Author Topic: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?  (Read 32016 times)

schnell

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Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« on: March 13, 2015, 12:55:12 PM »
Hey there! I'm so undecisive right now! I've been a Mac user for the last 10 years and Macs have served me very well. However, ever since I "became a mustachian" one year ago it just hurts to pay so much money for a computer again even though I could pay it in cash with no problems! My last Mac just died and served me well for about 6 years. However, it cost me about 1700 Euros back then. That means that I spent like 25 Euros (I replaced battery and HDD too) every month for that Computer!

The problem so far is that I kind of need a computer right now, I've been trying other options instead of Macs for the last month and I'm just being unefficient, not because the other options don't work but because I can't decide what to buy now. I could get a cheap desktop Windows PC but then I think that I sometimes really want to be mobile. Also, Windows PCs tend to be quite loud and take up space, plus you lose time because of all that updating and virus stuff! I'm not experienced in Linux and need Microsoft Office otherwise I would just use an old PC with Linux.

However, if I want to be mobile Macs just are the best computers out there because they combine power with good battery life and great displays (retina). I also tested an Acer Chromebook but the display was just killing my eyes..

I'm just confused. I kind of think that I should probably be able to get the job done with whatever computer I can get as long as it has word and a keyboard. I don't know what to do.

Do you have any suggestions? I'm a student by the way, so I kind of rely on a god computer but don't earn money with it...



wealthviahealth

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 12:58:51 PM »
I always think that a mac or any apple product, is worth it in the long run.

I have gone in and out of the eco-system many times over the years but I always look forward to returning to apple products, regardless of the price.

They just work.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 01:05:08 PM »
A Mac uses all the same parts as a Windows PC with a fancier case. Their margin on laptops is unbelievable.

They're a luxury purchase, not needed by 99% of the population. Any laptop you find, I can get you equal specs for at least 20% less. 3 years ago it was 50% less, so at least they're less of a ripoff.

GuitarStv

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 01:12:17 PM »
Your average computer user would do just fine with a free distro of Ubuntu on any old hardware.  Open office is a full featured free replacement for MS products, and should be able to open stuff created in microsoft office.  It's absolutely worth giving a serious look.

innkeeper77

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2015, 01:12:47 PM »
Windows machines get a bad reputation because people compare cheap windows machines to expensive mac ones. Buy a nice windows laptop and it will be quiet, work well, etc. But buy a bargain basement walmart special- not so much. (Things still wear down- notice how the mac still needed a new hard drive and battery- SSD's are much hardier than traditional hard drives, and if you buy a laptop I would recommend an SSD (Solid state drive- much faster, much more expensive, no moving parts, much more durable))

You are a mac user, have mac software licenses, and like mac- stick with mac! But why not buy a 1-2 year old used computer? Computers depreciate faster than cars, and I've been happy with used technology I have purchased.

(I have never purchased a mac- I am a linux/windows user who can't stand mac OS- but if you like it, and want to use it, stick with mac)

Lastly, what died on the old mac? You can replace any part of a computer, and it is usually decently cost effective. At least fix the old machine and sell it, using the proceeds towards the new computer.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 01:15:06 PM by innkeeper77 »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 01:13:16 PM »
I have a macbook pro 15" that is about 4 years old.

I lucked out and because I purchased in December my friend from HS who worked there let me use her once a year discount on a computer, so I paid about 1300, instead of the 1700.

This past Christmas I purchased an Acer Chromebook to replace my SO's 6 year old 13" macbook pro.

It took her a few days to get used to it, she LOVES it. 11 hour battery, 8 while streaming netflix at half brightness, very light.

The best part? It cost 80+% LESS than a comparable Macbook.

I love my Mac, however I will not shell out 6-8x as much for a product that will essentially do the same thing for me.

lise

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 01:19:51 PM »
I have had good luck buying refurbished on apple.com. 
It's not like hugely discounted, but at least you get apple warranty starting from the day you buy it (e.g., not if you buy second hand from someone else).

