I am a PC!

      5 Comments on I am a PC!

In this post, I’m going beyond all the things I’ve already covered repeatedly in my previous posts about Macs vs PCs.  Such as for $1800 it should come with something more than the goofy iMovie, Garage Band and iPhoto.  Like they could’ve tossed in some rip off of Office or their Pages crap at least to make it productive.  Not going to go into how I get more for less with a PC, or how much easier it is to find good freeware and open source software.  This post is going to be about the things I’ve had to deal with in the past six months that piss me off about Macs.  In so much as I’ve concluded that I will only keep my Mac around for reference and education, but I won’t be using it for day to day use.  This way I can actually get something accomplished.

File Associations

When Windows doesn’t know what to do with a file you’ve downloaded, however you know that it can be opened by a program you have installed; you can associate the file by it’s extension.  You simply right click it and choose “open” or “open with”.  Then browse to the appropriate program, put a check mark in “always use this program to open this kind of file”.   Bam, all files with that extension will open with the program in question in the future.

My example is a Shockwave Flash file ending in *.swf.  Normally I simply tell Windows to open the file with Firefox.  One time deal and I’m done.

On the Mac, it had a similar function.  It even had the check box to say remember this setting.  However, apparently Mac goes by file name in general.  So when I open one file such as “mymovie.swf” it does what I tell it to do and open in Firefox.  However, when I try “myothermovie.swf”, Mac goes stupid and doesn’t know to open it with Firefox.  I go back to the first file and it opens fine.  Thus telling me, I have to associate each and every file individually.  What a pain in the ass.

Just install Windows to play games

This is what I get told, when I complain about the lack of games for Mac.  If I wanted to spend another $100 to install Windows just so I can play games… Hey, I got an idea, why not just buy a Windows based gaming laptop and it will not only come with decent productive software, but it can play games too!  NO extra cost needed!  Plus, I’ll get all those nifty keys I love so much!  Like Insert, a proper Delete Key, Backspace, Home and End.  And when I get the whim to play said games, I won’t need to reboot.  Gee, that works out swell!

Dashboards and Widgets

The dashboard.  Just how useless is this thing?  So, if I want desktop widgets (or gadgets), I can only have them in this dashboard area.  Kind of negates the usefulness of being able to “glance” at the weather.  Instead I have to go or “swipe” my way to the dashboard to look at it.  The calculator widget.  So to the special dashboard to play with the calculator.  It’s just as fast to look through the apps menu, or dock it to the dock bar.  What Apple’s developers couldn’t figure out how to put them on the desktop like every other OS does?  Windows… Linux…  I’ve got a swipe motion for the dashboard, it’s my middle finger!

Uninstalling Software does not remove settings

This I’ve found can cause some issues if you want to remove a software by simply removing the app from the applications folder.  If you don’t show hidden files and go into the Library and rip out the applications settings, you may find yourself hurting when trying to reinstall the application.  I’ve only run into this a couple of times, but still what a hellacious pain the ass that is.  Guess there’s something to say about having an uninstaller for every program now isn’t there.

Crap Files

Macs love their crap files.  You can’t see them, they are hidden.  But if you want to zip up some files and shift them to your windows machine, you get a boatload of stupid files you didn’t see before.  Some zip programs for Mac can clean this up for you, but what the hell is all this mess for?  I’ve seen “thumbs.db” and “desktop.ini” on Windows, but not a huge mess of “._name of file.whatever”.  Plus these things can take a good sized chunk of space up too.  On a USB thumb drive, I found as much as 120mb of this nonsense.  Space I really needed as the thumb drive is nearly full as it is.  No matter how many times you remove them, just popping it in the Mac they all come back like a bad rash.

Cycling through open windows

Maybe there’s a trick I have yet to learn, but this confounds me too.  On Windows, if I have my email, my editor, my photo editor and several copies of my browser open, I can cycle through each open window by using ALT+TAB.  For me, it’s loads faster than “swiping”.  On the Mac, I can do similar with using OPTION+TAB.  However if I have several copies of the same program running (like the browser), it only goes the top most window for it and then on to the next program rather than opening up the next window of the browser.  If I want to change windows in the browser, I have to click on “window” and the sub-title of that window to get it to come forward.

There are other things that annoy me about the mac, mostly trivial.  It’s like a camel carrying straw though.  Sure each piece of straw is light and small, but pile enough of them on, and eventually you’ll reach “the straw that broke the camel’s back“.

