PC or Mac?

Which is better? That’s a question that has been bandied about ever since the early desktop personal computers became available.

The wisdom back then was that for “computing tasks” a PC was best, but for graphic design, an Apple Mac was best. The Theatre department where I taught had Apples. In the time since each platform was presented to the marketplace, they have gone through many changes. The answers to the “which should I buy” question have changed, too. The “depends on what you use it for” answer is still probably the best guide, and the runner-up answer is “depends on which software you want to run.”

I’ve used both over the years. Sometimes for work, and sometimes for play. Sometimes the company for which you work requires one or the other, so you don’t get to choose for yourself.

Most of the time, I’ve worked on a PC. That’s largely because of my background in computer programming, and because most of the companies I worked with were PC-based. So the computers I’ve owned mimicked what was most often used at the client site. Working on a PC has many headaches, to be sure, but lack of graphics software is no longer one of them. Luckily for me, the best graphics software is largely available on both platforms now.

When I went freelance, I had to decide whether to continue with PCs or move to the Mac. And I decided to protect my earlier investment in software by continuing with PCs for the time being. Both my desktop and laptop computers are PCs. My Time Management and Financial Management software runs on PCs. I have the entire Adobe Creative Suite loaded and I just upgraded to Quark XPress version 7.0. I can continue to submit work via PDF files, which can be read by anyone on any machine.

However, my next big purchase may very well be the Apple MacBook. I’ve seen the latest Apples in action, and I’m rather envious. I’m leaning strongly toward investing in the Apple side of things, partly to keep up my “Mac skills” and partly to provide more services to more clients.

So you see, even after two decades of comparing personal computers, it’s still “Apples” and oranges. :).

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