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Ten reasons why you should buy a Mac
The Register ^ | 03/21/2007 | by Tony Smith

Posted on 03/21/2007 9:19:12 AM PDT by Swordmaker

Yes, you can accept Apple's logic that "it all just works" straight out of the packaging, but there are better reasons for moving to a Mac than a factor that's just as true of modern PCs these days.

Now there's an x86-based PC sitting under the hood of every modern Mac, the old battle lines are blurring. Time to reconsider the once expensive, always stylish, now Unix-based Mac platform? We say yes.

1. Not-so-heavy metal

I've seen so many plastic-panelled laptops that have been knocked off desks and ended up with cracked cases or - worse - broken screens or - even worse - damaged hard drives, yet my faithful aluminium-clad PowerBook G4 took many such tumbles with only scratches and scrapes to show for it. All the time it remain entirely functional. Tell a lie, the optical drive slot got bent once, so I couldn't insert discs, but a quick push with a flat-bladed screwdriver sorted that one out. You can't do that with plastic. And the screws don't fall out either...

2. Core Comedy Duo

The Hardware Widow claims Robert 'Mac' Webb is way better looking than David 'PC' Mitchell. But why the smirk? See reason number ten...

3. Firewire and Target Disk Mode

It sounds technical, but it means you can hook up two Macs - let's say your new one and your old one - and make the latter operate like an external hard drive. You can then run Mac OS X's Migration Assistant to copy over all your important files, or just drag and drop them over. Later, you can drag them back to keep the two machines synchronised - or use Mike Bombich's rather good Carbon Copy Cloner to help the process run more smoothly. Manage multiple machines as easy as one. Not possible with USB.

4. Smart-phone smarts

Mac OS X includes iSync, Apple's technology to manage device synchronisation. The software supports stacks of handsets from the major vendors, backing up your handset's contacts and calendars to the Mac, where you can view them using the built-in - ie. free - Address Book and iCal utilities. It'll also talk to some Palm PDAs, but not Windows Mobile devices or BlackBerries. Not to worry, though, Mark/Space's excellent Missing Sync series ties into the iSync engine to link in all these other devices - and Sony's PSP - for a mere $40 (£21/€30). It'll copy over iTunes playlists and iPhoto albums too.

5. Intel Inside

Yes, I know the AMD fanboys are just about to start frothing at the mouth at this point, but this is good news for them too. Now that Apple has brought the Mac and Mac OS X into the x86 world, it can take advantage of all that development work Intel is doing building platforms for desktops, notebooks, servers and so on. This makes for less expensive Macs that are updated more frequently with the latest hardware technology. It also means Apple can in future make use of AMD processors and chipsets, or Nvidia core logic, should it ever make financial and/or technological sense to do so. It's not been ruled out.

Whoever makes Apple's x86-compatible processors and system logic, it means Macs can now do clever things like run middleware layers that translate Windows' system routines into their Mac OS X equivalents, something TransGaming's Cider tool does. It's pitched at games developers rather than users, but it's something games developers are already using to make easy Mac OS X ports of their Windows titles. Case in point: GamesTap uses Cider to make Myst Online: Uru Live run on Macs.

6. Bundled apps good, nagware bad

Macs come bundled with software that's generally worth having - apps for creating DVDs, editing videos, managing your music collection, taking charge of all your digital photos and - best of all - making comic strips. Plasq's ComicLife - beloved of blogs keen to do cool illustrations - makes setting up panels, KERPLOW!s, SPLAT!s, GAZE INTO THE FIST OF DREDD!s a doddle. Or indeed a doodle.

Of course, Apple implies its bundles don't contain time- or feature-limited apps, but that's not entirely the case: see how long the bundled copies of Pages and Keynote last. However, I've never had a Mac that shipped with anti-virus nagware that kicks in if you don't subscribe three months' after your 'free' copy was activated and bothers you forever...

7. Sleeping and waking

MacBooks go to sleep pretty quickly when you shut the lid. Disable Mac OS X's Safe Sleep mode - the contents of the machine's memory are saved to disk just before sleep - and they'll doze off even faster. But that's not the good bit. The good bit is recovering from sleep just by lifting the lid again. There's no need to press the spacebar or power key - it just wakes up immediately, ready for action.

8. Bill Gates ate my GUI

Yes, all the neat tricks Microsoft's been claiming give its Windows Vista that oh-so-cool 'wow' factor have been on the Mac for ages. Flip-through-your-windows technology. Smart folders. Bundled email, calendar and contacts apps. Translucent windows. Buttons that look shiny. Pop-up on-screen applets. Automatic data encryption. Bundled chess game. Been there, seen it, done it.

