Digital Decisions #2

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Blog entry by wichle posted 02-21-2011 03:09 AM 1549 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To begin I have to thank all who read and commented on my questions about buying an apple or another PC. I need to fill you in. We have five PC’s in this family, four in this house and one at our condo. My primary workhorse is a Dell M90 laptop. The hard drive is small, the processor is slow by today’s standards, and when upgraded to Windows 7 some of my older software doesn’t work. I also had to chase down some drivers for some of the attached hardware. I do use it away from home and the battery time is on the short side. (I do carry an extra battery) So time to shop!

Lots of changes in the past 4 plus years! If I list out the features and specs of my M90 and shop for a near equivalent machine within both the apple and PC models now available, the results are most interesting. First, for those who believe there is a phenomenal difference in price between a full featured pc and an iMac pro that is a myth. Including a service plan, 2yrs Dell and 3 years Apple, the cost difference is under $100.00. The tempting low PC prices seem to barely include an on/off switch. Once you select a PC you find that you have to buy the software to fit your needs. Some can be moved from your old machine, some might need some sort of upgrade and some needs to be replaced. 5 years is a long time in the world of PC software.

So, I compared the apple imac pro to the M90. The screen size is a bit smaller, the machine is fast and it comes loaded with software. Admittedly some software I will never use. If I can break my addiction to Microsoft Office, I will only add about $110 worth of software to an apple. The battery technology is technically awesome. Apple has to change the battery when it dies but that is expected beyond 5 years out. Operating time on a full charge is 8 to 9 hours. My PC is good for 2 hours and I have now replaced the battery twice in 5 years.
Currently you end up with a free HP printer in the package.

Yes sitting down at the Apple Store is a pre requisite to a decision. I spent an hour in there on Friday working some of the searches I do, connecting to remote sites and systems I have to support and checking out general configurations of the imac that would support my needs. You bet! The functionality is indeed different but having lived through all the Microsoft iterations from 3.1 to Windows 7, I think I can work it out. (I started out with a Radio Shack Model III and it took me a week to figure out the word processor. I ended up more than paying for that machine selling what I wrote)
Being very conservative, I haven’t made a decision yet. I’ll go back and talk some more, exercise the floor models again and then . . .! I do see that if you are a so called power user, there is little difference in price. If you are afraid of changing your habits, stay with what works. If you have time and inclination to learn, the decision gets a little harder.

My apologies for not posting this sooner, we had to deal with my lovely manager (wife) breaking an arm and surviving some rotten weather. Look forward to Chapter 3 shortly.

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

6 comments so far

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4171 days

#1 posted 02-21-2011 03:43 AM

Ok try this take a nine or ten year old and put them on the pc then the apple. Give them one hour and see what kind of production they can get out of either one.
A child mind works simply. If we can get out of the forced conditioning that we have had forced on us. The simpler of the two should work faster and produce more.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View greg48's profile


635 posts in 4089 days

#2 posted 02-21-2011 06:43 AM

I see you have been doing your due diligence. I’ve been a PC guy ever since my first TRS 80 (that’s spelled d-i-n-o-s-a-u-r for you younger folks). Last year I took a leap of faith and put down a wad on an I-Mac, even purchased some Parallel software to convert part of the processor to MS mode to get me through the transition. I had difficulty installing the Parallel software and found myself with no crutch to lean on. With great fear and trepidation, I shoved off to deeper water or as some of my friends called it the DARK waters. In short, take the leap to the dark side, the water is fine here in Apple land.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5431 days

#3 posted 02-21-2011 01:31 PM

The last time I used a computer was in the 80’s.

Fast-forward to just a few years ago. I needed a computer and so I did my research and bought a 13” MacBook because I was traveling quite a bit. (Not long after getting on the internet I became a member of LJ.)

I have seen many of my friends go through 2 computers while I still have my Mac.

Occasionally client’s come to the shop and we go over a SketchUp file and look at products on the internet. They always comment on how fast my computer is and wonder about the WiFi. I use an Apple Airport Extreme which is stationed in the house (separate from the shop) about 60ft away.

I was recently going over some HD video on a friend’s Dell computer and it would not play it smoothly on his computer but it would on my MacBook. I do not know which model he has but it is a desktop less than a year old and he had just been bragging about how fast it was while my MacBook is over 4 yrs old.

I am certainly partial to Mac as you can tell, but if work dictates you stay on PC’s…well… then we shall mourn for you;)

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 4437 days

#4 posted 02-21-2011 09:33 PM

I am a recent Mac convert. Working as a Software Engineer, I was a PC guy for 20 years before getting my first Mac Book. I managed to get on with PCs because I am computer savvy, but I often wonder, during the many times a week that I need to hit my wife’s windows machine over the head, how a less than computer savvy person gets on with a PC.

Defecting over to the Mac side is also related to my woodworking. I was fighting for over a month to get my first video edited on a PC using half a dozen different programs, and found multitudinous impediments and incompatibilities with video drivers and audio drivers, yadda, yadda, yadda, and I was able to crash all the programs, not intentionally, but as a mere matter of learning how to edit video for the first time. All the while, there were the lingering whispers in my ear of all the Mac users I has spoken to: “Just get a Mac”. In fact, it got to a point where Todd C. would no longer listen to my complaints about my video editing woes until I “Just get a Mac”. LOL

I finally broke down, swallowed the horse pill that was the price of a Mac Book. I edited my second woodworking video without a hitch, not on some expensive additional software that I had to purchase, but with the stock iMovie that comes pre-installed. This is not to say that I have had zero issues with Macs. I have been able to find issues, like the fact that iMovie starts to get unhappy when the video being edited gets over 20 minute long, or that it is unhappy when the number of voiceovers exceed over 100 or so, but the problems generally pale in comparison, especially in frequency. (Not just with iMovie, but all around)

More recently, I was faced with getting laptops for my two school age boys. The idea of spending so much on a computer for kids gave me indigestion at first, but then I realized that I am the IT guy for my family, and that this could end up being a major support issue for me. After all, I am already on the brink of defenestrating my wife’s Windows laptop, and to multiply that frustration times three would give me ulcers. The decision between indigestion and ulcers was easy. So far so good. The worst issue so far was “Dad, how do I get iTunes to download the album artwork”. By the end of the first day with it, my 7 year-old had figured out how to make a short video, including background music and voiceovers.

Do you speak UNIX? This is not an issue for most users of computers, but if you are a power user or programmer it is. Macs are essentially UNIX under the hood, so this offers people like me even more value added. I run Liinux servers for several reasons, and the three macs play very nicely, right out of the box, with the servers.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5431 days

#5 posted 02-22-2011 02:56 AM

...Get a Mac, Don’t Look Back, Get a Mac, Don’t Look Back, Get a Mac….

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4171 days

#6 posted 02-22-2011 03:47 AM

Sing it brother sing it. Once you mac you don’t go back. Power to the people

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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