You should buy a Mac

A lot of people ask me about what kind of computer to buy. Unless you have to have a PC, a Mac is the way to go, for the following reasons:

  • You don’t have to worry about viruses, nor install virus software. (At least until someone figures out how to write an effective Mac virus, which hasn’t happened yet.)
  • Macs don’t come with a hundred useless pieces of software pre-installed on them. Nor useless stickers on the outside.
  • The Mac applications for managing photos, music, and movies, are all the best of their kind.
  • The automated backup system, Time Machine, is fantastic, and anyone who’s storing their photos and movies on a computer needs to be concerned about backup.
  • Apple hardware tends to be better designed. And since everything comes from one manufacturer, it works better together.
  • Integration with the iPhone and iPods is better and more seamless.
  • If you’re near an Apple Store, the support and assistance you receive at the Genius Bars is amazing.

Macs are more expensive than typical PCs, but for all of the reasons listed above, I believe the total cost of ownership to be lower. And they’re definitely more fun to use.

That said, Macs aren’t perfect. Mac reliability is good, but not excellent. You get a year warranty on a Mac purchase; during that year, you can decide to purchase a two year extension, called AppleCare, typically for around $300. If it’s a Mac that you rely on, I recommend it. If it’s a Mac that isn’t “mission critical” and you can afford to be without it when it’s down, it isn’t as important that you get the extended warranty. Especially if you’ve been making backups, which Macs do automatically if you have a second hard drive. But even then, the extended warranty isn’t a terrible idea. (The only clear-cut case where I wouldn’t get the warranty is if I didn’t expect to own the computer for three years.)

To give you some background: I have AppleCare on my work laptop because I can’t afford to be without it long. Plus, it would cost $2500 to replace, so the $350 warranty is a drop in the bucket. On my wife’s laptop (which cost $1100), we don’t have AppleCare. If her laptop died, that would be unfortunate, but 1) she can afford to be without a computer for a few days, and 2) we’re keeping it constantly backed up, so even if we had to buy a new computer, it would be easy to restore it. Extended warranties are always difficult decisions…

If you’re going to be keeping anything important on your Mac (your music and photos count as important items), I highly recommend getting an external drive that can act as your Time Machine backup drive. The $200 or less that it should cost you is completely worth it in the case that your computer’s main drive fails. (In the best case, that can take hours to fix; in the worst–and most common–case, you’ll lose all of your data. You don’t want that to happen.) At a minimum, your Time Machine drive should be at least as big as your internal drive; 2 to 3x larger is better, but not required.

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5 thoughts on “You should buy a Mac

  1. Your whole arguement sounds like a monkey typed it. Virus’? Are you kidding? Try doing a google search before spouting claims that are from 10 years ago. Last I checked osx uses java in web browsing, and google is full of hits on people receiving malware and spyware installs on mac.

    It sounds to me you are spending alot of time browsing porn and warez sites, because I haven’t had any problems since i installed win7 last year.

    And your boast about using your system mainly as a jukebox and storage for snapshots? How shallow are you.

    I got so sick of these retarded ego wars back when I was in design school.. I fell for it and plunged all my financial aid into it. Looking back I regret it still paying the bill for something I threw away because nowadays the G5 and powerbook is shit performance. And that’s about all I could do. Photoshop, web browsing, and listening to music. GTFO

  2. btw now I remember why I went to your link. It was in regards to an old post you made on Ball Saved documentary. Seeing your portfolio with the Tilt poster you already know about that one, which I was going to suggest.

    BTW did you even consider your 50’s motif of 80’s classics is WRONG. 80’s arcades had bright vivid colors. That is the whole point people restore them because the artwork style from the 80’s on the machines is beautiful. Your dull colored 50’s theme is anything but eye candy.
    GTFO

  3. Awesome…I was waiting to get a comment like this.

    >Virus’? Are you kidding? Try doing a google search before spouting claims that are from 10 years ago.

    There may not be many serious viruses floating out in the Windows world currently, but that’s only half the problem. The other half is all the lousy anti-virus software that everyone–including the PC manufacturers–keep on pre-installing on every system, and pestering everyone to buy. At my previous job, I was required to run anti-virus software on PCs. That wasn’t required for Macs in the office. Whether it’s necessary or not, there’s still a perceived need for anti-virus software on Windows, which is one more thing you have to worry about that you don’t need to worry about on a Mac.

    >Last I checked osx uses java in web browsing, and google is full of hits on people receiving malware and spyware installs on mac.

    I’m not aware of anything like this. Not that it’s impossible, just that the scale of the problem is phenomenally small.

    >It sounds to me you are spending alot of time browsing porn and warez sites, because I haven’t had any problems since i installed win7 last year.

    To be fair, Win 7 isn’t even a real product yet. When it ships, it’ll be time to evaluate it. And I sincerely hope it is a good product…that would be great.

    >And your boast about using your system mainly as a jukebox and storage for snapshots? How shallow are you.

    Not quite sure what to make of this comment. I’m not sure that I boasted about using my system for that; I use my system for a lot of things, primarily graphic design and iPhone development. But to be honest, that stuff isn’t as precious as the photos and films I collect of my friends and family.

    > I got so sick of these retarded ego wars back when I was in design school

    I’ve got an ego, but I don’t think it’s involved here. I think a Mac is a better choice for most people.

    That didn’t used to be true. I was a product manager at Apple in the mid-90s, and at that time, our products were terrible. I quit because of it. Starting at around the time that OS X 10.3 launched the story changed, and the Mac became (IMHO) the better choice for the majority of computer users. And if that is not the case in a couple of years, I’d have no problem with that, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Windows PCs.

    1. I havent gotten around to watching your documentary yet on pinball. There’s a really good one going around now called
      http://www.bbsdocumentary.com that you could find at regular torrent sites.

      What’s funny is listening to people tell their stories on how sysops would ban users if they did not have a specific computer. I was always a C=64 user myself.

      Do you have a game room? I don’t like the idea of virtual pinball machinese using lcd displays in a cab. The bright lights of the actual machines are mesmorizing, but they are still pretty expensive. I’m just starting collecting arcade cabinets myself because they are affordable

  4. Keep up the good work.
    Thanks for making Tilt.

    I’m a PC guy, but really appreciate Macs and you give good reasoning there. I think it is good in this case to disagree. What ever works for you, me and anybody is good.

    Mac’s do some great things in great ways but you will always pay more for it. I’m grateful for what the competition between Microsoft, Apple, and the little guys like Linus.

    I don’t like how Apple and iTunes treats musicians. Yes, iTunes is fun but it is unfair to average musicians, but then do it because they can. (BTW try Amazon.com for music downloads) The music industry has been killing itself for years. This being said, I miss record stores on every block, and arcade shops in every mall.

    The movie industry is also going through the same thing the music biz did. Technology doesn’t come with a price. Will 3D films save the movie industry? Probably not, but there is always a need band aids.

    Anyway, thanks for blogging and making movies. Very well done.
    RG

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