To Mac or Not To Mac?

It's not part of my intention here to get into religious wars. People take the question of whether to buy an Apple Macintosh or a Microsoft Windows machine with great fervor. Perhaps they should. This really may matter a great deal more than the question of which end to open an egg!


Both Mac and Windows mobile computers work just fine with Wi-Fi!

Although Macs and Windows machines have some real differences, the truth is that as microcomputers they are really far more alike than they are different.

If you are already familiar with either the Mac or Windows, you should probably stick with what you know. It doesn't really make particular sense to use the occasion of buying a Wi-Fi laptop to switch operating systems.

Sticking with what you know is good advice, and probably settles the question for you. In case it doesn't, let me give you my impressions (which are sure to anger diehards in both camps):

  • Macs are more elegantly designed and engineered than Windows machines.

  • Macs cost a bit more.

  • There are fewer options with Macs, which is good and bad: Buying is simpler, but you have less choice about what you buy.

  • Mac OS X machines work seamlessly with Wi-Fi, without any need for software configuration (this isn't always true of Windows machines).

  • Mac mice don't have a second button or a wheel, which is too darn bad (particularly the wheel). Apple, please take note: We like our mouse wheels! The good news: You can buy a two-button mouse with a wheel for your Apple from third-party manufacturers.

  • Some software runs only on the Mac, and other software (actually, more of it) will run on Windows but not the Mac. While most of the standard stuff (such as Microsoft Word for the MAC OS or for Windows) runs perfectly fine on either OS, you should check to make sure that there isn't some specialized program you need to run that requires one OS or the other. (Windows emulators running on the Mac work reasonably well to run an occasional Windows program on the MAC, but you won't happy with this if you need to run a lot of Windows programs.)



Apple calls Wi-Fi "Airport" in its own material. In other words, what Apple calls Airport is just plain vanilla 802.11b. Apple's term for devices that support 802.11b and 802.11g Wi-Fi is "AirPort Extreme."

So, as always in life, the choice is yours: to Mac, or not to Mac, in other words, whether to Windows? Whichever you choose, I'm sure you'll enjoy using it with Wi-Fi.



Check to see if you are entitled to a student discount from Apple when Zpurchasing your Mac. You'll find more information about the Student Program at