Why buy an Apple Mac instead of a Dell, HP, or any other Windows PC?

“It can be pretty difficult to make the key decision between Mac and Windows. But… Macs are the best choice for many users, probably you included,” Paul Vaughn writes for The San Antonio Express-News.

Vaughn writes, “All Macs come with a variety of software that will help you create movies and music without buying additional programs. Apple’s iLife suite is a nicely integrated package that includes iMovie, iDVD and GarageBand, among others. The combination of these lets you import your digital video, edit it, add titles, music and transitions, and then burn your movie to a DVD that can be played in any home DVD player. Movies created with iMovie have been featured at international film festivals like Cannes and Sundance — it’s that good. With GarageBand you can create your own electronic music, create podcasts, record live music and plenty more.”

“The same folks who made the computer and its operating system make all of this software, so everything works smoothly together and you get a fantastic user experience. There are also third-party applications available, but you get these tools pre-installed on any Mac as part of the price of admission,” Vaughn writes. “If you later want to move up to more professional software, Apple offers Final Cut Express and Final Cut Studio for more professional video work and Logic Pro for music. Many people working in the television and music industries use these applications.”

Vaughn writes, “But while making movies and music, don’t forget about your schoolwork. Microsoft Office is available for the Mac, and there are other alternatives as well. There are many scientific applications that work great on the Mac. If you need a specific application, check with the developer and see if there is a Mac version. If not, there may be an equivalent by another developer or you can run the Windows version on a Mac with programs like Parallels Desktop for Mac (http://www.parallels.com), Crossover (http://www.codeweavers.com) or another such application.”

“HP or Compaq (they are the same company now) will sell you a computer built by them, with a Microsoft operating system and some other third-party software that might be able to do some of the things you want. The software that comes with these systems is often there because the developer has paid the PC manufacturer to include it,” Vaughn writes.

“The Mac is an easy out-of-the-box solution and you will be productive on the MacBook within 10 minutes. Windows Vista sounds like it will be a nice upgrade, but you will have to choose from five versions,” Vaughn writes. “Every Mac comes with the full version of Mac OS X and iLife ’06; nothing is cut out for the less expensive systems. The version of Mac OS X is the same on a $500 Mac Mini as it is on a $2,500 Mac Pro. The only other version is Mac OS X Server, which is designed for servers and not average users. A Mac has all the features you want from Vista, but has them right now.”

Vaughn writes, “I recommend that you go over to the nearest Apple Store or Mac retailer and have the sales people demonstrate some of the software that comes with a Mac. I know you will be impressed.”

Full article here.
This is truly an excellent answer to a reader’s question, “Why Mac?” from The San Antonio Express-News’ Paul Vaughn. Vaughn is a freelance writer, graphic artist, Web designer and Mac consultant who invites readers to email him with any Mac-related questions at paulv@mac.com

Paul Vaughn’s San Antonio Express-News columns can be found  here.

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81 Comments

  1. Joe:

    I bought my Mac 6 years ago. Before that I didn’t want anything to do with any computer. A very close and personal friend convinced me to get a computer. I bought a Mac based on my own personal research. I statred out with Mac OS 9 – I like the simplicity of OS 9, I like the stability of OS X.

  2. My first mac was a PowerMac 7100 that I bought at a discount through my college’s bookstore in grad school in 1994. It set me back about $3000 with the monitor (but without the printer). According to macca’s web site that’s like $3800. It came with MacOS 7.5. After being in IT for years before this and being new to the Mac I LOVED it. I could use it without futzing with it – like an appliance. NOT like a Windoz box.

    oh – and I still have it, and it works great. Though I don’t have much use for it today.

    I must say that remembering how much I paid for that thing really makes me consider how much cheaper Mac’s are today. I have an iMac now but am considering buying a MacBook soon – and they are positively cheap compared to laptops of 1994!

  3. My first Mac was a 128K Mac with an external floppy drive and an ImageWriter printer. It cost $4200 CDN with an extra year of warranty. If memory servers, the serial number on the case was 00016. It ran Finder 1.0, came with MacWrite 1.0 and MacPaint 0.9. It freakin’ rocked!

    I immediately put it to use making money as a graphic designer and have never looked back. I’ve owned Mac Pluses, MacSEs, MacIIs (original), MacIIcx, PowerMac with a 603 processor, moved to a PowerMac G4, and currently use (at home) a dual 867 G4 tower (still very useful but getting long in the tooth) and at work run a brand new MacPro with dual 20″ cinema displays.

    I used Windows for an extended period of time – once. I beta-tested Aldus PageMaker for many years, and tested V1 for Windows – our instructions from Aldus were “if it doesn’t work like it does on the Mac, it’s a bug.”

    Times have changed.

    MDN word = “ways” as in Windows sure has a long “ways” to go to catch the Mac.

  4. 1987 – Mac SE, cause I wanted a Chinese OS.

    At work, I used a just-released Compaq 386, which cost my investment bank something close to $10k, at that time. Heck, I think the NIC card cost $1000, by itself. In fact, I had to negotiate our bank’s $12 million computer contract with IBM for several 3090 mainframes and a thousand PCs. Nevertheless, at home, I used a Mac.

  5. Kaypro CP/M – 1983
    PC Clone – 1986 (it ran under DOS and Windows 1!)
    First Office Mac – Mac II (1989)
    First Home Mac – Performa 6115 (1990-91?)
    Current Mac – Dual 2.3MHz G5

    And, by the way, I loved System 9. I was a VERY late convert to OSX, and still miss System 9 some times (like when I have font problems)

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