the big question: mac or pc?

Alright.  I’m in the mood for some hate mail and “good dialogue” so here goes.  People take their computers, notebooks, and gadgets pretty seriously. 

I have been contemplating getting a new laptop.  I don’t need one per se because I like my used Dell m1210 [via Craigslist], but it’s giving my hands, fingers, and wrists some serious pain because of the small size.  And so, I’m back to the BIG QUESTION:  Mac or PC?

And every time, I lean towards crossing over to the epiphany of Macs, I just can’t seem to do it.  I still can’t stand the perception that Macs = cool and counter cultural.  They seem pretty trendy to me. 

Here are four other reasons why I’m choosing leaning with staying with PCs.  But for the record, I have a teachable spirit so teach away:

1.  I live in Seattle and just feel loyal to Microsoft.  Is that bad?  Support local business, right?  I support Microsoft because I like to support local small businessess. 🙂

2.  Macs are expensive.  Is it worth the extra money?

3.  They have issues too. I know Macs are great computers but everyone I know seems to own Macs and well, I’ve seen them in action and I’ve learned that they ain’t perfect which is why a friend of mine has started this thingie called My Mac Hero just in case your Macs are Lame-o.  If you’ve got relationship issues with your Macs, ipods, iphones, and other i-dolatries, they’re the ones to call. 

4.   I don’t like turtlenecks.


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80 Replies to “the big question: mac or pc?”

  1. It’s simple, Eugene. Purchase a Mac because it’s simply a better computer. Buy some Microsoft software for your Mac since they’ll run both and you’ll still be supporting your “local business.” Everyone’s happy.

  2. I second Jon. It’s more expensive but you don’t have to dump on the money on virus protection, it’s intuitive, reliable, fast, and it just makes sense. Buy the Microsoft software you need, but run it on a mac. Take a que from your sister-city Portlanders: buy a mac.


    P.S. I hate turtlenecks, too…but so do most mac users under the age of 30. So buy a mac and take a few years off 🙂

  3. what’s the point of asking since you’ve already made your decision…foolish though it may be. 🙂

    buy me a cup of coffee at Q sometime in the next few weeks and i’ll demonstrate the advantages!

  4. Seems to me that Jesus would tell some parable here and, for those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the answer would be simple – neither of these closed-source empires deserve your hard-earned money. Alas, there is an alternative, Linux on a PC. I made the switch to Ubuntu linux after years of using a Windowz PC, and Macs before that. The laptop I bought came with Windowz so I bought another HD just in case I didn’t like the switch. I swapped HD’s for about a month and then, over a year and a half later, realized I hadn’t used my Windowz HD that whole time! I was converted and happy. I’m supporting the little guy/gal by donating $$ to individuals who believe in open-source, which is also open-access for the poor. Better yet, no crashes, no blue-screens, no viruses, and greater speed. The reason I switched from Mac to Windowz years ago was because they locked me in with hardware and software and I was always at their mercy. Of course, Windowz does the same software-wise but I had more flexibility with hardware. I’m not really sure how Mac is pro-little guy or anti-establishment. Seems to me both Steve and Bill are doing quite well marketing closed-source systems while the rest of us pay the price. If you have to choose between the two Macs do seem a bit less predatory. But why choose between the two in the first place – go Linux and be set free!

  5. you should go for a MAC laptop for the simple reason that you are having wrist pains. I have never found a PC laptop that has the same keyboard size as the MAC. when you use the keyboard, it really feels like the same size as a desktop keyboard. also, the battery life on the MAC laptops are much better. so, even though I believe the MAC OS is much better, just for the hardware, it’s worth it. yes, it’s more expensive, but look on craigslist, the resale value is too. so, later, when you want to sell it, you’ll get more for it, offsetting the price difference.

    finally, i know you probably know this, but you can boot windows on it exclusively … i think it’s even though doing that just for the superior hardware.

    but, maybe @johnchandler is right … you’ve already made your decision.

  6. I’d give another vote to Ubuntu if you don’t want to be trendy but you want something different. Of course, among Linux distributions, Ubuntu is trendy, but Linux itself isn’t trendy yet.

  7. i should amend my post and say that i’m “leaning” towards staying with PCs. i had a good friend who was a mac evangelist about 20 years ago. he was literally the only person i knew that was an apple laptop at that time. i should have switched over then.

    for a guy [me] who used his laptop quasi-religiously, i’m learning how little i know about stuff. i’ve heard these terms that folks are throwing out but really have no idea how these open source things work.

    and is it just me: why do i feel like microsoft is becoming the little guy in comparison to the growth of apple inc. and google? have i drank the ballmer cool aid?

  8. PC guy here and I’m very surprised to see a pastor blogger extol the virtues of PCs!

    It depends on your needs. If you want built-in creative apps like Garageband and all the iLife stuff while paying a premium, then go Apple.

    If you want to save money and don’t mind seeking out third-party software that you pay for or is free (including anti-virus), then go PC.

    I personally haven’t seen the superiority of Macs over PCs. My friends with Macs have had broken power switches, dead optical drives, overheating, and monitor issues. No complaints about my Dell Inspiron E1505 or home-built PC.

    @Andy Wade – After several attempts, I finally got Ubuntu running on a spare desktop and it’s fun to play with. I avoid the command line as much as possible, but I’m not afraid to dive in when I have to either. Most people, I imagine, don’t have the desire or patience to mess with the inner workings of their computer like that.

