Switching To Mac is Great

UPDATE #3: Ok. Ok. I give up. Macs are wonderful. Anyone that doesn't use them is an idiot. Bloggers should only post their opinions and experiences when they are pro-Mac. There is no such thing as anti-Mac because if you don't like a Mac then the problem is with you, not with the Mac. Please please stop sending me email. I've changed the title of the post to be pro-mac.

A few weeks ago I bought a Mac. I know several people that speak highly of them, and they seemed to have some cool features. Three weeks into it, I would say that if you are considering it, don't waste your time. It's all bells and whistles, and functionally, they don't offer any advantages over a PC.

For starters, they aren't intuitive at all. Everything is graphics driven and Apple seems to want to avoid using text whenever possible. The fact that there is no right click button on the touch pad has to be the single worst design decision anyone has ever made. My guess is that they did it just to be different, as I can't imagine a scenario that makes it somehow more useful.

The delete button is a misnomer, as it's really just a backspace, and the machine runs 3x as hot as my Windows laptop. The book that it came with only contained technical information, and had nothing about how to navigate your way around the operating system.

Many of the arguments I hear for switching (no viruses, no crashes, etc) don't really apply to me. I haven't had a Windows virus in 5 years, and my laptop has only crashed once in the two years I've owned it. So from that perspective, I didn't gain anything by going to a Mac.

People also talk about all the cool widgets for Macs, but I've used those through Konfabulator on Windows since before Yahoo bought the company, so I don't really see them as all that impressive.

Now, some of you are probably thinking that I just need more time, that I love Windows or whatever, but I can tell you I've used Unix and Linux, and I find all flavors of those operating systems easier to use and more intuitive than Mac's O/S.

So if you are contemplating a switch to Mac, I would say think carefully about whether or not you will really benefit. The downtime for me to learn a new operating system hasn't been worth it. There are some benefits, like iMovie and a few other programs not available for PC, but overall, I would say that if you are an experienced Windows user with decent security precautions in place, save your time and your money and stick with a PC. Macs aren't bad, they just aren't any better than PCs.

UPDATE: Read the comments if you get a chance. They are absolutely hilarious, and show that most people didn't even read the post. I especially like the ones about how I'll be slammed with security issues, even though I never those on a PC.

UPDATE #2: I must have received more emails with the "F" word in the last 24 hours than I have received in the rest of my life put together. My anecdotal research seems to show that using a Mac makes you hateful.

And what is up with everyone talking about the mouse? I said the touchpad in my post. I'm complaining about the lack of a second button below the touchpad. For those of you nice enough to send suggestions and links to downloads rather than nastygrams, thank you.

  • surfergurl

    you’re an idiot! mac has never had a mouse (did you really mean touch pad??) with two buttons — not because they wanted to be different but because there wasn’t a need for two buttons.

    the whole point of macs and the manuals that come with them is that you don’t need a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo that nobody would want to read anyway. you take a new mac out of its box and plug it in and you’re ready to go.

    icons ARE more intuitive than text. it’s a proven fact and that’s why macs are so user friendly.

    oh, and osX IS unix. i guess you missed that, huh?

  • Jason

    Summary– Macs have no right clicking and their delete key is mislabeled.

    You’re right– it’s a deal breaker.

    Try using your new Mac to do fun and productive things. Have you run photoshop on it? Have you put together a website? A well written article would include comparison of the user experience rather than picking out a few features that are different–not wrong– but different.

  • I completely disagree with your overall assessment of the Mac as someone who switched to it about 5 years ago. But you don’t have to like it, it’s a choice.

    But to answer one of your questions, you can use any two button usb or bluetooth mouse with the mac, so if that’s driving you a bit nutty, you can easily fix it. And to answer your question about why they would have had only one button. First when they released the first mouse in 1984, windows didn’t exist, so the real question is why they didn’t add it (until the mighty mouse). Well, as someone who has worked in tech support one of the most annoying things you have to deal with is the right click. Once you instruct an user to right-click on something they will ask you every single time whether to right or left click on the item. It adds a huge amount of time to each call.

  • Adam

    I’d have to agree, Rob. I got a Macbook Pro a few months ago, expecting that “aww haw” mac moment. It hasn’t happened.

    There are little nuances of a mac and its OS that really make the experience undesirable. I absolutely love keynote and iMovie, but on the whole it is not worth the premium. For the price I paid for my mac I could have gotten a powerhouse PC without all the other hassles.

    And, FYI, if you don’t have a mouse connected you can right click by hitting the ctrl key prior to clicking the mouse button on the laptop.

  • hey

    So, you want right click, right?
    Go to System Preferences, click Keyboard and Mouse, select Tap trackpad using two fingers for secondary click.
    Now whenever you tap the trackpad with both fingers at the same time the right-click menu comes up, easy right?
    Oh and no need to click apply and restart the computer for changes to take effect, it just starts working.
    I think you should experiment a little more with your computer and learn all the things that make it so much easier to use, such as search accesed through command+spacebar, instant wake up, and if you really need to run windows, just use fusion or paralells. Enjoy.

  • Tom

    Most of your comments are ridiculous. You couldn’t give the Mac 15 seconds to learn its differences from Windows?

