To Mac or Not To Mac?? - une femme d'un certain âge

To Mac or Not To Mac??

It’s decision time.  My HP laptop has finally died and I need to replace it.  Right now I’m banging away on le monsieur’s clunker of an old VAIO that takes MINUTES to load a page.  (HOW DID WE EVER LIVE LIKE THIS??? une femme sputters.)
I’ve been toying with getting a Mac this time, but need some input from other bloggers and readers.  As we say at the office, Thanks in advance for your assistance.
1.  Is Blogger compatible with Mac? 
2.  Those of you who started out on PC’s/Windows, how is switching to Mac?  Does it take a while to get the hang of it?  (I’m the Queen of Right Click, so I know that’s one adjustment I’d have to make.)
3.  I’d be primarily using for a) blogging of course, plus all of the other usual internet stuff b) recording and editing videos, and c) editing digital photos.  But I’d like to have a laptop that’s not too clunky to take with when we travel.  What models do you recommend?
4.  Any problems inherent in any particular model I should be aware of?
I hope to have a new machine up and running by the weekend, and truly appreciate your guidance.
~
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39 Comments

  1. January 11, 2011 / 2:54 pm

    Definitely go with a MAC. I’ve had a Mac for about ten years and never had any troubles with it. (Yes, it’s compatible with Blogger.) I have a Macbook Pro–which is a laptop– and love it, but before that I had a Macbook, which was also wonderful, and we still use an outdated iMac desktop computer, which works great except for now being slow.

    I wish I could make this recommendation sound more objective by telling you all the cons and explaining why the pros outweigh them, but I just haven’t had problems. The only possible downside is I guess Macs are somewhat expensive, but we just figured if we’re going to get a computer, get the best so we don’t have to fight with computer issues, and it’s been worth it.

  2. January 11, 2011 / 3:01 pm

    I have a MAC laptop and it is what I am used to using…Blogger and Mac seem to get along very well!
    Good luck shopping.

  3. January 11, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    I’ve been using Macs for years, starting when I took a basic computer course that I thought was for PCs. Within a couple of weeks I was hooked on the Mac OS. That was many years ago, and many of the glitches and incompatibilities that existed 14 years ago are gone, and moving between the two is practically seamless.

    As for giving up the right-click, don’t despair. I’ve got a wireless PC mouse that works fine with my iMac, and I use the right-click all the time. If you only have the Apple mouse, it’s command+click. There are also some other minor keyboard (say goodbye to the alt key) and finding things on the hard-drive differences, but those are easy once you get used to them.

  4. January 11, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    1. Yes.
    2. Yes, there is certainly an adjustment period. The MacOS has different ways of dealing with files, some actually less intuitive in my experience.
    3. I have a MacBook Pro. What I really like, at the end of the day, is the hardware design. It’s so damn elegant it makes me happy. However, if you rely on some PC features, like the right click, and don’t like the Mac workarounds, there are new Netbooks that are very light and very easy to carry around. As I understand it, if money is no object, HP is the way to go. For price-performance, however, Acer.

  5. January 11, 2011 / 3:28 pm

    You’ll hear lots of raves from Mac enthusiasts, I’m sure, so here’s a counterpoint. I’m a PC loyalist, partly because I’m so cheap. (Macs have always been much more expensive than their PC counterparts.) I’ll be facing a decision similar to yours very soon, and I’ve been eyeing one of the smaller Dell Vostros, which can be had for as little as $600. Costco carries Dell and other fine PC laptops if you don’t mind the Win7 Home version–I prefer Win7 Pro, so I’ll shop online. (I love Win7, by the way.)

  6. Katriona
    January 11, 2011 / 3:42 pm

    Mac is my choice because it is intuitive, stable, looks nice and never gets viruses (wish I could find a man like that)–it costs a little more but considering the last one I had lasted 10 years, I think it amortizes out over the long haul.I find it simpler to operate than a PC–sometimes I find myself borrowing my sister’s at her place— and unless you are dealing with emailing professional documents in traditional corporate settings (legal briefs, contracts, etc.) where the format must be consistent every time, go with a Mac.( While you are shopping around, consider the iPad–it is wonderful for travel! I wonder how I did without it all these years.)

