I recently bought an Apple Macbook two months ago and I happen to love it. Way simpler than a regular old PC with windows and I have had no issues so far. After you figure out some of the different buttons and gadgets, it works perfectly. I also have Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Excel on it. I was wondering what other MGoBlog users were using. So what is it? PC or Mac?
OT: PC or Mac?
mac is where its at
Mac if I could afford it. I used redhat when on campus. PC is the monetary choice right now.
and dying a bit inside each day because of it.
I just bought a MacBook Pro a few weeks ago and love it. Was a PC guy up until now. Definitely worth it if you're willing to shell out the dough, which in the long run you'll probably be better off if all the rumors of improved performance and durability are true.
-I need Autocad, 3ds, and Revit.
-I don't care to run Boot Camp.
-I can't afford paying more for comparable hardware.
I guess that makes me a PC person?
converted in 2005 and haven't looked back. Best change i have made.
Why not both? Use Boot Camp and throw Windows 7 on the Macbook and enjoy the best of both worlds.
PC with Linux. Windows is terrible, absolutely terrible compared to Linux. Linux is even superior to OSX IME due to it's scalability. Made the switch a few months ago, use Virtual Box to run apps that only run on Windows, and will never ever go back to Windows.
Negging Luddite alert!!!!
MacBook Pro for most uses, and a white box dual booting Windows and Ubuntu for my gaming/VMware lab. I may turn the white box into a Hackintosh, too.
Both are made from the same hardware. You can install Windows or OS X on either one. Apple make nice cases I guess. MGoVideo runs on FreeBSD. My other computers run pirated W7 because I'm a lot more productive when I'm working instead of googling "How to make X work on a Mac".
PC. Apple products annoy me. I have an iPod, fine, but the thing that irritates me about Apple things is that every time I use one, I have to be shown how to do something. They have very easy, user friendly features that aren't even remotely close to self-intuitive. Bugs the hell outta me.
Damn user friendly features!! ;-)
I've had my dell laptop for 5 years now and its still running like a champ. I've got XP running with Ubuntu on the dual boot. I've always found it funny when I'd get home from work and see that my computer had restarted into linux. Stupid Microsoft updates.
Get startupmanager for Ubuntu, and you can easily change the default OS (without having to worry about screwing something up by manually editing /boot/grub/menu.lst).
I've actually gone back and forth with XP and Ubuntu as the default OS a couple of times and have never had any trouble manually editing the grub. (But start up manager would be a good suggestion for those who aren't quite so brave.)
I've got it setup now to a point where it doesn't make much of a difference if I'm in Linux or Windows. I'm a command line guy so I usually stick to linux though.
Mac, got a macbook for my time here at Michigan and love it
I'm a PC. I've used both, but I haven't used OSX extensively outside of my elementary/middle school years when that was all we had at school. I actually like Windows, especially 7, and haven't had any problems that aren't related to the fact that I bought the cheapest laptop I could three years ago and am stuck with it until I graduate/get a job.
I'd like to pick up a used Mac Mini though, just to play around.
I prefer Windows to Mac. I have nothing against Macs (well, nothing against the OS, but I do hate the company.)
You're saying that you like windows because of the company and not the product? Great consumer?
Hmm, that came out poorly. I have no great love for Microsoft as a company, but I don't have any great hate towards them. Apple, on the other hand, I genuinely dislike.
Care to share any reasons why you genuinely dislike Apple?
Just busting your balls. Didn't mean to be a dick, though. All about the sarcasm.
Your logic is flawed.
PC. Even if Apple did not overprice their products, they have horrible business practices that I do not support.
Do you care to elaborate on this topic?
Mac$\subset$ PC. It's pretty sad how effective Mac's advertising campaign has been at getting people to think otherwise.
Presuming you meant to ask "which operating system do you use", primary desktop is Ubuntu, secondary desktop is Vista, laptop dual-boots XP and Ubuntu, and my department uses Fedora.
How do you like Fedora? I use Linux Mint Gnome (essentially a tweaked version of Ubuntu from my understanding) and it's awesome. I wanted to try some other distros though just for the heck of it.
I really haven't noticed any difference between Fedora and Ubuntu, but I mainly just use the department computers for e-mail/IM/surfing the web.
mainly what brand you bought, but I assumed most people don't switch up operating systems like you have, which is probably true. I just can't handle Vista because I don't know enough on how to fix what always went wrong with my PC on all of the windows products I have had (Vista, XP) like freezing or just deciding not to work with things. Mac seems to work with anything I hook up to it and is much better for the average consumer, IME.
