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Oct 18, 2010


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I don't get what's great about Macs either. I am sure it would be slower or impossible to use AutoCAD, Spaceclaim or solidworks on it, even with Parallels. And some of my sketchup plugins would not work. All the same graphic design apps work fine on a PC. And a PC is cheaper.
The Ipod touch I like mostly because there are several unique apps on it (I am sure they'll be ported to android soon). Apple products are pretty though. I just need to get my work done.

al Dean

Funny how this always descends into Fanbois vs. everyone else.. It's a computer. Made by one company. Either you like it or you don't. Either you buy one or you don't. Simple as that. You bought one because you're writing a book about a product that runs on the Mac.

I use a mac because it does what I want it to do in a way that pleases me. I open it. I write, email etc etc. I close it again. I'm not fanboy, I just happen to find this works how I want it to and just happens to have an apple-logo on the back.

As for a scary world, I just checked into a hotel that has metal detectors and an x ray machine on the door. That's scary. A computer isn't.

Oh - and if you're customising the UI on your telephone ralph, you have WAY too much time on your hands mate.


PS: Press and hold the power button ralph. It's the same as switching it on/off at the socket or draining the battery.


As I noted in the post, no key combination would turn off the MacBook. (OS X had crashed, the screen was light blue, and the cursor was spinning endlessly.)

Chris Wade

What is so great about the Mac? Here is a few of my items:
No Viruses (Yet)
No Spyware (Yet)

When I need a computer, it just works, bottom line is I go in and work with settings and adjusting everything all day at work, when I get home and need to do some personal stuff, I just want it to work, I don't want to have to fix things, customize settings that I really don't care about (packet sizes, etc).

My experience has been different than yours for network connectivity, I have found that as long as the network was setup properly for Windows computers, the Mac will connect fine and find every computer on the network.

Not having to replace the hardware as often, Apple usually officially supports old hardware in their operating systems at least twice as long as Windows. In general you don't even need to upgrade the hardware for the next operating system.

I like that video editing, photo editing (albeit simplistic), a DVD Maker and more is all built-in and you do not have to pay extra for it (and never did).

As for your iPod vs. Galaxy comparison, that is not a fair comparison, as one is a phone, one is not. Now an iPhone vs. Galaxy comparison would be better and to be honest, both the iPhone and Android phones have positives and negatives.

Now you mention if Apple had won the ware against Microsoft that the computing world would be a scary place, I think the war is far from over, but I don't think either company will be the ultimate winner, that will most likely go to could based computing to an extent that it will not matter what system you use, as long as you have a web browser you will be able to do everything. I think that the days of a traditional computer setup are numbered.

Chris Wade

Also, holding down the power button for about 30 seconds will ALWAYS work to turn the system off, if it doesn't, then it indicates that there is a problem with the computer and you should contact Apple Care.

Deelip Menezes

Al: "As for a scary world, I just checked into a hotel that has metal detectors and an x ray machine on the door. That's scary."

Welcome to India, Al. This is what it has come to these days.

Dave Ault

Mac users just don't get why we don't get the primary principle of Mac users. The one that says we should spend more for less and be thrilled with whatever Jobs allows for the day. It is a puzzle to me that Mac's even get any traction with engineering devotees who spend time designing cost effective cheaper devices that are also meant to work better, and then turn around and buy what is not and want me to do it too. Take a stroll through the top of the line Mac Pro specs and then go to a site like Dell's Workstations and look at their specs. Oh and prices to. I did again today just before posting this and it is an eye opener.

Dennis Nelson

So a Dell M4500 workstation is is $2,215 the 15" 2.66GHz Macbook pro is $2,199 looks pretty even to me.

Dennis Nelson

What would have been scary is Microsoft's BOB UI would have taken off. That looks right up your alley Ralph.

al Dean

As I said Ralph, holding down the power button switches it off. On almost any mac I've ever encountered. At least there's none of that unplugging and removing the battery nonsense.


The BOB UI? Not up my alley. I prefer Linux.


At work I use SolidWorks in a Win7 / Core i7 based laptop. Spend $50-60 per year to keep Trend Micro AV up to date. All in all it seems to work OK.

At home I use an iMac. Can't say I know how to do all the admin stuff I can do on a PC, but I really haven't needed to.

On a whim I installed a 30 day trial of Trend Micro for Mac's to see if after 1.5 years of trouble free operation, it scanned clean. It came back clean as a whistle. Obviously not all viruses ans spyware get caught by scanners, but it put my mind at ease.

