pc or mac?

So the dreaded blue screen of death, while somewhat contained (largely by not running iTunes, especially at the same time as Adobe Photoshop), is not yet conquered. I am thinking dangerous, tempting thoughts of purchasing a new computer.

Which means my thoughts lately have gravitated around the following questions:

Desktop or laptop? I do still have a working laptop, and I've been thinking of buying one of those super portable netbooks for writing in transit, since that's all I really need a laptop for, so I'm not really worrying about portability in replacing this one. The only reason I'm even thinking of replacing it with a laptop is because it seems desktops are thinner on the ground these days than laptops. Plus, I could then reformat this one and use it as a work-only machine.

And, more importantly, do I stick with PC, stick with PC and install Linux, or switch to Mac? I do so love the open source community, but I keep hearing good things about Macs. On the other hand, whenever I've used a Mac, its frustratingly annoyingly smug habit of not letting me into the innards of the operating system drives me up the wall.

So, a poll (without the ticky boxes, sorry, that plugin broke and I haven't fixed it yet). What do you use? What do you prefer? And any brand-names you swear by when buying a new computer?

15 thoughts on “pc or mac?

  1. Well, I use Ubuntu on my aging Dell, which has been nice for making the aged computer seem less aged. I personally love it, and haven't really looked back (but then, "Back" is Windows XP ๐Ÿ™‚ ). If you like getting into the innards, linux is a great option. In fact, you might have to for a few things even if you don't want to :). I had to do some searching and learn some obscure commands to put in an obscure file to get the color and brightness manageable on my webcam. Luckily, most things seem to work out of the box, so to speak. Programs like Banshee will even manage your iPod for ya.

    I'd recommend Ubuntu of all the versions, simply because the online support community rocks. The few problems I had — like the webcam — were solved with a few minutes of searching the forums and cutting and pasting a few commands.

  2. well i've been using macs since forever. although the mac community was up in arms about the conversion to intel chips a couple of years ago, the new intel macbooks are damn good machines. i bought one in march and just love it to bits. battery life is great, i take it everywhere and use it for everything. it's the same specs as my desktop imac, which i rarely use anymore unless i'm doing something finicky that requires screen real estate.

    i don't do much os tinkering, but the latest generation of mac os is unix-based. you can open a terminal window for command-line access. even though i don't know what i'm doing, i've been able to solve a few problems by googling and cutting and pasting command-line instructions to switch things off or on.

    i think if you're used to doing things a certain way on one kind of interface, you'll always get cranky at the quirks of the new one, but it's just a matter of finding how you like to use it.

  3. Yeah, I'm really liking the sound/look of Ubuntu, and have even downloaded the latest distro ready to install. Was going to try a dual-boot to try it out, but the desktop really is running out of HDD, so there's very little room for that. I'm still on XP, and not particularly inclined to upgrade to Vista – blerk! If I stick with PC, I think I'll end up with Linux. On the other hand, the MacBook…

  4. @andy: is it shameful to admit that one of the reasons I would love a Mac is purely so I can try out Scrivener? It is, isn't it? I thought so.

  5. If you want to tinker, then linux would be best.

    If you're like me and you don't want to tinker, you just want things to work, maaaaaaaaaac.

  6. @andy: you're not helping! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @tess: i like both! i love to tinker, but i always break things. mac would be good for me in that regard – i would either spontaneously combust from the frustration, or just give up and let the computer do what it's supposed to. must admit, am thinking i should buy something i CAN'T tinker with for the main computer, since i always need a working computer. then can reformat the old desktop, install linux, and tinker on that… best of both worlds!?

  7. except i would also have the old laptop, which is still working without problem, so i would in fact have…THREE computers. Four if I give in to the urge to buy something tiny and tappity like the eee pc for true-transit writing. And you know, that just seems awfully wasteful and greedy.

  8. i sure was glad i had two computers, and an insane backup regime, when my desktop machine blew up in the middle of a big job this year. i only lost 15mins work. if you get a macbook, you won't be needing an eee pc. i looked at getting one of those, but in the end i'm really glad i went the whole hog and bought a decent laptop. it's just so great having all my files and applications on board wherever i go. it's a little heavier and there's more at stake if it gets lost or stolen, but i dont care. it's a really solid machine. i guess it's different for me coz i run all macs and they sync up together beautifully and talk to each other all the time but still…. MACBOOK!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Totally know what you mean – the only thing stopping me going insane during this BSoD attack on the desktop is the backup regime and the working laptop means I can still actually work on the novel. I have quite literally just been down to my local Domayne to play with the MacBooks, which are very pretty and seductive little machines. And little, what ho! MacBook or MacBook Pro? Decisions, decisions!

  10. Well, if you're not doing graphic and power heavy work like making movies, I don't think you need the macbook pro. Eddie's a MacBook, and he's fine for writing and browsing and fiddling with stuff.

    (I have no back up routine whatsoever. I'm gonna die.)

  11. you have no backup? 4 srs? i am getting anxious for you just at the THOUGHT of no backup routine.

    i can't believe i'm considering switching to mac. i blame the ipod.

    is eddie heavy to carry around? the website is telling me 2kg(ish), which is about what my current laptop weighs, and that gets so hefty after a day's lugging.

  12. depends if you want the bigger screen. if it were me, i'd probably get the 2.4ghz/250gb hd macbook.

  13. Yeah, I'm going to dig out my USB stick now and back up the two documents I've been working on. :p

    I've the older macbook. I don't tend to carry him around every day, and I imagine over the course of a day he'd get heavy. I also imagine my back would get used to it after a while (I use a backpack to carry him, so no biggy). For just walking to and from places, I don't notice him at all. I carried him around Japan everyday, heh.

    If you do go with a mac, -do- get extra harddrive space. I figured 80gb would be plenty here, didn't count on the base installation of the OS being a right pig.

    The eeepcs look awesome for travel and in-transit use, but I don't want to get used to such a small keyboard. I type too much to want to mess with muscle memory. The screen is fine for one document, but any thing more than that and it'd be impossible.

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