Buying Advice For Mac?

Discussion in 'Desktop Computers' started by Doctor Varney, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. bengal85

    bengal85 Member

    I have had my mac for about to years now and I love it. Yes it is brilliant but the whole they cant get viruses thing is not true there are viruses out there than can infect mac there are just not as many for mac as there is for windows. Another thing I really like about mac is that the OS upgrades are always really cheap to buy unlike microsoft. My suggestion would be to go for it. If you get a used machine be careful and make sure you get a good one because they do take a lot more to repair than a windows PC does.
  2. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    Just to clarify something, there are zero viruses for the Mac in the wild. That is right zero. However, there is malware out there, which is actually something different. In short a virus self replicates from system to system using known or zero day exploits or whatnot, and malware fools the user to install it posing as legit software.

    There is an actual difference. Not nitpicking, but rather trying to inform you the differences.
  3. Demilich

    Demilich New Member

    I found this interesting "quote", and many like it researching. Serious question: what is your opinion on this?

    "Mac doesn't make an IDE or SDK that gives developers access to as much as MS does. So you are always going to have issues finding people that want to develop for macs. Sure we can develop using Eclipse. But why take the time to learn a generic IDE for a commercial operating system?"

    That paragraph might not make much sense, but I get the jest of what he is saying. Basically, there would be more viruses for Mac's if they had more of an open IDE or SDK?

    Also, let's say there are no self replicating viruses for the Mac (maybe due to market share, but if you don't believe this, or it isn't fact, as you put it, then how is your opinion on the belief that viruses are going out of style, are steadily decreasing, and Malware is the new "in"); I found many articles claiming that Mac's have plenty of vulnerabilities to Malware, such as Worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, spam, etc. for the simple reason that viruses are decreasing, because stealing the information makes more sense than destroying the information, thus Malware is on the rise. What is your opinion on this, as well?
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  4. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    Macs get exploited two different ways:

    1) User interaction, via fooling the user to install non legit software that has malware in it

    2) Exploits in java and web browsers (usually affects all OSes)

    If you look at any and all pwn to own hacker contests, every time the mac is exploited it is due to webkit or mozilla vulnerabilities with things like java, and require the user to go to a malicious website to be pwned (rooted). A Mac has never been remotely hacked, ever. These hacker contests boast $10k up to over $50k in cash prizes if you hack the machines, and you also get to keep the computer you hack.

    Viruses are a thing of the past not because of market share or because of hackers want information, it is because users are dumb. Users are dumb and with the age of the Internet users love to download free software. Users don't bother to check the validity of the software, they are often fooled by fake anti-spyware apps and so forth. No OS is immune or even can prevent this because the human element is the weakest link in computer security. Malware is easier to construct because it fools the user into installing it. I have enough programming skills to write malware and embed it into a pirated application and seed it on torrent trackers. That is because it takes little knowledge to add a few scripts into an existing installer package, and if I can do it; it means it is really easy because my coding skills are rudimentary at best.

    Also, Apple has plenty of APIs and SDKs. I have a developer account with Apple and can download all their beta software, and get access to all the developer resources. I am required to have a dev account to manage iPads, generate APN certificates, and be able to deploy in-house iOS apps. Plus Apple's dev accounts are cheap. It only costs $300 a year, for my whole company. Microsoft developer connections are expensive as all get out.
  5. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    I have read this thread and there is so much MAC Vs PC, its actually interesting to read..ahaha

    Basically, in my humble opinion -
    - looks good
    - makes YOU look cool
    - OVER PRICED - mac fanbois can argue all day about user experience and design/style, im not gonna argue. Macs "look" nice. But why pay such premium for Style.
    -Hardware - Old, due to the "pickiness" of MAC design, hardware that Apple finally approves to work with their OS tend to be a little outdated. You can get a mac with brand new highend components, the problem is that you pay a very high premium for the same hardware as a PC.
    - Usefullness: the majority of MAC users in a professional environment tend to run VMWare Fusion so that they can run Windows on a "stylish" laptop that PC manufacturers cant match.
    - Security: Sure, they claim to be more secure...than XP, thats a no brainer, XP sucked. Windows 7 is harder to hack than the Mac OS, proven many years in a row at various "hacking events" the fact that you can gain full control of a MAC laptop using nothing more than the Safari Browser makes me question their security. Internet explorer was compromised as well, but took much longer than the fully patched MAC.

    If you want to surf the Web, spend 400-600 on a laptop or build a nice PC for really cheap.

