News & Observer writer dumps Dell with Windows for iMac G5 with Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger

“For my new computer, I wanted a 20-inch flat-panel display, 1 gigabyte of memory and a 250 gigabyte hard drive. I also wanted to be able to write to a CD and DVD. The finalists were a Dell machine with Windows XP Pro and an iMac G5 with Mac OS X Tiger,” Arati Bechtel writes for The News & Observer (North Carolina, USA). “I could not exactly compare apples with apples, so to speak. The iMac includes built-in hardware — such as a camera, wireless card and speakers — the Dell lacks, and the processors are different. Nevertheless, the iMac is cheaper by about $70.”

Bechtel reports, “I think I am in love with my new computer. It is good-looking and powerful, and it has a sense of humor. I like to watch it while it sleeps and I look forward to seeing it each morning… There is no chunky mini-tower and separate monitor. The iMac is all one sleek, widescreen piece about two inches thick, resting on an aluminum stand. My desk is uncluttered, especially so with a wireless mouse and keyboard. The computer runs quietly and quickly, and the operating system is very stable and more secure than Windows XP, according to technology writer Walter Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal.”

“Transferring most files from the Windows 98 machine to the iMac was easy; I burned my files on the Dell to a CD, popped the CD into the iMac and copied those files to the Mac hard drive… The documents I create in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iMac work without a glitch on Windows computers, and vice versa,” Bechtel reports. “Viruses, adware and spyware worry me less now because hackers are less likely to target the Mac operating system with its relatively small market share. About 20 percent of Mac users reported in a 2005 Consumer Reports survey that they had found a virus on their machines in the past two years compared with 66 percent of Windows users who said they had. Still, I enabled the firewall built into the iMac, installed Norton AntiVirus and am looking for a good program to root out spyware and adware. This brings me to one downside of the iMac: fewer software choices. There is no Ad-Aware for the Mac.”

Full article here.

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MacDailyNews Take: The Consumer Reports survey did not distinguish between Mac OS X and earlier Mac operating systems (that are discontinued) and also did not discount Microsoft Macro Viruses or Windows viruses that may find their way onto Macs, but do not affect the Mac at all. There are no viruses for Mac OS X. Consumer Reports did a disservice to their readers with their flawed survey. See related articles below. There is no Ad-Aware for Mac OS X because there is no adware or spyware for Mac OS X. Mac OS X is inherently more secure than Windows. It is not a factor of “Security via Obscurity.” That is a myth. For most Windows users switching to Mac O SX, old habits die hard.

There are zero Mac OS X viruses. Excluding Microsoft Word and Excel Macro Viruses, there were about 25 viruses total that affected the original or “classic” Mac OS.

There are zero-percent (0%) of viruses for the Mac OS X platform that should, logically, have some 10-16% of the world’s viruses if platforms’ install bases dictated the numbers of viruses. The fact that Mac OS X has zero (0) viruses discounts “security via obscurity.” There should be at least some Mac OS X viruses. There are none. The reason for this fact is not attributable solely to “obscurity,” it’s attributable to superior security design.

According to Apple, there are “close to 16 million Mac OS X users” in the world and there are still zero (0) viruses. According to CNET, the Windows Vista Beta was released “to about 10,000 testers” at the time the first Windows Vista virus arrived. So much for the security via obscurity myth.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Consumer Reports dubiously finds 20-percent of Mac users ‘detected’ virus in last two years -UPDATED – August 10, 2005

$500 bounty offered for proof of first Apple Mac OS X virus – September 27, 2005
Symantec: 10,866 new Microsoft Windows virus and worm variants in first half 2005 – September 19, 2005
Cargo magazine describes Apple’s Mac OS X’s immunity to viruses, spyware as ‘relative’ – September 10, 2005
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – September 9, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005
ZDNet: How many Mac OS X users affected by the last 100 viruses? None, zero, not one, not ever – August 18, 2005
Intel CEO Otellini: If you want security now, buy a Macintosh instead of a Wintel PC – May 25, 2005
Apple touts Mac OS X security advantages over Windows – April 13, 2005
97,467 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – April 05, 2005
Joke of the month: Gartner warns of Mac OS X ‘spyware infestation’ potential – March 30, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X is virus-free – March 18, 2005
Cybersecurity advisor Clarke questions why anybody would buy from Microsoft – February 18, 2005
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Apple: ‘Opener’ is not a virus, Trojan horse, or worm – November 02, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 21, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003


  1. MDN: “Consumer Reports did a disservice to their readers with their flawed survey.”

    Consumer Reports may do an acceptable job with cars and refrigerators. However, there are two areas where they have a well-established record of institutional incompetence. These areas have to do with computers and with medical and health questions.

  2. It would be nice if these new Macheads that write about their conversion, preface every recommendation or OS specific comment with: “I could be wrong about this…” or “I’ll check my assumption about this with a reliable, experienced source”.

    That way they won’t inadvertently spread FUD. For example, dude their are no OS X virus (not counting M$ Office specific macro viruses).

    Other than that – welcome home!
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  3. I agree that Norton stuff just ends up causing way more problems than it ever solves (esp. “anti-virus”), and I hope Bechtel removes it. Also, stay away from Norton for disk-related “fixes”: The last time I found it always reliable and truly helpful was in System 7.6.1.

    It’s also a great shame that Consumer Reports 2005 reports and Digit Magazine didn’t apparently break down the number of “viruses” by platform (Win/Mac) AND by _version_ of each OS. Grouping all this info together is of little help to most people.

    One more thing about Consumer Reports _asking_ people how many viruses they had got over x amount of time (if indeed true) is totally stupid IMO, since I think many randomly chosen users here in the US wouldn’t probably know the difference between a “virus” and badly operating software, user-initiated crashes or slowdowns (like trashing part of the OS by accident), and so on. I have had many clients who clearly cannot tell the difference and who prefer to jump to the quick and easy assumption that a “virus” is at work causing the trouble.

    As Abraham Bainbridge mentioned, I also won’t put any faith in CR’s computer reports henceforth. Let’s all tell CR that they need to do a better job of reporting! (nicely)

  4. “Beryllium, no the Firewall in OS X is not turned on by default. It never was. He would have had to manually turn it on himself.”

    Yes it is my friend. Steve makes a point of that specifically.

    MD Word ‘Young’ “To be young and a new Macintosh user all over again”

  5. You should add the final paragraph of the N&O article to the report above…

    “Although I will always prefer the iMac to the Windows XP laptop I still own, I assure readers of Stump the Geeks that I will continue to answer their questions about Windows-based computers. I’ll simply be writing, happily, using an iMac.”

    I love it. That’s a very generous and gracious conversion announcement.

  6. Re: The_Truth

    “Reality Check is back spamming the board. I have no problems with my 4 Macs and yes 3 Window PCs.”

    Reality Check probably had legit hardware issues. I am an avid Mac user, but I’ve already returned one Powerbook and had the battery, CD drive, and Bluetooth chip all swapped out on my current computer. Macs are prone to hardware difficulties too.

  7. The Firewall is not on by default, as many services become blocked until the exact port is opened. There are many of them to open, too numerous to list here.

    Is you time worth anything? The Windows XP battle-weary drag themselves over the Mac OS X and continue their strange habits — scanning for viruses, partitioning their hard drive for easy OS installation, not opening email attachments, turning on firewalls…

    It’s been proven many times over that there are ZERO viruses for Mac OS X. Any mac is perfectly secure without anything more than a strong password, and until this is proven otherwise then proceed without caution.


    I’m a foaming at the mouth rapid Machead evangelistic threat to society!


    Sick am I sick, sick, sick. Shoot me pleeeeze.

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