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iMac vs PC - sitting on the fence
Thread poster: N.M. Eklund

N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:47
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Sep 5, 2007

Hi Prozians,
It's computer shopping time. My 2000 Toshiba satellite laptop is just too weak to carry on at a normal speed...poor thing.
This time around, I'm considering a strong desktop instead of a laptop. But what should I get?

It seems most PCs on the market now run on Vista, and frankly it doesn't inspire confidence in me. It seems all eyecandy, rather fragile, and buggy.

I have been an avid PC person since PCs have been available, but I have to admit that I'm tempted by the new iMac.

Why the temptation?
I'm busy.
Each time I go computer shopping, I have to jump back into the game and spend hours reading up on the internet and talking to vendors to learn all the new stuff that has been developed, improved, standardized or become obsolete since my previous purchase (processor, ram, memory, software, bus ports, ethernet, graphics card, fire plug, wifi, softwares, etc. etc.).

Ever tried comparing processors after not reading up for a year? ("oh, didn't you know? the AMD 3.2 is actually more powerful than the Intel 4.6, the numbers aren't standardized...blah blah blah" --- "hey Bob, come over here, this chick asked if it has a floppy drive!")


Frankly, it's a long and drawn out process, and even after I've made my decision, I still get the sneaking feeling that I missed something as I spend time installing missing drivers, downloading plugins, configuring this and that...and then there are all the irritating security updates; downloading firewalls, spybot blasters, ad blockers....and still ending up with viruses and spybots.
It's a headache and time consuming.

Wheras, I've been told, the iMac is just plug in and go, with everything you might need for the next 4 years at least (minus MS Office).

-------

My main concern between PC and Mac is compatibility problems for documents and their layouts. It used to be a problem (back in the day) but is it still the case? I don't really want to spend time fiddling around with formats everytime I send or receive a document.

I can't ask the vendors, because they waste my time trying to sell me what they would want themselves... like powerful graphic cards for gaming or editing home movies.

I need to run the following programs (and sometimes all at the same time):
-MS office (word, excel, powerpoint, visio)
-Acrobat pro
-DNS
-Wordfast
-Flash
-Photoshop
-Skype

If anyone has had experience with the new PCs (Vista) and also the new iMac, I'd be interested in a debate on the pros and cons.

I look forward to reading your suggestions! Help!
Natalia


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MDI-IDM
United States
Local time: 09:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Imac vs PC - jumped in.... Sep 5, 2007

Hi Natalia,

I just ordered an Imac to replace my PC (with help from an interest-free loan provided by the Spanish Ministry of Industry); it should be delivered sometime next week.

My Windows 98 PCs (a desktop and a laptop) collapse or freeze every time you ask them to run more than 2 programs, but what really prompted me to go for the Imac is the fate of my Windows ME laptop. It got invaded by a virus when my daughter was using Messenger on it and all the skills of a team of technicians were of no avail; it never worked again.

Aside from installing an antivirus package on this computer AND paying for added protection from my ISP, I decided the only way was to get the solution that in my experience has always proven to be problem free and "immune" to all of the viruses, spyware and other nasties out there - an Apple computer.

We worked with Macs for years, and they helped us avoid catastrophes like the "I love you" virus, but when we moved from Canada to Spain a family member inherited the last trusty Mac.

Look at the Apple page, there is a whole section on what PC programs on the Imac, and another on how to migrate your files from PC to Mac, they're sending me the Office for Mac suite with the computer.


Good luck!
Anna


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Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:47
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You can use windows software without problems Sep 5, 2007

in the new Intel Imac. There are two choices:

a) To boot in Windows, as with any other Intel machine, with bootcamp (a set of drivers that make your mac run Windows natively)

b) To use Parallels to run Windows software within OSX. With a bit of configuring, you can make your Windows software open in OSX windows, as with any other mac application.

I've a Mac Intel, and use windows software -the same you have in your list- all the time. With Parallels, I even run Winword and Trados in OSX.

I like the Imac because of its small footprint and light weight. If you max it - 2GB memory and a good hard disk- you won't need anything else for a long time.


