Sunday, July 05, 2009

Crash & Burn - Mac or PC

by Wilfred Bereswill

I intended to write a more insightful blog, but I'm running on computer life support here. My little Asus EeePC Netbook is at my day job office, my laptop monitor is flickering uncontrollably making it useless and my desktop won't power up (not sure what the hell is going on there).

I'm borrowing my daughter's Macbook to struggle through this; something I need to get used to because I've just gone from a lifetime of PC to Mac. My new Macbook Pro is on order and should be here next week. I'll still have my little Eee PC, but that is for surfing and writing only. No website maintenance, etc.

I said I was a lifetime PC. Well, that's no exageration. Actually, my first computer was an IBM 1620 with 4 megabytes, YES, MEGABYTES, of RAM. I learned to use a keypunch in high school. I graduated to an IBM System 3, then used a Cray for a while when I worked for the Government in college.

My first job (1984/85) bought me a PC and IBM 8088. Two floppy drives and no hard drive. DOS on one disk, Wordstar or Lotus 123 on the other. A few years later I had my first Windows machine an IBM 8288. 20 Meg hard drive.

So this week I'll start a new chapter in my life, a move away from Windows.

How about you? PC or Mac?

Oh and here's a tidbit. This has been reported on the internet last week. I checked Snopes to see if it was authentic or not to no avail. Either way, there's a story here, waiting to be written.


Luxury yachts in Russia are offering pirate hunting cruises in the dangerous waters off the coast of Somalia with the hope of being attacked. Passengers pay about $5,000 to patrol and can pay an extra $7.50 a day to receive an AK-47 machine gun for protection and about $10 for 100 rounds of ammo.The yachts travel from Djibouti to Mombasa in Kenya and deliberately cruise close to the coast at a speed of about five nautical miles hoping to attract pirates.


Gina said...

I'm a life-long PC user, too, but I got a MAC earlier this year to run the Final Cut Express and Photoshop I needed for film class projects - that way, work was easily transferable between what I was doing at school and at home. Now I'm using the MAC for most of my internet access (once I figured out how to install the #$&@! wireless router), but I still write on my old PC.

Searching for pirates? Maybe that's a tourist possibility we've missed. Maybe rich Russians would pay big bucks to tour some of our less savory neighborhoods in hope of experiencing a drive-by shooting.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm a PC writer (hmm...that sounds different than I intended).

I know a lot of writers who use Macs, though...and my publishers seem to.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Annette said...

I'll be interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on this. I'm a PC user because that's what I happened to buy when I was shopping for my first computer and didn't know a hard drive from a mouse. I've heard pros and cons regarding Macs, but I honestly still don't know much about them.

As for the pirate searches, I'm only going if the pirates look like Johnny Depp. Not bloody likely.

Joyce said...

I've also heard good and bad things about MACs. It all depends on what you plan to use them for.

I started reformatting the hard drive on my laptop last night. I've been fighting viruses and trojans for about two months. I've used five different anti-virus softwares, and several anti-malware/spyware programs, but they kept coming back and replicating themselves. So I backed up my documents on a second hard drive and started over. Right now, I'm reinstalling the drivers. It should be good as new (literally!) in a few more hours.

Anonymous said...

Ditto pretty much everything Annette said.

Except I'd be okay with Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom.


Working Stiffs said...

Joyce, I never used to understand why the IT departments of big companies were so friggin' big. I'm sure they work day and night to keep up with viruses, etc.

I just spent about $400 to rid my desktop PC of something very nasty that my daughters downloaded. I would have trashed it normally, but it had all our finacial info on it. All that information has since been backed up to an external hard drive.

Gina, Elizabeth and Annette, I didn't make the Mac transition on a whim. I "built" the Macbook Pro online about 20 times but never hit the "ORDER" button because of the almost $2,000 price tag (yes, I know you can get them cheaper these days). I got the slowest of the 15" models and added MS Office as well as iWorks (Apple's office software). I could have bought 2 reasonably equiped HPs for the same price.

I will NEVER buy another Toshiba. 2 1/2 years of tender loving care of that laptop and my monitor is shot.

My middle daughter, who is in Mizzou's School of Journalism, has had her Mac about 2 years now. It runs just as fast and slick now as it did the day she got it. It isn't slowed by virus software, cookies, adware, malware, trojans, spyware, etc. On the other hand, I don't find Mac's as "Intuitive" as advertised. In fact, I challeneged the sales people at the local Apple store on how to jump to the end of a document. The first one grabbed the scroll bar and I told them I wanted shortcut keys, since I may have a 500 page document. After almost 1/2 hour someone finally figured it was 'Option' + 'right arrow'.

Their excuse for taking so long? It was a microsoft thing in MS Word.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

OK, bad me for not signing out.

As far as the pirate thing is concerned, if it is real, I find it hard to feel sorry for the pirates.

It's kind of like all those revenge movies. Or like pulling out a .45 when a carjacker orders you to move over to the passenger seat.

Jennie Bentley said...

Oh, I wanna go! I wanna go!

Dana King said...

I've been a PC man, mainly because that's what I started on, and my IT jobs have always focused on PCs. My 18-year-old daughter about had me talked into a MacBook when i bought a new laptop last year, except that it provided no functionality I couldn't get from a PC, at three times the price. Even she couldn't justify it for me, and she tried.

Of course, I'm quite conservative with what i download, and I always have good and current virue protection. (Currently Kaspersky, though I hear good things about Avast, which is free.)

Wilfred Bereswill said...


After the viral event I suffered at the fingers of my daughters, I was advised by the company that efficiently rebuilt my PC to use AVG Anti-virus. Free.

They also loaded ccleaner and told me to use it often.

I naively thought my McAffee would protect me. Funny thing is, whatever my daughters got into, it completely uninstalled my McAffee components, but kept the little logo in the system tray.

Bottom line, Dana, I'm tired of worrying about all that. Which is why I made the switch.

Jennie, there is something very satisfying about blasting a hole in some cockey pirate's zodiac. Love to see the looks on their faces when they pull the tarp off a big 50 caliber mini-gun mounted to the deck of a luxury ship and aim it at them.

Making them tread water is one thing, actually killing them? That's a whole other story.

Joyce said...

I tried Avast and didn't care for it. I went back to the free version of AVG. I also recommend Super Anti-spyware and Malwarebytes in addition to AVG. They'll pick up what AVG misses.

Joyce said...

Btw, my drivers are installed and now I'm downloading 3 years worth of Windows updates. Fun.

queenofmean said...

I'm a PC user, too. Mainly because I use mine with business software. The development of MAC business software seems to be somewhat behind.
For security, I use Windows Live One Care. You can go to Microsoft's website & download a 3 month trial of it to see if you like it. You can protect up to 3 computers with the one subscription. After 3 months if you decide you want to keep it, go to Wal-Mart & buy it. It's cheaper than downloading from the Microsoft website. Can't really explain that one.
I'm with Gina. If those Russian tourists want to flirt with danger, I know of a few neighborhoods they can visit.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Joyce, I used MalwareBytes to try to clean my desktop after the GREAT INFECTION. After booting in safe mode and selecting certain drivers to gain a bit of control, it found 38 files infected. Once those were deleted, my computer was totally useless. The virus infected a lot of system files and when those were gone, nothing worked.

Jennie Bentley said...

AVG rocks.