Well, my 30 days are up.
I enjoyed using it, and I definitely see the upside in Apple computers over PC’s. But I’m going back to my Dell Precision690. (Already have actually)
Most of the “failings” of the Mac G5 Pro I was using can probably be attributed to the fact that it’s a G5. So much software doesn’t work on the PowerPC’s, developers have given up on them.. (as is probably justified, they’re old) and upgrading to a MacIntel would probably solve a few (but not all) of the problems I was having with compatibility.
A few points:
- MS Entourage had significant issues. I was forced to use the EWS (Exchange Web Services) client instead of the standard, because my exchange environment is Exchange 2010. Maybe I jumped the gun in upgrading to Exchange2010. Entourage 2008 doesn’t work with Excahnge2010, because Microsoft did away with WebDAV.
- The MS RDP Client for Mac (v1.0 due to PPC Support) only supports a single session. I usually have 3-4 RDP sessions open at a time, so this was a significant limitation.
- TimeMachine doesn’t like to back up to a network drive. I found a few workarounds but was never able to try and get it working. I prefer to backup to an offsite location.
- NTFS read-write support doesn’t exist in Leopard (10.5.8) Though read-only support exists, if I can’t write to an NTFS formatted thumbdrive this is useless to me. I’ve found some third-party drivers but they are both expensive and buggy. I’m told this exists in SnowLeopard (10.6.x) but again, not willing to shell out that kind of money for a computer to do something I can do with windows.
- Software is expensive… The Version of Quickbooks that I paid $99 for on windows was $299 on Mac. WTF is up with that?!
- I love having a native BASH shell. I do a *LOT* of scripting, and it’s nice to be able to do it hands on.
- The GUI is very intuitive, I like the Dock (Akin to Cairo-Dock for Linux)
- I enjoyed iPhoto – the face-recognition, while imperfect, was interesting to play with.
- Application installations were easy, and almost NEVER required a reboot.
- It’s mostly quiet. I love a computer I don’t hear running. Though the Precision is pretty quiet too. And the Mac “Jet-Engines” when you put it under load whereas the Dell doesn’t.
– And finally:
- The start-up chime the mac makes *REALLY* annoys my eldest son, who for some reason (couldn’t be his dad, could it?) HATES apple products. I must have rebooted it ten times one night while he was in the other room playing BlackOps just to hear him complain.
Bottom line, I work with EMC products. Much of the software I use in my work runs on Windows by virtue of the fact that EMC writes it that way. (Why Symmwin hasn’t been ported to CentOS or some such yet is beyond me….would save the company MILLIONS every year in software licensing)
But it all comes down to cost. The starting price of a new Mac Pro is $2499 (Source: Apple) That’s for a ‘simple’ box with a quad-core processor. The higher-end systems (12-core, 2x 6-core CPU’s) run $4,999.
Macs is more expensive. As a side-note. I walked into Micro-Center to buy memory for it. The G5 uses standard DDR, PC3200 memory. In the *SAME STORE* memory was two different prices, depending on whether you were in the Mac side or the PC side. For PC’s the 1GB PC3200 memory was $29/ea.
On the Mac side, it was $59/ea. What amazed me mostly was the fact that the guy behind the counter said that people would GLADLY pay the extra $30 for the exact same memory because it said “Mac Ready” on the label. (It was even the same manufacturer)
Wow. That’s all I can say about that. Wow. That’s abusive. That’s taking advantage of people who don’t know any better. Double? Really Apple? (Well this wasn’t apple, but it is the general problem.)
Let’s put this into perspective. The Dell Precision 690 I have runs 2x Dual-Core 3.0Ghz Xeon CPU’s, 8G of ram, and it cost me less than $1,000 when bought seperately. It’s a faster box, (Twice as many CPU cores, DDR2, PC5300 memory, etc)
Now I’m not the type to buy the latest and greatest. I’ve never bought a “new” laptop in my life, (I prefer refurbs, especially since Dell sells them with the exact same warranty as new at half the price.) I drive a 6-year old Prius, my wife drive’s a 10-year old Chevy. I have a modest house in the suburbs that’s slightly crooked but fits my needs, but isn’t flashy by any stretch. And every piece of computer equipment I buy for the datacenter is second-hand. (we just acquired a pair of Cisco 9140 Switches, how many generations back is that?)
To go out and buy a “NEW” Mac for those prices is completely INSANE. Now I could probably buy one used on ebay. (Apple people tend to upgrade often, so there are lots of them out there.)
So in my humble view – Macs are great personal computers, and wonderful graphics arts systems. They *CAN* be used in business if you’re willing to make some sacrifices, but again, if you want stuff to just work, Windows is still the way to go for business.
I *MAY* consider a used MacBook Pro though. I can see where the portable version would come in VERY handy, and you can get Intel-based MacBooks on Ebay (lease-returns) pretty cheap. (I’m amazed Apple doesn’t have an outlet store like Dell does)
This concludes my latest experiment.
P.S. For Sale – Mac Pro G5 Tower. Dual 2.5Ghz PPC, 8GB Ram, 2x 250G HardDisks, dual-port Video, Keyboard/Mouse (new). MacOS 10.5.6 Leopard (Installed, no media)
Make me an offer.