Summation

I’ve been busy. I’ll go into it later, OK? For now, a little light reading.

Before we begin, a quote from a Mac-user reviewing Windows XP that sums up something I’ve been trying to express for years:

After a week with a Windows machine I get the feeling that this system is designed by people who know a lot about computers. Macs, on the other hand, seem to be designed by people who know a lot about people.

And another quote from a PC-user reviewing Mac OS X:

Over the years I’ve seen Microsoft’s operating system go from a rather horrid WorkGroups 3.11 to its latest incarnation, Windows XP Media Center. It hasn’t been an easy ride, with the infamous blue screen of death at one point becoming a rather annoying friend. What makes it worse is that after only three hours of using Apple’s latest operating system, 10.3, I started to wonder if I should have made the change years ago.

It’s time to start thinking about it, people. Yes, I mean you. Give it a peek.

17 thoughts on “Summation

  1. Until someone at Apple gets the hint that I and many in the comp/gaming industry have been throwing their way, they simply won’t get a much larger user base.

    There’s a few reasons, but the obvious one is software: Macs don’t have as much access as Windows users, especially in the gaming area. Considering what a cash cow the PC gaming market is, Apple needs to either get more developers on their side, or take my word for it and start an in house gaming company. Microsoft is being evil and buying out good companies like Bungie, so they could do the same, if they really had to.

    To be honest Apple has consistenly acted like Nintendo in the past 10 years. Yes, both have good products and they’re worth a buy, but they don’t have the options or the right perspective to get them out of a niche market and into the #1 position (or even close to it).

  2. “Macs, on the other hand, seem to be designed by people who know a lot about people.”

    Don’t they know that people like products that are slightly cheaper? I want to get a mac. I’ve always wanted a mac. I don’t like PC’s. But when it comes down to actually laying down the cash for a computer, I always cave and by a PC becuase it is usually half the price of the mac and it includes the monitor.

  3. Actually, the belief that Macs are more expensive isn’t really true. If you’re looking at the high-end G5 tower, then yes, Macs are expensive, but that’s because they’re arguably the fastest desktop (for at least some things) on the planet. PCs that are comparably speedy are about the same price, or even more expensive. See the price on Virginia Tech’s “Big Mac” supercomputer for more proof of that.

    But then we get to our budget computers. The eMac and the iBook actually are cheaper than the competition for a similarily stacked machine. When you add in the fact that the PC takes more time and money to maintain and fix after you purchase it, Macs are actually cheaper overall than PCs.

    So… that’s a myth.

    Myth! Myth! (Yeeeth?)

  4. Oh Josh, must you hammer away at my poor, poor soul?

    I’ve been trying to finish the first installment of my youth group’s newsletter, which I’ve been designing in Microsoft Publisher. Yesterday and today I’ve been battling a completely un-explanable crash where the program would just die while I was working on the newsletter. No explanation, no help other than “you might consider restarting your computer.” Restarting didn’t work. Reinstalling didn’t work. Finally I had to switch to Abby’s laptop which must have had a more stable version of Publisher. Let me tell you, designing on a laptop is no fun (I quickly stole the mouse from my desktop to make things easer. Let’s just say plug and play doesn’t work if you can’t get to the plugs–the one flaw in my mini-office set up).

    By the end of the day, the newsletter was printed and looks pretty snazzy. Moral of the story? The irritability of PCs (and Microsoft products) didn’t keep me from my work, but they did make it last a lot longer than it should have.

    If I had my druthers, I’d be typing on a G5 with a flat screen, printing on a brand new laser jet, and toying with InDesign (or Quark), Photoshop, and Illustrator. But until a magic fairy gives me $5,000 (would that even cover it?), I’ll have to keep swearing at my PC.

  5. See, that’s just it. You don’t need $5k to love using your Mac. You only need $799 (or a bit less since you’re my friend and I can hook you up). Macs aren’t just good at the top end. Even our cheapest Mac is better than a Windows box. $799… hear it calling you… 🙂

    Or $1099 if you prefer a sweet little G4 iBook.

  6. Negatorio. As much as I love Apple’s, you have to admit it just isn’t better for mega, or even slight gamers.

  7. No, slight gamers would enjoy it. That’s what I probably am. I enjoy playing once a week, or maybe once every couple weeks sometimes, but if I really want to game I’ll use a console or some other thing. I can usually find the popular stuff on the Mac with a few exceptions, so for a “slight” gamer, I’m not complaining. Only a “mega” gamer, as you put it, would complain that he can’t own a Mac because they don’t have a certain game.

  8. No, Josh, I do need $5,000 to properly love a Mac.

    What would $800 of Mac get me (maybe minus $100 with your discount)?

    An eMac.

    I couldn’t do anything with the eMac unless I spent another grand on the necessary software, or at least another $500 to get me where I’m at with my PC.