I thought that too, until I had to use Macs for our Point of Sale program at work... G*d forbid you try to print a gift receipt, the whole thing freaks out, luckily we can open the registers with keys just in case.
and I want to beat this piece of shit with a hammer.
I bought a PC last year. Both were capable of doing everything I need for my job, but the PC was several hundred dollars cheaper. No regrets.
Mac all the way. Currently using my new Mac mini. But at work and home have gone through almost all their models. Only the old little white workbooks ever gave me any problem.
And I do most of my MGoBlog reading on my IPod Touch. :-D
Edit: Though I am a little surprised at how many Mac users are here. I though all of Brian's engineering type folk would be laughing me out of the boards.
For the computer. They already do that for other things.
Grandpa worked for IBM in the glory days, mom was a software programmer in the 90s, I'm poor and know how to keep a laptop functional, so PC. More specifically, this laptop:
Spent a whole summer working in a deli to afford it, took off all HP's bloatware and love it.
Pc bitches. I don't pay more than double for aluminumn casing and colorful ads.
But the one ad has the guy from Seinfeld who played the Tick in it! lol
I'm a PC and more happy is coming. I hate this argument but oh well.
I spend more time playing with hardware and trying to make different computers to do different things. IME Mac simply doesn't have the flexibility that Windows has. I'm not interested in significantly limiting my hardware options to go with a computer that costs twice as much so the manufacturer can tell me how great they are.
Have an HTPC, thinking about making a personal server, have my desktop, my wife's, my laptop. Don't have to worry about whether or not Apple supports whatever I want to buy.
My take is if you are interested in basic productivity/office stuff/(some) media stuff, you're fine with a Mac. If you want to do serious hardware tinkering, you don't really have a choice. And I LIKE XP. It's stable and safe if you're not a complete maroon. Same for Vista. I have W7, just need to graduate and get a job so I can get the money to build a new computer to put it on.
I like the more open platform of Windows vs the closed platform of Apple.
More smart guys who are building the next generation of Terminators (who naturally should like a PC more).
For the rest of us, Macs have all the pretty colors....ooohhh shiny...
But are you building Terminators in your basement? I thought not...
Who are you arguing with?
I'm not saying they are weak.
Or that the hardware is bad.
Or that the software is bad.
As you say, it's a unix based OS. It's going to be good.
The hardware is the same (extremely limited in comparison to what you can throw into your home computer though) as what you get in any PC.
The interface is easy. In the past, viruses and malware were more limited.
I'm saying they are a closed system and not everyone makes drivers for every piece of hardware for Apple.
They aren't as flexible for the home user on a budget.
Saying that, if I didn't have limited budget, would I buy Apple?
No. I think their arrogance is overwhelming. I don't like the "I'm better because I'm Apple. I don't get malware (false), viruses (false)" Their browser was fairly recently considered THE least secure software available. Because they REFUSE to acknowledge that their OS is susceptible to attacks. Because they're Apple.
Oh? You want credit for saving lives and helping humanity, rather than creating the technology that will destroy all mankind unless humanity can travel back in time to protect it's savior? Ok. Point for you, sir! :)
I have found that to be true, although I'm sure you know a TON more than I do about any of that. If you do what you do, then you have no choice. Mac is made to be simple and streamlined but is limited. Sometimes it is hard to figure out how to download some stuff, but I use mine for basic school work and surfing the world wide web.
I made the switch at the beginning of this quarter.
that the number of attacks on Macs is climbing. Their lack of acknowledgment at the their susceptibility is one of the things that opens them to malware. I can't quote what the issue was, but months ago there was a HUGE security flaw in OS X.? that didn't get closed for months because Apple didn't want to acknowledge the fact there was an issue. The patch took forever.
I'm willing to live with somwhat more risk because I know how to use programs to protect myself.
I'm a PC guy all the way. Personally, I absolutely hate Macs. But, having worked in tech. services for over 3 years now, I hate a lot of technology (but mostly I just hate users).
I'm going to be buying a new laptop soon (my desktop died). Definitely going the PC route. I'll put Windows 7 on there but I'm also a big fan of Kubuntu so I'll be dual booting that.
Unfortunately, for all my hatred of Macs I can't get away from them. About 50% of people where I work use Macs.
for over 20 years.
Even if MICROSOFT did not overprice their products, they have horrible business practices that I do not support.
There was a study comparing Mac OS prices with Windows OS prices and the verdict was that MS products are no more expensive and possibly cheaper than Mac.
