Mac or PC?

I’M CURIOUS. When I first started using computers, I used Macintosh. Beautiful machines, and I was devastated when my employer switched wholesale to PCs a few years later. Just before I became an MP I bought an iMac, but after my election it became clear that sticking to the Mac operating system was going to be difficult, given that the entire parliamentary estate is based on Microsoft software.

So I switched to PC. But the allure of the Mac was just too strong, and for the past year, I’ve been using a Macbook for most of my work, including this blog.

Ah, the happy memories...

Ah, the happy memories...

With the media reporting conflicting stories about the share of the computer market being won by Apple and Microsoft respectively, I was wondering what the preferred platform of British bloggers is, or indeed, whether any of my own regulars have had a dalliance with Steve Jobs, or are staying faithful to Bill Gates.

I’d be interested to get any feedback on this, if for no other reason than to to satisfy my own curiosity.



Filed under Blogging, Whimsy

21 responses to “Mac or PC?

  1. Brian

    My favoured medium is PC, doesn’t work as well as a mac but is simply easier to customise and play games etc. with. In addition I’ve never seen any of the software for Mac which I use all day at work on the PC.

  2. Today, this happy day, I finally turned off my dreadful Scottish Parliament PC for the last time, and can just use the Macbook Pro all the time, for everything, blogging, the lot. Beware the Linux-using masses, though: they’ll reject your premise outright.

  3. Mo Daniels

    It has go to be the mighty PC; when I was at school Strathclyde Regional Council must have got a huge discount with Apple and we were all taught using Macs, and a bit like Pythagoras theorem that was the last time used one. It was frustrating learning everything computer related from scratch as soon as I left school for the last time (in 1996). I can’t even look at a Mac without wishing the Mac/PC war resulted in Mac receiving the similar fate as betamax in its war with VHS, thereby saving me a lot of time and effort.

  4. Liz

    Definitely PC – but I do love my iPod.

  5. Stu

    I use a Mac, swear by them. Similarly to you, the fist computer I had contact with was a Mac (although it was an LC II and I was 6), then my Dad gradually moved towards Windows in the mid ninetees, then got an iMac when they first came out.

    Since then (particularly with OS X) I’ve remained a total Mac-addict.

    I hate to plug my own blog, of course, but I wrote a post that you might be interested in with all the bits of Mac software I use for blogging. If you’ve never used NetNewsWire or MarsEdit, you should definitely give them a try.

    Oh, I also know for a fact that Devil’s Kitchen is a Mac addict (he even links to Daring Fireball, the Mac Blogger’s Mac Blog), and didn’t Iain Dale buy a MacBook at some point? [pause for research] Yep, he did.

  6. I use a PC, just because it is what I have grown up with and just seems to be the easiest to use. I agree with Brian that it is easy to customise and most programs function on it. I also needed a PC for my degree due to certain software not being available for Macs (notably Autocad and Matlab).

    One of the most annoying things for me about Macs is the difficulty I had when working in a group and only one person used them. This meant additional working in converting file and formatting for the group.

    I do however own an ipod and have used old apple computers at school (before Microsoft replaced them)

  7. I use both, or rather, many different operating systems.

    Over the last six months I have used OSX, XP, Vista, and various flavours of Linux to post to my blog (I’ve also used the iPhone, but am not sure what the OS should be called).

    The Macbook provides by far the nicest “experience” of using a computer, and Safari on OSX is much, much faster than Firefox on any version of Windows.

  8. richard

    Pretty much all of the work, home applications and games that I use are PC-only.

    Mac machines looks nice and I’m sure you get a buzz out of using a computer that hackers barely pay attention to but the simple lack of software would be the killer for me. If I need a small freeware application for a one-off task, 99 times out of a 100 there won’t be a mac version available.

  9. PC all the way – but running Linux. Using Windows constitutes a cruel and unusual punishment under the Geneva Convention and I’ve tried to get to grips with Macs several time, but I always get frustrated and run back to Linux.

  10. Madasafish

    I’m a mean Scot and build my own PCs from secondhand parts. Buying the newer ones and selling the older ones on Ebay. Can’t do that with Macs and PCs are much cheaper.
    I’m running a dual core with 4GB of memory etc – net cost about £80 including 2 new used disks,

    I use share price analysis software which only works on PCs . (I beleive you can run PC emulators on a Mac but they slow it down a lot).

