What makes a mac better?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Dudley Hanks, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I've always found the Apple / Mac versus the IBM / Windows debate rather
    interesting...

    Supporters on both sides say their brand choice is best, but why?

    In the case of macs supposedly being superior at processing graphics, I've
    never heard what it is about macs that is so great, other than "the mac
    quality is unmatched."

    Interestingly, a graphic file is nothing more than a bunch of data that
    describes where each pixel goes and what colour that pixel should be, and,
    in the case of 32 bit images, how transparent that pixel is set.

    The "computer" uses software instructions to process those bits of info.

    Basically the hardware is responsible for storing that data and getting
    those bits of info into memory, where the software works with the data.
    Then, the hardware takes the data in memory and displays it on a screen.
    The hardware is really only responsible for moving the data around, not for
    creating it or creatively processing it.

    All mac enthusiasts can really cheer about is whether their boxes can do the
    job quicker, or, at best, that their monitors might have nicer shades of
    red, green and blue. All the creative work gets done by the user of the
    camera (not mac), and in post processing (usually Adobe).

    Interestingly, Adobe seems to put more work into Windows than it does into
    mac, at least it does when Adobe Elements is concerned.

    I wonder why that is...

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, Aug 26, 2012
    #1
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  2. Dudley Hanks

    ray Guest

    IMHO - you've made an invalid assumption. For me neither mac or ms is
    best - Linux all the way. Stability and security unsurpassed.
     
    ray, Aug 26, 2012
    #2
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  3. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    That's the one thing I do like about macs: that they tend to use an
    offshoot of unix as the OS.

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, Aug 26, 2012
    #3
  4. Dudley Hanks

    Alan Browne Guest

    That notion is pre-2000 ish. It is no longer a point in favour of Mac.
    Ironically, several recent macs display color at 6 bits/colour making
    them underwhelming compared to many displays on the market. This is not
    at the processing/graphics card level but at the display level. In fact
    someone sued Apple over the assertion that the Mac in question displayed
    16M colours (whatever the number) when in fact the display was only
    capable of 260 thousand or so.
    AFAIK Elements is identical in function on both platforms. I may be
    wrong. ( I use CS5).

    The value in a Mac is that it is a more streamlined, simple OS that
    tends to work very consistently. Its security model (UNIX based) is
    clear and concise.

    This still allows the user to do stupid things, but if he operates from
    a non admin account, then there are few ways that malware can get in -
    and then only at a level that cannot cause much damage. The unaware
    user can still get malware in to admin "level", but it takes the effort
    of permitting it (or always running from an admin account - a no-no).

    Hence, the relatively low population of Macs and the robustness of the
    security module make it a poor target for malware. (There is a serious
    attack every year or 2 in recent years. They affect a low number of
    Macs ( the user is always the weak link ) and are quickly eradicated
    after causing little or no damage. Apple to their discredit are always
    slow to issue fixes.

    It is fair to say because OS X is built for Apple computers alone, that
    the OS/drivers and such need only to account for a narrower range of
    hardware. That reduces complexity and likelihood of problems.

    In terms of configuration, setup and fixing problems it is an order of
    magnitude less frustration and time waste than Windows. Windows is
    plain ugly in structure and functions. It is bolt-on after trusses and
    suspenders and other things unmentionable, even by me.

    The value of putting on malware protection is very low. The paranoid
    and careless use it. I've never installed any. (I also run Windows on
    my Mac under VMWare Fusion and that instance of WinXP has AVG Free
    anti-virus).

    The hardware for equivalent function is usually more expensive. The
    setup I have now, were it a PC _with a high quality monitor_, would be
    under $1200-$1300 - far less than this iMac alone, never mind the side
    monitor that I have (a cheapie). OTOH this iMac is 4.5 years old. I
    had to replace a failing HD at just shy of 3 years. This iMac performs
    well enough for my photo needs and will for a while. I have upgrade
    lust but I can hold that off. (New a99 camera coming soon...)

    In laptops, the high end machines are not much more expensive than the
    high end PC laptops.

    The industry press tests show Apple hardware to be significantly higher
    quality/reliability than the PC average, but only marginally better than
    the best PC vendor hardware. As always you don't get what you don't pay
    for.

    For my personal computer I can't see going back to PC's and Windows.

    For anyone contemplating the switch to Mac, look very carefully at your
    overall software on your PC, how much you need it and are their
    equivalents or substitutes on the Mac. You can always install Parallels
    or VMWare Fusion (or the freeware one). That is fine for run of the
    mill software but if you're into PC based games it probably won't be
    quite enough (you can also bootcamp your way to Windows - I've never
    tried it though).
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2012
    #4
  5. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    When I picked up my version of Adobe Elements, there was no equivalent mac
    version. At that time, Adobe was about 2 versions behind in mac-based
    Elements, and there was talk that Adobe might be discontinuing support for
    Elements on macs altogether.