  9. Get a Mac from and get parallels for FREE. Then you can still run Windows (XP not Vista). I’m not endorsing them, I don’t care where you get it, just make sure you get AppleCare. If anything goes wrong it will be worth it because their stuff is so expensive to replace, but they will give you ZERO hassle about it. I’ve used PC’s at home my whole life but have a Mac at work, so I’m comfortable with both. They each have their problems but I think Mac’s claim that “it just works” is generally true, as long as you are not an idiot.

  10. You are a Shepherd of folks that are heavily vested (employed or partnered with) Microsoft not that should have undue influence on you :-), also if something happens to your MAC there are not many options on a Sunday, if something happens to your PC, well heck I have one of my tablets with me in the congregation, so we MS guys can get you up and running in no time…

  11. I know you have a hard time purchasing and enjoying stuff for yourself. But I think it’s time that you splurged a purchased a nice MAC for yourself. You’re such a creative person that the software that already comes with your MAC will simply feed your creativity. That’s one girl’s perspective.

  12. @jeff roach: will you still respect me if i crossed over? 🙂

    what you wrote is the main reason why i am leaning with going pc. honestly, if i was living and pastoring anywhere else, i’d be using a mac.

  13. I switched two weeks ago and I’m still discovering great things about OS X that I never expected. I thought Macs where a bit of a toy, not as productive or stable or quick as PCs, but I was very wrong.

  14. MACS FTW!!!! They might not be totally flawless or perfect in every way, but their fail points outweigh pc’s good points even. I can open on my macbook simultaneously: Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, iTunes, iPhoto, Safari, Firefox, Excel, Adobe Reader, the Sims2 and several other applications. My PC barely could handle having Windows Media Player and Photoshop open at the same time. And my PC was not a cheap-o one.

    If you’re a creative artist you will appreciate the colour values, high quality graphics, multi-tasking capabilities, and overall performance of the Mac. If you really desire the windows platform you can run it dual with the MacOS when you get your pretty, shiny Mac. Also, let me just tell you their support team is far superior to any PC company I have ever worked with. Dell, Gateway, and IBM have made me want to hang myself while waiting for their illiterate, unintelligent, unhelpful employees that are leafing through the same handbook as I am. I took in a non-mac product to the apple store that I was using with my Mac and they took the time to reconfigure the computer and device so that they were compatible.

    PC price, support, and product can’t compare against a Mac. Mac’s worth the extra $$

  15. I was at a Digidesign ProTools (industry standard audio recording software company) seminar recently, held on the Microsoft campus. First thing that struck me when I walked in was that the people running the seminar (Digidesign people, not MS) were running on iMacs.

    When the formal presentation began, the speaker wanted to get a feel for what kind of people were in the audience and at one point he asks how many people are Mac users and how many are PC users. The majority (I’d say at least 85 percent) in attendance were Mac users (ProTools runs on both platforms).

    I’d be willing to bet that 95 percent of those Mac users chose that platform not because it’s the cool computer but because it’s the stable one that works when you plug 3rd party hardware into it. The platform where in the rare occasion when a piece of software starts acting all wonky, all you have to do is trash a couple preference files which the software will rebuild automatically when you restart it and 4 times out of 5, the problem goes away.

    Many industry professionals use Macs because they’re (no, not perfect but) much more stable and reliable than PCs. And they’re much easier to maintain and trouble shoot when things go wrong.

    Another point entirely…

    Macs are more expensive but one of the things people forget is that it comes with so much more free (and actually usable) software.

    iPhoto – upload, store, and organize your photos and when Christmas comes around, you can put together a set of photos and you can send them off (within the app) to be professionally bound into a hardcover book or a calendar or Christmas cards.

    iMovie – sure, Windows has a free video editor as well but last time I checked, no movie edited with MS’s free editor made it to the Cannes film festival. But a movie edited in iMovie did.

    iDVD – build professional looking DVDs with animated menus and chapters.

    Boot Camp – if there’s some piece of Windows software that you absolutely can’t live without, fire up Boot Camp and presto, you have a dual boot computer that can run OSX and XP or Vista.

    Built-in iSight camera. One of the first things new Mac users do is open up Photo Booth and start taking silly photos which end up as Facebook profile pics. You can also use the camera to do video conferencing or you can buy software that will use the iSight camera to snap a photo of the thief who stole your laptop once they sign on to the internet.

    In closing…

    If I sound like an Apple operative or cult fanboy, it’s because I believe it’s a far better product – not because it’s more “cool” or trendy but because it works without me having to battle drivers and dll files and registry issues, because I can install and remove software without worrying about finding odd behavior after it’s gone, because I don’t have to install anti-virus software (yet).

    I don’t care about cool as much as I care about a computer that works. The fact that it works AND is pretty cool, well so much the better.

    1. You can also install a full Windows operating system on a Mac. I imagine if you typically use a Mac and need Windows, it’s for some work context. So either it’s a write off or the employer or client will pay.

