Don't get me wrong, I have always been one of those PC users that have had a serious case of Mac Envy.
Windows was a kludgy mess of crashes and hidden DOS it barely ran.
Meanwhile, Apple computers tended to run and run fairly well with a
simple but elegant design.
You must like it in the
Windows World since there really isn't that much difference between the
current version of Windows and Mac OSX on the surface any more. Besides
we're all running software on the web these days, and the software that
sits on the computer is not completely unchallenged.
course I am summarizing greatly. There are some significant design
considerations under the hood. To the end user, the differences are not
really all that obvious.
On the other hand, the Mac had a significant problem with it. The way Apple choses to orphan machines.
see an electronic device could conceivably work for decades or more.
There are plenty of antique devices. There is a point after which
they're not supported any more. You can't get Vacuum Tubes at the
corner Drugstore for example.
Things do wear out, and there is a point after which keeping that old machine running simply makes no sense.
Computers, they improve them on such a rapid pace that many times it
makes sense just to get a new one. Mind you, I've done quite well using
other people's old machines for a very long time. I would keep a
desktop at the cutting edge and a second machine around that typically
would be a year or two old. That machine would be my daily driver and
I'd use it to do all those tasks that I would want to bang away at
quickly and move on. The heavy lifting goes on the desktop.
The desktop is gone now. My 2 year old machine is sufficient.
That's because I'm running Windows on it. I expect to
be able to get a new version of Windows for this machine and run on
until the battery no longer holds a charge or the dog knocks it off the
coffee table. I'll probably use it as a tethered machine to play music
after that and squeeze a year more out of it.
flexibility means that I'll be able to expect that I'll be safe and
sound. I won't be serving out advertisements for a Russian Porn Site or
for "marital aids" because someone somewhere decided I wasn't going to
be supported. Sure, software gets dropped in the PC world, but
generally you just don't get cut off and left to twist in the wind if
you have a PC.
Now, look at the Apple Mac user. It
doesn't profit Apple if you don't upgrade so every so often. They will then make a
decision that they will not support the older machines. After all, those new machines are so Shiny you will just want to run out and get that new shiny object!
I have an old G4
Power Mac that I keep on my desk for "Mac Emergencies" and it hasn't been
supported for quite a few years. I hardly ever use that thing which is a
shame because it runs about as fast as I would expect a fairly recent
machine to run.
It is however a security hole. That
is because it hasn't been supported by Apple for all that time. When
they made the change to "normal" Intel hardware like your PC uses, they
decided that they would eventually stop supporting that aging beast
after the next operating system is put out. If you want up to date, you
have to get a new machine.
Not by my choice, but
theirs. That physical machine is still running happily, but at this
point you really don't want to do too much with it because you may get a
You see this sort of thing is happening right now in the Mac
World. Sure they are beautiful machines but Apple has decided that some
not so very old machines won't be supported. They won't be allowed to
upgrade to the latest operating system because they are incapable of
running the thing. In this case it's their transition from 32 to 64 bit
Windows is still supporting the older 32
bit machines, but because of the way Microsoft does its support, you
won't be cut off from security updates and cause a problem immediately.
Apple has just thrown up a wall and said you're not supported, buy a new one.
importantly, Apple is also not going to update the older versions of
its application software. The biggest security hole in all of this is
their browser, Safari. The browser will not be supported on the older
platforms and security updates will not be issued.
are the biggest problem in computing these days since they're used so
intensely on so many different sites. I have gotten "virused" before
and I watch extremely closely what I'm doing. I've had many friends
call and ask what to do about a virus. "Update your scanner, run a full
scan, update your computer, and change your passwords" is the basic
In this case, Apple users can't do that. They're locked in on the older computers to an older browser.
solution in that case is either get a new Mac or get new software. My
suggestion is Windows or Linux. At least you don't have to give up
your shiny hardware because of a design decision.
After all, the browsers on Windows and Linux are being kept up to date. The biggest security hole is safer there.
The application software like a Browser is being supported by another
organization outside of the walled garden of the operating system and hardware vendor.
You're simply safer when control isn't so concentrated.
definition of a single point of failure. Now go check your virus scanner and help "mom" get hers checked too. You'll be happy you did.