  7. January 11, 2011 / 4:01 pm

    Yes, Blogger works with Mac. When I inherited DH’s MacBook Pro, he even partitioned it so I would use Windows if I wanted to. I haven’t gone there at all. MS Office has a version for Mac, no problems there either. Love it, and wouldn’t consider going back.

  8. January 11, 2011 / 4:17 pm

    I’ve always had a Mac, but I’m a Luddite, it’s just a typewriter to me. I’m no real help!

  9. January 11, 2011 / 4:20 pm

    Get a Mac. For all the other reasons previously mentioned, including coolness. I’ve never owned any other kind of computer, either desktop or laptop, and I never will.

    I’ve got a MacBook Pro 15″ and I love it. I back up regularly on a teensy Western Data plug-in hard drive (about $100 at Best Buy) so that I don’t have to worry about my stuff when I’m on the road.

    Yes, Macs are more expensive. But just as one buys an expensive handbag with the idea that it will last forever, one buys a Mac with the idea that it will last forever. You can get a lot of life out of them by making tweaks and upgrades to hard-drives and memory down the road.

    My old Mac laptop, bought in 2002 and “tarted up” in 2006, is still going strong — my nephew, the Red-Headed Monkey Boy, has it now. Pretty ironic that an 8 year-old has a better laptop than either of his parents!

    Oh, and if you’ve got a monitor and keyboard that you love and that are fairly recent, you might want to consider just replacing the CPU with a Mac Mini — even the all-singing, all-dancing model is a very cost-effective option, and unless your peripherals are very old, they’ll be compatible.

  10. January 11, 2011 / 5:32 pm

    I would highly recommend Mac Computers. My husband and I both have MacBook Air’s and they are absolutely wonderful. They are light as a feather – literally – every time someone picks it up they are totally shocked how light it is. The only down side to the Air’s is that the storage capacity is not great, if you are happy to use and external drive to store the photos you want to work on then no problem at all if not go for something like the MacBook Pro – several of my friends have them and they love them

    There is a small adjustment period but I have to say, having used PC’s for years I was surprised how quickly I adjusted to a Mac and honestly after just over a year of using one I have totally forgotten how to use a PC – might not be great if I need to go back to work, but I’m happy with the way things are just now.

    Go for it – I am sure you won’t regret it x

  11. January 11, 2011 / 8:11 pm

    Someone – thanks, fixed it!

  12. January 11, 2011 / 8:30 pm

    Get the Mac, for all reasons listed and for “joy of use”. Yes, you can get a cheap PC box. But like cheap skin cream, you feel the difference every time your fingers touch it.

    I’ve worked on Macs (my business) and PCs (my clients’ sites) every day for 24 years.

    I use a Mac PowerBook.

  13. January 11, 2011 / 8:44 pm

    I use a Mac and can highly recommend it. Mac and Blogger seem to get along just fine.

  14. January 11, 2011 / 9:03 pm

    I switched from PC to Mac without any trauma. I have a MacBook Air which is fantastic for travel, but not so good for everyday use (like I use it) because the hinges are poorly made and break.

  15. Leslie
    January 11, 2011 / 9:26 pm

    I’ve had my Mac all in one desktop since Hurricane Ike, about 2 years. Really like it, user friendly. Downside – used to use photoshop and autocad (computer drafting) on my PC. No mas! There is photoshop for Mac, but it doesn’t work the same, at least to me. I think you’d be happy with a Mac. We signed up for some tutorials that cost about $100. Didn’t think necessary – so easy to figure out – save your money.

  16. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 / 10:44 pm

    So easy to switch to a MAC and you can right click as well! I switched to a MAC computer one year ago after my Dell crashed. I couldn’t be happier and wished I had done it years ago.