    Wouldn’t a site called Businesspundit want to know the subject matter more before making a decision? Obviously not. Guess you were in a rush to write your article, huh?

    You don’t “know” the Mac after three weeks, and it’s foolish to think you do. Pundit, indeed.

  • Some Guy

    ” they don’t offer any advantages over a PC.”

    Aside from reliability and security, you mean?

    Next time you’re blacklisted because some malware on your machine is spewing porn spam, come back here and tell us again how how the Mac doesn’t offer any advantages.

  • Ha ha! You wrote an honest post about Mac’s. Prepare to get highly opinionated hate and/or “you’re so stupid!” comments. ;)

    I’m completely in agreement with you when it comes to the perception that “Mac’s are better.” It’s marketing hoopla, and they have their issues.

    I personally switched from Windows XP to Mac OS X 10.4 late last year, and welcome the change quite a bit. I currently still use Windows systems (XP, Server 2003, Vista), and Linux systems (Gentoo, Ubuntu), though my primary system is Mac.

    I’m going to give you the standard why I switched story, though I’m going to not try and make it into some viral marketing bullshit where I attempt to justify my purchase by proclaiming Mac’s are the best thing since, well, insert overused cliche here. I’d switch away from them the moment something better came along.

    Windows XP never gave me any major issues. I’ve never had virus issues, spyware, or malware. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I don’t do dumb things. Programs I installed onto XP machines were typically popular and known to do good things. I surfed the web with Firefox with Java/Javascript/Flash disabled with NoScript, and enabled it when applicable. Firewall on, ensure your email reader doesn’t render HTML pages in IE, and you’ve got a very nice OS.

    What bugged me about Windows was that it suffers from attention deficit disorder. It also treats you as if you’ve never used a computer before, something which annoys me to no end.

    No, you don’t need to tell me that my LAN adapter isn’t connected to the internet. I’m obviously connected using the wireless one right now.

    Thanks for reminding me that I just plugged my USB device into a non-2.0 port. I know it’s not a high-speed port. I would have plugged it into a faster one if I cared, but I don’t.

    Plus the way XP updates itself doesn’t bode well with me either. Without telling you otherwise before hand, it prompts you constantly to reboot your computer after Windows Updates have been automatically applied. There’s actually a way to reduce how often it reminds you to reboot (every 15 minutes is default). You can push it up to 24 hours if you know how to edit the System Policy, which frankly not many people outside of the IT world know about.

    Things like that, which annoy the heck out of me. I kind of suffer from ADD, though am not formally diagnosed. I get easily distracted, and when that happens it throws off my workflow big time. I’m the type of guy who has to disabled New Email notifications, leave Instant Messaging off, and divide my time accordingly to get work done.

    What I love about Macs is that they treat me like someone who knows how to use computers. I’m not reminded about obvious things constantly. In fact, OS X shuts the fuck up almost all the time. That’s what attracts me to it more than anything else. Windows, and even everyone’s favorite, Ubuntu, are still very noisy operating systems.

    Having said that, I’ve had horror issues with OS X. When the system crashes, it crashes HARD. The other day my entire iTunes database was blown away because it decided to freeze after I opened the laptop lid up after a hibernate (frankly, I’ve not found one OS which can do this simple task without having issues from time to time). That meant all of the metadata about my music was gone, and I’d have to rebuild the entire library (good thing I had a backup to restore from).

    Removing applications, while appearing easy, can be a pain in the butt if they scatter files all over your drive. There’s not package management system in OS X. There are non-Apple one’s, such as Fink, but they’re really for advanced users (people who like Gentoo’s Portage, or Debian’s apt-get, for example), and I’ve heard horror stories about them too.

    I could go on.

    I think what it comes down to is, simply, personal preference. I do tend to recommend Macs to people who are just really dumb with PC’s (they surf the “dark” spaces of the internet, install all sorts of crap, etc…), though warn them that there’s a substantial learning curve to switch (a good 4-8 weeks). Not everything is hunky-dory, and they cost a lot more than PC’s do. About a 50% premium most of the time.

    People who are fed up with Windows usually say yes, and people happy with Windows stick with what works for them. And if you do switch and don’t like it, return the computer and switch back.

    What interest me more than anything is the cult of Mac (I need to read that book someday). People take sides with them, to a religious extent, and care passionately about who “wins.” I like to remind them that the only thing Apple is trying to do, just like any multi-national corporation, is to maximize their net present value, and that they’re using you as a marketing vector.

  • My blog was started back [wow – it’s almost time for the five-year Blogiversary!] when I was using my iMac desktop.

    I have stopped using that computer for awhile… I didn’t know why it was running slow and acting up – I was told that it was because Spyware had messed it up. This happens to Windows machines too, but I think that Macs are overall more secure.

    I now have a Toshiba laptop – but it has been having so many problems recently… That I’ve been wanting a new laptop – I’ve been told that Macintosh laptops are superior; my brother just got a new laptop, and it is a Mac. I am assuming that he is doing well with it. The thing is, I have always been a pro-Mac person, but in recent years, I was trending away from that, partly because the Windows interface seems to be better, with features such as Yahoo! mail and Blogger. Though with the latest Mac Operating Systems, it’s possible that some of those issues have been resolved… I hope that the new Mac OS allows us to do hyperlinks, within the text of Yahoo! Mail and GMail.

