Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Web2Go Mini Series: operating systems explained (Mac)

Get the heads up on Mac’s sleek and stealthy operating system, Snow Leopard.

Happy New Year everyone.

A few weeks ago, amidst the pre-Christmas frenzy, Apple sent me a rather tantalizing offer. Uni students would receive an iPod Touch if they bought a qualifying Apple Mac computer.

I’m halfway through my Masters at the mo so I’m actually considered a Uni student! Software discounts and student deals are, I find, one of the best reasons to pursue continuing education :)

I didn’t take the offer up but it’s the closest I’ve come to buying a Mac in the last 15 years (and that’s saying something for a sworn Windows girl).

As Mac lovers will tell you, there are quite a few reasons to buy a Mac over a Windows-based computer. See Australian Personal Computer’s November 2008 article for example.

Perhaps the biggest draw card is no need for additional anti-virus software on the Mac (and the associated costs) that is vital to running a Windows PC. Additionally, the Mac operating system, Mac OS X, will now handle Windows applications. Through the magic of virtualization (I’ll write about that more in a couple of weeks) Mac users can also run Windows operating systems as well.

Gone are the days when Windows and Mac users struggled to communicate with each other, fighting to cross that cultural and social gulf that is Mac versus Windows, which now seems as age-old as the argument about cats versus dogs.

You’d think that a cat person like me would be drawn to a Mac, which includes operating system software called ‘Snow Leopard’. In fact, the last few incarnations of the Mac operating system software have been given feline-inspired codenames i.e. Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Tiger, Leopard.

Mac OS X v10.6 “Snow Leopard” was released on August 28, 2009.

Like the Windows 7 operating system, in relation to its forerunner Windows Vista, Apple’s Snow Leopard is a refinement rather than a major overhaul of previous operating systems.

As my Nan would say “the devil is in the detail” and it’s the little details and tweaks under the hood of Snow Leopard that have led Apple to tout it as “the world’s most advanced OS”.

I can’t vouch for Mac’s operating system in practice but on paper I’d have to concede it looks quite fabulous. But is it fabulous enough for me to cave and buy a Mac Book Pro? Let’s just say the foundations of my monogamy with Windows have been shaken.

Stay tuned …

Have your say! Which do you prefer? Mac or Windows? Leave us a message below and tell us what you think.


One Response to “Web2Go Mini Series: operating systems explained (Mac)”

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  1. Andrew says:

    Mac’s are certainly very pretty (indeed I know someone who got a mactop for pretty much this reason alone!) However I’d be checking a few things before considering taking this kind of leap… So if you get a Mac, you’ll be able to answer these questions for me… Which’d be terrific :-)

    1. Whenever I’ve looked at the speeds of macs compared to windows based machines (RAM & CPU speed etc) Mac doesn’t seem to measure up as well for the price Apple is asking. Is this true, or is my historical bias (and any lingering subliminal indoctrination from Microsoft!) clouding my judgement?

    2. I do think it’s very clever of Mac to offer virtual Windows in their new operating system, and doesn’t in the least suggest Apple caving in to a superior competitor ;-) However I do wonder how well this actually works in practice and how much of the PC operating speed is sacrificed if the Mac is in effect running two systems at once?

    One has to admit though that Mac has been extremely innovative in recent years with their ipod/iphone range, and I’m going to find myself very sorely tempted when they release a pc with an optional multi-touch screen interface, which I imagine will only be a matter of time… Cause that is going to be mega-cool (like approaching Star Trek level awesomeness!) and I say “Make it so!” ;-)