Daley

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 01:23:21 PM »
Your average computer user would do just fine with a free distro of Ubuntu on any old hardware.  Open office is a full featured free replacement for MS products, and should be able to open stuff created in microsoft office.  It's absolutely worth giving a serious look.

Absolutely this, especially since trying Linux is effectively free, and you don't even have to install Linux first to ensure LibreOffice will work with your existing documents as LO can be downloaded and run on any platform, including OSX. Pair Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with a nice refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T or X laptop, and you could easily have a sweet little rugged setup for well under 400.

If you insist and decide to go Apple again anyway, buy a 2-3 year old refurb instead and save some money.

Whatever you do, stay away from the consumer laptop crap running Windows. I say this not so much to bag on Microsoft but the build quality of consumer market laptops. Refurbished business/enterprise equipment is far and away better built, will last longer, and cost less as an off-lease refurb... thus the Thinkpad suggestion.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 01:26:16 PM »
Your average computer user would do just fine with a free distro of Ubuntu on any old hardware.  Open office is a full featured free replacement for MS products, and should be able to open stuff created in microsoft office.  It's absolutely worth giving a serious look.

Absolutely this, especially since trying Linux is effectively free, and you don't even have to install Linux first to ensure LibreOffice will work with your existing documents as LO can be downloaded and run on any platform, including OSX. Pair Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with a nice refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T or X laptop, and you could easily have a sweet little rugged setup for well under 400.

If you insist and decide to go Apple again anyway, buy a 2-3 year old refurb instead and save some money.

Whatever you do, stay away from the consumer laptop crap running Windows. I say this not so much to bag on Microsoft but the build quality of consumer market laptops. Refurbished business/enterprise equipment is far and away better built, will last longer, and cost less as an off-lease refurb... thus the Thinkpad suggestion.

Someone who paid full boat for Apple laptops is unlikely to have the desire or wherewithal to deal with OS compatibility issues.

For websurfing and light office use, just buy a cheap Windows machine

humbleMouse

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 01:27:27 PM »
Personally I like to spend $$$ on the device I will be using every single day of my life.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 01:28:53 PM »
Personally I like to spend $$$ on the device I will be using every single day of my life.

That's fine. It's still objectively a complete waste of money.

GizmoTX

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 01:32:29 PM »
Personally I like to spend $$$ on the device I will be using every single day of my life.

That's fine. It's still objectively a complete waste of money.

No. My quality of experience is worth it. And Macs easily last twice as long as PCs.

thef0x

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2015, 01:33:52 PM »
ONLY IF you run your own business and handle calls and communication SUPER regularly would I suggest:
1) don't skimp on a very fast phone (but no need for an iphone) and
2) you do not need a mac to handle 99% of all activities requiring a computer unless you are a video editor or designer. 

You can save $1500-$2500 on a laptop by switching to a PC.  If you don't move it around much, even better, it will last longer.  If you need it to be rugged, get an even cheaper one.

I've been using my pretty inexpensive Lenovo IdeaPad U310 for 3+ years.  At $500, I don't worry too much about it getting dinged up here and there.  Sure for video exporting it does take .. 20 minutes longer than a different computer but who cares, I just head out to do errands or work while it happens anyway. 

My phone is more expensive than my laptop and just as important for operating my business but even so, combined, they are both less than $1000.  I see this as a completely necessary business expense and put it in that category of spending (required, guilt free, optimize but get something fast).

Finally:

The "fix it yourself" mentality might be useful here too -- instead of worrying about "It just works" and spending $1500 extra, save $1500 and learn how to maintain your computer like you do your car, your home, and your clothing -- software wise make sure you have spyware, antiviruses, , and learn how to minimize RAM usage (google "turn off startup programs windows") and defragment your hard drive -- hardware wise, grab a cheap can of pressurized air and that's about all you need. 