    Overall, I think I need a new Mac.

  • Shuh

    What you learn today is what everyone else will be learning on Windows 5 years from now. I know it takes time to get used to using something that isn’t trailing-edge technology, but hang in there. It’s worth it.

  • minimeee

    How come you BOUGHT a Mac then? I will never understand ppl who spend k’s of $’s – let alone not having informed themselves about the thing they wanna get in the first place – and then hit out on the web, talking about their disappointment. Clearly there’s enough stores around where one can try out the machine in the first place. Oh well – if you can’t get it to work for your w/o the right button, I can PM you my address to send the not-so-good Mac to – I am fairly confident without this ‘missing’ features (right btn, manual & text). meee

  • minimeee

    How come you bought a Mac then? I will never understand people who spend thousand of dollars, let alone not having informed themselves about the thing they wanna get in the first place, and then hit out on the web, talking about their disappointment. Clearly there’s enough stores around where one can try out the machine in the first place. Oh well – if you can’t get it to work for your without the right button, I can PM you my address to send the not-so-good Mac to – I am fairly confident without this ‘missing’ features (right btn, manual & text). meee

  • ratty

    Rob, sir, you are an idiot of the highest order. Either this is pure FUD / Astroturfing of the first order or you are completely stupid.

    As Hey has already pointed out right clicking is built into the trackpad. I know that might be a bit hard from someone coming from a windows environment to get their head around as they don’t actually have those left and right buttons under the pad. It is built in. It means you can control the machine with gestures. You know like that crappy table thing M$ are proposing. The trackpad will allow you to do it all if you turn on all the options in the prefs you can even scroll without leaving the pad by using two fingers too.

    But I suspect that even it had been shipped with it switched on – this may have been too much for your tiny brain to cope with.

    “Now, some of you are probably thinking that I just need more time, that I love Windows or whatever, but I can tell you I’ve used Unix and Linux, and I find all flavors of those operating systems easier to use and more intuitive than Mac’s O/S.”

    Er, go to Applications::Utilities and drag that icon TERMINAL to your dock and then when you click on the icon in the dock you will have access to Unix from a command line giving you back all the stuff “Apple are trying to keep from you”

    OSX has always had support for multibutton mice and Apple have been selling mighty mice for some time now. These have at least 4 buttons (left, right, trackball and squeeze) which can be assigned as wanted in the system prefs. Also the trackball allows you to scroll up and down and left and right in any window.

  • GreenGrunt

    Trying to explain the Mac to this “business pundit” is a waste of time.

    He has his anger on for everything Apple and needed an article to drive traffic.


  • Frank

    I think Mac users are just dumb. They weren’t smart enough to keep their PCs secure, so they had to switch. Anyone with half a brain can install some basic Windows security software and run without a problem.

  • Mike D

    I don’t think you actually took the time use a Mac for everything. If your PC has not had virus in 5 years, you must not have connected to network. Being sold a PC is rip off. With being so stable, you buy the computer and thats it! When was shopping for a laptop I had no intention of getting a Mac, I eavesdropped on the salesman with another customer. What sold me on the Mac was not the graphics (you can a console if you wish) but stability and ease of use. The poor couple next to me was not being sold just computer to check their e-mail, they were being sold a whole pile security software, and there was no mention of all the free (and equally able) security software available. A Mac works right out of the box, is stable, and has eye candy to boot. This ease of use what a Mac is all about.

  • Tedious

    Look at all the people who took the bait!!

    You, sir, are a master.

    It was brilliant the way you used excuses from pre-1997 (like the one-button mouse thing! That one always gets them steamed!) that aren’t even true anymore.

  • Paul D

    Say what you want. The Mac is now taking over and spreading fast. It’s nice to be in the drivers seat.

    BTW, LONG POSTS are always ignored.

  • ratty


    Quite a large band of Mac users were using the Mac to compute for years without using Windows… Please note I prefer to use all my processing power to process and not half of it running the virus protection… That and not having to give symantec 50 bucks of protection racket money a year is a godsend.

  • Jellybean

    This post will probably not get published but I’ll give it a shot.

    Let’s see…. Business pundit writing about computers and technology. Yup, I’m definitely going to take this advice seriously. In fact, I’m going to go and see my local plumber and ask him which computer OS is the best. He would know. Seriously though, I hope the uninformed schlubs that come here don’t take your ignorance to heart.

    Bizpundit says “For starters, they aren’t intuitive at all. Everything is graphics driven and Apple seems to want to avoid using text whenever possible.”

    >Based on your premise of wasting time, wouldn’t it be faster to click on an icon and get something done than sit there and read some verbose dialogue box that you have to decode? Duh.

    Bizpundit says “The fact that there is no right click button on the touch pad has to be the single worst design decision anyone has ever made. My guess is that they did it just to be different, as I can’t imagine a scenario that makes it somehow more useful.”

    >Haha. Right click IS DESIGNED and supported in the system. If you really took the time to learn your system you would know this. Hint, go to System Preferences. Imagine that? Also, imagine an operating system that doesn’t require a right click….. think the original Mac of 1984.

