Productivity matters!

Its that time of year again where I write why I love my Mac(s) so much and why I think EVERYONE should use one. I got excited today when Apple announced their new 24″ IMacs. I like Imacs because they are small and do just what I need for a desktop machine. I wasn’t always a Mac fan, in fact I bought my first Mac only last March. I WISH I had done it sooner!

Lets face it, we live in a windows world. I wish we didn’t, but the cold hard truth is that everyone normally runs some form of windows. I knew that the newest Macs all run both Mac OSX and Windows so I thought if it didn’t work out I could just run windows on it. I haven’t booted into Windows XP except to let one of my kids play games on it in months. When I bought my first Mac I did it because I wanted to test Bluehost more thoroughly on a Mac. It was very painful for the first few weeks. Nothing worked as I thought it should. I could barely install any software. Then after diligent work on my part and a few weeks it all just clicked. I could NEVER go back.

Productivity matters! I can’t be fiddling around with Windows every three months when it gets infected with the latest malware or the registry gets screwed up. My time matters to me, and the last thing I want to do is reinstall windows only to have it gradually get slower every week I use it. For all those people out there who know exactly what I am talking about (everyone), Macs seem to have completely solved this problem for me. I love the fantastic designs of the Mac hardware, but the operating system is shear bliss to work with (If you take the time to learn it!).

Not all of the Windows problems are Microsoft’s fault. The myriad of hardware and software to support would put a strain on any OS. WAIT, that’s not true. Linux supports a huge assortment of hardware and it is orders of magnitude more stable than Windows XP. Basically I am telling all you Windows users out there (And I KNOW I will get tons of hate mail about this post ;) ) that you should switch now and save yourself from the slow lumbering beast that is Windows Vista. My time is worth far more than the $300 I will save buying a PC instead of a Mac over the life of my computer. I type this as I reinstall (Again!) Windows XP on my wife computers since it is so infected with Malware/Spyware that it is completely unusable. Her Mac will be here in 7 days!

OK, Let me have it!

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

34 Responses to “Productivity matters!”

  1. Steve says:

    OK! I know it’s not the right question… but can you install backups (pirate in other words) Windows software on Mac’s? And moreover do you need an Ordinary copy of Windows XP, or somekind of an emulator?

  2. Kirk says:

    Well put. I made the switch myself a few years ago and couldn’t be happier. No OS is perfect but IMHO OS X is years ahead of Windows in refinement and usability.

  3. Andy Rush says:

    OK Matt, I’ll bite. You talk about the new 24″ iMac, a monstrously large computer by any definition and then in the next sentence praise iMacs for being small ???? That struck me as kinda funny.

    But your last point about Windows computers being overrun by malware/spyware. If the Macs get as popular as you want them . . . hello malware, spyware, viruses, hacker attacks. I will admit that the operating system will be better prepared by not having as many ready made exploits as a PC.

    I use mostly PCs at the current stage in my career, but I cut my teeth on Macs (and Amigas!). I share an office with two Mac users, a Linux user, and another PC user. We all have problems with our computers. My fellow PC user is a Tablet PC user. We’re both waiting for a MacBook Pro tablet. When they come out, then we’ll talk ;-)

  4. hdw says:

    I just built a new PC, but I’ve always been a huge Mac fan. If someone would actually pay me to use a Mac I’d be thrilled. My 8 year old Mac still performs better than a lot of PCs around.

  5. Bob Morris says:

    Vista is expensive, as the version most will want to upgrade to is $259. Then you’ll probably need a new PC with at least a gig of RAM, faster video, etc. And new AV and spyware programs too. All to get a new bloated OS.

    I just started my switch to Linux. Ubuntu (ubuntu.com) is billed as “Linux for human beings” and is easy to install and use. There thousands of programs available for it, including OpenOffice that reads and writes Word and Excel docs, and GIMP, a powerful graphics program.

    Certainly worth a look at. Macs look (they run a variant of Linux also) Neither need av and spyware programs either!

