View Full Version : OT - MAC or PC?

Sue Madelin
07-16-2007, 02:14 PM
Off Topic question for you -

Does anyone know much about the difference between PCs and MACs?

The reason I'm asking is that my PC is starting to play up a bit and I'm thinking of replacing it - possibly with a MAC.

I run a website from home and I'm using Frontpage to update and edit it remotely to where it is hosted. I'm not very technical actually and the manufacturer of my product has just redesigned my site for me and taken over the hosting of it - all I need to do is use Frontpage to make any edits etc.

So my question is - can I still use Frontpage with a MAC? I haven't got the time to undertake a massive learning initiative to get used to the MAC way of life right now - and the most important thing is I need to be able to easily update my site! - so I'm wondering if I'd be better off sticking with a (hopefully more powerful version of a) PC or trying out the MAC - which seems to have greater processing power.

The problems I'm running up against at the moment is that applications can be very slow to load and run - and it has even hung on start up a couple of times recently - which totally terrifies me! If I can't get onto my computer then my business will totally fall apart!

Any advice??


07-16-2007, 02:24 PM
First thing -- Back up everything you need for your website!!! Next, have you done a defrag of your disk? What that does is rearrange the data so files are all in one piece. Whenever you write or save something to disk, the computer puts the pieces of it in whatever available spaces in fragmented pieces across the disk which slows down access time.

I've used Macs and they weren't too hard to get used to, but if you're used to PCs, I'd stick with them unless you want to use a lot of graphics programs. I've never used Front page so I don't know if there's a Mac version.

07-16-2007, 02:33 PM
Macs and Pcs are both good computer choices. You have to remember that, it's not a black and white issue. So, before the flamewar starts, I'm putting up some fireproofing.

There are Pros and Cons for every computer, because not every computer fits every type of situation. I have used both Macs and PCs heavily in the past, and enjoyed both experiences.

First off:

Yes, Frontpage is available on the current Macs. So that should not be a major deciding factor. There are a tons of web site building software out there as well, so don't be concerned.

Second off:

Your business. What kind of software are you using to run it. QuickBooks, just some Word stuff, what? That's VERY important to know to help you choose. If it's a full business software thing like QuickBooks, check to see if it is available on the Mac first. You're going to want to keep the software if you know it very well.

Third off:

How much are you looking to spend? I know this does write into cliche, but you can buy some PCs cheaper than Macs. They might not have as good as service or reliability, but it is an option. As you don't sound overly technically experienced (no offense), I'm not going to suggest you build your own computer.

Fourth off:

Before you run out and buy a new computer, what's wrong with your current one? I know the computer I use at work (it manages the entire business), is an old 512MB RAM, Pentium D thing. It can't run anything advanced, but it can run the entire business. Have you put a firewall on your computer, an anti-virus, and a spam sweeper? Have you kept the system clean? To be honest, the problems you say you are having sound like you need to clean your system and de-frag it. That ALWAYS improves a systems performance by a huge margin.

Fifth off:

What operating system have you been using? Because, to be honest, this the biggest thing. There ARE operating system differences between a Mac and a PC. And it takes about a week to switch between the two and get used to them. Personally, I like Linux more than both combined, but you aren't going to want Linux. If you have been using Windows XP in the past, I would suggest ordering a new PC without any operating software, and just using your old copy. It's a LOT cheaper that way, and you can do that with Dells.

I would advise AGAINST getting Vista at this point simply because it is too new. It's bugs haven't been worked out yet, and, while it is shiny, it basically does everything a Mac can do, but with a lot more issues.

If you want a Mac, go down to the Mac store. Ask an employee about what kind of computer you need, test it out on the store floor, ask about software, costs, and anything else that concerns you. They can usually answer anything and everything you need to know, and more.

I hope that helped.

07-16-2007, 02:38 PM
I looked up Frontpage, and it seems like it does work on Mac OS. Don't know if you would have to buy/update/download the mac version though.

One thing that should be considered is the cost. From what I have seen, Macs are much more expensive than a comparable, if not better PC. And since it seems like you really don't need all that much from your computer, you'd probably be better off getting a cheap PC. It all depends on what you need, since with PCs it's not all locked in, so like, if you don't need very much harddrive space, but needs loads of RAM, you can just get more RAM. or visa versa.