The X.y versions of Apple's being sold as different versions are like MS's Service Packs which are free. If you look at the increased functionality of XP from when it was first released to it's EOL, the difference has been amazing.
I lived through XP, SP1, SP2, SP3 and it just got better and better. And I didn't pay for those updates over 9 years. I probably would have bought 4 or 5 Mac OS's over that same period of time. One copy of XP lasted significantly longer than one copy of a Mac OS would.
And I just bought a student copy of W7 for $30 (the Pro version which includes just about everything you could ask for, including all the fancy networking and virtualization stuff) and that'll hopefully last me another 5-8 years. Will OS X.? last that long and always get major updates every 1-2 years with incremental updates every couple months?
It is not true that OSX updates are equivalent to Service Packs. I've used OSX since its inception, and the user experience and functionality has advanced to a great degree with every update (possibly with the exception of Snow Leopard, which cost $50 for 5 licenses, and has tons of behind the scenes changes).
No Windows Service Pack included the kind of aesthetic and functional improvements that the OSX updates have . . . I'm talking about things like Spotlight, Expose, Dashboard, Time Machine, Boot Camp, Cover Flow, and the list goes on. The reason Windows has seemed so far behind is their failure to implement any similar features until Vista.
You definitely are not coming across as a dick or anything.
There have been over a dozen studies for the past decade or more that consistently show a MUCH lower total cost of ownership for Macs vs. PCs (running Windows).
Which doesn't even begin to calculate the billions of economic loss, and frustrated man hours dealing with viruses. Understand this: there has NEVER been a verified Mac virus discovered "in the wild." Period
Do Macs cost more? maybe on a couple models, Apple has always refused to play in the discount computer market, they don't make money in that space (and neither does Dell anymore) and they won't sacrifice quality. Spec a machine out vs the competition, including the software and decide for yourself.
I really didn't want to get in a bitchy nerd debate about this so I'll try to make this my only post.
The main thing I want to say however is something I notice all the time when PC or Mac debates crop up on the internet.
Most of the PC responses are people bitching about Apples initial hardware costs, or "I hate their touchy-feely marketing", or "Steve Jobs is arrogant".
Most of the Mac responders (who often use PCs/Windows all day at work) just mention how happy they are using a Mac.
Take from that what you will.
Your post is full of fail. I really don't want to get in a bitchy nerd debate about this so this will be my only post.
Definitely a PC. And on Windows 7. Life's good.
I switched to a Mac when I started my photography business, and I don't plan on going back. I don't spend my time bashing Windows; I just prefer Mac.
I look at it the same way I look at the Canon/Nikon battle in the camera world. In both cases, there are those who are religiously devoted to one brand and actually hate the other. I think the whole thing is a little ridiculous because they're both functional: you can take good pictures with Canon or Nikon, and you can accomplish whatever you want on a Mac or a PC. For most people, it's just personal preference, and it's not that big a deal.
That said, PC users who shoot Nikon are anti-American terrorists who kick babies.
I'm looking at a camera when I graduate and thinking about the new K-x. I'd like something with IS in the body instead of the lenses and I don't have any legacy hardware to worry about. According to the guy who does camera reviews for anandtech.com, the SDM for focusing in Pentax is just about the best thing on the market (if you get the rather expensive SDM lenses)
I guess it depends on what you're planning to do with the camera. If you're not going to be a pro, the Pentax system would be fine (and the in-body stabilization will save you money). They, too, take fine pictures, just like Canon and Nikon. But if you're going to be a pro, Canon and Nikon offer a better range of bodies and lenses (particularly for more demanding photography like sports and wildlife).
I'm looking for a non-professional, high level consumer DSLR. The only thing I have against the Canon is the lens integrated IS. From what I've read, Pentax is supposed have a new partner for making lenses and the new K-7 and K-x are supposedly (it sounds like) leaps and bounds ahead of where they used to be in terms of AF speed and accuracy as well as image processing speeds.
I've read a few reviews that paint it in an extremely positive light (the k-x, that is). I believe one said they currently have the best standard lens package of any of the manufacturers (the 18-55 and 50-300 option, not the 50-200) and that their image quality has improved significantly. The only negative I saw said there is a little distortion when panning using the camera in HD video and that AF doesn't work in HD video (no biggie, if I want an HD video camera, I'll buy one - decent consumer ones are cheap) That overall, it's a great option for someone without any current hardware and it has quite a few options that aren't available on cost-competitors from other manufacturers.
