*Warning* All off topic, flames, or Mac vs PC posts will be deleted by a moderator. Back in 1984, the computer world was turned upside down. With the image of an athletic woman tossing a sledghammer into the "big brother" face of IBM, the world was introduced to the Macintosh. This new computer was leaps and bounds ahead of the compatition. It introduced an easy to use GUI based operating system in a small package. Most IBM PCs at the time were still running the cumbersom DOS and Windows 1.0 was still a year away. Today, the Mac has remained true to the original. An easy to use personal system in one convinient package. The Mac has had more than it's fair share of criticism from the PC enthusiast crowd. However, there seems to be many more people who are curious about these misunderstood computers. Rather then let Justin Long tell you, lets start by looking at some frequently asked Mac questions. The Guru's Mac FAQ Q: So-and-So tells me that Macs are inferior to PCs. Is that true? A: Macs are different from PCs but they are not inferior. They are fairly equal in terms of functionality. After that, it all depends on personal preferances. Q: Do Macs cost more than PCs? A: Depends. Base systems tend to be a little more, while higher end systems are actually cheaper than Apple's cheif competitors, such as Dell. Prices start at $599 US for a base model Mac Mini. Q: Who are Macs for? A: Macs are usually marketed towards home and business users. The consumer level iMacs and Mac Mini are excellent for those who don't know much about computers. The MacPro is for the business and enthusiast crowd who needs a lot of processing power. Q: I hear Macs don't get viruses or spyware, is that true? A: Macs can get viruses and spyware, just like PCs can. However, there are far fewer Macs in the world, thus far fewer malware is written for them. Today's malicious hacker wants to do as much damage to as many systems as possible so Macs tend to fall off their radar screen. Only 800 or so malware applications have ever been witnessed. More than twice that number appear for Windows XP on a monthly basis. Q: Can I play games like Quake 4 on my Mac? A: You sure can. Many of the most popular PC titles are available for Mac. Many users complain about the lack of games and slow release of titles on the Mac platform compared to PC. This is due to porting issues and the lower install base. Thanks to the new x86 based processors now in Macs, porting issues will likely become a thing of the past. Check out Apple's Games page for info on all available games for Mac. http://www.apple.com/games/ Q: But don't Macs have inferior graphics processing capabilities? A: Macs use the exact same GPUs as PCs do. Macs use OpenGL over Microsoft's DirectX due to licencing issues but the GPUs in Macs are technically capable of using both rendering methods. Q: Can I run Windows XP on my Mac? A: You sure can, thanks to Boot Camp. http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/ Q: What if I want to run Mac OS X on my PC? A: You can. The OSx86 project has created a series of hacked DVD ISOs that allow OS X to run on AMD and Intel based PCs. However, you cannot expect 100% compatibility. It may also be illegal and you'll receive absolutely no support from Apple. I'd strongly advise against doing it. I have decided not to provide instructions on how to install it and I will not post links to ISOs, either on the forum, through email, or through PM. If you want to learn more, visit http://www.osx86project.org/ Q: Can I upgrade my Mac? A: Depends. Consumer systems are geared towards simplicity. However, they are quite easy to upgrade. With the MacMini and iMac, you'll be limited to memory, CPU, and hard drive upgrades. The MacPro can be upgraded in the same way as any tower PC can. The new Intel Macs use Intel's standard Socket M (MacMini, iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro) and LGA771 (MacPro). The CPU can easily be removed and upgraded in the same way you can with a PC. Q: Can I mod my Mac? A: Definately. You can do case mods, custom water cooling, overclocking. OCing a Mac is a little harder once again because they are designed for a home user crowd who will not likely be doing that. They can be OCed through volt and pin mods. Check out some of these Mac Mini case mods under "Big Ideas" http://www.apple.com/ca/macmini/ Q: Is it easy to share files between a Mac and a PC? A: Yes, Mac OS X provides an easy to setup network interface. Many common programs use the same file types on Mac as they do on PC so file sharing is a breeze. Mac OS X is a Unix like operating system and therefore is ideal for servers. Q: Why is there so little software available for Mac? A: Macs have a lower install base then PCs so they tend to fall off developers radar just as they do off a hacker's. Mac OS X comes with all the programs that most people would need including email, browser, DVD player, audio player, photo editor, datebook, and even a couple games. If you can't find what you need in a store, there is a thriving freeware and open source commnity. It's possible to own a Mac without ever having to buy a single piece of software. Q: How does Mac OS X compare to Windows XP? What about Vista? A: The main difference is the Aqua GUI. It has a more streamlined user interface and is easy to use for computer newbies. You also get features such as the Dashboard, which can be loaded with useful Widgets. Spotlight allows you to seach your desktop quickly like Google Desktop. Programs are functionally the same. Vista is fundamentally similar to OS X. In fact, many criticize it for being too similar. The features are virtually identical except for Vista's 3D windowing. OS X requires less system resources than Vista does. Q: Why did Apple switch from AIM PowerPC processors to Intel ones? Why not use AMD? A: The likely reason why Apple moved to Intel's x86 based processors was likely to increase flexibility. It's easier to port applications from Windows PCs to Macs because the codes are now written in the same language. As for why Apple didn't go with AMD, here's a full analysis from Macworld. http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/09/15/intelvsamd/index.php Stay tuned for more Mac guides and FAQs.