    I'll agree that UNIX based systems are more secure than similar Windows
    systems, but I'm not convinced that those reports of apple durability
    superiority are all that accurate.

    Given that mac lovers tend to be more zealous than those in the PC family,
    I'd chalk up longer lived apples to increased tlc by owners.

    PCs get chucked around pretty good by everybody from the family kids to
    low-level employees who dream of better jobs instead of attention to detail.

    But, increased security / (possibly) durability have very little to do with
    great graphics...

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, Aug 26, 2012
    #5
  6. Dudley Hanks

    Alan Browne Guest

    Linux has been the NEXT THING since about 2000 - at that point in time
    it had "arrived" as a desktop environment for the masses. It was going
    to replace Windows outright and possibly turn off Apple's lights.

    Sure Wilbur.

    As a home/office desktop environment it absolutely sucks. And that is
    why only geeks use it for such.

    For fucks sake it is FREE! ... and only has a couple percent of the
    desktop market. If something is so ridiculously good and free, everone
    should be using it. (Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter - all very
    good to their users and free and immensely popular [no I don't use
    facebook or Twitter])

    Yet people pay MS' ridiculous premium prices for MS Windows (and pay for
    malware protection too) and eschew Linux.

    It has utterly failed to take on the home/office after a 10+ years assault.

    The lack of Adobe suite software and MS Office for Linux are part of the
    issue. (Don't even bring up LibreOffice - the biggest pile of horse
    dung on the planet or for God's sake "The Gimp").

    Mountain Lion (upgrade) is $20. And that one (downloaded update)
    payment applies to ALL the Macs in a house. Got 15 intel Macs? Fine
    load 'em all up. And there are no idiotic feature levels like Windows
    (except the OS X server, an additional $20).

    Linux is for industrial, embedded, databases, super-computing and so on.
    It is horrid as a desktop home/office machine. Yes I've been there.
    Useless.

    Your "stability and security unsurpassed" claim is specious too. Indeed
    with the encrypted volume scheme on a Mac the hard disk is effectively
    scrambled at all times that the key is not loaded. That's secure. As
    to malware prevention Linux's sole advantage is that it is not targetted
    as much as Windows.

    Linux (like OS X) depends on the user to keep the barbarians out of the
    gate. A well written attack with a dash of social engineering will get
    malware in there. But I guess malware writers consider Linux to be too
    lean, too savvy and especially too poor to bother attacking.
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2012
    #6
  7. Dudley Hanks

    Alan Browne Guest

    It is no offshoot.
    It is UNIX.
    BSD based.
    POSIX Compliant.
    UNIX 03 certified.

    You can run UNIX s/w directly on a Mac, including applications that use
    the X11 GUI environment. (From Mountain Lion on, X11 will have to be
    separately installed).
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2012
    #7
  8. Dudley Hanks

    Alan Browne Guest

    They are - to my surprise. I believe "nospam" posted some reports on it
    in one of the photo ng's during an interminable battle with Tony Cooper.

    But as I said, when you buy the better PC hardware vendors, the
    difference becomes marginal. That said, I've had PC's that have lasted
    near a decade and were still fine when I got rid of them. (Last one had
    a mother board failure after a mere 6 years however).

    It's not on this basis alone that anyone should make a decision, but
    rather to say that Macs are very well designed and built (I have some
    reservations on that in terms of accessing a HD on an iMac, for example).
    Mac fans are irritating to be sure - look at me. They are frustrated
    that everyone doesn't rush to the one true faith. Perhaps only Linux
    wingnuts are worse.

    PC users on the other hand are somewhat trapped into what they use at
    home, what they use at work and so on.

    That said, since the iPod and iPhone revolution the Mac (esp. the iMac
    and laptops) have enjoyed a huge growth in sales (the 'halo effect').
    And even in the last 2 years as desktop sales slowed, the iMac kept
    growing in sales (began slowing 2 quarters ago).
    Same with Macs. I recall a year or so ago at a party there were Macs
    running all over the house. Youngest kid <- oldest Mac. They spanned
    back into the pre OS X days. That says something.

    I confess that last half of your sentence makes absolutely no sense to me.
    Your question was "what makes a Mac better?" I listed some things.

    What I failed to write is that Mac displays are very nice and well
    suited to photography. Soon after buying this iMac I borrowed a spider
    and calibrated it. The result was so close to the factory default that
    I left it at factory. Re-cal a year late showed no real change (more
    variation in the calibration process than in the annual change - if any).