  16. I really enjoy my Mac laptop. It loads just about everything faster than my brand new custom built PC (which is really fast!). I also enjoy the ease of use of Macs as well. So, go for a Mac! They’re much better than PCs. ^_^

  17. Macs may be more expensive to purchase, but they don’t become obsolete as quickly, so in the long term they are in fact cheaper. I’m still running a Mac from 2001 (with some upgrades), and in fact every revision of the Mac OS has made it run faster. How many PCs from 2001 would run Vista? Buy a Mac!

  18. Once you go mac, you will never go back.

    Seriously. I used PC’s for over 10 years and was a very devoted and dedicated PC person. Then after much coaxing from my Dad (who is a computer scientist) I bought a mac. I myself work as a graphic artist, and we use G5’s at work. Anywho, I fell in love. Macs are SO MUCH more stable all the way around. I could go on and on about how when I hit a button…it actually DOES what I told it to…verses PC’s where I usually have to hit stuff 2 or 3 times and get really frustrated all the time because it is basically a P.C. (Piece of Crap) P.C.’s are just SLOW and UNSTABLE.



  19. As someone who originally grew up programming machine and assembly language on an Apple IIGS, I have always had respect for Apple — but went the PC route in 1992 due to the fact that Apple’s II series was disappearing and their Macintosh line was taking over. I have never been much of a “Mac fan”, but I have never had much *against* Macintosh products either.

    I’m a UNIX system administrator by profession, and thus I was thrilled to see Apple releasing OS X to the public for the first time. I immediately went out and bought an iMac (the “looks like a lamp!” model). Needless to say, I was disappointed by OS X, and even more disappointed by the hardware Apple had chosen (playing an MP3 in anything other than iTunes resulted in something like 25-30% of the processor being used. Um, no thanks.) The iMac was sold on eBay about 6 months later, and I continued using PC products professionally and personally.

    Apple zealots will tell me that Apple has come a long way since the days mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph, and that does appear to be true. However, every time I sit down at a co-workers’ Macbook Pro, within 2-3 minutes I can find some atrocious bug in either the UI, or one of the applications that comes with the OS. I don’t go looking for them either, I just simply use the software. For sake of comparison, it took Apple _6 releases_ of OS X to address horrible terminal emulation in — something that every GUI-based *IX system has had working flawlessly since the 70s.

    The simple answer is: use whichever suits your needs best. If you want something simple and new, not requiring much brainpower, but has “niche” user community (yet passionate), go with a Mac. If you want something upgradable (without having to throw the entire computer out and buy a new one), requiring more technical know-how, and has a large user community, go with a PC.

    Otherwise, if you ultimately can’t decide? Flip a coin. I’m serious.

  20. I am just a very normal computer user and so is my husband. We watch stuff, edit pictures, send emails and surf… well I have my PC and my husband just bought a mac laptop. Can I just say: I still don’t get the big hype about macs! Everything is integrated… and so what? I have access to all that as well and at least I can choose the one that suits me best!

  21. I’d go with a PC if I were you. I’ve used both intensively and I think the PC’s come out on top. Mac’s aren’t bad, I’d use them if I had too and not put up a fuss, but PC’s are way easier to handle, easier to find your way around…and for goodness sakes! PC’s have a dang RIGHT CLICK on the mouse which TENDS to be helpful! I’ve heard that you can’t update Macs when they start to lag behind the times, apparently you have to just get a new one…not sure if this is s100% true, but it’s what I heard.

    Mac’s are ok, but just ok. Not worth the extra money as far as I’m concerned.

    Good luck!

  22. Absolutely buy a Mac. I switched just over a year ago and have NEVER been sorry. Not to mention that if you’re still really stuck on the PC you can buy Parallels Desktop and run Windows on your Mac.

    Here’s something to consider when pricing the Mac vs. the PC. Everyone says the Mac is more expensive because they only look at the final price tag, but you have to consider everything you’re getting. If you price the software you’d have to buy to let you do the same things on a PC that you can do with what comes on a Mac you’ll realize that it’s really not any cheaper to go with the PC. And you’re getting a more reliable machine with a safer, more stable operating system. The choice, then becomes simple.

  23. I want to get a Mac simply because Steve has done such a good job with his marketing. But I have everything I need on the PC. But on the other hand, every piece of software built for the Mac, whether its from Apple or not, seems to be top notch.

  24. Okay so I don’t know you but came across your blog through wordpress…Mac’s are so much better than PC’s. I am using (currently) my 2nd Mac and have never had a single problem with either in the last 3 years. My husband just got one about 6 months ago and is problem free also. They are incredibly easy to use and when you can’t figure something out- the help is very user friendly! Not to mention the people at the apple store and on the phone support actually know what they are talking about!
    Also to the commentor above, you can definitely right click on a Mac laptop, you simply put two fingers on the pad and…click! I would be careful that you get your info from people who know all about what they are talking about. I’ve had both kind of computers for long periods of time and would never go back to a PC.
    One more thing- my husband who was sure to never switch to Macs…he’s now using one after using mine for a little bit. Hope this helps!

  25. As a Macbook owner I strongly recommend getting a PC. Take a minute to read that again, it is not a typo.

    My mac, in the fist year has had a series of screwups, so much so that I am moving back to Windows XP and Linux distros ASAP.

    Regarding some of the reasons

    1. (Seattle) Before buying a mac, check how many authorised repair agents are in your area. If there isn’t at least 3, forget it. Why? Under the warranties, only these groups can fix your problems. And if they’re slow or incompetent, now amount of “Think Different” or “iChic” will change the fact your computer is sitting on some shelf waiting for a transplant.