If you don't fit in the above category, purchase a cheap laptop on ebay or craigslist that was purchased within the last 3 years and you're going to be super set.  Most will still have a copy of Windows on it but feel free to use Ubuntu.

You can purchase a refurbished new lenovo laptop that is way more than good enough for $330 online so you should be able to find something that will handle basically anything for $200 easily. 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 01:44:03 PM by thef0x »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2015, 01:36:40 PM »
I buy certified refurb macbooks from Apple - just got one this month to replace an aged-out computer. I can get what basically amounts to a new computer (and is free to fix for any issue for 1 year - everything mechanical or software related except for stuff due to user stupidity - like drops or spilled liquids) for roughly 80% of what the new ones cost.

There are resellers out there that also sell "gently used" or refurbs. I'd suggest checking for those as well and making sure before you buy that they have an excellent reputation and some sort of good coverage similar to Mac's AppleCare, as they would be an even cheaper route while still allowing you to get a Mac.

If your laptop is only 6 years old, are you sure it can't be repaired? It may still be worth it to just get it fixed and hold onto it for a few more years.

I am a professional graphics person, and the only computer I'll ever use is a Mac. Macs were made for my group of people, and they just work best. Some folks compromise on cars or travel or other expenses to spend a bit more on something they want (vs need) in another area - and this is mine, because the quality and intuitive usability of the machine I use to produce my artwork is important to me. Considering that I've had my last Mac last over 9 or 10 years (and is still going strong; if only I could upgrade the OS), I think is a pretty okay area to "splurge" in.





GuitarStv

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2015, 01:37:02 PM »
And Macs easily last twice as long as PCs.

Respectfully, this is a phenomenally uninformed statement.

Chuck

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2015, 01:37:16 PM »
Get a refurbed Macbook Air, they're around 700 dollars. That's a great price for a powerful ultrabook, Mac or PC.

humbleMouse

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2015, 01:40:44 PM »
And Macs easily last twice as long as PCs.

Respectfully, this is a phenomenally uninformed statement.


I have a 2007 white macbook that is still going great with osx 10, a 2009 macbook pro 13 inch that is still going great with osx 10, and a 2012 15 inch macbook pro that is still working great.  And a 2010 macbook air that still works great too. 

Cathy

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2015, 01:41:21 PM »
Apple laptops are actually excellent value for their cost, but that doesn't mean they are a good purchase for the average person.

It's a common myth that there are comparable laptops available for radically cheaper price from other vendors, but if you actually research it, you'll discover that is broadly false. Some components are actually much cheaper when purchased from Apple than when purchased from most vendors (such as SSDs, which Apple can apparently acquire cheaply), other components are mostly comparable in price.

I think the key thing to understand is that with Apple, you are paying for top of the line fancypants hardware, which may exceed the actual needs of the average user. That doesn't mean it is overpriced, however; people who say that are typically comparing Apple products to far worse products that (shockingly enough) cost less.



I should clarify that this comment is restricted to the laptops. Many other Apple products are not particularly good value, such as the phones, watches, music players, and desktop computers.

orbix

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2015, 01:46:05 PM »
Get a refurbed Macbook Air, they're around 700 dollars. That's a great price for a powerful ultrabook, Mac or PC.

Or go a notch further and get a used one- the new version of the MacBook Air is coming out very soon, so expect a glut of practically brand new computers showing up on Craigslist any minute now. New Apple products are ludicrously expensive and worthy of a facepunch, but used ones are pretty hard to complain about.

Be patient and you can score a new machine for a minimal price. Lots of people end up selling computers cheap because they couldn't actually afford them to begin with, then reality comes crashing down in the form of a bill they can't pay.

GuitarStv

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2015, 01:49:05 PM »
And Macs easily last twice as long as PCs.

Respectfully, this is a phenomenally uninformed statement.


I have a 2007 white macbook that is still going great with osx 10, a 2009 macbook pro 13 inch that is still going great with osx 10, and a 2012 15 inch macbook pro that is still working great.  And a 2010 macbook air that still works great too.