    Since you have been accustomed to working in Word and Excel, I would suggest you purchase the MAC version.

    Another positive – you don’t have to worry about viruses and virus software needing to load up or update.

    Good Luck! You will love your MAC!!

  17. Ms. M
    January 11, 2011 / 3:58 pm

    I have always used PCs at work and MACs at home. I’ve never had any trouble switching back & forth. In recent years, the differences have lessened quite a bit.

    PCs are cheaper, yes. But my first iMAC lasted 7 years. (Actually, it’s still working, but not powerful enough to handle some types of media.) My second (macbook) is now in its third year and going strong. I expect to keep it for at least a couple more years. Not having to mess with virus software is worth a lot to me too.

    One problem I did have with my MacBook is that the hard drive died after about a year. At the time, I heard this was not uncommon. Since I’m fairly fearless about fixing broken things, I was able to replace the hard drive using very simple instructions found online. But I did lose everything stored on the original one. I don’t know if the current line of MacBooks has this defect; I would hope that Apple has fixed it by now.

    Photoshop was made for MAC, so if that’s what you’re using to edit, you’ll be fine. (You might have to buy the MAC version, though.) There are no free/cheap photo editing softwares for MAC that I know of. iPhoto does have the basics, though, such as cropping and simple effects.

    I’ve never used iMovie, but it came with my MAC and it looks pretty straightforward.

  18. Kalee
    January 11, 2011 / 4:21 pm

    I was hesitant to switch to a Mac since I had always used a PC. It took some getting used to, I admit. But after even a few weeks I was in love and have since become a huge Apple fan. I have a MacBook, and it is a wonderful thing. The hardest thing for me was learning how to use the mousepad, but in the end I think it is far superior to other PCs I’ve owned. I love that I can make something on the screen huge very easily by the way you slide your fingers over the mouse.

    It’s extremely compatible with blogger. And we never have gotten Mac’s “office” because my husband set up Open Office (an online thing that switches from different formats, meaning my brother was able to send me his Windows paper, I edited it in my program and then sent it back to him in Windows format.)

    Installing things on a Mac is super easy, and once you get used to it, you’ll refuse to ever switch back.

  19. metscan
    January 11, 2011 / 4:28 pm

    I too have the MacBook, laptop and I have nothing to complain, except that it creates strong addiction ; )!

  20. vicki archer
    January 11, 2011 / 4:51 pm

    Go Mac….you will never look back…..and once you learn all the shortcuts….you will love it. One downside is the weight of the laptop…but if you aren’t moving around a lot or have a desk top Mac…then perfect….xv

  21. Veuve
    January 11, 2011 / 5:27 pm

    I’ve never owned anything but a Mac. My reasons would be the same as everyone else who has posted. If you want to save a bit, you can get a refurbished model at the apple store website (my desktop is refurbished– no issues). I don’t use a laptop but both my kids do, and I think they’ve worked out a lot of the kinks. Definitely get the protection plan, though. I think of Macs like my old Volvo: doesn’t break down often, but when it does, it’s expensive to fix!

  22. January 12, 2011 / 1:32 am

    Mr SE has a Mac which he loves – I use it on occasions and find it hard to switch between my ordinary Toshiba laptop and his Mac but I would imagine it would be a question of getting used to it. And they look beautiful! x

  23. spacegeek
    January 12, 2011 / 1:44 am

    My mom has been on a PC for the last 6 or so years, and just switched to a Mac earlier this week as a matter of fact! I’m a Mac user, so I’m happy I can help her now with her computing. She’s pretty excited to be on a Mac, and is learning quickly.
    A point about right-clicking, btw. The new Apple “Mighty Mouse” has right click, so you don’t have to give it up.
    Everything else has been said. 🙂

  24. Allie
    January 11, 2011 / 5:57 pm

    LOVING these comments. I swear you and I often are thinking about the same things. I am in need of my own laptop – right now at home my husband and I share a laptop and we’re both getting too busy to continue in that manner. We use PCs at work, our clients use PCs, so I am tempted to get a PC so it’s easier.