    2. (Expensive) Expensive is such an all encompassing term, one that many mac users object too: I prefer the term “too expensive”. Whilst OS X is the best operating system I’ve used since Windows 95, my MacBooks hardware is possibly the worst – 2 broken DVD burners, and a cracked casing that is such a widespread problem it had its own flicker group.

    3. (Advertisment?) OK. Fine. Can’t understand that but its an opinion and you’re entitled to it.

    4: (Turtlenecks) And I don’t like wearing high heels and cross dressing at the weekend, how are either of these connected meaningfully with a computer purchase?

  26. The idea of owning a Mac is cool, but so many online/print software guides and such cater to those who own PC’s. Plus, who wants to own a trendy product as you rightly point out? My old roommate used to have a Mac and I’d get on there and I’d find it so hard to minimize things and maximize things and navigate around on the internet, not to mention all the use of the Alt key instead of having enough drop-down menu options. Anyway, I hope you go with a PC.

    New Cartoons here:

  27. thanks cool dad…

    I completely forgot to mention Garageband! Like I said, I use ProTools for most of my audio editing needs but I’m stunned at the quality of the loops that come with Garageband as well as the quality of the built-in effects.

    As a drummer, one of the things I like to do is run a loop in Garageband (say, a bass line) and play beats over it. Makes for a fun way to practice without it feeling like practicing.

    And since I’m mentioning Garageband, here’s a little something I threw together in GB for a How-To-Run-Sound-At-Quest seminar I gave a couple weekends ago…


  28. I have a dental practice where I place dental implants in Babylon NY. I have PC’s in the office and I spend a lot of time always fixing them. I would get aMac to fee up my time computing rather than fixing the computers. If you need to do PC stuff on your mac you can always use remote desktop to get to a PC or use emulation software. Good luck

  29. I used Macs from 1985 until 2002, and felt immensely liberated moving to a PC when the graphics and interface finally became usable. Wow – you buy a computer for half the price, and it included a keyboard AND mouse! (I guess Apple thought at some point you might just be able to interact with their boxes telepathically?) You didn’t have to pay for every little simplest utility, because shareware and freeware abounds!

    Now, when I have to help my wife on her Mac, I’m amazed that anyone can get ANYTHING done on one. Try burning a CD for the first time on a Mac: start out with about five blank CDs, because unless you follow a tutorial, you’re going to waste most of the blank CDs with the ‘intuitive’ Mac before you figure it out. (Once you know how to do it, it’s easy, but that’s not the point, is it?)

    It is nice that you don’t have to deal with the Windoze registry nonsense on a Mac, but – as from the beginning – because the operating ‘guts’ are hidden from you you can get into a situation like I have now on the Mac – something called ‘A Better Finder’ that I installed a couple years ago and now can’t remove from context menus, even after researching and following instructions to the T.

    I bought one of those semi-golfball looking Macs with attached monitor for my wife several years ago shortly after OSX was introduced, and the machine was so bad I sent it back. Wouldn’t turn on, wouldn’t turn off….

    If I wasn’t invested with business in QuarkXpress (yuck) and Quickbooks (yuck), I’d go with Linux – PCLinuxOS is especially nice. That way you avoid falling prey to both the religious cult of Macs and the oppressive IBM-like bulldozer from Redmond.

    In any event, I’m sure you’ll be happy with whatever you get.

    Unless you’re not.

  30. Wow this post is indeed helpful as I am also thinking whether to cross over (PC to MAC).

    I am also an avid fan of PCs being a user for a decade now but then due to this huge advertisement and fancy look of the MAC, I am tempted to give in.

    I am still contemplating because I do not have the budget for it 😦

  31. I’d recommend a Mac, but, from comments here and experience with friends and family, be aware:

    1. A Mac is not a PC. OS X has different UI elements and strategies that may look familiar, but they’re not. For example, a Mac is meant to have many windows floating around on the screen, while most Windows users maximize a single window to fill the entire screen. Thus, on the Mac, “maximize” means “expand the window to be big enough to display the document/web page/image in the window”. It doesn’t mean expand to fill the screen.

    2. Macs are expensive, but if you price out a similar PC, it’ll be the same price. When I ordered my Mac through my company, we priced a MacBook Pro and a Dell with similar specs. The Dell was $50 cheaper. Plus, you get what you pay for, and in that case, Vista is WAY over priced.

    3. Stop with the right click argument people. It’s been moot for years. Go into your mouse settings and turn on right click. It’s not rocket science. Hell, I have a 5-button mouse attached to my Mac, and all five buttons work, including a scroll wheel that is not only up and down, but left and right as well.

    4. Again, Macs are not PCs. Take time to learn how the operating system works from a Mac’s perspective. I have a friend who was a die-hard PC user, flying through menus with the keyboard, going a hundred miles an hour. It was a tough switch for him, but he’ll never go back. Now he thinks like a Mac user. Just give it some time and be open to new ways of thinking. For example, you know why Macs attach the menu to the top of the screen instead of the top of each app window? So you can push your mouse up easily to click a menu, instead of having to target something floating in the middle of your screen.

    Personally, I don’t really worry about what I have to do to get my machine to work anymore. I just worry about what I need to get done. It’s very relaxing.