If you're looking for a consumer SLR, then yeah, you'll be fine with that. If you want to get the most of out it, I'd buy with an eye towards upgrading to better (more expensive) lenses in the future, though; if they can package a body and two lenses for under $1,000, they're not the best lenses. But I think you'll be fine with the photos they'll produce.
It said they were good package lenses. I understand that doesn't mean they're going to be great lenses. I was looking at other upto 250mm zoom lenses and they look like they're in the $1000+ range in general.
I generally use dpreview.com to give me good, reasonable unbiased info as to what's nice and what's not. Their initial take is that it looks nice and of itself, it's pretty good. They don't have a full review of it up yet.
A friend of mine has an XSi and she likes it very well. The LiIon battery is a strong selling point in Canon. On the Pentax side, the K-7 is supposed to be very nice and can use the same lenses as the k-x, and the K-7 is supposed to have phenomenal weather and dust sealing. And then the K-7 uses LiIon batteries. So I'm not decided, I'm just looking. It's just that the K-7 is like $1200 for the body only and that's a little steep for someone who just wants a nice camera.
The negative of the T1i is lack of body IS. Negative of Pentax is no LiIon battery and smaller manufacturer. Positive of Canon is that it's supposed to be a good 'pro-sumer' DSLR. Positive of the Penatx is good weather sealing on upgrades and supposedly very good features (more than comparable from other manufacturers in the same price range) and in-body IS.
You're obviously a strong believer in Canon?
I've only used Canon, and I've been happy with it. I don't really have substantial experience with other brands, so my comments tend to be more specific in reference to Canon gear because it's what I use. So when people ask me what they should get, I say well, Canon has treated me well, so I'd recommend them.
Before you make any purchase, I'd make one big recommendation: handle the cameras you're considering. That may tip you one way or another, as one camera may feel better in your hands or one menu system and button layout may make more immediate sense to you. It can make a difference. I don't know the size of the K-x, but one complaint some have had with the Rebels is that they're too small -- they don't fit comfortably in some hands. I have very long fingers and never felt uncomfortable with the Rebel, but some just couldn't get used to it.
The K-7 would be more comparable to the Canon 50D ($1200ish); my primary camera right now is the 30D (the same level, but two generations older). My first SLR was the Rebel XT (the second-generation Rebel, I believe). I don't think it'd be worth it for you to put out the $400ish extra dollars for the higher-level body.
It sounds like the two features that have you going back and forth the most are in-body stabilization and battery type. In light of that, the question is this: how much do you expect to tax the batteries, and how often do you expect to need stabilization? How heavily do you expect to shoot on a regular basis, and what do you expect to shoot most often?
for the tips. I'm looking at a significant number of features including speed of focus and quickness to take pictures as well as rate of pictures and quality. It SEEMS like the cameras in the price range I'm looking at have all improved to the point they are very similar in many respects re:general usability. So I'm looking at features that may or may not be highly desirable.
I had originally wanted a Pentax because on the k200, they had weather sealing. Now that you have to step up to the k-7 for that feature, doesn't matter so much. When I started looking, it appeared that their focusing (quickness and reliability both) and picture processing were behind everyone else in the lower level cameras. Now, they've dropped the weather sealing but improved the internal workings of the camera, both mechanical and electronic, and reviews seem to indicate the K-x is very nice and competes well with Canon in those respects.
The battery thing concerns me as I have read some very negative reviews of AA batteries in the Pentax cameras. So the LiIon in Canon sounds very nice. I just want to have the IS feature to prevent losing good pictures to a little hand wobble.
And my intended use is that I would like to start traveling some when I get done with school and want a nice general use camera for landscapes/wildlife as well as normal family use.
Mostly I'm down to chosing between Canon and Pentax(I think) and I'm just looking at feature differences between the two. It appears that general usability in many situations the base cameras are very similar. So the main choices I'm looking at are the K-x with its in body IS but AA batteries (future possible high end with weather sealing) vs the Canon with its somewhat higher resolution, LiIon batteries, and in lens IS. But I'll wait for the DPreview article, read their take, and go out and have a look. The K-x is new enough that I'm not positive it's even shipping.
That last point about the K-x not having been released yet leads to something else to consider: if you can wait, it may be good to let the K-x circulate and see what strengths and weaknesses consumers find. With one camera still unreleased, it's a little bit harder to compare the two at this point because you don't really know if one lives up to its promises.