    I’ve been blogging about Ubuntu, for those interested, bobmorris.wordpress.com

  6. Rick says:

    Matt,
    Let me offer a hearty “Cheers” to all of your sentiments before you get a deluge of hate mail. I’ve been a Mac user for about 15 years, but have had to maintain my wife’s PC and various other PCs over the years; and every moment I’ve had to spend fixing, or re-fixing, problems on a PC has made me all the more appreciative of how amazing the Mac OS is.

    It’s also good to know that in such a Windows-centric world, there are hosts out there that care about Mac users. Thanks!

  7. Trevor says:

    Im looking at getting a laptop for my mom. Should I go with the new imac?

  8. Klondike says:

    I detest Windows and would like to switch to Linux as my primary OS, but I don’t agree with some of the things you said. I don’t think Windows XP is all that unstable. Ubuntu not recognizing my video driver and completing installation with a broken X-Windows server is unstable; SuSE messing up package dependencies and forcing me to install from tarballs is unstable. Windows needing to be rebooted once a week for speed isn’t unstable.

    Any experienced and Internet-savvy user should remain totally free from malware and spyware. I’ve never used an AV or AS product in my life and I haven’t been infected with a virus in 7 years. And I worked for an antispyware company for a year, I know the field. Many Windows products, such as IE and Outlook, are insecure and just poor, but that honestly doesn’t have much to do with the OS. Linux and BSD are more secure and have less security flaws, but they’re also significantly less targeted.

    I’m certainly ready to try out Mac OS X 10.5 when their towers stop being twice as expensive as a comparable PC tower. Until then I’m happy with Linux, or, when I want UI widgets to respond instantly to my clicking (which is most of the time), with Windows.

  9. Taylor says:

    You know, Matt, I’ve wondered about this. I’ve heard it debated that Windows is the security risk that it is at least in part because it is the 800-pound gorilla on the market. If Macs had a bigger market share, they would come under more attack.

    That said, I’ve used both Macs and PCs, and I still like PCs more (though I like them both). It’s just easier to tinker with them. Macs tout user-friendliness, but it’s more of an experience on rails. They are friendly as long as you stay inside the lines. PCs are too, but the playground is bigger. And, well… that’s why they have more problems as well.

    Freedom comes with its own set of issues, whether it’s freedom in a computer OS or a political system. Since I value freedom in my computing, PCs have been the way to go.

    Honestly, though, I could go either way, if only Macs were a bit easier to customize. I prefer them for Adobe’s products. I prefer PCs for most everything else. And now that Macs have three-button mice, the usability is better. (OK, it’s not that recent they have had them, but there’s still a predisposition towards the one-button mice for some reason…)

    I do fear Vista, though.

  10. Jim says:

    Although I admittedly have little experience with a Mac, I think the point Andy Rush and Taylor make is a good one: if Macs were as popular as PCs, they’d be the target of all the spyware and malware. I was thinking this is similar to webhosting because a small webhost that doesn’t experience heavy traffic, cpu usage, and DDoS attacks may perform much better than a very poplular hosting company, but it doesn’t make them intrinsically better. Can someone enlighten me on why a Mac would be better able to fight off malware infection?

  11. Luis says:

    Is anyone out there a gamer? I guess most people browsing this blog are not, mostly since one doesn’t really have much time to play when u gotta work. I love my PC since I can play almost any game out there, something I can not do with a Mac. Someone might say I should get an Xbox 360 for playing but I still love the fact that my PC has been custom built and it’s not one of thousands that look the same out there. I’m not really looking forward for Vista as my XP computer runs practically flawless. I do think I will get a Mac someday when my budget is better (I gotta try it to see if it’s really that much better, which for my usage I think it will not); I gotta pay almost twice for the same monitor, video card, etc. running on a Mac than what I paid for my custom PC.

  12. Omer says:

    I think a big problem is that Windows is close to 90% market. Everyone writes malware for windows machines, not for mac. The same malware binaries won’t just work on a Mac!

