This is something that I’ve discussed with friends a few times before. I have friends that are hardcore Mac users – some are in the middle – and some are adamantly against Mac. I’m…in the middle I guess from a user perspective. From a HARDWARE perspective – I love them. From a TECHNICIAN perspective? Hatred. I’ll explain.
If you’re just using the device, the stability is excellent. The lack of virus infections and lovely interface makes it easy. Once you get into the ecosystem it’s a quick and easy transition from any one Mac device to another. The iOS and OSX interface is very similar. The fact that your purchases stay with you is great! A little annoying that most things are paid, but most of them are worth it. Some apps as well do far better on the Mac than on any other platform. Except maybe Linux in some cases.
With the exception of exploding phones and other things you’ll find online, the Mac hardware is pretty solid. There are small nuances that are integrated that you may not really notice, but it’s there and quite satisfying. Like the Apple Pencil for example. It is balanced to ensure that it will always roll to a particular side once on a flat surface. Little things that make a big impact.
Macs are a nightmare to work with – especially if you don’t have another Mac to use. From having to back-date the system in order to reinstall, to having to FORCE INSTALL an OS in order to update – these are the particular things that make it difficult to work with. Macs have forced obsolescence ingrained in their DNA. Regardless of how good your Mac is, it will become obsolete to the point that it’s not useable. If you’re not a technical person, you have no choice but to change your Mac at end of life.
The “end of life” situation is fine for persons in countries that have good exchange and warranty programs, but the rest of the world does not have those luxuries. You buy a system and you need to do all you can to make it last.
As with any piece of hardware or software, I have little to no preference. That entirely rests on you the end user and your wants or needs. Doing video or audio mixing/editing? Mac. Don’t want virus issues? Mac. Want a solid piece of hardware that will last you 5 years or more? Mac.
If you’re in a country where recalls for defects can be easily accessible, then great! If you’re not – then you have to suffer with what you have. While Macs are great in lots of respects, the availability of compatible software (free or otherwise) is limited. Yes you can find some Mac counterpart to a Windows platform software, and it may even be better, but it is a hassle.
I have three case studies that I’d like to present – for the Mac enthusiasts. These are situations that I’ve resolved, but the level of tediousness was…tedious?
MacBook Pro with defective board. Off warranty. Problem is it doesn’t recognize the internal drive periodically. While data was retrieved – this is a “M13” SSD – the user was unable to have an OS boot on this device ever again. While I resolved this using an external drive, bear in mind that you cannot install MacOS on a USB drive. Just saying.
iMac with a failed drive. While I can’t recall the versions, it was something like Lion that shipped on the device originally, and it was upgradeable to High Sierra. Internet recovery – one of the BEST THINGS on Mac – put back Lion on the device. There was literally no way to get High Sierra on the device. None. Attempts to get the OS upgraded failed. Could not connect to the store to upgrade – would not install the DMG when downloaded – upgrade could not go through. Resolved by forcing an install using a patched HFS and a CLOVER boot tool from within Windows. Still had to back-date the system during setup for it to go through though. But yeah. Go Mac.
Last one. MacBook (not pro) that died. Was taken to another tech before who had managed to get the system restored after a replacement was purchased (identical). This is running OSX 10.5.8 or something – and the system can run 10.11.3 or something. As you know, any Mac that is outdated cannot access certain websites and applications cannot work – minimum requirements and all that from the forced obsolescence. This one was a bit more tricky. Even after getting the “El Capitan” installer app set up on a “High Sierra” system – then exporting it to USB – the thing refused to install. Booted fine and everything, but REFUSED to install. This was “bypassed” using a forced install method – not the date/time method. But these are the things that you go through when working on a Mac.
Much of the problems with OS reinstalls could be resolved by validating the model/serial during internet restore, then putting on the last version available instead of having techs go through all these hoops. Having something on the back-end do this so the user will always have the latest version for their system would be best IMO.
Macs are great devices. They are pretty stable in both the hardware and software. If you’re an end-user then you won’t have many issues, and if you have an upgrade program that you can get into – you’ll have zero issues. If you’re in a country where you have to stay on an older model for an extended time? Ensure you have backups. Get a technician to create the install media for your current/latest OS and have that saved somewhere. Whether iCloud or some other cloud backup – ensure your important files are safe. The cloud storage thing applies to EVERYONE – not just Mac users.
If you’re not purchasing “official” software then go Windows. You can find more “unofficial” software and free software that can work. If you REALLY want to go fully free – go Linux.