Debunking Common Mac Myths

Mac’s or Apple Computer’s… Ask any tech-illiterate what they think of an Apple Computer. The answer you probably will get is “Oh, Apple’s damn good for graphic designers!”

Then ask them, “Would you consider getting a Mac?”

A long pause…………………

“Ermmmmmmmmmm… But there are a lot of programs out there not compatible with Mac’s!”

If the above conversation took place 10 years ago, then that dude is probably right. The number of Mac apps are limited a decade ago. But time’s have changed, Mac’s have evolved from a baby cat to a Tiger, Panther and recently even a Leopard (these are the codenames for Mac OS X builds btw).

Mac’s are not only good for graphic designers anymore. I mean, why would I get a MacBook Pro myself if I can’t even draw anything more advanced than stick figures?

Therefore, I shall now attempt to debunk some common Mac Myths and unveal the ugly (or pretty) truth about Mac’s capabilities.

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Myth #1: Mac’s are only good for graphic designers

Well, it was true maybe a decade ago. Now, Mac’s are for everybody. Mac’s have everything you need to do your daily tasks whether you’re a clerk or a programmer. Heck, you could do all basic office tasks such as word processing on Mac’s fresh off the box.

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Myth #2: A lot of programs are not compatible with Mac’s

If you’re talking bout Windows Notepad or Pinball then yes of course those are not compatible with Mac’s natively. However, a huge number of applications are out there available for the Mac. And I dare say there are more apps out there for Mac’s than Windows. I bet you’re surprised that Microsoft actually makes an Office suite for the Mac’s. That’s right, you can have MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc all on the Mac (except for Access). Programmers will find Mac’s to be a pleasantly nice platform to work on, because since Mac OS X is built on Unix (BSD) platforms, you can harness the power of the shell to dish out amazing stuffs. Ruby on Rails guys will know what I’m talking bout.

Mac’s also have a lot of alternative free apps available out there that do practically the same job as their Windows counterparts. Not satisfied with the Mac apps? Then INSTALL WINDOWS!  Yes, that’s right folks. You can install Windows on a Mac (only on Mac’s that are made since 2-3 years ago) now thanks to the transition of the craptastic Motorola PowerPC processors to Intel Core processors. There are many ways to run Windows on a Mac,most people prefer to install Windows as a guest OS inside Mac OS X so you can actually RUN BOTH together. That’s right, you can actually have Windows Pinball or Utorrent on your Mac desktop. This can be done by using either Parallels or VMWare Fusion software that enables you to run Windows side-by-side with Mac OS X.

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Myth #3: Mac’s are not user-friendly

That’s just bullshit. How do you call something user-friendly? Some people don’t seem to like the Mac OS X graphical user interface and just call it not user-friendly. From my observations all this while, I find that people tend to build a habit towards using something until he/she becomes familiar with it. Take Windows XP for example, it probably took someone who is tech-illiterate centuries to become familiar with it. If you were to force that particular person to use Mac OS X, he’ll probably mentally explode because since Windows are so prone to problems or errors if you accidentally f**k something up, he’s probably taking this bad experience over to all computers no matter what platform it’s running on. When you give this guy a Mac to use, he’ll probably be like “oh f**k, how do I use this while not f**king shit up!?”

Well friends, It is safe to say that Mac’s are MUCH, MUCH MORE user friendly than Windows. Sure, it takes time to get familiar with Mac OS X. But I guarantee you it won’t take more than a week of usage to get familiar with it. The learning curve for Mac OS X is not that curvy or however you describe it.

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Myth #4: Mac’s have viruses too

No. Mac’s have no viruses YET. No Spyware, Adware, Crapware, Trojans, Roddens or whatever crap that will make your computer explode. Viruses that can infect Windows cannot infect Mac’s and that’s a fact. It’s like saying bird flu can infect human beings but not aliens. That’s the difference. Viruses are usually tiny little programs (like .exe files) that will f**k shit up on your computer. However, Mac’s can’t natively run these. So Mac’s are actually safe from viruses for the time being, until some mad genius finds a way to build a REAL Mac virus (not those hoaxes that Symantec throw in once in a while to get Mac users buy their Anti-virus suites).

