Mac or PC?

For a number of months I’ve been mentally toying with the idea of moving to the world of Mac and abandoning the world of Windows. I’ve had four PC laptops in the past five years and this morning Kel tells me she thinks we need to reinstall Windows on her machine – a multi-day process for a guy who really does not have multi-days to do it.

Just curious: Emotions run high when people start debating the pros and cons of Windows vs. Mac-so I’m not really interested in mere displays of bravado for either side. But I want to know, from a pastoral ministry and/or even a practical standpoint, which is more profitable – or if the switch is really all that helpful.

Mac or PC? Why?

Phil Johnson’s chronicle of his own personal saga causes me to seek your input today:  Pyromaniacs: My Turn: This Is Where I’ve Been Lately

more about “Mac or PC?“, posted with vodpod

Author: Bret Capranica

I am married to Kelly ( and Pastor-Teacher of Summit Woods Baptist Church, Lee's Summmit, MO (

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  • Jennifer

    I currently have both a MacBook and a PC. I can’t tell you which would be better for you, but so far I’m impressed with the capabilities of the Mac. I created the reunion video easily on the Mac and the computer is much more stable. It also loads MUCH more quickly than any Windows machine I’ve ever owned. It takes my Dell about 4-5 minutes to boot up while it takes my Mac less than 30 seconds. I’m still playing with it but I can tell you that at the technology conference I attended last week, I saw far more Macs than I did PC’s and everyone that I’ve talked to that owns a Mac seems to love it.

  • Stephen Jones

    I’ve heard from a reliable source that you used to call Macs “Macintrash.” Now, it seems you are more open-minded. :) I don’t really have a preference. I thought about switching to Mac a couple years ago, but I think they’re a bit more expensive, and I was concerned about compatibility issues since everyone else I know uses PC. My main concern is the ability to run the Logos Bible Software. They are currently developing a mac version, but are still in the early stages (and have been for several years). However, from what I understand, it is possible to run pc software in a mac through some kind of emulator.

  • Bret Capranica

    Jennifer: Keep me posted on what you think and how you use in your teaching environment the two systems.

    Stephen: I still call them Macintrash. I’m just now ready to the call the PCs trash too. Compatibility and expense has been a key issue with me as well in making any switch. I’m still quite undecided.

  • John Martin

    I tend to take a very utilitarian approach to this debate. For me it all comes down to choosing the right tool for the job. You will eventually experience technical issues if you stick with either solution for long enough. I have learned to personally and professionally rely completely on Macs over the past few years. I originally switched over because they are the most widely used solution for pro music and video production – and for good reason. I eventually started using Macs for personal use as well and have found it to be an excellent experience.
    Have I had problems? Yes! – The best of machines are machines at best. Overall my experience has been very good. I am about to buy a new MacBook and haven’t thought twice about the decision. But I guess you learn to love whatever you come to depend on. I do believe PCs are more suited for some applications than Macs and vice-versa. I’m not sure these comments help but I do grow increasingly tired of the polarization that tends to characterize this discussion. You are absolutely right when you say that people are very passionate about their platform. I am more passionate about getting through my to-do list with the most efficient tool available. At this moment, for me, that’s a Mac. I have recently been working with a few pastors at GCC making the switch. If I can help you with specific questions on the Mac side let me know!

  • Bret Capranica

    John, thanks for the sober-minded, balanced comments. Throughout my college years (early 90′s), I used Macs exclusively. You could not get me to go near the clunky PCs. I was a music major for a year and a half and the entire music department belonged to the Mac world – as well as most of the Fine Arts departments. I would assume that is still the case.

    I would be interested to know why some of the pastors at GCC are switching and the benefits, drawbacks to their pastoral ministry. Any general thoughts?

  • Jaymen Parkins

    Well for me the only Macs I have ever used would be my iPod, iPhone, and those macs they had when I was 10 at school( I loved the Oregon trail by the way). Basically I have been using PC’s my whole life and have been rather happy with them, but yes I have been rather drawn to the sexy sleek feature packed power house they call the Mac Book Pro. But I do have a problem with the price ( 2,400 or something around there). So of they where cheeper I might consider getting one. As for your case Bret I have heard that Macs are great for home users that want to surf the net check myspace/face book, paint or draw something make a slide show or record music / play with grageband. But they lack many important business features and support for business applications. So I think you should consider buying one of the mac minis they are cheep like 400-600 bucks you could test everything out on that with out speding a ton of money. Plus u still have your pc to jump back to if u need it. I am also thinking about getting a mac mini in the future so I can try developing iPhone apps.

  • Bret Capranica

    Cute, Jaymen. I can tell you finally got your iPhone working today and are feeling a bit better about the world.

  • Mark – Productivity501

    Obviously it is impossible to say one is better than the other because it depends on what you are trying to do. However, I don’t know anyone who is skilled at both operating systems that would prefer to support a home user on Windows over OS X. There are just a lot of things that aren’t an issue in OS X that you have to deal with in Windows. For example, the backup program in OS X is much easier to explain how to use to an average user than the Windows solutions.

    OS X is particularly useful if you stick with Apple solutions. For example, if you use iPhoto and .Mac (or Mobile Me now) it is pretty easy to do stuff like, pull pictures or video off a camera and put it online to share with friends. This isn’t a trivial process for a non technical person on Windows.