And there's no Mac OS X Basic with all the cool stuff turned off, thank you...


Mac OS X circa April 2005

Windows Vista circa March 2007

9. Still need Windows? No problemo

Apple has Boot Camp, Parallels has Parallels Desktop, VMWare has Fusion - and they all let you run Windows on an Intel-based Mac. Boot Camp dedicates the hardware to Windows, while the other two apps let you access Windows apps whenever you're working in Mac OS X, ready for cutting and pasting and everything. Just watch out for those sneaky Microsoft end-user licence agreements that forbid installation on virtual machines in some case, OK?

10. Smug-tastic

It's impossible to feel smug after buying a PC. Can't be done. Won't ever happen. Never going to be a factor. But then no one ever got fired for buying Lenovo. Or something like that...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: getamac

1 posted on 03/21/2007 9:19:15 AM PDT by Swordmaker
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To: 1234; 6SJ7; Abundy; Action-America; af_vet_rr; afnamvet; Alexander Rubin; Amadeo; anonymous_user; ..
10 reasons to buy a Mac - Ping!

If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.

2 posted on 03/21/2007 9:20:16 AM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Swordmaker

I just love the Mac's Widgets. Is that flight tracker a new one?


3 posted on 03/21/2007 9:23:22 AM PDT by NCC-1701 (PUT AN END TO ORGANIZED CRIME. ABOLISH THE IRS.)
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To: NCC-1701

Flight Tracker comes with Tiger. It was one of the first truly useful Widgets, especially for business travellers. Another was the one that helped you shop for the best local gas prices but that one was an add-on, not part of Tiger.


4 posted on 03/21/2007 9:47:16 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: NCC-1701
I just love the Mac's Widgets. Is that flight tracker a new one?

Flight Tracker has been around for at least a year. I've used it to determine the status of a flight a friend was flying on... told me they were 22 minutes ahead of schedule so I arrived at the airport and saved him waiting time.

5 posted on 03/21/2007 9:49:49 AM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Swordmaker
That Vista desktop is gaudy. It's actually kind of ugly. And those Widgets occupy too much screen space.

I constantly have to clean up desktops already, just so people can find anything. Putting the Gadgets (Widgets) on the Desktop is very bad generally. Apple's Widget development is free and just uses Javascript/HTML/graphics and has a super-easy new developer tool, Dashcode. Microsoft requires that you buy the expensive Visual Studio.NET package just to create Vista Gadgets which may make them somewhat more powerful but it also means they're another security hole as bad as ActiveX or Office macros. And the implementation where you can put Gadgets in the Explorer Sidebar as well as the Desktop means they have inconsistent display options and restrictions.

Apple's Dashboard, as usual, just works. Vista has a lame copy of it with retarded features and pricey proprietary developer options.
6 posted on 03/21/2007 9:55:10 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Swordmaker
1. Not-so-heavy metal

I've seen so many plastic-panelled laptops that have been knocked off desks and ended up with cracked cases or - worse - broken screens or - even worse - damaged hard drives, yet my faithful aluminium-clad PowerBook G4 took many such tumbles with only scratches and scrapes to show for it. All the time it remain entirely functional. Tell a lie, the optical drive slot got bent once, so I couldn't insert discs, but a quick push with a flat-bladed screwdriver sorted that one out. You can't do that with plastic. And the screws don't fall out either...

STURDY IS IT?

7 posted on 03/21/2007 10:03:07 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Swordmaker

I build my own PCs for < $400 with stuff I buy from Newegg, and upgrade at will. And then upgrade/swap parts at will. I am no fan of windows, but Mac to me looks just too "gay" :)


8 posted on 03/21/2007 10:05:16 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Ignore phrase "and upgrade at will"; one too many.


9 posted on 03/21/2007 10:06:25 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Love my Macbook. Still have PC's....for now:)


10 posted on 03/21/2007 10:31:25 AM PDT by TheStickman
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
I build my own PCs for < $400 with stuff I buy from Newegg, and upgrade at will.

And buying Vista Ultimate costs $200 for system builders, $400 retail.

By the time you include a legit OS and some of the basics, you get into the price range of a Mac. Of course, if you use liberated or open source software, you can keep the costs down. But you can easily spend another $150-$250 on antivirus/antimalware/firewall software over the 3-4 years you own the machine.

It's not the price of parts or the hardware, it's the total cost of ownership.

BTW, go try to price yourself a quad-core 2.66 Xeon machine. You'll find, if you work hard, you might save $100 over Apple's price for Mac Pro. And Mac Pro has AppleCare and a solid OS.