The reason I got a Mac was due to numerous crashing problems I was having running Pro Tools audio editing software on my old AMD Athlon 64 based computer. Various Pro Tools users I spoke said they had better luck running PT on Macs vs. PC's.

All in all the iMac has run really well. As fast as the first day I got it, which I can't say for any Windows based PC I've owned.

Personally, I'm glad to have both (kind of like having a Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul).

To me their just different tools for different tasks.


I use the MacBook with a PC mouse (Logitech bluetooth), and an external PC monitor for a dual-monitor setup. It's on my 1Gbit network, but only once did it briefly see the rest of my PCs, then never again. My PCs see the MacBook on the network, but cannot open any its folders

Ralph, not sure what's going wrong (or more likely, just not set up yet) here - it's just Samba after all, just like your beloved Linux. Do you have File Sharing turned on in Preferences? As a tip, I have in the past found Sharepoints excellent for accessing the UNIX layer of share-customisation granularity in OS X:


I'm unsure what you mean by 'customising' the UI. Windows and Mac OS X seem to be identical in terms of GUI customisation to me. Likewise for your statement that Linux doesn't require reboots after installing system updates, but that Mac OS X does - this is far from my personal experience in both respects.

Seriously, dude - go buy a book, or take a class, and learn how to use what you've just bought. I'm sure that you've had to do the same for Linux, so where's the roadblock here?


I've never taken a class in anything to so with any aspect of computers. The only time I've had to reboot Linux was with a major upgrade.


Hmmm, somewhat comparable Dell and Apple prices: M4500, $1627 (list price $2303, but Dell is always having sales), MacBook Pro $2428 (Apple never has significant sales).

I upgraded both systems to 500G 7200 RPM HDD's and hi-res anti-glare screen to make them more comparable, and added a mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter for the MacBook.

The Dell still has faster memory (DDR3-1333 vs 1066) and much better graphics for CAD (Quadro FX880M with 1G vs GeForce GT330M with 512M). Simply because of the graphics, you really can't compare the two.


I've never taken a class in anything to so with any aspect of computers. The only time I've had to reboot Linux was with a major upgrade.

It may be that Linux has recently acquired a means to apply kernel updates without rebooting - can you point me to information on this? I'd be interested to see it in action.

Re: "classes" - I also mentioned books, and of course we have the Internet these days as well. You picked up how to use your Ubuntu from somewhere other than just clicking around, I presume.


@ Tony

Simply because of the graphics, you really can't compare the two.

Not disagreeing on the specs - Apple don't do a workstation Mac laptop, unfortunately (I love the Mac Pro). But I'll put the famed Apple hardware design and Mac OSX as the balancing factor in this equation for myself and for many others - 27% growth in Mac sales over the year-ago quarter isn't coming from nowhere:



I am still trying to understand what was the purpose for the post. If it's to show you ignorance about the OSX operating system you have done a G-g-g-great job. Waiting the battery to do die, come on you have be smarter than that.

With that said I think the average person could careless about what operating system they are using as long as it run the software they want to run and works when they need it to work they. There are of course a select few in all camps that love to hold their preferred OS up on a pedestal while dragging the competition through the mud. You are obviously one of those people.

Henrik Vallgren

I like the sleekness of my MacBook Pro. I'm certain that it's aluminum shell saved it from being toast by AutoCAD, which seems capable of telling Windows not to go into sleep mode when you shut it down and put it into it's bag. Once it was almost too hot to touch, but it still lived. The guy that I had a meeting with told me he had fried several Dell's that way.

I like the way OS X uses the screen: the single menu bar makes perfectly sense when since you really only need the one for the current document. Since you don't need toolboxes for inactive document those are hidden too.

I do miss the old windows keyboard method of accessing menu parts (e.g. alt+F drops down the File menu) but with the ribbon interface, Microsoft has played hasta-la-vista with that anyway.

I really dislike the Mac GUI programming interface, which is centered around a strange looking version of C, called Objective-C. Fortunately, all that ugliness is hidden by wxWidgets, which in my opinion even tops MFC.


As a book author, it is frustrating to me that OS X turns off unneeded UI elements. I am trying to write about AutoCAD UI elements, but each time I switch to InDesign (to write about the UI elements on the second monitor), they disappear from view. Makes for a lot of excess clicking back and forth.

Same goes for the single menu bar. In Windows, I can access a program and its menu item just by clicking the program's menu bar. In OS X, I have to choose the app, then its menu bar appears, after which I can click the menu item. Inefficient.

(I work with two to three high-res monitors on my workstations; the tiny extra space additional menu bars take up is meaningless.)