    The other thing to consider is that with a Mac you can run OS X, Linux, or Windows. With a Dell, you can run Windows and Linux. Now if you primarily want to run Windows, I think I’d still go with a Dell or IBM, but the Apple hardware gives you more options of operating systems.

    Another thing to consider is the release cycle. Apple comes out with a new version of the OS X every 18 months or so. Most of the time these have significant features that make things work better and easier. This is in addition to security and stability updates. Windows Vista was released 5 years after Windows XP. Windows release cycle isn’t necessarily a bad thing and in some ways the releases reflect the type of customers using each platform. However, if you will probably have new features sooner with OS X than you will with Windows.

    On the hardware side of things, one of the downsides of a Mac laptop is the fact that you have to send it in for repair. If something goes wrong you are down for at least 3 days. I have had Dell’s in the past where something broke and they showed up the next day with a part to fix it.

  • Bret Capranica

    Mark, welcome to THE CAPRANICA, it’s an honor to have you – I love your blog!

    The Mac world is enticing. There is the ‘coolness’ factor that is tempting. The thought of a more stable environment has me thinking. However, my Toshiba is running very smoothly (about two years now-knock on wood), as long as I don’t load it up with a ton of RAM draining stuff.

    I suppose I’m looking for the ultimate compelling reason to make a switch. Mac’s are very pricey compared to the PC world and most of what I live in and work with each and every day are PC based programs – which would cost a bit more to make a Mac truly effective in how I operate.

    As one pastor told me who recently made the switch, “Using a Mac is simply an entirely different way of doing things and it takes some time to get used to.”

    I’m not sure I’m ready to live in two computing worlds.

    However, the greatest drawback – which could be quite compelling – in staying with my PC world is Vista. The tech guys my church is working with don’t recommend it (and they are a Microsoft certified group). Now Microsoft does not sell XP unless you pay extra for it.

    Perhaps what would help best is for someone out there in the web-world to give/loan me a Mac to use for a month comparing the two environments from a ministry standpoint and let me blog on it – any takers?

  • Jaymen Parkins

    Well I have been looking at Mac Mini’s on eBay and it doesn’t seem like there are any good deals. The more I look at apple the less I like them, they charge 300 bucks to go from 2GB memory to 4GB memory I bought 4GB high performance memory for my desktop and it only cost 190 bucks.
    The cheapest mac laptop is 1,100.00 bucks, where as you can get a gateway fully loaded gaming pc with twice the power and performance for 1,400.00, plus you could play some sweet games…… I mean type out some sweet Word Docs with this baby. Lol

    Also consider this from Engadget “And just think — last year you were singing Dino Dai Zovi’s praises for taking control of a MacBook Pro in nine whole hours. This year, the PWN 2 OWN hacking competition at CanSecWest was over nearly as quickly as the second day started, as famed iPhone hacker Charlie Miller showed the MacBook Air on display who its father really was. Apparently Mr. Miller visited a website which contained his exploit code (presumably via a crossover cable connected to a nearby MacBook), which then “allowed him to seize control of the computer, as about 20 onlookers [read: unashamed nerds] cheered him on.” Of note, contestants could only use software that came pre-loaded on the OS, so obviously it was Safari that fell victim here. Nevertheless, he was forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement that’ll keep him quiet until “TippingPoint can notify the vendor,” but at least he’ll have $10,000 and a new laptop to cuddle with during his silent spell.”(engadget)

    I think you just need an Iphone Bret, then you wont feel the need to turn to the Mac anymore. Also I have been looking for a steal on eaby for a Mac mini, if I can secure one for a very “very” cheap price I will let you use it for a few months. ….. but you might be waiting for a while.

    Also the people who hate vista are like the people who hate the Iphone, usually most of the people that had problems with vista fit in to these categories:

    1. They bought a cheap machine with XP and got the upgrade to vista and now their machine sucks because the hardware is actually not Vista compatible but for some reason they got the sticker stuck on there.
    2. They are trying to use a windows 98 printer or device that is over two or three years old. It wont work and its not vista’s problem it’s the devices manufacturer because they wont write a current driver.
    3. They changed the layout a tad with vista (which is really nice in my opinion I love being able to search for something I will never use menu’s again!). So many people get lost and confused because they don’t have there little green button to click anymore. Lets face it people hate change and they hate having to learn TECH, well i guess i cant blame them.

    I guess I should end this comment before it becomes a blog post all its own lol. Sorry I just get slightly fired up about these subjects. : – )

  • Kit Williams

    Don’t use either one. Go with Linux :) I know there is a learning curve, but you can keep the same PC hardware that you currently use, but with an O.S. that doesn’t degrade over time. I switched 3 years ago and was impressed with how far it has come. You can even test it out before you install anything. Just download an ISO and burn it to a CD. Go to and it will have all the instructions you need to get started.

  • Bret Capranica

    Kit, I’m downloading Ubuntu now on another laptop to try it out. I’ve heard a lot of good about Linux. I’ll give it a text over the next few weeks. In two weeks, I’m scheduled to get a new laptop with Vista-we’ll see which one has a shorter learning curve, more stable and allows me to be most productive.

    Any tips on using Ubuntu?