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 15:47
English to Indonesian
+ ...
vote for mac Sep 5, 2007

i'm also planning to buy a macbook at year-end. i have used mac for a while when i was a copywriter for an ad agency years ago. even then, file format compatibility was not an issue.
you can find mac counterparts for popular softwares, such as microsoft office, photoshop, acrobat, etc. in worst case, you can always use virtualization program, such as parallels, vmware, which is also the main reason for my planned conversion to mac...
as for vista, my wife recently bought a laptop with pre-installed vista premium. it looks better than windows xp, but, i think, kinda slower than xp.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:47
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Vote for PC Sep 5, 2007

Cheaper, easier to maintain, easier to use, more common, better compatible, no problems in usage or whatsoever...
You can still buy a copy of Windows XP on the market. You also can use your Windows XP from our previous computer, if you don't use that one anymore.
As for viruses - don't believe Mac is not in danger, but the danger for Macs is still lower than for PCs. But if you follow some simple rules and use a firewall, viruses and so on are of no harm to you. Of course letting your daughter use your working machine for downloading stuff from Internet is not secure at all, whil the simple usage of Internet communiactor shall usually do no harm to your machine.

Macs are not so user-friendly as PCs - I have a Mac here with OS X (10.4) and a PC with Windows XP. Mac OS is disorganised, not very clear sometimes. When it comes to administrating of fonts on the Mac, it is a real pain in the a...

Jerzy


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John Di Rico  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:47
Member (2006)
French to English
PC for me Sep 5, 2007

Hi Natalia,

I just ordered a laptop from Dell. They have some nice specials going on with their new line "Vostro". My laptop is totally pimped out: 17 inch screen, 2.2 Ghz intel duo core, webcam, 2048 sdram, 240Gb hard drive, 256 mb nvidia graphics card, bluetooth, wifi, microsoft works (ok, not totally pimped out; planning on buying a US version of Office)...
It is going to cost me €50 more than what I paid for my desktop 2 years ago (which has served me well, thanks Dell). You could get better cheaper if you get a desktop (which is a good idea if you plan to use it on a daily basis for work).
I remember growing up with macs in school and was never particularly fond of them. Plus, I don't want to have to worry about compatibility issues and re-learning shortcut keys and little tips and tricks to boost my productivity (how do I save? Open apple + S; does that still exist BTW?).

Hope this helps,

John


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Tomasz Sieniuć  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:47
Member (2005)
German to Polish
+ ...
The real choice... Sep 5, 2007

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Mac OS is disorganised, not very clear sometimes. When it comes to administrating of fonts on the Mac, it is a real pain in the a...
Jerzy


Hi Jerzy,

What about user-friendly firewalls, antiviruses and antispyware on PC? What about Vista? BTW: Since the introduction of iMacs, much has changed. There is no longer a choice between Mac and PC, but between Mac+XP/Vista and PC+XP/Vista. So you can use your user-friendly software on Mac too

Best regards
Tomek


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Andrea Kowalenko  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:47
Member (2006)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Totally happy with my Imac Sep 5, 2007

