Why do you use or want a Mac?

I personally have never used MacOS or owned a Mac. I feel spending the money on a Mac that I could instead use to build a superior computer illogical and I find the locked down nature of Mac to be frustrating. At work we have two Macs that our graphics department use and they refuse to go to anything else so at work I am used to maintaining Windows desktops and Windows/*Nix Servers and rarely work with the Macs here.

Occasionally I see on here people discussing getting a Macbook Pro, so my question is why would you want that over an ultrabook? And for any programmers here why is it so common to see programmers wanting a Mac? I know how to program and feel I would find it rather annoying to program on a Mac vs a Linux box or a Windows computer configured correctly. Note: Not trying to start a war I am just genuinely curious!

In my case, I went from Windows, after using MS operating systems since creating autoexec.bat files with edlin in DOS 2.0, to MacOS in 2014 when Windows was a mess, support for XP was going to vanish, and every glitchy upgrade made my computer run slower. Windows 7 worked well enough, Windows 8 was an abomination from my POV (I wasn’t alone in that assessment). My HP Pavilion was only a year old and getting slower with every upgrade to Win 7, so, despite not being able to say Macintosh with out spitting since they were first introduced, I bought an iMac.

It wasn’t instant wonderful. It took me a while to learn to use it. MacOS wasn’t instinctive, but as I got into it I discovered MacOS had a wonderful screen management feature with multiple desktops that worked really well for swiping back and forth between research and my novel outline or a draft WIP. I switched to Scrivener from WriteWay Pro at the same time after deciding Parallels was buggy over priced mess.

The locked down nature of Mac’s is why they seem to always work. The OS designers know exactly what hardware they have to work with so the multi-hardware vendor issues simply don’t exist. My 2014 iMac is as fast today as it was when I brought it home. I’ve never had a windows machine that could equal that performance. Not one.

In mid 2015 I added a 15" MacBook Pro. I bought it on sale at BestBuy for $1,700. It’s hands down the best computer I’ve ever owned. Apple support is fantastic. I damaged the screen when a bottle of lens cleaner I was suing on my glasses splashed on the scree. It got really annoying to look at. I had three months of Apple care left. I called not expecting it to be covered, I did it through my own carelessness.

I explained the situation. They didn’t even blink. Just set about arranging to have it repaired. The prepaid shipping box arrived the next morning. I took to FED-EX that afternoon. It was in Houston early the next morning. In repair mid morning and on the way back to me with a beautiful new screen that afternoon. It arrived the next day before noon.

I had a schedule that caused me to use the MBP on battery. I got to around 500 cycles on it and decided I wanted a new battery. In the mean time I’d warn the letters off some of the most used keys on the keyboard. The letter less keys weren’t a problem. But when I took it to the Apple store, they said the keyboard would be replaced with the battery. $200 and 48 hours later I was signing for the repaired laptop at my home.

I no longer have the schedule that requires me to run it on battery like I originally did so it only has 43 cycles on it after nearly a year of use.

The MBP is also as fast as it was when I bought it. There are no perceptible delays. Upgrades always work. If there is a glitch, there is a fix in a very short time.

But most important, if I need to talk to someone, I get a knowledgable easily understood English speaker with no delays when I call for help.

It’s looking like my Macs will function for several more years. My sister just sold her 2011 MBP and bought a 15" MBP. She had 8 years of excellent service from the machine. She upgraded it herself to 16GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD. It was about to fall off the list of supported devices and sooner or later she’d have to stop upgrading her apps because they wouldn’t be supported on the older OS, so she sold it for $500 to a happy customer. 8 years of making her living working on it. She was a happy camper. It never occurred to her to get a windows machine. She converted to Mac in 2011. Bought an iMac in 2014.

I have two infrequently used pieces of SW (QuickLoad and a target analysis program) that aren’t available to run on the Mac, so I still have the HP which is now running Win 10. The HP is a Stone Age machine compared to this MBP.

I also have an iPhone, iPad, and Series 4 Apple Watch. I love how they all tie together seamlessly.

That’s why I’m using MacOS with exactly zero desire to return to Windows.



Like Fitch I used computers before Win 1.0, even used CP/M for a while in the beginning. But I ran Windows computers all the wat from Win 1.0 up to Win 7.

I got myself an iPhone in 2010, I think, and a first generation iPad when it was released, because I liked the portability. The lack of communication between my PCs and the iDevices annoyed me, so I got muself a MacBook Pro in 2013, to jse alongside my PCs. But I soon stopped using the PCs. The software on the Mac was better, it syncronized easily with iPad and iPhone, everything simply got better and easier.

