Subject: MAC Vs. PC
From: Barry West <Barry_West -dot- S2K -at- S2KEXT -dot- S2K -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 11:06:06 EDT

>The fact is that Macs handle multimedia much better than PCs . . . Has anyone
out there tried to >install a multimedia system on a PC? . . . You don't face
such problems with Mac.

I have used both the Mac and IBM compatible (which I refer to as the PC)
extensively, and I can tell you that saying the Mac handles multimedia better
is just a blatant oversimplification. Very often they do, but you have to
understand why. In the world of Mac, software is limited and the number of
third party peripheral manufacturers are significantly fewer. In other words,
you have fewer choices. In the world of PCs, you have many, many more choices
in how you want to configure your PC (different configurations for different
specific purposes). More choices obviously means more problems. The problem
with multimedia and PCs is that people don't know enough about their machine to
make the right choices (in quality and compatibility), and they end up with big
headaches. But just as with the Mac, you can purchase systems already
configured for you, so you don't have to know anything about jumpers and
switches and all that techie stuff. On the other hand, if you were to start
messing around with a basic off-the-shelf Mac, tearing it apart, and adding
third party hardware, you potentially would end up with the same headaches. In
any situation, some manufacturers make quality, compatible products and some do
not. That's a matter of doing your homework.

I believe the only real questions regarding the PC vs Mac is - What do you need
to do and how simply do you want to do it? The reality is that there is a lot
of software out there for the PC that is just not available for the Mac,
particularly in business. If you want to use that software, you have no choice.
However, software issues aside, if you just want a computer to get your work
done and don't want to have to think about the computer itself, you may be
better off with a Mac or a preconfigured PC running Windows. If you prefer more
choices and lower cost and don't mind tinkering with your PC as a learning
experience, maybe you want a barebones IBM compatible that you can customize
the way YOU want it. I prefer the PC because I have always had an interest in
what makes 'em tick. The downside was that there were more than a couple of
headaches along the way. The upside is that I have learned a great deal about
computers over the years from using a PC - how to troubleshoot, how to
configure, and how to repair them - to the extent that I now make money
servicing PCs for other people. No pain, no gain. Mac's are simple, but you
don't learn much.

I recently built a 486-66 PCI local bus IBM compatible in which I installed a
Creative Labs AWE-32 wave card (actual sound samples and simulated surround
sound) and a Cambridge Soundworks speaker system. The speaker system includes
two 30-watt cube speakers and a volume controlled subwoofer. I gotta tell ya -
I ain't never heard an off-the-shelf Mac sound that good. And it all went
together without a hitch. My advice to PC attackers - stop trying to convince
the world that Mac's are better (me thinks you protest too much). The notion
that you have big problems anytime you install new software or add a card to a
PC is just plain nonsense. My advice to PC users - do your homework.

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