…  The worst part is, I’ve had this damned Mac for over 6 months now, and I’m still paying it off.  Good thing I’ve chalked it up to an educational item, or I’d really be pissed off.  Wonder if they have a good resale value.  Then I could get a new Windows laptop and enough left over to make a decent size deposit in my savings account!  Owning a Mac is a lot like a relationship I’ve had.  Looks pretty, costs a lot, and if you want it to be productive, you’ll have to spend even more.  Then it clutters up your storage with useless crap.  Also, others seem to have more fun with it than you do.

Macs are what they are, and fit who feels comfortable with them.  Providing they have the pocketbook to afford it.  Plus all the extras they’ll need to buy.  For me, I am now and always have been a PC.

p.s. Linux lovers, I’ve tried that too, you can go through all my Mac posts, and replace the words Mac, OS X and Apple with Linux and have just about the exact same experience minus the cost.  Personally, I think Linspire had something going for ease of use and loads of software with super simple installations, but it apparently wasn’t enough as they got swallowed up and made to go away.  In any case, not going there again either.

Now to try out that Windows 8 Developers Preview.  See what all the fuss is about there.  I’m not getting my hopes up for it, but I can always just learn it and revert back to Windows 7.

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5 thoughts on “I am a PC!

  1. Kyidyl

    I dunno what version of windows you buy, but I’ve never purchased one that came with a full version of office. O.o

    I use open office on my mac and have no problems, and it’s free (unlike office. I use it on my windows install too).

    For the cycling through different windows of the same program, the key combo is command and ~. Also, for pg up, pg down, home and end you can use command + an arrow key (this was actually printed on the older mac keyboards, but it’s been eliminated from the new ones. It still does work though.). Home is left (although make sure you have the text field selected, because if you don’t then you’ll go back to the previous page.), end is right, pg up is up, and pg down is down. If your machine is a desktop and not a laptop…just attach a different keyboard and quicherbitchin. ;P I dunno what you’re talking about with the lack of backspace though (the lack of delete took me awhile to get used to.), I have a perfectly functioning backspace key on my keyboard.

    How often do you use insert? O.o

    That issue with the leftover settings happens mostly, I’ve noticed, with “portable” sort of programs. Stuff that runs off a thumb drive or can be moved from machine to machine. Like Chrome and Minecraft. The upshot to all of this, though, is a completely lack of registry. Since this is really no different than having to clean up say, file structures and leftover settings in the users/appdata folder in windows, it’s pretty much an overall win.

    Dashboard is a good idea that turned into something idiotic. It’s not supposed to be for using real programs, it’s supposed to be for widgets (and, actually, was ganked by microsoft for Vista and I think windows 7 too.), not for programs you actually need to do things. You wouldn’t put, say, a browser in there. Admittedly, getting to the dashboard is one click, but it loads all that widget shit into memory and there’s nothing I can do with a widget that I can’t do by some other means, so I think I haven’t touched this more than a couple of times in the like 6 years I’ve had a mac.

    The games thing kills me, and I’ll be glad when the mac market share gets high enough that devs program for both platforms. Oh well, at least Blizzard makes everything for both. Luckily I am not a huge PC gamer, so it doesn’t effect me too much. I can still play Minecraft and WoW.

    I’ve never seen those crap files you’re talking about. O.o I switch media back and forth all the time…

  2. Theodas Post author

    I was not comparing an entire laptop for $1800 with a single copy if Windows for $99. Of course the OS doesn’t come with an Office Suite, but for the price I’m paying, I’d want something a bit more productive than iPhoto, iWeb, Garage Band and iMovie. When I buy a laptop, it has always come with at least a trial version of Office or MS Works or just Word by itself. Mac gives people play toys for something that is priced far higher than most business class computers period.

    This whole six month ordeal was with a MacBook Pro (sorry I didn’t mention that in this post).

    The crap files, if you show hidden files on Windows, you’ll see all the junk I’m talking about. Hell show all files on Mac, you’ll see them there too. http://www.mactricksandtips.com/2008/04/show-hidden-files.html

    We all can’t be happy Mac users. And I’ll never get over the hurdle of cost vs productivity. I am very used to what I can do with my PC. Which is far more cost efficient and I can do more. I just couldn’t do that on the Mac, it just kept costing me more money buying software and frustration by having to use keyboard combinations that I find seriously unnatural.

    Ubergeeks like myself like to use Shell commands and the insert key is super handy for editing in that environment. I also use it a lot in WoW for flying. It’s also nice to have that whole cluster of keys in other games that allow you to macro.