To me, the devices are tools, and I want tools that help me do what I do, and hinder me as little as possible. The PCs often had problems, the ecosystem was less manageable. Now I focus on my work and the different devices are used for slightly different things but communicate seamlessly in the background. And with the new pencil, the iPad Pro has become my paper-free office.

Pretty much more of the same. Replaced an Underwood typewriter and a bottle of Snopake with a Commodore 64, then a Kaypro running CP/M, then a dual-floppy PC with a squinty green-screen monitor running MS-DOS 2.1 and MS Word 1.01. Then a PC with a massive 10mb hard drive followed by more PCs, and Windows 2.11, and Windows 3.1, and Windows 95. Around there I replaced my Toshiba laptop–I always used a desktop and a laptop, so that at least one was working–with a white-Chiclet iBook running the first version of OS-X, and when it came time to replace the desktop I abandoned Windows for one of those impressionistic iMacs that looked like a tanning lamp skewering half a soccer ball.

And never looked back. Partly because I’m a writer for whom computers became a transformative tool, replacing typewriters and Post-Its and scissors and paste and white-out and unproductive time.

I know nothing of programming and couldn’t care less. I don’t do games. I simply write, and until I retired a few years ago I was an editor. Partly, I think, I made my denominational shift because I could do the Windows salute–Control, Alt, Delete–in my sleep, but all these years later I still have to look up the key combination to restart my Mac. I measure cost not by initial purchase price and a spec sheet but how the tool enables my particular profession.

As MS Word morphed from a grand writing program into the all-purpose-everything of corporate America, I tried out alternatives, and came to Scrivener for Mac in 2006, when it was in its beta stage. Since then I have used nothing else. I no longer own Word. I wrote six books and edited a magazine, every phase from submissions to final transmittal to the InDesign gnomes in production, using nothing but Scrivener, with an occasional foray into Apple Pages, and its predecessors, when the need for Track Changes reared its presumptuous head.

So that’s why I use a Mac. Scrivener enables me to pay my bills with a minimum of fuss and bother, and Scrivener, because it was created on a Mac, still runs best on a Mac.

Folks, this is a great conversation, but this is not the right forum for it. This forum is for technical support questions for the Mac version of Scrivener.

I’m sure if one of the L&L staff want this thread elsewhere they will move it.

Others have pretty much said what I would. I use both MacOS and Win. Catalina and Parallels (yes I know earlier versions were buggy as hell) allows me to run both Win and MacOS side by side (big monitors help) and defying logic Win runs smoother on the MacBook than on the dedicated Win machine. (Others have also reported this so guess not just my imagination).

I would work exclusively on Mac if it were not for 2 programs and also writing manuals for Win.

IMHO, MacOS is a ‘cleaner OS’ and the hardware has a greater life expectancy as mentioned above.

First switched to a Mac because of Scrivener 1 and DevonThink Pro. There was nothing like Scrivener for Windows at the time, and there’s still no Windows equivalent to DevonThink Pro.

Persuaded various family members to switch by flat refusing to help them with self-inflicted Windows compatibility and malware issues.

The locked down hardware design is a feature, not a bug. No weird driver issues. Knowledgeable, in-person, English-speaking technical support that will never pass the buck to a third-party hardware vendor. Much more limited malware and security concerns.

I have two legacy Windows applications, using VMWare Fusion, but I’m trying to switch to their Mac equivalents because Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 this year, and Windows 10 is too horrible to contemplate.


PS Moving thread to Software and Development forum.

Vellum. I wanted a better and easier way to format my ebooks badly enough to get a MacBook Pro (used 15"). In rationalizing the expense, I told myself I could use Scriv 3 on it. Hated everything about the Mac except the retina screen at first, but I liked that so much it lured me to work at it. Sticking a real mouse on it made a big difference.

For my use Scriv 3 isn’t much different than 1.9 on Windows. In fact I prefer the old Inspector. Also didn’t like the “modern” look, so spent considerable time unmodernizing it (changing fonts pretty much everywhere), So now I use the MBP for Vellum, Scriv, and some internet. Still go back to my Windows 7 machine for everything else.

I’ve ben using a mac desktop since 2004 and laptop since 2006. On my 2nd desktop and third laptop. Macs last me 5+ years compared to my windows machines which were usable for 2-3. So the annual cost of ownership has been less, I think.