I use a Windows NT computer at work that was installed in '96.  Not my preference to use, but that's the software the customer wanted at the time, so we maintain it.  And several Linux boxes that have been happily chugging along for decades.

An OS is just software.

Daley

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2015, 01:51:52 PM »
Someone who paid full boat for Apple laptops is unlikely to have the desire or wherewithal to deal with OS compatibility issues.

Not really an issue with Thinkpads as they're some of the consistently best supported hardware for Linux. Stuff just works. That only leaves software. If they're not wholly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and LibreOffice can handle their MS Office docs, there's really no other major hurdles. Ubuntu is old-people friendly, and the Unity DE has a lower learning curve for OSX transplants. There's no more to learn about installing Linux these days than reinstalling Windows or OSX.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 01:54:09 PM by I.P. Daley »

NumberCruncher

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2015, 01:52:47 PM »
Personally I like to spend $$$ on the device I will be using every single day of my life.

That's fine. It's still objectively a complete waste of money.

No. My quality of experience is worth it. And Macs easily last twice as long as PCs.

Citation needed.

Anytime I see a ranking, Apple's usually middling: http://www.rescuecom.com/news-press-releases/Computer-Reliability-Report-2013.aspx

GetItRight

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2015, 02:17:12 PM »
Anything Apple is a luxury purchase, you are paying for the name. Apple computers have run the same hardware as every other computer for years, it's been a long time since they used RISC chips, and the last few generations of Apple OS are just Linux with a different GUI and all sorts of locking down to prevent you from using the machine in various ways but may make it easier for someone not familiar or confident with computers to use it.

Get a cheap computer with hardware that meets your needs, load whatever OS you want. If you like Linux, Ubuntu is a free and relatively use friendly OS, much better than Apple. MS comes packaged with most computers and the OEM licenses are not expensive so don't add much to the cost of buying a laptop. Personally I can't stand Apple, they charge an arm and a leg for cheap hardware and junky software that is not intuitive and won't let you do what you want either at all or without complex workarounds.

All that being said, if you like Apple products go ahead and buy what you like, but make an informed purchase and understand it's a luxury item, like designer clothes, and offers few if any practical or functional advantages over the competition.

plantingourpennies

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2015, 02:27:55 PM »
I heard MMM rocks a Macbook Pro Retina

/thread

Mr. PoP

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2015, 02:42:56 PM »
I heard MMM rocks a Macbook Pro Retina

/thread

Mr. PoP

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celticmyst08

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2015, 03:17:26 PM »
Only you can make this decision. I vastly prefer the user experience of a Mac (Linux is awesome, but unfortunately there isn't a lot of software that's compatible which makes it impractical for me to use in most capacities) and am willing to pay a couple hundred extra in order to not want to stab my eyes out every time I use the computer. If you're going to get a Mac I'd highly recommend getting a refurb; they have the same warranty/protection for a lower cost than new.

If you're just using the computer for average day to day stuff (surfing the web, editing photos, watching movies, etc) then you should really look into getting a cheaper laptop and installing Ubuntu (a version of Linux). It's very user friendly and will work great if you don't need to run any specialized software. My husband installed it for his parents, who are totally not computer savvy, and they love it.

CCCA

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2015, 03:35:09 PM »
We have two 2011 era macbook pros in our household which are still going quite strong (one is an i5 and another is an i7 processor).  We've upgraded ram and they work perfectly for our purposes, which are not crazy, no film editing or anything like that, though I do a fair bit of excel and other programming.


They would be great machines, not as sleek and light as the Airs but very reasonable in price at this point.   

Retire-Canada

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2015, 03:38:35 PM »
I've used lots of PC's and still have a PC at the office.

I've used Macs at home for 8-9yrs and like them better. They cost more, but I spend more time on my computer than anything else at home except sleeping so I don't mind paying more.

I did switch from an iPhone to an Samsung android phone and I don't miss the iPhone.

