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A faithful PC user switches to mac and never wants to look back!


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46 replies to this topic

#1 of 47 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 04 2007 - 09:41 AM

Before I begin, I need to thank the members of Home Theater Forum.

Last year, as I contemplated my next computer purchased, many
of you had to put up with me as I "hemmed and hawed" over whether
I should buy a PC or a macintosh.

I should note that during the time of my decision dilemma, my
$4k custom built PC from Velocity Micro was being serviced for
the umpteenth time.

One thing that the folks at Velocity Micro told me was that
custom built computers are more prone to having software
conflicts because of all the different pieces of hardware installed
inside.

Then there was Microsoft's new operating system....

In early November I began beta testing Windows Vista. I
was quite shocked and disappointed to find that after years
of work that Microsoft put into this operating system, the new
OS was more "evolutionary" than "revolutionary." For me, VISTA
is little more than a glorified Windows XP, and if this was the
best that Microsoft could do, then I needed to look elsewhere.

Getting back to the members of Home Theater Forum....

I can't tell you how many times a handful of members urged
me to go and buy a mac. For months I resisted. After all, for
years the word "mac" was something not highly spoken about
within the PC community. For many PC users, a mac is readily
regarded as an ultra-expensive "alien" computer that is difficult
to master. Some feel you can't do half the things on a mac that
you can do on a PC. This sort of thought process is burned into
the minds of PC users and for that reason, most are hesitant to
make the switch -- despite the fact their home PC is acting as
flaky as ever.

When Velocity Micro still had my PC computer in shop for over
7 weeks, I crossed my fingers and ordered a Mac Pro desktop.
You can imagine the fear that went through my mind when I
dropped $3.5k on a souped up version of the Pro -- but at least
the overall cost of the purchase was somewhat comparable to what
a PC of equal value would have cost.

When I first turned on my Mac Pro I must admit I had a few
moments of not knowing to do next. At first, OS X can seem
a bit intimidating to a PC user. However, within an hour I was
freely moving across its interface installing my first batch of
programs. What is most remarkable about OS X is that you
simply drag files (equivalent to .exe) to a folder and that program
is instantly installed. When you want to remove a program, you
simply drag its icon to the trashcan. There is no registry to deal
with here.

The most important and perhaps ironic reason why I decided
to finally purchase a mac was for the reason that through a
revolutionary piece of software called Parallels, I was
able to use Windows within the OS X environment. In other words,
I have both the mac OS X and Windows Vista operating system
running in the same environment at the same time.

Take a look at my desktop....

http://www.hometheat...ages/ronmac.png">

At the bottom of the screen is the Windows taskbar. On the right
side of the screen is the OS X dock. The TV window in the right
corner is a EYE TV mac application. You'll also notice a weatherbug
weather widget to the right of Firefox -- both which are mac driven.

But what's this?! Take notice of OUTLOOK 2007, which is a
windows application. You'll also notice two Yahoo Widgets (calendar
in top left and weather bottom right) that are Windows driven.
Even the Stardock Object Dock Plus located above the windows
taskbar is a Vista application.

Under this virtual machine environment I can freely use Windows
and Mac applications. Because I have 4GB of ram on my computer,
I see narely any slowdown.

Quite frankly, this is the most *amazing* thing I have ever seen,
though I'll admit it's not quite perfect yet. At this time, Parallels
does not support high end graphics so you won't be able to do PC
gaming or even take advantage of Windows AERO. USB support is
also limited. The good news is, the software engineers at Parallels
fully expect to overcome those hurdles within the year. Very soon,
this piece of software will enable users to flawlessly connect devices
and play games within both operating systems.

I should also mention a free piece of software called "boot camp"
that installs Vista on a separate partition allowing users to boot
into OS X or Vista. Though you can't be in the same environment
as shown above, "boot camp a PC with full 3D gaming and higher graphic support.

I honestly feel there is an "awakening" taking place amongst
PC users who are tired of buying computers that flake out on
them or run on operating systems like Windows that have borrowed
features that were in mac operating systems long before it.

There's something to be said for those cool "Hello, I'm a Mac --
I'm a PC" commercials that have brought out the humorous
aspects of windows flawed.

