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Is it easy to change to Mac from Pc?

stevie Plus
14 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
28 Feb 2013 9:16PM
I still don't get the MAC/PC thing. I use both regularly and once I'm actually doing something such as writing a document/browsing the net/editing in PS etc it doesn't make any difference to me. The 27" Mac screens look good largely because of their 27" size and 2560X1440 resolution (you might not like working on a glossy screen in the longer term, by the way) but this size and resolution is now much more easily available for PC , too.

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28 Feb 2013 11:30PM
I've used PCs at home for years, and used Macs while I was a mature student for 6 or 7 years up until 18 months ago. Yes, there are differences, but believe me, they're slight, and you''ll soon adapt. I'd love a Mac, purely so I could use FinalCut for video editing.
1 Mar 2013 12:22PM
It’s polite to say Macs are merely different from PCs, but the truth is they are better. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a Windows PC to get equally good photography results, and for some people the latter truth is the greater one, and a fine reason to save money with a lower-cost PC. (A similar line of reasoning means I drive a Citroën rather than a rear-wheel-drive German saloon. Well, that and being broke.)

The main advantages of a Mac lie in the OS and the consistently high quality of software from both Apple and other developers, but the hardware is also very different from the average PC. I don’t mean the headline specs like the CPU or RAM, of course – though Apple does sometimes get short-term exclusivity on new parts from Intel and others by virtue of its enormous buying power – but things like thermal engineering, electromagnetic shielding, quality of case materials, and fit and finish.

Apple pays tremendous attention to details that the average PC builder doesn’t care about, and you don’t need to be an engineer or designer to appreciate some of these things. You just need to listen to the noise of the fan – a 12-core Mac Pro is eerily quiet at full tilt despite sucking down several hundred watts – or enjoy the reliability conferred by Apple’s strict adherence to standards in things like Wi-Fi protocols, USB power supplies, and DisplayPort.

In the OS, you just need to hold down the e key for half a second to get é, è, or ë (you think I threw in the Citroën above just for kicks?), or hit Command-Control-D to get an instant pop-up dictionary and thesaurus entry for any word under your cursor. You just need to use Time Machine, still the only encrypted backup system that combines brain-dead ease-of-use with rock-solid performance.

You might need to think a bit more to appreciate the usefulness of OS X’s distinction between apps and windows, but once you’ve learned the shortcuts Command-Tab, Shift-Command-Tab, Command-Accent (`), and Shift-Command-Accent you’ll soon figure it out – and if you’re a compulsive multi-tasker you’ll wonder how you got along without it. In fact, window-management in general is much better done on a Mac than on Windows, which tickles my funny bone.

There is a keyboard shortcut for everything , and notice how much tidier that list is than the Microsoft equivalent . Good presentation of clear documentation is another other Apple advantage.

Some people think that because Apple calls something Time Machine, Spotlight, or Mission Control ( widely copied , like many Apple ideas: Apple is basically an ideas factory for the whole tech industry) it’s a mere plaything. They couldn’t be more wrong. Apple’s trademark is precisely to combine an airy, approachable presentation with underpinnings as solid as the pyramids – in a deeply and abidingly beautiful design, natch.

To ‘install’ an app on OS X, just put it where you want: there’s no Windows Registry to worry about. Consequently, you can install a thousand apps and they will do absolutely nothing to slow down performance, except when you’re actually running them. To remove an app, put it in the Trash – poof. A couple of years later your Mac will run just as smoothly as it did on its first day, assuming you haven’t done something criminally stupid.

And the Mac’s advantages extend into esoteric and geeky things like on-the-fly defragmentation of files under 20 megabytes since 2001, invisible full-disk encryption with FileVault 2, transparent file-compression with the default file system (HFS Plus, which you should definitely use rather than FAT32 (a dreadful file system in every way) or NTFS (much better, but a proprietary system that Macs can’t write to)), pervasive drag and drop, the OS X Terminal , system recovery over the internet , and much more (PDF).

There are other reasons to choose a Mac, too. Apple produces an environmental report for each of its products, wherein you can see the progress they’re making on reducing energy and materials usage (example for the current Mac mini (PDF). Do you see all those ‘ffi’ ligatures in each ‘efficiency’ on page 1? Classic Apple!). Apple is making a greater effort than most to improve labour practices at its suppliers’ factories , although serious problems remain.