I bought an Imac one year ago, after using PC for the last 12 years. And I am a happy worker since then. I don't think I will switch back.
Mac OS is much more user friendly (at least for me). I am quite computer savvy and am not afraid when it comes to configuration, (re-)installation of OS, etc. Done that, been there, many times with different Windows versions. BUT: All this is not necessary any more with Mac. Not one problem so far in one year of extensive use, while I remember problems popping up every so often with PC. But just to think that to uninstall a program in Mac you simply drop it in the waste bin and the computer does the rest - marvellous!!! No frustrated intents of getting rid of some program that has been installed just to try it out ... There is also no need for maintenance, meaning you don't have to clean temp files and similar. And yes, it is plug in and go. I just needed about 15 minutes and it was working perfectly.
I still work with Windows XP, installed through Parallels. That means I can use Mac OS and Windows OS at the same time, jumping between them. Windows only hosts the programs that run exclusively on Windows, but all the rest of muy computer experience is Mac. All documents are kept in MacOS. With Parallels, you can have a clone of your installed Windows OS. Make your clone whenever all is running well, with all programs and configurations ready. Should your Windows system have any problems (due to spyware, virus, updates, whatever), just bin it and use the clone. No more re-installing Windows
You can also use Boot Camp, but that means that you have to reboot every time you want to change the operation system. I installed Boot Camp on my MacBook, because it doesn't have enough RAM for Parallels. But I really don't like it too much and already encountered some configuration problems (wireless internet). With Parallels I have not experienced any problems so far, neither for Internet nor for any USB connection.
Anyway, although I am an absolute Mac fan, there are some things you should take into account:
As somebody already mentioned, you will have to learn some new shortcuts. And one thing that troubled me most at the beginning: all windows in Mac are closed in the upper LEFT corner (as opposed to upper right corner in Windows). But you get used to it ... I can now change from Mac to Windows and viceversa without even thinking about it.
I also use Office for Mac, but, although I can't understand it, there ARE some compatibility problems with Office for Windows sometimes. Nothing too serious though.
If your decision finally goes for an Imac:
Get installed at least 2 GB of RAM, but the more, the better. You can upgrade RAM later on, but it is quite expensive to do so, as you have to install two equal memory cards. That means you can't change just one of them, but have to buy a complete set of two RAM cards in order to upgrade. You can look at the prices for RAM at the Apple homepage, just for information. Having 2 GB of RAM, you can put around 1 GB or something less to your Windows OS, and keep 1 GB for Mac OS. It's working fine like this, and I am someone with usually a lot of programs open at the same time.
Last but not least: I am not totally sure, but I think Apple will launch its new OS (Leopard) within short. So you should either buy your Imac quite soon to have a stable OS, or wait some time until they solved the possible problems with the new OS. You can always upgrade to the new OS later.

Oh, I think that all sounds already quite complicated But it isn't really. As this message is already getting too long, I will stop here. If you have any further questions, just ask or send me a profile message.

Let us know your final decision ....

Regards,
Andrea


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:47
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
If I use Windows on Mac, it has exactly the same disadvantages, as on PC Sep 5, 2007

Tomasz Sieniuc wrote:

Jerzy Czopik wrote:
Mac OS is disorganised, not very clear sometimes. When it comes to administrating of fonts on the Mac, it is a real pain in the a...
Jerzy


Hi Jerzy,

What about user-friendly firewalls, antiviruses and antispyware on PC? What about Vista? BTW: Since the introduction of iMacs, much has changed. There is no longer a choice between Mac and PC, but between Mac+XP/Vista and PC+XP/Vista. So you can use your user-friendly software on Mac too

Best regards
Tomek

But will cos me significantly more.
Well, don't get me wrong - I have nothig against Mac, but if I have to chose I'll go for the option with the biggest compatibility possible. This is why I have a Mac with a G4 processor and a desktop PC (laptop as PC too) - in thi way I can use Windows XP, Mac OS 9 and MAc OSX. You cannot run Mac OS 9 on Intel-based Mac.

Jerzy


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:47
Member (2003)
German to English
I own both... Sep 5, 2007

I own a no-name but powerful desktop PC and a MacBook Pro laptop. I have TRADOS and Wordfast installed on both and use both to translate. They both work fine. Wordfast runs native on the Mac, for TRADOS I use Parallels, which emulates Windows. It's not a big deal.

How to make a decision? Go spend some time trying out a Mac, as well as trying out a comparable PC in the realm you're considering. Consider follow on costs. Do you already have lots of PC peripherals that would need replacing? (Ok, the screen comes with the iMac, but will your printer work with it? Check!) Do you do lots of tasks, either or your freelancing or in personal life, that can justify the Mac's higher expense? Lots of photo editing (iPhoto is great, better than say Picasa)? Lots of film editing? Or are you mostly plain Jane surfing-and-word-processing? List it all out and see if one side is dominant or the other.

Good luck!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends what else you do with your computer Sep 5, 2007

Years ago the choice between Macs and PCs was easy: Macs were easier to use and better at graphical functions, and PCs were faster and better at data crunching. Most of those distinctions no longer exist, as each platform has adopted traits from the other.

