Linked by David Adams on Mon 25th May 2009 21:22 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Over the years, we've occasionally run an "Ask OSNews" feature, wherein a reader asks us a question and we answer it publicly. Lately I've really been enjoying Slate's Dear Prudence advice column and the ever-interesting Straight Dope, and I thought we should see if we can get more OSNews readers to submit questions, and turn Ask OSNews into a more-regular thing. If your question falls outside of our domain expertise, we'll try to track down an expert to help out. And of course, our responses will always be supplemented by further advice from OSNews readers in the comments. Questions are welcome on any topic ranging from OSes and computing to science and geek culture. Contact us with your questions. (Please include "Ask OSNews" in the subject). Today's question is from a young student in Hungary who's seduced by the faraway siren song of Apple's marketing and wonders, "should I switch?"
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Liking the Ask OSNews column
by annafil on Tue 26th May 2009 06:06 UTC
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It's pretty hard to answer this question and be objective - everyone has a favorite and most of the time people can't quite agree. That's kind of the point - each is useful for something.: I'm at an all mac hardware office and I find I still have to have a copy of Ubuntu and XP around.

I like what the OP said about friends. If you've got a friend using that OS who's willing to hold your hand (I'm that GNU/Linux person for my friends) - you'll be fine with any of the three.

I'm not a huge mac fan because of the price premium. I'm also not crazy with how locked down a lot of things are. But I can admit to a lot of people who have a choice between Mac and Windows only, the premium is worth the time you save on doing things in Windows. Like installing an Anti-virus, defragging the com, finding and reinstalling drivers for all your hardware if ever you need to reinstall your operating system.

There are not hard to do, but uneccessarily time consuming (and yes there are time consuming things about Linux, and probably on Macs as well, that's not really the point).

The questions you should ask yourself are
- how much time can you spend on keeping the computer running? If the answer is as little as possible, maybe you should invest in a Mac system. (a Hackintosh is going to be about as much trouble as a Windows install, so I'm not sure that's really a solution.)
- can you live with not being able to play all the latest games, and have a smaller selection of software (albeit usually of a slightly higher quality)? if no, get a regular PC.

The Hungarian price for Macs is fairly ridiculous, I've got to admit. If you commit to a Mac, make it worth your while by having it serve you as long as possible: make sure you get an extended warranty - it costs even more, but then you have a secure investment in your hardware for the next three years and you aren't likely to need to upgrade the hardware to have things running fairly smoothly.

Good luck!

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