    No, $800 of Mac isn’t enough to be worth it to me. And for the sake of fairness, $800 worth of new PC wouldn’t be very helpful either.

    I’ve got professional needs, and that requires professional cash.

    Overall, it seems like there’s a bigger issue than how cheap the Macs can be. The Big Switch requires an even playing field. For most of us, the playing field isn’t even because we have a functional PC. My functional PC is free compared to your $800 eMac. Sure the eMac would be cooler and more stable than my computer, but I have no compelling reason. If you hit my computer with a baseball bat, suddenly we have a compelling reason — and an even field.

    I did go to CompUSA tonight and drool:
    G5 – ~$2,000
    17 in flat screen – ~$700
    Adobe Design Suite – ~$1000
    MS Office – ~$300?
    LaserJet printer/fax – ~$500
    Total: $4500

    Sounds like a small business loan to me. Now if only I had a small business with a profitability plan. 😉

  9. OK, you’re not being fair unless you also admit that you’re only answering for your specific situation, and not for the situation of the general consumer.

    Those prices and extra software bundles don’t apply to most people. Especially the extra $1000 for that Adobe Design Suite. If you got a new PC that did the same stuff, you would be paying the same amount for that software on the PC side.

    The clincher is, “And for the sake of fairness, $800 worth of new PC wouldn’t be very helpful either.” If you’re not in the market for a computer then why in the world would you be in the market for a Mac? You’re not pitting Mac vs. PC in that argument. You’re pitting buy-a-computer vs. not-buy-a-computer. And that’s not what we’re talking about.

    My claim, just to clarify, is that if you’ve got money committed to buying a computer, if… , and you’re not an avid gamer, then your cash is better spent on a Mac. If you’ve got $799 or more, you’ll get more for your money on our side.

    As for upgrading to better PC vs. buying new from Mac, many software vendors will allow you to purchase the “upgrade” pack even if you owned their software on the other platform. So upgrading is upgrading. You’d do it on the PC eventually. The only difficulty is doing it all at once on the Mac.

    It seems to me that the first question you need to answer is, “How much do you really need to get out of your computer?” which then translates into “What’s it worth to you?” That will determine the rest of the answer. At that point, it’s still not a Mac vs. PC question.

  10. Of course I’m answering for my specific situation. I’m a consumer. I buy for me, not the guy down the street.

    Just to clarify, I got into this whole thing because you said I could get a Mac for $800. Sure I could, but it wouldn’t answer any of my problems.

    I’ve already said that Macs are good. I’m freaking drooling over them. But you have to convince each person on their own turf, and that often involves and uneven playing field, which is where I’m at.

  11. And furthermore, I don’t think computer shopping is an in or out type of thing. Being in the market for a computer is usually a sliding scale. One end is more wanting and wishing for something a little better, and the other end is your computer just died and you’re definitely in the market.

    In between is a sliding scale where you slowly become dissatisfied with the computer you have because it’s getting slow, not able to do what you need, etc. As that scale slides, you may think more and more about buying a computer, but it’s a balance between what you have now and the cost of what you could get. At any time along that scale the right deal could tip things.

    Unless something catastrophic happens and your computer just dies, or unless you’re buying a first computer or considering a second computer for a household, I think that’s usually the way it goes. It’s not as simple as computer shopping or not computer shopping.

  12. Kevin,

    Fair enough on the “meet you where you’re at” stuff. That is definitely how sales works, so that’s a realistic view. I was only hoping to clarify that the rest of my readers didn’t need to think that a Mac would cost them $5K. I’ve never spent anywhere near $5K on a Mac. I might spend that at some point, but probably not anytime soon.

    As far as the sliding scale thing works for being in the market, that’s a very interesting point of view. That’s not the way I think of it at all, but I can’t say that your way is invalid or unrealistic. I think it’s just different.

    Personally, when I’m shopping for a computer, I tend to use the calendar more than the market. The computer industry’s rate of innovation is so steady (and quick) that I can actually look at the date I bought my last computer and go ahead two and a half or three years, and know that I’ll be in the market at that point. True, it depends on the funds I’ve got at that point, but when I see that coming up, I just automatically start saving as much as I’m able.

    The computer I have now (an 800 MHz G4 iMac w/ Superdrive) was purchased in February of 2002. I’m coming up on it’s two-year anniversary. It still does me well, but I know that in the summer of 2004 I’m going to enter the market again. I may wait until the spring of 2005, but probably not much later than that unless I can’t come up with the funds.

    Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Steve Jobs publicly said we’d have G5s at 3.0 GHz by late summer 2004. 🙂

  13. Kevin,

    Josh is a computer crazed freaky computer super obsessed person. Even if it’s summer 2004 and the world’s coolest computer ever comes out, he will get a computer when we can affordit, just like you. 🙂

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