    But, I have been using Windows for a long time (and I also have a machine with Freebsd, so it is not that I am just using Windows), but I take some precautions. Never trust email (and so never click on an email link that claims to be paypal, your bank etc etc), never go to a website that you don’t know and accept anything they offer, and try to run IE or Firefox in low-privileged mode.

    I think the last time I had a virus was may be 5+ years back. And I bought my last machine in 2003, had to reinstall windows once because my machine blew away. I don’t install all the software I can get my hands on, just have my productivity stuff (office, asp.net development, email, etc) and that is about it.

    I don’t get when people complain about windows. May be because I don’t run into problems, but I try to be careful, and that also saves me time and productivity. Unfortunately, you cannot live without windows, especially if you are a developer, your software will run on windows and your site (like bluehost) will have windows/ie customers.

    But you can choose to educate yourself and learn. Search for Microsoft Program Manager (Michael Howard)’s article on MSDN on how to run IE in a low-privileged mode. Learn it and use it for instance. But mind you, even if you don’t, it is still ok so long as you are careful.

    I run my web browser and often my email in a low-privileged user mode and feel much safer.

  13. Great to know that you’re a Mac user. I’ve been a Mac user for the past eight months myself, and have barely used my PC desktop since. I’m about to take on several websites, so my question is, can I use Sandvox from my Mac to upload to bluehost?

  14. dipankar says:

    Hi Matt,

    I regularly read your blog and have been a BlueHost customer with at least 4 packages and have referred 4 of my clients as I like your service. However, support has been quite lousy recently. I have sent a support email using the Cerberus Helpdesk (you should try registering there for a test as it doesn’t seem to work at all as I can’t really open a ticket to track under my registered account so I didn’t see a point in registering) at least 3 times plus 2 direct emails to support@bluehost.com but none were acknowledged nor responded to. The issue is pretty urgent as email doesn’t work for one of my accounts but if only your support had at least told me that they are ‘looking into it’ then it would have given me some peace of mind.

    I ran out of ideas to get support call, so I had to leave a comment on your blog. If the problem cannot be resolved at least tell me the reasons, the emails were working fine and then it suddenly stopped without an explanation for about a week now.

    I don’t know whether others are having support woes but I surely am. BlueHost is one of the best hosting companies I have dealt with and it would be a pity to see your standards of support dwindle.

    Extremely Frustrated,

    Dipankar

  15. DS says:

    I like MacOS X as much as the next guy. But other than the sleekness and design Apple computers are still over priced for what you get. And being most the stuff you do is via a webbrowser or shell I can see you not having to use Windows to often. But for the rest of the world who uses software and some of the people using really old windows software Hello Vista! RC1 is pretty damn good. And if your a gamer forget about the mac, sheesh. Get a clue Steve Jobs.

  16. Wes says:

    True, Vista is going to be an expensive option and added to that one will need to buy software that goes with it like the new Office which is another expense and not talking about the hardware needs.

    But having said that the truth is that we currently live in a Windows world and we have to find ways of surviving with Windows. Most of my needs are covered by Ubuntu but I still need Windows for other things like games.

  17. I started using linux 8 years ago and have never looked back. I do have a windows machine for gaming. I’m considering a mac for those days when I wanta pretty OS, but I know that it’s just killing your RAM..not worth it.

    Gentoo is a great distro for anything, and that’s what I use.

    -Avinash

  18. adam says:

    If they have the same price and most of my friends use MAC, I think I would prefer MAC pc.

  19. jrh says:

    Macs all the way, baby, since my 8600 Beige.

  20. cg says:

    So THAT’S the reason I was attracted to Bluehost.com!