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Myth #5: Mac’s are more expensive than PC’s

Wrong. You get what you pay for. The reason MacBook Pro’s are more expensive than some dictionary-thick Dell notebook (not laptop as laptops are lap-safe) is because MacBook Pro’s are not only 1-inch thin, but it is built with material that are far superior that those used in Dell notebooks. My MacBook Pro still look good even though it’s 2 years old while my friend’s Dell XPS notebook that cost twice my MBP has BAD scratches on the palm area. Also, MBP’s have backlit keyboard, power connectors that connects magnetically so you don’t trip over, motion sensors so that your MBP hard disk turns off in the event of falling dangerously etc. MBP’s are engineered with special features while Dell notebooks are just a box with goodies thrown in without effort. That’s the difference.

Also, if you were to use the computer for commercial purposes. Software licenses for Windows will cost MUCH more. Why? Because you gotta pay for anti-virus, anti-spyware, internet firewall, black sheep wall etc. Don’t get me started on FREE alternatives because commercial products often work much better.

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Myth #6: Mac’s are slower than Windows

Ok, this could have been true if it was 10 years ago. But now, Mac’s are actually FASTER. You have no idea how I love multi-tasking, and Mac’s are damn good for that. If you’re burning a DVD on a Windows machine, chances are your whole PC feels sluggish and chokes up while your mouse pointer warps from one pixel to another. On a Mac, you don’t get such bullshit, you burn the DVD, you can do other stuff with little to no speed impact.

Also, Mac’s don’t require maintenance. Windows machines will slow down as time goes by if you don’t defragment, clean caches, clean useless registry entries, clean your toilet etc. Often people will just format their PC when their PC feels really slow. Mac’s don’t feel slow as time goes by.

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Ok, there are many more good things bout Mac’s but I think that’s enough for now. However, nothing is perfect. Mac’s have their own downsides too. For example,

Ugly truth #1: Mac’s have a VERY limited number of games

There’s no blame on whose fault is this. Money runs the world and if there’s not enough people playing games on the Mac, there’s not much point producing or porting games to the Mac. Oh well, I mean there’s still World of Warcraft right… The game that wins Best Mac Game of the year every year…

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Ugly truth #2: Mac desktops are behind in hardware

Sadly, Mac Pro’s graphics card option only have Geforce 8600’s or ATI 2600’s as their greatest cards… I mean… WTF?

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Ugly truth #3: Right mouse button is craptastic

For some reason Apple engineers think that everyone lifts up their left finger while clicking the right mouse button. Because I don’t, and this has forced me to switch from Wireless Mighty Mouse to Logitech MX Revolution.

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Till the next mythbuster, I hope you enjoyed this one! :)

Image Source: AppleInsider.com

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10 responses to “Debunking Common Mac Myths

  1. tldr

  2. my colleague just bought a macbook today after i sent her this page kek

  3. omg. r u serious? haha!

  4. “There are more apps out there for Mac’s than Windows.”

    uhm… That’s where you lost me buddy. Though one can assess that there are alot of mac apps, you CANNOT even BEGIN to say that Macs have even 15% the amount of apps that Windows have.

    And if you want to be fair, PC’s are now equal or better for graphic designers/photoshoppers as the softwares used are always the same. (illustrator and Photoshop). Same versions. Running as fast on both…

    People aren’t playing games on a mac because they can’t. Thus why most Mac users I know (including myself) have an XBOX. We’re interested in games, we just can’t.

    “But now, Mac’s are actually FASTER. “. Disagree. They’re about the same. As long as you compare HW properly. Though Macs will be slightly more expensive to do so. I’m not saying they’re SLOWER tho.

    “Also, Mac’s don’t require maintenance. Windows machines will slow down as time goes by if you don’t defragment, clean caches, clean useless registry entries, clean your toilet etc”

    Sigh. Again.. untrue. I’ll say this tho, it’s too easy to fiddle with PC’s. People add WAY too many little addons, widgets etc… Install 5 different browsers, skins, etc.. etc.. Which could certainly slow down performance but. Ask most people who tend to reformat their PC’s regularly, odds are they’ll tell you that for some reason, they have 80% less apps installed than before the reformat. It’s a bit of a culture problem. Tho macs can be tinkered with, they’re not very geeky.

