MacBook Air vs. PC

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Captain Oveur, Jul 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Is there a site (besides Apple) that outlines the differences and the pros and cons of switching from PC to Mac? Something as close to non-bias as possible?
     
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  2. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Not seen one myself, but all I can say after switching from PC to Mac I will never go back.
     
  3. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Could you, please, elaborate on why?
     
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  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I don't know of one, but as someone who was vehemently anti-Apple for most of my life (even though I went to school just down the street from HQ), I just switched last year and didn't find it all that bad. I still have bootcamp with Windows Ultimate on the other side, but I don't use it for anything except KVS Tool. Here are my biggest complaints about Macs, in no particular order, though some might have become irrelevant with the new Lion update:

    (1) It's difficult to expand windows to fill the entire screen on a Mac. I really like doing this, and it became even easier with Windows 7.
    (2) I find searching for files more difficult. There seemed to be more options on Windows for narrowing your search parameters without having to use drop down menus (for example, I can't seem to search for "*.docx" on a Mac and get all my files ending with that file extension). Also, I really liked the file tree on the left side of Windows Explorer, but when you are looking for a file with a Mac in Finder, new folders open up to the right, so you get a really long window that is difficult to see all at once.
    (3) You can't select a group of files, right click, and find the total size. It will open an info box for each one and tell you each file's size. So if you want the total size, you have to move them to a separate folder and get the info on that.
    (4) This one is a biggie but easily solved. I find the command button way too close to the middle of the keyboard. So I changed the keyboard layout to use the control key instead for things like copy and paste. There are lots of things you can do to make a Mac behave more like a PC, including making the right side of the touchpad function as a right click.
    (5) This one is also big but I haven't solved: I can't seem to open any kind of Windows Media Player file on my Mac side. Maybe I need to upgrade to Quicktime Pro. I also don't like the way Preview opens up multiple images at the same time. It seems easier to flip through them on Windows, but this is minor. No, I don't want to flip through them in Finder with their weird iTunes display.
    (6) Files don't automatically snap to grid on a Mac. You have to manually tell it to "Clean Up."

    As you can tell, most of these are petty. Some of them are only relevant to people like me who deal with hundreds of little files, including an array of video and images collected from my experiments, when it really matters that I find the one I want quickly and easily. They bug me but I have learned to live with them because of the problems I had with PCs:

    (1) PCs run hot and slow. My Mac has much longer battery life and is rarely hot to the touch. I almost never have to restart it.
    (2) PCs do weird stuff for no reason. Macs just work. I don't always agree with the way my Mac works, but it works the way it's designed to. PCs don't always work.
    (3) Tech support for PCs sucks. My last Dell had a fancy 4 year warranty and cost nearly $2k. It had a faulty graphics chip that Dell knew about, didn't tell me, and which fried the motherboard twice. Eventually tech support said I was a liar when I complained it stopped working for the third time, told me they'd fix it anyway, and then told me to never call back. When I upgraded to Windows 7, the upgrade failed, so I called Dell. They said to call Microsoft. They said to call Dell. Etc. Contrast this with when I dropped my MacBook Pro on some concrete steps. It left a dent but not much else. These things are resilient. I took it into the Genius Bar anyway to see if anything was broken that I didn't see, and they volunteered to send it in for a free inspection and new case ($1200 repair cost) even though the warranty doesn't cover accidents. I took it in Saturday night and had it back Wednesday afternoon. When you dive into the tech specs, you see all the stuff they put in here to make sure it works well and will last for years. The hinge is never wobbly. The hard drive heads lock in place. Lots of nice features.
     
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  5. jhflau11
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    jhflau11 Silver Member

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    To play wmv files on your Mac download the Flip4Mac plugin: http://www.telestream.net/flip4mac-wmv/overview.htm.

    Not sure about what you are saying about the preview images but if you just want a quick view of say a folder of images just hit the spacebar and a preview window will popup and you can cycle through all the files in the folder with arrow keys
     
  6. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    That is exactly what I wanted. Thanks. When I double click and it opens in the Preview program, it won't let you use keys to get between images.
     
