Wednesday, 21 January 2009

PC, Mac or both?

I got into a conversation on Twitter today with Mark Hallett from Xero and with Jamie Parkins from vzaar, about PCs vs Macs.

I've seen several of the "I'm a PC / I'm a Mac" adverts and they all seem to make out that PCs are much more clunky and much less user-friendly than Macs.

I have a little PC laptop and it does me just fine. But I'd love to get a Mac to make videos, because I've heard from several of my contacts, like Dennis Howlett and my brother Andy Duffield, that Macs are much better than PCs for that.

Jamie agrees.

And Mark says that he runs Parallels on his Mac and therefore doesn't need a PC.

But I've heard that some PC software doesn't run well with Parallels, including vital stuff like the screen-capture software I use to make my videos.

So I plan to keep my little PC laptop, and as soon as I can afford it, to buy a Mac as well.

What are other people's experiences of using a PC and/or a Mac? Having used one, would you migrate to the other?



  1. I made the switch from PC to Mac (for home use) last Christmas and I've since found that the Mac is just so much more conducive to getting things done.

    Windows, by contrast just seems antiquated and gets in the way - 'configure this', or 'please reboot before you can use that'.

    However, I also have one application that will only run in Windows and instead of Parallels I use the alternative called VMware Fusion.

    From what I've read they do pretty much the same thing with one having features first that the other soon gets - and it appears VMware is currently out ahead with it's support for 3D (which I personally haven't used yet)

    VMware Fusion has been so good that I've just bought a copy after using it for about 10 days of the 30-day free trial - it's simply superb.

    Previously I'd been using the built-in 'Boot Camp' which allows you to run Windows on your Mac, but requires a decision when you first turn your Mac on. Considering that when you start using a Mac you very quickly get used to putting it to sleep rather than turning it off, this turns out to be a right royal pain.

    It just so happens that VMware allows you to start your Windows 'Boot-Camp' without having to restart your Mac - genius! (I think Parallels does the same too, though I've not looked into it)

    That was rather more than I set out to say, so I guess I could have just deleted the whole thing and simply said..

    GO MAC!

  2. M

    When you say "PC" you mean windows based I guess?

    But Linux on a PC does graphics quite well - Pixar springs to mind!!!! :-D



  3. Hi Martyn,

    Yes, I do mean Windows-based - I'm afraid I've never tried using Linux (sheepish :-) )


  4. I manage a graphics team inside of a tech company. We do almost all of our creation on Macs but need to have Windows based PCs for creating PowerPoint presentations and to connect to the Microsoft Exchange servers. We have tested VMware Fusion and found it to be a superb product.

    The PC side of the machine was even able to properly communicate with our Cisco Unified Messaging system on all tasks. For example, if someone leaves me a voice mail on my desk phone, it is forwarded to me as an audio file attached to an email. If I listen to the message on my windows PC the message light on my phone turns off. All of these functions worked perfectly.

    We threw every cross platform task we could think of at it and VMware Fusion handled all of them beautifully.

    I hope this helps.

  5. I "switched" to a Mac temporarily a while ago to do some development. Your experience will really depend more on the software you use than the operating system itself. For example, iMovie is a great free movie editor you'd have to pay a lot of money to get the same functionality for in Windows.

    On the other hand, for software development I found it a bit painful, the window management gets out of control pretty quickly because the Mac assumes you pretty much have one window per application, and then xcode (their development tool) uses a lot of floating windows.

    I think the idea that Macs are easier to use, or that Mac usability is better are a bit of a myth. Windows Vista does tend to have more than you need on the UI, which creates some clutter at times, but on the Mac I've run into problems where features I need are missing or hidden in order to preserve the simplicity of the UI.

    I also find it very annoying that on the Mac you can only resize windows using the one corner. This constant annoyance is actually enough to prevent me from using a Mac, since it gets me many times a day way using a Mac.

  6. I was thinking about your specific requirements last night, and how my previous comment is actually more about how *I* use my Mac - not what *YOU'RE* wanting to do, which seemed a little selfish!..

    Anyway, I did some searching this morning and found someone else who is:
    - using Camtasia
    - on a Mac
    - in VMware Fusion

    I guess the thing to point out is that you'll be running Camtasia, in Windows, which will record the Microsoft Windows actions and screens, NOT the Mac screens (I imagine you probably worked that out yourself, so my apologies if you had) - which, I would guess, is no different to how it currently works.

    Andrew :o)


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