My next computer will be a Mac.

-- Vik

Argyle

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2015, 03:40:12 PM »
How close are you to FI?  What's your savings rate?  Surely those should also factor into your decision.  If you have massive debt and aren't saving, then you need to be more frugal.  If you're at 50% savings and have a good store and no debt, then saving every penny is less crucial.

The Beacon

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2015, 03:58:32 PM »
Is a Mac laptop more expensive than an equivalent pc laptop such as Thinkpad?  I do not think so. I just did a comparison between a loaded Thinkpad T450s and a MacBook Pro 13"

T450s
 i7 + 14" FHD(1920 x 1080 mutil touch)+ 12 G RAM + 512 SSD = $2,105.10

MacBook Pro 13"

i7 + Retina  Display+ 16 G RAM + 512 SSD  = $2,199



Both are very solid laptops.  You can't compare a MacBook pro with a cheap Inspiron.


However, do you actually need a nice laptop?  I do not.   I have a Dell Inspiron close to 10 years old.  It just won't die. I can't even sell it. Maybe I will give it to my Mom.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 04:01:01 PM by Sharpy »

jeromedawg

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2015, 04:00:42 PM »
If you're just gonna be browsing the web, Facebook, and emailing though, it may not be the most Mustachian way to go (unless you find a smoking hot deal on one, like a Macbook Air for instance... but "smoking hot deal" is all relative when we start talking Apple). Admittedly, I own a Macbook Air and primarily just browse the web and email on it LOL. I probably would be just as well off with a Win laptop but I wanted to give the Mac a try. I do like it, except for the fact that it slows to a crawl when I have more than 3-4 apps open at a time in addition to a bunch of tabs in Firefox (which sucks but Chrome sucks worse). I haven't bought into Safari yet either.

Agree that if you're heavy into video-editing or photo-edit and anything design-oriented (where you need to use Adobe products, ironically), Macs are the way to go - they just seem designed for designers.

For business use, I think PCs/Windows still own the market. I use a PC at work and while it might be nice having a Mac, I think there would be more to figure out with certain logistics (in this case, a more technical person could probably do just fine with a Mac). But as I said, if you are doing design-work as a job, you most likely will have a Mac anyway.

schnell

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2015, 04:18:17 PM »
Thank you very much for your replies.

Well I'm not even close to FI yet since I'm still a student. Refurbished Macs on the Apple website are interesting but they are usually just 14-16% cheaper than the original retail price and it's usually the hardware that has been updated already. As a student I get a 12% discount on new Macs.

My old Macbook pro would totally be OK for me but the screen is broken and in an apple service store they told me that just the screen would cost like 400 Euros without repair. Since it's already 6 years old I tought it might just be worth it to get a new Mac, maybe a Macbook Air.

I'm convinced that I could use that Mac for at least 5 years if it doesn't die somehow. However, after 5 years it will probably need a new battery that might cost like 150 Euro to replace. The questions is also whether I should get the maximum RAM when I buy it or just go with the 4 GB in the standard MBP configuration. My idea was to use the Mac with OS X as long as it runs smoothly and gets security updates and whenever it's to slow just install Linux. The screen is also an issue. I have an external screen since I had been using my old Macbook Pro with that one when just the screen was broken. But now it died entirely. However, after university I might not want to have this big screen here and just use a nice high resolution retina display. Or I might just not want do use a computer after work anyways so it would absolutely not matter ;) I just don't really know.

Another point to consider is that if I spend more than 1000 Euros on a nice Mac I will have to take care of it. Obviously I wouldnt want it to get stolen or something. With a 300 Euro Chromebook that would not be too much of an issue and I could be a lot more relaxed about it.

Well, after all it's just a question of personal preference. What I tried to consider is also the monthly amount of money I spend on my computer on a monthly basis. My 1700 Euro Macbook Pro for 6 years costs like 24 Euros. If I use a 300 Euro Chromebook for two years it's half that price. However, getting a new one every two years is kind of against my anti consumer and throw away attitude. And if I consider that I'm trying to live as minimalistic as possible a small computer with an external screen and keyboard is just annoying too.

