Mac vs PC Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Macs and PC. A copy of this is outlined to show and contrast the difference between Macs and PCs.

COMPARISON OF MACS AND PCS

Which is better: MACS or PCS? Macintosh computers are elegant and easy to use, but PCs are cheaper and have a vast array of products with them. The Apple computer has been around for a long time, but PCs are found in more stores. The best way to decide which is better for you is to try using both of them and comparing what is best. This is an information age dependent upon digital information.

A computer system refers to the computer and all of its equipment. Equipment like speakers, printers, keyboard, scanner, etc. is called peripheral equipment, sometimes shortened to peripherals'. The central processing unit (CPU) is considered to be 'the computer" (Hitmill 2).

There are several computer systems that are available. The two most common types of computers are the PC and the Mac. The Macintosh is manufactured by the Apple Computer and called the "Mac." "The Macintosh has excelled in the commercial graphics and publishing industries and thousands of people prefer a Mac for home use rather than a PC" (hitmill 4). However, the PC computers have more of a market and there are millions in homes and offices. Therefore, more colleges and universities are currently teaching with more PC computers and programs. There are very few Mac-application courses. The operating systems between home and school should be similar.

Each PC has its own operating system such as Windows 95 or Windows 98. Most of the time programs for Windows 98 will interchange with Windows 95. "The WIN indicates a Microsoft Windows operating system" (hitmill 5). When comparing computers, one of the facts should be consideration for who has the most reliability and easily used with the school computers and at home.

Macs are owned and developed by one company: the Apple Computer, Inc. "Apple has recently licensed their proprietary operating system and hardware technology to a few other companies, who are now bring Macintosh clones to market" (Rhodus 1). PCs are sold by thousands of companies with variety of programs and software. "Anyone with a basic understanding of electronics and computer architecture can assemble their own systems from various parts suppliers and become a new PC vendor" (Rhodus 1).

There are two significant benefits for the consumer: more available choices and lower prices. This does not mean that the systems are equal. Macs are still superior in technology. However, a person should consider both hardware and software.

Apple computers are usually easier to set up because they are designed to one set of specifications and are set up to one set of specifications. They may have secondary hard drives, CD-ROM drives, network connections, video display cards, or printers. PC users have more brands to select from and each has its own software. This can be confusing and frustrating to new users. Usually a new user will find less frustration with a Mac.

Software fall into two categories: operating and applications programs. "In the early 1980s, IBM contracted Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation to develop an operating system for their new line of personal computers, IBM PC's. The resulting software was called DOS (Disk Operating System)" (Rhodus 2). Microsoft revised DOS a number of times. The way this works is that text-based commands are entered into the computer by typed in demands on the keyboard. This requires the understanding of logic and syntax of the operating system.

There is more variety and availability of software now than ever before. However, Mac has many excellent business programs as well as programs for the personal computer. There is more software available for both the Mac and PC.

WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE MAC AND PC

Trevor Cummings is an audio/visual engineer. He says, "I am still using a Mac 9500 from 1995, where as I would need to have an up-to-date PC to do most of the stuff. The Mac lasts longer and ironically, is more suited to upgrading than a PC. With the many different manufacturers who produces parts for a PC, it can be a nightmare to upgrade but with a Mac it is easier" (Jobsite 6).

Andrew Dickinson is an university lecturer/editor and he says, "From a personal point-of-view I'm a windows user by necessity at work and by choice at home... Put me on the spot and I would always choose a PC and windows though" (jobsite 7).

Matthew Steenson is an online journalist and he says, "For my work I use a PC because I have no other choice...Macs can read PC files and PC media, so its not a problem to use PC formatted zip disc at work which I can then bring home and plug straight into the Zip slot on my Mac" (jobsite 7).

There are many who will argue which is best, but the majority of schools use PCs and that must be considered.

Benefits of Mac Ownership:

They are elegant and easy to use.

Hassle-free. Everything you need in your Mac. Whether you get an iMac, iBook, PowerBook or G4 desktop, there's no need to find a video card. Ethernet card, modem card, USB card, or even a Fire Wire card. Everything you need is in the box, and the OS can handle it all.

No need for Ethernet card drivers or modem drivers. Simply install the Mac OS to get everything working. On a PC, you could spend days getting your video card to work after installing a new version of Windows.

Cutting edge of computer technology. The Apple computer is continuously improving. Releasing software that was available only on highend computers.

New software like iMovie and iDVD are some software innovation. These programs bring the creation and distribution of home movies on DVD to the consumer.

Itunes makes music playback, management, and CD burning simple.

OS X is Apple's revolutionary new operating system. It is simple yet it offer an elegant interface with the power, stability, and performance of Unix.

OS X has power and features that are appropriate for every level of experience. Powers users can take charge and move forward with the ease of the computer programs. The first-time users have the ease of simplicity. Yet, there's no need to change anything to go from user to user.

Networking. OS X is a multithreaded, multitasking OS, using Internet standards that make a global player. It will easily fit into any existing network whether that is a Mac, Windows or other without needing additional software or additional employee training.

There is no shortage of software. There are thousands of titles and applications for the MAC user.

MACs hold their value longer than PCs. They are higher in quality.

Apple computers are usually easier to set up because they are designed to one set of specifications and are set up to one set of specifications. They may have secondary hard drives, CD_ROM drives, network connections, video display cards, or printers.

Cons of MACs:

Most cost more than PCs. They last longer and their value last longer.

There are more PCs and programs available with bigger markets and larger number of programs than MACs.

Apple controls all MAC Hardware. There are limited choices. Apple dictates the price.

There are very few Mac courses for colleges and universities.

The Mac and PC do not easily read each other programs.

Mac Software:

Office Suites: Apple Works 6.0

Word Processing: Corel WordPerfect 3.5

Spreadsheets: Lotus 1-2-3

Presentation Tools: AppleWorks 6.0

Internet Browers: Onmi Omni Web 4 and iCab

Organizations Backing Macintosh

BBC Worldwide: Standardized on PowerMac G3 in August 1999

McGraw-Hill Companies: Standard & Poor's online personal investment service based on Apple's WebObjects

NASA: Jet Propulsion Lab relies on Macs for critical testing

Kinko's: Currently standardizing on Apple ColorSync Displays

Bose Corporation: Uses Macs to build an acoustical model for creating audio equipment

Dartmouth College: Recommends iMac to class of 2002

UCLA: Uses iMacs in the Department of Neurobiology's computer teaching lab

Time, Fed Ex, the U.S. Navy, NASA, Lockheed-Martin, Aerospace Corp, Tandem Computers Inc., Motorola Inc. Tristar Pictures, and the U.S. Dept of Energy each owns and use thousands of Mac Computers.

BENEFITS OF PCs

Window users find the Windows environment user-friendly.

There is 90-plus percent market dominance.

PCs address the needs of a wider audience.

Offers a decent experience with a variety of tasks.

There are more selections in the marketplace.

The system can be built for the individual user or for a company.

Cheaper prices.

PCs have more applications.

There are varieties of different games and software.

A fully loaded PC will cost almost $1,000 less than a Mac.

PCs are everywhere and compatible with most other PCs.

If you use a PC at work, it might be best to get a similar computer but most PCs are compatible. While Macs and PCs usually are not.

Most schools and universities use PCs and Macs do not eaily read one another's programs.…

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