Sunday, January 25, 2009

An Open Letter to My Dad (and anyone else shopping for a new computer)

I recently wrote a response to my dad who emailed me for advice on buying a new computer. Like so many others, he has asked me for this kind of advice before. The Cliff's Notes version of my advice is always, "Buy a Mac." What kills me is that almost every time, they don't listen to me and buy a cheap...uh...inexpensive Windows box. Why do they even ask me? They don't listen.

Well, this is my third attempt to convince him to get a Mac. Think about it. I still have the iMac I bought in 1999 (it's running OS 10.3). FULL DISCLOSURE: I also have a 4 year old iMac G5 and a 3 year old PowerBook G4 (both running Leopard). I have three so that I, my wife, and the kids can each have our own machines. He's shopping for a third because the first two were devoured by viruses, spamware, malware, adware, etc. They no longer function.

I thought I would post the advice I offered him for anyone else on the fence to read. Read on and choose wisely:


The laptop has an older processor (not the Core 2 Duo) and it doesn't say what speed. That usually means it's not fast. If it were, they would highlight it. The desktop is the current standard chip set (Core 2 Duo) but it still doesn't say the speed. $399 is a nice low price but you know what they say, "You tend to get what you pay for."

If you really just need a low end machine with a solid warranty, it would be a good fit. It would probably work for you but you know me... standard disclaimer: you'll be happier and more satisfied with an iMac. It's loaded, has a 20" built-in display, and comes with a free printer all for $1,199.

I would also recommend a 1 GB RAM upgrade ($75), iWork ($49 pre-installed), and Apple Care 3 Year Warranty ($169). Fully decked out with all the extras I recommend, it would be $1,492. That's a lot more than $399 but you know what they say, "You tend to get what you pay for."

Even if you just go for the 20" iMac with a free printer for $1,199, you're getting security (the days of worrying about viruses, spyware, malware, Norton/McAfee updates is over), bigger hard drive, superior user experience, and tons of bundled software that you can't get for Windows.

Final paragraph of propaganda: The Dell will work. But think about this; how many Windows users do you know that really love their computers? "Tolerate" probably comes closer to the sentiment they have for their unattractive boxes (I'm a Mac snob, I know it). Now think about this; how many Mac users do you know that don't sound like they've joined a religious cult? I'm guessing Zero. To use a Mac is to love your Mac. Why is that? If you get one, you'll know. That's all I'm saying. :-)

Love ya,


Scott Donnelly said...

You are so right!

I've converted my brother and parents to Mac and I keep pushing anyone and everyone I know to switch.

I've had my iBook G4 for almost 5 years now and I got my refurbished Mac Mini (Intel) this past Summer (hooked up to our Visio LCD).

Best stuff out there... take the plunge!

Geekbert said...

Scott, so you're using your mini as an Apple TV Plus so-to-speak. That has always seemed like a great idea to me. We hook my Powerbook up to the TV (plain old Walmart cheapy set) all the time to watch Hulu. I love not being enslaved to network TV schedules. How much did you find the refurbished Mac Mini for, if you don't mind me asking.