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Interact
Multimedia Answers: Macintosh poses fewer problems than Windows

Thursday, August 01, 2002

By Don Lindich

Apple Computer's new "Switch" advertising campaign struck a chord with me. Over a third of the correspondence I receive is from users frustrated with Windows. Every time I read an e-mail describing a Windows error message or a computer that acts as if it has a mind of its own, I think, "If they were using a Macintosh, they wouldn't be writing to me with a problem like this."

 
 

Have questions about audio, video, computers or photography, or need some help using and enjoying what you already own? Don Lindich welcomes your questions and will be answering them in this column. E-mail him at donlindich@mac.com.

   
 

I know because I myself made the switch from Windows to Macs last year. Though I know how to correct the errors, crashes and conflicts that plague Windows, I got tired of them and was not willing to give Microsoft a pass any longer. Switching to Macintosh, I traded Windows' "Blue Screen of Death" for the Mac OS X (OS 10) "Blue Screen of Life," as I like to call it.

With a Mac, programs and peripherals install without fuss, and there are no more missing .dll files, hardware or software conflicts, system slowdowns or surprise crashes. The last time I was forced to reboot my Macintosh was eight months ago, and it was my fault that it crashed. When I use a Windows machine, I have to reboot two or three times a day. Though Macs are the computer of choice of most creative professionals in the art, advertising, music, movie and publishing worlds, it seems to me that home users need them the most.

Not only do Macs really work, they are effortlessly intuitive and fun to use. Apple's iTunes software makes music mixing and CD burning a snap, and includes a nifty Internet tuner for listening to radio stations from all around the world. IPhoto is by far the easiest digital photography software I have seen, and Microsoft Office for Mac OS X is superior to the Windows version, by Microsoft's own admission.

Web surfing is fantastic on a Mac. Open Web browsers can be shrunk into little thumbnails in at the bottom of the screen for instant recalling. Neat stuff! In short, I have not seen a single thing a Windows PC does better than a Mac, except perhaps play games, as there are more games available for Windows.

Recently, two of my cousins and their spouses were looking for new computers. I took a new 14-inch iBook laptop to show my cousin Eric and his wife, Sarin. "This comes with software we are really interested in using," was Sarin's remark. She quickly mastered iPhoto and was soon organizing, printing and e-mailing photographs of their baby Emma, and burned her first CD with iTunes.

They purchased a new 12-inch iBook with DVD-CDRW combo drive a week later, thrilled at how beautiful the Harry Potter DVD looked on the iBook's crisp and colorful display. Their software and peripherals installed and operated without fuss, and I haven't had a single question from them since.

Cousin Joe and his wife, Erin, bought a Windows XP computer. Installing their scanner took seven downloads and four attempts to get the driver to install. Something about a .dll file. Just days later, they started calling. "The computer is connecting to the Internet on its own and tying up the phone line for hours." "Our speakers aren't working." "I can't find the start button." So much for Windows XP ... some things never change.

In short, if you are looking for a new computer and are open to a superior ownership and computing experience, look at an Apple before you buy.

Click here for an archive of previous Interact articles

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