PC or Mac Computer?

by TechnoGrannyAnni

in You and Your Computer

You have almost definitely come across lots of well known friendly (and not so friendly) rivalries. 

They have been carried on throughout history: 

• In sports teams: NY Yankees vs. NY Mets;
• In cities, the north vs. the south: In Alberta, Calgary vs. Edmonton;
• On TV channels: NBC vs. ABC;
• From Medieval England – the historical Wars of the Roses: House of  Lancaster vs. the House of York … nowadays carried on in sports rivalries between the two counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire;
• Mac vs. PC (Macintosh vs. Personal Computer).

When it comes to choosing a computer, you will definitely hear strong and passionate arguments for and against these two types of computers. 

For example: “Buy a Mac – I’m a Mac person!” or, “I would advise a PC – I’ve used nothing else for 20 years!”  Users of each are equally as strong in their urging.

When you are thinking about Mac and PC, it’s not just the manufacturers’ names, it’s much more than that.  It’s a matter of two completely different operating systems. 

Operating Systems
The operating system (OS) is like the ‘headquarters’ of your computer and the OS controls every function of your computer.  In effect, the OS ‘tells’ the computer everything that it needs to do. 

All the different programs that you put into your computer to perform certain tasks for you such as write a document, work with photographs, and listen to music – are called the software.  They come ready to go – usually on a CD, sometimes via the Internet, and all you have to do is load them onto your computer.

Think of the hardware of your computer as everything that is solid; you can see and touch it and either it is part of your computer or you can add or attach it.  For example: your mouse, keyboard, headset, speakers and so on.  These external pieces of hardware are called peripherals.

So – all computers are comprised of hardware (your computer and peripherals), and software (your programs), and you can’t do anything with either one of them until you have an operating system.

PC (Personal Computer)
You’ve most likely heard of Windows – that is the operating system of a PC.  There are various versions of Windows; the latest (at this writing) is Windows 7.  If your computer is a little older, you may have Windows Vista or Windows XP.  Microsoft – the company that develops and manufactures the Windows programs, regularly comes out with new versions – mainly to keep up with the new technology that is being developed and discovered all the time.

Mac (Macintosh)
Macs are built by the Apple Company.  They run on a totally different operating system, and are mostly known for their graphic capabilities.  That’s why they are often favored by graphic designers.  The very latest Mac operating system is the “Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard” (at the time of writing) and, like that OS name, Macs usually have the more streamlined and eye-catching designs. 

Both Mac and PC have all the same capabilities – it’s just that you need to have the Mac version of the software programs for the Mac computer.

Your Decision
The decision is really one of comfort.  You should choose the system that meets your needs and the one that you like to work with.  For the most part, you’ll probably go with what your family and friends own and what they recommend.

Either way, if you can, try one out first (at a library, or ask your family or friends).  You could go to the store and have the salespeople demonstrate for you … bearing in mind that, while you will find PCs in most general electronics stores, you’ll mostly always find Macs at the Apple Stores – or online.

Good luck in making your choice!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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Excellent short article! I looked at something somewhat similar in a science website.
Seriously worth checking out



Thank you for your kind comments! I will also review the post and make sure that it is up to date.


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