After a few short weeks, I am proud to say that I am a very
content mac user. The investment I made in this Mac Pro was
a very solid one. I think anyone contemplating their next PC
purchase should take a long, hard look at what Apple has to offer.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 47 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 04 2007 - 03:21 PM

Quote:
Last year, as I contemplated my next computer purchased, many
of you had to put up with me as I "hemmed and hawed" over whether
I should buy a PC or a macintosh.

To be honest Ron, I'd stopped reading your seemingly annual "why should I get a Mac" posts some time ago because it always seemed Mac users would provide a comprehensive list of reasons to switch and in the end, you'd always just buy another PC. Posted Image Imagine my shock a few weeks ago when I took a peek at the your most recent post and saw you had taken the plunge and gotten a Mac Pro. Posted Image Welcome!

#3 of 47 OFFLINE   Derek Miner

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Posted February 05 2007 - 11:15 AM

As a long time Mac user, I've usually just shrugged and moved on if there was something only available as a PC program that I did not have access to. I do have to say, however, that I am very impressed at the integrated environment of both operating systems on the Apple machine. It's rather pleasing to see these worlds merge.

By the way, Ron, that's a pretty big desktop! What size monitor did you get? When I set my resolution to allow the most screen real estate like that, my friends always complain everything is too small. Posted Image
= Derek Miner =
Co-founder, Sunscreen Film Festival

#4 of 47 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted February 05 2007 - 11:38 AM

Ron, basically you picked the right time to make the switch. Even though the Mac OS has always, in my opinion, been better than anything Windows, it wasn't really until 10.3 that things got going. 9 became a real pig that loved to lock up and 10.2 was better, but still unstable. 10.4 is an absolute dream. Also, I know die-hard Windows users who are also now thinking about an Intel Mac to run windows almost exclusively, simply because Apple hardware is so reliable. Glad you enjoy it.

BTW, I am using a 6 year old Mac Desktop, and I use it extensively for work every day, and it is still kicking and doing a great job. I did spend about $350 for a new, faster processor, video card and HD bus about 15 months ago, but that is it. How many Windows users can say that?

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#5 of 47 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted February 05 2007 - 11:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
I think anyone contemplating their next PC purchase should take a long, hard look at what Apple has to offer.
I didn't have to take a long, hard look to decide to stick with the PC. I just spent $1600 on a new PC and the Mac mini and the iMac aren't powerful enough for me. I want the best, and the best is simply too expensive with the Mac Pro: it starts at $2500. If prices started at around $1500, I wouldn't think twice about buying a Mac. Until I can comfortably spend $3000 on a new computer or the prices drop (the former being more likely), I can't afford to switch.

#6 of 47 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 07 2007 - 02:46 AM

Quote:
By the way, Ron, that's a pretty big desktop! What size monitor did you get?

Dell 30" monitor. Love it!

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#7 of 47 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted February 07 2007 - 03:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasC
I didn't have to take a long, hard look to decide to stick with the PC. I just spent $1600 on a new PC and the Mac mini and the iMac aren't powerful enough for me. I want the best, and the best is simply too expensive with the Mac Pro: it starts at $2500. If prices started at around $1500, I wouldn't think twice about buying a Mac. Until I can comfortably spend $3000 on a new computer or the prices drop (the former being more likely), I can't afford to switch.
Actually the $2500 price of the MacPro is a popular myth. I went to the Apple Store and configured a MacPro for $2121.
If you have a friend who is a college student or teacher you can get it even cheaper with an Apple educational discount. And if you truly do want "the best", it has been demonstrated that a Dell equivalently configured to a standard MacPro is almost $1000 more, so I seriously doubt that your $1600 PC can match a MacPro feature for feature.

Ted
Hold on tightly, let go lightly.

 


#8 of 47 OFFLINE   David Lawson

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Posted February 07 2007 - 06:40 AM

Damn, Ron...I think I'd go insane with that many icons in my Dock on a 30" monitor. Glad to see you opted for one of the two best Mac FTP clients in Yummy FTP, though. I use Yummy at home and Transmit at work, and find both to be excellent.