    I have looked at netbooks since I really only need it to blog, surf the Web, that sort of thing. However am tempted to go Mac because of the simplicity, less bugs, lack of viruses, durability and reliability. I’ll be watching these comments to see if any PC fans come forward.

    I recently took a class on Adobe Captivate and the trainer is a huge PC fan – the first I have met in a long time and all he said made sense. He’s a Draid owner and I am too, so it makes me wonder if he was anti-Mac the way Ford owners are anti-Chevy – not as much about technical aspects and more about cultural aspects.

  25. Chicatanyage
    January 11, 2011 / 6:09 pm

    Would highly recommend a MAC have been using one for the last 5 years and would definitely not go back now to a PC. It is compatible with blogger and I find it very easy to download photos and am even starting to use photoshop to enhance them. I have a Macbook Pro but the software is getting a bit old now so I will need to update it when I get back to London. I am even contemplating buying another smaller model to bring down to France so that I can blog easily in both places or I might try the Ipad when they bring the new one out with a USB port which I believe they are going to.
    My new toy is the Iphone 4 which I adore I can tweet from there and I think I might even be able to blog except the keyboard is very small so might take some time.
    Hope you enjoy your new Mac when you get it.

  26. January 12, 2011 / 2:44 am

    I made the switch from PC to Mac last Christmas and haven’t looked back. There was no difference in working with Blogger (I do my posting through the web interface) but the iPhoto application is worth its weight in gold. Great ability to store, organize, and edit photos, plus built-in ability to post photos to Flickr or Facebook. I also create family calendars of excellent quality as Christmas presents every year. (I am a hobbyist photographer so great printing and organizing of photos is critical for me.)

  27. January 12, 2011 / 2:45 am

    I just got a MacBook Air for Xmas – first Mac since my first computer (which was a scecond generation Mac Classic in 1987). For 20 plus years I used PCs. Have to say I’m loving my Mac – not that it’s so superior in function, but the industrial design is fantastic.

    I’d do it! No problems with Blogger on the Air. There are problems with the current (first generation) iPad. Safari not compatible with Blogger. My husband (who loves his, but not to blog) got me one which I asked him to return, for just that reason.

  28. Someone
    January 11, 2011 / 7:33 pm

    Just a small point – I thought you would be discussing cosmetics, which are MAC. The computer is a Mac, not all caps, as it is not an acronym. 🙂

  29. January 12, 2011 / 4:54 am

    1. Yes.

    2.–4. I don’t know, I’ve never really used a PC except at work, where they force me to.

    Macs are dreamy, and your personality seems quite compatible with a mac, and vice versa.

    A change might really be good!

  30. January 12, 2011 / 5:12 am

    I second Rubiatonto’s comment about the Mac Mini. My DH is using one right now with his previously acquired keyboard and large-screen monitor. Works very well. We switched several years ago to Apple and love their products.

  31. Anonymous
    January 12, 2011 / 8:31 am

    Mac for sure. Easy enough for me to switch back and forth between PC at work and Mac and I’m no tech savvy person.

    I recently purchased both a Mac Pro and iPad (Xmas you know) to replace an old G4 Macbook that I purchased years ago through Apple as a refurbished item and is still just fine-but won’t support the iPad. As I said I’m no expert but it does seem that issues like this come up sometimes with Apple products.

    I also have an Asus netbook which is fine for travel but the screen is way too small for normal use. And the iPad beats it for travel so it looks like my netbook is headed for the dustbin.

    CG

  32. RoseAG
    January 12, 2011 / 12:56 am

    Just to be contrary — if you’re already skilled on a PC I’d stick with that.

    Everything with a MAC costs more. You can buzz out and get plenty of PC-horsepower for less.

