Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't buy a Mac.

Yes, I'm an old fart, but I'm a tech savvy old fart. Yes, I bought a Mac when it had 128k of RAM. Yes, I figured out that an external hard drive was NOT a luxury but a necessity. Even so, in the early 1980's, Macs were better than PCs and the ideas that moved the personal computer forward were almost all from Apple and later stolen by Microsoft.

That was then, this is now. Back then for example, the San Francisco 49ers were the best franchise in professional football. Nowadays, not so much. Things change.

Don't buy a Macintosh computer. I bought a Mac Mini earlier this year, and it's a mistake I can't afford to fix, so I'm stuck with it for awhile.

I expected less crashes, but I've already had several bad freeze-ups when using the Internet, so I don't see a big improvement in terms of software reliability or speed. The only plus so far is that I've had no issues with iTunes like I did on Windows based platforms.

The software isn't as good. For example, I was really getting good with the latest version of Excel on the PC before my old computer gave up the ghost. There are a LOT of useful features on the PC version of Excel the programmers at Microsoft decided users of Macs didn't need. I know that means people at Microsoft are being dicks, but if you own a Mac, you are the one who suffers.

The command key makes your life worse. If you buy software specific to the Mac, anything that will be Ctrl-C in other software will be command-C instead. So far, so good. The problem is that a lot of the software I use is designed to be used on the 'Net, and some Netware understands the command key and other Netware only understands the control key. The software I use to write my blog posts understands the command key in some instances and the control key in others. Really annoying and a time waster.

And whatever you do, don't buy a Magic Mouse. It looks cool, it means less wires to get tangled, I thought it was a win-win when I was at the Apple Store.


I'm keeping track of battery usage with this piece of crap. The first set of batteries lasted exactly one month. The second pair crapped out this morning, so they lasted three weeks. Even when you put fresh batteries in, it will take a while before the computer reads the connection to the mouse consistently.

It pains me to write this. I had expected a much better experience than this with my new computer. I like the Mac ads and seriously dislike the PC/Microsoft ads going back for years if not decades.

I'm not a Mac. I'm not a PC. I'm a human being and more importantly in this case, I'm a human being who has written software and knows how it's supposed to work. Using a computer shouldn't this much of a struggle in 2010. A lot of people are realizing the "nice" tech companies like Apple and Google are becoming just as evil as Microsoft as they get bigger. Most people who whine about Apple are hating on the iPhone. Let me start a trend of hating on their computers, both the dumbed down software and and glitchy hardware.


namastenancy said...

I'm sorry to read about these problems. I have a G4 Mac which has seldom given me any trouble. After reading this, I will wait for the next generation of Mac's before upgrading.

Matty Boy said...

If you are not a PC user, you may go through life blissfully ignorant of how much better some software is on the PC vs. the Mac. The Magic Mouse, on the other hand, is a terrible mistake.

susan s. said...

I have the Imac OS X. It will be the last computer I own and was my first new one. When I was working for SFEMS(a small nonprofit) we only got one new computer(it was a Mac of some sort.) The rest of our computers(Macs) were donated by folks who wanted to upgrade. The wired mouse has been replaced under warranty every 6 months.(They are not quite as notorious as the magic mouse for failure and at least don't use batteries) The computer is now nearly 3 years old. I will be getting a mouse again, I am sure, not under warranty, but it will be a less expensive one that works and lasts.

Nelly Frittata said...

We have a PC laptop and a MacBook in our house. We have had good luck with a wireless Logitech mouse which works on both and is recognized immediately.

Fran said...

I have a mac book, my 2nd mac, that I purchased in 2007. It works fine; if it dies, I am unable to replace it at the current mac-tastic prices. /snark

I have had few problems - but as you say, it may be due to me not using the same things with the same intensity.

I have never used a mouse with either mac book; I am a longtime mouseless touch pad user, even when I had PCs in the corporate world.

Sorry that this has not turned out to be the best decision for you Matty.

Ironically I just posted a picture on FB of my first so-called portable computer... a Compaq from 1987 that I had for work.

Anonymous said...

I read where you were thinking of buying a Mac a few months back and I too was looking into it. But a friend told me to go online to Geeks on Site and have them clean my 5 year old cpu before I jump to another computer. I did that. They did a wonderful job and the speed was back, everything worked like before, I even got a new mouse hooked up. It may be better to fix than buy.

Matty Boy said...

My computer hard drive crashed and fixing it was prohibitively expensive. It was a gift from a generous friend, and it was the second PC I had this decade I thought fell apart faster than it should have. I went with a Mac and I find the a lot of the software and hardware disappointing.