I do believe that with a Mac, you're kind of stuck into the computer as is, and if you want to upgrade to something better, whilst keeping the same computer, you...can't. Unless they've changed their habits.

07-16-2007, 02:57 PM
If you buy a Mac, it'll be pretty and cute and you can get one in almost any color, but if you want to upgrade your hard drive or anything else, you have to buy a whole new computer. THAT is the major turn off for me. I build and upgrade my own computers so even though I think Mac's are way prettier, but looks aren't everything. :)

What you should be doing RIGHT NOW before you do anything else is backing up all of your important files. And back them up regularly. (I do a backup every 4 months or so, sometimes more often if it's been busy.) Anyone who's business is done on a computer should never have to worry that they'll lose everything if their computers die. Computers will die eventually, therefore you MUST back up files.

07-16-2007, 03:12 PM
You can upgrade a Mac. They did come out with Macs that are run off a new system so you can run windows if you want to on a Mac, so yes, it would not be really feasible to take my Mac Powerbook which was before the switch and upgrade it in accordance with their new machines, but you could upgrade if you have them do it.

You can upgrade the hard drive, but not the processor I believe.

I've been a Mac user by choice all of my semi adult life and I love mine. I covet the newer ones as well. They are very nice. My little brother and sister have the new MacBooks, the black and the white respectfully, and they are gorgeous machines that run incredibly well.

One incredible plus to a Mac is no viruses. Funny how the people listing the cons of a Mac never mention that plus.

07-16-2007, 03:40 PM
First off: Macs are not more expensive. That's an old urban legend from back in the day. Yes, they cost money. And they cost more than a cheap computer that might last a year or less, but they are good computers that last a LONG time, and that price includes the operating system.

Second off: Macs only come in two colors: white and black. There are colored shells you can put on some of the laptops if you wish, though.

Third off: Macs do get viruses, just like every other operating system. You still have to be a smart computer user to stay completely safe.

07-16-2007, 03:55 PM
You're right Rivverdaughter, there have been viruses for Macs, they are just incredibly rare. I've never had a problem with my Mac and one, whereas when I worked on windows based machines they popped up all the time (not my personal computer but others'). It is a big plus for Macs even though there are a few out there.

I love the new feature for Macs where you can automatically back-up your hard drive on their servers.

07-16-2007, 04:22 PM
Haha, I thought there might be a chance that that the Mac v PC wars didn't reach all the way to our little forum.

Sue, it all depends on what YOU want. Price, longevity, upgradabilty, compatibility, what you consider ease of use, and so on.

Regardless of the base price, there is the fact that you probably aren't JUST going to buy a tower. Some programs are not cross compatible between Windows and Mac OS. Like a disk that installs a program on your current PC, might not work on a Mac. And if you get a new monitor, that's usually about a hundred, from what I've seen.

Just, take what you hear from people with a hefty pinch of salt. (I'm trying so hard not to be blatantly anti-mac right now, if that gives you an idea) On less kind forums, Mac V PC is one sure-fire way to get everyone arguing and fighting, within seconds. Think English v Continental, and then multiply it by an obscenely large number... And add a lot more hate. And annoying advertisements from BOTH sides, that just make everyone hate each other more.

If you go to an Apple Store, the sales guys are going to tell you all the wonderful things about macs, and how much better they are than PCs. If you ask someone selling PCs (that actually likes their job), he will tell you the exact same thing, but in favour of PCs. Both will be lying out their teeth on some things, and be telling the truth on others.

07-16-2007, 05:07 PM
Overall, Mac or PC, a computer is just a big calculator. :teehee: It's a tool. I don't understand the wars between Mac, PC, Linux, Windows, etc... Can't people just be free of choosing what's good for them??? :rollseyes:

Anyways. If you know somebody with a Mac, maybe it would be worth trying it so that you know if you like it or not. If you can, install the software you would be using and play with it!

Using a Mac is a bit different than a PC, but I think once the adaptation period is done you can use a Mac or a PC as efficiently. It really depends more on the practicality of switching to Mac, your budget and personal preference. Switching to Vista could be as hard as switching to Mac so you have to think of that too.

07-16-2007, 05:16 PM
Macs do get viruses, just like every other operating system.EVERY other OS? Ahem. I think you mean Windows. There aren't any Linux, Unix, or BSD virus issues either.