  32. Hey Bro
    New Mac computers come with the Leopard operating system on them that has Bootcamp, allowing you to partition part of your hard drive and run Windows on it. So there’s nothing you can’t do on Windows that you can’t also do on your new Mac should you choose to buy one.

    Then my opinion: I’ve had no problems with my Macbook and it’s definitely a smoother ride than Windows, so of course, I tell people if they’d like a computer that won’t give them a headache then macs are the way to go.
    They aren’t bulletproof, but the only problems I have are once in a blue moon a program freezin, and when you Force Quit, it quits RIGHT AWAY, without dallying around like CTRL ALT DLT does in Windows. That’s the WORST of my problems I’ve ever had on my mac that I had for over a year now.

    Once you go mac, you never go back.



  33. If you’re not a corporate-business user, I think you should consider getting a Mac as it is much more centered around the end consumer experience who uses it for creation, design, and entertainment.

    If you’re a corporate-business user, there’s no question you get a Windows Vista laptop, especially if your communications platform is built on Exchange Server. I don’t do Photoshop. I don’t create DVDs. I only need iTunes to buy music and load it up on my iPod. I surf the net. I do the typical stuff. The most critical component to organizing my life is my corporate e-mail, the calendar (personal and business), and mobility (Windows Mobile).

    I got push e-mail both for my Exchange stuff and Hotmail. Contacts and calendaring sync real-time. The Microsoft Office platform isn’t nearly as good on the Mac as it is on the PC.

    Bottom-line, you’ll get everything you want to get done on either platform. All of the points above pro/con PC v. Mac is more based on emotion, perception, opinion rather than fact.

  34. Macs are the new cool thing. But in order to be “that” you need a great product right? Macs are not perfect. I bought an iBook and used if for 4 years My wife now uses that iBook. So we’ve had it for 5 years. It’s had 1 issue. Hard-drive failed. I took it right down to my local Mac store and two days later I got it back. It cost me $150.

    Never had a virus or any virus protection software. It cost me $1200 + $150 HD for 5 years of greatness.

    Don’t let your pride get in the way.

    Vista has been a disaster. Microsoft has stalled out and they can’t seem to innovate anymore. Why stay faithful to a company that has struggled for a long time to take care of it’s customers?

    Not trying to be mean…If Microsoft comes out with a great product that would be awesome. I hope they do. All my Dell friends here in Austin hate Vista. They want XP back, WOW!

  35. i’ve been working on both mac and pc [web designer] for about 20 years. the pc is the equivalent of going to Denny’s. lots of stuff on the menu….tastes ok….gets you on your way however you risk catching something. a mac is like an evening at the French Laundry. all details working seamlessly together taking the simple act of eating to a more enjoyable and satisfying experience. it’s art. plus, in the mac world, i keep finding all these beautiful secret worlds ~ like “apple esc esc” ~ how friggin cool is that??? i say mac all the way….and i’m off to breakfast. 🙂

  36. Pastor Eugene,
    You are one of the most creative pastors I have ever met. The answer is simple: Go Macs. It’ll take you to the next level.

  37. I just bought a MAC a couple of months ago and now I wonder why I waited so long! As you say, it’s not perfect, nothing is, but the biggest problem I had, was that I kept thinking I was still using a PC and I kept trying to do things the hard way.

    Imagine, life without viruses, and creativity at your fingertips. If you need the work in a Windows environment, well, you can still do that too.

  38. I was the first kid in my school to get a Mac at home: 5th grade, I think. I immediately got recruited to design everything from our classroom “credits” that were used like money to the school-wide patrol schedule. The Mac made stuff look cool and was intuitive enough for a 5th grader to work with ease.

    I later worked for one of the guys who created Myst and Riven, and the office was a Mac wonderland. I ended up with one of their office computers as my own when I left that job, then bought an eMac when I started seminary (I am typing on her right now). Last week Doug bought me a Macbook (great deal through Caltech) for my work with Servant Partners (decentralized missions agency that requires mobility) and I LOVE it. LOVE IT!!!

    So I am not at all unbiased. Not even remotely. And maybe I’m one of those people who looks dumb for being so happy with a brand, but honestly, I feel like Apple has genuinely earned every ounce of my loyalty.

  39. Coming from someone who has a Mac and a new PC with Vista, I hate my PC. I have had nothing but problems with Vista and the new interface. Everything shuts down or freezes. The error reports are non-stop. When this happens, I just hop on my Mac and pretend like I didn’t spend the money on the PC…

  40. PE – of course would respect you and love you unconditionally, I just won’t fix your MAC :-), but I’ll do anything you need to keep your PC up and running…

    And all seriousness, decide what you need to to do, what software you need to run and if that platform from Cupperteno works, have fun… just don’t get sucked into the Cult that is Apple…

    Of course before youmake any decision check out this…


  41. I vividly remember the words of Guy Kawasaki many years ago at a Christian conference…he asked for a show of hands of all the Mac owners, then declared “and the rest of you worship the devil.”

    I still do not own a Mac…but I’m considering it! However, I did read on Dan Kimball’s site that he’s still lovin’ PC, and some of the new laptops (Dell?) are pretty sexy.