    Bizpundit says “Now, some of you are probably thinking that I just need more time, that I love Windows or whatever, but I can tell you I’ve used Unix and Linux, and I find all flavors of those operating systems easier to use and more intuitive than Mac’s O/S.”

    >Really? What’s more easier than having a fully configured GUI based OS and having access to Terminal session in Mac OS X right out of the box. It’s all right there a GUI and UNIX all in one. No long hours trying to configure the system. Duh. I’m sure you wasted a lot of TIME configuring your Unix/Linux box. Duh.

    People, this is not the place to get advice on computers and technology. I’d recommend a real tech site like Ars technica for the real dope.

  • Let me get this out of the way first. I am a Mac user. I love OSX and prefer the combination of a unix-like backend with what I consider a user-friendly interface. Yes, to me it’s very user friendly in fact I have discovered it’s not it’s simplicity that gets in the way but my life long habits and expectations of doing things harder. As someone who uses a laptop more than a desktop I have grown to love keyboard shortcuts more than using a mouse, much easier on my wrist and less of hasle when moving to place to play. However when I do use a mouse I do like a right-click and ironically my current mouse of choice is my Microsoft Intellimouse which works just fine with my MacBook Pro.

    I also have Windows XP installed via a Parallels and spend about 10 percent of my time in Windows.

    While I’m not 100% thrilled with idea of be locked into Apple’s hardware at least you know that are concentrating on developing for a specific combination of hardware

    If you are comfortable with Windows that is cool however I know a lot of people who are not that tech savy and would be a lot better of using a Mac.

    People compare computers to cars a lot. It’s not always good to compare two different kind of technology but I am reminded of the difference between automatic and manual transmission and how you have die hard fans of both.

  • Rob

    I’m not trying to give tech reviews, just sharing my opinions so that regular readers can benefit, in case they are considering a switch. I didn’t realize the Mac Nazis would come after me.

    I must have forgotten to download the brainwashing program that came with my Mac.

  • Rob

    “so little knowledge of?” You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either Macs are intuitive and easy to pick up, or they take a long time to learn and master. They can’t be easy and intuitive but take a long time. I picked up Unix in about a day once I learned to type “man”.

  • Adam

    This is cheap entertainment. Too bad we couldn’t get a discussion like this going on a serious business topic…

  • Jay

    Wow. Now I remember why I’m not religious.

  • Apple puts design above function….BUT still nails BOTH most of the time. That’s impressive. They nail BOTH at a higher rate than Microsoft nails ONE (function).

    I switched to mac a year ago and I’m very happy with the switch…both computers still run as fast as they did on day one and without the lock-ups.

    But at the end of the day….IT’S A FREAKIN COMPUTER, PEOPLE!!!

    fanboys = sharks. this post = chum

  • Hi Rob. My assessment of the Mac is very similar to yours. I recently took a new job in e-publishing. I am the only one in my group with an i-Mac–my organization, like so many others, has embraced the misnomer that Mac is better for that sort of thing than a PC (a successful marketing campaign by Apple, just like their old marketing push that Macs were better in educational environments then a PC-as a former high school teacher of 8 years, I also disagree with this). I do some stuff with graphics and I do our magazine’s podcast. I was excited at first after all of the rave reviews I have heard about the i-Mac and its creative computing ability. So far, it has really just been a pain. I have found it to be far less intuitive than a PC. And Garage Band is not especially impressive either. However, as you have discovered, there is an element out there that does not permit even the most objective criticism of this sacred cow. I appreciate your post.

  • The MacAddicts need to relax a little. So he doesn’t like OSX, so what? Move along…

  • leary

    I’m not going to bite too hard into this. You have the right to like or not like the Mac of course. I have no problem with that. But starting your article by calling people Mac Nazis is a pretty good way to get a lot of F word comments don’t you think?

    I did read through the “entire” thing (there’s not much there really). I won’t try to sway your decision but i will say that a new OS will always take time to get used to. The advantages appear only after the initial shock and disorientation have passed. You have to actually work with a new OS to realize its benefits. Casual browsing will only show you the shiny surface, not the solidity or ease of use.

    The best example is your touchpad reference. No, there is no right button. What there is though is an intelligent sensor that recognizes one or two fingers. So tapping with TWO fingers on the touchpad becomes a right-click trigger. Look into system preferences if this isn’t on by default.

    Bottomline: you’re assuming a lot of things without doing much research or giving the OS a chance. Pretty good recipe for lots of F word comments ;-)

  • Canceled

    I canceled the RSS subscription to your blog after reading this article. The byline alone seems short-sighted and invokes just the reactions you are complaining about getting in your updates. The article seriously lacks in professionalism and I don’t think just another blogger posting ranting opinions that are irresponsible, and have no investigative base is a waste of my time. I subscribed to your RSS feed for all of one week. Just thought you should know. And I read the whole post, it’s only 19 sentences long.

  • Rob – where else could you get such cheap humor? It’s obvious by the people beating you up in the comments that Macs must rule, or else why would every person who owns a Mac rush to defend the device they love so much? Or is it just that people love to argue and fight with people who disagree with them, and comments are a great way to stir things up?

