the point of the Mac will become screamingly, painfully obvious. Until then, have fun spending countless hours researching video cards and playing games. Your life won't be like that forever; enjoy it while you can. Sooner or later, you won't give a crap about performance specs or a couple hundred dollars. You'll be tired, worrying about a bunch of things, planning what you have to do tomorrow, and will just want a machine that simply works.


Lol well I rarely game now, but when I do, I want to be able to play any game I please without any performance issues at all. I am on head-fi almost all day (it is school holidays atm), but rarely post. I play video games maybe 5 huors a week, so yes, I am becoming less and less interested in computers. I usually work with my uncle over the holidays, or someone I know from 9-5 for the week. After that, all I want to do is relax, and yes, want everything to run perfectly.

 

Still, I dislike Macs. I like fixing errors, overclocking, upgrading etc. It is all fun, but I do understand later in life I will not have time to do this. Still, I do not see myself buying a Mac. They are damn expensive (I guess this is worldwide, not just in Australia) and if you know what software can run on what etc, a normal PC with Windows installed will do me just fine without hassles. It is not until you start messing around with Windows itself that you get errors. Well, unless you have Vista hahaha. What a load of crap. Windows 7 is so superior. It is like Windows Vista but with Windows XP compatibility and performane (better, even).

 

I used to spend days getting that last mhz overclock on my CPU. Spending hours stress testing, recording temperatures and what not. All fun, but if you do not know what you are doing or have no patience, stay away, far away.

 

"Money really isn't much of an issue these days, either." Heh. Well I guess everyone and their families do have vastly different incomes...This is one reason I build my own computers. I can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Rather than going out to buy a Mac just to be upset it has slow performance (to me), I can easily upgrade my current system, instead of selling off that Mac with a loss of money. As a teenager, I suppose this is normal if you love technology. Barely any teenages I know like Macs.

 

Oh and about sitting back with a cold beer and a warm cat. Legally, I am not allowed to drink  Nor will my cat actually let me have her on my lap. As soon as I pick her up she tries to jump down again. Boy cats are completely different, however...


 


Edited by stang - 7/3/10 at 5:19am
post #570 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

 Until then, have fun spending countless hours researching video cards and playing games. Your life won't be like that forever; enjoy it while you can. Sooner or later, you won't give a crap about performance specs or a couple hundred dollars. You'll be tired, worrying about a bunch of things, planning what you have to do tomorrow, and will just want a machine that simply works.


So I guess we shouldn't worry about headphones, amps, sources, cables, tubes, etc. 

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