Answering LindaSue

LindaSue wrote:

“I’m so glad you said something about the Mac. Over the years I have wondered. I even used a Mac for about 6 months in one job that I had. I didn’t care for the fact that I always had to hit an extra key for shortcuts. I know the Linux system has increased security from phishing, malware, spyware, etc. Does the Mac also have this benefit? I will be looking for another home computer in a year or so. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be a MAC?!”

Before I begin let me say thanks for your comment. I’m pretty sure there are other folks out there who are wondering the same things you are. Hopefully my answers will help you and them out. If not, then I’ll at least try and point you in the right direction. Now let me get started.

As with anything new, there is a learning curve. Because Apple uses a different operating system, OS X Tiger, there are different ways of getting things done. For example, I’m guessing the “extra key” you’re referring to is the Function key or what a lot of users refer to as the Apple key (seeing as it typically has an apple on it). It’s pretty much like the Alt key in Windows. Getting used to using the Function key was probably the biggest obstacle I encountered, but once I did I was quickly rewarded with the power, simplicity, and intuitiveness that Tiger offers.

You mentioned Linux having increased security, and I’m not about to dispute that, but Tiger is no slouch regarding security. Even before Tiger, one needed a password to install most software on a Mac. This vastly decreases the chances of malicious code being executed on ones machine without them knowing it. With Tiger, the folks at Apple have raised the bar even higher. Apple’s built-in Safari browser and Apple Mail programs examine all downloads and warn the user of anything suspicious. Tiger is more secure out of the box than any Windows PC I’ve ever dealt with, and that’s without even activating the firewall. Once the firewall is activated, you increase your security even more, although I really wish this was activated by default. But the security doesn’t end there. I strongly suggest you click here and take a look at the rest of what’s available regarding security with Tiger. It’s worth a look.

If you do take a look and decide to take a look at OS X in general, you’re probably going to find a lot of similarities between it and Vista. What to make of this I leave up to you, but I will remind you that OS X has been out a little while longer. Nearly two years longer.

Another bit of information I think is important for you to know is how much things cost in the Mac world. People often complain about how expensive it is to purchase a Mac, but as I’ve said in an earlier article, it quickly pays for itself. I recently bought iWork 06 for my MacBook Pro. What’s the retail price for both the word processor and powerful presentation software packages? $79 in the U.S., and 795SEK here in Sweden (thanks to those taxes again!). Even OS X Tiger is reasonably priced at $129 for a single user. Can you imagine buying Word, Powerpoint, and Vista for $208? Neither can I.

And lastly, when it comes to buying a home computer, among other things I always ask folks to seriously consider the customer service reputation of the company they’re buying from. After all, if and when you run into problems, it’s always nice having a competent and friendly voice on the other end of the line, right? Well, Apple’s no slouch when it comes to customer service. In fact, they’re among the Customer Satisfaction Elite according to Business Week Online. That’s not at all shabby when you see the company they’re in.

I hope I’ve answered your questions, and I hope you find a computer suitable to your needs. If you’re seriously considering a Mac I highly suggest you pay a visit to an Apple dealer. Go in and test drive one for yourself, and be sure to ask questions. And, of course, feel free to ask me more if you like. If I don’t know the answer, odds are pretty good I know someone who does. Thanks again for your comment.

Laterz.

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