Undergrad Courses

Mac or PC?

Although I am further away from the point of being able to buy a new computer than I would like to be I want to make sure I do my research before I jump into this decision. I am in desperate need of a new computer and really have no idea what I want. Part of me really wants to go for it and get a Mac but I am a little apprehensive, mostly because of the lack of time I have spent using a Mac. So I am throwing this question out there, which is better?

Some of my concerns/questions about switching to a Mac are:

  • Will I feel like I am completely starting over even learning how to use a computer? (I don’t want this but I am willing to put in time to learn.)
  • Will files I have on my current computer which is a PC transfer over on to a Mac?
  • I plan to use my computer much differently than I have in the past.  In the past I have downloaded music, visited social networking sites and completed university assignments. This is about the extent of me using my computer. I do plan to use my computer more as I am learning more and more about the tools out there. Which is better in terms of how I want to use my computer?

I am sure I will have more question as people respond to this, and hopefully they will, but please share your thoughts and opinions! Anything you can offer will help me make a more educated decision.

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7 thoughts on “Mac or PC?

  1. Well i’m can’t really answer all your questions. But, I can tell you that I recently switched from a PC to a Mac and I love it! I didn’t find it too difficult to switch, most of the programs are fairly similar, plus there are many new programs that are fun to use. Personally I really enjoy using imovie and garage band. Also I figured out there is actually a ‘right click’, you just press control and the mouse pad. I haven’t tried transferring any files over yet, but I asked my Dad about it and he said it is possible. Overall I just find the computer to work much better, and faster. One thing I especially like is how fast the Mac turns on and off. I could never go back to a PC once I switched to a Mac 🙂

  2. Having switched to a Mac 2 years ago, I must say it’s a much more elegant computing experience. Things just seem to work better and more consistently. Very few files you have won’t work on a Mac unless you have very specific programs. Even at that, there are several ways to run Windows on your Mac so it’s like having the best of both worlds.
    A Mac is pricier but the software that comes preinstalled works so well that it’s really worth it in my opinion. Video in particular is a breeze which in my previous experiences with Windows required the most high end machine you could buy in order for the software to work.

  3. Does any other school division give Mac laptops (or any kind of computers) to their teachers? I know that Regina Public does, so when I recently got a computer, I purchased a PC. Just something to consider I guess….

  4. I bought a Mac after my PC got a virus last spring. I have to say that everyone always pressured me to get a Mac and I didn’t really buy how awesome they were. Then, after I got one, I was shocked at how much I love it. I think the biggest thing for me is that it makes everything easy. You have the dock at the bottom of your desktop and all the programs that you use most often are on there. If not, the finder is easy to navigate through to find what you are looking for. It’s not as complex as windows and I think that is why I like it so much. I don’t feel so overwhelmed. The only thing that I do not like is the “pages” program that comes with the Mac when you buy it. It is not easy to use and it is hard to format the page. It made me miss Microsoft Word. I know that you can buy Microsoft for a Mac and that is what I plan on doing. Also, programs like garage band, photo booth, iphoto, and imovie are so much fun to play in.

  5. Nicole, I’m the same boat as you, trying to decide which way I should go with a new computer. I recently upgraded my PC to Windows 7, and I am quite impressed with it. It is much quicker, easier to use, and just works better all together. I usually work my computer pretty hard (with so many things open at once) and it has only crashed once, compared to daily when I was using Vista. It seems to be cheaper to go the PC route, but Macs won’t get outdated as quickly. I also found out you can run windows on your mac, if you’re more comfortable with it for some programs. Also, if you do make the switch and don’t want to purchase a brand new Microsoft Office, you should check out OpenOffice. It’s basically the exact same thing, but free since it is open source. http://www.openoffice.org/. If you do make the switch, make sure to tell us about it!