It'd also be good to judge the sensor quality of both cameras -- side-by-side, if possible. Megapixels don't translate into quality; a good 10mp sensor is better than an okay 15mp sensor. (I'm actually a little mad at camera manufacturers for using megapixels as pure marketing hype.) Put 100% crops at various ISOs next to each other to see if one sensor produces better images. If they're comparable, it's no big deal; if not, then you have something else to consider.
As far as reviews go, I've decided a bevy of consumer reviews can be more valuable than one or two professional reviews because you can look for trends: if you see the same good or bad point being brought up by different reviewers, it's something to take note of. I use the reviews at fredmiranda.com, but they don't extend beyond Canon and Nikon, so I'm not sure where to go for similar Pentax reviews.
Dell laptop, XP, but I got it for free.
Other than the occasional blue screen of
death, it's OK.
Ifj75, you can use that hammer the next
time you see "hit any key to continue"
Funny thing, about an hour after I posted my hammer desire my laptop completely shut down. I think it's just the power cord (and my battery's dead, but I'm not replacing a battery on a five year old laptop).
But for a second, I thought it knew....
Just got a macbook pro and I love it as a supplement to my older PCs, but it just doesn't have the flexibility of the PC. A mac does just about everything I need it to, but I miss actually being able to find a way to fix a problem myself when one pops up.
On another note - I know 7 has multitouch support, but doesn't seem that too many windows machines have deployed the technology - I can't underestimate how awesome the multitouch gestures have been so far on the mac.
HP tx2z. The entire screen is multitouch and rotates/flips down as a tablet, pen included. I have the older singletouch Vista version, and have no idea why HP hasn't marketed this thing better.
Because Apple promised to sue the snot out of anyone who used any of its technology or ideas and they figured they owned multi-touch in all its forms. When that idea went by the way-side as unsupportable, Windows multi-touch things started coming. But there was a gap as companies didn't want to be sued.
I love PC gaming.... I love windows 7.. mac sucks.. that is all.
I use a Mac, switched about two years ago. I record a bit, and audio software simply runs far, far better in a Mac-based environment because most of it was designed for a Mac-based environment in the first place.
Bought one 2 years ago and have loved it ever since. Only a few programs I used to use regularly I can't use now. But I set up my old Dell in the basement with the Apple Airport, Vonage, and a Roku player. Works well and the iMac picks up the Airport with ease over 2 floors, no loss in d/l speed.
It's smooth, baby. I'm not an OS fundamentalist; I don't hate Windows or refuse to use it. In fact, I'll probably install it on my computer with Boot Camp.
I just prefer Mac OS X. I've also had better luck with the hardware. My iBook G4 (that I just traded in) lasted five years without a hitch and was in fine shape when I sent it off. I don't mind spending the "extra" money.
I have become a Mac person. I will admit it. I was constantly using her laptop at home because of the ease of use. We used her teacher discount and got a Macbook Pro. Couldn't be happier.
After suffering with two Dell laptops, I now have a MacBook and I'll never go back to a PC. I had always hated Macs until I started using them in the Fishbowl my junior year and realized how much better I liked the Mac OS than Windows. It took a little while to learn how to use a Mac, but it was totally worth it.
I have two, an ancient Dell laptop and a one-year-old HP desktop. The laptop runs XP, and the desktop would be running Windows 7, if it weren't currently sitting in a box on my floor because I don't have a desk.
We had a lot of Macs on my college and grad school campuses, and I found them frustrating and not particularly intuitive. Plus my boyfriend works with PCs, so I can get mine fixed/upgraded for nothing more than the wholesale cost of new parts whenever I want.
Since I am no computer programmer and would consider myself relatively not so tech savvy I like the simplicity of macs. I guess there are advantages and disadvantages of both.
It's literally amazing how cleaner, simpler, and less prone to virus' it is.
I've used both quite extensively, and I have good and bad things to say about each.
That said, I almost exclusively use notebooks, and I could never see myself getting anything other than a ThinkPad or a Panasonic Toughbook. That said, I tend to lean more towards PC because its more standard on these platforms, though IBM/Lenovo have always been pretty good about supporting Linux which I use occasionally on my X61.
I think Unix is where it's at. All modern Mac operating systems are Unix based. But with Mac, you're locked into a certain architecture. The sturdiness of a Mac notebook pales in comparison to something like the ThinkPad, and for someone like myself who is constantly moving/traveling this is very important. The easy answer is just to use Linux, because then you get the stability of the Unix system in the body of a tank (I love my T60 :) )
In my experience they tended to alternate between reasonably solid models and somewhat crappy models. My last Thinkpad tended to overheat--the vents clogged appallingly easily. I had the motherboard replaced and numerous other problems. Interestingly, I noticed it was a problem when I couldn't compile a kernel without the machine crashing. I don't remember the model (it was a work machine).
