Mac vs PC - Really?
21/06/22 20:56 Filed in: Industry
Mac vs PC - why is it such a thing?
There's a question I've come to dread: 'Why do you use a Mac?'. It's always centred on the fact that probably 90% plus of my work is on Windows + networking infrastructure. Very few bits of infrastructure are MacOS based.
Why do I avoid it? Well, mostly because the person asking it usually has a predetermined position and they're itching to give it to you. It's rarely interesting.
Objectively though - why? Well, my opinion is changing, and my choices are evolving. That is interesting. First, let's cover why it wasn't interesting before.
Primarily it's because there was nothing you can do on Windows that I couldn't typically do on my Mac. WAIT you say - Visio? Microsoft PROJECT? OMG OMG. Well. Virtualised I can run both of those things, as well as much other Windows software. It isn't a key decision point for me.
What this means is that my reason for using a Mac was subjective. I just liked the operating environment more. Did it make it more productive….? Arguable as to whether it does or not. I just preferred the look/feel and how the apps worked.
What about hardware? Well, I'm sure there were many better hardware platforms out there - Dell XPS came pretty close for me for example. Again though it's subjective. I get to use several Windows machines and they're very capable, and they could have done the day Job. I just subjectively preferred the MacOS environemnt.
One of the absolute key strengths I really embraced with my Mac was the ability to virtualise so much stuff, so quickly. I would have separate environments on a drive and I could quickly power up Skype or Exchange or many standard environments. On my laptop. It was hugely capable. Was.
Wait you may think - what about Hyper-V? Or VMWare Workstation? You can do that on Windows. You can, and I'd refer you back to my previous point about subjective preference over actual real objective points. I just preferred it in MacOS. Hyper-V was particularly irritating - it didn't scale as well on my local machines and I'd often run in to odd issues usually to do with networking. I'd rarely run in to stuff like that on my Mac.
I ended up using my Mac more like I would an appliance - I just didn't really get involved in tweaking it, or fighting to get bits working. That sometimes wasn't my experience on my Windows equivalents. It was a preference choice though - not one that would fundamentally affect my ability to do stuff.
Now though - well, it's all change. The Apple move to ARM has removed a big key point of my preference - virtualisation. I'm finding that I'm running stuff on my home systems and connecting to it remotely - which is fine of course, but it's an extra step and requires planning. I miss being able to quickly just fire up an environment.
I was today trying to think about then why am I still on a Mac? My main laptop for example is a 10 core 64GB/2TB 16" ARM MacBook Pro. It absolutely flies. I've not got close to using that RAM simply because of the virtualisation restrictions. I don't think I've used such a capable machine with simply ridiculous battery life. There's an issue though - it no longer really does enough. In reality the real reason I'm still using my Mac laptop rather than switching back to say an XPS, is really Apple Photos, Final Cut Pro and….. familiarty… That's it.
Microsoft is now of course (apparently - again) embracing ARM so perhaps things will change in a few years, however for now my MacBook Pro is becoming a media machine, and I suspect my day job will now be XPS driven.
Weird how things come around isn't it? It's interesting to see the fervent arguments each way - I'm not one of those arguers - usually. I just have - had - a preference. The problem is my preference is now making my day job more difficult, in that I have to plan for other methods and other ways of getting stuff done.
That isn't cool, and no amount of looks nice or familiarity can overcome that.