Home > Uncategorized > Mac Vs. PC anecdote

Mac Vs. PC anecdote

April 30, 2009

Today I was called into a room full of people, who made a simple request.  Here were a laptop and a printer that had never met.  Could I make them work together?  More than a dozen salaried professionals were composing a document as a team and needed to print draft copies of it.

Well the laptop had Vista on it, looked about a year old, and belonged to a non-technical owner.  A half-hour later, with lots of failed attempts to get the computer and printer to talk, and lots of “CPU usage at 75%” hourglass action, (and in spite of having the installation disk for the printer), I finally gave up. HP and Toshiba were not destined to make beautiful prints together.

One of the people in the room had a Macintosh laptop.  She was also a non-technical user, and her machine looked pretty worn.  The keys were dirty and worn shiny, but she offered if it would help.  So I plugged in the USB cable, and nothing visible happened.  So she tried to print a document, and a “select printer” dialog came up.  It showed an Epson printer. 

“Oh,” she said; “that’s my printer at home.”  I had her drop down the list, and there was the HP Photosmart, status ‘ready’.  She selected it and printed.  Total elapsed time, about one minute.  I didn’t have to do anything but plug it in.

I asked her if she’d ever connected an HP Photosmart printer to her computer before.  “No, just my printer at home.”

Think about that the next time you see an ad comparing a Mac and PC.  How they perform when they’re new doesn’t mean a damn thing.  How do they perform after a year’s use by a non-technician?  Kinda throws that “Win/PC is cheaper” commercial series into a different light, doesn’t it?

(This blog post typed on a Linux machine.)(Earlier posts: My review of a Mac laptop and my review of OS-X)

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 2, 2009 at 20:10 | #1

    Saw an early iMac with Airport card at a garage sale today—$40.  Only OS-X 3.9, I passed. But still tempting.

  2. May 3, 2009 at 07:29 | #2

    I currently use an XP machine at home – those are still the best for gaming in my humble opinion, I’ll switch to Windows 7 as soon as it comes out, for DX 10.1 and the Vista that should have been from the start (with proper driver support and some usability tweaks).

    We use Vista in the office, because we like being a bit ahead of the curve (we installed it back when it came out) and need 100% compatibility with all the Access (yes, I know) and Office installations that our programs will run on. It’s not 100% anyway though, because every combination of OS and Office has different limitations. Anyway.

    What I will get as soon as I can afford it however is a Macbook Air for travelling. The light weight and sleek design and the overall usability of Mac OS are incredibly tempting.

  3. May 3, 2009 at 08:18 | #3

    I have a Mac laptop I hardly ever use. Why? Damned if I know, cause I like it.

    Maybe I are a idjit.

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