Mac vs. PC (Vista, actually)

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

In a comment to my previous post, Katie asked if I knew anything about administrative rights in Windows Vista. Apparently, Vista won’t let her install any hardware or software. Honestly, I’m not surprised.

The short answer, Katie, is that I have no idea. My experience with Vista is going, “ooh, that looks pretty,” which is usually followed by the owner of the computer I’m drooling on explaining why they hate Vista. Even our IT guy at work is frustrated with it (he described the “Security” Get A Mac ad as “accurate”).

I’ve never used Vista and I already don’t like it. Wow, what a great job of marketing Microsoft has done! Actually, the problem isn’t their marketing, it’s their programming (the whole, 7+ versions of Vista is also rather off-putting). Why would I want to buy a product that doesn’t work? I seem to recall that OSX had problems when it first came out as well, but I also recall that those problems didn’t prevent users from installing new hardware and software; at least, not to the degree that Vista seems to.

From what I’ve read online and heard from firsthand users, Vista doesn’t like hardware or software that isn’t Vista-specific. So in other words, all of the hardware and software I currently own may no longer be of any use to me once I upgrade to Vista.

How would that change my life? To be perfectly honest, not a lot, except that I’d have to shell out a bunch of money to upgrade all of my hardware and software to the latest versions. In fact, one of the biggest changes would be that my webcams would probably stop working. Even if the software worked in Vista (which is probably won’t, because it’s so old and is no longer being updated), the hardware is so wildly outdated that Vista drivers don’t (and won’t) exist.

I did just buy a new webcam (a beautiful one that works amazingly well) that’s (supposedly) Vista compatible. So if nothing would change, why not just upgrade? Well, apart from not having enough money for all-new software, I don’t have a computer that can handle running Vista.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If I have to buy all-new hardware, and all new software, why should I bother buying a PC at all?

My first computer was an Apple IIe handed down to me by my grandfather. It didn’t have a hard drive and it used 5.25-inch floppy disks (man, remember those?). My second computer was a refurbished NEC running Windows 95. From then on, all I ever owned were PCs. The primary reason was because I had programs that I had purchased (and *ahem* acquired) that were PC-only, so I kept upgrading to new PCs. If Vista won’t like my old software, why not make the move to Mac? After all, it’s Apple is where I started, and I’ve been wanting a Mac for a long time.

Morah asked if my PC files would be compatible with a Mac. It’s a good question and one that requires consideration. I do, after all, have a ton of files that I created on a PC. The good news is, they’re all readable by Mac computers. Macs run Microsoft Office (and Open Office), Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, iTunes, and all of the other programs I’ve used to create my files. And if the program doesn’t exist for OSX, there’s probably some equivalent program that will open them.

Plus, it isn’t as though I would be tossing out my old PCs straight away. There’s still life in them! After all, I’ll still need some computers to run my webcams (actually, it looks like my Mac could do that too).

So what am I saying here? I’m not saying that I’m going to buy a Mac while I’m in Seattle this weekend (although those sound like famous last words…). What I am saying is that when I’m in the market for a new computer, which I’m not yet, I am going to buy a Mac. I mean, if I have to upgrade all of my hardware and software anyway, why not move to a less complicated operating system as well?

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  1. Tom

    With the next major release of OS X Leopard, Apple will include Boot Camp which lets you run Windows on a Mac, so it looks like you could throw away your PCs or use them as door stops (probably too big) or anchors (probably not good for the environment). There must be some use for old PCs.

  2. I feel so honored that you responded to me by writing a post! Thanks!

    I did figure out how to change the settings so that I could install my driver software. Believe it or not, the HP helpline wasn’t so helpful, so I posed a question on Yahoo! Answers. The first and only answer I got was correct. I just had to do a couple clicks here and there and the problem was fixed. Now, the only thing I am worried about is what future problems are lurking.

    So far, nothing else has really annoyed me about it, but I am sure there will be more to come!!!

  3. Phoenix

    “If I have to buy all-new hardware, and all new software, why should I bother buying a PC at all?”

    Quoted for truth. There are NO compelling reasons to ‘upgrade’ and many MANY reasons not to. My next PC is a MAC.

    “There must be some use for old PCs.”


  4. Tom D

    I’m looking into my crystal bal and I see Thomas opeing up a big box and pulling out nice and shiny white brand new mac!

  5. I keep hearing more and more crap about Vista; our laptop came with a free upgrade, but I’m thinking more and more about just skipping it (and also strongly considering a Mac for my next machine. I mean, seriously, no more viruses!)

  6. Actually, saying that Macs don’t get viruses isn’t exactly true. There are viruses for Macintosh computers, just not very many. Even Apple doesn’t claim that there are zero Mac viruses (they just use clever wording).

    There are, however, significantly fewer viruses for Macs. So that’s nice. -)

  7. Hello, I’m a Mac. And a PC.

    I’ve used PCs for so long that I can’t remember the first time. My dad had an IBM PC XT, and I can remember playing games from Big Blue Disk. I remember watching him use XTreeGold (how many of my…

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