  33. Anonymous
    January 12, 2011 / 5:43 pm

    I have had a Mac since 85 – wouldnt have anything else.

    IN addition to what’s already been said:

    Never had a virus.

    Can run windows (I have one program that I use there.)

    Fabulous customer service.

    If you have a Store near use – Free workshops and the Genius Bar (helps with problems)

    Good looking (a plus for a fashionista)

  34. January 13, 2011 / 12:32 am

    Thanks to EVERYONE for your input!

    I went and picked up a Mac Book Pro 13″ laptop today, and will be setting it up tonight. I had the sales associate give me a quick instruction or two, but should be able to figure most out myself and with the help of the instructions. Good news was my company was one of those on the list for a corporate discount, so saved a *little* bit off retail.

    Funny About Money – it sounds as though you’re a more advanced user than I am, but thanks for the details.

  35. Funny about Money
    January 12, 2011 / 11:45 pm

    Shifting to the Mac is more of a…well, a project than it used to be when computers were simpler and VAIO had more memory and power than any of us could imagine anyone this side of NASA could possibly need. At first I thought maybe I’d made a mistake deciding to change platforms. Here are the major pains in the tuchus that I found:

    1. Word keyboard commands don’t work in Word for Mac. Try to write macros for them and lo! You discover your favorite keyboard commands are Apple system commands!!!!!!! Change them at your peril. So there’s lots more pointing and clicking, something I found very annoying. There are keyboard commands, but they’re different; if you’ve internalized the PC commands, learning new ones is well nigh impossible.

    2. Eventually I got used to the endless, time-consuming pointing and clicking, but the upshot of that was that I forgot the PC keyboard commands, so when I’m on a PC at the campus, I can’t type any faster there than I can on the Mac at home. Ugh.

    3. Word and Excel are slightly different in their Apple incarnation. For me, that’s not a bad thing: I truly HATE Microsoft’s
    “ribbon” thing. The latest versions of MS Office for the Mac eschew that particular annoyance. Thus Word and Excel for the Mac are still pretty easy to navigate.

    4. Quicken for Mac is pretty clunky compared to the PC version. The backup to ME.com that the Mac makes is NOT a QDFM file! Turns out it’s some sort of image. God help you if your Quicken files crash, or if someone comes into your house and steals not only your computer but also your hard-drive backup. How exactly you recover your files from the ME.com stash is unknown to me, and it was unknown to the Geniuses at the Apple store.

    Right-click still works, have no fear. Don’t spend extra for one of Apple’s decorative white rodents. Very pretty, but flimsy and given to wearing out soon. Instead, get yourself a nice Logitech wireless mouse. They’re cheap, practically indestructible, and 100% compatible with the Mac.

    I like my MacBook. It’s pretty lightweight (there are lighter variants, but the lighter, the pricier), it has as much power as my iMac (or more), and its screen is highly readable. The touchpad thingie is cool and does all sorts of neat things, but I find it difficult. Here, too, get a small wireless Logitech rodent. You plug its radio communication thingie into the USB port, drop a battery into the rodent, and voila! Instant communication. They’re easy to carry around and you may find them more comfortable to use than the touchpad, especially as you favor the right-click.

    The Mac is awesome for recording & editing videos. I believe you can do audios (i.e., for podcasts) but haven’t tried to figure out how yet. Editing photos, ditto, though I find iPhoto a little cumbersome to use. BACK UP iPHOTO EARLY AND OFTEN! A Mac can run for years and years; very nice, but that means when it goes down it can take a large chunk of your beloved images with it.

    Get the one-year face-to-face contract and the amazing warranty service that Apple offers. I did have a problem with the power thingie on my iMac shortly before the warranty expired, and the Geniuses did some very expensive work for no charge at all.

    The customer service at Apple can NOT be beat. That alone is enough reason to buy their computers, even if the machines were dogs. Which they’re not.

