Product Type: Apple in Misc Systems
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Doo yourself a favour and GET A MAC !
Member Name: chris105
Date: 08/02/01, updated on 08/02/01 (132 review reads)
Advantages: user-friendly, simplicity itself, power, fun to use
Disadvantages: sometimes crashes
If you want a hassle-free, no-nonsense computer experience, and if you're not aiming to break all dooyoo records by becoming an expert on jargon and acronyms, then do yourself a favour and get a Mac. Because let's face it, beyond chips and MHz and bus speeds and what-not, the beauty of a Macintosh computer lies in its uncanny simplicity, in its ease of use. Open a Windows folder, especially one of the "system" folders, and unless you've wasted a decent amount of time figuring out all the arcana of the software, you'll be swamped in nonsensical names, with filenames like 003254XFR.inf. Not so with a Mac. All files (alright, alright, MOST files) have comprehensible names, and are actually actionable, that is one can double-click on them and actually have a response, not some hieroglyphic masking as an error message.
Now please don't get me wrong, this opinion is not intended to be an anti-Windows tirade, and believe me Macs have their own fair share of infuriating quirks (crashes DO happen, perhaps too often for my liking). However, I sincerely believe, after eleven years of using Macs for work, that the genius of a Mac lies in hiding the complexity of computing behind a user-friendly facade without thereby compromising the power of the machine.
Of course, a large part of this user-friendliness is directly attributable to the MacOS - the operating system at the heart of the Macintosh ethos. This might be underestimated nowadays, in the age of Windows Millennium with a seemingly similar interface. (Please note use of word "seemingly" - I firmly believe that Windows merely *seems* identical to MacOS, it is in fact quite different.) However when the first Macintosh computer was launched in the late eighties, a GUI (graphical user interface, where the operating system consists of icons and folders instead of the dreaded C:> ) was a novelty. No longer did we have to memorise complex computer language terms and unend
ing strings merely to open a file or list a subdirectory! The very absence of a DOS text-entry screen led a few to dismiss the newly-born Mac as a lightweight, a computer for simpletons. But the idea was revolutionary, so much so that half a decade later Microsoft shamelessly lifted this interface lock, stock and barrel, tweaked it ever so slightly and created a primitive version of the MacOS which it called Windows. [Never mind that the Mac GUI was in turn copied from a Xerox system... but that's another story, and another op!]
Alright now, I've done my fair share of Windows-bashing, as any self-respecting Mac user feels duty-bound to do. May I proceed? Don't worry, there's more than just interface-wars coming...
Although as I said I've been using Macs for ages, I'm no expert on the inner workings of computers. However it is clear from concurrent use of Macs and PCs that, even beyond the software, a Macintosh has the added guarantee of coming from a reputable company with a flair for creating solid, trendy and heavy-duty computers. It runs the most complex of software and is the de-facto standard in the design and publishing industries.
The argument is oft heard that Macs are not compatible with PCs and, being a minority, that this is a major drawback to adopting Macintosh systems. Well, to this I can say only that if you think compatibility is a problem now, you should have been around eleven years ago when Macs were literally a niche market, when cross-platform compatibility had something to do with train tickets... Mac software beyond desktop publishing was near to inexistent, and nothing beyond plain text files could be imported/exported to PCs. Nowadays, with platform-independent internet, HTML and PDF files, and with most major programs having Mac and Windows counterparts enabled to read each other's files, compatibility problems are on the verge of going the way of the dodo. I get lots of files from clie
nts and colleagues working on PCs, and I rarely encounter conversion problems of sorts.
Oh my, I'm re-reading the above and I realise I'm coming across sounding like a Macintosh publicity leaflet... enough then. Apple does NOT have me on its payroll (of course, I AM open to bribes, if any high-flying Apple executive happens to read this and wants to send me complementary Mac kit, please contact me via the commentary section). I've probably earned the ire of the majority of dooyooers, but please accept my good faith. The most I can say is, get your hands on a Mac, try it out and never look back.