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Friday, September 25 2009

I've noticed that there is an amazing onalaught of Mac commercials on TV recently, and I was wondering why.  Then I realized that they as well are gearing up for the release of Windows 7.  Why would they do this?  Plain and simple..


And you know what?  THEY SHOULD BE.

We just uploaded the beta last week on a brand new machine, as well has running it on a MAC in VMWare, and here's what we found:

  1. Installation is much simpler and much faster.  It went faster, it was easier, and it went quicker.  No driver conflicts, no program errors. Flawless
  2. The taskbar has been redesigned.  Yes, a bit more "Mac-Like" you can pin programs in the taskbar much like you can save a program in the dock on the Mac.  It shows what is in the tabbed content on browsers, making navigating between windows seamless and easy.  We love it.
  3. You can't cook breakfast during bootup.  You got it, Windows 7 boots up like a champ.  No more will you fire up the computer, go brew yourself a cup of morning joe, nuke a bagel, and then return, only to find your computer just finishing the bootup sequence. 
  4. This OS is fast.  When we got a Vista machine a few years back with only 2 gb of RAM in it, we were shocked at how slow it ran.  It needs a minimum of 3 gb to run well on most anything.  With Windows 7?  It's lightning quick on even a single processor machine with only 2 bg of RAM.  Amazing.
  5. This OS is easy to use.  If you're an XP or Vista owner, no prob.  I must say that it has more of a feel of XP to it than Vista.  Most everything is in a nice, familiar place.

Does it do *a lot more* than XP or Vista.  No.  I must say, OS's are definitely overrated.  About a year ago, I had an older machine lying around the house.  It was about 5 years old (an antique by todays standards) with a single core P4 processor, AMD.  I decided to load up Windows 98, which, by the way, was truly one of the best OS's on the plant for a long time.  How did it perform?  AMAZINGLY WELL.  LIGHTNING QUICK.  And you know what, it made me realize how *little* a new OS actually gets you.  It surfed the net well, it runs Microsoft Word, Publisher, and an old version of Adobe.  What else does one REALLY need????  So yes, Windows 7 is amazing, but truly, it's an awful lot like Vista, which is a lot like XP, which is a lot like Windows 98, which was much like Windos 95. 

Posted by: John Lehmberg AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 02 2009

I bought a Mac.  I actually bought one 2 years ago.  I've seen the commercials, I've heard the hype, "Mac's do things so much easier than PC's-- They're so much more reliable, and they're so much better for graphic design." 

Well, I'm in graphic design, so finally, after 2 years, I've decided to chime in.  Here are my thoughts:

1) Mac's are not easier.  You have to know all the inbred Mac keystrokes to make it easy, and quite honestly, some of them are pretty complicated.  In defense of Windows, they have the same kinds of keystrokes and quite honestly, they're easier.    If I want to delete an icon off the desktop on my pc, I single click it, then hit delete.  This cannot be done on a Mac.  There are other rather idiosyncratic things just like that.

2) Mac's have the "confirm or deny" thing too.  Not only do I have to confirm or deny an install but in order to install software, I even have to enter a password.

3) Mac's are not more reliable.  I am anal about my equipment.  I've had 5 different laptops.  The Mac is the ONLY piece of computer I've ever had in almost 15 years that has ever had a hard drive fail prematurely.  Mine failed on my MacBook at 1.5 years in, with quite honestly barely moderate use.  Incidentally, I'm on my 3rd iPhone as well, and I take equally good care of my telephones.  All hail Apple Care.  If you have an Apple product, you're going to need it.  BTW... my son has had to return his iPod Nano once already in the first year as well, and he's got dad's perfectionistic-anal-about-equipment thing going on. 

4) I love the dock on the Mac.  But I can install something identical on my PC.  Go to

5) Graphics are not easier on the Mac.  You guessed it, Adobe Creative Suites is IDENTICAL on both Mac and PC.  They both work equally well.

6) Mac OS is not more stable than Vista. I've had my Mac crash more, I have to admit.  Not only that, my Vista mahcine goes 3 months or more of 24/7 use and doesn't need to be restarted.

7) Mac software is more expensive.  'nuff said.

8) Those people we've worked with who own Mac's CONSISTENTLY have more email problems.   Not sure why, but it's definitely been true from our observation.