    1. Windows 7 is fantastic. Macs definitely have better resale value. I’m so used to doing PC-specific things that I wouldn’t switch primarily to a mac. I have an iMac, but I still use my PC most of the time. Since you currently use your primarily for things that can be done on a Mac, I don’t see there being much of an issue to you switching over. File compatibility also won’t be an issue for you, by the sounds of it.

  6. Oh Nicole, of course you should know that I would respond to this!

    I bought my Mac last April, after having been a PC-er all my life, and a fairly knowledgeable PC-er I would give myself credit for. In my first year I had the same debate internally that you are having right now, with much the same questions you just asked. I chose to play the safe side and get a PC, and replaced it last year with a Mac, a decision I will never regret and never look back on.

    1. Yes, at first it seems as if you know nothing and you feel like you are starting all over again. But, as you have found out I am guessing, the internet is full of all kinds of information. I taught myself the things I needed through the internet, and anything basic you want to know – Apple offers video tutorials right on their website with their specific programs. Learn as much as you can off that website before you order, that’s what I did. So that when I got my computer, having ZERO Mac experience prior (except for the Apple computers we had at Columbia in Kindergarden with the 8″ Floppy’s!), I felt like I kind of knew what I was getting into. So that’s my advice right off the start in regards to how it will make you feel. In the end, it’s kind of fun starting all over. I feel that I am actually taking the time to learn things for myself and although you at first might take the hard way, finding easier ways is always fun.

    2. If you buy your computer with the option of iLife being included (which you can, and should, I’ll explain why), it comes with Apple’s equivalent programs to Microsoft Office. You get: Pages (Microsoft Word), Numbers (Excel), and Keynote (PowerPoint). As mentioned before by someone up there, Pages is a little difficult to learn right off the start. But my argument back at that is, wasn’t Word hard to learn all the formatting options the very first time you tried it? Exactly. A year later I still feel like I don’t know anything about Pages, but I’m always learning, and continually growing in that aspect. And as the other person mentioned, you can always get a copy of Office for Mac if you are completely frustrated and want to chalk up the money, or use the open source one. There are other ways too – but not which should be said on this blog but over a drink!

    And as education is teaching you about Prezi – Powerpoint is kind of losing it’s glisten, but in the event that you need to make a PP, Keynote is amazing! It’s so much better than Microsoft’s version, and makes way nicer looking end results. In terms of Numbers, I haven’t really used it as spreadsheets haven’t been something I’ve needed over the last year.

    So to answer question #2, because I had iLife preinstalled when I bought it from Apple, when I transfered all my documents over, they were compatible. I haven’t had any problems in terms of getting the documents to open. Here and there I have a few formatting issues, but nothing major. And the great thing about it is that when you save a document, you can always export it to any file type you want. So although you are making the document in Pages you can save it as a .doc so when you come to the university you can open it! Cha-ching!

    3. This question is really irrelevant. The computer itself and the OS don’t really impact your extent of social networking usage, or anything else like that. It’s more the software you chose to do that in, such as your browser etc. Most programs come with either a Mac or Windows version when you download them, and therefore don’t make any differences on the type of computer you have – they all work the same.

    The main thing, and is agreeable by all people who have Macs – is that Macs are just more elegant. Everything looks better on a Mac, run smoother, etc. I’ve yet to encounter a problem with my computer like I have with my PC in the past. Viruses are pretty much non-existant due to the code that a Mac runs in. Another bonus.

    I say go for it, and not only because I’m a fangirl for Apple, but because buying a Mac was the best thing I did. I should have done it way back in my first year when I had this internal debate. But now that I did it, I don’t regret it! You wouldn’t either!

    PS. One thing I forgot to mention was the Dual Boot that someone already talked about. If at any point you don’t like the Mac operating system, you can always boot your computer up into Windows, that’s the great thing about Macs. This is of course provided you have a copy of Windows to install. Windows 7, as elegant as it looks, is pretty much ripped off of the Mac OS. So, with that being said, get the real thing, not the rip off! 😀

    Fangirl out!

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