    I don’t want Widget programs… But would be nice to glance at the weather without changing to a designated screen to do it. That’s where the Mission Control would’ve shined, make it show widgets too. Swipe, swipe and I’d have been informed and updated.

    I wanted to like the Mac. If it were about aesthetics, it would’ve been a huge win. But when I can get so much more for so much less with a PC (and afford multiple ones for the cost of a single Mac), for me (me, not anyone else – not speaking for anyone but myself and my own views on this here page), it’s just not worth it.

  3. Kyidyl

    You paid $1800 for it? Did you get the 17 inch one? I paid like $1600 for a 15 inch, but I bought it on Amazon…

    Windows is only $99 if you buy the lowest-end one on Amazon. The full featured one is about $175 just for the *upgrade*. If you keep the mac (which actually probably does have a pretty high resell value – much higher than PCs – so you could get rid of it and get a new laptop if you wanted.), your upgrades are going to cost $100 at most (snow leopard was like $20.).

    If you want to say that OSX doesn’t give you as much for $1800 as windows does for $100, then you’re not being fair. OSX doesn’t cost $1800, you’re paying for the hardware. You’re paying for the aluminum bezel, the back-lit keyboard, the screen (which is pretty much the best laptop display out there), the 4 – 9 hour battery life, the gesture touch pad, the decent video card (IMO a lot of the reason those laptops are so damned expensive is the video card), etc. I upgraded my laptop about a year ago, and when I did I went looking for a new PC instead of a mac (cause I kinda of like windows 7. Not as much as OSX, but better than XP, and I thought it would be cheaper. I’m itching to upgrade people here who’re still on XP…can’t wait until they are due for their hardware refreshes.), but anything that didn’t have shitty shared RAM onboard video was almost as much as the mac, so I said eff it and went with another mac. You will not be playing video games on those $400-500 windows laptops. At least not with decent graphics. If you want a windows laptop that’s decent and has a good video card, you’ll be looking at well over 1k. If you can find one with the good design factors, it’ll be even MORE expensive. You’re not play the higher price tag for the OS, and you’re not doing it because you can do more on a mac (even though PCs don’t do *more*, they do everything on your list, they just do it differently.), you’re doing it because you like the nicer things about the design, and because you like that the process is controlled from the top down. If you’re not willing to invest the time to learn and get acclimated to a new OS, and if that stuff doesn’t matter to you (which is fine), then yeah…you should have bought a PC instead. If you’re willing to deal with more spyware and viruses and more crashes (note, I didn’t say that macs have none. I’ve never gotten any spyware or a virus, but I assume they’re out there somewhere. I also know that Macs crash, but it’s only happened to me twice. In 6 years. And I’ve never had to re-install the OS because it just decided, one day, that it wasn’t going to boot anymore. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve reimaged a windows machine, I’d be able to stop working. I do support both OSes at work, too.) in Windows, and the lack of games being made for OSX, then everything else is a preference. Outside of that, PCs don’t do more, it’s just whether or not you like OSX and the hardware extras. The sole reason I switched to Macs was because I was at work all day fixing broken windows machines and I got tired of doing it when I came home, too. For me, it was as simple as PCs break far more often then Macs do. I’ve broken *one* piece of hardware on two macs, despite one being dropped. I could build a monument with all the broken PC hardware I’ve seen.

    It’s also possible that I’m a little testy because I had to bring two desktops and two monitors across campus to the shop today because they were broken and some jackass parked in front of the ONE sidewalk ramp on that entire sidewalk, and so I wish they’d let the professors switch to macs like they want to so that I wouldn’t have to do that so often. However, admittedly, the school I work for buys hardware from NCS, who is so completely shitty.

    ‘Least OSX *has* a shell. I’m pretty sure that cmd doesn’t count as a shell.

    I’ve had a mac almost the entire time I’ve played WoW, and definitely for the entire duration of flying…ins and del let you do barrel rolls, right? What else does it do? I haven’t played WoW on a PC in like…6 years. Where in windows are you looking at the weather without going to a different screen? Did you actually install Weatherbug? O.o I dunno, most of my windows 7 experience is in a professional environment, not at home, so I think it might have less of the fluff stuff in our image.

    I do have the hidden files turned on, and I have them turned on in windows. You can’t see appdata without it, using windows is a pain without the hidden files turned on. I’ve got my mac bootcamped and I STILL have never seen the files you’re talking about, even when looking through my mac partition in Windows. I do a lot of transferring files between the two OSes. I’ve still never seen ’em.