So aside from issues of cost and personal tastes, there are a few reasons why my next computer will be an Intel Mac:

1) There are certain types of software I like much better on the Mac than on PC (diagnostic and disk-repair utilities, video editing apps, DVD authoring software, etc.), and certain types of software I like better on PCs (CAT software, database development packages, etc.) So for me, the Intel Macs are the obvious solution since they'll run both the MacOS-native apps and the Windows apps. For someone with narrower needs, the choice is less obvious.

2) On the whole, Macs are less prone to viruses and worms, even though they're still vulnerable. Note that if you boot an Intel Mac directly into Windows and/or run Outlook for Windows on it, most of the virus-safety advantages will vanish. Note, too, that even MS Office for Mac is vulnerable to certain macro viruses, even if you never run a Windows app on your Mac. So the moral is: run and update your antiviral software regardless of whether you get a Mac or PC.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2007-09-05 14:13]


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:47
Russian to English
+ ...
A little advice Sep 5, 2007

I have used a PC with XP for years, but I am writing this on my son's Mac. I've been visiting him for the past couple of weeks and have used his computer quite a bit. I've done a translation job on it, and I've been using it for genealogical research. It's a beautiful machine, but I'm not sure I'm ready to kick the PC traces yet.

The Mac's footprint is small, and the OS seems to be trouble free. On the other hand, XP and Vista are fairly stable, too. For some reason, however, it won't let my son log off Hotmail. That could be a Hotmail problem, but I suspect it's something the Mac OS is doing (or not doing).

IMHO, the single-button mouse that comes with the Mac is a negative feature, because you need two hands to use it. If you decide to go with a Mac, throw away that single-button mouse and get a Logitech multi-function mouse. You will be able to both left-click and right-click. It has a scroll wheel and a lot of other features that let you do at least as much with a mouse on the MAC as you can on the PC.


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Andrea Kowalenko  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:47
Member (2006)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Single button mouse Sep 5, 2007

James McVay wrote:

IMHO, the single-button mouse that comes with the Mac is a negative feature, because you need two hands to use it. If you decide to go with a Mac, throw away that single-button mouse and get a Logitech multi-function mouse. You will be able to both left-click and right-click. It has a scroll wheel and a lot of other features that let you do at least as much with a mouse on the MAC as you can on the PC.


The "single button mouse" (I suppose Mighty Mouse) can be configured to use right and left click as any other mouse, and instead of a wheel it has a little ball to navigate not only up and down, but in all possible directions. Seemingly Mighty Mouse has no buttons (well, it has two little ones at the sides for special functions), but it is touch sensitive on the surface. Never used my mouse with two hands)

Happy buying!!!


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 10:47
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
my miniMac story Sep 5, 2007

Ive been using miniMac as my mainframe since cca nine months. I had hard times before it really ran - if your installation of windows XP in boot camp has problems you'll have them too.

I bought a miniMac because I liked its pizza size.It does not make any F16 noises, common to noname PCs. I dont know where the disorganized impression Jerzy has about OS 10 X comes, I would assume its a typical Windows user getting lost in a Mac world. I LOVE OS X. It's so damn slick...

I see OS X as something persons in Dante's paradise would use to do their email (and ProZ stuff for instance) and whoever is purgatory (and or course in hell) would get shafted by Microsoft alternatives.

PS: single-button mouse ... This argument really sux.. Look at the I-phone and the patents involved. Do you really think Apple would patent things customers will NOT use?

[Edited at 2007-09-05 21:11]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:47
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Mac OS X Sep 5, 2007

Vito, try to do install fonts in Mac. Then let a year pass, install fonts again for another project - you can have them double or tripple or more times installed, causing them not to work properly.
Try to change settings for networking or any other advanced feature in Mac OS X and compare this to Windows XP. Your influence possibilities are limited.
To get the view sorted by a name you have to klick as a world champion until the view is sorted as you wish. And when you got this setting stored and open a network drive, the show starts anew. Try to sort files by name and switch to sorting by date - one simple click in PC (in Word or in Windows Explorer or many other applications) and you've got the files sorted. In Mac you have to go and start klicking...
And many, many more things, which do not work in intuitive way - for me as Windows user of course.

Jerzy


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