Mac or PC?

I just realized that I have never posted about my switch to a mac computer. Switching was a big deal for me because I have been such a huge PC guy for years (see my post from a couple of years ago about all the PC’s I have owned) In my engineering job, I did a ton of IT work in keeping all the software updated and fixing all the computer problems for our department. I have used multiple versions of DOS, Windows 2, Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11 for workgroups, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, and now Windows Vista. All that is to say that I am very familiar with Windows, both it’s strengths and weaknesses.

When I started at Cornerstone I decided to get a laptop. I wanted one with great graphics capabilities since we would be using this computer for our worship presentation software, but I wanted one that was still portable and light. After looking at everything on the market I kept coming back to a 15″ Apple Macbook Pro. Knowing I could install both Windows and the Mac operating systems on the same computer finally pushed me over the edge. And since Mac computers now use the exact same processors as Windows computers, you can easily compare them to other PC makers. When I started using the laptop I was probably using 90% windows and 10% mac, now after almost a year, I am running almost exclusively in Mac OS X. The only time I boot up in Windows is to open an old Microsoft Publisher file or to run Easyworship on Sunday Mornings. Here are my thoughts about each

Microsoft Windows Vista:
I actually really like Vista. The interface is easier to use for new computer users, and the search capability in the Start menu is great. Many of the new graphic abilities of the Aero interface are nice, but they don’t add much to the overall user experience. But as always, with the good, there is some bad. Even on a fast computer, Windows Vista seems slow and clunky. It is just not very fast. There are still some driver issues for older hardware, and I have already had several registry problems. I even had one problem that caused me to reformat my windows partition and reinstall. I tried everything to get the problem fixed, including going to the text based recovery console, but my Windows Registry was fried and it refused to boot. Not good at all. But since reinstalling – no more problems.

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard): It took me a few days to get used to the different terminology and icons, but once I did I was impressed. It boots fast, feels fast, and works like it is supposed to. I had used OS 9 in the past and I was not impressed at all, but they have really come a long ways. Now since Apple provides bootcamp to allow you to dual-boot with Windows or Mac, you really can’t go wrong.

What apple does right:

  • Industrial Design: the computer is sleek. It is incredibly thin and portable with all the features you need integrated in the computer
  • Slot loading CD tray: why haven’t all laptop makers switched to this
  • Magnetic power cord: no more tripping over the power cord and killing your computer
  • Back-lit keyboard: this is great to use at night
  • OS X – It works great. There are too many features to list. Expose is one of my favorites.
  • Running Windows: My macbook pro runs windows better than any PC I have ever used. That should really scare Microsoft.
  • Bundled Software: iLife and iWork are great
  • Compatibility with Windows Files & Networks: Apple has made huge strides in working with Office files and with sharing Windows files.

What apple needs to work on:

  • Price: Apple computers are more expensive than their Windows counterparts.
  • GIVE ME A 2nd Mouse button: I know I can tap with 2 fingers, but please quit being stubborn and just add a button.
  • Why do font previews not show up in all applications. Windows has been doing this forever. It’s really not that hard
  • Heat: this laptop can get hot, it’s hard to use on your lap
  • More USB ports and a VGA port: I know I can use a USB hub and a DVI-VGA dongle, but it would be nice to have more connectivity on the laptop.

Final Thoughts:
More churches will be switching over to Apple Macs because of the graphic capabilities and user-interface. The computers are super easy to use and you don’t have to worry about constant crashing and troubleshooting. They just work like they are supposed to. I also use parallels so that I can access Window’s programs without ever leaving the Apple operating system. Microsoft needs to quit adding features that people don’t want, and they need to start speeding up Windows so that it doesn’t get in the way. As much as I hate to say it, Microsoft has simply been passed by their competition. Let’s hope that the competition will improve both operating systems. I would strongly encourage you to think about macs if you are buying a new computer, especially if you don’t have any exisiting programs that require Windows.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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2 Responses

  1. Tyler Carpenter says:

    well mike, now you dont have to worry about only having one button considering now THERE AREN’T ANY BUTTONS just one huge trackpad!

  2. This question is always so a hard one as Mac vs. PC is like a religion to some people. For my part, I stick with PC for most applications and only dabble in Mac Land when I need to.

    I also agree, with the mac the thing I miss from the outset is the missing Right Mouse button. At least there are work arounds now.

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