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  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    One other thing that bugs me that I didn't mention before is that Office programs don't work quite the same on a Mac. Most of them are fine, and possibly even better than the Windows version. I still have some issues with Outlook though. It won't sync with Google Calendar or my iPhone, which is annoying, but Outlook on Windows will sync with an iPhone (I never tried Google Calendar). These issues aren't present if you use Apple Mail or iCal, but personally I prefer having them merged as one application. You also can't scroll through the Mac Outlook calendar, only click through it month by month.
     
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  8. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I'm going to admit I'm the type that rides the short yellow bus when it comes to anything technical.

    The thing I like about my Mac is I know that every time I turn it on it will work. No blue screen of death, it never asks me complicated questions that I need to answer. I find it easier to adjust the settings.

    Only thing I didn't like about my Mac was the keyboard but I have retained my PC keyboard and it works fine with my Mac. Same with my mouse, I'm using a clickless mouse as my clicking used to drive DH mad.
     
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  9. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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  10. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Okay, I got that to work. Also, it bothers me that in Finder, if I have, say, 200 files in a folder, if I resize the folder, the icons don't change their width-wise distribution. So now I have to scroll side to side in addition to top to bottom to see them all. On top of that, if I delete a random set of those 200 files, I now have a giant gap in my folder, with files on top, a white space, and files on the bottom.
     
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  11. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I think you have an option to arrange by name rather than grid, so that probably would keep them organized after the delete? I always use the list view - usually sorted by date, so I'm not 100% sure. As to auto changing size, that probably is something that you have to live with.
     
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  12. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I need tiles for some things, like sorting through images, so list view isn't an option. Mac works better than Windows in many cases, but these are the little things that bother me.
     
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  13. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I didn't know that and struggled with that too. thx.

    -David
     
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  14. jhflau11
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    jhflau11 Silver Member

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    In Snow Leopard (not sure if in older OSs) there's a slider in the lower right to adjust icon sizes. Also, if you hit the green plus button it will resize the window to fit all the files. I know your looking for automated but hopefully this will help you out.

    I actually don't like the full screen windows. :p But lion has added this. Not sure if I like it.
     
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  15. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I recently went to Mac, but my work does not support Mac, so I still have to hang on to my Lenovo T.

    What I absolutely love is the speed. This is the fastest laptop I've ever had.

    I never power the Mac down, just close the lid when I'm not using it and it instantly is up and running when I open it and it doesn't use any battery while not in use. Boy, trying doing that on a PC..

    Battery life is amazing on the Mac. So from a users perspective, its a great tool. I have installed Office 2011, so it's still familiar enough.
     
  16. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I never have found a decent comparison either. As with several in this thread, I have found little things that bothered me, but either became accustomed to them or found workarounds.

    There are three reasons not mentioned here that I converted 100% to Mac and have not regretted it for an instance:
    1) Support and warranty, AppleCare included are truly global. I bought machines in the USA and used them in Brazil, and have used help in Brazil and had machines repaired in Brazil. Zero documentation required, zero hassle, including with authorized repair shops. They fix things fast and well.
    2) The help system. Wherever, whenever you call Apple they answer instantly, know whereof they speak and fix the problem immediately. It makes no difference that the problem was caused by my own stupidity (only two problems have ever been otherwise)
    3) They Work.

    Has anyone heard of anybody who left Apple for a Windows machine? I have not. Lots of people hate Apple, it seems, but they must be Microsoft shareholders.

    BTW, I do not have a MacBook Air but do have a 13" MacBookPro. I suspect my next one will be an Air because i really don't use the extra gizmos very much at all anymore.
     