People should understand that Apple really isn't interested in becoming Dell or Gateway or HP. Apple is for people who want something that just works and who are willing to pay for it. I'm not sure why a premium price for a fully integrated experience is so bad for computers but is considered fine or even good when you have such choices on, say, purchasing cable/satellite TV/internet as a package. Or to choose premium vehicles with all the goodies on them. No one ever pretended that Cadillac was for the masses. Why hold Apple to that standard when they've never targeted the cheapest-is-best computer market?
11 posted on 03/21/2007 11:10:47 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

I see you are using one of Rush's nicknames as your screen name. He uses a Mac, and probably doesn't think they are "gay" :)


12 posted on 03/21/2007 11:23:06 AM PDT by rom (Dateline lied, trucks died!)
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To: Swordmaker

I have been seriously considering buying a Mac this time around. I have heard it is much more user friendly for children to do homework and projects on. I also like that it is only one piece and not a mass of jumbled wires like my PC is. My neighbor has one and she loves it.


13 posted on 03/21/2007 11:30:37 AM PDT by USMCWife6869 (Godspeed Sand Sharks.)
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To: George W. Bush
Why would I need vista ? XP Home that I have had for a number of years is good enough for me. I connect through a wireless router which means my PC is immune from attack. Anti virus ? Don't need 'em. I don't install random stuff or open random email. Still, McAfee is only $35 or thereabouts.

When you buy readymade new stuff you are paying a significant amount for labor. I never pay for labor if I can. eg I am going to change all 4 struts and the springs in my car next month with parts I bought online -- at home. The dealer gets zip.

14 posted on 03/21/2007 11:35:19 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: rom
I like the 184 Mac advertisement Obama uses to promote his site.
15 posted on 03/21/2007 11:38:43 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: rom
I see you are using one of Rush's nicknames as your screen name

I am not using any nicknames. I *am* -- THE MAN . I am on the air right now so if you have something more to say, call 1 800 282 2882 and get in line. And if you like, you can tell Mr Snerdly to put you in front of the line. Tell him I said so.

16 posted on 03/21/2007 11:43:32 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: George W. Bush
But you can easily spend another $150-$250 on antivirus/antimalware/firewall software over the 3-4 years you own the machine.

Not for PCs. There are numerous very good (in some cases better than paid versions) and totally free for home use antivirus, antispyware, and firewall programs available for XP, and many of them are already Vista-compatible. Interestingly, a quick search indicates your statement is true for Macs; a brief search of Google and Download.com found very, very few such programs for Macs and all required paid registration. It looks like you're in for about $110 to get just one antivirus, antispyware, and firewall program, but I don't know whether they have to be renewed annually for updates. I also don't claim that there are no such free programs, just that the basic searches that I did (similar to what I would do if I were actually setting up a Mac) found none.

I'm not sure why a premium price for a fully integrated experience is so bad for computers

Time is an important part of the value equation. The problem with most pro-Mac articles is that they so grossly exaggerate the negative experiences everyone supposedly has on PCs that they lose all credibility. They also ignore the huge time costs of converting to and learning an entirely new operating system from the one that 95% of people have used for many years.

17 posted on 03/21/2007 11:50:22 AM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Swordmaker
Thanks for the
18 posted on 03/21/2007 12:01:07 PM PDT by vox_freedom (John 16:2 yea, the hour come, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God)
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To: Turbopilot
I'm aware of the free security stuff for XP. I normally put Spybot S&D and AVG Antivirus on all the machines I work on. They're not perfect but they're plenty good. Generally, if people have problems after that, it's because they're doing dangerous things with IM or cruising pron/warez sites or opening macro-ed Office documents or doing stupid thing with email.

The reason why the Mac AV stuff is so pricey is that no one wants it.

You saw the same thing with Norton Antivirus for Palm. There never was a need for it to begin with.

They also ignore the huge time costs of converting to and learning an entirely new operating system from the one that 95% of people have used for many years.

I've yet to see anyone who has taken more than a month to become quite happy with the Mac experience. The learning curve is probably less than switching from current MS Office to Office 2007. Maybe half of the switchers actually find that their productivity goes way up because the Mac's developers focus on ease-of-use and staying out of your way. They don't wizard everything up the wazoo like MS, they make the common tasks very very easy. The integrated approach to documents (photos, music, video, etc.) works very well and requires almost no developer effort.
19 posted on 03/21/2007 12:08:51 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: George W. Bush
I'm aware of the free security stuff for XP.

OK, as long as you (and others) are aware that your annual costs for PC security software for home use should be $0.

Generally, if people have problems after that, it's because they're doing dangerous things with IM or cruising pron/warez sites or opening macro-ed Office documents or doing stupid thing with email.

Absolutely correct. Even many/most of those problems are prevented by proper system setup and security software.