The best contrast was about ten years ago between the 380D/380XD models, which really were tanks, and the 390E/390X. I'm usually pretty easy on laptops, but the hinges on my 390X's display broke away from the base with the keyboard. Nearly all of my colleagues with one of those models had similar problems.
Interesting, I had that problem too. But I had it solved rather easily by just sending it off to Apple. Of course, that was three years ago and the thing was under warranty. It definitely was annoying when it was happening though.
That's interesting about the hinges. FWIW, IBM has been using steel hinges for a while. I can (and often do) pick up my computer by the top of the screen, swing it around to another desk, and set it down without any problems.
Heat seems to be about the only consistent problem I run in to with Thinkpads. That said, I think people are a bit too pick in that regard. Laptops get hot. And if we're on the heat subject, Mac's get VERY hot in my experience.
Certainly they're not all perfect, but the T series has been pretty solid since it's introduction.
I ought to mention that IBM hasn't sold Thinkpads for a while now. They sold the brand to Lenovo. IBM is still involved with marketing and support for them, which confuses things a bit. Of course Lenovo was building them for a long time prior to the brand changing hands.
The heat thing is a concern, though, when components start to fail. Fortunately, later versions of Thinkpads have tended to fix problems founds in earlier versions.
a PC right now.
But I truly believe that Mac is a superior product. So much easier to use and gotta love the virus protection.
Assembled it myself, though it's several years old now - single core CPU, AGP mobo - except for the video card, which I replaced earlier this year because the old one died.
Been too lazy to assemble a new one. Mainly because it would require a vast cleaning project of all the stuff I've got piled on my table.
Far more games that I've played availabe for PC. If they ever came out for the Mac, it was much later. Also didn't see the point of spending extra money for a computer I couldn't really upgrade.
I bought a Macbook my sophomore year of college and loved it at first. I think it's great for students and normal every day users who just want to surf the Internet and create a couple Word documents. After some continued use, I realized that in terms of quality/reliability, these machines are no better than a PC - Apple is just good at creating that illusion.
My Macbook hard drive crashed 2 times in 2 years, with no possiblity of recovering my files (luckily I bought an external HD for backups after the first one). The screen flickers nonstop unless you toy with the brightness settings. Certain programs seem to function/not function on any given day. It is basically useless for anything I need to do for work unless you have Windows installed.
After my troubles, I just built my own desktop and bought a cheap HP laptop. As long as you don't do anything stupid, you shouldn't have any problems with a PC. Yes, not having to deal with viruses and such was a big plus for the Macbook, but I don't even want another Apple computer after all the hardware issues I went through. They're overpriced machines, and the only way I would buy another is if they were priced competitively against PCs.
Macbook side story: when my hard drive crashed, I knew exactly what the problem was and called support after the warranty expired. The support person wanted to charge some $680 to replace the hard drive. Then when I asked if I could just buy the hard drive from them and install it myself, they said it was $280 for an 80GB hard drive. I just got one off Newegg and replaced it myself for $60, and it worked fine. I'm sure other computer companies charge excessively too, but I've never had to call a PC company for a repair like this.
"in terms of quality/reliability, these machines are no better than a PC"
Consumer Reports says otherwise.
I couldn't find CR reliability ratings outside of CR's paywall, but CR says Apple's reliability is at or near the top of computer manufacturers.
I've used Apple products for years and never had serious issues. However it sounds like your Macbook needs some serious looking into. The problems you describe sound like more hardware issues, like bad RAM or a failing motherboard.
And now that I sound like a total Apple fanboy I will say that the next desktop I get will probably be a linux desktop. Apple's stuff is slick and the OS is nice, and some of Apple's software is really, really nice (iDVD and iPhoto, Aperture too) but I think I can do most of the things I need to be able to do on a linux box.
What is it? I believe your Apple is indeed a mac.
I just purchased a new macbook pro. The previous four years of arch school I used a dell laptop that finally bit the dust. I love the new mac, it has definitely increased my productivity. Instead on tweaking it, or monitoring performance, I just work with it. I have found its simplicity very liberating. Also, I use Adobe software alot, and I feel that it works better in OSX than in Windows.
That being said I do have a desktop running XP64 ( i chose this over vista) for AutoCAD and gaming.