Windows or Mac? Easy call for me

Windows or Mac? Easy call for me

One or two people have remarked that I could have avoided a good deal of the setup on my new laptop if I’d only bought a Mac. “It sets itself up,” said one of my friends on Facebook.

Did your friends ever set you up with someone they just knew would be perfect for you? Yeah, that's me and Mac computers.

I have owned a Mac. More than one, both desktop and laptop. In the mid-1990s, I was a co-teacher in computer applications for two years at University Laboratory High School, including a healthy chunk of time in a Mac lab.

We had our chance. We just didn't click. (Hey, I made a computer joke.) Apple, I've been through with you for a while. I’m sticking with Windows.

Every few years, since back when I was at Uni, I am tempted to try a Mac. Those Macbooks are sexy as heck, no question about it. The illuminated logo looks great in all those TV shows where the hip kids use them. Now and then I wish I had access to Garage Band. I know lots of smart, talented people who use Macs, who swear by Macs, who scoff at anyone using anything but a Mac.

But Macs have always failed me. Always. Different machines, different software running, virtually every Mac I’ve ever used has frozen up on me, repeatedly, without leaving any clue what I did to cause the failure. Reminds me of the time I took a test drive in an old Jaguar. Great-looking car, British racing green, leather, moon roof, and an engine alert sounded the entire drive. I sure did want that car. But fortunately, I knew better.

That's how I feel about Macs: I know better. Perhaps it’s user error, but if it is, that means this user is not made for that system. If you hit me over the head enough times with the same message, I will get the message.

I’ve used every version of Windows since 3.11. Each has had its flaws, but every version is better than the last. Since Windows 2000, my complaints have basically been non-existent. (I should add that I’ve never had a machine that used Vista; that might have changed my outlook. Hey, I made a computer joke.) Windows XP has been, in my opinion, superb, and Windows 7 is even better. 

In a couple of respects, I don’t have any choice. I’ve used Access for years to do database work, and it’s not available in the version of Office for Macs. I also use ESRI’s ArcGIS mapping software; again, no Mac version.

It is entirely possible that a few years from now I’ll be a total convert to some Google/Android OS. I have an Android tablet that does very well.

But for now I have a laptop with a core i5 processor, a 17.3-inch screen, 8 gigs of RAM, a Blu-Ray drive, and a 640-gig hard drive. It was under 600 bucks, and this baby hums on Windows 7. I’m perfectly content to put a little more money in Bill Gates’ pocket.

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rbohlen wrote on August 13, 2011 at 7:08 am


Sorry to hear of your challenges with Mac. As a retired member of Apple's Consultant Network (ACN) I must say your story is quite unique, very bias, outdated and rather unprofessional in your attempt to be an news writer. One comment that stood out over many was "virtually every Mac I’ve ever used has frozen up on me" which leaves the reader with the impression that your PC never freezes.

Had you taken the time and better understood Mac operating systems you'd see that Mac OSs and the computers they operate rarely freeze, but applications/programs do.

In the Mac OSX system enviornment a simple keystroke will shutdown the frozen culprit, saving the need to restart the entire computer. In the PC environment however, a full restart is generally necessary to unfreeze any application or system error that leaves the user hanging.

Your article also failed to mention that Windows XP, Vista and 7 all operate seamlessly on Apple computers, side-by-side with their speedier Mac OSX brethren. I know many, many folks who have purchased an Apple computer to take advantage of its speed and beauty in the PC format.

May I suggest you research a future article by giving Mac OSX and Apple computers another go. Even try using one in the PC environment. Save for very few applications, you'll find the applications you're familiar with on PC's are now available on Macs.

Feel free to contact me at for an introductory to Mac and Apple products which I fear you never received years ago, or better yet, visit to research any future articles more completely.

Mike Howie wrote on August 13, 2011 at 11:08 am
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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your sharing your point of view.

ramage wrote on August 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Mike, as of last week, I made the leap to Mac...everywhere all the time. iMac on the desk and Airbook on the road/mobile/home. I was a loyal win 3.1 through 7 user as well; borderline militant against MacOS.

The screens are beautiful and everything works together spectacularly. Me gusta...

Mike Howie wrote on August 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm
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Do you mind sharing what was the best part of the switchover and what was the worst? Or was there even a negative? Sounds like you're sold.

I'm curious what software you might be using and whether there was any you gave up when you made the switch?

Thanks for the note, in any case, and enjoy!