The only reason Mac, Linux, Unix, and BSD don't get viruses is simply because nobody is putting them out there "in the wild" written for those operating systems. There are reasons for that of course, but that's the basic reason why they don't get them. There aren't any (well maybe a few Mac ones here and there but not many).

A Windows machine can be made just as relatively safe to use with common sense security measures like good security and detection software and not staying logged in as an administrator account all the time, especially when connected to the net.

As for the Mac vs PC question, it's really about your own personal choice. While some Mac users tend to be a bit rabid about their choice of machine the truth is that either of them will do just fine and the choice boils down to which you would prefer to use.

I'd suggest visiting a store and playing around with a few machines to see how they "feel" to you.

07-16-2007, 07:52 PM
I really don't have any technical know how, so I really can't offer advice on that count. However, I've had a MAC for a number of years, and never have any problems with it. It is very user friendly, imho. It is pretty much dummy proof... works much faster and better than Windows. I can say this, because I have the Windows program on my MAC. It does run a bit slower, but I like the Windows though because there are so many more programs and things that work on that system than the MAC. Why don't you get a MAC capable of running the Windows system? That way you can have the best of both worlds!

07-16-2007, 09:16 PM
Having been a die-hard user since college (almost 20 years ago -- eek!) and having mostly worked in somewhat artsy environments where macs were de rigueur, I'll put my vote in for apple. I do use PCs now and then and find them to be generally bearable, but find macs cuddlier over all. It's fun to be a little "different," and I also like the fact that I'm not completely beholden to microsoft.

07-16-2007, 09:17 PM
Why don't you get a MAC capable of running the Windows system? That way you can have the best of both worlds!

All new Macs are capable of running Windows. They all have the Intel Core Duo processor, which allows you to "dual-boot," which is fancy-talk for run Mac OS X OR Windows on the same machine.

I have a PC and a Mac. I like the Mac better, but the PC does some stuff better, too. I agree with people who say to "test-drive" a Mac. Isn't there an Apple store in London? Apple stores are totally worth a drive to London. :teehee:

07-16-2007, 10:34 PM
We're in the process of buying a new computer for DD before she goes to college this fall.:pout:

The school bookstore has a range of PCs that have the program bundles needed to run a basic machine and then they have Macs. The Macs are actually cheaper when all is said and done because of all the "extras" you pay for with the PC.

And since we just made an unplanned-for auto purchase, we're really leaning toward the Mac. And DD is VERY happy about it.:teehee: She wants to play with the Garage Band feature.

07-17-2007, 12:36 AM
I believe apple is also offering student discounts and promos right now - I got mine last year and saved quite a bit of $ as well as getting a nice discount on an ipod (which I swore I'd never bother with and now can't imagine not having)

07-17-2007, 01:15 AM
I was researching this stuff for a friend once, and decided myself, the next time I get a computer, it's gonna be a MAC.

Pretty much anything you can do on Windows you can do with a MAC, only faster. You can even run windows XP if you prefer that interface.

I was talking it over with a family friend who teaches Windows and PC stuff at a local college. He was a die hard Microsoft fan. Then his daughter got herself a Mac. He played around with it, and after a few days of browsing and feeling it out, he said he will never use Microsoft computers again, except for work. He even bought himself an iBook to bring to work with him, so he can use that between classes.

You will probably be great either way, because you are used to PC's that would be an advantage, but the loveliness of the Mac would be great too.

Sidenote: My friend ended up getting herself a Mac, and she considered it her best decision ever.

If only I could get a mac now... :inlove:

07-17-2007, 06:35 AM
To do the "dual boot" of Windows and the Mac operating system, you need to download a piece of software called Boot Camp, and you need to have a Windows XP license key and disk that will work away from you old computer. Apparently, if your old computer was a Dell or Compaq, the Windows install disks they send you check your computer to make sure it's a Dell/Compaq.

If you want to be able to "just do stuff", go with the Mac
If you want to not have to learn anything new, stick with Windows.

07-17-2007, 09:52 AM
:heart: mac

07-17-2007, 10:01 AM
gotta love Mac:teehee: rabid die hard fan here

07-17-2007, 10:23 AM
gotta love Mac:teehee: rabid die hard fan here

Kinda how I feel about Linux :lol:

07-17-2007, 10:43 AM
I had horrible experiences growing up with macs. The ones we had in school (we only had macs... all the pcs were in the science labs and no one was aloud to use them unless it was during class) were truely horrible. They crashed constantly. They would get bogged down if you opened up more than one program.

