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  1. #1
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Computer Dilemma: Advice?
    I've been stalling on buying a new desktop because what I REALLY want is a mac...but I have a PC right now and all the accessories and stuff that goes with it. Not only is the Mac more expensive, but I would need to buy some other components and stuff to make everything mac compatible. But, i'd be able to say bye bye once and for all to Windows. What should I do???

  2. #2
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    The price of PCs is way down now, so it's a good time to buy. A good choice might be to buy a new PC and run Linux instead of Windows (cheaper without Windows), or double boot using both. I'd do the latter, because there are some less than stellar reviews of Vista so having a new XP machine is a decent idea until Vista issues are solved down the line.

    To test drive a Linux distro without making any changes to your system, you can check out www.damnsmalllinux.org

  3. #3
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Linux seems way to complicated for me. Half the reason I want a Mac is simplicity. I use the same 10 or so applications every day - and Macs just seem so easy and friendly. But, I'm just not sure if I want to shell out the $$$. I can get a darn good HP desktop for half the price (or cheaper) than a comprable mac

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    I have been pondering the macs too. Actually there are times when I'd like to run all three. The macs are very easy on the eyes, and it appears to be a pretty stable OS. In addition a Mac right now is the only thing that has decent emulators for the other two. So if you did have the bling it would make sense to get a mac and get the parallels or VMware (beta) emulator for it. Then you could run any of the three. But like you said Macs and accessories are not cheap.

    But in your case I'd look on ebay and find a great deal on a customer built machine . You can easily have a great machine for under $700. Make sure it does XP and Vista.

    Rant:
    Personally I'd get a machine that has a 'Vista Upgrade' sticker on it and stick with XP for the time being. Then plan to dual boot to Vista later. The one day you can completely live on Vista. Personally - I would not bother with a Linux desktop unless there is very little software in Windows you use and your life is all web based. Despite the hype out there there is NOT a linux replacement for just about every windows application. Trust me - been there over and over and tried it. It is not going to happen any time soon.
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  5. #5
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    well for me, i have the $ to spend on a Mac...but i always appreciate value. like, i drive a Toyota not a Land Rover for those reasons. it kills me to pay double for something unless it is worth it. so i guess that is the question...is a Mac worth double a PC?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Ahhh. Now we are getting into subjective questions that have no right or wrong answer.

    Where does worth lie for you? Visual appeal? Coolness? Productivity?

    What are the 10 applications that you use every day ? In my case one of the applications I use is Quickbooks online. It requires ActiveX, which means it requires IE. So no matter what I pick I have to be able to run IE or an emulator that can run Windows so I can run IE.

    Do you have a mac store nearby that you can go and use one at ? Or do you have a friend whose mac you can go over and user ? When working with these people make sure you can filter our their Apple crap and hype. I was in a coffee shop the other day and it just so happens that three laptop users there all had macs. I said "Wow - look at all of the macs" one guys response "get used to it". O...K.... conversation killer right there for me.

    In the end it is a tool. And ALL of the tools will work.
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  7. #7
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick24601
    In my case one of the applications I use is Quickbooks online. It requires ActiveX, which means it requires IE. So no matter what I pick I have to be able to run IE or an emulator that can run Windows so I can run IE.
    i use quickbooks online too, and totally forgot about the IE consideration! does quickbooks online work in safari or another mac browser? and...when will Quicken get their act together and make quickbooks online work in firefox??

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Mac vs. PC
    Quote Originally Posted by Zdig
    is a Mac worth double a PC?
    This is an endless debate and you'll get opinions on both sides of the table, but here is some hopefully unbiased information to help.

    The first question to ask yourself is what will you use it for and can the Mac run all of the software you need? These days, there are many Windows-only apps, which is sad.

    One of the primary reasons for the higher price tag is the fact that Apple develops both the software *and* the hardware, so it's guaranteed compatibility. A PC may have 10 different components from 10 different vendors and 'sorta' works because drivers have to be written for each one and how they all interact with each other is not ideal. Interoperability on the Mac will be seemless, and hence, performance will be better.

    Also, since OSX the Mac operating system has been based on BSD, which in a nutshell is Unix, one of the (if not *the*) most stable operating system in existence. This is somewhat arguable, but the data to support this claim is out there.

    So, the short answer is stability and reliability are much higher with a Mac, which is part of what you're paying a premium price for.

    FWIW, I do not own a Mac and never have. I have been using Dell exclusively for years (low cost, descent reliability) although I do have an old box that I run FreeBSD (Unix) on as a file server and testing fun.

    A little long-winded, but hopefully helpful...

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    I am sure that request for QB online to work in other browser is ongoing. Because of ACtiveX they can do some very neat things so I cannot say I blame them.