I've yet to see anyone who has taken more than a month to become quite happy with the Mac experience.

Even given the assumption that a month's lost productivity isn't an issue (how many people can say that?), are you really claiming that even an experienced user, one with years or decades of experience under Windows/DOS, can achieve a similar level of proficiency on a Mac in a month? I don't doubt it may be true for a newbie who might only have a month's worth of PC knowledge but, and no offense, such a claim for someone with more experience stretches the bounds of credibility a little.

20 posted on 03/21/2007 12:35:13 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot
Absolutely correct. Even many/most of those problems are prevented by proper system setup and security software.

Look at the basics. You have to work at it to even set up a root administrator account on the Mac. Few users even know about it.

Generally, Windows should have done better at cloning this sort of thing from Apple. They've had plenty of time. Personally, I think they (and Apple) should do even more to force people on to user accounts, not admin accounts. It prevents so much mischief.

Even given the assumption that a month's lost productivity isn't an issue (how many people can say that?), are you really claiming that even an experienced user, one with years or decades of experience under Windows/DOS, can achieve a similar level of proficiency on a Mac in a month?

Absolutely. First, most of that touted experience is essentially the same or so similar on the Mac that it's no problem. For instance, MS copied their Recycle Bin from Apple's Trashcan. Where's the learning curve? The My Documents is the same as the user's Documents folder. Using Office 2003 is almost identical on both, Office 2007 will eliminate VB scripting and set up Applescript instead (that one is bad).

How can there be much learning curve when at least 75% of the Windows features were copied from Mac to begin with?
21 posted on 03/21/2007 12:50:43 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Turbopilot

The fact is, Macs don't need extra anti-virus software. With a Mac you just don't worry about those things.


22 posted on 03/21/2007 1:15:58 PM PDT by Silly (plasticpie.com)
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To: George W. Bush
You have to work at it to even set up a root administrator account on the Mac.

How does one do things that require administrator privileges without an administrator account?

Personally, I think they (and Apple) should do even more to force people on to user accounts, not admin accounts.

It's not a bad idea, but a lot of third-party Windows software was written before the idea of limited accounts in Windows existed, and the new versions make use of some of the old code base. I don't know whether Mac has this problem or not, but in Windows it seems legacy compatibility is primary above all else. The limited account is fine for the email-web browsing-word processing set, but if you're running a wider variety of programs and especially older ones it can be easier to stay logged in as an admin than to do a secondary login for every program that requires it.

Absolutely.

But then you go on to mention the basics of the basics, which any user of either system should presumably get down in a week. I'm talking about the more detailed things you pick up with experience.

Your Recycle Bin point is a good example. Sure, it was copied from the Trashcan and probably works the same. But the Recycle Bin irritates me - I don't delete things unless I want them deleted. I know on a PC I can press Shift+Del to "really" delete something. I'm sure something similar exists on a Mac, but I don't know what it is and I'd have to look it up somewhere and memorize it. Multiply that by the dozens of little Windows shortcuts, hotkeys, etc. you pick up over the years and you're talking about a fairly extensive learning curve.

Another example: I played with a demo Mac in a store for an hour about a year ago. The hard drive size wasn't listed on the tag. I could not for the life of me figure out how to find that information. I don't doubt that it may be as easy to do so as on a PC, but it's not intuitive and it's something that must be learned. I also couldn't figure out the simple task of maximizing a window - the most logical choice for a Windows user is the center of the three little buttons in the upper right-hand corner that have colors instead of icons, but it just resized the window. Again, I'm sure maximizing a window is simple and obvious to someone with Mac experience, but if an experienced PC user can't figure it out in an hour of tinkering he's going to get frustrated and go home, like I did, rather than spend a month (and I still don't see how one can assimilate all the hundreds of little things you do every day in such time, without spending 24/7 on it) relearning the basics.

23 posted on 03/21/2007 1:34:00 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Silly
The fact is, Macs don't need extra anti-virus software. With a Mac you just don't worry about those things.

That may be okay for the average home user, but in a business environment where data is critical it's unacceptable. "It hasn't happened yet" isn't going to recover your lost data and productivity when it does happen, and it's not an excuse for running around with your virtual pants down. And since I use my primary laptop for both business and personal use, I keep my home systems at the same standards as my business systems (with the exception that I use free-for-personal-use tools on home-only PCs). Many people have personal data even more critical and irreplaceable than my own and would have the same concerns even if they didn't use their computers for business.

24 posted on 03/21/2007 1:45:46 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot
it's not an excuse for running around with your virtual pants down.

You miss the point. To own a Mac is, by its nature, to keep one's pants on. With the Mac, the belt and suspenders come built in. With a PC, you need to buy them seperately, and even then they're not as reliable.

