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I'm glad I use Macs!


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It's funny but a friend of mine owns/runs a computer repair shop.

He absolutly hates Linux, Firefox and most of all Macs !!

Why? Well they never go wrong so don't generate any business for him!!

Absolutly loves home WiFi, IE 6 and 7, Windoze (any flavour) any anyone who doesn't understand/install firewalls and protection software.  He's always busy!!

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Although I don't have one at present I have used Macs a lot in the past in my professional life, and like them very much.

I think before anybody gets too complacent it should be pointed out that there are viruses etc that can attack Macs (I have seen the effects). The main reason we hear far less about Mac problems in this respect is that the sort of sad individual who compiles viruses is looking for the maximum impact and disruption, and with so many more Windows PCs around compared with Macs, or PCs with non-Microsoft operating systems, they are the ones to target. There seems to be a particular kudos in finding, and exposing, often fairly obscure flaws in new Microsoft products. If Macs gained the same popularity, then the virus writers would turn their attentions there too, highlighting whatever shortfalls there may be in their protection.

And it is also true that new Mac operating systems have not been without their problems, in much the same way as new versions of Windows.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Apple's products - quite the opposite. Just that people should not buy a Mac in the mistaken belief that it is totally safe and secure and will never go wrong. I remember my Macs crashing every bit as frequently as PCs, and if a Mac does break down it can be more difficult to get it repaired than a PC..

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[quote user="Dick Smith"]This report, rather worrying I would think for anyone contemplating 'upgrading' to Vista, from the BBC website, seems to suggest that the Vista experience may not be all you would hope for...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6319845.stm

[/quote]

Dick

Here's another link about Apple the French government and iTunes playability. I think the whole business of access to media could become much more complicated for all platforms.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4918076.stm

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I think that this sums up all that we know about French ideas of commerce and competitiveness!

Apple (or Sony, or anyone else) spends vast sums on R&D to build proprietary systems - and then the French government says that because they are successful they have to give away their code and other technical advantages to rivals! Presumably to the thriving French computer industry...

Surely as a consumer I have a choice - if I don't like the restrictions I don't buy it! The number of iPods and iTunes sold seems to suggest that consumers aren't all that worried.

Apparently (according to an Apple source - apple sauce geddit? Oh, suit yourselves.) there are issues with Vista and iTunes, but Apple haven't been given any advance tech so they are still working on it.

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[quote user="Dick Smith"].

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6319845.stm

[/quote]

The words tea, cup and storm spring to mind!

I'm no more a fan of filling Bill's pockets than the nexy guy (although at least he seems to be quite ethical with his 'spare' money) but for 99.9% of people, these things will have absolutely no effect on their use of Windows - and there is nothing new in there anyway.  Windows Defender has been around for a while on XP, and if you download updates or programs MS has required you to verify your copy of Windows for ages.  So, you might not be able to rip-off/steal software quite so easily, and you can't just copy movies by connecting up to your DVD recorder...so what - you shouldn't be doing it in the first place!  As for Defender deleting programs, you don't have to have it running - if you don't like it BUY a product from someone else that does that job!

Matt

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I agree - but one thing which seems new to me (as a part-time Windows user at work) is the ability to delete offending software remotely, and the way in which the functioning of the OS is no longer under the control of the license holder - not owner, of course, because you can never own software.

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Totally agree Matt.

Remember the furor when XP was lanched, much bad press about the "activate windows" process and how it allows BillG to spy on you?  As it turns out, XP is the best OS (not counting Linux, as it doesn't fit in the user friendly pack) to date.  I just hope that Vista can take its place.  DRM is  a very sticky issue and the big companies are going to fight it to the end to maximise their $/€/£  bottom line, whatever OS you use.

I also wouldn't read too much into the sensational journalism re the Vista lauch, its mostly written by kids straight out of Uni looking to make a name for themselves, but thats another thread.

