Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

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Endless Mike
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:10 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:You could think about it in terms of cars. You can look at a Japanese car or an American car with the same specs but it's universally understood that foreign cars are more reliable.

When I think reliability, I think Fiat and rotary-engined Mazdas! The only reason this is "universally understood" is because people keep saying it.

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article. ... tid=435214

American brands are right in the mix with Japanese and German ones.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Strictly speaking, if you want a reliable laptop you get a Lenovo or Panasonic machine (15% first-year failure). After that, Toshiba, Acer, Sony, Fujitsu, or Samsung (16-17%). Apple is right there with Dell, HP, and the other big vendors (18%).

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

I had no idea Panasonic is that high. Frankly, I push everyone towards Lenovo (or, minimally, AWAY from Sony) if they don't want a Mac.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

Inorite?? But yeah, their Toughbooks are pretty exclusively used by the US Military in the field. They have mad quality-control skillz.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:27 pm UTC

In Japan, it's widely believed if you want something of quality, buy Panasonic. Sony, Samsung, LG, and others are more advanced but not as robust. This of course covers a variety of appliances from computers and cell phones to cameras and bicycles (although they quit making bikes in '89).
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Endless Mike
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:29 pm UTC

Axman wrote:Inorite?? But yeah, their Toughbooks are pretty exclusively used by the US Military in the field. They have mad quality-control skillz.

Is this including the Toughbook line? They're supposed to be tough (duh), but how many people want or need that?

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby wst » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

Axman wrote:Inorite?? But yeah, their Toughbooks are pretty exclusively used by the US Military in the field. They have mad quality-control skillz.
My friends found one in the middle of the street. The screen broke when someone trod on it when it was open. The rest was fine, depsite falling off of a van and getting run over, being thrown about, dropped 12 feet onto concrete, etc (okay, flappy bits of plastic were being damaged, but the BIOS was still POSTing. I think the HDD might've been slightly knackered as well, either way though, it was encrypted and passworded. No entry.

Probably a good thing, looking at MI5's record >_>
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:02 pm UTC

Yes, I suspect Panasonic's low failure rate is improved by Toughbooks. Because they can stop bullets.

That said, manufacturing methods are convergent; there was a time where certain, higher-class hardware was exclusive to the enterprise markets, but the costs involved with discerning the hardware's quality oppose the costs of just making all the hardware better. F'rinstance, the difference between most server-grade hard drives and their channel equivalents are controllers and duration of warranties. Granted, there is a market for low-grade hard drives, such is the case with Seagate and Maxtor; Seagate makes a bunch of hard drives, teases out the crap platters, and sells them under the Maxtor line.

You can assume that this sorting is applied across all markets--successful companies have learned that the costs involved with granular, inconsistent quality undercut the benefits of just making everything better, more consistently.

With the case of Panasonic, sure, Toughbooks are tested with a rigor that their other laptops will never undergo, but their ordering, manufacturing, and construction costs will be roughly equivalent for all lines; might as well just make everything pretty fucking tough.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby CrunchyFoodstuff » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:41 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Macs hardware is very overpriced. You effectively pay A LOT for their bundled software. Some of it's pretty nice, sure, but there are often better options on the PC. ESPECIALLY if you spend some of that money you saved on the system itself for some decent software.


It is?

Before I bought my Powerbook (2500 Euro w/ educational discount, including extended warranty) I had a look at comparable Windows laptops. To get the same kind of hardware with the same kind of performance from a Windows box, I would have had to shell out nearly the same amount. The windows box still lacked firewire.

I went with the Mac, because I needed a machine capable of running long analyses (bootstrap phylogenetic analyses; heavy calculations taking several days) without crashing. Something that the PCs at university running the Windows version of the same program certainly weren't capable of - they usually lock up after 4 hours. The software included with the Mac was far more interesting than that included with the PC laptop (which had the usual crap bloatware), too.

That was 4 years ago.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby felixalias » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:52 am UTC

A lot has changed since 4 years. Windows computers won't randomly lock up.

I like to offer this (satirical) comparison between a cheap windows laptop and a mac laptop:

The windows laptop
The mac laptop

They'll both perform the same basic task just fine. Take that as you will.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby b.i.o » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:37 am UTC

CrunchyFoodstuff wrote:Before I bought my Powerbook (2500 Euro w/ educational discount, including extended warranty) I had a look at comparable Windows laptops. To get the same kind of hardware with the same kind of performance from a Windows box, I would have had to shell out nearly the same amount. The windows box still lacked firewire.


