From the Kenosha News on 3-6-06

A Macintosh might resolve your computer headaches

If you’re plagued by pop-ups, spyware, or viruses, one solution is very simple: get a Macintosh. Most viruses and spyware specifically target Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Outlook, and other Windows-specific software. Mac users don’t have to worry about viruses or spyware!

Macintosh computers, use their own operating system – Mac OS X – a version of Linux written specifically for Apple’s hardware. This means that only software written for Mac OS will run on a Macintosh. Depending on your usage, this may or may not be a problem. If you mostly do web surfing, e-mail, word processing, or spreadsheets, then a Mac will work as well for you as a Windows computer. Contrary to what you might have heard, Microsoft Office runs fine on a Macintosh, and the files can easily be shared between Mac and Windows users. For more information on Mac/PC incompatibility myths, refer to my August 21, 2005, column on my web site at www.sabbarpublications.com.

If you play many computer-based games, most will not run on a Mac. MS Access and FrontPage are also not available for the Mac.

If you work with graphics, music, or video, a Macintosh is an excellent choice. The screen resolution on a Mac is stunning and the hardware and software are ideally suited to these uses. All new Macs come with iLife software, which includes iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, iWeb, and Garage Band. iTunes not only allows you to download music from the iTunes store but also to import music from your CDs, organize it, move it to an iPod or re-mix and burn it to new CDs. My November 6, 2005 article discusses iTunes. iMovie allows you to easily import movies from your digital camcorder, make clips, compile them, and create your own videos. iPhoto organizes photos and allows some minor retouching. iDVD then allows you to author DVDs with menus and special features. iWeb is a web page creation tool that features templates for blogging or podcasting. GarageBand allows you to create your own music, track by track, and play it back. It is a great tool for amateur musicians and aspiring composers. All of the iLife programs are integrated, so it's easy to combine photos, music, and movies in multimedia projects.

All Macs have firewire connections built-in. Firewire uses a plug similar to USB, but it’s faster. You can connect your digital camera or camcorder using the firewire port. If you get an external firewire hard drive, you can back up your entire Mac hard drive to it and even boot from the external firewire drive in the event of a system crash on your Mac.

One of the most compelling reasons to get a Macintosh is its rock-solid hardware. Apple maintains extreme consistency in their hardware, so you don’t have to worry about what brand of memory, wireless card or hard drive is in your unit. Hardware failures are rare on a Mac. The standard warranty is one year, and upgrades to a three year warranty (called AppleCare) are available. One word of warning: Apple hardware is not generally user-serviceable; if you need to change or upgrade a component on a laptop, iMac or eMac, have an Apple authorized service provider do it.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 3-6-06