Re Vista, personnally would avoid the upgrade options.  It is never a good idea to upgrade a OS, a clean install is the way to go.  Unfortunately, that probably means a new PC for many, but at least then, you will have a PC man enough for all the gui stuff.  Also wait (if you can) for SP1 and DX10.

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[quote user="pcwhizz"]Totally agree Matt.

Re Vista, personnally would avoid the upgrade options.  It is never a good idea to upgrade a OS, a clean install is the way to go.  Unfortunately, that probably means a new PC for many, but at least then, you will have a PC man enough for all the gui stuff.  Also wait (if you can) for SP1 and DX10.

[/quote]

I tend to agree, I hate "upgrading" an OS and always go for the fresh install.  I don't fancy wiping this machine tho as I have so much on it I can't bear to think of the re-install process! I'll wait for 6/12 months or so when I buy a new machine to get it "free" and fresh.  I have to say for the "average" user I think XP is excellent, and I'm sure Vista will probably be just as good for them too.  Of course, for the power user you have Linux - my only problem there (now) is that there are so many varients that I wouldn't know which one to choose now, or why I'd choose one over the other!  Which is a real shame because under a united front they could really start to challenge Windows.

I'm not up on Mac's now-a-days, but maybe Dick can answer...now that Apple products are Intel based, does that mean we will be able to install OS X onto 'regular' PC's?

Matt

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I don't know how 'regular'! There may well be speed and memory implicataions. Certainly there are ways and means of doing so, but I don't think they are Apple-approved. I'll dig around. It's pretty easy the other way round - running Windows on an Intel Mac.

I found this:

http://www.uneasysilence.com/os-x-proven-hacked-and-running-on-an-ordinary-pc/

but I'm always very wary of these ideas - OK if you've got a machine spare to experiment with?

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I'm not up on Mac's now-a-days, but maybe Dick can answer...now that Apple products are Intel based, does that mean we will be able to install OS X onto 'regular' PC's?

-------------------------------------------------------------

Installing Windows on a Mac is LEGAL and it works very well !

Installing Mac OS X on a PC is ILLEGAL and it doesn't work very well ( Slow .... )
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[quote user="DOMY"]I'm not up on Mac's now-a-days, but maybe Dick can answer...now that Apple products are Intel based, does that mean we will be able to install OS X onto 'regular' PC's?

-------------------------------------------------------------

Installing Windows on a Mac is LEGAL and it works very well !

Installing Mac OS X on a PC is ILLEGAL and it doesn't work very well ( Slow .... )[/quote]

That's a big shame...If Apple was confident enough in its product to run on other machines then I'm sure it would find a good user base.  Unfortunately one of the reasons Windows can be unreliable is because of the huge variety of hardware it has to cope with - whenever it's been unreliable for me, I've always found it to be hardware related (firstly tracking down the offending piece - not always easy!) and replacing it has always fixed any unrelaibility issue - I suspect this is why Apple won't release OS X for 'general consumption' as it were - they would start to gain a reputation for poor stability.  As I said, it is a shame because until the Linux community gets its act together there isn't a realistic alternative to Windows unless you want to buy new [expensive] hardware as well, and if you do that and decide to go back to Windows you have to buy a new computer all over again!

Matt

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I think Apple realised in the 'clone era' that to maintain profitability (which is very at the moment) they need to be both hardware and software suppliers, so it would be against their own interests to make OS X on PCs too easy. As the OS X base is Unix there may not be too many stability problems (a crash in OS X usually leaves the system operable, just the application shits down) but economically - that's different.

The only thing I've found that will make my Mac crash (OS) is badly fitted memory chips...  and I can only blame myself for that!

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I'm not sure the argument follows - you can hardly call Microsoft cash strapped!  There was never much profit in PC hardware.  Many years ago I looked at starting up my own 'PC build' business, but it just wasn't possible to make the figures stack up unless you were one of the "big boys" (Dell, Gateway etc.) or went for a niche market.  Apple's computer hardware business is actually not doing that great - it's the iPod phenomenon that is giving Apple such huge profits.

