PC v Mac

Now this is an often asked question and basically the rule of thumb still applies that a Mac still costs twice as much as a PC.

For the Mac

  • Look great
  • Can do everything! Yes they can run windows programs running a application called Parallels – so if you need Sage, QuickBooks etc They run happily run inside it whilst your using your easy to use Mac
  • Office for the Mac – £99 single user Home Edition, £109, three installs. Business Edition from £239
  • Cheaper in the long run, put simply they do not suffer from WinRot so they never get to the stage where the computer needs a service like a car does.
  • Hardly ever become unstable
  • Fast for the first 3 years of purchase, compared to the upgradeable PC
  • Getting a computer Virus on a Mac is an unusual event

For the PC

  • Cheap
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Upgradable
  • Can run Linux easily when the PC gets to five years old (Open Source Software)
  • Switching from a computer running on Windows to one running on Linux could slash computer-generated e-waste levels by 50 per cent.

Open Source Software Trials in Government – Final Report 2004

“Industry observers quote a typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows systems as 3-4 years; a major UK manufacturing organisation quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6-8 years.”

Against Mac

  • Apple execute a non existant green policy, at the time of writing Apple UK still do not offer the return to base recycle programme that has been offered in the US for years
  • Once the Mac gets to a certain age, Apple’s machine requirements of the Operating System upgrades cause users to upgrade whole machines because secure web browsers on the old operating systems are no longer catered for
  • Mac sales are extensively laptop based, which means that only simple upgrades can be carried out, which leads to the reality of usage life of between 3-5 years. Whilst the Mac iBooks et al are given to friends and relatives as what appear to be kind gifts when the envitable upgrade occurs… Most people use computers for surfing the web and this requires a safe up todate web browser
  • Linux support is not as great as a standard PC

Against the PC running Microsoft Windows

  • A bit virus prone…
  • Total cost of ownership if you run windows – expensive
  • Requires system reload at least every 12-18 months, or the PC just progressively slower
  • Unstable – it’s easy to install just a few windows applications on a PC to make it unusable, often caused by using pirated software of old Photoshop etc, which was never tested under more up todate patched Windows 7 for example.

I still want to buy a Desktop PC even though I read the above
Just don’t buy a Dell PC on the environment front, they mostly contain non standard power supplies and motherboards. If either go wrong it’s bin job immediately on the cost front. Unless of course you just want a cheap purchase at the start of owernship, but just like cars, an expensive to purchase car will nearly always be cheaper in the long run.

Which Windows laptop should I buy?
I recommend a trip to Tescos at Ivybridge, where you can purchase them at almost Internet prices but get a 30 day warranty from the store should any be faulty. Internet returns are just such good fun. As for brands I like Toshiba, Acer, Samsung. I dislike Advent (PC World’s own brand) built to a price, Hewlett Packards – HP & Compaq appauling track record for internal cooling, a quarter of my laptop spares are HP. (HP & Compaq are the same company now.) Despite a class action in the US the design still doesn’t seem to have changed over 3 years and I still get dead HPs comming through to my door due to overheating problems.

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