In Windows, a single click brings an app to the foreground AND activates the UI elements at the same time. In OS X, two clicks are needed: one to bring app to foreground, another to activate the UI element.

Double-clicking the title bar in Windows changes the window between full screen and resized; in OS X, the window disappears. I don't find that useful.

Selecting a file in Finder, and then pressing Enter starts the renaming process. In Windows, this action opens the file. On the Mac, I cannot select a group of files and open them all at once by pressing Enter. Why is renaming so important that Apple assigns it to Enter? I am more likely to open a file than rename it.

The OS X dock looks and acts like playschool compared with the abilities of the Windows 7 taskbar. (Its icons even jump up and down for attention like a two-year-old having a tantrum.) Most Mac users have no idea how powerful the taskbar has become, even since Vista.

I could go on and on; it's a fact that OS X has fallen behind Windows.

I make a profit by having a highly efficient work environment. For me, OS X is less efficient than Windows. Unlike some commenters, especially those who continue to speak of "beige boxes," I use all these systems on a working basis: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, PalmOS.

Steve Johnson

In AutoCAD 2009 on, in Windows you still need to click on the app and then the UI element before anything happens, so for AutoCAD users at least I would say that one is OS-neutral. Of course, you could use an earlier AutoCAD release, but even then this affliction applies to some UI elements and not others.

I agree that the Windows 7 taskbar is really nice, though.

Anthony Frausto


I honestly believe it is not possible for you to discover what is great about any of Apple's products because your known history of bias pretexts your own mind. Really! Everyone knows you don't like Apple and Macs so why on God's earth would we ever trust you to open up to the possibility of "discovering" anything good to say about them?

So, of course don't you get what's great about Macs!

Anthony Frausto

And Ralph,

Anyone can random pick a bunch of things each OS cannot do that the other rival can and state their OS is ahead of the others. Try this...

- I find CoverFlow incredibly useful when scanning large amounts of photo files...why doesn't Windows have something just like this?

- Most Windows users have no idea just how useful the ability to color code your files really is. Why does Windows not have this after all this time?

- I love being able to navigate PDF files without actually opening them. Or watching a movie file without having to open it.

- Expose is the single most powerful UI element ever introduced for speedy workers working with tons of open files and open apps--Windows 7's similar features do not come close....not even!

- Mac OS X lets you print receipts to a Web receipts folder rather than print them at that moment--a real time saver--but where is the Windows version?

- And speaking of Printing...you can make anything a PDF, without having Acrobat, regardless of what app and what file, from the Print Menu. Can you do that yet on Windows?

Ralph, I could go on and on. These are things that make me go very very fast in my computing world. If I was stuck in Windows-land I am certain I would get less done and make less money!

Dave Ault

Dennis, check this out today at Dells out;et store.
M4500 Laptop
Precision Mobile Workstation M4500 Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i7-620M Processor (4M Cache, 2.66 GHz)
Genuine Windows 7 Professional
500 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz (2 DIMMs)
8X DVD +/- RW Drive
1.0 GB NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800M Graphics

Click here for available options and upgrades Price: $1,069.00

Looks pretty even to me to ;-] Now please explain your statement again of parity.

Stefan Boeykens

"I've never taken a class in anything to so with any aspect of computers. The only time I've had to reboot Linux was with a major upgrade."

Hardly a sales pitch to sell your training books, is it?

Seriously, I still don't get why people assume to use all these programs and operating systems day-in-day-out, for fun and for serious work, without even doing the effort of learning how to use them properly. As a long-time Windows user, I read books on the OS and on all the main software I was using. And when I started looking at OSX and eventually switched, I did read a few (big) books about it. I seriously consider myself as a power user on all these systems, yet I do manage to still learn a lot by reading manuals, books, tutorials etc...

Frankly, I'm not here to defend either Windows or OSX or Linux. It's just that it is so silly to dive into it and assume you would be able to figure out everything directly and then complain if you don't get it. Blame the developer? Or blame the user?

You do this maybe with a simple phone game or a small one-purpose utility app, but you have to at least learn a bit about the OS and the "serious" business software you use. That said, many architects I met hardly know more than the bare basics of the CAD software they use everyday.

You did have to learn to drive a bike or to drive a car properly before you were even allowed to drive one, now did you?

Kevin Quigley

Ralph you are really not helping yourself with this ongoing vendetta against Macs and Mac users. You might well have used a Mac for a few months but you clearly don't actually "use" it. Maybe you should take a class at a local Apple Store? They are free after all.