Well, how much do you think is a reasonable monthly budget for a computer on the long run?

lise

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2015, 04:26:23 PM »
This may be a stupid no. 1 reason why I love my macbook air but the tracking pad is awesome. 
When I've had windows laptops I've had to carry a damn mouse around because of how bad inbuilt pointers/trackers are on PC's. 
So it's not just what's on the inside that counts when comparing ...

galliver

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2015, 04:29:34 PM »
I used to be in the "get an expensive computer that lasts forever!" camp, but at one point was shown that if you get a computer that costs 1/3 of the expensive one and lasts 1/2 as long, you're winning cost-wise. Furthermore, you spend more time with up-to-date technology rather than working with a 7-10 yo machine that may have limited support, spare parts, etc. Obviously the other end of the spectrum has other problems: the computers aren't reliable from the get-go, so you're worried about losing data/having it die inconveniently. Also replacing a computer *too* often is an environmental hazard. I don't know when I'd replace a fun/pleasure computer; I've always needed mine for school.

Started college in 2006 with a 2001 Dell Latitude. By 2008 it couldn't handle PDF+Word+Excel+internet for lab reports. 256 MB RAM, one slot was busted (i.e. couldn't expand).
Parents gifted ~$1500 2008 Dell Latitude in 2008. It was my baby and I loved it. Still chugging along, occasional blue-screens on certain non-critical functions/activities (I think the graphics card overheats, and yes, I have cleaned it). Leading to...
Fall 2014 got an ASUS T300 (i5, 128GB SSD), refurbed on eBay, for about $550. Love it for reading papers/highlighting as well as all the other stuff. Touchscreen makes Win8 make *sense*.

OP, expand your search. You're still saving money if your computer is 500euro instead of 300. I would expect one of the business-class PCs to have a similar lifetime to a Mac and reliability at least as good. The thing with PCs is that there are a *lot* of options out there so you have to look for what you need...

Kris

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2015, 04:29:50 PM »
You know, I think one of the things that I personally would have to consider is pleasure. 

I have always used Macs.  Like, since the 80s.  I have always strongly preferred them. I have, however, only bought a Mac a couple of times.  The rest have been computers or laptops that my work has furnished. The last time I bought one myself was in the late 1990s.

Right now, I have a Mac at work and use our (my husband bought it) PC at home.  I have finally become proficient on the PC (it took a while), but I get no pleasure at all out of using it. It's a tool.  It often frustrates me, and I often hate it.  But it gets the job done.

If I had to buy a computer that I was going to use all the time, like if I was self-employed and heavily reliant on a computer that I'd be using 8 hours a day, I think I would really struggle with this decision.  As it is now, I don't mind using the PC for bill paying, surfing the Net, etc.  I have even written full-time on it for six months or so (while I was on a sabbatical from my job). While I was doing that, though, an almost-daily refrain from me was, "If I decide to quit my job and write permanently, screw this, I'm getting a Mac."  I haven't quit my job yet, but if I did, I think that I'd strongly lean in that direction.

So, you probably have to think about what the tipping point is for you, where the amount of time you spend on the Mac justifies the extra comfort of having a more expensive machine.

schnell

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2015, 04:36:26 PM »
Good point. However, I probably spend more time on my computers than I should. So if I had an annoying and lound windows desktop PC I might just get the important stuff done as fast as possible and then do something healthier ;) Or I might not even start do use it and procrastinate, I don't know...

Cathy

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2015, 04:44:03 PM »
Anything Apple is a luxury purchase, you are paying for the name. Apple computers have run the same hardware as every other computer for years, it's been a long time since they used RISC chips, and the last few generations of Apple OS are just Linux with a different GUI and all sorts of locking down to prevent you from using the machine in various ways but may make it easier for someone not familiar or confident with computers to use it.

