Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One You've Got Mac, You'll Never Go Back! The Reasons To Switch To The Mac Platform

Wake up computer geeks! If you haven't realized it yet, Macs are selling at a faster rate than PC computers. Apple and its shareholders are proud. the quickly-gaining popularity of the Mac computer lineup is just another notch in Apple's belt. Take a look at Apple's successes in the last few years...have you heard of the iPod or the iPhone? PC makers like Dell and Hewlett-Packard are scratching their heads, Microsoft is scrambling to promote its "new" Vista operating system, which looks oddly like the Mac OS - hmmm, and everyone in the Windows world is waiting to see the repercussions when Apple launches Leopard, its next-generation operating system, this fall.

What does this mean to you? There has been no better time than now to experiment and switch to a Mac. Students are already doing so in droves. If you visit any college or university, one out of every three students can be seen typing away at one of the new MacBooks. In the IT and business world, many companies are looking to move away from Microsoft's restrictive licensing and are experimenting with Linux, Unix, and the Mac environment. And many normal, every-day consumers are either switching to a Mac or buying one as an additional computer.

So why is everyone switching to a Mac? Apple lists a dozen reasons why you should switch to a Mac. In this blog it would be impossible to go into it in any sort of detail; this is something you should check out on your own on your own. However, in summary, Apple says (and so do I) that you should switch for the following reasons:

1. It just works. Apple says that "all the hardware and software just works, and works well together. Get a Mac and get your life back." Apple makes both the hardware and software, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free integration of your computer and software. I've been using them since the Mac 128...to me there is nothing better.

2. You can make amazing stuff. Apple includes iLife, their lifestyle software, free with every Mac. On the Windows side, you'd be shelling out a couple hundred dollars for software like this. iLife includes products like iPhoto (a photo editing and management program), Garage Band (a music-making software popular with music artists), iMovie (an easy way to make movies), iDvd (creating professional DVDs was never easier), and more. Apple says that you can "make high-quality websites, photo books, DVDs, songs, slideshows, music CDs, calendars, cards, prints, podcasts, music videos, documentaries, and more." For a novice with not a lot of experience in the multimedia world, this is definitely a great introduction into the future!

3. Everything-ready. The computers made by Apple are the only ones "in the world that can run all the major operating systems, including Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Vista." You can use programs that allow you to boot your computer in another operating system. Very handy! So you don't have to give up your PC. There's still some "necessary' purposes and applications, but with a Mac, you can run both!

4. 114,000 viruses? Not on a Mac.The Apple operating system has been long renowned for being very secure. There are no spyware, adware, bloat software, and no viruses. Remember, there are exploits in any software, but the Mac is the most secure I've seen since it runs on a Unix core!

5. Still the most advanced OS. Apple says that "no other operating system, Vista included, offers the rich features and simplicity" that Apple's operating system offers. The current version is Tiger, and the next version coming soon is Leopard. It has already wow-ed computer experts and the media with its advanced design, amazing graphics, and futuristic features.

6. The latest Intel chips. The Mac world (and me too) was in a frenzy when Apple started using Intel chips, but the only thing that has arisen from it is speeding-fast computers that are energy-efficient. Hey, the PC world has always had good chips, they just weren't in a box that could use them to their full capabilities. Welcome Apple!

7. No hunting for drivers. You'll never have to install drivers for your hardware like you did on your PC! Plug and Play has been the norm for years. If you plug in a new device, there is no waiting or searching for a driver to run the darn thing. Everything just, well, works!

8. Design that turns heads. You have to admit, Apple's products are stunning examples of good design. Unlike computers that you'd want to hide under a desk, putting your Mac on your table looks good! It's more like a piece of art than a box full of electronics. By the way, where is that Dell store in the big mall?

Well folks. the list goes on, but you get the general idea. Macs are great computers that can do a lot more than PCs for less cost and less headaches. If you have any specific questions about the Apple universe, Google can direct you to dozens of websites that offer a whole host of articles and information regarding why Macs are an excellent choice to replace, or add to, your computer collection. Or, just ask any Mac addict!

OK, so you want to switch. How do you do it? Isn't it hard? Hardly. Switching to a Mac is easy. First, you'll need to buy your new computer. You can buy it at Apple.com or at any one of the dozens of Apple Stores across the country. The great thing about buying at an Apple Store is that there are very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff members who can answer your questions and help you choose the right Mac for you. If you're a high school or university or college student, you can get a great discount on your new computer. Once you have your Mac, bring it home (of course). Here's the great part: The Mac works right out of the box. Take it out, and turn it on! If you bought the Mac Mini, you can plug it into your old PC equipment (like the monitor, keyboard and mouse) and those will work with it. If you bought a complete system (like an iMac) or a laptop (the MacBook Pro or Macbook), you can start using it right away.

The Mac has different computer software than a PC, but they do the same thing; just better! Safari is the Mac internet browser; it is faster and more secure than Firefox or Internet Explorer. Safari was just released for the Windows side, so you might already be familiar with it. Other programs are iMovie (like Windows Movie Maker), iPhoto, iTunes, Garageband, Apple Mail (like Outlook Express), etc. A lot of popular programs work on the Mac, too. For example, you can run Microsoft Office on your Mac. In fact, the Mac version is always one-step ahead of the Windows version; Microsoft tests advanced features on the Mac before putting them on the Windows version. Photoshop, the premier photo editing system from Adobe, is so powerful on a Mac that it's mindblowing!

In conclusion, switching to a Mac is a great idea and, once you're using it, very easy to get used to. There aren't too many glaring differences in the user interface, and soon you'll be used to it and the proud, new owner of a Mac computer. Again, I've been using them for years and love the amount of work I get done and the quality of that work. Sure, I'm forced to use PC's at work, but I'll tell you this, and I tell everyone I know the same thing...

Once you have Mac...you never go back!