    What else do you run? Seems to me like a Windows Compatible machine is your best move. Now... which one?
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  10. #10
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    thanks everyone for the great info!

    off the top of my head i'm not sure what programs i *need* to have - and which are disposable. i guess i'll run down my list of programs and see what would work with a mac - and what wouldn't. my hunch is that even if i love something in windows - there is probably a mac replacement. still, i lean towards the PC mainly due to the cost.

    some other questions i have (which i think are all NO?)...

    would any of my: laser printer, scanner, wireless router, external hard drive, monitor, speakers, etc.. work on a mac?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Yes = I am 90% sure

    laser printer = Yes
    scanner = if USB probably yes
    wireless router = yes 100%
    external hard drive = if USB yes
    monitor = 90% no
    speakers = 100% yes
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  12. #12
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick24601
    Yes = I am 90% sure

    laser printer = Yes
    scanner = if USB probably yes
    wireless router = yes 100%
    external hard drive = if USB yes
    monitor = 90% no
    speakers = 100% yes
    thats encouraging

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Macs are worth the money. The value is there.

    You pay for reliability. My last mac I had for 4 years. The only time I needed a repair was when I dropped it (damn!) and broke the screen. I only had to call tech support maybe 3 times in those four years.

    All the new macs have Intel chips. That means they can dual boot windows. If you already own a copy of windows, its like having two PC's in one. Get all the programs you can on the mac side, and for that one thing you can't get, boot into windows. (as a web designer I use this to check site compatibility on IE 6 and 7)

    All your periferals should work, no problem. Go to the manufacturer's website if you have any doubts.

    Plus, macs really aren't that more expensive than a comparably loaded PC! Mac Minis start at $500 (you have to have your own keyboard and monitor, but you seem to have those already). Check out these articles: http://www.macworld.com/2006/08/feat...rice/index.php

    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/edit...nges/index.php

    http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/02...son2/index.php

    The same computer for maybe even less money?

    All I can say is I switched 5 years ago and I'd NEVER EVER go back.
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Mindsprinter - So do macs have two CPUs?
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  15. #15
    Full Member southbeachannie's Avatar
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    I LOVE my mac!! It is far more reliable and sturdy than any PC in my life so far. The extra money is definitely worth it. Just not dealing with all the security issues from PCs makes it a pleasure for everyday use.



    Good luck,
    Ana
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  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Well, no, not really. They do use the Intel Core 2 Duo, so you have 2 CPU cores, but that's not the issue.

    Previously (read: last year), macs used the PowerPC CPU and PC's used Intel CPU's. Windows and Mac OS X (the two operating systems) can theoretically be run on any type of CPU, but until this year, Windows was written solely for Intel (and AMD) chips and OS X was written for PowerPC.

    Mac switched to Intel chips last year and re-wrote OS X so it could work on the new chips. So, a mac (or a PC) could theoretically run both operating systems now.

    After about 3 months, Apple came out with an official way to run Windows on a Mac. It's called bootcamp. http://www.apple.com/bootcamp/

    With this solution, if you already own windows (which it seems you do), you can install both. When you start up the machine, you can choose whether you'd like to boot into windows or OS X. When you boot into windows its like you have a PC! With all the problems that go along with that, but it is just the same.

    There are also a couple other more interesting solutions for using windows on a mac that have popped up. Programs like Parallells (http://www.parallels.com/) allow you to boot windows into a window on your Mac, so you can have two operating systems running at once! Windows doesn't run quite as fast as it would under bootcamp, but its close.

    Another program called CrossOver (still in beta) allows you to run windows programs without actually booting the windows operating system. I've tried this solution and it is slow and buggy, but hopefully it will be getting better soon. (http://www.codeweavers.com/products/)

    So, you have lots of solutions for running windows on a mac. It is still one PC, one Intel chip, just two different operating systems can run on it!

    Now, you might ask why can't OS X run on a PC? It has to do with the differences between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft allows their software to run on any machine (Dells, Gateways, IBM's, etc...). Apple only allows OS X to run on Macs. They want to sell more machinges (obviously), but they have also written OS X to work specifically with the hardware they manufacture. This tight integration of hardware and operating system makes them much less prone to problems and tech support issues, so I think it's a good thing.

    So, while it is possible to run OS X on a PC (and there may be some hacker ways to do it), it isn't supported by Apple in any way, so it is most likely buggy and not very stable.

    Hope this answers some questions. MacWorld is a great place to go for advice. Search for bootcamp or virtualization to find out about running windows on macs. (http://www.macworld.com)
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  17. #17
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    i don't think you can argue a mac is the same price or cheaper than a PC of similar speed/etc... but it is like comparing apples and oranges i guess.

    thanks everyone for the feedback...i think it is just time for me to chew on the idea for a little while longer before i pull the trigger. i'm in no rush really

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Jason,

    This is great information. Thank you very much for sharing this with us. I am actually heading to the mall today (new clothes for the conference) and there is an apple store there. I'll see if they can demo this for me.

    P
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    No problem for the info. I'd be surprised if they could demo bootcamp, but you may get lucky!
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    I did got to the Apple store and they had one machine with Parallels. The salesman was not very familiar with it so he started it up and let me go. I get the feeling they are like that in the Mac store.

    Anyways... I fired up IE and tried out QB Online. Works great. Very nice.

    Problem is I would not be satisfied with anything less than the 2499 machine with the 2000+ monitor. So if I ever get one they are going to be a happy camper.
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I know how you feel...those monitors are absolutely beautiful!

    I always think about buying one when I see them...but then I realize dell monitors are just as good for half the price...
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  22. #22
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    i swung by best buy tonight and took a peek at some hp, gateway, etc.. PCs they had on display- plus take a few "test drives". next stop...apple store

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