    An iMac may be comparatively expensive to a PC kit, but the display
    provided is way better than the monitor provided with, eg, the hp kit on
    sale at Staples this week.

    Again, re-read my last paragraph. That is really what anyone must
    understand before switching.
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2012
    #8
  9. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Now for some legal bullshit. ``UNIX'' is a trademark of The Open Group
    .. From what I can infer from their web site about their opinions of what
    unix is, they would agree with me that it's a description of the function of
    a family of operating systems, but they would also add ``that we have
    certified to be UNIX''. So legally, it's not a UNIX unless The Open Group
    certifies it as a UNIX. So a lot of those operating systems I listed as
    unices are not UNIXes. It's a thoroughly sad case of legalities getting in
    the way of simplicity & sanity.

    Anyway, I say that if an operating system behaves like unix, then it's a
    unix, though not necessarily a UNIX(TM).

    --From: http://sdf.org/tutorials/unx/node4.html

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, Aug 26, 2012
    #9
  10. Dudley Hanks

    Alan Browne Guest

    http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/certificates/1190p.pdf

    (there are also certificates for prior OS X releases back through Leopard).
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2012
    #10
  11. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    they skipped version 5 & 7 for mac for some reason, so at *most* it was
    one version behind.

    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Photoshop_Elements>

    every other release was for both platforms and at the same time. it's a
    cross platform app from the same codebase.

    i'm also curious why you would have even looked at whether there was a
    mac version, given that you have no intention of getting a mac.
    the only such talk would have been from ignorant people.

    roughly half of adobe's revenue comes from macs. why would adobe
    discontinue support of half of their revenue base??
    look at consumer satisfaction reports, reliability reports, etc. macs
    are consistently on top.
    nonsense. macs don't get any more care than anything else. some users
    are gentle with their stuff and others are not.
    it does when you have to keep dealing with malware threats, removing it
    if you get it, etc.
     
    Guest, Aug 26, 2012
    #11
  12. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    both mac and windows laptops use 6 bit displays. it's nothing unique to
    apple. many windows laptops also use lower quality tn displays to cut
    costs whereas macs don't.

    laptops have a power constraint and most people don't do colour
    critical work on a laptop, so it's a fair tradeoff. you can always plug
    in an external display, which many people do.

    that said, the macbook pro with retina display has an 8 bit ips
    display. it's as good as anything you can get on your desk outside of
    something like eizo ($$), and actually much better due to its insanely
    high resolution.
    just about all adobe software is cross platform, not just elements.
     
    Guest, Aug 26, 2012
    #12
  13. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    more nonsense.

    adobe's products are cross platform. it's the same codebase for both.
    any work that goes into one goes into the other automatically.

    by the way, photoshop began on a mac, as did lightroom, and even
    microsoft excel was mac only initially. they were later ported to
    windows.
     
    Guest, Aug 26, 2012
    #13
  14. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    what's unsurpassed about linux is the lack of useful software.
     
    Guest, Aug 26, 2012
    #14
  15. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    it's legally unix.

    <http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3555.htm>
    <http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3581.htm>
    <http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3591.htm>
     
    Guest, Aug 26, 2012
    #15
  16. Dudley Hanks

    tony cooper Guest

    Mac products are to computers what snake handling is to religion.
    People who buy Macs tend to become evangelical about their choice.
    Mac-pimps like nospam automatically assume that Macs will be "best" at
    everything; even things they have no personal experience with.

    It's just a machine; it doesn't endow the user with any special
    qualities or abilities. As with any machine, proficiency comes with
    experience, training (which can be self-training), and adaptability.

    More people with PCs have problems than people with Macs, but that's
    because the average Mac buyer is a little more sophisticated about
    working with a computer and going online than the average PC buyer.
    Knowledgeable PC users don't tend to have the same problems.

    Macs are more expensive than PCs. Mac-pimps are quick to point out
    that PC computers with comparable specs are just as expensive, but one
    of the definitions of "expensive" is the amount of money it takes to
    purchase what will perform sufficiently for the user. Mac-pimps
    refuse to recognize that not all users need or want or are willing to
    pay for spec levels they don't expect to use.

    I don't think supporters of PCs say that their brand choice is the
    best as you have posited above. I think they do think it works for
    them and they are perfectly happy with their choice, but PC owners
    aren't dick-wavers about brand superiority like Mac owners tend to be.
    When have you ever heard a PC owner to say his e-machine or his Dell
    is the best machine on the market?

