OT: Apple Mac computers

I am getting more & more hacked off with my PC. It was bundled with Microsoft stuff & has become a right PITA.
Freezes all the time, daft error messages etc.
Are these Apple machines any better? All my stuff is in Word, Excel, FrontPage etc. Would they convert?
What sort of software do Apples come with?
Be gentle with me, I can just about drive a computer, let alone understand how it works. Words of one syllable please :-)
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Deep question and the subject of many a holy war! Shall we discuss combi boilers instead?
The short answer is they are more of a "walled garden" environment. Vastly fewer hardware configurations to worry about, and built on stable underpinnings with not as much requirement to lower reliability with support of old hardware. So what they do, they will do well and reliably. Generally non techie users will find them easier and faster to learn.
The old criticism that it was harder for experienced users to get "into" them and tweak etc, is also less founded these days.
The down sides are they typically cost more (but that is only purchase price - lifecycle price may well be lower), you will find fewer people able to offer support on them, and some classes of application are far less well supported (games being the big one).

You can get MS office on the Mac as you can Open Office - so yes. Not so sure about FontPage though (but to be fair there are any number of better web authoring tools available anyway that will import your site etc)

OS, networking, Internet, Media players etc. Much the same as windows, although some of the "Toy" apps supplied are actually a bit more useful.

--
Cheers,

John.

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That would be safer.

I think that that's fair comment. There are not the issues with unstable drivers and Apple manages to have a much tighter control of the environment. Another result is that there is a better performance for a give hardware spec. than is achieved by Windows. Thus a 2.6GHz Macbook Pro runs substantially faster in terms of user experience than an equivalent Windows machine.
I have provided MacBook Pros to non technical users with little time or patience in dealing with technology and not the time to do it and having to be self sufficient. All of them had had the typical problems of Windows in the past - instability, deterioration of operation and performance over time etc. The switch to Macs has eliminated all of these issues - essentially they just work for the non technical user and don't break. Remote diagnosis and access should they ever be needed is easy and far better than provided in Windows.

For technical users, it's possible to get in and make changes if wanted and to have complete development and compilation environments that are quite generic. For example, I can take a wide range of different Linux and BSD software in source form and it will compile and run with little or no modification.

Yes it certainly is. For example, a complete operating system upgrade to Leopard (OS/X 10.5), with all functionality - not home and pro versions - is 85. This is before considering the hours wasted on having to reload Windows when it breaks.

True, although my experience is that Apple dealers and the service arrangements are far better than those of the PC world. They are better trained and can offer beter service because the range is smaller.

Yes, you wouldn't buy a Mac if the primary use is gaming.

The Home Edition of MS Office for the Mac costs 84 - same price range as the Windows equivalent. It doesn't have Frontpage, but there are better authoring tools anyway.
Documents, spreadsheets and presentations are exchangeable both ways. without problems.
I have a very small number of legacy Windows applications. For these, I run VMWare Fusion with a copy of XP as a virtual machine. The initial virtual machine is saved away on another drive and when XP eventually breaks, it can be ditched and reloaded in a minute or two with no faffing around.

Safari is very good as a browser - far better than Internet Exploder, which I think has become less usable recently in terms of how to do simple things. I tend to prefer Firefox because I am using other platforms such as Linux sometimes and the user interface is essentially the same.
Apple Mail is excellent and makes Outlook and Outlook Express look like a sick joke. Especially powerful are the search capabilities which span messages, folders and the whole machine.
At the care and feeding level, the important basics are well implemented. For example, the built in firewall, while it has a simple to use setup interface has the underlying Unix network security and does not suffer the almost daily vulnerabilities of Windows.
The backup facility, Time Machine, included in the OS, does what users actually want from a backup facility - i.e. simple to use and automated and an interface allowing easy retrieval of anything. Basically all one has to do is to plug in an external hard drive and the setup for backup is about three mouse clicks. After that, it's a case of plug in the drive when a backup is wanted and it all happens automagically.

There's no contest really. Just visit the Apple dealer or better an Apple Store and sit and play for a while. Then buy the Mac and live happily ever after.
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I can do that and run them on windows, easy really.

However apple produce an upgrade every year, M$ are still producing fixes for XP which is seven years old. So if you upgraded your Mac to the new build each time it would have cost you more than a new PC with windows on it by now (about 500). (Yet more of Andy's flawed logic at work. He will change his tune if Lidl offer a Mac for sale, then they will be the spawn of the devil.)

