BY Tyler Lascola
I use a PC, for no other reason than that PCs are what I’ve always used.
When I was in second grade, way back in 2004, my elementary school got its first-ever computer lab: a room of about twenty clunky desktops, complete with floppy disk drives, ball mice, 800×600 resolution screens, and tower consoles that ran Windows XP. These were the first computers I ever used. In that lab, I learned how to type, how to use Word and PowerPoint, how to edit images in Paint, and (when the teachers weren’t looking) how to mess with the system preferences.
So I was basically raised on Windows. It was years before I heard of Apple, and it wasn’t until sixth grade that I saw a Mac. My middle school had this padlocked cart of new MacBooks, but it was one of those situations where we had fancy technology that we didn’t actually need – for computer assignments, we always used PCs – so the only thing those Macs were good for was playing this weird “educational” videogame called Spore.
Spore was weird, but I thought the Macs themselves were just plain bizarre. The way that files and apps were organized and named was totally foreign to me. My artsy friends took to Macs quickly, but I couldn’t be bothered with the newfangled things; I had no desire to relearn how to use computers when I was already adept at using PCs. So I pretty much avoided Macs entirely, until I took a film class my junior year of high school – and that’s when I understood what the big deal with them was.
The difference was explained to me thus: Macs are for artists; PCs are for cubicles. When it comes to things like digital illustration and video and sound editing, Macs are far superior. PCs, on the other hand, are better geared toward business applications: essentially, all of the things that you would use Microsoft Office for.
Counterintuitively, it would seem, PCs are the more customizable computers; you can do more things with a PC, you have more operating system options than just Windows, and you can basically build them to suit your needs. Apple systems, by contrast, are very restrictive. They don’t leave as much room for customization or development. At first glance, that might seem to put Apple at a disadvantage, but Apple products are also far less susceptible to viruses and malware as a result.
Honestly, though, I can’t really say whether I think one computer is better than the other. It depends on what you intend to do with them. I am a writer by trade, which means I spend a lot of time using Word, and I think Word is better suited to PCs – so I’m inclined to stick with those. I bet gamers would also pick PC. But ask any one of my musician, filmmaker, or graphic designer friends, and I’m sure they’ll side with Mac. Or then again, maybe they’ll just tout Adobe’s Creative Suite.