But the hook for me was unix. I’d been doing a lot of web development and running cygwin, then I learned that mac os x is unix under the gui. Never looked back.

Thats what I thought also, though with Start 10 from Stargate I get all the good Win 7 interface elements. Still a bloated mess compared to MacOS (how I hate Win Reg) but more than useable.

I’ve made a living as a Windows and UNIX administrator. My every day box is a Windows box and has been for years, but I have Linux and Mac on my desk as well. Part of why I appreciate the Mac and don’t mind the premium pricing is that with very very few exceptions, I’m paying that money to get my time back. The hardware components Just Work together without futzing about. I don’t have to think about running separate firmware updates. I can easily go to the App Store and get the installer for any supported version of MacOS that I want (or need) to run. There are fewer options exposed in the stock OS for me to futz with and distract myself. Of course, all of that can be a double-edged sword, but it’s affected my thinking enough that now I only pay for the higher-end Windows hardware like the Surface line from the Microsoft Store – well-chosen hardware, good support, clean OS installs. It’s a good model that Apple perfected.

devin and I seem to have similar occupational hazards…

My switch was digital audio recording. Much like graphics, that has been a traditionally Apple world.

The backstory… i don’t like windows thanks to the continual support issues I experienced at work (that shit never seems to work even today when you compare to other OS). All my home systems were solaris, linux, or HP-UX. As I phased out my commercial support OS (solaris/hp-ux) I standardized on linux as ever dang windows box was a PITA. At some point I realized that I was spending as much time deploying os updates at home as i as was at work (in my defense I had about 40 systems cobbled together from parts). As I started to get more serious about rekindling my music career I realized I needed to spend less time “making things work” and more time “working on making things”. enter the mac.

HW and OS commercially supported. Optimized for exactly what i needed to do. Support that was timely, responsive, and understanding of my usage. reduced my overall footprint to 12 systems and my weekly maintenance to about an hour. And is just works.

Fast forward a decade and it’s a different case. Music is … there but I’m not really active. Now i just don’t want to use anything else. The Apple “environment of assimilation” (how I really feel about it) is worth it. I do ZERO support. My wife will say “hmm… I need an update” and bring me a beer so i don’t mess up her laptop or phone (I’m easily distracted). When i look at software not apple… I just don’t like it. So there is no compelling reason to switch.

And don’t bring up cost. It a straw man based on initial outlay not TCO over the usable life of the devices. My newest mac is a 2011 MBP. Still works. Still fast. All in I’m under $2k including upgrades. Equivalent spec Windows laptop was only $200 cheaper and then you start adding “required optional packages” like anti virus, malware, etc and their perpetual subscriptions. I’ve done an corp level analysis based on our company procurement, service desk tickets (we track LOE) and IT services unique to Apple. The facts support long term TCO is significantly lower for Apple. Yes, I know i’m not looking at it from the “average user”, but which of us looks at writing as an 'average reader"?

Anyway… commercial support, ease of use, better software, lower TCO are my reasons.

Mac has been always very much faster than windows. Windows get lagged as compared to Mac. Though it cost more than Windows it is value for money.

Increasingly, I’m finding the long-standing MacOS selling point of “it just works” to be simply not true any more.

Anyway… pretty much all the software I use is OS-neutral. Scriv, MS Office, Adobe CC – all these work well on both platforms. The deciding factor for me was pretty simple. My two most important specs on any writing machine are the keyboard and the screen. When I moved to Mac, their keyboards were up there (although I did slightly prefer Lenovo and VAIO), but their retina screens were world-leading.

Sadly, the keyboards on the new Macs are not workable for me, so unless they change course significantly, my next machine will be a reversion back to Windows. Of course, I hope that’s still some time away. My 13" Macbook Pro is coming up for it’s 5th birthday in January, and showing no signs of slowing down.

Now excuse me while I run off to perform all the customary superstious rituals to mitigate the tempting of fate.

Good news, Pigfender: Apple has reversed course on the keyboards. The latest Macbook Pro (the 16") has gone back to a scissors keyboard, abandoning the butterfly. With any luck, this outbreak of sanity amongst Mac designers will trickle down as the smaller Macbook Pro and the Macbook Air are updated in future. (If you try the new Macbook Pro keyboard in a store, do post and let us know how it feels!)