    I use a PC and a Mac almost everyday and both have their uses. But the Mac is my fave. Just glad to know Bluehost.com can accomodate both platforms, from the inside out! :-) – cg

  21. Natalie says:

    If anyone who uses Adobe software a lot is looking to buy the new iMac Intel, beware! I did that several months ago and wish I’d waited until the Universal versions of Adobe software are ready (apparently, in about a year). As it now stands, quite a lot of graphics software is either incompatible with Intel or working inefficiently – eg: Photoshop CS, Dreamweaver etc. I know I could set up Boot Camp and use Windows XP with Intel but this introduces complications including potential viruses, so I’m not going to do it. Just have to grit my teeth and wait.

  22. steve says:

    Matt,
    I need a web page host. If your smart enough to recognize the advantage of the MAC, then you must be smart enough to be a good host provider. I am choosing your service based on your blog about Macs. Good work!
    thanks,

  23. Matthew says:

    First, let me say that I am I pretty hard core Mac guy, but I have a fair amount of experience with Windows.

    RE: Security, I agree that a main reason Macs are not troubled by viruses and related risks is the sheer rarity of them in the world. However, at the same time the underpinnings of UNIX do add an additional layer of security that Windows just doesn’t have. This extra protection may or may not be all that great, but Macs will ALWAYS be safer than Windows, even if its just be a little bit (I personally think it might be more than that).

    RE: Cost, Macs are almost always NOT more expensive than COMPARABLE PCs. Yes, you can find a TON of PCs that are cheaper than a Mac, but are they really the same in terms of features, like speed, memory, connections, etc, not to mention software? Just because Apple doesn’t make a seriously low-end Mac doesn’t mean that they are automatically more expensive when you compare them to identically-featured PCs.

  24. Peter says:

    “I type this as I reinstall (Again!) Windows XP on my wife computers”

    Perhaps it’s time to spend a little time away from the office, because marrying a computer is a little worrying. Also, you say “computers”, so it’s bigamy.

    Haha!

  25. Dan says:

    Perspective from a PC guy. I object to a few things. firstly, this idea that the windows platform is overly inundated with spyware/malware. dont answer yes/ok to every popup at every web site when surfing, dont have your mail reader set to preview, use good filters and/or software to weed out junk emails.
    and b4 everyone comments about how much effort all that takes, set it all up once and forget about it.
    secondly COST
    “mathew” says that the cost of comparable pc’s cost about the same, what a joke. that is so patently untrue….tell ya what u tell me the specs and I’ll build it and whoever can get it done cheaper buys the others entry. in other words you’ll be buying me a new pc.
    oh and on the cost front. lets add in there an upgrade after the purchase and a repair after the purchase. Mac way more expensive on both accounts.
    thirdly
    if you have a preference for Mac then that is what you should use. Why is it that every time a guy wants to express that he liikes the “new” mac that he has to do it by bashing windows. is it like the little guys disease or sumpin, Mac is so much smaller thier market is miniscule comapred to windwows so it must be better, the masses(included in there are the best businesses minds) are always wrong is that it.
    Why cant it be that your smarter like that scrawny guy on the cool Mac commercial, and you leave it at that.
    oh and one last salvo, im not sure is it mac thats running windows these days or is it windows boxes out there trying to get OS X on thier boxes?

  26. Will says:

    Why can’t we live in sweet harmony with each other???

    That said…..Macs rock and PCs suck!!!

  27. Rick says:

    I use macs, both system 7 (for legacy equipment) and osx, in the graphic arts field. At home I use windows machines. I must say I’m perfectly happy with both systems.

    I have been using PC’s since the 386 came out and macs since the monitor and computer were all one.

    Personally, I think they are both great. Mac prices are a bit steep but they look sooo nice and run graphic apps very well. System 7 crashes at least once a day but osx is rock solid. Win XP has been great as well, I don’t remember the last time it crashed. I have never had a virus and only started using anti virus software lately, just in case. :)

    I enjoy building my own machines, something Apple does not really allow for. Anyhow, both systems are great as far as I’m concerned. Vista scares me too though.