  36. Funny about Money
    January 12, 2011 / 11:45 pm

    Shifting to the Mac is more of a…well, a project than it used to be when computers were simpler and VAIO had more memory and power than any of us could imagine anyone this side of NASA could possibly need. At first I thought maybe I’d made a mistake deciding to change platforms. Here are the major pains in the tuchus that I found:

    1. Word keyboard commands don’t work in Word for Mac. Try to write macros for them and lo! You discover your favorite keyboard commands are Apple system commands!!!!!!! Change them at your peril. So there’s lots more pointing and clicking, something I found very annoying. There are keyboard commands, but they’re different; if you’ve internalized the PC commands, learning new ones is well nigh impossible.

    2. Eventually I got used to the endless, time-consuming pointing and clicking, but the upshot of that was that I forgot the PC keyboard commands, so when I’m on a PC at the campus, I can’t type any faster there than I can on the Mac at home. Ugh.

    3. Word and Excel are slightly different in their Apple incarnation. For me, that’s not a bad thing: I truly HATE Microsoft’s
    “ribbon” thing. The latest versions of MS Office for the Mac eschew that particular annoyance. Thus Word and Excel for the Mac are still pretty easy to navigate.

    4. Quicken for Mac is pretty clunky compared to the PC version. The backup to ME.com that the Mac makes is NOT a QDFM file! Turns out it’s some sort of image. God help you if your Quicken files crash, or if someone comes into your house and steals not only your computer but also your hard-drive backup. How exactly you recover your files from the ME.com stash is unknown to me, and it was unknown to the Geniuses at the Apple store.

    Right-click still works, have no fear. Don’t spend extra for one of Apple’s decorative white rodents. Very pretty, but flimsy and given to wearing out soon. Instead, get yourself a nice Logitech wireless mouse. They’re cheap, practically indestructible, and 100% compatible with the Mac.

    I like my MacBook. It’s pretty lightweight (there are lighter variants, but the lighter, the pricier), it has as much power as my iMac (or more), and its screen is highly readable. The touchpad thingie is cool and does all sorts of neat things, but I find it difficult. Here, too, get a small wireless Logitech rodent. You plug its radio communication thingie into the USB port, drop a battery into the rodent, and voila! Instant communication. They’re easy to carry around and you may find them more comfortable to use than the touchpad, especially as you favor the right-click.

    The Mac is awesome for recording & editing videos. I believe you can do audios (i.e., for podcasts) but haven’t tried to figure out how yet. Editing photos, ditto, though I find iPhoto a little cumbersome to use. BACK UP iPHOTO EARLY AND OFTEN! A Mac can run for years and years; very nice, but that means when it goes down it can take a large chunk of your beloved images with it.

    Get the one-year face-to-face contract and the amazing warranty service that Apple offers. I did have a problem with the power thingie on my iMac shortly before the warranty expired, and the Geniuses did some very expensive work for no charge at all.

    The customer service at Apple can NOT be beat. That alone is enough reason to buy their computers, even if the machines were dogs. Which they’re not.

  37. Funny about Money
    January 12, 2011 / 11:48 pm

    ooops! Sorry about the double-post! The Captcha function kept rejecting me & it looked like none of the efforts to post that long blat went through.

  38. Lorena
    January 13, 2011 / 6:14 pm

    Well I was just going to comment, I would highly recommend you MAC yourself… and read your comment that YOU DID !
    It will take you max a month, you will like it and THEN wonder HOW you ever lived without it.

  39. Paula
    January 18, 2011 / 6:55 pm

    at the office I work on MAC, at home I always buy PCs. The MAc-userinterface is too hysterical for my taste. Everthing has to be so bouncy and 3D and whatever … I love the plain look of the Explorer compared to the MAC Finder. I don’t want to be entertained by my computer’s interface.
    Plus: the best photo-managing tool I know (for selecting, deleting and renaming photos etc) does not work on a Mac, it’s called FastStone and is freeware. It is not for editing but managing which is important to me.

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