All this time, I urged my family to only buy PCs. They're stuck on them now, afraid to try anything new. They just recently (about a year ago) bought this POS dell for about $400 and is basically unusable. I can run photoshop, firefox, trillian at once, but both my photoshop and illustrator programs are corrupted since install. While the computer was cheap and easy, its still a POS that just kind of sits here and doesn't do anything worth while.

For a good mac, it might cost you a bit more than your regular PC, buw what you're getting is stability, cleanliness, and a lack of all the extra crap that you get in a pc. You don't have to get scared poking around in all of the folders on a mac. :)

You can have 10 different programs open on a mac and switch between them seamlessly. They run in the background when not in use, so they don't take up all of your memory and processing power, like a pc would.

Anywho, I'd suggest taking a look at what you need. Do you want an investment? Or just another computer to take up the general daily needs that will probably need to be replaced in a year or two?

If you want an investment, go with a Mac. They're super easy to learn, and they look pretty. Go to your local mac store and just sit down and play with one. Don't even bother with the salesman for your first try. :)

I'm not even sure I was any help... Its a bit early for coherrent thoughts... But I tried :)


07-17-2007, 10:48 AM
I switched from PC to Mac when I started grad school. I love my Mac! I run a lot of graphics programs now that I've started working from home, Photoshop CS2, InDesign, Quark, Illustrator, and my computer handles all of them at once perfectly. The one thing I will say is OS X takes up more room on your hard drive than Windows. I have an 80 GB hard drive and righ not I have about 50 GB left open. I got an external hard drive to back up my entire system. They're relatively inexpensive, you can find 500 GB external hard drives for about $230. The other thing, if you're going to run Microsoft programs like Word on your Mac, I would recomend getting an antivirus. I got a virus on my Mac from one of the computers at my school's library. It was a macro virus from Word, so it was easy to fix but scary none the less, it infected my Master's thesis the week before I had to defend.

Sue Madelin
07-17-2007, 05:26 PM
Thanks so much guys for all the advice :muah:

It turns out that the AVG software that I recently installed was the culprit - so I've taken it off and loaded a different brand of security software which suits my PC much better!

It took both myself and my husband all day to get AVG and also some old Norton! (Don't ask - long, long story!) off and the new stuff loaded but it is now finally done and my computer is zipping along nicely again.

Thanks so much for all your help,

Lots of love

07-17-2007, 05:54 PM
That's odd, I've installed AVG on quite a few people's Windows machines with no problems at all. I've always felt that it was one of the better free AV apps out there.

07-17-2007, 06:06 PM
I am very surprised too. :?? My boyfriend have been using AVG for years and his entire family is using it. I use it too. We never heard of something like that! :shock:

It's good to know, though! I'll look into that. What version was it?

07-17-2007, 06:08 PM
I'm yet another shocked person! Maybe it was entirely Norton's fault?

07-17-2007, 06:28 PM
I'm yet another shocked person! Maybe it was entirely Norton's fault?

Isn't it always? :roflhard:

07-17-2007, 07:52 PM
I have AVG on my desktop and Avast! on my laptop. I've had the Avast longer, and I prefer it. I'll keep an eye on the AVG. Thanks for the heads-up, Sue!


Sue Madelin
07-18-2007, 02:37 AM
I think AVG is great - it just doesn't suit every pc!

My husband used the free download and loved it so much that he loaded it onto my machine (about a year or so ago) and we couldn't even get my PC to boot up!

Then just in the last month or so he bought a license for 3 pcs and put it on mine as well as his and our DS's computer. His and DH's are absolutely fine but mine slowed down so much that it made it unusable! Absolutely no idea why - but apparently it is not unheard of!

BTW - my alternative software found a really nasty spyware that AVG hadn't apparently - DH fixed it all up for me last night whilst I was out at meetings so I'm not sure what it was!

Anyway - right now everything is running beautifully - especially as I have now got the max memory allowed on my PC cos I originally thought that was the problem!

Long may it continue!

07-18-2007, 07:35 AM
I'm glad you got it sorted out.