Yay! Anecdote time!

You weren't looking hard enough. I paid $1600 for my laptop two years ago. An equivalent MBP at the time would have been ~$2500.


I went with the Mac, because I needed a machine capable of running long analyses (bootstrap phylogenetic analyses; heavy calculations taking several days) without crashing. Something that the PCs at university running the Windows version of the same program certainly weren't capable of - they usually lock up after 4 hours. The software included with the Mac was far more interesting than that included with the PC laptop (which had the usual crap bloatware), too.

That was 4 years ago.


If the PC you were using was locking up after 4 hours--even if it was 4 years ago--then whoever was maintaining the software on that PC was/is an idiot.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Berengal » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

felixalias wrote:A lot has changed since 4 years. Windows computers won't randomly lock up.

I like to offer this (satirical) comparison between a cheap windows laptop and a mac laptop:

The windows laptop
The mac laptop

They'll both perform the same basic task just fine. Take that as you will.

And then there's linux (warning: big)

Sorry, I had to. Now all we need is BeOS.
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Endless Mike
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

Berengal wrote:
felixalias wrote:A lot has changed since 4 years. Windows computers won't randomly lock up.

I like to offer this (satirical) comparison between a cheap windows laptop and a mac laptop:

The windows laptop
The mac laptop

They'll both perform the same basic task just fine. Take that as you will.

And then there's linux (warning: big)

Sorry, I had to. Now all we need is BeOS.

Even Neal Stephenson uses a Mac now.

But man, BeOS was awesome on my 600 MHz P3.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby cspirou » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:42 pm UTC

dorsai wrote:Windows box for sure. You may not get the hipster cred, but you can get build quality, speed, and software for cheaper. If you're worried about build quality, get yourself a thinkpad. They've got some of the best built stuff around, in my opinion; unless you're going for a toughbook, at which point the differing purposes should be obvious. (For the record: I have a Dell and love it, though, but I got $800 off :mrgreen:)

Price/spec comparison:

Both laptops:
13.3 inch LED backlit 1280x800 display
2.4 gHz Dual core
4gb ram
Nvidia discrete graphics with 128 mb dedicated graphics memory
250gb 5400 rpm hard drive

The ThinkPad: $1149
The MacBook: $1749
Also of note: Great deals are more likely to be found on the ThinkPad than the Mac. These prices were taken directly from the manufacturers.

Lenovo also makes a thinkpad convertible tablet, which is something that I think the Mac lineup is -sorely- missing. Come on apple...the Air?! All that work and you give us the Air?! :evil: Lenovo got the X300 (same size, better specs) and the X series tablet to market about the same time...

I still love the iPod touch/ iPhone to death, though. Real gems of hardware/software design, those.

Edit: Other issues that completely slipped my mind: The ThinkPads (good grief, I'm beginning to sound like a damned fanboy) have far better hardware level (BIOS level? Not sure how to classify it) security features, and can be configured with a fingerprint reader (apart from the obvious, they're really useful if you have tons of websites/passwords you want to save, but don't want to save to the browser) and GPS (not really a security feature, but hey) at little additional cost.


I actually went to the lenovo and MacBook site and priced it myself. According to your specs that you picked.

One thing you leave out is that the Macbook only has DDR3 ram while Thinkpad uses DDR2. DDR3 is pretty new and is much more expensive then DDR2. Something to consider. Another point is the battery. A very expensive component in laptops. I wasn't able to figure out the capacity but the Thinkpad can be upgraded to a bigger battery for $79. I don't know if this adds up to the Macbook or if it surpasses it. In the end I left it off and assumed they have the same battery life.

The MacBook came out to $1749

However I configured a ThinkPad SL300 2738 and I get $1454 for a regular price and $1339 for a discounted sale price. A difference of $400. While it is a bit of money it's not an end all when considering laptops unless price is your only factor. Upgrading an OS in the future is much cheaper with Mac then upgrading windows as well.

So as far as I'm concerned the arguments of price are minor. Especially if this is for professional use.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:So as far as I'm concerned the arguments of price are minor. Especially if this is for professional use.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834146531

Please show me something even remotely comparable to that for <$1000 in a brand new Factory supported Mac.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
cspirou wrote:So as far as I'm concerned the arguments of price are minor. Especially if this is for professional use.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834146531

Please show me something even remotely comparable to that for <$1000 in a brand new Factory supported Mac.

