Thursday, April 28, 2005

Computers: Macintosh - Apple is STILL here?

I've been using Apple computers since around 1990. I remember when I first saw a Mac - it was in the fall of 1984. A buddy who had gone to another college came back home with one, and I was immediately smitten with the idea of graphical computing.

In between then and 1991, when I received my first Mac at work, I did a fair amount of programming and work with DOS and Windows - especially programming Lotus1-2-3 spreadsheet macros, and dealing with data flow between a PC where I was copy-writing, and the compugraphic machine, where the typesetters got teh copy ready for the catalog. (This was at Ellett Brothers in Chapin, SC). I have heard for a long time about how Apple is going to die as a company - and have heard it multiple times. As I write this, the industry pundits are (once again) real high on Apple's prospects, given a leading market share in the digital music player arena. Give the pundits a few weeks - they'll change their tune.....they always do! By all rights the company should have ceased to exist in the mid-90s because of poor marketing, bad pricing policies, and several really bad design decisions (anyone remember the 5200? Boy, I wish I didn't.) So why do I use a Macintosh? Why am I such a fan? (Remember, I use Windows just about every day - I used to manage 2 labs full of Windows machines, plus a whole campus of Macs of various vintages - from LCIIIs to PowerMac G4s, and 3 sets of iBooks). 1. The OS works much better for getting work done. Case in point: When I need to make a graphic web-friendly, on my Mac I can get it done in 2 commands using graphic converter (by LemkeSoft). On the Win2000 box sitting on the same desk, it takes wading around 3 sets of menus plus 2 sets of adjustments just to crop and resize the graphic. Changing the dot resolution down to 72 is an excersize in frustration. There are tons of other examples - why does XP remember so few window settings? Why is there no keyboard shortcut to cloe the currently open window when I double-click a folder? Macs have had that feature since 1986. 2. Macs last longer. I have a vintage 1994 PowerMac that I do digital audio editing with - yes, multiple tracks. There isn't a single Windows machine on the planet from 1994 that can do that. I'm running Pro Tools Free, by the way. 3. Macs come with more features than your standard Windows machine, and the bundled software is better. I would put the iLife suite up against ANYTHING bundled with any Windows machine anywhere. The software is absolutely phenomenal. 4. From 1984 - 2003, there were fewer than 100 Mac viruses developed. None damaged hardware. NONE! Max OS X has been out for a few years now, and there have been ZERO Os X specific incidents of malware developed. Yes, there have been some BSD attacks, but none nearly as serious as you see for Windows, Internet Explorer, et al. (So why does the Mac version of the Symantec Security Suite cost so much more than the Windows version? It should be EASIER to develop it!) There will be more to come........make some comments. What do YOU think?