9) Windows Vista is not near as crappy as Apple would have you think.  I've used it for more than 2 years now, and have honestly had relatively little trouble with it.  Do I prefer XP?  Yes, absolutely.  Vista was more an upgrade to XP from my perspective.  It honestly doens't have a whole lot of more functionality than XP.  Both continue to be strong OS's. Apple's commercials are exactly what they should be...  targeted marketing designed to create an image that Windows is trash.  Again, more marketing ploy than fact.  You'll notice that Microsoft hasn't spent near the kind of money going after Apple.  Why?  They don't have to.  They own 90% of the OS market and despite all the negative marketing directed their way, Windows works well.  Apple is inconsequential to them. 

10) There are more viruses on the Windows platform.  This I believe is true.  But then again, if you want to look at potentially the most attempted OS to be hacked and virused, look at Microsoft products.  There aren't as many viruses for Mac's because there are so few Mac's on the market.  When (if, really) Apple does the volume in OS's that Microsoft does, I assure you, you'll have anti-virus software for the Apple too.  Plain and simple-- Apple, there aren't enough of your machines on the face of the planet to make you worth hacking or writing a virus for.

11) We love Ubuntu.  Yes, Linux has a great contender.  It's wonderful, and it's free.  It's stable, reasonably easy to use.  The only problem is that no one writes software for Linux.  Otherwise, we'd use Linux.

12) We love Windows 7.  Imagine all the best features of XP and Vista combined in one?  No it doesn't take rocket science to learn it, and it runs all of your existing Windows Vista software.  It also, I'm convinced uses less memory.  Vista drags without 3gb of RAM.  Windows 7 runs like an absolute speed demon on a single core proecessor with 1gb of RAM.  I'm completely impressed. 

13)  We still don't know what a Snow Leopard is.  Never seen one. Apple seems to have an upgrade to their Leopard OS.  The nice thing is it's only $30.  Reasonable, I'll admit.  For that price, I'll actually go and buy it.  I know it is supposed to make my MAC run faster, and also to take up 7gb less of hard drive space (which seems necessary, as MAC's updates to their software are HUGE).  After reading what Apple says it does though, I'm not sure it does much of anything. We'll let you know.

14) There is WAY MORE software available for Windows platforms.  I found it interesting that when I went to the Apple Store to buy an accessory for my iPhone last month, when the associate checked me out on their handy-dandy little handheld computing device (they have no real cash registers in Apple Stores), I noticed it was running a version of Windows.  Doesn't that just about sum it up as to the versatility and reliability of Windows?  Apple stores use the Microsoft Windows OS in their handheld devices all across the nation.

15)  Windows software is cheaper.

16) Mac's are WAY more expensive than PC's.  Go to Best Buy, find yourself a nice HP laptop and then go to the Mac store and find a similarly equipped Mac.  Plan to spend a MINIMUM of $500 more per machine.   Oh yeah, by the way, the PC machines and the Mac machines have virtually the same hardware in them. 

Conclusions:  For the money, for the reliability, for the software, for the ease of use...  don't buy the Mac hype.  If you want to throw away your money on a machine that is no more reliable, yet costs more money, then go buy a Mac.  It's more a status symbol than it is practical, just as a cup of Starbucks Coffee seems to have more clout than Seattle's Best or McCafe.  The only thing is that McCafe has been rated to be a better product.  We believe on the whole, PC's are better products. 

Does Brand of PC matter?  In our experience, tremendously.  We recommend HP machines, have used many of them over the years, and they give way more than their money's worth.  Compaq and HP are now the same company, so we expect their reliability to be equal.  Dell's run a close second.  We've had poor success with Gateways.  Although they have been trashed in ratings int he past, we've also had great success with E-Machines.  Sony's have typically been poor machines.  Most of the Sony electronic products I've owned have weak solder points on their printed circuit boards, the joints wear, crack and give intermittant service.  I wouldn't buy Sony.  Toshiba makes a nice laptop.

The most satisfying computer purchase I've made EVER, however, is a Asus EEE-PC notebook.  They're amazing.  $350 of computer bliss at your local Best Buy or Tiger Direct.  Highly recommended.



Posted by: John Lehmberg AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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