  • Nick

    Mac Nazis, please at least read the whole post …”

    Dear me, now anyone who doesn’t want to use the Windows operating system — which has many, many problems with it whatever you might like to claim — or who doesn’t, directly or indirectly, wish to support a company that’s an abusive, convicted monopolist that only just recently tried to subvert the Swedish standards body over its Office “Open” XML is a *Nazi*. Is to be compared with a mass muderer.

    Well, get stuffed, Windows shill.

    Use what you please. Why should anyone else care? I’d expected an interesting discussion when I clicked the link not childish abuse.

  • As to the lack of a second mouse button: for people who are used to it, who make use of it, it may seem like a step backward. There is a reason.
    Apple, once upon a time, wrote a whole series of books on best practices for a graphical UI. OS 9 followed them. OS X does to some degree, but actually breaks a few. Windows even follows it to some degree. It’s considered something of a bible for Graphical UI designers.
    The reason why Apple doesn’t have a right mouse button (by default, even the Mighty Mouse doesn’t have the right mouse button turned on) is to force DEVELOPERS (the ones who write the code) to put everything in a menu. There are plenty of windows programs (and even some Mac programs) where the only way to access a certain command is through the context menu. This is bad, at least for most users, who are more likely to go through menus than read a manual or click a right mouse button. Plus, the right-mouse button, being context sensitive, is terribly dependent on you being able to press that button without moving the mouse even a few pixels to one direction, where the context menu will change and you won’t be able to find what you were looking for.
    In addition, you’d be surprised how many people who have used Windows for years who really don’t know what a right-click is. Since most people are right handed, they’re liable to think “I am clicking with my right hand” or they just never put together that the menu does things. It keeps changing when they press it and most people don’t take the time to read everything on screen, so that context menu basically becomes something like the stock ticker at the bottom of CNN that gets tuned out.
    There are programs that will give you some of that functionality for a Macbook trackpad. You can also hold down the ctrl key while pressing the button or tapping and get the context menu. Every system requires a bit of adjustment.
    There are a number of freeware programs that will also allow you to adjust the fans in your Macbook. Versiontracker.com is a great place to find them. By default, Apple has the temperature controls set rather high, so as to improve battery life at the expense of higher heat. You can tweak the fan settings, though, to bring the heat levels down but at the expense of said battery. I have a program for my Powerbook that does this, although I’ve found that my battery isn’t too adversely affected, while my machine runs considerably cooler.
    If you have any other questions or issues, feel free to contact me. I do believe that a Mac is a better machine for most people than a Windows machine, although I readily admit there are cases where someone does need a Windows machine. As in the case of changing any brand of hardware, the main issue is that most people just aren’t familiar with the alternative for the new system. You just have to make the adjustment, but eventually, I believe you’ll find there is little that a Windows machine can do that a Mac can’t do (some things better, obviously it will depend on what those things are as to how much better that is for you).

  • Dave

    SOLD: I’ll buy it from you for 80% of retail list—assuming that it was purchased new, is under two months old, has zero defects or damage and it boots upon arrival. Please email me your invoice ASAP. We’ve run our business on Macs for over 10 years. We retire two seven year old G4 dual 1 Ghz Mac boxes with new iMacs on Wednesday. I have two G4 laptops that are getting long-in-the-tooth. All of our systems run Tiger… try that on a seven year old PC!

    You should not keep using something you don’t like.

  • DC

    The problem is you purchased a MacBook then treated it as if it were a PC, right from the git-go, rather than “think differently”.
    Lots of folks are making this switch with Apple’s sales growth outstripping the Windows PC’s, especially laptops where Apple the the third in sales.

    IOW, you treated this like so many professing to be switchers, but not really.

    You’re probably better than this column lets on.

    Why not try a re-load and one suggestion, lets leave out the stuff about the “old” Mac/Apple and confine things to the present.

    Before you think ill of me, I use Macs, Windows and have a solaris system. I also cut my computer teeth on an Apple IIe running CP/M and using Dbase.

  • David

    Let me see if I have this, since you say no one else has: You complain that “no right click button on the touch pad has to be the single worst design decision anyone has ever made”.

    There IS a “right click button on THE TOUCH PAD.” And in fact is is ON the pad. Tap the pad with TWO fingers. That will bring up the menu that is brought up on Windows by right-click.

    The setting for this action is in System Preferences/Keyboard & Mouse/Trackpad: 3 click-boxes from the bottom: “Tap trackpad using two fingers for secondary click.”

  • Chuck

    I saw this article title posted on Applelinks and thought that is was supposed to be a joke. Perhaps it is because I came to this article from an “apple” site that I find it odd. I am writing this post from my MacBook Pro in my room later in the evening. As I type my keys softly let me know what each one of them does. I can type and really do not look at them very often, but my apple computer has so many of these user friendly touches that the experience is always enjoyable. In the past couple of months alone a dozen or so (honestly) friends of mine have purchased new apple computers for the first time. ALL of them are so pleased that they keep remarking about how great this experience is compared to their Windows life. My comments are not some sort of “zealot speach”. It is just the way it is. I really cannot understand why you would say that switching to mac is a waste of time. I have used both “platforms” for many years, although I only use Windows when someone needs help or when I sit down at a friends computer who does not yet own a Mac. My experience does not agree with yours at all. I have found that Macs are FAR better to work with. Perhaps you may want to take another look.

