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Mac Vs Windows.

Brief history.

1) Bought first computer - ZX81?. 2) Wrote space invaders on the Sinclair Spectrum 3) Used Unix, VMS, Apple Mac Plusses at University for Computer Science Degree. 4) Wrote sw for the Atari ST. 5) Heavy user of Windows Notebookbooks for 20 years. 6) Heavy use of Mac Book Pro + OSX for 4 years.

I have been sitting infront of computers 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for more than 25 years. Usage includes the following:

  • Software development (client, server and web)
  • Website design, using Photoshop & Dreamweaver.
  • Email (I get around 200 a day at peak, and have approx. 10,000 in my inbox.
  • MS Office documents of every sort.
  • Project managment using MS Project and GanttProject?.
  • Photo editing using Lightroom and PS.
  • Too many games (e.g. Moh, CoD?, Ultima online, Red Alert)

Around 4 years ago, I decided to by a mac for the following reasons: 1) The HW was high spec, and it was the only notebook I could find which supported the dell 30" monitor. 2) OSX was new and interesting - a change. 3) It runs Unix - I love unix. Unix should be able to run all the open source SW I use right?

However, apart from a few things Apple do well, the Mac sucks. I have hated pretty much ever day using it, and have been using it less and less over the last couple of years. I have been using an old XP PC more and more, to the point now where I only use the mac for mail. Now I have decided to get a replacement notebook, its going to be a windows 7 machine.

mailfor the first year, mac mail crashed every few days. Recently, this has been fixed, and it has not crashed for about 6 months. It can now handle 10k+ emails. My 20 or so IMAP accounts are integrated into one logical inbox, which I love. Searching is instant, but you can only search on one item. There is no advanced search, e.g. you cant search on mails from foo with bar in the subject, which is a huge limitation. Smart mailboxes can be used to simulate this, but they are slow and tedious to setup - I dont use them. You can only create rich text emails. No tables. Very poor layout control. The outline numbering is barely usable, and breaks frequently.Outlook. no unified inbox, you have to look in the separate inbox of each IMAP account - very laborious. Advanced search is great, but not quick. You can format emails beautifully, like a word document, including proper headings, outline numbering, tables etc. Outlook crashes sometimesPC (just)
Java DevelopmentThe Mac Sucks. You are tied to the version which Mac supplies, and its very difficult to update (its tied to the version of the OS). Getting any java tools, such as svn plugin for eclipse working is very difficult, and the testNG plugin wont work at all for examplePerfect. Everything works out of the boxPC
BackupOn the Mac, you have Time Machine. This is fantastic, in that it makes a bootable, recoverable, versioned backup of everything. However, after about 1 year, this stopped working. I have thousands of files changing on a daily basis, and it just could not handle it. Ever few weeks, it would hang indefinatly "Preparing". The Apple "solution" is to remove your HD from the timemachine backup config, re-add it, and start again. This works for a few weeks, then it hangs again. I gave up with this - its for home users only. However, there is an equally good and free alternative - using Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC). This allows you to create a bootable image of your HD to any external Drive. I do this every couple of weeks.The PC sucks at backup. There is no free way I know of to create a bootable replication of your HD, and to keep versions of all your files. Im using a combination of Dropbox, Mosy, netback replicator and crashplan. I would trade them all in for CCC and the ability to boot off the backed up HD.Mac
SearchThe mac has a brilliant free app called quicksilver. This is like spotlight on steroids. It allows you to type in any word or part of word, and it will instantly find and open what you wanted, not just a long dumb list of matches like spotlight does. It learns what you are looking for very quickly. It takes up no measurable machine resources to do its indexingI sorely miss this on a PC.Mac.
CompatibilityNot a week goes by without needing something which is not available on the Mac. E.g. The Draytek flash update utility - PC only. For 3 years there was no Intel Mac version of Oracle. The situation is improving, but is not there yet.Runs everything. Have never come across something I needed which was only available on the mac (with the exception of quicksilver & Time machine, which are tied to Mac OS file system)PC
Flashbarely runs on a high end Mac with dedicated graphics card, 4GB ram and 2.33MHz core 2 duo. Bejeweled and Facebook poker are unplayable, for example. I use flash applications on a daily basis, so this is a major issue for me.Runs fast no low spec PC.PC.
Open Source SWI assumed that the mac being unix would mean standard Open tools such as Apache webserver would be easy to install and use, after all, apache is already on the Mac, and Apache is used primarily on Unix. How wrong I was. I found no free up to date apache installer. I ended up having to compile it. This did not work out of the box either - It took about 2 days to get the modules I needed working. You get no GUI tools for administration. Pretty much everything was like this. I was shocked.Just download and run the windows installer. Takes 2 minutes. Gives you a nice desktop app to start, stop and edit the config file. Brilliant.PC
File BrowserThis is probably the single most painful part of using a mac. They give you a few different ways of looking at your files and directories, and they all suck compared with what has been available on XP for many years. I use the second of the four options (not sure what its called). With this, the problems include: 1) if you have a directory open, you cant see what "drive" it came from. With a PC you can. If you cut and paste in a directory, it puts the pasted version in the highest level directory visible, not the directory you pasted in. This is insane. There is no File->New. You cannot create say a word document in a directory, then click on it to open it in word. You have to open word, create a new file in word, then save it using the painful file dialogue to find the directory you are already in.Perfection. You can create new files whereever you want. With the folder view, you can always see where you are. If you paste a file, it puts it in the directory you paste it in.PC
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Page last modified on May 24, 2011, at 10:24 AM