Apple doesn't sell on the low end, what's your point?

Find me a factory supported car comparable to a Lamborghini Reventon for less than $30k.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby theorigamist » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:56 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Apple doesn't sell on the low end, what's your point?


On the high end, the Mac is still far more expensive. Example:

Configured MacBook Pro with:
-15 in screen
-2.53GHz Core 2 Duo
-4GB DDR3
-320GB HDD @ 5400rpm
Total: $2499

Configured Lenovo ThinkPad T500 with:
-15.4 in screen
-2.53GHz Core 2 Duo
-4GB DDR3
-320GB HDD @ 5400rpm
Total: $2063 (sale at $1533.50)

The Lenovo has a slightly larger screen, same processor, same memory and same hard drive, and if you include the battery upgrade for $70 it still comes out nearly $400 cheaper than the Mac.

I thought I was being generous in this comparison, too, since I chose a Mac model without any upgrades. The upgrades on Macs cost way more than they should. For example, on a model for which you can choose the amount of RAM, like the MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.4GHz model, the move from 2GB to 4GB of memory adds $150 dollars. The same move on the Lenovo above added $105.

EDIT: Also, the DDR3 vs. DDR2 seems to be a moot point. Looking at the iMacs, adding 2GB of DDR2 800MHz still costs $150. Looking at the Mac minis, adding 1 GB of DDR2 667 MHz still costs $75. So Apple seems to price all of its memory at $75/GB. A little high, I would say, having bought 4GB of memory for my current computer for something like $30.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby cspirou » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:22 am UTC

theorigamist wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:Apple doesn't sell on the low end, what's your point?


On the high end, the Mac is still far more expensive. Example:

Configured MacBook Pro with:
-15 in screen
-2.53GHz Core 2 Duo
-4GB DDR3
-320GB HDD @ 5400rpm
Total: $2499

Configured Lenovo ThinkPad T500 with:
-15.4 in screen
-2.53GHz Core 2 Duo
-4GB DDR3
-320GB HDD @ 5400rpm
Total: $2063 (sale at $1533.50)

The Lenovo has a slightly larger screen, same processor, same memory and same hard drive, and if you include the battery upgrade for $70 it still comes out nearly $400 cheaper than the Mac.

I thought I was being generous in this comparison, too, since I chose a Mac model without any upgrades. The upgrades on Macs cost way more than they should. For example, on a model for which you can choose the amount of RAM, like the MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.4GHz model, the move from 2GB to 4GB of memory adds $150 dollars. The same move on the Lenovo above added $105.

EDIT: Also, the DDR3 vs. DDR2 seems to be a moot point. Looking at the iMacs, adding 2GB of DDR2 800MHz still costs $150. Looking at the Mac minis, adding 1 GB of DDR2 667 MHz still costs $75. So Apple seems to price all of its memory at $75/GB. A little high, I would say, having bought 4GB of memory for my current computer for something like $30.


I don't know what you did but I did the pricing and I get $2213 with a sale price of $1683. Which brings it down to about a $300 difference. Also why is it more valid to compare it to the T-series as opposed to the W-series which is much more expensive. When I take a W-series laptop and price it with then same specs then it's $2,518. If you're going to compare a premium product from one company you should compare it with the premium product from another.

While apple does charge a lot for ram upgrades, ram is also the easiest thing in the world to upgrade on your own and ram from a 3rd party source is quite cheap. Take your example. I own an iMac and I'm upgrading from 2Gb to 4Gb of DDR2 for $40. I bought the ram from Crucial instead of some Apple store. Sure you can make a big deal that Apple charges a lot to do it but it's only if you absolutely have to have Apple do the upgrade for you. In the end your decision should be based on the software and overall product.

Now if both computers ran only windows then price would truly be my only consideration. But in the end I chose mac because I wanted a mainstream OS that could also do unix/linux without having to dual-boot. I didn't buy it for the hardware. So you have to ask yourself if the difference in price is worth the tools you get on a mac? For me the answer is yes.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby felixalias » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:05 am UTC

It IS certainly true Apple screws you on the build to order options. They are absolutely hands-down awful. Good thing that with the unibody macs, it's easier than ever to do yourself. The rest of the price difference is the price you can put on the design of the mac, plus the tax of running MacOS without any problems with OSX86 (should you prefer MacOS to Windows/Linux/BeOS ;).

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby theorigamist » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:21 am UTC

cspirou wrote:I don't know what you did but I did the pricing and I get $2213 with a sale price of $1683.