Now bend over and put your pants back on.

25 posted on 03/21/2007 1:48:37 PM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Turbopilot

FYI, my sis, a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard for 35 years, bought her very first iMac after seeing mine, and playing with it for a few minutes last summer.

She says she will never go back to PCs, except to finish up a software package she is writing for a private client.

She loves the Mac, and doesn't like working on her PC any more. It did take her a couple of days to re-adjust, but she was having so much fun she didn't care.


26 posted on 03/21/2007 1:48:57 PM PDT by jacquej
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To: Silly
With the Mac, the belt and suspenders come built in.

Actually, this statement shows that it is you who missed my point. Single-sourcing your security for a critical system is not a good idea, because no matter how good that single source is, when a flaw is discovered and exploited you are done for. On my PCs, there is no such single point of failure - for any malware to reach my system involuntarily, the malware would have to discover and exploit multiple vulnerabilities in multiple pieces of software by different developers. That is security.

27 posted on 03/21/2007 1:54:40 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: jacquej
Different strokes. I played with a Mac for an hour about a year ago, and found it mostly frustrating (see my #23: I've used PCs for close to 20 years and I couldn't figure out how to maximize a stinkin' window, among other things).
28 posted on 03/21/2007 1:59:15 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot
On my PCs, there is no such single point of failure

Turbo, you're framing this issue in hypothetical terms. I'm framing it based on what we know from real-life experiences with these products.

The Mac is secure. It is secure because it is built that way, and is superior to any personal computer system on the market. It doesn't need extra software to make it secure. This isn't a hypothesis. It is a fact.

The Windows-based PC is insecure. Thousands of viruses have infected millions of real computers and have done real damage. Many of these computers had third party software on them. It is insecure because Windows is a piece of crap, built to become obselete the day you purchase it, and built to satisfy the non-thinking consumer and the corporate executive who only thinks about short-term costs, not long-term consequences of purchases.

Further, on a Mac, the software and hardware work hand in glove. One protects the other.

Single- or multiple-sourcing isn't an issue when your system is vulnerable whatever method you choose. Multiple-sourcing is not, in and of itself, a superior method of protecting a computer when it is still flawed in the real world.

29 posted on 03/21/2007 2:03:34 PM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Silly
Turbo, you're framing this issue in hypothetical terms. I'm framing it based on what we know from real-life experiences with these products.

"Real-life experiences" do not in fact cover everything that potentially could happen. As an analogy, did you know that a commercial passenger jet has never attempted a water landing under full control? But because we frame critical issues in "hypothetical" terms, we still make them carry life rafts, floating seat cushions, etc. Would you want those devices taken off your next intercontinental flight just because they deal with "hypotheticals"?

Security means planning not only for those contingencies that have occurred, but also those that haven't. With regards to a Mac, that means that security requires being prepared for a security failure in a single piece of software (in this case, OSX) even though such a failure may never have occurred before, and even though the software may be designed to avoid a failure. Unless you want to claim OSX is perfect, making it unique in millions of years of human endeavors, it's irresponsible to ignore any such risk.

It is insecure because Windows is a piece of crap, built to become obselete the day you purchase it, and built to satisfy the non-thinking consumer and the corporate executive who only thinks about short-term costs, not long-term consequences of purchases.

On a side note, you really don't do yourself any favors by insulting people with whom you're having a discussion. If such is more your speed, I guess I could just save my time discussing security and just call Mac users a bunch of "gay commies".

30 posted on 03/21/2007 2:19:35 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot
"Real-life experiences" do not in fact cover everything that potentially could happen.

I work in risk management. RM does not try to cover everything that could potentially happen. That would be foolish and impossible and time-consuming. Assessing risk takes some wisdom and a clear knowledge of what is going on the world, not what you are afraid "might" happen.

31 posted on 03/21/2007 2:22:22 PM PDT by Silly (http://www.paulklenk.us)
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To: Turbopilot
Interestingly, a quick search indicates your statement is true for Macs; a brief search of Google and Download.com found very, very few such programs for Macs and all required paid registration.

If, for some unknown reason, a Mac user desired to run anti-virus software on his Mac, there are a couple of FREE ways to do so.

Since as the author of Agax puts it
"There have as yet been no credible viruses for Mac OS X. If this situation were to change, and a free Mac antivirus program again became beneficial, then I would probably write a whole new program rather than trying to port or update Agax."

It hasn't, so he hasn't.

32 posted on 03/21/2007 2:38:47 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Silly
Ok, then, from a risk management perspective, I see three variables: the likelihood of negative consequences from a risk, the cost to protect against that risk, and the worst-case scenario of those relative consequences. In this case, the risk being discussed is a security breach on a Mac.