    Decision, decisions…

  42. @randall:

    dude, that mp3 you posted is rad. i knew i had it in me to be a hip hop artist.

    eugene cho.
    minister with the sinister flow.
    growing up in the streets of san francisco.

  43. ’ve heard these terms that folks are throwing out but really have no idea how these open source things work.

    Open source is basically about freedom. It’s about the freedom to not deal with spyware and adware in cost-free software. It’s about the freedom to redistribute without annoying activation keys. It’s about the freedom for programmers to tweak an existing program and make a better program that others can take advantage of for free.

    There are a whole bunch of quality open source Windows programs you can try out:

    And, better yet, you’re already using open source, and you don’t even know it! WordPress is open source blogging software, probably hosted on a Linux server using Apache, PHP, and MySQL, all open source.

    If you want to go Ubuntu or another Linux distribution, I’m sure someone in your church would be more than willing to help you get that set up.

  44. What are you using your laptop for?

    How much would you like to spend?

    Outside of your base set of requirements, how much more would you be willing to pay for bells and whistles?

    How much is size a consideration? Would you tend to err towards the side of big + performant or smaller + portable?

    Know the answers to these questions and only a few good choices will remain.

  45. be trendy…haha…go mac

    seriously though. mac is a great computer. i hardly have any issues with mine. i say that and the damn thing will crash on me today. but it’s been a great one.

    happy choosing!

  46. Eugene,

    I learn to work with what I am given. To put this in car terms:

    PC = Ford Taurus
    Mac = BMW 325i

    You get what you pay for.

    Also, I’m going to be working for an organization that will issue me a Dell, I’m sure, though I’ve been on a Mac for the past 16 years at home, and back and forth daily at my previous 4 years at Teague.

    @All Mac Fans: Shouldn’t you be thinking about DONATING a mac to Eugene to use during his sabbath? Then he can make his decision from there? I would, but I have an OLD Mac Titanium that won’t even run OS 10.5.

  47. without reading everyone else’s responses… I’ve been using pc’s my whole life. year and a half ago, I bought vista, and installed it. 6 months later, I bought a macbook. I know supporting local businesses is nice, but don’t get vista. seriously. don’t get it.

    user interface-wise. I think mac os is really easy to pick up. Windows user since back in the old 3.1 days, and yeah… after using my macbook for about a month, I felt at home. Is it worth the money? the apple store’s willingness to actually fix things for you instead of you having to send it back and deal with problems if anything goes wrong… yeah. in that sense. apples will get screwed up. so will pc’s. but I’ve conditioned myself over the years, if something goes wrong with a pc, even if it’s under warranty… just fix it myself, cuz it’s such a huge hassle to go to the manufacturer. apple. just bring it in and they’ll take care of everything. applecare is a nice luxury, but i didn’t buy it. I got extended coverage with my amex (doubled warranty), and they’re pretty easy to deal with.

    that’s my $.02.

  48. I’m in love with my PC. I think it is an irrational dependency relationship, but I’m not looking forward to adjusting to MACs. I think the interface looks pretty cool, but some of it is too simplified for my tasts. Like the minimize, smaller window, and exit buttons on window frames. They’re all circles on a MAC! I need a symbol system…

    And besides, some things are harder to download for MACS; eg DC++ and a bunch of other things I need as a college student.

  49. 1) It’s hilarious that you’ve gotten this many comments so fast – can’t we get back to something less controversial like women in ministry or the death penalty?
    2) The emerging church community will never fully embrace you until you purchase a mac
    3) I’ve almost finished my mac virus and when it goes life 98% of all graphic designers, independent musicians, wealthy seattleites under 40, 12 year old girls, youth pastors and witty t-shirt wearers with fauxhawks will be rendered powerless. With PCs you get free America Online software – with Macs, I’m pretty sure they give you a coupon for a free fauxhawk and black cafepress t-shirt that says something like “I’m somebody important” or “Easy like Sunday morning”. 🙂
    4) PC users are meaner
    5) Last time, I didn’t want to spend the extra money and I had so much PC software already. But I wish I’d purchased a Mac = stability, ease of use, fauxhawk coupon.

  50. I have never owned a Mac, and I’m not sure I ever will, unless they give me good reason to switch, for the simple reason that I have never been dissatisfied with my PC. Honestly, unless you feel like all the cool little extras are worth it, there probably isn’t that strong of a reason to switch – a lot of people talk about dealing with viruses and how macs really help with that, but honestly, I’ve had my PC for about two years now and never once had a virus problem – and I don’t pay for virus protection whatsoever. There are free programs online (No, not illegal ones, actually – they’re completely legit and hassle-free) that do wonders when worked in conjunction with each other.

    Plus, PCs are more easy to work with – though they do have problems more often than Mac, they’re usually really easily fixable – when your Mac has a problem, it’s kind of a hassle and your computer will probably be out of commission for days -which could up being a costly mistake.

    If you get a PC, DON’T get Vista, though, XP is light years better and there’s really no reason to switch to Microsoft’s buggy new operating system.

    I think now that Macs are so trendy (you’re right they’re no longer counter-cultural; they’re practically the new ipod) there’s a counter-Mac movement that’s happening where PC users are speaking up about how much PCs rule. I think you should stick with what you know.

  51. I’d just like to say that I think it’s interesting that your post on Mac v. PC has generated wayyy more comments than your posts about poverty. What does that say?