  • Paul

    Well, at least you got a big boost in traffic. If these comments are what it means to be “hip”, as Apple’s advertisements imply, then count me out. I prefer to think for myself and keep an open mind as opposed to personally insulting anyone who disagrees with me on such a frivolous topic. You’d think Apple just pulled the Mac line because of your post, based on these reactions.

    Indeed, Rob, the brainwashing software costs $500 extra and is only available through AT&T.

  • Don

    Reading your drivel was a waste of time. Absolutely absurd.

  • I miss the good old days before the Mac-PC holy wars. Long live Unix!

  • Mike

    Nice article. I have used Macs since 1985 and like them. I also have used windows machines for about 10 years. As time goes on the differences between Macs and Windows machines seems smaller and smaller. Both work just fine for me.

    To keep your Mac cooler try a program called SMCFanControl. It allows you to run your fan faster and cool your mac down. It seems that the geniuses at Cupertino didn’t want the fan loud enough to be heard, so that makes the MacBook hot enough to cook on!


  • From the tone of some of the reactions, one would think you’d proposed selling their wives into slavery, feeding their children to Baal-Moloch, and giving their dogs to Michael Vick.

    This is actually kind of scary.

  • _Perfect!

    This is awesome. I love the updates too!

  • matt m

    I don’t get Macs either. They make me feel stupid or clumsy, whereas I get along fine in KDE or Gnome. I think there has been a serious diversion in the UI features we have gotten used to. There is definitely a cost of switching.

  • This was a great post. I’ve been thinking about getting a mac for the same reason as everyone else (so many of my friends swear by them)…but I’ve also had the sense that they’re really not for power users (unless you are a high-level power user in graphic design or video editing).

  • john

    holy cow, they are rather virulent, aren’t they?

    how come someone can’t voice their opinion without getting insulted? (and i mean that either way, pc or mac, or on any other issue for that matter?)

  • Mouse Rclick

    Mouse right click – put two fingers insead of one and then click. Works like a charm…

  • I’ve been a Mac user and lover for many, many years. But man, when I read comments like those here (and lots of other places), I sure hate Mac people.

  • Jeff

    “My anecdotal research seems to show that using a Mac makes you hateful.”

    Unfortunately, you see a lot of this from persecuted groups. Longtime Mac users have had many years to grow accustomed to the uninformed making incorrect assertions and/or assumptions about the platform and steering away others that may love it. To help you understand, let me cite another piece of anecdotal research:

    A year or two back, another blogger—can’t say I remember who—did a face-to-face poll, asking people whether they used Mac OS or Ms Windows. He wound up with almost equal quantities of three responses:

    1) “Mac OS”
    2) “Ms Windows”
    3) “Windows. Macs suck!”

    Fully half of the Ms Windows users, without any prompting whatsoever, editorialized that “Macs suck,” but when asked the follow-up question “Have you ever used one for more than five minutes?” not a single one could respond in the affirmative. *That* is probably the source of the animosity you’re seeing: after 30 years of being berated by the ignorant, many less-than-perceptive Mac users have come to lump any bad press into the “ignorant” category and, long since wearied by their constant dealings with said ignorance, lash out.

    (As an aside, I happen to be a Latter-day Saint, and I see the same thing with religion: there’s a lot of so-called Christians out there that spend their entire lives digging up lies about our Church and its doctrines in a misguided effort to “save” us, and it doesn’t take long to get sick of hearing the same ridiculous assertions and misconceptions rehashed over and over again—especially when you *know* they’re just misconceptions, but even when you try to correct them, the offender refuses to listen ((usually because s/he claims you’ve been “brainwashed”—just like the “Cult of Mac” claims)). After a while, it’s easy to finally reach a breaking point and go postal on anyone with a differing opinion.)

    Anyway, I don’t pretend to defend those that have been vile and/or nasty with you, but perhaps this will add a little bit of understanding.


  • Eli

    Rob, I’m LMFAO at the responses!!! I use both OSX (mostly) and Windows(a little less) every day and can’t believe that people are still beating this dead horse. I agree, a two button touchpad WOULD be nice. I’m pretty handy with the crtl-click but sometimes windows muscle memory takes over and I want that DISCRETE right click. Oh yeah, Dave G.’s post was pretty good too! He needs a blog!

  • Louis Wheeler

    Why is it that people write inflammatory headlines and then expect not to get flamed? I’m sure there are ways that you could say this without insulting the preferences of Mac users. How about? “I’m a stupid person, therefore I dislike Macs.” I’m sure you would get a chorus of agreement.

  • Louis Wheeler

    Why is it that people write inflammatory headlines and then expect not to get flamed? I’m sure there are ways that you could have said this without insulting the preferences of Mac users. How about? “I’m a stupid person, therefore I dislike Macs.” I’m sure you would get a chorus of agreement.