As you can see, I think Apple computers are worth switching to, but I wouldn’t downplay the difficulty of moving from Windows to OS X. Windows has been by far the most popular OS for decades, and you might know a surprising amount about Windows even if you don’t consider yourself particularly knowledgeable. It’s easy to browse the web or run Photoshop on another operating system, but it takes time and effort to really learn the productivity-enhancing features of another OS.

Start here and here if you do get a Mac.
javam 13 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 1:10PM

Quote:It’s polite to say Macs are merely different from PCs, but the truth is they are better.

Even though I have been a mac user for 10 years I would have to say there is a distinct lack of objectivity in that comment and post Samuel.

What is better or important to one person make no difference to another. If it did, no one would be buying badly made ugly french cars.

The opinion of the person parting with the money is the only one that counts.

If everyone just stuck to answering the queries people came up with and avoided starting another tedious and pointless mac vs pc debate, these threads would be so much more informative.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 1:14PM
Sam the problem with your post, is you have made many bold claim and it is so easy to shoot down. This post is just put in to balance your un-balanced view. Use what OS you like but drop the superiority bit, it is just not founded. They are just another PC with plus and minus points, but not a superior product.

It is polite to say the standard Mac is ok for photography, reality finds it sadly lacking. For photography you want a good monitor, that is a matt one not a glossy one. Unfortunately Apple have not been that good at this. They do look good for watching films but watch out for reflections and colour responses, especially if you want to print. The majority of Mac computers people may be able to afford are not the best for photo editing, rather their poor display choices.

Next for hardware, well they use a subset of the chipsets that are used for PC’s so the majority of the silicon building blocks are no better or worse. But they have gone for the mobile chipsets, so you get restrictions on performance and you get the heating issues to deal with. In short apple have compromised their designs for looks and as an engineer I do not find them the best designs.
And if you want to talk about drives and data security would you not want to go to a RAID configuration, again they look to not be supporting this. Yes you can back up to external but how about real time error detection and data protection, not so hot because of apple hardware design limitations. And they are so slow to catch up with modern media take Blue Ray for example.
And as for SW Apple are very slow to react to threats, they have become so used to not being targets that have been very slow and complacent to react to threats. Take the recent vulnerabilities to malware where they just are not as reactive as the competition. Sadly the fact that many users think that the system is secure against such malicious SW makes the impact of an outbreak worse.

So in my eyes the apple products are more expensive and inferior to the other OS systems out there for photographers. Of course if you are not that interested in technology and tools then they may have more of an attraction as a general purpose browser for less demanding users, but in that light I would say get a tablet.

Yes you can use an apple or a Windows or a Linux Os based system. It would be foolish to think that apple PCs is superior. Use what you like, but superior, pull the other one. They are different. And their environmental performance is not that great. Have you factored in their carbon footprint or did you just read the marketing blurb. Its like believing the Prius is an environmental improvement over other cars. Look at the impact of making the batteries. You need real world impact.
779HOB 6 1.2k United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 1:26PM
I went from a MAC to a PC : why, simple, more bang for my buck. Photo editing just as easy on a PC as a MAC. I see no advantage to using a MAC and the glossy screens are horrid for photos. IMO only of course.
hobbs 14 1.3k United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 1:44PM
In my experience the main difference that will always have me going back for Mac products is the customer service. I'll give you an example of a situation that happened to my other halfs sister.

Last year she was starting out at university and had been bought a 15" MacBook Pro to help with her graphic design course. Having only had the Mac a couple of months she had spilt orange juice all over it, when I say spilt it would be more appropriate to say drowned. At this point she was distraught as she and her parents couldn't afford to replace it. A couple of days later we took her to the Apple store to see if they could fix it, she wouldn't go on her own as she was so embarressed.

Before going in we told her to be completely honest with them about what she had done. Upon being approached by one of the staff in the apple store she explained what she had done hanging her head in shame. The member of staff took the MacBook and proceeded to open it up at which point orange juice proceeded to drip out of it. The member of staff then walked away to work out the cost to repair the computer.

Upon coming back he asked if she wanted to hear the bad news or the good news first, she said the bad. He explained to fix it would cost over £1,000, her face dropped. Then he turned to her and said I tell you what were going to do for you though, were going to keep your MacBook and give you a brand new one to replace it at no charge. I've never seen someone's expression change from being distraught to overjoyed so quickly.