Now, head over to InterfaceLIFT and get rid of that stock desktop picture and hard drive icon. Posted Image
He obviously misinterpreted what it means to "be bullish."

#9 of 47 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 07 2007 - 07:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Todorov
Actually the $2500 price of the MacPro is a popular myth. I went to the Apple Store and configured a MacPro for $2121.
If you have a friend who is a college student or teacher you can get it even cheaper with an Apple educational discount. And if you truly do want "the best", it has been demonstrated that a Dell equivalently configured to a standard MacPro is almost $1000 more, so I seriously doubt that your $1600 PC can match a MacPro feature for feature.

Ted
This pricing thing, well I've said too much already on the topic...

ThomasC obviously doesn't want "the best" - the best costs a lot more than $1600, no matter the source. I infer he wants upper mid-range. From extensive comparisons, my conclusion is that hardware-to-hardware, low-end and mid-range Mac desktops are 25% more expensive than PCs. ThomasC's $1600 Dell desktop will cost $2000 for a very similar 20" iMac.

That $400 increase I think sways many people who might otherwise be on the fence about a new computer. And it still kills any possible office purchase, for a normal corporation.

All accounts are that the Mac Pro is better priced than similar PC. But that's beyond why home users and office workers are buying. Now if I were a grad student today... Posted Image

Laptops, don't know.


As for Ron's excitement: I'm very glad to hear a hardcore, dyed in the wool, PC / Windows user find the grass truly greener on the other side. I've begun amassing a war chest to buy an iMac, Parallels, new software, Office Mac upgrade, iLife, and perhaps a new copy of XP, to jump in head-first once Leopard and hardware refreshes are announced.

Hopefully I won't get cold feet at the last minute and find myself with a new Dell... Posted Image

#10 of 47 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted February 07 2007 - 07:32 AM

Sorry, what I think is best, not "the best." Posted Image I want the best, of course, but the best is always too expensive for me. I really don't need dual-core Xeon processors, Core 2 Duo is fine for me. It's basically the sentiment from those of us who want a "normal" Mac.

I'm building my own computer:

$200 ASUS Motherboard
$315 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
$180 2GB Corsair Memory
$90 320GB Seagate Hard Drive
$100 256MB XFX GeForce 7600GS Fanless
$130 Antec Case
$95 Nexus Power Supply
$280 Windows XP Professional Retail

And other miscellaneous parts which adds up to $1600.

If Apple made Mac OS available for the PC, I would jump all over it.

It was good to hear what you had to say, Ron. I didn't really realize how Parallels worked until you showed your desktop, and it looks to do more than I thought. Posted Image

#11 of 47 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 07 2007 - 07:38 AM

Not only Yummy FTP for Ron, but also the venerable Fetch which I was shocked last month to see had been updated to Universal.

#12 of 47 OFFLINE   Gregory E

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Posted February 07 2007 - 09:29 PM

I'm also considering making the switch to a Mac. I've already had experience working with them at school, so I'm comfortable with OSX. (Apple says 10.5 will be ready in the 2nd quarter.) I'm debating between the iMac and Mac Pro. Honestly, the Mac Pro is what I want....but it's so darn expensive. The thing is a beast. More power than I really need. The iMac would be just fine, but I hate not being able to upgrade it much in the future (except RAM).

Anyway Ron, congrats on the new computer. That's a sweet monitor too.

#13 of 47 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted February 07 2007 - 11:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
That $400 increase I think sways many people who might otherwise be on the fence about a new computer. And it still kills any possible office purchase, for a normal corporation.
That is interesting to hear. My company (which is PC only except for the old PowerBook on my desk Posted Image) doesn't have a single desk top computer in use that is more powerful than the Core Duo Mac Mini I have at home -- the Mini, booted into XP, runs rings around the brand new, so called "developer" Dell PC I have under my desk at work. And the Mini certainly fits in a corporate budget.

I think that there is this common myth that the Mini is some kind of weak machine, incapable of being a serious corporate computer, when in fact it is categorically better than the junk in my office. Right now the main reasons most companies wouldn't consider a Mac are ignorance, prejudice, fear and inertia.