    When you can upgrade every 2-3 years for so little money and still have a perfectly functional machine for under £100, a PC is unbeatable.

    Even four monitors (TFT under 12 months old) and two graphics cards come to under £200..

    Plus the software is cheap and portable from one machine to another.. And you can resell Windows XP operating systems for virtually the price of a new one (£40).

    Of course, my setups are not the latest in speed and specification but when overclocked the system is very fast. I run in an insulated case and with low noise fans so it’s practically inaudible… there is nothing worse than a noisy fan!

    I hasten to add I’m self taught but the process is such that anyone who can follow a manual and is reasonably competent with their hands can do it.

  11. Johnny Norfolk

    I have never used Mac so its difficult to comment. I have had no problems with PC and its the main business system. Mac always looks expensive to me and is used by organisations that have little cost restraint I suspect ie the BBC. I think it is used in art and design a lot.. Its a bit like the old Betamax vs VHS the more cost effective system won.

  12. I use a Mac and find some of the comments above (@Richard, @Johnny Norfolk) rather strange; Macs cost more to buy initially but are cheaper to run as they don’t need anything like as much IT department support, last longer and depreciate slower, and have a lower cost for their whole life. Freeware is generally equally available.

    Oddly, since I switched from running a conventional website to a WordPress blog, AWStats tells me that the percentage of visitors who use a Mac, formerly never more than 10%, is around 25%. I suspect there’s a higher percentage of bloggers who use Macs compared to the general public.

  13. Never really tried a Mac – couldn’t afford to get one – but I have really disliked the few bits of Apple software I have tried (Safari and the dreaded iTunes)

  14. Andrew F

    PC – not through any active thought process or decision, but rather because it’s the default, conformist choice. How shameful.

  15. Quentinthecrisp

    I’m with you on this one Tom- a Big Mac does it for me everytime. Plenty of Megabites but the chips could do with an upgrade.
    Is that good enough feedback for you.

  16. Johnny Norfolk

    I think I read the comments thus.

    Your heart says use a Mac.

    Your head says use a PC.

    Thats why you like Mac best Tom.

  17. “Oh, I also know for a fact that Devil’s Kitchen is a Mac addict…”

    Indeed I am: they are great pieces of kit. Apple’s single biggest mistake was ousting Steve Jobs: the stupid decisions made by Gil Amelio and Co. are still impacting on Apple today.

    “If I need a small freeware application for a one-off task, 99 times out of a 100 there won’t be a mac version available.”

    I bet you that that simply isn’t true: you just haven’t been looking in the right places.

    Ever since the release of Mac OS X, the fact that Linux software can be so easily ported to Macs has led to an explosion of software.

    In fact, name a task that you need to do, and I guarantee that I can find a piece of software to suit (and probably for free).


  18. lloyd

    Don’t compromise.
    Keep the faith and be happy in Mac-paradise.
    Do not let too many people know what they are missing by sticking to their PCs or our world will be invaded by the plebs.

  19. Gadgetvicar

    Macbook Pro………running Windows XP in a dual boot setup. Sad, I know.

  20. Started punching cards for mainstream computers, briefly Apricot, Amstrads and CRTronics (with a way od asciiing data/copy between the two), a funny old (but new too) thing called ITL Diamond, but mostly – since around 1990 anyway Macs. Classics, LCs, various PBs etc etc. I also did some Unix stuff (very badly) with Silicon Graphics and Alias Wavefront. But all sorts of Macs basically. Four in regular use in the house. And a few dead and dying.

    Also have a Dell PC laptop associated with one of my jobs and a HP one I got a few years ago for a particular EU funding stream I used to write bids for regularly which was ridiculous PC-only locked up very anal govt produced grantware.

    Writing this on an eMac as it goes. Will probably get an up-to-date iBook as next buy having skipped a few years without any upgrades at all. Airbook perhaps if they get the power up and the cost down PDQ.

    Kids – Myra and Ian – are bilingual.

  21. Shelldrake

    My Mac. It’s got style even if it’s currently running like a Grand Central HST. (Transport in-joke – apologies to political readers.)

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