Laura's Lines: Hello, I am a MacWhen it comes to computers, there are two types of people: “The Mac People” and the “PC People.” Sure, there are some “in-betweenies” who don’t really care, but a majority fall under one category or the other.
By: Laura Sukowatey, Hudson Star-Observer
When it comes to computers, there are two types of people: “The Mac People” and the “PC People.”
Sure, there are some “in-betweenies” who don’t really care, but a majority fall under one category or the other. One of my professors at UW-Eau Claire swears by Macintosh. In class whenever she has to switch the PC over to Mac on the KVM you can definitely see the hatred and disgust she has for that poor Dell.
Me? Well, I am one of “The Mac People.” I remember the first computer my family ever got was Macintosh. That was way back when the Apple logo was a rainbow of colors and I hadn’t yet learned of my true love for these machines. I’m sure if I pulled it out of storage it would still boot up.
Over the last couple of years Apple has grown immensely in popularity. Like them or hate them, you have to admit their marketing team is pretty top-notch. Whether it’s their comical Mac vs. PC bits or the glorious iTunes commercials (I still YouTube the recent Coldplay regularly), something definitely seems to be catching consumer’s eyes.
I’d like to think I am at least somewhat knowledgeable of computers, but certainly no genius. My school-year job is based around assisting the “computer illiterate” and I find it quite enjoyable. And while I wish I could begin and end my argument by saying “Macs are just better,” I can’t. I need to back up my love for Apple with at least some significant information, so here it goes.
For those who have ever experienced a computer virus, you’ll know it is quite the inconvenience. They can cause extreme slowness, data loss and the dreaded blue screen of death — among many other things. Macs don’t get viruses. Well, they can, but it’s extremely rare. Their operating systems are very secure and virus writers are more familiar with PC platforms –- making them much easier targets.
I’ve also found Macs run faster than PCs. Popular Mechanics recently did a study comparing an iMac with a Gateway desktop and a Macbook with an Asus M51SR laptop. After a series of tests including startup/shutdown time, launching of applications and CD ripping, the Macs reigned champions in overall speed.
They also tested Boot Camp, new Apple software that allows users to run the Windows operating systems on a Mac, and found that Vista’s performance on the Mac was actually better than on the PC.
While it’s common to believe Macs are more expensive, it’s not always the case. It can ultimately depend on how much the buyers customize their machines, like adding memory and hard drive space. In the Popular Mechanics study, the Macbook cost the same as the Asus laptop, and the Gateway desktop cost $300 more than the iMac. Someone could buy the iMac, boost the hard drive to match the Gateway’s, purchase a copy of Vista and still save $100.
So not only is Apple trying to cater to “The PC People” by developing a program to run Windows on their computers, there’s also Parallels –- which allows you to run certain Windows programs next to Mac applications without having to switch back and forth like with Boot Camp. And there’s Microsoft Office for Mac if you like everything about them except its programs for word processing or spreadsheets.
But of course, like with all technology there can always be problems. While I’d like to say my Macbook is absolutely perfect, it’s not. It’s currently undergoing “computer surgery” and that’s where a large part of my appreciation for Apple comes in — their services.
Monday night I spent an hour at the very busy Apple store in the Mall of America. Since I got this laptop two years ago I’ve had to replace the optical drive once, and it’s probably getting replaced again as we speak. The current problem is most likely a hardware issue causing my poor Macbook to go into kernel panics, which is where the operating system detects an internal fatal error it cannot recover from. So no, Macs are not perfect, like any computer, but Apple has always taken care of me.
I paid $180 (student rate) to extend my AppleCare insurance from one year to three, and so far it has paid itself off over 100 percent. This insurance covers basically everything from hardware to software. But if you accidentally throw your Mac over a bridge and let it sit at the bottom of a river for a few days, then expect Apple to repair it … no, that would probably not be covered – but who knows? They were forgiving when I cracked the face of my laptop and they replaced that for no cost.
Anyways, the Genius Bar told me they would do whatever it takes to fix the problem, whether it’s replacing the logic board and hard drive or reinstalling the operating system — I don’t have to pay a thing. Both of those procedures would be pretty expensive without my AppleCare. I won’t go into some of the PC warranties I’ve heard about, but I will say I’m glad I chose Apple. A little kernel panic and bad optical drive won’t diminish my Apple appreciation because I know they’ll always do their best to fix the problem.
Because if their employees are going to walk around their stores wearing T-shirts that say “Not all super heroes wear capes” and prove that it’s true, then I’ll still wear my “Hello, I am a Mac” T-shirt — proudly.