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The dirty Mac brigade (Byteback, January 06)

(This column appears in the January 06 issue of PC Advisor)

David Fanning, editor of PC Advisor's sister title Macworld, recently invited me to contribute to the age-old Mac vs PC debate. The fact we are still debating this just goes to show how insecure Mac aficionados are. You never hear PC users bringing it up. Why? Because we choose the most suitable tool for the job by what it does rather than the badge on its albeit pretty white case.

I don't actually care whether Macs are better than PCs - I care that my computer can help me achieve what I want to do. Nine times out of 10, that means using a PC.

Are Macs easier to use than PCs? To a Mac user, yes. To everyone else, about the same. Both have infuriating quirks to counter instances of inspired simplicity.

Which is faster? Well, dear Mac fan, you hold your breath waiting for a PowerBook G5, while I type this out on my dinky, slim, fast, barely-warm-in-operation Sony Vaio T2. So what about at the office? You show me an IT manager that wants to support both PCs and Macs and I'll show you a nice, comfortable padded room for you to put him in.

And games? I could pay five grand for a PC to play them on - or I could just buy a cheaper one. You see how we PC users have what's known as a choice? It's a marvellous thing, choice. Then there's the noise issue. I could buy a big, whacking, heaving, earthquake-inducing machine or a super-quiet model from the likes of Hush.

Which leaves me with possibly the most monumentally stupid argument for buying a Mac I have come across: “You'll be safe from viruses.” Well, I'll leave you to sit there smugly without any virus protection whatsoever as the first Mac virus emerges and wipes your pretty little machine clean. That day will come, believe me. Happy surfing.

Read the Mac take on the debate at Macworld.co.uk

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