    Have a nice day

  28. I’ve been running Windows on my computers since 1996 and have never really had problems that I didn’t create. I never even had a problem with WindowsMe, fer chrissakes. Any problems that did arise were mainly because I downloaded something without checking for spyware first, or didn’t backup my files properly, or something else that was pointedly braindead. Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date and don’t download every shiny thing that lands in your inbox.

    I am experimenting with the Ubuntu/Linux project, though, so we’ll see if I can be switched.

  29. Peg says:

    Hey, I too was a pc user until I bought my first mac on ebay a couple of months ago. Yes ebay, I know–I needed something cheap to troubleshoot software in mac only so I bought a used ibook on ebay. I thought I would use it for mac only projects but boy was I wrong. This little machine is all I need and all I use. It took me a couple hours to figure it out but now that I have–I will never go back to pc. My next uprade will definately be mac.

    Anyway, I just ended a really bad experience with a hosting company and was looking for a new one when I found your site. I read your blog and found your honesty refreshing.

    I think I found a new host–Don’t make me regret it! Ha-Ha!

  30. Cameron says:

    I like my Mac, even though it’s obsolete now. It’s held up longer than I thought it would, and if it weren’t for the software becoming more bloated, I might be able to use it for another 3 years. I bought it in 2002 (it was a late 2001 iBook) and even through all the torture it’s been through, it’s still a workhorse.

    Of course, my PC before that was a 486…

  31. Mepis User says:

    I’ve had many Windows boxes and Macs and Amigas. Macs are suave but overpriced and fragile … and I’m now very happy with Debian Linux. Debian derivatives like Kanotix and MEPIS are even better if there’s any difficulty installing regular Debian on one’s particular hardware, and like many versions of Linux they can run off a live CD/DVD so you can try before you install. They’re free, stable and secure. They can be installed in tandem with Windows on the same box, if one still needs Windows for anything … but, like Matt, I really don’t.

  32. Bruce Rawles says:

    Hi Matt:

    First off, kudos for your article on “Productivity Matters!” I’ve been an Apple aficionado since the Apple ][ days (dating myself :-)… Also BIG kudos, for bluehost… I’ve learned the hard way about other web hosting services, and you seem to be doing it ALL well. Every time I’ve phoned customer support (usually for minor issue) your staff has been very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Having said that, (and since you’re now a Mac user), I do have one issue (aside from the ever increasing spam and wondering if I should resort to one of the services like Spam Arrest; perhaps you could thrill me and add that service some day! :-) … Anyway, whenever we download email (I use the Macintosh Mail application, my wife uses Eudora, both on PowerMacs running OS 10.3.9) no matter how hard we try to remove mail from the server, it is ALL still there on our email accounts. We have to manually delete every file from the server every few days (moderately annoying)… Have you run into this? I (and a handful of your customer support folks) have exhausted all the obvious fixes (like forcing deletion of files from the server in the Preferences, either manually or automatically when closing the app.)… I’ve looked on the Apple website for fixes to either Eudora or Apple’s Mail application, and haven’t found any fixes for this yet. Have you experienced this problem?

    Thanks in advance for a reply, and BIG THANKS to everyone at BlueHost!
    Cheers :-)

  33. carl says:

    Any news on vista running fine on the mac yet?

  34. Cal says:

    I used to hate Mac’s until I had tested one out for a few hours at a Apple Demo store. I now have an iMac 20″ a white macbook and a black (ones my brothers). Macs are so much more reliable and dont freeze on you every 10 secconds!
    Although, i have looked into Vista because of it’s cool UI, but it still doesnt look as good as Macs with some Shapeshifter tweaks.
    And as well as Vista looking CRAP in Australia (at least in NSW) all the copies of Vista are in some crazy NSCTS… format, i dont know what it is but it doesnt work on any Australian computers!! They must have stuffed up the shipping like Nintendo did*
    (*Nintendo only released 500 Wiis to every state in Australia in sted of 5000+, Now i have to wait untill the end of the year to get a Wii :-(

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