  52. I’m in a similar situation. I’m a windows developer/sysadmin at work. I’m making this post from an Ubuntu box at home (where I have a Gentoo Linux stereo / file server running).

    I bought my wife a mac book for Christmas this year. I’ve been playing around with it and it’s starting to grow on me. Watched a buddy of mine do windows development running XP, SQL Server and Visual Studio windowed in VMWare fusion on a macbook. Ran without a hitch and was pretty snappy at that.

    Here’s the key point: The macbook is a toaster. When you make toast do you ever even think about the start up routine for the toaster? Do you wonder if it shut down smoothly? No. The macbook is the same. When you are done surfing or checking your email you close the lid. You never have to think about anything else. It was quite a shift for me to begin to think of computers this way since computers occupy such a large portion of my life. The stress of maintaining a network of PC’s at work (I recently inherited all the sysadmin duties) combined with my mom sending me her malware infected PC plus my father in law planning to bring his PC on vacation with us so I can look at stood in such a stark contrast with the experience that we’ve had with the macbook.

    I’ve been right there bashing the mac fanboys for a long time. I’ll still bash them (I think the interface really *is not* exceptionally intuitive). I despise trendy. Bottom Line…If you want a bulletproof server: Run linux. If you want to field an office full of people running a business or do point of sale: run windows. If you want a machine that you can depend on and that just works: get a mac.

    The price used to bother me. I’ve decided that my time is worth more. I’ll still keep a couple of PC’s around to make linux servers with. Hell I’m probably going to keep on hating ITunes (Amarok is much better for my needs). But I’m going to drop the $ on a macbook Pro and not look back.

  53. Both mac and pcs have their pros and cons. However, if the new bootcamp software, you can install both windows and mac osx. That was a big reason I bought a macbook. Although now there are some guides around the net that shows that you can install mac osx on a pc with some hacks.

  54. disclaimer, I have not ever used a mac on a daily basis.

    However, I have used laptops daily for years and I just bought a new laptop and I purchased a huge 17″ model with super high resolution from Dell.

    This was a chance to re-evaluate my laptop of choice – typically I use the smallest, lightest one I can get, but my needs have changed and I realized that I needed massive resolution more than I needed portability.

    So, a mac was on the table as an option, but the choice was clear to me for two reasons:

    1. cost, the Dell cost me less than $1K which is it at a minimum half the price of a comparable mac.
    2. familiarity – macs are supposed to be intuitive but I do use them occasionally and i do not find them intuitive to configure and use – bear in mind, I develop software and so I am constantly needing to install various servers, applications, toolsets, etc – a mac is not as easy to configure for such things as a pc in my experience.

    I am a big open source fan, but again i had to nix the open source OS due to ease of configuration. hopefully someday I’ll be sufficiently familiar with linux type OSs to make the switch.

  55. I have 15 years experience with Windows, Mac and Linux.

    I have built about 100,000 computers with my hands.

    On my desk right now, I have all three systems.

    If I had to pick one:


    There isn’t even a close second place.

    Mac just works and works well and works well out of the box.

    At work, I have the option of supporting Windows-based machines at my whim. Umm, why in the world would I want my work day to be that much harder.

    Seriously, Mac.

    Yes, it is more expensive. Save more money. They are worth it.

  56. Hey Eugene–thanks for the plug, bro. All I can say is you have an iPod and I think I see a 3G iPhone in your future. At that point, you will have everything but the central nervous system of the Apple product line. Can you say “halo effect”? 🙂

    For the record, I’m neither a Microsoft basher nor an Apple fundamentalist–some of the smartest people I know, like, and respect work there and the company has made many positive contributions to technology (not to mention the life-saving work that the Gates Foundation is supporting)–it’s just that for my purposes I am far more productive on a Mac than I have ever been on a PC.

    I think for most people the intuitive thing comes down to which they used first. I’ve used Macs since 1984, so everything that has come out of Microsoft since Windows 95 has seemed like a transposition (Apple menu vs. Start button and the trash can vs. recycling bin to name just two of the early things, and recent analogs such as Aqua vs. Aero, Widgets vs. Gadgets, and Spotlight vs. Quick Search). So I can imagine that for Windows users the transition to a Mac probably feels like a quirky alternative universe as well. There are empirical methods to measure usability, but in real world situations, it seems clear that the best solutions (and by that I’m not saying that Apple has always made the right decisions) aren’t always the most popular (witness the persistence of the inefficient QWERTY keyboard layout). Apple’s decision to switch to Intel since 2006 means that you can easily enjoy the best of Apple, Microsoft, and Linux on one machine (lots of RAM strongly recommended for these scenarios!).

    I believe that Apple is in the strongest position it has ever been in (and boy do I remember when things looked bleak in the mid-late 90s) and that in the iPhone and Apple TV we’re only seeing the beginning of a long line of devices that will leverage OS X’s increasingly mature development environment. Can Jobs & Co. keep hitting home runs? We’ll all have to wait and see.

    p.s. I was honestly surprised to not read anything positive about Vista from commenters on this thread–I’ve used it for maybe all of 10-15 minutes, wherein I set the performance prefs to maximum, thus making it look like Windows 95.

