Poison Fruit

Sooo it seems like not a day passes by that a new Apple commercial comes out trying to brainwash the misinformed, claiming how much “better” they’re computers are than your average PC. I guess it makes for good tv? I can’t say I’ve seen a Dell, HP, or even a Microsoft commercial bashing how ridiculously overpriced or unupgradable Macs are. Maybe because they don’t have to?

Let’s face it, the typical computer user, particularly anyone born before 1980, just isn’t that tech savvy. So if you didn’t know crap about computers and I came up to you and said Macs “don’t get viruses” or are more safely guarded against hacks, you would probably believe me! Now while I won’t go out on a limb and call you an idiot, I will say that if you just picked up the latest monthly edition of WIRED, you’d probably learn more in an hour than you have your whole life. Why else would they make Macintosh antivirus software identical to that of Windows PC version?

If you think that your Mac, equipped with no anti-virus software and spyware security, is impervious to an organized attack against your network, then hackers probably love you. They are probably sitting in their basement, elbow deep in a bag of Doritos effortlessly using your machine as a ghost to steal your mom’s credit card info. Even with state of the art security, the Mac is still easy pickings for a well-seasoned hacker.

I know you’re probably scoffing at the mere thought of this as you read, but is it really that hard to believe? The only reason Window’s based PC’s get the bad rap as a bigger security risk is simply because the market share is significantly higher. Windows continuously dominates the market in terms of large, multi-server networks that typically run Windows XP, but are slowly moving into Vista and eventually into 7. Although Linux is typically considered the prominent server platform, Windows still occupies about 75% of the overall server market, with Linux hovering around 20+% or so, and OS X picking up the scraps around 5%. That means more computers on this planet run Windows than there are automobiles. Like, billions man.

Make no mistake about it, Vista is the most secure operating system to date.

Now I already know what Mac users are thinking. “Well Macs run Windows Vista, too.” I’m glad you brought that up, I’ll chalk another victory up for Microsoft. Any PC that is Window’s compatible will never in our lifetime be OS X compatible, unless they want Microsoft to pull the rug out from under them[note: you can run OS X on a PC, but it’s, uhhh, illegal]. Why would they want anyone to touch what is essentially a monopolized market? If OS X was even marginally superior then Macs wouldn’t need to run Windows to compete.

I know you probably still don’t believe me. If there is one thing Apple is actually good at (besides making the exterior of there products look flashy, if only to hide the lack of intelligent design on the inside) it’s…well, bullshitting.

PWN 2 OWN is an thee annual ethical hacking contest that pits Windows v. OS X v. Linux, where the hack surface for all three laptop machines is essentially identical. The winner walks away usually with around $10k and the recently hacked machine. The past three years, OS X has gotten hacked first through unpublicized vulnerabilities in as fast as 20 minutes, where Windows and Linux have taken an upwards of 36-72 hours.

Now even though it’s pretty obvious to anyone even remotely knowledgeable about computers that PC software is at least as good if not better than Macs, there’s still the hardware side of the argument, or lack thereof. It’s pretty straightforward really, PC’s are all upgradeable in every sense of the word. If you use up all your hard drive space, or RAM, guess what?!?! You can add more!! Want that new graphics card for high performance gaming?!?! You can add that, too! Want to install a DVD drive?!?! A new CPU fan?!?! A power supply with more wattage output?!?! No problem, dude.

Ohhh, you have a Mac. Ummm, that’s going to be a problem. Unless you want to invalidate your warranty??? You maybe asking yourself, “Well why the f*ck would I want to do that??” Don’t look at me, I don’t know, either.

Since some of you are probably still skeptical/delirious, let’s compare two similar computers: a brand new Mac Pro and the brand new Alienware Area51 X58 Wartime Edition. If we’re just going by name, the Mac Pro is looking (and sounding) pretty lame already. But I want to examine this closer, because the results are pretty staggering. On each companies respective website, I created an order for essentially identical machines.

Both come equipped with 2.93gHZ Intel processors, the Mac Pro with the Quad Core Intel Xeon and the Alienware with the Intel Core i7. Both have one hard drive bay that can store up to 1TB, and have 6GB of memory. Both have dual 512MB NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. Both have one optical drive and a 30″ HD monitor. Both have a wireless mouse and keyboard. Both come with a 3-year protection plan.

The Mac Pro costs $6,246. The Alienware Area51 X58 Wartime Edition costs $4,280. Throw in the fact that Alienware’s are fully customizable {i.e. lighting displays, chassis) and come equipped with a liquid cooling system used by the United States Armed Forces, and I think it’s a no-brainer.

Are you beginning to see the (PC) light at the end of the damp, dark (Mac) tunnel?

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~ by therealJWilliam on June 1, 2009.

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