The Age: Switch to Apple Mac; just say no to Microsoft Windows

“In this column two months ago I mentioned my intention to move to the Apple Macintosh. I have now done so,” Graeme Philipson reports for The Age. “When my MacBook Pro arrived I threw myself straight into it. I started using it immediately, for a large and important PowerPoint presentation I needed the following Monday.”

MacDailyNews Take: You should’ve used Keynote instead of crappy old PowerPoint, Graeme. It would’ve looked a lot better; no question about it. Take a Keynote presentation into a room expecting a PowerPoint snorefest and you’ll wake them up posthaste. But, we digress.

Philipson continues, “The first thing was to copy all my files across from my old PC. This was a simple enough job – I didn’t try to network the machines, but used a 5 GB USB drive I have. Then I installed Microsoft Office for the Macintosh. I’m not getting rid of Microsoft entirely. It’s Windows I can’t stand. I’m a heavy user of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the fact that they are available on the Mac made my decision much easier. All these applications actually work better on the Mac. The interface is cleaner. And the files are identical to the PC versions, so any Office file created on the Mac can be read by the PC, and vice versa. No compatibility issues at all. I can report that PowerPoint on the Mac is a little flaky – it has a nasty habit of disappearing and not saving your file.”

MacDailyNews Take: Graeme, here’s what you do: drag PowerPoint to the Trash and use Keynote instead. You have a Mac, so take advantage of it. But, again, we digress.

Philipson continues, “But what is the Mac like to use? In every department, it beats the PC hands down. The machine itself is quite handsome. The file structure and the way all the utilities work are different, but very easy to get used to and far more intuitive than with Windows.

“That’s the way it is with just about everything on the Mac, you plug it in and it works. Now, none of this is news to Mac users. They have been smugly asserting for years that the Mac is better and easier. I have often criticised Apple over the years, and commented on the Mac’s declining market share, but I have always acknowledged its technical superiority,” Philipson reports. “I was for many years of the opinion that Windows was good enough, and that the advantages of a much greater choice of software and the ready availability of technical support – not to mention the lower cost – made it the more sensible choice. But I eventually tired of the endless reboots, the constant threat of viral infection, and the incredibly clunky nature of Windows. I live on my computer, for work and play, and it’s important to have the best. Once the Mac went with the Intel processor, my mind was made up.”

Philipson writes, “That means that the Macs can now run Windows. I could set my machine up to boot Windows if I wanted, but I can’t see any reason to do so. I need to run the odd Windows application (my wine cellar software is the most important), but my old PC, now relegated to a corner of my desk, can do that. I can see absolutely no reason why anyone should not run a Macintosh. Microsoft ties itself in knots trying to get Vista to market, while Apple has a better operating system now.”

MacDailyNews Take: Boy, some of these Mac newbies sure love that they have “Intel Inside” even though Mac OS X Tiger is exactly the same thing with PowerPC inside (unless you plan to run Windows at native speeds, of course – which Philipson doesn’t plan to do). We could hand him a PowerBook G4 and he wouldn’t know the difference. Oh well, whatever it takes to get them to finally switch, we guess… and, yes, we digress.

Philipson reports, “The Mac makes it all easy, with maximum integration and with a supremely elegant operating system. And I’ve had to reboot twice in two weeks, down from twice a day under Windows. I’ve been amazed at how many other people I’ve met recently who have moved to the Mac. There is definitely a move on. The Mac’s market share is up. Windows – just say no.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We nitpick above, as is our wont, but this is a very positive piece for Apple and the Macintosh platform. Get a Mac, world! We’re not quite sure why Philipson’s having to reboot Mac OS X twice in two weeks, though; that seems an awfully high amount. Software updates, maybe? We can’t get Tiger (10.4.7) to kernel panic even if we try.

MacDailyNews Notes for Newbies: If you cannot quit an application in the normal way, try forcing the program to quit by choosing Force Quit from the Apple menu or by hitting Command+Option+Escape. In the dialog box that appears, select the unresponsive application and click Force Quit. Also, drag your hard drive(s) into the right side of the Dock and leave them there. Then just click+hold or right-click on the drive(s) to access the contents. We have no idea why Apple doesn’t ship Macs configured this way by default.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Computer tops PC satisfaction study – August 15, 2006
Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results – August 15, 2006
Dell cannot compete with Apple’s new Mac Pro price or feature set – August 15, 2006
Microsoft Windows five times more expensive for users than Apple’s Mac OS X – August 15, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006

43 Comments

  1. “Macs do crash: I’ve had 3 kernel panics this week. (10.4.7).”

    What SPECIFICALLY were you doing?

    I’ve been using OS X since the public beta days on several different machines (often 2 or 3 concurrently — they still have not made a Mac fast enough for me — ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> ). I have had a grand total of 4 or 5 kernel panics in all that time.

  2. My experience is that Kernel Panics are usually related to a hardware issue (i.e. Bad RAM). I think I have had one Kernal Panic in the last 3 years or so.