It doesn't break, I have machine running for years with the original windows on them. This windows breaks is just a myth used by users *without a clue* to explain how they screwed it up.
Those of us that know a bit about computers know when we screw it up and find out why so we don't do it again. Apple of course just don't let you change anything to screw it up, which as you say is OK for the none techy, but you do pay extra for the upgrades despite you saying you don't.
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On 2008-08-04 09:59:57 +0100, "dennis@home"

Until it breaks

Apple provides fixes for OS/X without the need to buy an upgrade. The paid OS/X versions are for complete new versions with additional software and functionality. This would be comparable to moving from Windows 2000 to XP to Vista in the Micro$oft world. So you are comparing apples with pears (or more exactly Apples with cabbages).

Then you are very lucky. In general, if a Windows machine is in heavy and daily use it is not capable of housekeeping itself. Registry management is but one example of that.

There's no need for anybody to do things to screw up Windows - it manages it by itself. Besides which, if it were a robust environment, it would not be susceptible to users screwing it up in their normal daily work.

That's an interesting challenge with Windows because much of the relevant information such as registry misbehaviour is obfuscated from the user.

All of which is untrue. It is perfectly possible to change things in OS/X. You do not pay extra for upgrades. For example, those for Tiger (10.4) are included and for several years. Purchased software such as Leopard (10.5) is a new software product with new features.
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So which seven year old apple OS are apple still fully supporting?

You just don't know what you are talking about, again.

It isn't. You can run normal daily work for years on end. You get problems when users download allsorts of stuff from websites just to try. You would have the same problem with your Mac if you could get the stuff to try.

As I said you just don't know what you are talking about.

So I can upgrade to Tiger for free then?

Ah yes, like a new browser, the sort of features that you really need to pay for.

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On 2008-08-04 11:17:33 +0100, "dennis@home"

Somewhat irrelevant. The important question is the expected usage lifetime of the hardware

Unfortunately, I know it only too well.

Because the "OS" is not capable of protecting itself properly.

You can. The difference is that generally Mac software is well produced using Apple's development environments and the operating system protects itself properly.

Registry errors create all kinds of insidious problems and happen even when running office MS applications. While it may be possible to repair them given plenty of time, expertise and some paid tools, it is normally faster to rebuild the machine.

No. You can't upgrade from XP to Vista for free either.

Around 300
http://www.apple.com/macosx/features /
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Yes I gather from your other posts that you only expect a Mac to last about three years before you need to dump it.

As I said, user error.

Neither is OSX. Try downloading some programs and installing them. You can get some nice media players and stuff if you look for them. After you restore your Mac you can come and lie about it surviving if you want.

Just as well vista protects the registry from stupid applications then.

You just said you don't pay extra for upgrades, make your mind up.

Yes I saw that before, just the sort of thing that makes running applications easier, not. You may like to play with your OS, I prefer to run application software as it does something useful.

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On 2008-08-04 20:03:38 +0100, "dennis@home"

Actually it will last longer. Business users typically replace PCs every two years .

Following Microsoft instructions.
A high proportion of things that break in Windows require the user to get in and poke around with a registry editor. Each knowledge base article advocating this has a disclaimer that bad things can happen. It's very typical to have to nix dozens of registry entries for an application that has puked in the registry

Nothing is perfect. However, I have never succeeding in breaking OS/X despite what I load.

No need, I've used a few and never sustained OS damage.

If you can ever get it to install. As long as you have a suitable drive for the CD, you can achieve a good outcome with Vista

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FVbf9tOGwno


It looks like you haven't understood the difference between updates and upgrades.
Updates and little or no functionality and are generally not charged
Upgrades do and are charged.
In that respect, different versions of Windows and different versions of OS/X have the same commercial arrangements.

The multiple screen feature certainly does, to pick one example.

It's precisely because I don't want to spend hours titting around with fixing Windows issues that I don't use it for serious work.
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That's your fault for installing an application that doesn't follow the programming rules. If you didn't run as administrator you wouldn't end up with such a screw up. You need vista, you would have to try hard to get the application to write anything to the system registry. It can be done as some idiots have shown when they turn of all the extra security because they don't like an extra prompt when they install stuff.

I have. Would you like to allow me remote access so I can demonstrate to you?

Neither have I, well not on windows. I have screwed up rather a lot of OSes in the past, it was a specialty of mine.

