What computer should I get?

Since I sell PC type computers, don’t expect a completely unbiased report.

People ask me if I think they should by an Apple computer, or a PC type computer.  The advantages of a Mac can’t be ignored.  There is a much lower chance of a Mac getting a virus, or spyware on it.  The reasons are twofold.  Number one; there are not many people out there in cyberland who are writing malware for Macintosh’s (that would be an excellent name for a band).  The user base is just too small.  Number two; the Mac has somewhat better security built into the operating system than a PC.  Most Mac heads well tell you that my number two is actually the main reason.  Personally, I don’t believe this.  If Macintosh’s were more popular, there WOULD be more malware out there written for them.

Another reason to go for a Mac is that the hardware that is available for the Mac is good and reliable.  If it was built for a Mac, then it will run on a Mac.  You’re not going to have any trouble digging up drivers to make the hardware run on your computer.

For the downside, you’re going to pay twice as much for a Mac as you will for an equally powerful PC.  Hardware devices designed for a Mac are usually FROM Apple and are expensive.  Macs are built nicely, well laid out and kind of pretty, but you WILL pay extra for all of that.  Another bad thing is that there are fewer people writing software of ANY kind for a Mac, so you might not be able to get the programs you need to do what you want on a Mac.  This is especially true if you are in the engineering field.  If you are doing artwork, desktop publishing, or journalism, then you can probably get what you need for a Mac.

If you are really worried about malware, get Blivit Design to build you a PC, and get UBUNTU Linux on it.  Linux doesn’t get malware and it is less expensive to get Linux on a PC then it is to get Windows 7.  The drawbacks of Linux are that there is little commercial software available to run under Linux.  The advantage is that there is a whole LOT of software that will run under Linux that you can get for FREE!  Like I always say FREE IS GOOD!!!

Ubuntu Linux is pretty solid.  The interface looks similar to Windows 7 (or at least XP) and as far as email and surfing the web, you will never know you’re not on a Windows machine.  It also comes with Open Office installed, and that is nearly as good as MS Office.

Maybe my brother-in-law John or My son-in-law Shannon would like to write a guest column extolling the virtues of a Macintosh computer.  Maybe my good friend Hal would like to write a guest column on the advantages of a PC over a Mac.  Perhaps you will see more on this later…

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About whatisblivit

I have been working with computers since the Commodore Vic20. I've been building PC's since about 1989. I received my Electrical Engineering degree in 1986. I have been building and maintaining my extended families computers since about 1996.
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12 Responses to What computer should I get?

  1. John says:

    Your brother-in-law, John would be happy to write about a Mac. It would go something like this — I cannot disagree with your posting. However it’s worth pointing out that Macs may cost more but they last longer and have a far far better resale value. Consequently the actual cost per year is not much, if any, higher. There is more than enough software available for the Mac. In fact there are programs that are only available for the Mac. It’s funny when you come across people asking for a specialized Mac program to be re-written for a PC.

  2. James says:

    I found your website just today, seeing an advertisement for it on the side of a maroon colored car this morning. I came home and pulled up the site out of curiosity. I begin with that explanation because I want to make clear that I’m NOT trolling, nor do I prefer one computer make over another. I have two Macs at home, one PC, and a box running Linux Mint. It just so happens that I very recently had an experience related to this topic and thought I would share.
    One of the advantages often sighted for Apple products is reliability. Just last night, Monday, I had my iMac (purchased in June of 2007) at the Apple store’s Genius Bar because over the weekend it suddenly stopped booting up. Their diagnosis is the logic board went bad… after three years of normal use. Further, an iBook I bought in 2003 had it’s screen die in 2006. To be sure, I am not saying my experiences mean that PCs are more reliable; not in the slightest. I simply contend that computers produced on a mass scale all use hardware of similar quality, and consequently are equally reliable. A long list of great selling points can be legitimately made for Apple products, but I believe “more reliable than ” is not one of them.

    Thank you,
    James

    • whatisblivit says:

      Maybe not more reliable hardware wise (although my brother-in-law would probably vehemently disagree), but people usually have trouble with their PC’s from malware long before any hardware difficulties crop up. In both cases their computers are rendered useless. It’s just easier to fix the malware issues (usually).

      • James says:

        Em, no argument there. If we we’re talking reliability in terms of susceptibility to malware, then it’s OS X all the way (though I would attribute that mainly to the point you made in your OP, the much smaller user base, followed by the Unix based OS.) In fact, if I were to be setting up dear ol’ Grandma with a computer and she… uh… had a deep seated disgust for Linus Torvalds or something, it would be a Mac all the way.

      • whatisblivit says:

        I set my mom up on a Linux box. I struggled like hell getting her all in one printer driver working. I had to recompile something. I don’t think I recompiled the whole OS, but I did have to “build” the driver. It took quite a while to do it, then the crappy hardware that I was building it on went tit’s up. This was a day after I got back to Reno. Eventually, somebody bought mom a new cheap windows box. It will probably get all jammed up, but I don’t live down there (in Santa Barbara) so it’s my brother-in-laws problem now.

  3. James says:

    Heh! I can only hope that was some time ago, since the hardware support in Linux has come a long way. But either way, you definitely can run into hardware nightmares today, especially when it comes to those damn printer-scanner-fax-car wash machines.

    • whatisblivit says:

      It really wasn’t that long ago. The printer was a few years old, and although it was a Canon, I don’t think they made very many of this model. I kind of think I could have gotten away with using another similar Canon driver, the way I did with my MX310 here at home. It was however and interesting exercise in Linux Thrashing. The most upsetting thing was that I used a known flakey computer to build it on. I didn’t know HOW flakey until I was done. I think mom would have done just fine on an Ubuntu Linux box, but now she doesn’t have to.

      • James says:

        Ah, we have a Canon all-in-one too and I can’t get it to work with my Linux box for nothing. From what I’ve read Canon puts little effort into supporting Linux. I’ve yet to try building a driver, so my hat’s off to you!

      • whatisblivit says:

        Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I had to boot to my Linux side, and I just never seemed to do it. I am running the Canon PIXMA-MP150 driver with my Canon MX-310 printer. The printer part seems to work flawlessly. My printer is connected directly to a Windows Xp box downstairs and I can print from my Ubuntu Linux box upstairs over the network without any problem. The MP150 driver works way better than whatever driver I was trying to use before. I don’t know if the scanner works or not. When I want to scan something, I save the file on my XP box and just copy it over.

      • James says:

        No problem! Thanks for the info, that’s very helpful. I am going to track down that driver and see if it works on my machine, otherwise I might try XP in a VM and see if it will work from there.

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