Mac vs. Windows… And Maybe Linux Too!


(Read this Wikipedia entry or load up this very long page if you are confused by the above…)

Just like last December I’ve had to get a new hard drive for my PowerBook, and its battery—which currently holds about a 7-minute charge—is probably due for a replacement as well. Anybody who knows me has had to endure my Macintosh zealotry on at least one occasion, yet if you peruse the Mac-related posts on this humble site you’ll see that I’ve had more than my share of issues with the platform.

In my decade of Mac experience the software has gotten better and better, but the hardware has gotten steadily worse.

Consider my recent history with Mac computers:

  • October, 1999 – iMac DVSE: FireWire not working out of the box.
  • January, 2001 – Power Mac G4: Unable to sleep out of the box.
  • May, 2001 – iBook: Built-in speakers busted out of the box.
  • December, 2003 – Powerbook: Dead pixels out of the box.
  • April, 2004 – Power Mac G5: Logic board not working out of the box.

Not a great track record if you ask me…

And yet, my few shares of Apple stock are still skyrocketing while folks everywhere are touting the touting the superiority of the Mac platform.

My dream come true would be a release of Mac OS X that I could run on any machine I want. Sadly, even though Apple is switching to the Intel chip-set, we’ll likely not see a generic OS release until Steve Jobs finally decides to retire on a big bed of money from faithful fan-boys like myself.

I’m waiting to see what gets announced at the MacWorld keynote in January. If it’s not a generic release of OS X for Intel or at least an iBook that can run Windows, I’m buying me a notebook with XP Pro. Give me some time with it, and I’ll be able to say with at least some certainty which platform, if any, is ultimately better, and for what. Oh, and if I have enough hard drive space left over I may even install Linux on a separate partition, just for kicks!



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2 responses to “Mac vs. Windows… And Maybe Linux Too!”

  1. AC:
    I’ve bought 3 new Macs since 1999 (a G4, G4 Powerbook, and a G5),and I haven’t had any serious technical problems like you’ve encountered. My first Mac was a 2nd hand 8600, and I did have some hardware problems with it that were fixable.
    I had problems with my G5 after an Apple firmware upgrade caused my Mac to stop recognizing my RAM, and eventually I found a solution by checking out the various forums and tech alert sites. I watch the Apple forums as well as a few others (MacAddict, DVX Users) for a few weeks prior to running patches now, just to avoid any problems until either a workaround or a followup patch appears (I haven’t upgraded to 10.4 yet, for instance, because the Final Cut community still prefers 10.3.9). I held off upgrading Final Cut to the current versions until some of the early glitches were resolved with patches. Still, once everything’s okay and installed, it runs without crashing or constant tweaking to make it work, like I’ve experienced with Wintel machines.
    On the other hand, if I were to compare Wintel performance for video versus what it was like in 1999 when I bought my firt Mac, I’d probably lean towards Wintel just becuase they’ve caught up in terms of processing speed and capability. If I weren’t doing video and just needed word processing, spreadsheets, music player, DVD player, and games, I’d say a Wintel machine is definitely the way to go just because you have a huge range of software available compared to the Mac.


  2. Hi Ed,

    Maybe I’m one of those “bleeding edge” types, but I’m curious to see the type of real-world performance (and hopefully realibility) that I can get from one of those sub-$1000 notebooks.

    … And even more curious to try out the latest darling of the Linux set:

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