I went to the Lenovo Elite ThinkPad T500, added 2GB of memory, upgraded the hard drive to the 320GB option. The website is still showing me the prices I said before.

cspirou wrote:Also why is it more valid to compare it to the T-series as opposed to the W-series which is much more expensive.


I don't know how valid/invalid it is. I don't know anything about the different Lenovo lines. But the point of the argument seemed to be to determine if a PC laptop and a Mac laptop with comparable specs were comparably priced. I don't know what the differences are between the T and W-series ThinkPads, but the T500 that I configured above had comparable specs to the MacBook Pro.

cspirou wrote:If you're going to compare a premium product from one company you should compare it with the premium product from another.


I don't think this is generally true. I would think you should compare the cheapest product from each company that has the specs you're interested in. The T-series had the same specs as that MacBook, so if those are the specs the buyer is interested in, there's no reason to go for the W-series.

cspirou wrote:While apple does charge a lot for ram upgrades, ram is also the easiest thing in the world to upgrade on your own and ram from a 3rd party source is quite cheap.


I won't argue with that. But notice that I didn't configure the MacBook Pro at all in my above post. All of the options were left at their default, so my price comparison is still accurate.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:26 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
mosc wrote:
cspirou wrote:So as far as I'm concerned the arguments of price are minor. Especially if this is for professional use.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834146531

Please show me something even remotely comparable to that for <$1000 in a brand new Factory supported Mac.

Apple doesn't sell on the low end, what's your point?

Find me a factory supported car comparable to a Lamborghini Reventon for less than $30k.

The point is that 90+% of computer users don't NEED a "high end" machine and thus buying ANYTHING Mac is DRASTICALLY more money than they need to spend.

Oh, and I win again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Atom
well, not quite $30k but not too much more if you build it yourself...
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby cspirou » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:49 am UTC

theorigamist wrote:
cspirou wrote:I don't know what you did but I did the pricing and I get $2213 with a sale price of $1683.

I went to the Lenovo Elite ThinkPad T500, added 2GB of memory, upgraded the hard drive to the 320GB option. The website is still showing me the prices I said before.



I won't argue with that. But notice that I didn't configure the MacBook Pro at all in my above post. All of the options were left at their default, so my price comparison is still accurate.


Macbook is also backlit with LEDs. Did you change the screen on the Lenovo to that too?

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Axman » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:58 am UTC

Yeah, you can't tell the difference between a good cold-fluorescent and LED-backlit displays on laptops. It makes a power-consumption difference, but to the degree where you're not likely to discern the improvement without a stopwatch.

I'm not saying you can't spot a bad CFL without aid, that's a cinch.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby theorigamist » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:33 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:Macbook is also backlit with LEDs. Did you change the screen on the Lenovo to that too?


Nope, I didn't notice that. Lenovo charges $50 for that option, so the Lenovo costs $2113 with a sale price of $1583.50, and is still nearly $400 cheaper.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby dorsai » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:34 am UTC

Axman wrote:Yeah, you can't tell the difference between a good cold-fluorescent and LED-backlit displays on laptops. It makes a power-consumption difference, but to the degree where you're not likely to discern the improvement without a stopwatch.

I'm not saying you can't spot a bad CFL without aid, that's a cinch.


I beg to differ! I have yet to see a single laptop in person that I couldn't instantly tell if it was CCFL or LED backlit, and that's something I pay attention to. I can't exactly describe the difference, but the CCFL always seems to have a dim/off-color feel to them (even new).

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:07 pm UTC

mosc wrote:The point is that 90+% of computer users don't NEED a "high end" machine and thus buying ANYTHING Mac is DRASTICALLY more money than they need to spend.

Oh, and I win again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Atom
well, not quite $30k but not too much more if you build it yourself...

90% of computer users don't need to buy a new machine, so prices are completely irrelevant.

And you don't win. The Atom doesn't approach the Lambo's top speed, and lacks anything that might be considered a creature comfort all while costing $65k. If you build it yourself, you no longer have things like a factory warranty or even the ability to take it somewhere for service.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby wst » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:32 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:And you don't win. The Atom doesn't approach the Lambo's top speed, and lacks anything that might be considered a creature comfort all while costing $65k. If you build it yourself, you no longer have things like a factory warranty or even the ability to take it somewhere for service.
Yes, he does win. It's faster around a track > It's faster in a straight line. And neither of them are designed to be comfortmobiles, they're meant to be fun. Comfort is a non-issue. And finally, if you built it yourself, you're the kind of person who'd be inclined to fix it yourself.

