Someone once asked me why I choose to use a Mac.
I was proud, pleased, and prepared to tell them why. As one Mac addict once said 'Nowhere will you find someone as happy with their purchase as the owner of a Mac'.
Below are some excerpts from an email discussion I had with a friend of mine (back in April of 2002). He was contemplating the purchase of a new home computer, and asked for some advice. He knew I was a Mac user. I make a habit of pointing that out to many of my Windows/PC using friends. Rob (Another Mac using friend) and I sent him some email explaining why we thought the Mac was a better choice for a home computer.
Here is one of the messages that I sent him (on April 12th, 2002)
You've asked Rob and I for our opinions regarding what type of computer to own for home use. Both Rob and I have used PC's and Mac's. Both of us prefer Mac's over PC's. As a matter of fact; I know of no one who has ever switched from Mac to PC. I do know a bunch of folks who have gone the other way. Switching from PC to Mac.
Through my job, I've used many different types of computers and operating systems. Everything from your Basic PC running DOS, to Cray supercomputers running a specialized VMS operating system. For my home use, I will always choose Mac. It's much easier to use, and less work to maintain. Like you said, If computers were cars, I shouldn't need to be a mechanic to drive the damn thing. With my G4 I've found that all the problems I've ever had were due to my own mistakes; and stupid mistakes at that. Like the time I inadvertently reformated my hard drive. Perhaps you remember that?
Anyway, the newest Mac OS: OS X (Pronounced 'Oh Es ten'). Is an amazing advance for Mac. It's got the elegant and easy to use front end that Mac users have become accustomed to, and it's got something new. Something that growls and shudders when you lift the hood. The Mac OS is now built on a Unix base. That's right, Mac OS X is based on Unix. An incredibly powerful operating system that I've been using (in one form or another) since 1986.
Unix is the operating system I grew up with. In my line of work, it's Unix that gets the tough stuff done. It's a very powerful, cross platform power house with limitless potential.
The new Mac OS has successfully merged the classic point and click Mac OS with the power house capabilities of Unix. I find that I almost never need to reboot my machine now that I'm running OS X.
The newest Mac OS has even outdistanced the traditional Mac operating systems when it comes to software. I've been watching the situation closely, and have seen the amount of software available for OS X surpass the classic Mac OS's by leaps and bounds.
The Unix foundation has created a software foundation that is stable, cross platform portable, developer friendly and familiar. It's a whole new era for the Mac.
The Mac desktop remains point and click friendly, bright and cheery, and problem free.
Mac's are (for the most part) intuitively easy to own and operate. Compared to a PC they are childishly simple to use. Now don't get me wrong, you can always open the hood, where you'll find a Unix base which you can work like a mechanic.
Switching to a Mac may be a bit more expensive, but the benefits pay for themselves many times over.
On my Mac I'm able to run the following Operating Systems.
Mac OS 9 - The Classic Mac operating system.
Windows 98SE - So I can run two specific pieces of software.
Mac OS X - The newest addition to something that just keeps getting better.
Unix X11 - A basic Unix desktop/window manager.
As a matter of fact, with OS X I can run three operating systems simultaneously; OS X, OS 9 (In Classic mode), and Unix X11. I have done this many times, and almost never encounter system errors.
A while back, I bought a copy of Virtual PC so that I could run Windows 98 on my Mac. I can run Windows 98 compatible software on my Mac whenever I want. The main reason I bought the VPC software was so I could run two pieces of software for D&D. Campaign Cartographer and Dungeon Designer. Specialized CAD software made just for D&D. I don't use the software very often. Nowhere near as often as I thought I would. Just don't have the time. One thing I did notice though. The Windows 98 emulation on my Mac crashed less often than any of the PC's running Windows 98 at work.
If you find that you really can't live without the PC, you can always buy a copy of Virtual PC for your Mac. They make it in a bunch of different flavors. (W98, W2K, WME, WXP, etc..)
You can pick up a used/refurbished Mac for very little, or you can get one of the newer models; a G4 or iMac, for a little more. If you want to run OS X, you'll need one of the newer Mac's. Personally, if I were to buy a new Mac, I'd probably go for one of the new iMac's. The 1Ghz* model with the round base and the 17" flat screen display.
*I hope you're not confused by the Mhz myth. Motorola's 800Mhz PowerPC chip is actually faster than Intel's 1.5Ghz chip. If you do a little research on the subject you'll see what I mean. Just do a Google.com search on 'the mhz myth'.
(If you do decide to turn Mac, Rob and I have got your back. If you ever have any questions regarding Mac hardware or software just let us know. I'm sure one of us will be able to help you.)
Once you turn Mac you never turn back!
Update: January, 2020:
Apple (and the macOS) isn't perfect, and they've made plenty of mistakes, but overall I still consider them/the macOS to be superior for home use. The hardware performs better and lasts longer (for the price), the operating system needs less 'maintenance', it's more intuitive, doesn't get in the way as frequently, and makes your experience less burdensome. Yes it costs more (the hardware - the OS is free), so if price trumps all other considerations, you should simply opt for cheaper hardware. I'm sure that you can find a cheap/inexpensive PC which will run a version of the latest Windows OS regardless of other considerations.
Links to some comparison articles:
If you're contemplating a switch from Windows/PC's to an Apple/Mac or your simply interested in the differences between Apple/Mac's and Windows/PC's, I'm sure you that you can find plenty of comparisons on the web. Some are biased, some are not. Some are in depth, some are general overviews. I urge you to evaluate the available material, and make an informed choice. In my opinion, Mac's are better machines in nearly every category of comparison (note: better doesn't mean cheaper), and the Mac Operating System creates a superior user performance for the home user. I'm sure you'll find, in the end, that the Mac is the best choice for your dollar.
Disclaimer: I own a Mac, not a gun. If you don't agree with my point of view, you're free to form your own opinion. Just don't hold it to my head, or force it down my throat. You chose to read my Mac evangelism article. If you've got a problem with what I wrote, too bad. Write your own rebuttal, and post it to your web site. Don't bother emailing me with any flame bait.
Author: Robert L. Vaessen e-mail:
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