Likelihood: I'll say low. This is not based on personal experience, but upon what I've read; I'm taking the word of Mac people themselves here. If you like, I'll even say "very low". "Impossible" isn't a word used in assessing risk, from what I remember, especially when it applies to the possibility of an error in millions of lines of code written and updated by many people over years.

Cost to protect: Relatively low. As I mentioned, I found Mac software in a quick search that adds up to $110 (don't know if that's a one-time cost or has to be renewed every year). In comparison, I pay $60/year for my business PCs and $0/year for my home-only PCs. But for business I consider $110 low.

Worst-case scenario: Extremely high. Potential loss of data leading to extensive downtime to rebuild, and potential theft of data.

So by that analysis, I could pay a relatively small amount to protect against the small chance of suffering an incredibly high cost. I cannot imagine why it would not make sense for me to do so. In comparison, I pay much more than $110/year for my car insurance, and while the likelihood of a car crash may be higher, I would much rather have to buy a new car than have my business data lost or stolen.

So tell me, how is that analysis wrong from a risk management perspective?

33 posted on 03/21/2007 2:42:53 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Swordmaker
If, for some unknown reason, a Mac user desired to run anti-virus software on his Mac, there are a couple of FREE ways to do so.

Thanks for the data point. That does indeed reduce the costs. Anything out there as far as firewalls or antimalware, like ZoneAlarm or Windows Defender for the PC?

34 posted on 03/21/2007 2:47:35 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot
How does one do things that require administrator privileges without an administrator account?

Not just an administrator account. The root account. It's a superuser account.

The limited account is fine for the email-web browsing-word processing set, but if you're running a wider variety of programs and especially older ones it can be easier to stay logged in as an admin than to do a secondary login for every program that requires it.

No, really, everyone should run as an ordinary user. This is true of Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix. All security experts on all platforms recommend it. It's not even debated, it's so fundamental.

Multiply that by the dozens of little Windows shortcuts, hotkeys, etc. you pick up over the years and you're talking about a fairly extensive learning curve.

It might be argued that many of these are the same or very similar. But I'd make the point that so many of these are unnecessary. Again, it comes down to smart UI design. And Apple being willing to impose a single method where MS seems determined to offer at least three different ways to do so many things. You might think that choice is good but most people want one simple memorable way to do things. And Apple does well with this.

Apple wins all those industrial design and UI design awards year after year. It's not because they're so hard to use.

For that matter, I don't think it's hard for a Windows user to switch to a good Linux distro like Ubuntu. For teens or for grannies, it can make a lot of sense. So it isn't just about Mac vs. Windows. There really is no vast gulf between these systems. A week or so allows anyone to adjust to an OS change.
35 posted on 03/21/2007 3:06:51 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Turbopilot; George W. Bush; antiRepublicrat
How does one do things that require administrator privileges without an administrator account?

If the user knows the Administrator's User name and password, almost anything can be accomplished... without it... he can do nothing to impact anything but his own user files.

It's not a bad idea, but a lot of third-party Windows software was written before the idea of limited accounts in Windows existed, and the new versions make use of some of the old code base. I don't know whether Mac has this problem or not, but in Windows it seems legacy compatibility is primary above all else.

It doesn't. Any application will run from a standard user account unless the administrator has not given permission for that user to run it.

The hard drive size wasn't listed on the tag. I could not for the life of me figure out how to find that information.

Right Click on the HD, select Get Info.

I also couldn't figure out the simple task of maximizing a window - the most logical choice for a Windows user is the center of the three little buttons in the upper right-hand corner that have colors instead of icons, but it just resized the window.

It's the upper left corner... Windows controls are on the Right. The Mac uses a different philosophy ... since drag and drop is an important part of the Mac user interface, it doesn't make the window full screen like Windows which would make dragging between windows and applications difficult. Instead the third button, the green one, opens the window as far as necessary to show everything contained in the window horizontally. Clicking it again returns it to where it was before. You may also resize by merely dragging the lower rignt corner. Clicking the green button will again return you to the pre-resize condition. Option/Clicking the green button hides all windows of the currently focused application except the focused window. Repeat unhides them. The yellow button minimizes the focused window to the Dock. Option/Click the yellow button minimizes ALL windows of the currently focused app to the Dock.

It is a fact that most Mac users are far more familiar with Windows than Windows users are familiar with Macs. We often use Windows PCs daily. Most Windows users are like you... if they have any Mac experience it is an hour or less a year or more ago. Mac users are more qualified to make judgments of the comparative ease of use between the two platforms because we are often fully conversant with both. We are. so to speak, bilingual Windows and Mac.

