Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th Jul 2006 21:05 UTC
Apple Not too long ago, I sold my iBook, right after the new MacBook was announced. I planned to buy that same MacBook somewhere this summer; however, I started to doubt. I had second thoughts. Let me explain why I decided to not buy a new Mac, but instead opt for a used G4 PowerMac. Note: After being absent for a week, here is another Sunday Eve Column.
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RE: Thom's point
by trezzer on Sun 16th Jul 2006 11:19 UTC in reply to "Thom's point"
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"At least, that's what I read in this article: that Thom is unwilling to upgrade his Mac because the new ones seem to be a step back in performance and reliability."

Yeah, which could make sense, but it doesn't. I switched from a G4 Powerbook to a MacBook and I've never seen a nicer laptop (yes, that includes MacBook Pros although they have a nice couple of extra features). In fact I haven't seen one single bad review of the MacBook. Oh, and it's actually cooler on the surface than my Powerbook was.

The Minis give you more bang for your buck than before, the iMacs also offer better value and Apple's software continue improving.

The other complaints don't really make much sense either. While I'll admit that there are some nice music players out there (like Quod Libet for instance), I've seen nothing that comes even near the power of iTunes for managing a large music collection. I've tried using alternative players/managers on other platforms, but ended up with iTunes handling things. It's not really surprising that Holwerda hasn't found out just what iTunes can do for him when he hasn't even looked as far as the preferences, where you can turn of all parts of the music store in iTunes (which a lot of people actually prefer to have enabled).

It's also really nothing new that the first revision of a laptop can have problems. In fact most of the iBook G3 line had various issues that weren't really fixed till the iBook G4 came out. And yes, there are problems with some of the new machines. Three of my friends have MacBook Pros and one of them has had hardware issues. So sure, problems do exist. But they are also blown hugely out of proportion and a whiney rant like this really doesn't do anything to improve that.

Oh yeah, and the customer service - that's not really new either. It's been like that for as long as I have owned Macs (10.0.3). It's a pretty good customer service, but while they are still figuring out solutions they tend to be tight lipped and that can be very frustrating indeed. But other than that I don't really have anything to complain about. When I called AppleCare because I had problems with an AirPort base that was outside of warranty I still got a couple of helpful hints that helped fix the problem.

Now, I have not used Picasa and can't say how well it compares to iPhoto, but there's not really anything weird about how iPhoto stores its files. It's humanly readable even though it's automated and like iTunes it's powerful when it comes to handling the photos (not quite as much as iTunes but still...).

Oh, am I the only one who finds it mildly amusing that the same guy who advocated using MS Word files for interoperability prefers a fully open sourced OS out of ideological reasons by the way?

Not liking iWeb, well, I can't really argue about that, because I'm not a big fan either. But it makes a good foundation for what is so special about the Mac. See, there's this little app called RapidWeaver which makes excellent web sites. Thanks to how well everything is integrated on the Mac, you can use all the various parts of your personal data to build your site in no time. Want to add music? Access your iTunes library directly from RapidWeaver. Want to add pictures? Just as easy.

And that's the thing really. Even third party apps tend to make a better impression than third party apps on other operating systems (crude generalisation here) and that's part of what makes a Mac a more productive machine. You spend less time organizing and more time getting things done. At least that's the case for me.

I guess I could do most of my work in other operating systems, but when I can have things nicely integrated with some of the nicest hardware on the planet - why bother? The little extra money I spend on buying the machine is easily saved in the time I don't have to spend mucking about with stuff later - it's not even a lot of money extra mind you. Getting a laptop with the exact same features and capabilities out of the box is hard if not impossible at the same price point (and I'm talking hardware + software here) unless you want to go with a Linux distro. I have some Linux distros running and while they usually work just fine I'm far from willing to work on them full-time. Again it's the question of how easy things come together.

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