Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mac vs. PC

This week it became apparent to some of us in the class that we may not be as technically savy as the others.  For one of our assignments this week, we had to create a Podcast using Garageband on the Macs in our computer lab.  A large percentage of my peers throught that this was silly, because they had already used or taught Garageband to their students.  To others, the Garageband program was newer to them, but
 they felt as if a few minutes playing around with it would be sufficient.  However, there were a few of us who had never really become acquainted with Mac computers and therefore had no idea what Garageband could do. 

As a PC person, I like the ability to use whatever hardware or software that I want and have it always work.  I don't want to restrict myself to specific (and expensive) items because they are the only thing that will work with a Mac.  The apple industry is a great industry (where great does not equal good, but big and powerful) that has come up with an excellent plan:  Create a good product, and then make sure that only your products can work with the first product.  Repeat.  A perfect example of this is the itune + ipod phenomenon.  I (wanting the best deal) bought an mp3 player a few years ago that could list all of my songs under all the same categories as an ipod can, and it also had FM radio capabilities.  (It was also cheaper, had a better warranty and the battery could be replaced withouth sending in the whole machine if it were to ever break).  I bought an itunes gift card and purchased many of my favourite albums. When I went to put them on my mp3 player, I quickly found out the problem: I would have to own an ipod to be able to play my itunes purchases.  Great!  Now what?  Since then, itunes and I are no longer friends.  It sits there on my PC and I revisit it only to listen to those few albums which I can't listen to anywhere else than right beside my computer. 

To get back to my original point, I have avoided Macs all my life, and this week I was forced to use one.  They weren't as bad as I had made them out to be in my mind all these years.  Ben and Nathan sat down with Sophia and I during Thursday's class to show us how to use the mouse, the aplications window (is it still a window on a Mac?) and how to use Garageband.  They did an excellent job and actually made me less scared to try something new.  Thanks guys!  However, this is the kind of thing that I wish we were taught IN our teacher and techonology class; HOW do you actually use technology?  It may be common knowledge to some, but it is not for others.

As a teacher, I may have to use one and I will gladly learn how.  The systems are set up well, and I think that everyone enjoys looking at cartoon pictures instead of words for every icon.  I will still never buy one myself...they don't need my money when they're over-charging everyone else in the world.

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  1. Let me start by saying that I am a Mac user and I totally agree with you. Even though I converted to Mac about a year ago, I had always been a PC person who used MP3 players instead of iPods and who could not understand the appeal of something that worked the same but cost 3 times more.

    So, why did I switch? It was actually a very smooth transition. A student of mine's math teacher was practically giving away his old iBook (from c. 2001). I, in need of a laptop, took it. I got more and more familiar with it and used it for a few months until it quit suddenly (9 years after its manufacture date). It worked perfectly for the short amount of time I had it. When it came time to buy a new laptop I went with a MacBook because I was hooked by then. I think I just like how user-friendly it is and how it always works.

    It was a lot of money, but I have not yet regretted it yet. I have had my computer for about a year now and it still works as good as the day I got it.

    In conclusion, I understand where you are coming from and I probably would still be a PC person had I not got sucked in by Mac's charm. I do find that it is a little frustrating to have to always be conscience of what I can and can't do on other computers. I was able to think ahead when I bought this computer and made sure that I got Microsoft Office for Mac so that I can be compatible with the rest of the world in that sense.

    I hope you are on more friendly terms with Mac now that you know a little more about it (thanks to Ben and Nathan).

  2. I hear you. I am a little frustrated by Apple's refusal to allow competing software to work with their hardware. That, and the money issue, are the main reason that I stick with PCs, as well as the fact that many programs I use regularly will not work on Macs.

    Also, your comic is spot-on. There's a good reason that most companies use PC instead of Mac.