Seriously though, everything you describe can be controlled via user preferences. The mexican wave effect (Genie) for the dock can be turned off, and the effect controlled. I have no idea what you mean by the two click to activate user interface items - it is one click app switching here.You can assign a keyboard shortcut to open files (I use the standard Apple+O) and if you open a series of image files set to preview it creates a document with all the images in it - neat.

So my point is that you have what, 20 odd years if ingrained Windows experience and 2 or 3 months of Mac usage. Both are professional tools. Both demand time and effort to learn and use effectively. I do use both. I use Windows XP, 7 and Mac OS10.6 daily. I think maybe you are missing the whole point of Autodesk releasing Autocad for Mac or Alias for mac.

How many Autocad users actually use all the macros and add ons? Very few in my experience. The whole point of AutoCad for mac is that companies who already have macs can use native Autocad. What I mean here is that many AEC companies for example use a mixed mac/PC network. The Mac people use mac native apps. the PC people use Autocad. Why? Not because Autocad is better, but because they can get people trained in Autocad and get them up and running immediately. I can give you examples of companies here with probably hundreds of licenses of Autocad where the production drafting work is churned out by Autocad users and the more conceptual work is done on macs on apps such as vectorworks.

This is not because Vectorworks is worse, but simply because when it comes to running a big project you need bums on seats, and there are more people who know Autocad around than any other 2D system (and yes, most Autocad work IS still 2D).

So by having Autocad for mac what this means is that these companies can move their network to macs and run mac native systems across the board.

This does not mean more sales of Autocad as a whole, but probably more sales of Macs. In the longer term as people move to macs I think they will possibly see that Autocad is not the only option and apps like vectorworks (in the AEC sector) will grow. Just my opinion of course, but it is based on working directly with some of the biggest names in the business who use Macs.


guess its great give alternative to PC.

Donald Hall

I am with Ralph over not taking classes to learn how to use a computer. If the OS (or a software application for that matter) is not intuitive, then it is badly designed and I am not interested in using it.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I also do not see what is so wonderful about Macs. I recently bought a Panasonic TV with Skype incorporated onto it, mainly to have video calls to family in New Zealand (from the UK). My daughter has a Mac and the TV Skype won't exchange video with the Mac version of Skype so my Win7 notebook is now permanently connected to display on the TV so that the Windows version of Skype can connect with the Mac version of Skype. Perhaps Panasonic should share the blame with Apple but the TV has no trouble exchanging video with Windows Skype!

Wes M.

I had a Macbook with OSX for several years before giving it away. It had its share of hardware and software failures (hard drive died, power supply failed, and had to reinstall the OS once after a Boot Camp uninstall went badly and made the computer unbootable), so I'm not certain that you're any safer on the Mac. One cool thing: reinstalling OSX does not lose your installed applications.

I see that on Lion many apps will be able to run full screen, and till now I've never understood why you can't run Finder and many (if not most) apps in a full screen on OSX.

I think these UI conventions are simply part of OSX's history. Long-time OSX users don't see them as a handicap like a Windows user will who's migrating to OSX.

While a Windows user might whine about No Taskbar, the OSX user uses Expose to switch. It's much like AutoCAD users migrating to Revit: once you've switched and know how to use it, you still see the features missing from the old platform, but you're facile enough with the new one not to be bothered by it any more.

Power OSX users are a pretty happy bunch, much like power Windows users are. Becoming a power user on either platform is merely a pursuit that takes some time.


I never met computer I didn't like.


The way they currently operate, Macs and PC's are very very similar. It tends to come down to which UI details and visuals you like better. And this often comes down to which you're used to (see broadcaster preference for sports teams.)

Little things like 2 finger scrolling and other multi-touch gestures on the trackpad, iPhoto, and exposé are what I vastly prefer in OSX vs. Win7 (which I also use heavily.) OSX also has plenty of flaws, like window resizing/snapping, that to me are lesser concerns.

Kent E

Dave A.
You are wanting to compare reconditioned Dell equipment prices with new Apple equipment? Not a vaild comparison now is it?

Gary - Vectorworks user

Dual monitor setup and you had to drain the battery to get it back? LOL. Son, you are finding excuses to complain rather than attempting to find out how your OS and hardware works. Windows apologists do this all the time. They try to use it like a windows machine, never bother to learn how the OS functions, where the settings are then slam the OS for their lack of effort.

I have used dual monitor setups on dozens of Macs including laptops dating back more than a decade going back to NuBus cards for gods sake and never once had this issue. Why do you? Is it the computers problem or yours?

The PC's not showing on the network? Again you are looking for excuses to complain not learning your OS or how it works. Again, I use a mixed platform environment as do many people and simply don't have these issues.

The reality is: Its not the hardware or the OS, its you.

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