There is one (major) problem with the Mini -- it doesn't support dual monitors. Apple really needs to build a Maxi -- a Mini with a better (and dual monitor) video card and 3.5" disks. It would sell like wildfire to the HT crowd and I bet it could make inroads in corporate America with the right push.

Ted
Hold on tightly, let go lightly.

 


#14 of 47 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted February 08 2007 - 12:14 AM

It is funny you mention the "developer" PC by Dell. Our developers somehow ended up last year with a little Dell box with a 40 gig hard drive that was barely faster than their previous desktop. I did not even know they made 40 gig hard drives anymore. I ended up with a faster Dell laptop with an 80-gig hard drive.

We always had a couple of people who brought in their PowerBooks, but in the last year, we actually had several people bring in iMacs (including that gorgeous 24-incher), PowerBooks, MacBook Pros, a G4 Cube (souped up), and more. At one point, I brought in a mini, and now I occasionally bring in my MacBook. The bottom line is that these computers serve as fully functional UNIX boxes, and they are ideal for development--especially in a team of UNIX-savvy professionals.

I have an old iMac DV tube, that at 500Mhz is a better performer than an old 600Mhz Dell Pentium box I have at my work desk. And since it runs CVS and Java like any other system, I am very close to bringing it in as a secondary build box.

Bottom line, there are a lot of Macs at my PC-only work place.

Oh, I love the idea of a Mac Maxi! Although my Core Duo mini serves well as an HTPC, serving up EyeTV content and the occasional DVD at 1080p via DVI.

- Steve

#15 of 47 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 08 2007 - 03:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Todorov
That is interesting to hear. My company (which is PC only except for the old PowerBook on my desk Posted Image) doesn't have a single desk top computer in use that is more powerful than the Core Duo Mac Mini I have at home --

I think that there is this common myth that the Mini is some kind of weak machine
Spec for spec, hardware-to-hardware, minis and iMacs are 25% more expensive than Windows PCs. My office is all 2.8 GHz P4 PCs (at best). Even if corporate IT considered a mini in its bidding, shopping equivalent C2D machines, IBM or Dell by way of corporate purchasing will be the better price and so purchased.

The mini isn't underpowered, it's just expensive compared to a PC. For $600 I can buy C2D system at BestBuy with monitor and maybe a printer. Checking bullet points, the mini is expensive. Checking against Macs, it's a marvel: the first(?) fully configured Mac for less than $600.

Considering iLife + OSX are about $200, it almost makes more sense to buy a new mini than soley upgrade software.

As to Steve's case: I'm in "big business" and you generally can't, and I'd advise against, bringing in personal hardware for business use.

#16 of 47 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 08 2007 - 02:46 PM

Here's a long, three-part article about a Windows magazine expert who migrated to the Mac.

http://www.computerw....icleId=9004803

I'm on only page 2 of what looks like 15 pages total in the series, but it looks interesting.

#17 of 47 OFFLINE   Mike Heenan

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Posted February 09 2007 - 12:29 PM

I've posted in a few other threads about wanting a macbook pro, but Costco just released the new HP dv9233 laptops with vista, for $1499 (wtih $150 off coupon in march). This one has 17" screen, 2gb ram, 240gb hard drive, 1.66ghz core 2 duo processor, 256mb video card and 8x dl lightscribe burner. So except for the processor, this laptop is almost identical to the mac (not really counting that I cant use FCP on this one, however I can easily edit on Adobe Premiere so thats no problem), except more than $1000 cheaper ($800 if you buy a refurbished one). Considering I'm on a budget, this definitely appealed to me greatly. And the great thing is that Costco has a 6 month return policy on it with no BS restocking fee the other guys have. So I'll be busy editing some projects on it and testing it out, hopefully within the 6 months Mac releases the next gen of laptops so I can jump back over to them! Posted Image

#18 of 47 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted February 15 2007 - 07:36 AM

Welcome, Ron.
Glad you've made the switch!

ENJOY.

-Scott

#19 of 47 OFFLINE   McPaul

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Posted February 17 2007 - 11:05 AM

Great job Ron! Glad to hear you're happy with everything!

is there really that much you need the Windows partition for?

#20 of 47 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

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Posted February 19 2007 - 03:06 AM

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