36 posted on 03/21/2007 3:32:31 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Turbopilot
Security means planning not only for those contingencies that have occurred, but also those that haven't. With regards to a Mac, that means that security requires being prepared for a security failure in a single piece of software (in this case, OSX) even though such a failure may never have occurred before, and even though the software may be designed to avoid a failure.

The anti-malware out there can only protect you against LAST WEEK'S Malware.

As it stands right now, our Macs are just as secure against a Zero Day virus as your loaded to the gills with anti-ware PC... because you can be invaded by a virus that has not yet been cataloged in the anti-virus definition file. The Macs are just as secure WITHOUT all your CPU cycle robbing anti-malware baggage and until the day we see ANY viable malware in the wild, it will remain so.

When, and if, a viable Mac OS X malware appears in the wild, THEN, and only then, will it become necessary to consider buying and installing malware protection.

However, when that does finally happen, if ever, our Macs will still be just as vulnerable as your PC against all Zero Day, unreported malware. Buying protection against non-existent threats is foolish. When there are finally preventablethreats, not buying protection would be foolish. Until then, I'll save the money.

37 posted on 03/21/2007 3:52:19 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Swordmaker
How does one do things that require administrator privileges without an administrator account? [...]

Thanks for the explanation; administrator and more limited accounts obviously are set up differently in OSX from in XP and in many cases XP does not make it as practical for some to run a limited account every day. I don't know whether Vista has fully solved this problem or not.

Right Click on the HD, select Get Info.

As I said, I figured it had to be simple, just not intuitive. In this case the problem was that the computer had the standard Apple-type mouse without a separate right mouse button; IIRC you can hold a key to force a right-click but I don't know which one. I understand you can buy generic USB multi-button mice and OSX will recognize them, which I would do if I were ever forced to use a Mac.

It's the upper left corner... Windows controls are on the Right.

My fault...like I said it's been a year so I forgot exactly where and which color the controls I tried to use were. Having said that, do you realize that you wrote a full paragraph of discussing the Mac "philosophy" (you can drag-and-drop in Windows too, you know, even to/from maximized windows), the actual function of those little unlabeled buttons, and the ability to manually resize a window by dragging the window borders (just like in XP), but you never actually got around to telling me how you actually do maximize a window?

38 posted on 03/21/2007 4:25:40 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Swordmaker
The anti-malware out there can only protect you against LAST WEEK'S Malware.

Not true; for example, in addition to looking for specific malware signatures, software can also look for suspicious behavior - it can alert you when a program tries to access or send data to a network, flag and prevent behavior like adding something to system startup or changing browser parameters, notify you when an executable file has changed, or detect malicious code that affects other operating systems with which you may interface.

It's always possible (if incredibly remote) that a given piece of malware can be written that is so unlike any other malware in existence that it can exploit a weakness in existing hardware and software firewalls and avoid any of the suspicious behavior that would flag the types of security software I run. But it's more likely that a given piece of malware would attempt at least some of the suspicious behavior I watch for, leading to its detection even if it was so different that it could not be picked up by any existing software package.

My bottom line is that the cost (for a Windows or a Mac, and probably Linux too) to proactively protect my systems is so low, and the potential consequences of not doing so is so high, that it is worth the protection regardless of the remoteness of the risk. This is a policy I enforce on all computers on my home and office networks, and not one on which I would be willing to bend for alternative operating systems. Others may run their computers and networks as they see fit.

39 posted on 03/21/2007 4:35:21 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: George W. Bush
No, really, everyone should run as an ordinary user.

I agree. But if it's difficult or time-consuming to do so, many people will not. For certain users in certain cases under XP, it can be difficult or time-consuming to do so.

But I'd make the point that so many of these are unnecessary.

Some people are quicker using the mouse to operate the GUI. Others prefer to learn the keyboard shortcuts, where you can really fly without moving your hands from the keyboard. One person may not strictly need several ways of doing something, but it is nice for many people to each be able to choose how they are most efficient at doing it. Considering it costs nothing to have shortcuts for commonly used functions, I don't see how that is a disadvantage. Are you telling me Macs really don't have such shortcuts?

40 posted on 03/21/2007 4:38:36 PM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot
Anything out there as far as firewalls or antimalware, like ZoneAlarm or Windows Defender for the PC?

I used to subscribe to ZoneAlarm on the PC. I dropped over two years ago because they "improved" it to the point it became unusable and unreliable. In earlier versions, it worked well and was simple. Then they made configuring it such a chore, I gave up on it.

So I tried TinyFirewall, given its good reputation for minimalism. I found it was a bigger nightmare than ZoneAlarm.