    As for Virus’s… This is solely due to the fact that Mac’s occupy less than 10% of the market. People don’t want to spend hours/days to have very little impact. They’ve had a few in the past. I used to sell Mac at a University in the mid 90’s. Trust me, there are viruses, tho very few. But again.. what would be the point?

    Mac’s ARE more expensive that PC’s. You can’t even begin to argue that. And “you get what you pay for” doesn’t work as an argument. And you can’t compare quality to the thickness of a system. I have a company macbook here that has a smaller processor, less ram, no USB ports, small screen that cost 800$ more than an HP that was better in all those aspects. But yes, it was bigger, but it’s what you get when you want more inclusions etc…

    “Myth #3: Mac’s are not user-friendly”

    This is a Myth? Are you kidding me? NO ONE has ever said that about a MAC. Now you’re just making Myths up.

    As for programs not being compatible with OSX… you have to come up with something better than Notepad and Pinball. Hell, simply put, there’s no Office 2007 for Mac. And that’s probably the most sought after software on earth. There are ALMOST always equivalents. But again, you can’t deny this. Stay balanced.

    Here’s my take on Macs:

    If you’ve never touched a system, yeah. I’d say it has a more inviting feel. Aesthetically, it’s so nice (both the HW AND the OS) that it MAKES you want to use it. It’s VERY attractive.

    It CAN do many things out of the box, tho maybe not as much as many may think. One thing they do have and have yet to see a decent PC equivalent: Time Machine. This is absolutely fantastic.

    I’d recommend Mac for

    1. People who don’t like gaming or prefer to game on a console.
    2. People who don’t really want to “Fiddle”
    3. People who are intimidated by computers as a whole.
    4. People who don’t want to think about Virus’s and protection etc.. If you’re paranoid about that stuff, inherently, Macs don’t have additional protection, they’re just not generally targetted.

    Just remember however, if you get a mac and you’re the only one in your surroundings that has one, it’ll be hard to share software, or share knowledge from friends.

    Mac, is pretty, sleek and user friendly. PC’s CAN be pretty and sleek if depending on the provider. User friendly? They are, some people feel that Macs are friendlier, and I won’t argue it.

    The ONLY thing that you get from PC’s that you get from a Windows PC is : Ultimate flexibility. There’s a much greater choice of Peripherals, component, Apps, Utilities, games, programming possibilities etc… … than MACs.

    Hardcore MACers try to always argue that macs are flexible too. And sure.. It’s not an SGI workstation. There’s some flexibility there too. But it doesn’t even come close to that of a Windows PC.

    Any MACer trying to argue that is simply in denial.

    • Good writeup Jay, can’t say I don’t agree with you. However, I think one of the main reasons Mac’s are more expensive than PC’s is there are no direct competition between the two. You can’t (officially) have MacOS X on a PC and you don’t have technologies like MagSafe and multi-touch trackpads on a PC laptop.

      As for Viruses, trust me if there are world-changing viruses that appear on OS X, then the *nix community will start to get worried too. Both OS X and Linux are built on Unix and therefore there is a chance that if viruses do start to manifest either of these, then there should be no problem writing and compile different versions of the same virus to work on the other Unix OS’s. But then again, this is just my point of view or you can say a “hypothesis”.

      Sure there is no Office 2007 for Mac. I run Office 2008 for Mac and I have a copy of Office 2003 running in VMWare Fusion. This is one of the good things about an Intel Mac, there is a possibility to run Windows applications side-by-side or by dual booting (boot camp). And who say you can’t play games at all on a Mac? The other day I was just playing Red Alert 3 on my VIsta 64 on my MacBook Pro while at a buddy’s place. Sure, additional costs apply but I’m just trying to prove that you CAN play games on a Mac. Heck, there are quite a number of people that actually play World of Warcraft on a Mac that I personally know.