  57. Look here: get a Mac. I am not a hipster Mac user. I just like computers that work.

    I’ve used PCs consistently for work and play for 20 years, Macs for about 10, and I can honestly say that my Macs have withstood both hardware obsolescence and software snafus much better than my PCs. I currently own two Macs (iMac G5 & Powerbook G4) that are probably at least 5 years old, and they both work great for my daily needs, which run the gamut of business apps to Adobe Creative Suite to music recording software and video editing (uhhh, well the G5 only for that last one.)

    If you are worried about the initial cost of a Mac, try buying something off craigslist that comes with an extended apple care plan. The warranty is transferrable to the new owner. I’ve bought about 7 macs on CL (for myself and for friends) and so far no duds. Good luck!

  58. The MAC was the original GUI pc! It depends on budget. MAC is more expensive and less flexible but higher quality. I hate spending more money than I have to when I have other things that money can go towards, like my electricty. Because of that I lean towards a Windows pc. If you do not play with settings and just use it for the basics your overall experience will not be significanlty worse than a MAC user when you take the monetary difference in to account.

  59. It is amusing to see just what Steve Jobs knows, and has used at every turn, to revitalize the Macintosh Product over the last 10-12 years : Perception is everything. A Mac Book can be had for $1099
    It will have Intel duo running at 2.2(2.1?) for the low end. The screen will be small like mac books costing hundreds more (13.3″)
    It has a number of very annoying qualities, like no way to retrieve random files that disappear,,a shut down mode from hell, and a lot of hacking sh8t that is just not viable.
    If you are doing editing/media/music recording,,a Mac is going to make it easier, sort of,,easier in that the software that is native and Mac only,,won’t be found on a PC. But, this means total control, like, oh, say yanking ‘Logic’ off of the market, for PCs, overnight. Not cool. Apple sells computers for the self-important, don’t like to get my hands dirty crew. The real money is not made in a price-controlled product, that probably has a true mnfctr-retail markup of quite a lot. But you are beseiged w/ how cool it is and Steve knows that. He is a marketing genius, and he offers membership to the ‘special club.’ Bill Gates is a complete hypocrite and Vista is so horrible and just keeps displaying how much it is designed to prohibit the user from doing anything…I currently run XP on two Desktops and a Compaq laptop, all are 2-5 years old. The laptop has only 1/2 (512MB)a gig of RAM, and 60 GB Hard drive. The processor is a Celeron M, and w/ Safari installed as the Operating System,, I am beyond thrilled. I will add RAM but it simply does not need it. I have it tweaked, but they are basic speed up tweaks.
    In 5 years, Unix will be the only way to rock, if we are going to maintain our privacy and the attitude of all who are far too smart to allow their rights to be abused. We will have our own Wi-Fi-Broadband-networks and because no one wants to learn, we will be free. Apple Care? What about a warranty that speaks to the quality of your superior product? It’s all smooth, sexy, simple marketing.

  60. Wow! This is one of the most amusing blogs and batch of responses that I have read in a while. I love all kinds of computers whether they are MACs PCs, Mainframes, etc. I have worked on and with computers since the very first personal computers became available and I have extensive professional experience providing support for MACs and PCs for nearly two decades. I am not an OS elitist and I can easily go between Windows, OSX, Linux, Unix and all flavors in between without pause. The notion that MACs are some how intrinsically more stable is amusing and patently false. What is true is that the easily available choices for different hardware and software are far less on the MAC side than the PC side. What some folks see as stability is really a result of having a close-ended system with limited choices. Again, let me stress that I love MACs just as much as PCs, but the fact is that your choices are far more limited on a MAC than a PC although this limitation has gotten much less in recent years as MACs have garnered a slightly higher market share. I can easily build a PC from individual components that is 2-3 times more powerful than the most powerful retail-available MAC at less than half the cost. Proper use of your PC will eliminate the harm that viruses pose. Remember that there are more viruses written for Windows OS’s because they have a huge market share compared to the market share of OSX based MACs. PCs break down and so do MACs. Fortunately, I am able to fix them both. It is no coincidence that today’s MACs are now being built with PC components such as Intel CPUs. MACs are great, but expensive as is the software which is often much harder to find. If you are are buying a computer for gaming, for example, you would want a PC. If you want one for email and internet surfing, there is no difference. If you want to run programs like Quark and Photoshop, MACs still retain a slight advantage at retail although not necessarily against self-built PCs with the highest quality components. As far as ease of use, it really depends on what you are used to. I find both platforms to be the same in this regard, but many like one or another based on their experience. Summary: DOn’t bash MACs, don’t bash PCs, just use whichever you like the most and be prepared to pay at least double for a MAC, including add-ons and software. Good luck!


  61. Mac is way better then PC’s. My home laptop — PC, takes 3 minutes to load the main page, and mac’s is instant.. SOO much faster, so much better but has problems. I prefer mac over all.. there just better.

  62. All I got to say is this:
    If you think PCs are better then Macs, that just means you can’t afford one so you want to make YOUR computer the best one.
    Well… if you want to stay with PCs, because they’re “better”, then you have my sympathy. Have fun with the blue screen of death and slow internet browsing. I’ll be busy having fun on a nice shiny Mac.
    (By the way, half the things on window 7, mac already had before even Leopard came out. Moving the windows to the side to make them fit? It’s called Expose, it’s been on a mac for more then 2 years…)

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