Monday, December 04, 2006

Mac Daddy?

The Dell, which is less than three years old, appears to be headed for the Great Computer Scrapyard in the Sky. It's currently being examined by the Computer Doctors at MicroCenter, where I suspect they will tell me that it is so badly hosed by viruses that they will need to wipe the hard drive clean and start again. It's been running verrrrrry, verrrrrry sloooooowly (as in it takes five minutes to launch an application). Very, very strange things happen when it is running (Windows Explorer disappeared; how does that happen?; and my brand spankin' new external hard drive isn't recognized anymore).

Maybe it can be repaired. But frankly, I'm so sick of viruses, spam, adware, etc. that I'm about ready to play Elvis and shoot the @#$% thing. We pay relatively big bucks for the usual suite of firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-adware stuff, and none of it seems to do any good.

So ... we may be ready to make the big move to Apple. Yes, I know what some of you are thinking. But we stayed with Dells because it was relatively easy to move files back and forth between work, which is (and always will be?) a Windows world, and home.

So let me solicit your advice, particularly those of you who are Apple devotees:

1) Viruses are virtually non-existent on Apple computers. True or false?

2) The latest Apple models can run Windows applications? True or false? (This is still a huge consideration in my world.)

3) If the answers to 1 and 2 are true, which Apple desktop in the $2K - $3K range would you recommend? Thanks for your help.

9 comments:

bd said...

Andy,

to answer your questions.

1. yes

2. yes*

3. 20 in iMac with 2 GB ram

*give me a call and I'll explain the stuff needed to run windows apps on the mac.

Andrew said...

Andy,

1 - True

2 - True, with an application called "Parallels" you can run Windows apps alongside OS X. If you don't run Parallels, you'll have to choose to boot the Mac or Windows OS at startup.

3 - The iMac is a phenomenal machine. Unpack it and it just works. It's virtually wire-free, with the only necessary cable being a single power cord.

I make my living working with Windows-based machines and software for a law firm. I manage my life and interests on my Mac. The folks I work with regularly complain about viruses and spyware crippling their home machines. I drive as fast as I want along the information superhighway and never look back.

My wife works for IBM and has a company-issued ThinkPad, but she handles our checkbook, her e-mail, and our photos on a Mac.

A few things I tell everyone I advise on entering life with a Mac:

Pay the extra money for AppleCare. It's good insurance and they provide great service.

What I enjoy most about the Mac community is that anything I Google with "OS X ..." leads me to intelligent discussion and genuinely helpful folks.

I'd be happy to recommend software and blogs I rely on that will help you adjust to life with a Mac. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further help.

Chris Parks said...

Andy:

1. Yes...although if Apple gains sufficient market-share, virus writers will probably start paying attention. It pays to make sure you keep your system software up to date. Automated software updates are your friend...

2. You have a couple of options: you can get MS Office for Mac, which handles MS Office files created on Windoze-based computers easily. Or you can install Bootcamp or Parallels, which allow you to install and run Windoze on your Mac.

3. Any of the iMacs would be a good choice, although if you're going to be doing high-end image or music processing, a look at a Mac Pro might be worth it. i've been drooling over the 24 inc iMac; all that monitor space...

Fred Kohn said...

andy,

i had very few problems with my windows pc until i installed itunes for windows. Then things got really squirrely fast. I suspect that apple has no good reason to write good software to run on their competitor's machines and every reason to write bad software. But perhaps that's the conspiracy theorist in me.

Of course I never use IE.

I've heard horrible things about dells.

However, if you're going to start over, why not jump ship?

The Aesthetic Elevator said...

I don't feel the need to answer your questions again because that's been done . . .

. . . I switched from a Dell to Apple a year ago now with absolutely no regrets. My dell was OK, but heavy (I use laptops) and had two instances where I had to wipe the HD for spyware and the like.

The one thing I don't so much like about an iMac (don't get me wrong, I like them and am looking for one as a home machine) is that if the monitor goes out before the rest of the compy you're kind of up a creek. Apple care is nice but only lasts 3 years. Technology seems to have slowed down in comparison to five years back, and I would hope a person would be able to use a computer for longer than three years these days.

Joshua said...

Andy,

Testimonial re: Macs and Parallels from a power mac user and friend of mine, designer/marketing director for a firm in Toledo:

http://www.stingthebee.nu/2/?p=90#more-90

Plus, you know, I was in your same boat, jumped over the side, and I'll never go back.

Karl said...

Hi Andy,
Like a lot of other people commenting here, I was a die-hard Windows user until I made the switch about 1 1/2 years ago. I even worked at Microsoft for three years in the early 1990s, so I had some residual loyalty to the company. But when I got my iMac, I couldn't believe how much better it was than my Dells and Gateways. Two weeks ago my boss bought me a MacBook Pro, and it is the smoothest, fastest, most beautiful machine I've ever used. The difference between it and my Dell Inspiron laptop is kind of like the difference between an Infiniti and a Yugo. Sure, the Yugo will get you from point A to point B, but it might take longer and it'll certainly be a lot less comfortable along the way.

When you absolutely need to run Windows apps, Parallels works flawlessly. And VirtueDesktops is a cool little desktop switcher that I like to use to keep the two environments in separate workspaces.

If you go with a Mac, you should definitely download the free QuickSilver. Also, while NetNewsWire isn't free, it's definitely worth the price.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I agree with the other Mac users in response to your questions. I just got a new 17" iMac at school and love it.

One caveat: While it is true that you can run Windows on the Mac, my understanding is that once you connect to the internet through Windows you are subject to all of the virus and spyware problems you had on your Dell. As long as you browse the internet using a Mac browser (Safari, or my choice, Firefox), you should be safe.

Mike

CarolN said...

Someday I may make the brave jump with you. I am on my third Dell in a year and a half. The problem is, I use it for work and personal stuff, and I have to connect remotely to my work's shared file system. And of course, they're all using Windows PCs. I have had so many problems... including the freaky system crashes caused by iTunes. Computers. Oy vey. Best of luck.