He wins. Bad analogy.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:09 pm UTC

wst wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:And you don't win. The Atom doesn't approach the Lambo's top speed, and lacks anything that might be considered a creature comfort all while costing $65k. If you build it yourself, you no longer have things like a factory warranty or even the ability to take it somewhere for service.
Yes, he does win. It's faster around a track > It's faster in a straight line. And neither of them are designed to be comfortmobiles, they're meant to be fun. Comfort is a non-issue. And finally, if you built it yourself, you're the kind of person who'd be inclined to fix it yourself.

He wins. Bad analogy.

No, see, there's a difference between "I'm fully enclosed and thus I can go to the grocery store without having to wear a helmet" and not. And having things like a stereo and maybe A/C, and not having an engine immediately behind your head without anything to muffle the noise. It becomes a question of practicality, so no, it's not a non-issue. But if we're playing that, he may as well have posted a Suzuki Hayabusa or something.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby wst » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
wst wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:And you don't win. The Atom doesn't approach the Lambo's top speed, and lacks anything that might be considered a creature comfort all while costing $65k. If you build it yourself, you no longer have things like a factory warranty or even the ability to take it somewhere for service.
Yes, he does win. It's faster around a track > It's faster in a straight line. And neither of them are designed to be comfortmobiles, they're meant to be fun. Comfort is a non-issue. And finally, if you built it yourself, you're the kind of person who'd be inclined to fix it yourself.

He wins. Bad analogy.

No, see, there's a difference between "I'm fully enclosed and thus I can go to the grocery store without having to wear a helmet" and not. And having things like a stereo and maybe A/C, and not having an engine immediately behind your head without anything to muffle the noise. It becomes a question of practicality, so no, it's not a non-issue. But if we're playing that, he may as well have posted a Suzuki Hayabusa or something.
Not many Lambos have stereos and aircon other than the wind through the windows and a roar from a v12. And you don't need a helmet, just shades. But this is dangerously OT, so I'm going to stop.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

I wouldn't buy my mother in law a used machine. The hard drive has probably been pounded on, the power supply caked with dust from years of neglect, the monitor horribly small, and it wouldn't run vista.

At the same time, I wouldn't buy her something high end. She doesn't need some fancy software. She struggles with navigating web pages and using her printer. A word processor with spell check is already pushing her technical limitations. She also doesn't use the PC much and performance is far from the biggest issue. All she wants is the similar software she uses at work.

What she needs is a cheap, NEW, machine that can handle the latest OS. In the PC world, that's ~$400. In the mac world, that's $1000. This is a no friggin brainer.

More than half the computer users on the planet are very much like my mother in law and apple simply has no decent products for them to consider. At all. Even a little bit. This is what I'm getting at when I say it's not fair to compare high end macs to high end PCs because most ppl don't buy high end PCs in the first place!
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Phasma Felis » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:44 am UTC

Macs are not significantly more expensive than equivalent PCs, in general. That said, it's very true that Apple doesn't make low-end machines. If a low-end machine is what you want, then a Mac isn't for you.

Personally, as a lifelong Microsoft user until two years ago, I love my MacBook, but a lot of the benefits are hard to quantify. In my personal opinion, the OS just works better, it's better designed and more intuitive and looks good without being gaudy and tasteless. I can give specific examples if you like, but obviously it's not something that I can put hard numbers to. My advice is to try one out, for a few days if you can swing that, and see how you like it.

I'm kind of disappointed that turned into an Oh me yarm OS Wars thread. It's perfectly possible to prefer one thing or another without having to bash the other thing into oblivion. Saying that Macs suck because there's not a good model for your mother-in-law is ridiculous--they're a niche market, of course they're not trying to cover the whole spectrum. They're good for what they're good for, and if that's not what you want, by all means use Windows or Linux, and you'll probably be perfectly happy.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby cspirou » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:50 am UTC

Phasma Felis wrote:Macs are not significantly more expensive than equivalent PCs, in general. That said, it's very true that Apple doesn't make low-end machines. If a low-end machine is what you want, then a Mac isn't for you.

Personally, as a lifelong Microsoft user until two years ago, I love my MacBook, but a lot of the benefits are hard to quantify. In my personal opinion, the OS just works better, it's better designed and more intuitive and looks good without being gaudy and tasteless. I can give specific examples if you like, but obviously it's not something that I can put hard numbers to. My advice is to try one out, for a few days if you can swing that, and see how you like it.

