Sunday, October 12, 2003

Mac vs. Windows

This is a topic that frequently comes up whenever Apple or Microsoft release new versions of their operating systems. I personally use Mac OS X.2 and Windows XP Home Edition. I think both are great improvements over their previous versions, but I am not sure which one is better. It's different for each person, but some things Macs to better than Windows, and vice versa. For me, it's still had to tell. Since OS's are software, it will run differently depending on the hardware. So I'll ignore hardware for now and focus on what the software can do, rather than how fast it is or whatever. The kind of things I do with computers are internet, watch DVD's, burn music and data CD's, instant messages friends and family, use Microsoft Office, and rarely play games.

Both Mac and Windows are great with the internet. Most of the websites I visit are formatted for Windows, but that doesn't stop me from using the Mac. The problem that I have is that major companies have Windows and Mac version of their websites, but the Mac version doesn't look as good. Yahoo! is one site that has all this great video stuff on the Windows version, but they cut all that stuff out on the Mac version. I think they're just being lazy and don't want to create a nice website for the Mac people out there. This has nothing to do with lack of capability of Macs, it's probably just uneconomical for the companies I guess.

Watching DVD's on a Mac is just better than with a PC. I think this has something to do with InterActual Player. This program is a terrible program with so many bugs in it that I just avoid it all together. DVD's have special features that only work on the PC (most special features work fine on the Mac), but InterActual is so bad I just skip over them. I think I need another DVD player for the PC.

Burning CD's is really easy with both platforms. Data CD's burn nicely on both platforms, but music CD's are different. iTunes makes everything easy, while the 5 million programs on the PC all need to be learned after each disk. I just use iTunes; the Mac is better in this field.

Instant messaging is another case where it's uneconomical for the programmers to make a good client for the Mac. I can do the basic things, but the PC versions are full featured. I use AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, and iChat (AOL IM client designed for the Mac) but I can't do voice chat with any of them except iChat. iChat's brand new and buggy, and I can only do voice chat with other iChat users (just my mom). AIM claims that it's Mac version has a voice chat, but it's nowhere to be found (others can't find it either). The PC wins because of the extra features.

I use Microsoft Office on both systems and it works well them. The problems I have on the PC is when I create something on the Mac, and it doesn't show up right. Fonts change pictures not showing up are real cumbersome problems, but I'm told there's tricks I can use to avoid this. I just don't know where to find them though.

When I want to play games, I play them on the PC. Games are made for the PC not the Mac, this might change in the future, so I'll discuss it in the future.

I use the Mac most of the time. It's works for me and can work a lot for many other people.