Could we imagine a world in which computers were supplied solely by Apple or Microsoft? - i.e. choose you operating system, choose your system manufacturer - I'm sure we wouldn't have the very affordable computing prices we have now, and I'm sure that Microsoft would have been sued many more times for restricting their operating system to their own hardware!!!  Apple seems to escape all of these 'anti competition' law suits, despite bundling just as much stuff with the MacOS as MS does with Windows (Web browser, e-mail etc).  They are as bad as each other, in fact I think Apple might be worse when you factor in the hardware issue - but sometimes it is good to be the 'little guy'!!  I'm not saying that Apple are wrong to build their own hardware (there are obvious benefits), but I do think that in todays market they are restricting themselves too much, and if Microsoft had gone down the same route then neither us as users, or them as a business would be in the favourable position that we/they are now.

Matt

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Apple seems to believe that there is an iPod halo effect - certainly there seems to be where laptops are concerned, but not desktops. I'm not sure about iMacs, I think they are healthy. Given that the only other manufacturer in a good state is Dell (and they have their problems at the moment, I have read) they are probably congratulating themselves.

My main beef with Microsoft is that they could do so much better with their Office software. I despise Word and it's 'automatically update style' nonsense, it really isn't any good for serious use. Sadly the Apple version is no better at all. I haven't tried Open Office, but I don't have a great hope there. So it's back to Word and all the style problems...

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[quote user="Dick Smith"]

My main beef with Microsoft is that they could do so much better with their Office software. I despise Word and it's 'automatically update style' nonsense, it really isn't any good for serious use. Sadly the Apple version is no better at all. I haven't tried Open Office, but I don't have a great hope there. So it's back to Word and all the style problems...

[/quote]

Ah, styles - I remember them well!!  Jumping between pages, section numbering, indexing that seem to randomly include the first line from the next page etc. etc. etc.!!  That's why I now use Open Office (not to mention Thunderbird and Firefox!).  It sure as hell ain't perfect, but at least it doesn't cost £100's!!, and probably better than you would think for a 'free' licence.  Tho I think if I was doing the sort of stuff I used to, I'd probably head back to Word simply because I understand it's problems and how to get around/fix them!

Matt

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[quote user="Dick Smith"]

Can Open Office save files in Word format?

[/quote]

No problem - saves in all the recent "Word" formats.  I save things in native format myself, but when I send to someone else I just save it in Word format, no-one has reported any issues - tho I'm sure for complex documents there will probably be some minor formatting issues.

Matt

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mmaddock says :

and if you do that and decide to go back to Windows you have to buy a new computer all over again!

------------------------------------------------------

After tasting Mac OS X, nobody wants to go back to Windows !!!! :)
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[quote user="Dick Smith"]One of our problems seems to be that some preferences in Word are set by the network administrator, completely without consultation...

Can Open Office save files in Word format?

[/quote]

If you save your files in .rtf (rich text) format then they can be read by virtually all other brand word processors. When you save for the first time. Just choose rtf in the file type drop down.

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One of the issues I have is that students email me their work - and it can be in a bewildering variety of formats! I use a PC running Windows to read the files, but some Word files can't be read by my version of Word... I swear that one sent me stuff in Amiga format, or possibly it was Game Boy.

It can be very difficult to explain to students that there are recognised standards for these things, and unfortunately Word, or .doc formats are de rigeur. The worst offender seems to be Microsoft Works, which I cannot get anything out of.

In all of this the Mac-originated files are usually OK (apart from someone who used Apple Works, but I could read that after some gymnastics). I have had "I wrote it on a Mac, you won't be able to read it" used as an excuse. Didn't really wash...

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Microsoft Works is an oddball. MS don't want anyone to convert Works files because they want you to purchase Word.

Word unfortunately dominates the market but in all fairness it is a good product when set up properly. You can, if you have access to all the  options, switch off all the automatic stuff.

Unfortunately Word comes with all the automatic stuff set so it's very confusing to new or inexperienced users.
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