Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
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Mac vs IBM
Technology has led the world into the 21st century. Competition between two main computer systems, creates controversy over which system is superior. IBM compatables have captured the largest market share, but Apple Macintoshes hold a special place in capabilities. Computer buyers need to keep in mind different capabilities and their own unique requirements when deciding which way to go. Although both provide state of the art computer systems, IBM compatibles and Apple Macintoshes attract their own distinct clients because of their unique operating systems and stand alone buying powers. Adequate performance and mediocre ease of use, bundled in an extremely low cost package, have allowed IBM compatible computers to lead the computer industry in personal computers. To begin with, the average computer generation is about six months, and with every generation IBMs increase their computers^ capacities to appeal more and more to the ^average Joe.^ Memory, normally measured in gigabits, is constantly increasing though most people cannot use as much as is available. One year ago 166 mhz was considered fast. Now 350 mhz is what is being advertised. With the ability to hold more information, graphics have also improved. Megahertz, one type of speed of computers, is increasing at a blinding rate soon surpassing the speed at which a user can operate his computer. In fact, the biggest drawback to IBM compatibles is their complexity. IBMs allow access to useless information that clutters the hard drive while confusing the user. On an IBM, all programs, including Wi! ndows, are DOS based which means one will, at some time, have to use the convoluted system that requires typing rather than point and click. Another problem is that viruses are very common on IBMs especially if connected to the internet. If a computer is contaminated with a virus, even further frustration, time and money may be lost. However, a good element of IBMs is their purchasing abilities. For IBMs there are millions of programs, including games, business tools, and other various varieties. Also, IBM compatibles themselves are relatively inexpensive, and this drives their popularity. A decent, fully equipped machine can be bought for as low as $700. While IBMs appeal to the general public with lower prices, Apple Macintosh has proven to be a better overall product. Unlike IBM marketing claims, which have mislead potential buyers about the superiority of their product by emphasizing their few strengths despite the value; modern Macs can easily outperform commercial IBM computers. Like IBMs the memory on a Mac often exceeds the user requirements. Today^s top of the line Mac features a10 gigabit hard drive. The only Mac property clearly recognized by IBM users as better, is their high resolution graphics; all qualified computer artists use Macs to produce more lifelike images. Additionally, in contrast to the IBMs that produce speed exclusively by megahertz, Macintosh has integrated megahertz with another kind of speed to result in the world's fastest commercial computer. Though IBMs copied Macintosh^s point and click system with the introduction of Windows 95, Mac OS remains superior. With a Mac one does not need t! o worry about fighting through information, because there is none. Also, all programs run off the Mac operating system, and point and click universally applies. Whereas there are infinite viruses for IBMs, there are only four that affect Mac OS and they are controlled by any anti-virus software. Lastly, the limited purchasing ability of the Macintosh, has resulted in a loss of market share and is its major drawback. The price of Macs is almost twice that of low cost IBMs. Also, there are far fewer programs available for Macs than IBMs. On the other hand Macs are capable of translating IBM programs to their own format, but programs to do so are also expensive and reduce speed. Ultimately, Macintosh and IBM compatible computers offer distinct capabilities and appeal that have split computer users into two faithful camps. Although IBM compatables and Apple Macintoshes offer many technologically advanced set-ups, computer buyers must chose which most suits their individual preferences. They must consider what is wanted in their overall computer setup. The demands of the consumer will define computers of the future.

 



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