Mac vs Windows

Isn't that the most debated topic in the computing world, probably dating back to their first versions. I have a regular PC, totally formal, nothing even remotely cool about it's looks or any such thing. And a Mac has always been a thing of fancy. I've always been a geek when it comes to operating systems. When I got hold of my first comp, I tried as many OS's as I could. Windows was obviously there, but also tried so many flavours of linux – RedHat, Fedora, and even Gentoo. Those aware of the terms might understand what “even Gentoo” means. The whole operating system is compiled on your comp and it takes something between 2-3 days for the whole system to install.

Anyways, its all history now, stupidity of the past . But when Apple moved to intel processors, it was only time when people would make it possible for OSX to be installed on a PC. But I got to try it only a few days back. Spent roughly 5 days non stop trying to get a complete system running. It was loads of hard work, but now i have OSX up and running on my machine. Having used it for a few days, I don't know which one of Windows or OSX to make my primary OS. So here I am, posting a comparative analysis of the two OS's, and I'll try to be as objective as possible.

I am putting forward my biases both for and against for each OS. I have used Windows for around 5 years now, and I must say, I have tried most major applications and know my way around it. But then I have always perceived OSX to be ultra cool, probably because Steve Jobs says so. Having used windows and struggled with its frailties for so long, the idea of out-of-the box system which just works, seems great.

So, when I got my OSX system up and running, I couldn't hide my grin. The first look of the system seemed great. The dock etc... are arranged great, making the screen seem much bigger than on Windows. Tried iTunes, and the sound quality is much better than on Windows, I must say a 30 – 40 % improvement over Windows. By this, I mean the clarity and the crispness of MP3 songs on OSX is way better than on any music player on Windows. Then there are the advantages of a faster bootup, no need to worry about firewalls, anti-viruses etc. So far so good. Seemed as if the 5 days was turning out to be time well spent. I installed the elementary applications etc. and seemed all set to migrate to Mac.

But then the little glitches started coming to the fore. One of the most glaring problems is that iTunes and Quicktime players do not play most of the codecs like .ogg, .wma, or .flac. Major video codecs aren't supported. Only the primary ones and the ones designed by Apply are supported by default. And because of Apple's close control over their OS, there are only a couple of codec installers available. But the one I installed for .flac screwed up the normal playback of mp3 files and now one of the biggest allurements of OSX seems fading. Also, the library management of iTunes seems amateurish compared to J River Media Center on windows. And there are no alternatives to iTunes and Quicktime for OSX. It just makes you devoid of choice, and hence better, evolved products. It has been Apple's policy to closely control everything that is available for the Mac. Yes, it results in superb hardware software integration, the OS is really robust and stable. For the normal things that you need to do, it really makes the tasks seamless and easy. But, for an advanced user, it just seems very authoritarian, and just unacceptable. Another thing that really irritated me was OSX, though supports hibernate mode, you have to work through it on the konsole. There is no support in the user interface, making it impossible to use. The sleep is supported better than any other OS, but no hibernate makes it a bad machine. Hibernate allows me to save everything on my HDD, and start off just where I left, while saving battery. On a Mac, you can put it only to sleep, and when the battery runs out, it hibernates. Geniuses at Apple, how difficult is it to see that I could just want to wake up from hibernate after a day, and still have my battery running? This seems as if Apple wants to tell us how to use our comps. Sorry, but doesn't work for me. I want to use my comp, the way I want to, no compromises.

So, as of now, I am back to windows. Mac has few small glitches, which they can sort out in one simple update. They aren't doing it which just makes it a little difficult for many to migrate to a Mac. Solve these couple of issues, and take my word, there isn't a better system around. Hope Steve Jobs listens and makes my decision to migrate to a Mac much more easier.