I’ve owned personal computers since 1981 and I have been looking for the perfect set-up ever since. There have been some great machines along the way and decades later thanks to the Parallels virtual PC software, which makes it possible to run PC and Mac programs side by side on a Mac, I now have the best working environment so far.
I’ve retired my last office PC so I thought I’d share my experiences and encourage anyone interested in kicking the PC habit to do the same and switch to a Mac.
Why Didn’t I Switch Earlier?
(It’s complicated, you won’t miss much by jumping to Mac Life Part 2 if you’ve already bought a Mac and want to know how I’ve set mine up.)
Because I’ve been using computers since 1981 I have decades worth of prejudice and baggage to unload. I prefer sitting at a desk using a computer with a “proper” screen, keyboard and mouse and my first Apple Mac was the unrivalled Mac Duo which cleverly combined the desktop computer experience with a neat netbook sized laptop which could be ejected and used on the move. The Duo concept remains the best computing set-up I have ever used until my current Macbook Pro setup which is why it’s taken me so long to finally make the switch.
Renegade Publishing Ltd was originally formed to publish Atari Computing magazine so the Mac versus PC debate wasn’t an issue – we were promoting Atari machines and software. However, after Atari development ran out of steam, I had no choice but to migrate from Atari to PC and Mac software at the same time Renegade Publishing Ltd evolved into online publishing and marketing, new age media in modernspeak.
The business needed accounting software and the only choices back then were Sage and Intuit Quickbooks and neither have UK versions that run on a Mac so I bought my first PC and I’ve been running both Mac and PC systems side by side ever since.
The PC versus Mac Debate
My Atari background has helped me remain objective when weighing up the pros and cons of each platform and I’ve had a longer look at both hardware platforms and operating systems than most computer users will ever have and combined with my professional background in technology and product design on this subject I really do know what I’m talking about! Here’s my overview:
Apple Pros Superb product design, headed up by Jonathan Ive, CBE, originally from Chingford, Essex, one of the world’s foremost product designers.
Reliable, out-of-the-box lifestyle solutions people love using – even if they don’t know it yet!
Apple Cons Comparatively expensive, Apple only cables, standards and conventions.
Mac OS Pros Reliable, easy to use, easy to keep up to date, generally virus free, compact, free software included which works and is easy to use for most common tasks.
Mac OS Cons If it does break, it can be serious.
PC Pros There’s a dazzling choice of hardware available which means it’s possible to build anything from a budget priced general purpose machine to a state of the art gaming platform.
PC Cons The flipside of supporting such a wide range of hardware is compatibility and software driver problems.
Windows Pros I’m struggling to think of any, help me out here Windows fans…
Windows Cons The Windows interface has never been a seamless experience and it’s very tedious to keep to date and virus free. New hardware often leads to driver and software compatibility issues.