  • Devin

    Frank, that was a very ignorant comment. For those of you saying install security software, run a firewall, run fFrefiox, make all these changes in your e-mail reader, keep your PC up to date with patches, etc. etc. etc. Why would I want to spend a bunch of time, make all these changes to my PC just so I can be safe? With a Mac, you plug it in, turn it on and go. Granted there are still some configurations that you can and should do to make your Mac safer, but not nearly the amount that a Windows PC requires. Last weekend I built a new Windows PC as it was time for me to upgrade and I hate buying from Dell, HP, and others. I would have just rather gone with another Mac, but my work requires me to have a Windows PC. I built a Core2Duo, 2GB RAM, 2 X 320GB HD’s, 256MB Video (plenty of horse power and speed). When Windows XP SP2 was installed the first time, it flew. Then it came time for updates. Lots of updates. One of the updates ended up doing something with the OS, and it “cloned” my 2nd HD, my data drive. So now I had a C: drive for the system, a D: drive for Data, and an F: drive, a clone of the D: drive. No clue how that happened, or how to fix it. Disk Manager showed both drives. When trying to delete the F: drive, it wouldn’t let me. I tried deleting the D: drive as well, wouldn’t let me. And every time I rebooted the PC it went through a check disk. So I cut my losses, formatted both drives and reinstalled XP. But this time, I only plugged in one drive. After re-installing XP, I went through the update process. I spent almost 2 hours and multiple reboots downloading and installing updates. After the 3rd or 4th reboot (I can’t remember which one as I started loosing track), when connecting to the Windows update site, it gave me some cryptic error like 0X00ABF456 and was not able to connect to the Windows update site. After searching around for 10-15 minutes on the web it was problem with the Windows firewall. It said to add a list of sites to the Firewall. So I did, and still was not able to connect to the Windows update site. So I shut off the firewall and was then able to finish off my updates. After the updates were installed, turned on the firewall again and tried connecting to the windows update site and again was unable to connect so I just left the firewall off and am searching for a different one other than the windows one. After all the updates were installed I did notice my PC quite a bit slower than before the updates. I ran a disk cleanup, and defragged a couple of times. It helped a little, but was not nearly as fast as before all the updates. I’m chalking it up to the typical Windows bloat problem. My Mac never has had a bloat problem, and probably never will. I still haven’t installed the Anti-virus software, aftermarket firewall, Office (and for the love of god the office updates) and my work programs as I ran out of time and shut the PC off for the week until this weekend so I can finish it off. The last time I rebuilt my Mac, which was by choice because I got a bigger HD, it only took me 3 hours to install the OS, updates, and all my other programs. After that, I was ready to anything I wanted. I probably could have cut off some of that time if I would have sat in front of it the whole time. With the Mac, I don’t have to worry about installing an aftermarket web-browser, aftermarket firewall, anti-virus program, anti-spyware/malware program, doing disk cleanups and defrags and spending money on subscriptions to keep that software updated. I did install Firefox for the Mac but didn’t worry about making any changes, because I don’t need to on a Mac. I can just go about my merry way and enjoy the computer and not worry about keeping it up to date, patching it, and fine tuned just so I feel safe. Now, I don’t mean to bash Windows as it does have its place. But for me, it just seems that I have far fewer problems and annoyances, if any actually with my Mac than I do with my Windows PC. And I’m not referring to hardware as anything hardware wise will break at some point in time. I’m speaking strictly about the OS.

  • Jonathan@Tilneys.com

    I won’t use the ‘F’ word, but I will call you stupid.

    I’m using a Mac trackpad now and right click is done as simply as putting two fingers on the pad and clicking.

    How do you get by with such ignorance?

  • Chuan

    Hey, does Godwin’s Law apply when you start complaining about “Mac Nazis”? Come on.

    The lack of a 2-button touchpad is already addressed by Apple in its system settings: just leave 2 fingers on the touch pad when you hit the button, and it’s equivalent to a right-click. Or if you prefer, tap 2 fingers on the trackpad for a right-click. See http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304720

    Or use One Finger Snap, where holding down the button is the same as a right-click. http://old-jewel.com/onefingersnap/

    Sure, I’ll miss the 2 buttons when I go back to a Mac laptop from my slow, buggy and vulnerable WinXP Tablet PC, but frankly, having to deal with XP is much more of a dealbreaker than a 1-button touchpad under OS X. And learning a different right-click gesture is a lot less painful and time-consuming than troubleshooting the Tablet PC, let alone running virus or spyware protection even once.

  • Claudio

    I find it very interesting that there are theming sites out there that attempt to mimic the look and feel of the Mac on a Windows (and even Linux/*BSD) PCs. And these aren’t people that are that geeky….these are your average Windows user that is just a little sick and tired of the way things work on their non-Apple computers.

    It’s extremely rare to find the opposite. I haven’t found very many Mac users trying to change their look and feel to mimic Windows. Sure, there might be a theme here or there but probably for kicks.

    Regardless, this shows that there is demand for Mac OS X. EVen the OSx86 project that tries to put the Intel version of Mac OS X on a stock PC is proof of the demand.

    You also mentioned that you preferred the desktop environments found in Linux distributions. That could be because the design of these desktop environments are very Windows-centric by default (menus on every window, task bar at the bottom, etc.), something that you seem very accustomed to. You can take KDE and make it function like a Mac with a universal menubar if you like…that feature has been there for years now. And GNOME will probably be integrating a similar feature in future versions.

