Get a PC

Here's a non-political entry to my blog (I know, shocker!). But this has been bugging me for a little bit.

I have had it with Apple. I mean, I have no love loss for Microsoft, and I use and love at least one Apple product, namely my iPod. But with the launch of Windows 7, Apple has been playing like they were third graders. Apple has released ads questioning the credibility of Microsoft, suggesting that with each update, Windows has not in fact gotten any better. If they actually believe it, they are high.

Once again, I have no bones to pick against Apple. I use Windows and I have an old Powerbook. I use iTunes and not a big fan of Microsoft Office. I use Open Office, and highly recommend it). I use and love my iPod. But Apple has been getting on my nerves, acting juvenile, and whining about things they do themselves. So I'm telling Apple to stop whining every time your competitor comes out with a new product. It makes you look clingy and childish.

But I'm doing something else. I'm providing you resources so that you can see for yourself that you can get a PC for cheaper and essentially have all the functions of a Mac. That's right. Get a PC. And I will show you how you can pretty much anything you can do on a Mac, on a PC, with about a half to a third of the cost.

Pricing: I don't have to tell anyone that PC's with similar hardware configuration for about a third to a half the cost of a similarly configured Apple. Let me show you: Apple's 15" Macbook Pro costs, at the most barebones configuration, is $1700. Yes, you can get a student discount if you are a student, but not by that much. On the other hand you can pick up a comparably hardware-configured PC laptop at a measly $550 or less if you shop around the web. Yes, I know. Macs never break down. You can have them forever, they last a long time. You PC goes out of style faster. Let's say that's true. Do you care if for the price of one Mac, you can buy 3 brand new PCs?

Viruses and Malware: Ok, next argument. Macs don't have spyware, adware, viruses. Then please someone explain to me why Apple recommended that you run an anti-virus program on your Mac, and then, irresponsibly stopped recommending it once this fact came to light. Regardless, if you are a home user, you do not need to spend any money to get good, solid virus and malware protection. If you are a subscriber to Comcast or AT&T Broadband Internet service, each of them provide you with McAfee's full security suite at no additional charge. For AT&T Yahoo DSL, go to your AT&T Yahoo Member Center and click on Products & Services. Then download and install the AT&T Internet Security Suite. Comcast, I assume, has a similar procedure. If you have another service provider, call them and ask if they provide an Internet security suite for free. If they do not, there are good, free virus protection software available, such as Avast Home Edition and AVG Antivirus. Spyware Doctor will zap your spyware. Microsoft has recently released its own free antivirus and anti-spyware program, called Microsoft Security Essentials. Do I recommend them? Not necessarily. But it's an option.

Office Productivity Suite: Apple brags about how great Microsoft Office for the Mac is. Well, did you know that Microsoft also makes a version of the Microsoft Office that works on Microsoft Windows? But as I said above, I recommend that you ditch Microsoft Office altogether and move to Open Office instead. It's a great suite, provides all the functionalities of Microsoft Office by and large, and it's free.

iLife: Oh, how Apple loves to tell you it gives you iLife, a suite of software comes bundled and is the best thing since sliced bread. Let's take these one at a time.
  • iPhoto and iMovie: Ditch them. Ditch them even if you are on a Mac. Get Picasa instead from Google. Picasa is free, it does an amazing job with photos as well as video (as of the latest version). And oh, it won't cost you extra when you upgrade to the next version, since you know, it's free. There is also Windows Movie Maker which comes with Windows.
  • GarageBand: If you don't mix your own music, GarageBand is useless to you. But if you must have something comparable, try Maxcraft (never used it myself, as I don't mix my own music, but it has rave reviews all over the net). Yes, it costs $64.95.
  • iWeb: Seriously? A web page creator? Because obviously, not every single web host out there provides with a barebones static web page creator these days. Right? I mean, riiight? Come on.
  • iDVD: Every new PC with a DVD R/W drive these days, even the cheap ones, will come with a free DVD writing software. If you want something better, there are plenty you can purchase. After all, you have over $1000 to play with that you saved by not buying a Mac!
Do you have other software you use on a Mac and would like a PC equivalent to try to switch? Let me know in the comment section and I'll try to help.

Support: Yes, you cannot walk into the store of your PC manufacturer and tell them to fix it if something goes wrong the way you can to any Apple store with a Mac. But on the other hand, if you are a responsible user, you shouldn't have much trouble with your PC. If something does go wrong, first check to see if your PC is still under warranty. If it is, send it to the Manufacturer to be fixed. If it's not, you have the option of using many PC repair services. Will they cost money? Yes. But not as much as it will cost you to buy a Mac in the first place.

In many ways, Apple has a worse monopoly over its products than Microsoft has over its. Apple will not allow any other manufacturer to put Mac OS X on their computers. At least, Microsoft doesn't insist on making all its own PCs. I'm tired of all this happy talk from Apple and their juvenile behavior towards Microsoft. And if you knew me, you'd know it takes a lot for me to get up and defend Microsoft!

But for crying out loud, if you think Apple is the BMW of the computer industry and Microsoft is the Honda, think again. Apple is not the BMW. Apple is Honda in a shinier color.