Good morning. You’ve seen those PC/Mac ads. Ask five friends and I’m sure you’ll get five different opinions on which operating system is best and why. Today, I’ll propose a third option for you.
My college-aged daughter bought a bottom-of-the-line PC and one of her geeky roommates installed the Linux system in her PC. the Linux system boasts one of the features that makes Mac famous … a sytem impervious to the barrage of viruses nerdy little demons send via the Internet to cripple and/or destroy operating systems.
Buying a PC and equipping it with the Linux OS is the best of both worlds! You can be protected from viruses, just as with a Mac, but without the higher initial investment that a Mac represents. My daughter also uses a free download word processing program, Open Office, another bargain. She admitted it was a bit of work, getting used to the different operating system, and she likes Open Office because it doesn’t assume things and automatically start a bulleted list, for example, like MS Office does.
So, she has the Linux-operated laptop and a PC desktop, best of both worlds. She has had this system for over a year and laughs in the face of viruses and worms.
Because I don’t have access to a brainy computer person who could install Linux in a new PC, and because I don’t have a twenty-something mind that makes it easier to learn new things, and because Mac owners rave about the intuitive features, One-to-One classes and warranties, and free group lessons on a drop-in basis, it all became irresistible to me.
When my first novel was released in 2006, I presented what many considered to be a very entertaining book signing, complete with musical entertainers. I wanted to gain the momentum that YouTube offers by putting the video up. However, struggling with my PC (a brand-new Gateway laptop at the time) and with my daughter’s PC (a new Dell at the time), I tried for several MONTHS and couldn’t do it. (I was also not in a position to buy another new computer because I bought a new one just before my debut novel for that specific purpose, and was reassured the PC could do what I wanted it to do.)
By contrast, I have been a Mac owner for just seven days, and I created this video tour. See at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWUy-DI-UmI The only one-to-one class I had was on the operating system. No one helped me with this video.
Granted, there are some glitches — it was my very first effort, and I’ll use a tripod next time for steadier video, but to me, THIS is the difference between a PC and a Mac. Not price (though as I mentioned, it took me YEARS to understand the economics of buying a lower-priced PC and spending hundrds of dollars on virus software and the inescapable trips to the computer hospital when viruses sneaked past that software. Mac has user-intuitive features that enable, not challenge the user.
My CPA husband is a PC fan because he doesn’t need graphics, but in this world, who doesn’t want to work with photos and home videos? Have you been to a wedding lately and seen the lovely videos of the bride and groom from childhood to present, and wished *you* could make video like that? Or perhaps shuddered, imagining the cost if you hired someone to do that for you? If you make even limited use of photos and graphics, the Mac is a dream and worth the investment.
But … if your budget is tight (and what writer’s budget isn’t), if you’re tired of viruses, computer crashing, paying hundreds in repairs, the PC with a Linux-operated system is what I would recommend. I would contact my local college for a geek to install theLinux. Or if you agree with the long-term economics, the Mac is great.
What’s *your* favorite system, and why?