    BTW, I offered the key commands not to try and convince you, but to try and make your time using it a little easier. If you’re gonna switch back, you should at least be more comfortable with it in the interim. And seriously, you can just plug in an external keyboard if it gets that bad for you. There is definitely a learning curve associated with fully switching to a new OS. I did it too when I first got my laptop. I thought it was going to be easy cause I’m good with computers, but it wasn’t. It was frustrating at first, and I went for several months with my laptop sitting unused in a corner while I kept using my windows desktop. It wasn’t until my desktop finally gave up the ghost and I was forced to use my mac full time that I actually started to like it. And that laptop is still in every day use, I gave it to my parents when I upgraded, and it still runs problem-free. After my parents get a new one, they’ll probably give it to my sister and she’ll use it for awhile too. The degradation curve on it has been far less then on PCs I’ve owned. None of the PCs I’ve owned are out there anymore doing anything, but my little 6 year old laptop is still chugging away doing it’s thing pretty reliably. That’s also what you’re paying for with your $1800.

    And now…I leave to go watch Underworld. W00t, Kate Beckensale kicking doggie ass! =D

  4. Theodas Post author

    lmao, the title of the post is “I am a PC!” not “I am a Windows”. You seem to keep missing that I’m saying I tried Mac. I own one now. I’ve had it for just over six months. It frustrates me. I’m not sure how you figured I was comparing an entire Mac to just the Windows OS. Hence the comparison of why there is no productivity software. Neither OS offers productivity software outside of both have a Rich Text editor with extremely limited capabilities. Yes, they both CAN run OpenOffice. But the point is, my Acer Laptop came with a trial of MS Office. My previous Sony came with Word only. While when I get my Mac, I get essentially toy programs (although if I were to really get into it again, iMovie might work for making a short film). But when the price is that much, I expect more work and less play.

    My MacBook Pro is the 15″ and normally retails for $1799. Hence the basis of the price I have in the post. I got Lion free, so I didn’t figure that into the over all cost. However, Pixelmator, BetterZip and a few other programs added to my cost experience as I wanted full functioning programs rather than “unarchiver” which does one function. Can you guess what it is? Yet, I have a complete PC freeware package that pretty much covers all my computing needs (including Putty for shell) with 2 exceptions. Well 3 because I don’t disclose one software I use to make a living with.

    Before I go further, I feel for your bad day. Have had to deal with a few d-bags myself today, but sounds like all of yours were out to make you mad. Mine were just dumbasses.

    I’ve pretty much kept record my entire experience with my Mac on this blog. Yes, it’s pretty. The machine work is mind boggling. The hardware is impressive.

    That’s my comparison. This whole post is about my experience. It wasn’t what I had hoped for. I did not get what I wanted out of something so expensive. I can not justify the cost when to gain any decent productivity (for what I do), I had to invest even more and I still did not achieve satisfaction. I was a little guarded at first, then I suffered from the new toy syndrome and was all happy to have the thing. However, little by little the excitement drifted into frustration. I’d put off things to do at home on my PC rather than fight with the Mac. Things like cost, security, unable to do things proficiently because the layout was so different. I lost that magic. Not sure I ever really had it.

    I will say, it’s a good machine. No doubt about it. But it’s not a machine for me, not for what I do. I’m not comfortable and I’d rather invest my money else where or better yet, take 2/3 of the price and put it in the bank. The other 1/3 buy a Windows laptop.

    Battery? As I’ve said in a previous post, it’s impressive. I understand why as I carefully researched the design of it. Don’t know why PC’s don’t do it. Then again, battery isn’t a huge concern for me either. I mostly work with it plugged in.

    I’m sorry that I lost you on those points. I know my writing isn’t professional. I’m a blogger, not a journalist. That, and being the geek I am, I have noticed I usually have like 10 different thoughts always going on in my head. Doing five things and thinking of several others. It’s amazing at all I can help customers while I write code at the same time.

    Thank you for your suggestions on the keyboard. However, I am a PC. You are a Mac. No reason why we can’t get along.

    Side note, I have never worn out a Laptop from use. I generally give it away to a relative when I decide I want something new. That is….. (dramatic pause) if I don’t destroy it first.

    Oh and this isn’t the greatest of screenshots as I wished I had kept the ones that made my point a bit clearer. Those files I complained about look like so. Just picture thousands of them on a different USB drive I have all my websites backed up on. Thousands of them. They are small but add up when you get a ton of them together and I found it atrociously annoying.

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