I'm kind of disappointed that turned into an Oh me yarm OS Wars thread. It's perfectly possible to prefer one thing or another without having to bash the other thing into oblivion. Saying that Macs suck because there's not a good model for your mother-in-law is ridiculous--they're a niche market, of course they're not trying to cover the whole spectrum. They're good for what they're good for, and if that's not what you want, by all means use Windows or Linux, and you'll probably be perfectly happy.


It wasn't an OS war though. It turned into an idiotic hardware war. The ONLY argument against mac was the hardware was overpriced. Nothing to do with the quality and content of the software you use on a mac.

Now you get arguments from Mosc talking about a $400 PC when the parent post is talking about video editing. I wouldn't even consider it on some barebones box like that.

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby Phasma Felis » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:It wasn't an OS war though. It turned into an idiotic hardware war.

Heh, good point. Not quite the same thing...

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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby tetsujin » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

wst wrote:
Pinky's Brain wrote:If the software runs on Windows and you just want a cheap laptop get an Acer, if you want a cheap laptop with a good display get a Dell (Dell is pretty much the only one which lets you get cheap upgrades to high resolution displays).

Depends on which laptop. Acer Aspire One's have the best gorram monitors I've met, for clarity. Pig for fingerprints though.

Also, what about *nix? Give them some love, not everything is on Mac/Dows you know ;)


For video creation and editing?

I mean, I got a Powerbook because I wanted my laptop to be easier to deal with than my home Linux machine - and now, I want to actually go back to Linux because Mac's actually turned out to be a worse platform for running Linux software than Windows would have been... And even though I myself am getting into video editing and animation, and even though there's perfectly serviceable macs around the house, I want to do all that stuff on Linux, because after all this time on the Powerbook I've found that, for me, Linux is the system I want to run, after all...

But I've looked at the available video software for Linux - it seems to range from passable to grievously defective. I'm going to go with the "passable" stuff, of course. :D But can you really recommend Linux as the system for video editing? Really?
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby mosc » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:09 pm UTC

I wish people would come to terms that OSX is not very linux like despite it's underpinnings. In many ways, running linux inside a bubble from within windows is more 'linux-like' than OSX.
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby tetsujin » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I wish people would come to terms that OSX is not very linux like despite its underpinnings. In many ways, running linux inside a bubble from within windows is more 'linux-like' than OSX.


The benefit on Windows is that more of the toolkits were natively ported early on, and there's not that whole distinction between shared libraries and dynamically linkable libraries to mess up porting efforts. But one nice thing on Mac is that I never have to deal with backslashes vs. slashes, or drive letters. :D That doesn't sound like much, but it's worth a lot to me.

I think these days more of the toolkits have been ported natively to Mac - though Qt has continued to be a problem because the non-Linux versions continued to be non-free for a long time... And all the new stuff has left me in the dust, since I never upgraded from 10.3... The laptop has become generally intolerable due to lack of OS upgrade... But I feel like the $100 or whatever that would go to upgrading the OS could be used toward new hardware instead.

When I bought the thing I honestly didn't think I'd be wanting to run a lot of Linux software on it - I thought that my needs would be served by actual Mac software. And they could have been, except that I realized later that, a lot of the time, I actually would want to be able to do things like create content on the desktop and use it on the laptop, etc... I had, at the time, underestimated the value of the software on the Linux platform, and my attachment to it. Dealing with KPresenter vs. Keynote was the biggest problem...
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Re: Trying to decide between a PC and a Mac

Postby stephentyrone » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:04 am UTC

mosc wrote:In many ways, running linux inside a bubble from within windows is more 'linux-like' than OSX.


Of course it is. You're actually running linux. It's (nearly) the same as running linux "inside a bubble" from within OS X, or just running linux.

I wish people would come to terms that OSX is not very linux like despite it's underpinnings.


I'm not sure what you're trying to get at referring to the "underpinnings" of OS X; OS X certainly does not have linux underpinnings.

OS X is UNIX, and POSIX-conformant. Linux is nearly conformant to the same standards, so it is relatively straightforward to develop code that will run on both platforms. The fact that the two platforms present a shared subset of APIs to developers, however, doesn't make the two similar in the way that most users think about operating systems being similar, and the system guts beneath those APIs are quite different as well.
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