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Interesting Article - Is the Mac a viable alternative for real people with real jobs

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Interesting Article - Is the Mac a viable alternative for real people with real jobs
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Derbyshire, England
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2006-12-17, 19:17


Just pondered over this interesting article on the web, thought I might share some interesting reading for you chaps, I know I am not supposed to just post a link, as some of the comments are quite lengthy!

It is basically asking if a Mac can satisfy a working environment without the need for MS etc in a wide variety of roles... I was talking to a friend of mine today who uses XP but resorts to using OpenOffice which is a free alternative to MS Office (never used OpenOffice myself) - I first thought he was bonkers but then as he was explaining that it does what he needs it to, I thought 'hmm' worth a look - I suppose we just think it is the natural path because I use Word at work, I NEED to use Word at home on my Macs... The question is DO I really need to? I mean I have got Pages on this Mac, but I have never tried it - I just went straight on to Word...

Anyway... have a look!

Here are a few clips

Computerworld's Online Editorial Director Scot Finnie recently started using a MacBook Pro for his main work computer, in order to determine if it's a "viable alternative for real people with real jobs." Have you recently switched from Windows to a Mac at work? Was it a smooth experience, or were there hiccups? Share your thoughts below.
Sorry, but a .NET developer using a Mac is just silly, as would a video editor insisting on using Linux which doesn't have much support for such tools while the Mac is overflowing with them. If your MegaCorp is standardized on Windows then it behooves you to do the same. Sure you're free to explore other options but if you insist on being a square peg in a round hole you don't have the right to complain about not about fitting in.
This one is a good one: Similar to me (except I am not a Director - and not made a lot of money!)

Flash wrote:
I'm the personnel director of a medium sized IT outsourcing company. However my background is in fact very technical.

I've been using PCs since 1987 when I did my first paid piece of IT work on an IBM with a 10Gb Winchester hard drive. Before than I was using CP/M. I've seen every iteration of DOS and Windows. Been involved in the technical side right through clustering (built my first cluster in 1997), SAN, VMWare (which I love). So yes I have a lot of MS Windows exposure on both desktop and server. On top of this I've done a fair bit of Unix and VMS.

My first experience for Macs was circa 1995-1999 using MacOS6 through to MacOS9. Those all mostly sucked. I remember 7.5 being particularily buggy. This almost put me off Macs for life.

But then my experience of Windows since 1999 has been awful. Rebuilds, viruses, crashes, and I find XP particularily hateful. IMO Windows 2000 was probably the best iteration. Eventually I got totally disallusioned, I was probably spending about an hour a day just nursing my Dell laptop into connecting to the wireless and coughin up my email. I'd heard that OSX was Unix based, so I figured it would be nice and stable. So I took them plunge with a Powerbook G4.

Never looked back since. Now have an Intel dual core model. Sometime last year my virus checker actually found and killed a virus. That's one instance in 2 years. I only reboot when I'm stupid enough to run out of battery. The Mac wakes up and goes to sleep in umm... a second.

I use the built in Mail, the Safari browser, the address book etc. Still using MS Office, but get this - when I upgraded my machine I merely dragged the Office folder from the old Mac to the new one and it ran straight away. Even though I'm considering switching to something else just for the hell of it, that paper clip gets on my tits.

What I most love about Macs is:

1) No registry.
2) No obvious swap file to worry about.
3) NO DLLs.
4) I never have to look at the internal workings of the OS, it just looks after itself.

In 2 years my Mac has probably crashed less than 5 times. It's so infrequent that I can't remember the last time it happended. I have never lost any work.

The multi-user capability is fantastic. I show this to Windows users at work, how several people can log into the Mac at once with total separation and customisation, and keep files open and applications active. They fall off their chairs in shock. You'd think I'd walked on water.

My day now starts like this. Enter office. Sit down. Open Mac. Mac comes back to wakefulness in 1 second. Check email. The rest of the day is spent working.

All those horrible things that attack you from websites are not Mac compatible. I can happly click on their little icons and they come back with error codes. The popup blocker is first rate.

Pretty much everything seems to run faster on the Mac, although perhaps that's just my perception. The Mac does not slow down with age and need rebuilt every 6 months like my PC did. It doesn't suffer from memory leaks. Oh my God it's all coming back to me now.

I don't have to worry about any crap woth drivers, IRQ numbers, memory allocations, device not recognized, found new hardware. It's never corrupted any of my files or lost it's boot sector. Every firmware update and OS patch seems to make it run faster not slower. I've never installed a patch that made things worse. My broadband just worked straight off.

The PC just seems like some aweful nightmare now. The Mac has reminded me of how computers are meant to be. How they are just simple and everything works.

The PCs just seem to crash more, and get needlessly complicated with every incarnation.

To me it's a small price to pay that the occasional website doesn't work.

My wife has a Mac now too. She runs Sage Accounts on it using a Virtual PC. The Virtual PC is more relaible than the real thing. Sure everything is stored in one file, but that makes it really easy to backup and restore.

If the Mac was 5x as expensive I'd still do it. My working life is bliss now. I just hope out clients don't invest in Macs or we'll be out of business. Bill Gates has made me a very rich man... but I'd still put him up against the wall and shoot him (like they did in South Park The Movie).
Join Date: Dec 2006
2006-12-18, 03:29

I believe it depends on what you need your computer for.

For instance if all a person really does is basic office tasks such as creating spreadsheets and documents a Mac works perfect. The same goes for music and video development as well as web and obviously OS X software development. Database work can also be accomplish on Macs, with the exception of a few databases such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Access.

On the other hand if you want to create Windows software you obviously should be using Windows. But again you can use a virtual machine on a Mac and run Windows inside of it. Granted this won't work great for game development but most other development this works fine.

For my needs OS X works perfectly but I can easily see it not working for everybody. It all depends on what you do for a job.
Banging the Bottom End
Join Date: Jun 2004
2006-12-18, 14:53

It all depends on what type of spreadsheets you consider basic. Most of my spreadsheets are linked to many other spreadsheets and have VBA programming to automate work. VBA is being deleted from future editions of MS Office for Mac so using a Mac is a non-starter for me.

Just wanted to point out that creating spreadsheets runs the gamut from "add up this list of numbers" to "create the organizational 2007 budget from these 25 divisional budget spreadsheets complete with 3 year trend graphs and executive overview".
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