Looks like *you* got it wrong again! A quote from you " You do not pay extra for upgrades." You do keep changing your minds.

Free on windows and has been for a decade or two.

Shame really, there isn't anything to fix. As I said user error.
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On 2008-08-04 21:50:57 +0100, "dennis@home"

A goodly proportion of Windows software breaks the programming rules in order to get at least some degree of performance out of the environment. In their frustration, software authors end up mandating installation in admin mode.

I agree. However, then a lot of Windows SW won't install at all.

I need vista like a hole in the head. The issues of applications have not changed.

Describing it will be fine.

Yes.
Please explain how this is done natively on Windows NT and 2K.

If "user error" means installing Windows in the first place, then I agree.
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thus

Yes isn't that for some silly tax reason that might not be applicable to the man in the Medway?..
I've seen perfectly serviceable Pentium 4 machines at a scrappers recently the reason he gets them is that he has a drive cruncher!.
A drive shredder if you like!.
And charges for disposing of them in order that their data is really destroyed and the metal goes to the local scrap dealer and the rest inc old CRT monitors goes in a container to India!...
Silly thing is that for most all general office applications an old 500 odd meg machine will run them fine!..
--
Tony Sayer



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wrote:
<snip>

I must be extremely lucky then. This 'old banger' has been running this installation of W2000 for years now - and sees daily use in word processing, DTP, audio editing, music scoring, media burning, web publishing, accounts, client databases, graphics editing, email, usenet, ftp etc. It handles numerous USB devices, secondary hard drive caddies, basic audio mixing, midi devices, printing and multiple displays. The only housekeeping that goes on is an occasional virus scan - I don't even bother to defrag the drive. What I don't do is fiddle about trying to eke the very last drop of performance from it - I set it up the way I want it and leave it alone.
My home laptop is similarly reliable, as are the kids'.
I also have a 600Mhz system running XP SP2 that's been in service now for at least 4 years running a security cam. The only time it goes down is when the power fails and the UPS runs out.
It's precisely for these reasons I'm reluctant to shift to Linux ( software and hardware issues notwithstanding ) - my computers are productive, which is exactly what they need to be, and I'd still be running W98 if I didn't need the hardware/software compatibility that W2000 gives me.
Regards,
--
Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
www.shwoodwind.co.uk
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Pedantically, what you say may be true, but it doesn't alter the fact that a Windows machine will give reliable and continued service in heavy and daily use. I'm using one now that exhibits that very property.
MBQ
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You're very fortunate. At some point, it will break and require a total rebuild.
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Will that be less than the three years you think a Mac will last?
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On 2008-08-04 20:46:02 +0100, "dennis@home"

I didn't say that it would last for three years. I said that that is the typical lifetime used for a laptop (any laptop) in a business environment. Actually it's often two.
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With all due respect, you're talking out of your arse.
I can't remember the last time I had to rebuild an XP machine for any other reason than a hard disk failure or complete user stupidity and I see dozens every month (I repair servers and desktops for some large corporate clients). Likewise Windows 2000.
Macs have their place and sure they are easy to use, hey, they even look nice but I bought my machines to use rather than look at and let's face it, our lord Jobs is rather adept at gouging his loyal fanbois for lots of money on a regular basis for software upgrades and new hardware.
--
Clint Sharp

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John Rumm wrote:

Indeed! Just to add (having switched a few years ago) the iMacs are whisper quiet and comparatively energy efficient, and significant discounts and warranty extensions are available if you buy using the education discount - 18%/3yrs in my case.
Rob
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Rob wrote: <>

Partner switched at the beginning of the year to a MacBook, and the fan hardly ever cuts in. Except when running Microsoft Windows (in VMWare Fusion - not BootCamp). Even that is moderate and intermittent. But when she runs Microsoft Money the fan runs at high speed and continuously until she closes Money. Does not happen like that with any other software. (Thank you, Microsoft.) Both my and her Windows laptops love running their fans quite a bit of the time.
My assessment? I will buy one for my next machine unless some major reason presents itself.
But there are some wonderful oddities to get used to. Such as fewer keys (quite often need keyboard combinations for simple things like hash symbol). Default single button mouse. (Partner uses her Logitech mouse very happily.)
Note: Partner's machine came with 1GB of memory. We bought and installed 4GB of Crucial memory in the few days after buying it. Very much cheaper than Apple's own, and recommended.
--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
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