      And who says Mac’s aren’t for geeks? Sometimes I fire up the Terminal just so I utilise my leet shell command skills to move/copy files of a certain pattern, or use the “shutdown -r now” command to do a force reboot. How people define geek is to their own, I have a desktop that is overclocked from 1.8ghz to 3ghz, I played with various OS’s – FreeBSD, Linux (all kinds of distros), Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, my highest rank on Warcraft 3 Battle.net is #6 in USWest, I had to delete apps on my iPhone because I hit the 148 apps limit, sometimes I use AppleScript to turn on/off the fn key as function keys option just because I’m lazy, I fixed my very first computer problem at the age of 7 and then there’s this thing that I’m not very comfortable of disclosing in public, let’s just say it involves the word “hacking” and I started and stopped at the age of 16. So what is my geek meter here mate?

      Some of my friends still wonder why someone like me would use a Mac, let’s just say I’m just using what I think is best for a particular job. PC for online gaming (Quake/Warcraft/TF2/L4D etc) and Mac for doing serious work or perhaps fun stuff?

  5. Tzechuen

    Well again.. about virus’s. There’s no denying, that bottom line, it’s not a problem with OSX. I think we need to differentiate between MAC HW and OSX. Because as far as I’m concerned, they’re two different things. No matter what the reason is, the bottom line is that Virus’s are pretty much a non-issue. But again, mostly due to a lack of popularity. There’s no point in spending time writing a destructive virus if you’re only going to affect a small population. So, OSX isn’t virus-PROOF, there’s just no effort put forth in writing them. But it still is a valid “Pro” in the Pros and Cons of Mac/OSX.

    As for the Hardware costs, well I have a Hackingtosh build on my Dell Laptop here. ;-) But yes. Your point is valid, but they only apply to a person’s need. If a OSX restricts hardware, that’s not a good argument for the cost of it. But again, to the lay user, you have to LOVE the feel of a mac in order to justify the expense.

    And I’ve never said that you couldn’t geek out with a mac. Not in the least… In fact.. it reminds me how alot of arguments are based on defining exceptions to generalized arguments (which already inherently imply exceptions).

    For example, if I say PC’s are better for people who like to geek out, I don’t mean that you can’t on a Mac.

    If I say PC’s are better for Gaming, I don’t mean you can’t game on a Mac.

    If I say PC’s have a wider variety of apps available to them, I don’t mean that Macs don’t have apps available to them.

    If I say Macs are more expensive, I’m not saying that this expense isn’t worth it for many.

    So for me, someone that points out an exception to a general statement, isn’t really making a point.

    I used to work part-time at a university store to help out a friend. This store sold Macs and PCs. It’s an interesting concept to sell both in ONE store, because you get real people who just don’t know what to pic make interesting points for the purchase.

    People would come in and ask the Mac professional : “So, what can I do with a Mac that I can’t do with a PC?”

    And even the Hardcore Mac’er couldn’t come up with much that was very convincing to the customer. In the end.. it came down to overall feel and preference. And sometimes, the virus argument, (Which, again, I will admit to being a valid one).

    And yes.. you CAN play games on a mac by installing the WINDOWS OS on it. But come on.. that defies the argument. “If I turn my MAC into a PC, it works”. Well obviously. I’ve installed OSX on Vmware many times myself.

    I must say I disagree with the HW costs vs no competition. They are in DIRECT competition, it’s the reason this entry was written, it’s the reason for the MAC vs PC ads etc… It’s a HUGE direct competition.

    Additionally, to say that you use a PC for gaming, then a Mac for doing fun stuff is weird. They contradict themselves. And again, what fun stuff on a Mac that can’t be done on a PC? In the end, it’s all about the included SW. Of which Vista has as much of.

    I use my Mac for Photoshop mostly. But only because I get confused by tutorials and use MAC shortcuts. But I’ve now switched to PC for it since CS4 64-bit is available for it. (And I have 16GB of ram on it). And now that I’ve learned the PC equivalent shortcuts, I can tell you right now that the difference is: moot. It’s really the same software doing the same stuff. When SC4 64-bit is available for MAC, I won’t be tempted back unfortunately.