On the Mac, we have a cute program called Little Snitch. It handles my basic firewalling needs. And even granny can understand it. My Mac buddies all agree: they need to make a PC version of this program! They emphasize simplicity and control. It just couldn't be easier for non-server use.

I can't name all the programs I've seen over the years that have been destroyed by feature-creep and feature-bloat.

Beyond that, the System Preferences offers simple firewall control for Samba, file sharing, FTP server, SSH, Remote events, printer sharing. OSX is so secure that the firewall in System Preferences isn't even enabled by default. It's debatable but I turned mine on.

If that's not enough, you also have the full-blown UNIX standard ipfw firewall and the new ip6fw firewall along with the full suite of network traffic shaping and proxies and nameservers and, well, all that UNIXy stuff. There is nothing else that compares to this time-tested solution for firewalling. But it is command-line stuff so it's not for granny. ipfw uses a set of up to 65535 rules to route and shape traffic. Here is a simple sample of the rules:
02000 allow ip from any to any via lo*
02010 deny ip from 127.0.0.0/8 to any in
02020 deny ip from any to 127.0.0.0/8 in
02030 deny ip from 224.0.0.0/3 to any in
02040 deny tcp from any to 224.0.0.0/3 in
02050 allow tcp from any to any out
02060 allow tcp from any to any established
02065 allow tcp from any to any frag
12190 deny log tcp from any to any
20000 deny log icmp from any to me in icmptypes 8
65535 allow ip from any to any

41 posted on 03/21/2007 5:21:00 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Turbopilot
But if it's difficult or time-consuming to do so, many people will not. For certain users in certain cases under XP, it can be difficult or time-consuming to do so.

It really isn't hard. And it isn't actually difficult or time-consuming, at least in the business world. In a multi-user family computer, maybe you have to log in as admin to install games for the kids.

As for time-consuming, think about the amount of time it takes to rid your machine if it gets infested. That's not a casual issue.

But, what the hey, I fix infested PCs. I make money off the stupidity of most PC users. I try to tell them this stuff, they never pay attention. As soon as you leave them alone, they're back to their usual ways. The difference with Mac is that they set it up properly to begin with. And the developers know this so software only assumes administrative access for installing the program and is very limited in modifying system files.
42 posted on 03/21/2007 5:27:48 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Turbopilot; George W. Bush
But if it's difficult or time-consuming to do so, many people will not.

It takes about two minutes to set up a standard user on a Mac. It is not difficult. In an administrator user account click on System Preferences on the Dock. Select Accounts. Click on the "+" at the bottom of the account list. Enter the Account user's name. Give them a password. Decide if they can change their password. Uncheck the "allow user to administer this machine." box. Add a user picture if you want. Exit. Done.

If you want to convert your current account with all its docs and settings tp a standard account, create a new account, make it an administrator, and then uncheck the "allow user to administer this computer" box on your original account. Done. Don't forget the password... it is NOT stored on the computer... if you do, you will not be able to do any administrative functions.

Are you telling me Macs really don't have such shortcuts?

No, the Mac actually has more keyboard shortcuts... and every shortcut is described next to the appropriate menu listing. For the most part, they are consistent throughout all applications. About the only thing to learn is that where Windows uses the ALT key plus another, the Mac may use the Apple Command key plus another (usually the same as Windows). A user can also customize his own shortcut keys or change any of the current ones except those that have been reserved by Apple.

For Windows users here is a list of Windows' keyboard shortcuts.

43 posted on 03/21/2007 5:38:49 PM PDT by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Swordmaker

All I know is that after my last Dell fiasco I swore I was going back to Macs for good. I am up for promotion this month. If it comes through I am going to celebrate with a 24 inch iMac!


44 posted on 03/21/2007 6:20:41 PM PDT by Ronin (Ut iusta esse, lex noblis severus necesse est.)
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To: NCC-1701
I just love the Mac's Widgets. Is that flight tracker a new one?

My favorite is the envelope printer. All word processors have some sort of envelope function, but none of them works as well as the envelope widget. It integrates with Address Book and it prints the USPS bar code. Your snailmail looks official and gets there faster.

45 posted on 03/21/2007 10:02:47 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
I build my own PCs for < $400 with stuff I buy from Newegg, and upgrade at will. And then upgrade/swap parts at will

Then how much nosing around on Russian hacker sites it take to amass the drivers you need to make it run? How much is your time worth to you? What if you could pay a little more to just sit down and start using the computer right out of the box? AND to be able to start using Unix immediately, too?

46 posted on 03/21/2007 10:06:08 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: BlazingArizona

What drivers ? Winxp has most device drivers already built in. Those that are not will have to be manually installed whether you buy a new computer or build your own.


47 posted on 03/21/2007 11:36:07 PM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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