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  17. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    Impossible. Anyone of any technical aptitude is biased ;)
    I hate Apple* and I'm an Apple shareholder, does that work?
    (*More like I hate Steve Jobs and his control freak tendencies. Plus I think its almost immoral to make money on hardware ;)Yes, I don't like Nintendo either)
    At the end of the day, until Valve makes Mac OS a serious gaming platform, all my unix needs can be met by Linux and I don't mind Windows at all. Plus Windows doesn't prevent perfectly(*cough G5 and SL *cough) good computers from running it. Plus xcode doesn't hold a candle to Visual Studio.
     
  18. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    For very specific needs like your, you might be right, but for most, people won't hate it.

    I don't game, have a PS3 for that (and an iPad for birds and such :p) I don't program, but I've seen more unix/linux garbage trying (and failing) to be better than what you have to pay for out there that I'm fairly skeptical. (Boy, if I had a nickel for every time someone has told me "don't buy that, we can make it on this free software" and it has ended in disaster)

    I get the control thing by Apple, but I just don't care. And like you said, windows is fine, but it doesn't change the fact that there are things a Mac is much better on than a Windows machine (and vice versa). In my experience with a new Mac Book Pro, I'm ready to dump my Lenovo -- but in doing so I would have to dump my job, so it stays for a while ;)
     
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  19. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    Fair enough. I am the only voice of MS (or even Free Software) here though ;)

    All hail the birds! However I loathe my 360 so I'm the wrong person to talk to ;)
    Well there's gcc... ;)
    I care though. Not trying to be snarky, just putting it out there. Same go for the linux devs and tivo etc...
    For my needs Mac OS doesn't fill any niche that Windows/Linux doesn't fill nor does it do any thing that Windows/Linux does so much better so that I'm willing to buy a laptop with soldered in CPUs and no USB 3.0 etc just to use an OS
    It hasn't always been like this, I loved my OS9 machines (and loathed the OS)....now I don't mind the OS and hate the machines ;) My Mac Pro 4,1 is still held in high esteem in the bakedpatato family...running Windows, of course :D
     
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  20. sniklec
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    sniklec Silver Member

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    At the risk of turning this into an OS X support forum...

    Try searching for ".docx (Note the leading double-quote, which is significant.)

    No need to do that. After you right-click, press the Option key to toggle "Get Info" to "Show Inspector". That will display summary info for the selected files.
     
  21. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Ha. Well, the OP did ask about the pros and cons. :rolleyes: I guess the biggest con is that everything in a Mac is just a tiny bit different, but apparently these differences are hidden well enough and not disclosed so as to scare away some PC users. If they had a cheat sheet that might help. I know I didn't want to sit through the transition workshop they offer at the Apple Store. I might have switched earlier if they had a list of ways you could make a Mac act more like a PC, such as assigning the command key function to the control key instead as I described above. Most people don't like change...
     
  22. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    Quite an endorsement! I can see the new ads already...
    "I'm a PC, and I don't mind Windows at all!"
     
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  23. Biscuet

    Biscuet Active Member

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    I'm baffled that in 2011 there's still a debate about which is better, PC or Mac. In the last 10 years(ish) of Apple's rise to the top i've never met a single person who made the switch and regretted it. Actually, everyone i've known who switched to Mac says, "I can't believe i ever used a PC." So, by the evidence i see, the winner is clear. I don't think there's even an argument anymore. :)
     
  24. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    I was exclusively Mac until OS X Public Beta, and every passing year I replaced my Macs(TiBook to a Vaio S, Power Mac G5 to a custom desktop, iMac G5 to a HTPC) with Windows/Linux machines until my Mac Pro was the only Mac left...and when that Pro becomes too old for my uses I won't replace it. I don't regret it at all.
    I don't own any iDevices and I think all of them are a silly waste of money so I guess it only works for people like me(ie: not fully invested in the RDF's ecosystem)
    You guys make it sound like its a plague that should be rid from the world ;)I think the same for Steve Jobs(well the idealistic part of me...the shareholder part says he should live forever :D)
     
  25. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    I'm definitely in the Windows camp...only Apple thing I've ever owned is a barely-used iPod. Just thought that line was too funny to let slide. :)
     
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