    I’ve learned Web development, graphic design and photoshop on a MAC. And was more MAC for a long time. But many times, I’ve needed an addon that wasn’t available for MAC, or that there was a new PC software available to rival. I’ve gone from Apple Aperture on MAC to Adobe Lightroom 2 on PC.

    Again.. alot of it is timing. Alot of it is the hacker in me who likes to tinker alot with PC because the wealth of information on windows is truly staggering. (Again, it’s not that there’s no info on OSX.. It’s a general thing).

    I also have a problem lately with these highly biased debunkings, when all it is, is trying to defend what MAC owners have chosen. I have no DOUBT that MAC only users are satisfied. But to make it look like PC’s have no advantage feels VERY wrong.

    MAC Enthusiasts are constantly trying to prove that MAC is better by explaining how certain things can be done on a MAC as well. (Like VMWARE, or they mention a few games).

    I’ve rebuilt my MAC 3 times over the last year. And worry not, it’s not because it’s a bad system, but it’s because I love tinkering. I’ve also rebuild my Vista system 3 times. (2 or 3.. don’t remember).. for the same reason. My buddy uses Vista for the following : Graphic Design, Mail and Photoshop. (I know.. sounds backwards right?)

    He uses his MAC for Web Design. And tinkering (He still considers his MAC is main system). And ends up having more problems with it.

    It really comes down to how you use your system.

    We have a bit of Mac vs PC discussion every time we see eachother. He keeps saying “Been using photoshop on PC… it’s not better.” And I always ask “Is it worse?”… “Well.. no.. it’s not worse”.

    So again. It’s mostly a matter of taste in the end.

    The MAC vs PC ads are brilliant because they make it look like it’s PC people who bash Mac all the time, when the ad itself is doing the exact opposite. Constantly puts down PC’s/Vista/MS… and mac is always calm and doesn’t know what the problem is. When in fact… MS never attacks MAC.

    It’s why it’s such a brilliant ad. It makes it look like Mac isn’t rocking the boat, but it’s all their doing.

    I’ve always been a MAC guy, but I eventually played devil’s advocate to those ads and became increasingly annoyed w/ the hypocrisy of those ads.

    MS doesn’t really do a negative ad against MAC. Instead, they promoted “I’m a pc”. A positive ad.

    In any case, I still like the sleekness of my MAC. It’s pretty on the outside, and I find it pretty on the inside. But I do still have a hard time believing it’s better overall at ALL. Like I said, my fav things are TIME MACHINE and The virus situation.

  6. Well said Jay, gotta agree with you on the preference part. That is what I always tell my friends when they ask which is better, I usually tell them it boils down to personal preference.

    When I say fun stuff on the Mac it’s usually those things like scanning barcodes with iSight using Delicious Library, or stalking on facebook friends pics using PhotoBook. There are probably alternative apps that do the same on Windows, but I just prefer to do it on the Mac for some reason.

    Also, being a hardcore gamer myself, I tend to use the Mac to get away from all the games when I really wanna focus on getting work done. My macbook has always served as my “getaway” from gaming so I can concentrate on more serious stuff.

    And yes Time Machine is one of my fav things about the Mac, and I always demonstrate it to my friends especially when they ask what special things a Mac can do. I usually get “Wow!” feedbacks from demo’ing time machine.

  7. It’s still an odd reaction to think that you have to leave you PC to get serious, because there are game shortcuts in it. But hey.. whatever floats yer boat.

    By your example, simply having a second PC (laptop even) without games is a gateway from games somehow.

    And it is an odd statement as the biggest push from MAC is that PC’s are too “Serious”. Yet you feel you can do more serious work on a MAC.

    I actually like hearing that in a way, because again, it comes down to preference. We can quote apps galore, but there’s always another app.

    In the end, the people who are happy with their platform won. And that’s the bottom line.

    Again, I because a Devil’s advocate after a while when there became elitism from MAC owners, lying about why PCs are bad. It became kinda funny.

    Cheers!

  8. The people at this site believe that macs are prone to all sorts of viruses and trojans:

    http://www.securemac.com/

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