    Logging out and then logging back in usually works if things get wonky and is a lot faster. I hardly ever boot any of my 3 machines using OS X (2 with 10.3.9, 1 with 10.4.7).

  3. Rebooting is sometimes necessary on older Macs with small boot drives and 512MB (or lower) RAM. Because virtual memory is used in Mac OS X, the limited free space on those smallish drives gets used significantly. I think over the course of the day, as various programs are used, the available free space gets fragmented and performance deteriorates (or perhaps there are “memory leaks” in some apps and memory is not 100% freed up on quit). Restarting about once per day keeps things on order.

    However, I found a better solution for my old Mac. It’s the old changing location of the virtual memory swap file trick. There are several online references, but this one is the best in my opinion.

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~bayer/OSX/swapfile/

    As for the article’s author, he may not understand about the force quitting procedures, so he may have assumed the Mac was “hung up” and therefore did the hard shutdown and restart. I’m sure he will figure it out…

  4. Newbie –

    Leave it on as long as you want. I have shut my Powerbook down only 2 or 3 times since I got it in Feb 2004. One of those times was when I went to New Zealand for two weeks and I didn’t want to leave it plugged into the wall.

  5. “MacDailyNews Take: We nitpick above, as is our wont, but this is a very positive piece for Apple and the Macintosh platform. Get a Mac, world! We’re not quite sure why Philipson’s having to reboot Mac OS X twice in two weeks, though; that seems an awfully high amount. Software updates, maybe? We can’t get Tiger (10.4.7) to kernel panic even if we try.”

    I’ve had similar issues with brand new Macs and OS X after installing MS Office. If the gentleman would get rid of Office, including all pref. files and etc., reboot, run it for a week without MS anything, then reinstall, his problems would likely disappear; Or, he could forego Office altogether, especially if his think is PP presentations. There are plenty of very good Word replacements out now for OS X, that are Word compatible, that there’s really no need to use any MS products on OS X, maybe with the exception of Entourage.

  6. Newbie,

    My wife uses an old G3 iBook. She never shuts down. She quits all her applications when she is done and then puts it to sleep. In fact for a long time she did not even know she could use shut down. She just closed the iBook. Of course once in a reat while I’ll run software update for her and reboot it of course.

    She uses iPhoto, Mail, Safari, MS Messenger. The point is if you’re not running multiple RAM intensive applications (or Rosetta/PowerPC apps)you probably never need to shut down. It’s UNIX. Make sure if you put it to sleep every night that you are using something to run UNIX’s CRON jobs.

    Use Disk Utility to check your disks and repair permissions once in a while.

    Don’t forget to backup your user directory to external storage! Your hard drive WILL die someday.

    Lithium ion batteries should be partially discharged often and periodically fully discharged. Left plugged into AC will shorten the life of the battery as will fully discharging it everytime and leaving it discharged. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery

  7. I’ve had one kernel panic since installing OS X and that was in the Fall of 2001. I attribute that crash to a clash between the System and a third-party firewire driver installation process.

    Of course I’m not what you would consider a power user either. On a normal day I might have Dreamweaver, photoshop, Transmit, TextEdit, QuickTime, Preview, and iTunes running at once but that’s about it.

    I do experience the occasional Unexpectedly Quit dialogue, but that can probably be attributed to not restarting the computer for days on end and working in an environment with huge swap files being opened and closed and the untidy residue that results from marathon sessions as the week progresses. However, rebooting resolves those issues immediately. That, and keeping things tidy with Onyx.

    What someone does to consistently cause Kernel panics or one who can invoke them at will is really pushing the envelope or installed “cheap” RAM that suffers from intermittent performance problems.

    Kernel panics are not normal and it’s not a bragging point either. In fact anything more than a single kernel panic in a years time is what I would consider bizarre and would cause me to suspect my RAM or perhaps an external hard drive, or some other hardware issue.

  8. dude, even better (if they dont need to edit your file) save your work as a PDF. its an open standard and doesnt require a microsoft application, and you know that youve done your bit to make microsoft an unnecessary part of some person/s life.

    the less people receive microsoft word documents the less they will think its the only option.

    Generally Pages renders/opens word documents very well by the way too.

  9. I love that OS X has built in PDF saving! I take online classes on the web, and it is very convenient to save all my lessons, assignments, and tests in PDF rather than printing them out.

  10. Rebooting is a Window’s user’s panacea for any problem they can’t figure out. Even the IT expert where I work requested I reboot my Mac when the DHCP wouldn’t give me a valid address. There was no convincing him that rebooting was useless (which of course it turnded out to be).

    Force of habit for them I guess.

    That was the only reboot I ever had to do outside of the ones required by software updates.

    That guy in the article most probably didn’t need to reboot, He just didn’t know any other way and assumed that one program behaving badly would require the whole system to be reset as his prior experience on Windows had taught him over the last decade.

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