In the first part of this series, I told you how I came from the PC world to the Mac world. In the second part I told you about the “gotchas” that are part of the process. This week I want to tell you about why it’s all worth it.
Aside from the very obvious design factors that Apple brings to the table, why would I want to pay more for a computer from Apple than I would for one that runs Windows? There are a number of answers to that question, but I’ll start with security.
You KNOW that you have to run anti-virus software on your PC don’t you? And you know that you have to keep it updated daily, don’t you? And you know that if you fail to do that basic preventative care that you WILL get an infection don’t you?
I don’t have to do that with the Mac. I do run antivirus on the PC portion of my Mac, but I run the free program AntiVir. I don’t need expensive AV products on that virtual PC because I ONLY use it for WinForms and MLS access. Every thing else is done on the Mac side of the fence. Some people say that it’s only a matter of time before virus writers learn how (or take enough interest in doing so) to write Mac specific viruses. I don’t really agree with that thinking as I believe that the UNIX operating system that OSX is built on is inherently a safer system to run.
The Macs also have Time Machine built in. Time Machine allows me to connect an external USB hard drive to my Mac and it will create a backup of my hard drive and then every time ANYTHING changes on my computer, it adds the change to the backup. It keeps the backups in a format that allows me to find anything I want going back as far as the capacity of the drive will allow. And it does so in the typical easy to figure out and use Mac interface.
Speaking of the Interface, it is truly easy to use. Apple has a very complete and nice series of videos on it’s website that you can look at when you need to learn something new. Most everything is intuitive and I haven’t been stymied for long when trying to figure out something new.
It comes with some pretty amazing software that handles my email, web browsing, contacts and calendar items. Of course iTunes and the whole iPod (and iPhone) experience on a Mac is so much better than on the PC side of the world.
I purchased Microsoft Office for the Mac so I could get Entourage, which is the Apple equivalent of Outlook. Guess what? It’s better than Outlook! I use it to connect with my company Exchange server. All of my company email, contacts and calendar items seamlessly sync with Exchange. The interface is easier to use than the one that Outlook provides.
I also purchased iWork 09 which gives me Pages, Numbers and Keynote, the Apple equivalent of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Although Word and Excel are more powerful than Pages and Numbers, Keynote beats PowerPoint hands down in terms of what it can do and the ease of doing it. I paid $129.00 for it and that allows me to install it on all three Macs. Try that with MS Office for Windows.
I believe that the agent of the future is going to have to learn to communicate using video and audio in ways that we don’t use today. Video and audio emails are so much easier to accomplish using the Mac than they were on my Windows PC. The hardware and software on the Mac is designed to work with each other and it shows in the ease of use. Said differently, it just works, every time.
Putting together multi-media presentations can be described as fun when done on a Mac as compared to doing the same thing on a PC. I often work in Keynote, save the completed presentation as a movie, drop it into iMovie, create a soundtrack in GarageBand, take the sound track and drop it into iMovie with the Keynote file and create a movie with sound and graphics that can be uploaded to a video sharing site on the Internet or emailed to clients. All done by dragging and dropping…
Finally, there is less clutter on my desk. The iMac is fully self contained. There is a power cord, an Internet cord, a keyboard cord and the cord to my external backup drive. Everything else is built into the iMac. No more separate display and big clunky box.
So, for all of those reasons, this is one PC guy who is now a Mac guy. How about you? What are you running? Mac or PC? And why? Let’s hear from you.