I've heard of plenty of other incidents like this involving Apple and have also been lucky enough to have Apple make similair smaller gestures to myself and after each time someone has recanted a story like this to me they have always said they wouldn't shop anywhere else.

This is why I'm more than happy to pay more, it's because I realise I'm not just paying for a device but for the whole customer experience.
CathyT 12 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 2:02PM
I love mineGrin
milly123 8 92 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 2:09PM
About 18 months ago I was already with £2000 to go and buy a brand new imac from Apple's flag ship store in Bluewater. After the arrogant experience I received from the salesman, I decided Apple didn't need my money.

Mentioning this to a work colleague who happened to be a bit of an IT geek, he explained that all the parts used in an mac are readily available standard parts, Western Digital hard drives, I 7 processor etc, and also, macs cannot be easily up graded by the average person. The only real difference as he saw it, is the OS. With his help I built my own computer, when I say built, what I really mean is, plugged different components together, a train monkey could do it. I spent just under £1000 for a higher spec'd machine which will always be up-gradable.

I agree, macs do look good and I'm sure, are good, but these days PC's can be, too!

779HOB 6 1.2k United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 2:15PM

Quote:were going to keep your MacBook and give you a brand new one to replace it at no charge.

Thing is you pay for that customer service in the extra cost of the kit. You aren't really getting anything for free from them.
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
1 Mar 2013 2:28PM

Quote:new imac from Apple's flag ship store in Bluewater. After the arrogant experience I received from the salesman

That is rather an unfortunate experience as I have always found all of the staff so helpful with their advice / customer service.
1 Mar 2013 3:41PM
A Windows PC is better (principally better than nothing*) if you must save money. In a similar way, my Citroën is better than a BMW.

But a BMW is concretely better than my Citroën in a great many ways. Car fiends will quote slip angles and traction budgets to explain why rear-wheel drive is better for cornering, and they’ll get no disagreement from my quarter. It is quite possible to rationally accept you don’t need ‘the best’, though it’s frankly harder if ‘the best’ costs only a little more than cut-price junk, as is the case with many Apple products (but not BMWs).

Macs are likewise concretely better than Windows PCs in many important ways, even though a given computer buyer may care as much about ligatures as I do about a tyre’s slip angle. That doesn’t mean failing to use a ligature with kerning letterforms is anything other than typographic ignorance.

(I’m getting good mileage out of this ligature example, aren’t I? I find it to be a perfect little metaphor for what’s right with Apple and wrong with essentially all other consumer-electronics companies. Blame Steve Jobs and Sir Jony Ive.)

The view that everything is open for debate is dull-witted and counterproductive. In this case it’s additionally misplaced decorum, and I won’t partake in it. There are good and bad things in the world, and I won’t apologise for putting Macs squarely in the good column any more than I would apologise for espousing moral universalism, requiring me as that would to feign ignorance of everything I know to be true.

The tech world without Apple would be nothing but flashing lights and shouting and nightmares.


* A great deal better than nothing, obviously. First-world problems, etc., etc.
hobbs 14 1.3k United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 4:08PM

Quote:were going to keep your MacBook and give you a brand new one to replace it at no charge.

Thing is you pay for that customer service in the extra cost of the kit. You aren't really getting anything for free from them.

Technically they replaced the MacBook for free as it would of cost over a £1,000 to repair the damaged one.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 5:09PM
samueldilworth what useful tasks can you perform in OSX that can't be done on a Windows 8 machine? What do I get for all the extra money? How many hours of experience do you have of Windows 7 and Windows 8?

You say you care about kerning. You should maybe start by hand kerning the logo on your website , you can get a bus between the i and the o in the word abrasion. Maybe you couldn't see properly because of your reflective screen Wink
hobbs 14 1.3k United Kingdom
1 Mar 2013 5:32PM

Quote:You say you care about kerning. You should maybe start by hand kerning the logo on your website, you can get a bus between the i and the o in the word abrasion. Maybe you couldn't see properly because of your reflective screen Wink

Please don't mention kerning, I thought I could come here to escape it. My other half's a graphic designer and has been known to pause live TV to have a pop at the kerning. Grin

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