Apple or Microsoft?
I was, at one time, an apple fanboy. Had an Mac Mini G4 and an iBook G4. Those were it. The only computers in my house. I also had an iPod, but who doesn’t…or didn’t at one time? Well, the more I used it, the more I came to realize some interesting stuff:
In the past, PCs were in the 133, 233, 333, 500MHz ranges. The software was written to not be too hard on the systems as the performance of computers was changing daily it seemed. Once could keep a computer for a couple of months, then a new one was needed as the change was occurring too fast. So fast, the a PC could be outdated by the end of the year.
Now, the PC market has slowed down by quite a bit. There are folks with 1.5GHz processors that can still use any software, play any game, and get by without the blink of an eye. There is no need to upgrade every year, as even governments are using computers that are 2, even 3 years old and they work just fine.
Me personally, I was using a homebrew PC for several years that only needed a video card upgrade, and a new motherboard and processor upgrade during that time. Now, I have a laptop and PC, both from Dell. The Laptop I bought with a normal series of components, such that I can use it for a couple of years, a mid-end computer. The PC I bought with the highest components available for the model. This one is going to be in service for several more years, a high-end computer (although it is not a gaming rig, it didn’t have the most expensive, highest performing hardware, It was rated at the bottom end of the high-end PCs.)
What brought all of this on, were the Apple products:
The Mini G4 was obviously not a high end computer, yet respectable, and still able to be used today…for web browsing, checking e-mail, and doing minor office work. Thats it. If I throw ANY of my dual-compatible blizzard games at it (WoW, Starcraft, Warcraft), or any of the decent Mac games, it throws a fit and bogs WAY down. It was a November 2005, and already it was running like something from several years prior….slow. It hung up constantly with ANY type of CPU-intensive software, and was a general pain on most websites because the new fad for the web was flash-based products. I upgraded the RAM, and it didn’t change a thing. What didn’t help the matter was that the Mini’s received a much-needed CPU upgrade to the Intel Core in Fev -7, and the Core 2 in Aug 07
The iBook G4 was bought in February 2006 and initially it was a great machine. The problems came when we moved to Texas that December. Like the Mini, it started hanging up on websites, bogging down on WoW and Diablo 2, and was more of a pain to work with that we thought. That is when we made the decision to buy the Dell Laptop (which actually is one of the Linux-based E1505N computers with a better nVidia graphics card that its Windows-based ATI counterpart.)
My experiences with Apple have brought on a realization that both products we bought were almost immediately replaced with the Macbook Intel-based products rather than keeping with the G4/G5 processors. This change in processors gave a very high jump in power to the systems, effectively rendering ANY Power-PC processor system (the G3/G4/G5 line) obsolete.
So, after spending a great amount of cash for non-upgradeable Apply-quality products, I was to buy new ones? Sorry, but I chose to go back to Windows XP and the new Vista on PCs that I could slowly upgrade as necessary. This brought me to another thought: What if Apple unlocked the hardware requirement for their OS?
As most folks know, OS X is ONLY made for Apple hardware, and any use of the OS on a non-Apple product is a violation of the EULA. What about those OSX86 hackers? They take the OS and install it on X86-based computers (started when there was the Power-PC/X86 differences in the processors.) Now that OS X is made for Intel processors, why doesn’t Apple allow a person to use their OS on any computer? Security!
With an OS made for a specific line of hardware, the drivers are known, and the OS runs smoother. Any security problems with hardware are known and fixed easily because they know each and every component that their OS is running on. If they were allowed to install on any system, the hardware combinations are infinite, and there would be driver issues, security holes, and who knows what else…a persistent beachball-of-death.
What we need is an alternative to Linux, a 3rd OS that we could install without knowing basic programming, yet something just as easy (or easier) as XP. OS X for ALL computers is what I want.
I love XP because its what I know, and what we all use at work. I love OS X for its ease of use, installing/removing programs, and simple yet very effective interface. I fell in love with the Apple OS. I hate the hardware. I want to choose my video card, not have one chosen for me. I want to choose my processor and RAM size, not have them limited. I want to know the computer will still be able to play games years from now, not have it replaced every couple of months with the newer and best hardware at a premium price. But with that price comes stability.
Apple chooses the components that work best, and I commend them, but I feel that it will be their downfall if they don’t change their plans in the future. If they want to improve their hold on the PC market, they will eventually have to open their system to everyone, or stay limited to a small group of consumers that can and will pay the premium for that stability.