As you know, there is more to "hardware" than "the architecture of the processor". The latter is a single very specific hardware property; it doesn't uniquely characterise all components of the computer. It seems like a bit of a nonsequitur to say that Apple laptops have x64 processors and therefore they should cost the same as any other laptop, regardless of the constituent hardware.

I agree with you that the operating system is irrelevant since it's just software. The phrase "Windows computer" is a bit of pet peeve, as is the term "PC". I actually blame Apple to a certain extent for the state of computer knowledge among the general public (i.e. very poor), because Apple's highly successful advertising campaigns were often based on false dichotomies (like "Mac versus PC", which doesn't even make any sense).

That said, OS X is not GNU/Linux. The kernel is Darwin (derived from FreeBSD) and the overall operating system environment is also BSD. There are many differences between BSD and GNU/Linux. They are not the same operating system.

As of today, MacBooks are not particularly "locked down"; you can run arbitrary code, including an arbitrary operating system. I believe you cannot easily reflash the bootloader as it is verified at the hardware level, so that aspect is locked down, but that is unlikely to affect even most advanced users.

In the future, I would not be surprised if Apple moved to lock down their laptops like they do with the phones, but they have not done that yet.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2015, 04:48:28 PM »
In the future, I would not be surprised if Apple moved to lock down their laptops like they do with the phones, but they have not done that yet.
That sounds like a risky move. What about the hordes of devs using macs as their primary dev box who wouldn't be able to run $fashionableWebFramework locally?

Christof

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2015, 04:48:41 PM »
A Mac can make sense when you pay software developers to use it, because labor is the most expensive part of software development, followed by software licenses, followed by hardware.

But as a student, when you have a laptop that costs you mabye 550 Euros over the next five years, less than it did cost you over the past six years? I think you are just rationalizing why you do need a new computer when the old one would do just fine.

schnell

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2015, 04:53:40 PM »
A Mac can make sense when you pay software developers to use it, because labor is the most expensive part of software development, followed by software licenses, followed by hardware.

But as a student, when you have a laptop that costs you mabye 550 Euros over the next five years, less than it did cost you over the past six years? I think you are just rationalizing why you do need a new computer when the old one would do just fine.

You mean if I repair the old one? The risk is that, since it's so old already, once I repaired the Screen the next part that might fail is a fan and then the logicboard and then ... so I might just have gotten a new one for a similar price or even the same price when I consider that someone might pay me up to 200euros because they use the dead macbook pro for their own repairs.

Also I will finish university next year and won't get the Apple students discount after that.

Christof

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2015, 05:06:08 PM »
But that is the same reasoning why people buy a new car every three years... The old one might need more repairs, there is a special offer just for today...

schnell

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2015, 05:12:56 PM »
Well, that comparison doesn't really work for computers. Streets won't become faster or more difficult to drive on with time. For a computer websites and everything else will require more power and modern software won't run on them which will affect security. A car from 20 years ago will perfectly run on todays streets, a 20 year old computer won't be able to show any modern website.

Spork

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2015, 05:15:18 PM »
Caveat: Your mileage may vary.

I've been a unix guy forever -- going back to pre-Linux days.  I typically get 8+ years out of midrange consumer grade laptops loaded with Linux.  At that point, they're still very usable as "throwdowns" but are just getting sluggish with the ever bloating GUI environment.  I still use them for various little things here and there.

If you only got 6 years out of a high end Mac... well, that doesn't sound good.

But: if you're afraid Linux is too hard, let me interject -- I've put 3 octogenarians on Linux.  They didn't know they were using Linux.  They were not particularly afraid of it.  They did fine.

anon-e-mouse

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2015, 05:16:20 PM »
I have purchased 100's of laptops over the years as part of my job.  I can say that you get what you pay for.  My mother would buy the cheap PC laptops for $300-400 and they last about a year on average.  (Hardware was cheap and she's not very gentle on equipment).  If you're a comfortable Mac user, buy a Mac for simplicity.  It's well worth it.  If you're a techie that doesn't mind the frustration of going with Linux, go for it. 
You'll be using the device so often that a FUNCTIONING laptop is worth a lot more than 5 crappy laptops that slow you down. 
Apple is very expensive but they also control their software and hardware more than anyone else.  It works for me.