    I have to genuinely ask: was your Mac purchase a personal one because you wanted one or just a business purchase to write the article? Most people that I know who have switched from a PC to a Mac (especially after being PC users for a long time) have done so because they were OPEN to something different, and in the end enjoyed the experience. It just seems that you didn’t give the Mac a real chance because of your familiarity with the Windows Explorer interface. Heck, I’m even shocked that someone who was open enough to use a Linux distribution would not have given the Mac the same chance. You can still use the OS X Terminal to control the system just as you would in Linux or the BSDs if the Finder is too graphical for you (I do it all the time on both my Mac OS X and Linux computers).

    I figure that if you really purchased it for yourself that someone as tech-savvy as yourself would have done your homework and tried it out before purchasing it. This leads me to believe that is was a purchase for the article.

    Which now begs the next question: did you _actually_ purchase a Mac for the article or was this some way to generate hits to the site (as was mentioned by some commentors here) from your possible “experience” with the Mac? If it was the latter, congratulations to you I guess. You can also thank Low End Mac (http://www.lowendmac.com) for being so generous to generate the traffic for you.

  • Claudio

    Sorry for the long comment. I had separated it in blocks, but it looks as though comments are parsed and posted as one large paragraph on this site.

  • Chris

    Well, you may want a two button touchpad, but I don;t, so we are even on that one.

    Yes, you may not have had more than one virus in 5 years – but how much did you pay to only have 1 virus? $75yr for anti-virus software? $375 for the honor of 1 virus. I paid $0 over 5 years and I had 0 viruses.

    Buy what works for you. For my money it is a Mac, has always been a Mac and unless MS actually learns to write a decent OS, it will always be a MAc.

  • Awesome! I ripped through the comments and even at high speed found some that made me laugh. I especially liked the person who canceled their subscription. If I unsubscribed from a blog every time I disagreed with a single post I’d have an empty blog reader to be sure! Maybe I’ll create a blog called “Mac is great” and write mindless praise and lots of “Real mac lovers click on my ad-banner comments”… considering how mindless many of the commenter here are, it would no doubt make me some serious money!

  • Ashgrove

    Interesting story (if one can call it a story). Person buys Mac (does not bother to specify which one: by the behavior of the “Delete” button, I’m assuming it was a notebook, but it could have been anything, an old Powerbook, a shining Macbook Pro, who knows). Person hastily jumps to the conclusion (without giving any real details) that the experience was a waste of his time.
    Well, frankly, bothering to read it and write this summary has been a complete waste of mine. One has to back such a strong statement, and the writer has not deigned to do that –and then feels misunderstood, and claims that people didn’t read what he wrote. What did he write, anyway?
    The only thing more appalling than this sorry excuse for a story is the stupidity of the hate comments. Ugh.

  • Discussion closed as required by Godwin’s Law. Thanks to all for participating.


  • P

    I am posting this on a MacBook Pro I bought a year ago. I would say what I find most irritating about the OSX experience is there is a lack of middle ground between technical nitty gritty (found in the UNIX back-end) and the front-end UI, which Windows does quite well. One commenter stated that they liked OSX because they felt it knew their way around a computer. I find that almost paradoxical considering the entire marketing campaign is ease of use. You have one miserly Systems Preferences interface from which to control and manipulate your system. I was trying to access an RS232 device on this computer and it was near impossible. I didn’t have the time or patience to work in UNIX and there is certainly no way to get it done in the OS itself. (If there is, let me know) It is as if the entire reason to use a computer is to go on MSN, write your blog, post a YouTube video and compose your next novel in Starbucks. That would be my primary grievance. That and I hate that it doesn’t close the process when I close the window. That bothers me too.

  • Schwarzmaler

    With five minutes spent in google you would have found Mac supports both right-mouse click and Windows-like DELETE out of the box. Just get used to use the CTRL/ALT/CMD-keys. This article truly is a shame and a sign of complete and utter ignorance, if not hired FUD.

  • Sylvia

    The truth is it’s mac people who are the c^nts. They are the ones who start the windows sucks stuff. You never hear anyone say they use a mac without bringing in some BS about all the viruses in Windows. Fanboy = c^nt in my experience. and I’ve used mac for over a year I had one. I almost went insane with how and why it would crash. What a bucket of $hit the thing was. Almost threw it into the street, except a friend wanted it.

  • Jim1024

    Both MAC and PC are valid choices. Each has its own benefits and disadvantages. PC’s have are the most flexible you can load virtually any OS and buy hardware at the local store to upgrade as needed, Motherboard, CPU’s etc. MAC’s are far more stable but are not marketed to the mass Audience. Steve Jobs has made it clear he’s not looking for a big market share. What makes the MAC stable is its solid Unix base and “limited hardware” install base, thats not going to change soon as its what makes a MAC a MAC. MS is supporting a huge base of hardware configurations and has a bulls eye on them, if your a malware writer are you going to go for the 10% user base or the 90% user base, if MAC were the 90% it would be targeted and holes would be found as they have already in the security forums and pen-tests. Win7 is much better then previous MS OS’s but is subject to many of the same design flaws. Both have their place so there is no need for endless bickering about whats best. Go test drive and see which system meets your needs and preferences and get that. If I had the money I would have PC’s and MAC’s, and a couple of linux systems to boot. As it is I will be doing many of them in virtual arena. HW Emulation is a beautiful thing, you can build a good hackintosh as well if thats your cup.