    Despite the continuous whining of a certain Mac-pimp here, I'm not
    biased against Macs. I just happened to drift into the PC area, found
    that I can do what I want and need to do on a PC, and remain satisfied
    with my choice. Had I started out on a Mac, I'd be perfectly
    satisfied with a Mac, but I hope that I would never become the type of
    person who thinks he is somehow superior or smarter for making that
    choice.

    It's what you can do with the machine, not the name on the machine,
    that counts. I certainly don't see the output or results of Mac users
    to be superior to the output or results of PC users just because of
    the machine they use. And, in the case of one notable Mac-pimp, I
    don't see the output or results at all. I wonder why.
     
    tony cooper, Aug 26, 2012
    #16
  17. Dudley Hanks

    PeterN Guest

    Do you actually work with any post processing program, or do you just
    bullshit using theoretical specs.
     
    PeterN, Aug 26, 2012
    #17
  18. Dudley Hanks

    Alan Browne Guest

    I disagree with that. A lot of Mac users, esp. the artsy sorts are
    pretty lame when it comes to understanding everything going on on their
    computers. But they are productive with them whether writing, doing art
    (incl. photography) and so on. There is something about the fussless
    way things are done that appeals to them.
    There are areas (not universal) where the cost of equivalent spec macs
    and PC's are very close, esp. in laptops. Yes you can make your case
    where you don't need a quad core i7 laptop, an i3 dual core will do.
    It's meaningless to those who need more powerful machines.

    Windows is bizarrely expensive and comes in several "levels". The least
    expensive (and crippled level) is about $140 and is a license for one
    machine. The most expensive "starts" at $280. And is a license for one
    machine.

    OTOH, Upgrades to OS X are quite low priced. The current update to
    "Lion" is "Mountain Lion" and is $20. There are no other flavours. And
    that one license covers all Macs under one roof.

    So a family of 5 having to upgrade all their PC's is looking at over
    $600 to go from Vista to Win 7. And you'll need anti-virus for all of them.

    Or $20 if using 5 Macs in the same household.
    Go to the right forum and you will hear the hp/dell/etc. fights.

    This dickwaver uses both Windows and Macs (and even smatterings of
    Linux) and can tell you without a smidgen of bias that Mac OS X is far
    better than Windows which has evolved from meager beginnings to be a big
    mediocrity of a thousand disjointed parts. A blivet. That is Windows.

    Mac hardware is very good stuff. That doesn't matter much because most
    good PC brands are very good stuff too...

    Except in one area. When you buy an iMac or a Mac laptop, the displays
    are head and shoulders above what is provided with PC kits and most (not
    all) PC laptops. There is premium value in Mac displays. (And that's
    not even counting the superlative retina displays now available on some
    Macbooks and Macbook Air laptops and rumoured to be coming to the iMac
    this fall).
    You can't help it. Get a Mac and you never go back. You will wave your
    dick without embarrassment no matter how small. To have and use a Mac
    is to have arrived. To be free of all the hassles of PC-dom.
    Don't wonder but don't forget the journey is not only the end, but how
    you get there. Traveling with a Mac is far less trouble, effort and
    hassle than with a PC. I use both. I know.
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2012
    #18
  19. Dudley Hanks

    George Kerby Guest

    <snip>

    Dudley, are you trolling for a flame war?!?

    <bows head>

    Tsk-tsk...
     
    George Kerby, Aug 26, 2012
    #19
  20. Dudley Hanks

    tony cooper Guest

    If a family of five requires five separate computers, and all want to
    upgrade from Vista to Win 7, that would be a choice like buying that
    more expensive laptop you mention above.

    I have WindowsXP on my desktop and Win7 on my laptop. I see no
    particular advantage or disadvantage to Win7, but prefer the
    familiarity of XP. I've never used Vista. The only time I've
    upgraded was when I first went to a Windows version yonks ago.

    I've never paid for an anti-virus. I used Norton, which came bundled,
    until they wanted money. I now use the free Avast anti-virus.
    Oh, I think I could manage.
    I'll let you know if I ever come across a hassle because of my PC
    ownership. So far, I've evolved from an Archives CP/M system to my
    present state without thinking I've been hassled. Ignorance is bliss,
    I guess.
    Again, it has to happen before I can recognize it. I haven't traveled
    all that much using my PC laptop, but I don't recall a hassle because
    of it. I did have to send down for a cable at the French Lick
    Sheraton because the unconnected PC would not pick up the wifi in
    those thick walls (very old resort hotel built in 1901), but I'm
    unaware if a Mac would have saved that ten minute delay in connecting.
     
    tony cooper, Aug 26, 2012
    #20
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