Turkey Leg

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2015, 05:21:10 PM »
I was a Windows support person and then a Windows-based programmer for years. But I don't allow Windows hardware in my home...at this time. (I like to keep my options open. :D)

Which computer do I use? Look at my user name.

schnell

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2015, 05:44:25 PM »
After all I might just get the previous version of Macbook Air. They're selling it for 869, seems OK for me.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2015, 05:52:30 PM »
Spread over the expected lifetime of the computer, for something that's used daily, I figure it's often worth spending a little more. Be it Mac or PC depends on what software is useful for you and what you value.

With the obvious caveat that if you're paying cash, and not borrowing for it :)

If you don't value what a more expensive laptop (be it Mac or PC) offers, then don't bother.

I've got a MacBook Pro that's about to celebrate its sixth birthday. I do admit I've got the upgrade bug (and downsize bug, looking to go from a 15" MBP to a 13" retina MBP). Most likely I'll either buy from the Apple refurb store or wait until one of the big retailers has a 10% off sale.

The questions is also whether I should get the maximum RAM when I buy it or just go with the 4 GB in the standard MBP configuration.

Unless it's the 'classic' MacBook Pro, then consider going for more RAM. After all, you can't upgrade the RAM in the things.

Ricky

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2015, 05:55:08 PM »
One thing's for sure: Apple does not serve a low-end market and if all you're going to do is surf the web and email then you don't need and shouldn't get a Mac.

Another thing's for sure: Apple is not just a name. It isn't just overpriced hardware. No where else can you get the look and feel for the same price. Once you start comparing things like build quality, noise pollution, trackpad and keyboard, and screen, it's literally more like comparing Apple's to Orange's. I just don't understand why people try to put blanket statements on your options by saying one is overpriced or the same can be had for much cheaper. I would not care if Sony made the best computers, I'd buy them, but they generally don't. Also, once you get high-end, the difference in price is negligible.

The fact is that Apple just doesn't make a cheap computer. *Most* people can get away with any $5-600 PC laptop and should.

All that said, I prefer Macs and I prefer to use Macs. I demand the processing power occasionally but as a whole I appreciate the luxury of the amazing screen and all of the other build quality benefits.

plherrin

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2015, 05:56:42 PM »
I just replaced my mac and with Time Machine it was super easy to basically open the same machine when I got everything transferred. I bought used from Other World Computing (just google them) and got a nice machine, 3 years old for around mid-600s. I was and am quite satisfied with the bargain.

AmbitiousCanuck

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Re: Can't deside - should I really NOT buy a Mac again?
« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2015, 06:10:19 PM »
Right now, I have a Mac at work and use our (my husband bought it) PC at home.  I have finally become proficient on the PC (it took a while), but I get no pleasure at all out of using it. It's a tool.  It often frustrates me, and I often hate it.  But it gets the job done.

...

So, you probably have to think about what the tipping point is for you, where the amount of time you spend on the Mac justifies the extra comfort of having a more expensive machine.

Its funny, because I would say the exact opposite: Macs often frustrate me, and I often hate it.  I find windows PCs to generally be an absolute pleasure to use.  But then I am not a casual user, I am a power user.  I like Windows and windows-based software because it is extremely customizable and I can make everything function just the way I want.  The Mac OS and most software designed for it allow only one way to do any given task, and if you don't like it, you are SOL.

But at the end of the day, both OSes will get the job done if you are a light to medium user.  The exact same hardware that is in an apple computer can be found in hundreds of PC models from a wide range of manufacturers for a fraction of the price.  I personally recommend ASUS, they are high quality but reasonable price.