As for my primary reasons for preferring Macs, well—I was employed as a developer for a firm that became a third-party developer for Mac in 1983. I’ve preferred Macs ever since, partly for the same OS reasons as L&L: It’s just easier to write a reliable piece of software for the system. MacOS has always provided system level facilities that are just missing in Windows. Partly, the interface is beautiful and I’m still in love with it. Not least, my 2015 Macbook Air 11 (bought refurbished) is going strong while my son is on his third PC in the same time frame. I don’t keep close track of costs, but machine failure is a time suck I don’t need.

I stopped by the Apple Store in Pittsford, NY to try the new 16" MBP. The keyboard is even better than the keyboard on my 15" mid 2015 MBP and orders of magnitude better than the keyboard on my sisters 2017 MBP. It’s the first MBP like since I bought mine. Alas, mine is probably going to last another five years, so I can’t do more than drool…

As with an system it really depends on what you put in it. My PC is running on a Ryzen 7 3700X CPU, 16gb of ram and a 256 gb SSD. Needless to say its ‘danged’ fast and runs circles around my Mac.

At the risk of getting accused of being a Windows fanboy (believe me I’m not) it might be beneficial to give the OP my insight as I regularly use both and have a contrasting opinion to those who’ve already given their two cents.

As a windows/mac/linux user I can tell you that I prefer windows over mac any day of the week and I haven’t found that everything ‘just works’ on a mac any more than windows. Windows requires more maintenance yes, but the wide array of hardware options available to me, means I’m not stuck spending $1000+ dollars on a laptop I’m only going to use for writing and web browsing. And please, we’re talking about personal use, so the argument that Macs are cheaper in the corporate environment is not applicable here.

I hate the mac design aesthetic and I prefer functionality over form any day. I am perpetually perplexed by the Mac enthusiasts who talk about how beautiful the OS is. You’re using a computer not browsing an art gallery. Every Mac user tells me how ‘powerful’ the OS is and yet every time I go into settings to configure something like I do in windows, I find myself frustrated over the lack of configuration options. Don’t even get me started on the lack of font-scaling with third party monitors. Any time I bring this point up I’m told I need only to adjust my resolution. If I wanted to view my computer screen in 1080p resolution I wouldn’t have bought a 4k monitor.

Not to mention that Windows touch screen support is amazing, and it’s virtually non-existent in Macs. With my stylus my Windows 2-in-1 ultra book, aside from converting into a ‘tablet’, doubles as a wacom-style graphics tablet and I regularly use it to doodle in photoshop.

Edited to add, my only reason for using a Mac was the added capability of Mac Scrivener, but most of the features that actually attracted me I don’t even use. I could have saved myself a lot of money had I shown a little more patience and waited for the promised feature parity between Win/Mac Scrivener.

Exactly. And that original quote is pure BS to begin with. Almost every such “comparison” is done by looking at bargain-basement Windows builds compared to Mac builds, and ignore all the relevant technical specs like memory type, speed of memory, etc. At least since Apple switched to using Intel CPUs, it’s been a lot easier to directly compare the hardware – and those results, time and again, are pretty obvious that if you put equivalent amounts of money into your Mac and Windows hardware, you will get equivalent (or even better for your Windows PC, in some cases) performance out of them.

Mac’s overriding selling point, at least during the Intel era, has been that you don’t have to do the work of finding the right compatible components that work together with quality Windows drivers and firmware versions. Apple does all that work for you. That’s why third-party add-ons for the Mac ecosystem can be so hit and miss – if that website selling “Mac compatible RAM” hasn’t bothered to take the specific RAM timings into account, your “bargain” RAM is going to be just as large but slower than the good stuff that Apple will sell you for a markup.

Apple lets you get a decent system that will last for a while without having to be an expert in PC building. There are companies that make Windows and Linux PCs that do the same kind of things – and guess what? They have comparable price points!

I haven’t spent over five hundred (before tax) on a new laptop in my life and the specs for my ultra book are pretty similar to what you’d find in macbook from the same year. Granted I bought it at a pretty good discount and it’s running an AMD cpu which tends to lower the price, but it came with touch screen support which is more than I can say for any macbook.

As far as desktop pricing I can’t really say, I build my own systems (aside from the mac I own which I purchased second hand), and have for most of my adult life which gives me a lot more bang for my buck. The PC I’m using right now with the hardware it’s running could have easily set me back $1500 USD for a prebuilt system and I probably put about half that into. Granted that does not include the cost of the SSD and HHD which I reused from an older system, but either way I still would have paid significantly less to build it.