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Becoming a Mac daddy

I have a confession to make: I've become a Mac person.

There's only one problem with this: both of my computers are PCs. My home computer is a massive Dell, while my computer at The Mirror is a Compaq laptop. Both are fine computers and get the job done. But my wife has an iBook on loan from her work that she brings home every night, and it's made a convert out of me.

To look at computers with any kind of levelheadedness you first need to admit one thing to yourself: computers are toys. Anybody who says otherwise is fooling themselves. Yea, I need mine to write stories and balance my checkbook, but what do I really care about? At the end of the day, what will make me feel like I've gotten my money's worth?

Well, let's break down.

1. Looks: It's all about aesthetic value. And anyone with half of a brain will tell you that Apple computers are better-looking. Have you ever really looked at one of those Dell towers? They're disgusting. It's like I have the monolith from 2001 in my living room.

2. Ease of use and reliability: Working with a Mac is like playing electric guitar: you think it should be hard, but it's not. Even if you make a mistake, it won't derail what you're doing. Everything is laid out for you and easy to find. And to top it all off, an Apple almost never crashes. What more do you want?

3. Security: Let's not overlook the fact that there are almost no viruses designed to afflict Macs. None. Zip. So when you and I are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to download the newest Windows patch or running slow anti-virus software, we should take comfort in knowing that 3 percent of the home computer market is out there, somewhere, without a hacker-induced worry in the world.

4. Price: To be honest, this is the Achilles' heel of the Mac. It's pricey. Really pricey, in fact. These days you can find a bottom-barrel Dell PC for around $600. The cheapest Mac can be had for around $900. But if you're going to buy an Apple and pay close to $1,000 for it, you'd be foolish not go all the way. Logic would suggest that you get an iMac or one of those aeronautically-designed iBooks. Of course, you'll also probably have to get a second job to pay for it. Such is life.

Some may complain about the lack of quality software for Macs, but in reality much of the included software on Apple computers is far superior to the stuff you get on PCs. Even the Mac version of Microsoft Office is better, not to mention the fact that most games come on Macs these days too.

But when it's all said and done, deciding between a Mac and a PC varies on a per-person basis. To be honest, I think I've laid out a pretty strong case in favor of Macs. So the next time your computer crashes or gets attacked by the latest internet worm, think of all the fun you're missing. Then start saving.

Web posted on Thursday, May 13, 2004

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