Mac vs PC - advice please

  jimmylove 11:54 12 Jan 2003
  jimmylove 11:54 12 Jan 2003

I'm thinking about buying the new 17" powerbook book G4 because it looks incredible and I'm getting mroe and more into video/photo/music editing. The problem is that I have had a PC forever and all of my software is for PC. Most of my add-ons should be ok (Fuji F401 camera, Sony Clie NRV70, OKIpage 14ex printer, Maxtor external 120Gb hard drive), but I was wondering if I can install virtual PC on the MAC and then install my copies of MS office. Also, does anyone know if I can get the G4 customised to make the casing black instead of Titanium?
Finally (sorry) has anyone else made the shift and had any significant problems?



  MichelleC 12:48 12 Jan 2003

Without any disrespect to pc's I'd be inclined towards the mac. I use pc now, but started on macs in dtp. Great machines.

  Forum Editor 15:46 12 Jan 2003

looks incredible is hardly a good reason for making the change - especially when you consider the cost involved. The machine itself is great of course, and Macs have long been the platform of choice for anyone who is serious about DTP. My brother runs a big multi-media and video production company, and all his video editing is done on a series of G4 Macs. They sit in a row, and the video is moved along the screens from one to the other - it's beautiful to watch.

If you are serious about this I wouldn't mess about - get the Mac version of MS Office, or do what I do in my office - use Macs for DTP and graphics and PCs for everything else.

  Mysticnas 16:11 12 Jan 2003

ages, since i was around 10 i think, too longot remember!!!

Personally, i don't like them! i'd rather a PC anyday.

Companies that use the excuse that macs are better than PC's for professional DTP and Media use such as 3D, graphics, film editing, would be better off with a dedicated multiprocessor workstation. Don't you?

I'll only ever use a mac if i definately have to use it, as in the lab i have to use only has macs, or i've been told to use a mac without any choice what so ever!

A few of my mates have got the G4 laptop, and true that skinny little thing is a bit different, but... i'm a PC man at heart.

A lot of people i know use macs cuz they have strong opinions against Microsoft!!! and they don't like unix/linux.

But seriously Mr. F.E..... Why are mac considered better than PC's for that sort of thing? I don't see what mac can do or does better than a PC!

Pray tell...

  jimmylove 17:05 12 Jan 2003

"The fact that a Mac G4 Powerbook
looks incredible is hardly a good reason for making the change - especially when you consider the cost involved"

I don't agree, FE. Presumably Apple's marketing department also wouldn't agree with you as they market the powerbooks as much on image as performance. You sound like my dad in his rather disapproving lawyer mode ('You're mother and I have been a little concerned about your behaviour ercently, James'...). I'm definitely shallow enough to buy something because of how it looks and make no excuses for it. The G4 is beautiful, tactile, and looks the biz. Why do people buy the latest mobile phones (e.g. the Nokia 8910) for £300 when you can get a phone that does exactly the same thing for a 5th of the price? Perhaps because of the status, feel, materials used, etc. In short, the desirability factor; something that has a great deal to do with looks. Luckily the cost is not prohibitive to me (again the costs involved will matter more to some people than they will to others; a good reason not to generalise about this).

So, I do think it's a little naive to say that how a product looks is a poor reason for wanting to purchase it.
Anyway, I forgot to ask one crucial question: will a Mac play .wma music files, or will I need to convert about 20Gb of music from WMA to MP3?

  -pops- 17:56 12 Jan 2003

With an attitude such as you have to material objects, jimmylove, there was little point in you posing your question. You are obviously convinced about style over substance.

The reason people buy over priced mobile phones is the same on as why people buy the latest trainers or the latest Dior frock - they are fashion accessories the latest thing in the old traditions of keeping up with the Jones'es only trying to go one better.

So, whichever opinion wins here, you will go and do your own thing, won't you?

OK, I may sound like your Dad, even your Granddad but think about what you are doing.


  Taran 18:28 12 Jan 2003

At the risk of sounding like another son lecturing father, I echo everything the Forum Editor has mentioned. I buy IT equipment for functionality, not looks. I don't give a damn who has an opinion on what I use to get the job done, just so long as the job gets done to a high enough standard and the equipment allows me to do what I need to when I have to. So features (useful ones) and usability are foremost, not something to impress onlookers, friends, relatives or the general public.

Regarding playing WMA files (or MP3) there are software solutions available for the Mac that will play WMA. Audion is one such program. There are many others.

I've looked at the model you mention as I was considering one myself. Having seen it in the flesh I've ticked it off my shopping list straight away. It's enormous. I'd be embarrassed and seriously incovenienced trying to take it anywhere and as such, since it is hardly conveniently portable, I'd rather stick with my G4 towers and TFT screens and existing notebooks; if I want something that is desk-bound I'd rather have a full tower thanks and no cricked neck during long term use.

Regarding a Windows emulator, I've yet to see one that was worth the time and money to use. They give you a Windows environment that runs VERY slowly. You'd be far better off getting MS Office for the Mac. This is an excellent product and although not absolutely identical to the Windows based Office suite, the mainstream applications are so similar you'll never see the difference unless you're into some quite heavy Macro bashing or coding.

My own opinion of Macs is I love them to bits and would hate to do my job without them. My staff are of a similar mind. I still find them far better for DTP and image editing overall, as well as programming, but at the end of the day, there's not much you can do with one platform that the other can't, especially since in many cases you'll be using largely the same software on both a PC and Mac (Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver et al) although you'll also have the pleasure of buying the Mac versions of your existing applications.

  jimmylove 18:38 12 Jan 2003

Thanks Taran,

big help and I feel much more knowledgeable now. Portability is not such a concern although it does sound a little on the large side. Next step is off to Tottenham COurt Rd to try it out in person.

  Mysticnas 18:40 12 Jan 2003

as i posted in ealier...

why 'do' are they generally meant to be better than PC's at that kind of thing?

it's gerneal knowledge that Mac's are meant to be better at that sort of thing,
what i'm asking, is why?

  Taran 19:00 12 Jan 2003

Anyone who uses a Mac because they don't like Linux needs to shut it down and leave it alone. The Mac OS is Linux. Broadly speaking, it's FreeBSD with a pretty front end. This is a gross oversimplification, but there we are. It's accurate enough for the purposes of this discussion.

Many applications were developed and are optimized for use on the Mac and then were ported or entirely re-written for a PC. As such, certain operations are quicker or more intuitive on a Mac than on a PC. It's also fair to say that other operations are slower on the Mac than on a PC.

I also tend to think that to a beginner, the Mac OS is slightly easier to get to grips with. This has come from talking with students, many of whom bought a Mac as their first computer. Most Mac users get to grips with a PC more readily than a PC user with a Mac. That's just an observation, not a statement of fact and there could just be something in the water in my area that has resulted in this.

Until Windows XP came along, I'd also have been willing to say that I found the Mac OS far more stable overall than most Windows installations. This may no longer be the case, but I still find the Mac platform very robust and reliable.

At the end of the day it's all down to whatever you feel the most comfortable with. Sometimes the reasons for choice may be personal, sometimes practical, sometimes irrational.

As long as you can get online and come to this forum though, who cares which platform you use ?


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