I’m Mac, I’m a PC

Everyone recognizes this as one of the more popular Apple advertising campaigns.  So much in fact Microsoft started their own called I’m a PC.

The advertisements show a cool guy “I’m a Mac” talking about how he can use the built in applications to build a home movie or slide show of his summer vacation.  At the same time the nerdy “I’m a PC” is fumbling around trying to do the same thing on a Windows machine.

I have worked in the computer industry for some 35 years now.  I have used Mainframe computers and dedicated word processors to accomplish the business tasks I needed, before there were personal computers.  I used a CP/M computer (first commercial standards based “personal computer”).  I have been very proficient using DOS and all their applications.  I have networked all types of computers, DOS, Windows, Mac’s.  I have experimented with various Linux machines.  I have used Windows, Macs (OS x and before).  I have two OS x Mac’s available to me at the office, but normally I use my Windows machine.  Yes it is the notebook I can carry home with me, and I have always used a windows machine, but I am not a frustrated geek.  I have generated personal slide shows using the free Picassa application.  I have created home movies on an inexpensive movie application (I waited to find in on sale for under $50.  I have done this without having to do it Apple’s way.

Don’t get me wrong I have always been impressed with the ease of use built into Mac’s.  They make some high quality hardware.  The biggest problem I have always had with Apple is their advertising.  They have build their brand but they seem to build more of a religious ferver for their products.  Mac’s offer a great deal of creative programs out of the box, but they do things the Apple way.  This is not a bad way, but it can be difficult to share your stuff with others unless you do it apple’s way.  Recently I had someone that built an IMovie he wanted to share with someone else.  The Mac way would have been to upload this to a .mac account.  Instead he uploaded it to an FTP site, a 4 gb file on the Internet is not the most responsive.  A Mac user was having difficulty downloading on his machine, so I did it for him.  The Imovie was not in a standard format but a Mac format, it took me and hour or so to find the utility I needed to save it in a standar formato so that I could create the DVD on my Windows machine (the Mac’s I have available can not burn DVD’s).  It probably was not the best use of the Internet to upload and download this large of a file, it probably would have been as quick to burn a DVD and mail it. 

It all comes down to your personal decision on a personal computer.  First decide what you want to do with your computer.  If you are going to be doing the things that a Mac does best, and can afford a Mac you will be happy with your choice, but there are many considerations as well.  You will probably find that a Mac is more expensive, for the same hardware the prices are very comperable, but you can find less expensive Windows configurations than are available on Mac’s.  Apple has selected high end hardware for their machines, some of this would not effect the way a computer operates for the average user.  There is cheap and there is inexpensive.  The cheap hardware available for Windows computers is one of the reason for their reputation for being less reliable.  Some manufactures like Dell and HP get great value with their economy of scale, they purchase large quanties so they get good prices.  Apple useually uses the fastest processor available in their machines, you as the user will always like faster processors, but the slower ones, sometimes just the one’s used in the last Apple modle will work fine for most users.  This can take a hundred dollars or so off the price.  So if I look for a good manufacturer that assembles somthing less the the highest end machine with a litttle slower processor I can shave a few hundred dollars off the price of the computer.

There are some good reasons to purchase a Mac rather than a PC.  There are also some good reasons to choose a PC over a Mac.  Just because you purchase a Mac you are not “Cool” or a “Nerd” if you purchase a PC.

Apple and Microsoft are both in business to make money.  They only make money if your purchase their computer or operating system.  It would be great if all of the computer manufactures worked to give you the best computer for the price, but they all want to get their edge to get you to support their company. 

I would like to encourage you to think about your next computer.  Get the one that will server your purpose.  Realize it is your job to learn how to use your computer and share with others.  If you are going to be using your computer to surf the web and get e-mail, there are many machines that will give you good service.  For surfing the web and getting yoru email you may find that a Linux machine can give you even better value.  Now you are not a Mac or a PC.  Linux has it’s own frustrations but It works for email websurfing connecting to the Internet and most of the normal stuff, but remember your Mac or PC fiends may not be able to help you figuere things out.


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