    Mac Mini - i assume would be the entry level Mac for web surfing and everyday tasks:
    copied from

    * 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 2GB memory
    * 320GB hard drive1
    * 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    * NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
    * Mac OS X Snow Leopard
    Price: 699

    Sample PC build: that From
    nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum HTPC case: 69.99
    COOLER MASTER Elite 460 PSU: 29.99
    Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz: 124.99
    ASUS P8H61-M: 79.99
    CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB: 59.99
    LITE-ON Black 24X: 19.99
    OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX50G: 109.99
    Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB: 54.99
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit: 94.99


    I tried to keep it Intel. But i can build an even Cheaper PC that can still outperform the MAC. But this one with a Core i3 and a OCZ SSD is far superior to the mac mini, AND you still have 55.08 to go and treat a buddy to a few pints - CANT GO WRONG!!

    Thats just 1 example, for 699 i can build endless combinations that will "Process" circles around a MAC.

    I used to work retail back in the day, and if someone walked in and wanted to buy a software to do something, chances were, for 30 dollars or less it was possible to accomplish it...assuming they were on a PC. Mac users however, were often contemplating whether or not to take the risk with compatibility and buy the non returnable software or not. Or buy the much more expensive software title that claims MAC compatibility.

    Once again, just my opinion. PCs....many more choices, at pretty much any price point.

    Sorry, just saw this part in your post TLARKIN:
    You sir, are WRONG!! not only has it been done, it has been done MANY years IN A ROW!

    "Charlie Miller, principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators, won $10,000 after hacking Safari on a MacBook Pro without having physical access to the machine. Miller won $5,000 last year by exploiting a hole in Safari, and in 2008 nabbed $10,000 hacking a MacBook Air, all on the same computer."

    -Nuff said
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  6. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    Dude, you have no clue what you are talking about. The hacks involved going to a website and downloading malicious code to escalate privileges and hack the machine. That is NOT remotely hacking, that is malware. These hacks REQUIRE user interaction, which is NOT a remote hack.

    Also, your post is filled with fail. Unix is the most tried and tested OS out there and it is the most secure. Period. POSIX is superior. That is a fact. However, most hacks and exploits target the end user because the end user is ultimately dumb.

    the end

    Of course I am sure you will try to argue this....
  7. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    Please point out the fails.

    Please reference Data to back up your claims :)
    FACT # 1: Just because I claimed that this is a fact, does not make it a real fact because there is no proven data to back it up.

    The user does not need to download any code. The code is pushed from the website onto the user's computer - only interaction required is that the user visits the malicious site by accident, this is remote, the hacker is not physically at the computer to hack it. A hack is a hack is a hack, no matter how you look at it. Wheather it is done with brute force, or with sneaky code from a webpage, the MAC was hacked and controlled remotely.

    The hacker did not comment about the exploit out of respect for Apple. Apple was informed of the exploit and patched it. If he commented, then he would have apple and their friendly lawyers at his door seeking compensation for the damages caused.
  8. Demilich

    Demilich New Member

    lolz dude, Iceyn1pples totally just rocked your bed. Especially if the word "fail" is the best you can come up with. He even presented facts, which time and time again, you fail to present in any of your arguments.
  9. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    Thanks Demilich
  10. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    I cant believe I missed this line, you said it all!
  11. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    If you actually read this whole thread and every other thread where I have to argue with fan boys about PC vs Macs, and the people who are always anti-Mac use zero facts.

    Do you know what POSIX is? How about a true multi user environment? Windows lacks these things, and even in Windows 7 there is for the first time an "almost" multi-user environment. The fact that the user "System," in every previous version of Windows had no password, means it is by design less secure.

    That forum post contains a plethora of links from security experts. However, let me just touch the basics on why it is more secure:

    1) Everything is contained in that user's environment, the system user (root) has it's own environment and it's own group,usually called wheel. In Unix based OSes POSIX sets of permissions contain information in the inodes (index nodes) for read, write, and execute. Then there is a set of permissions for owner, group and everyone. With out the proper authentication, you cannot go beyond what your permissions are set to, period. Windows lacks this, so a script kiddie can escalate access once they break into a user account. This changed in Vista and improved in Windows 7, but just running as "administrator," with no authentication, is still by design less secure.

    2) Self contained environemnts. If your user account gets hijacked, it doesn't have access to anything outside your home folder, via POSIX standards

    3) POSIX is an IEEE standard, with standard compliance, which has millions upon millions of opens source developers looking at it. More eyes, means less margin of error. Which is why security patching, is generally better on open source based systems. Though, Microsoft has had a lot of experience hot fixing and patching their OS, they aren't bad at it by any means.

    4) Since POSIX uses the index node (inode) bits to determine what a file can do you do not have to rely on file extensions. Where as in Windows an executable is a .exe and in Unix based OSes, it matters not what the extension is, it matters if the execute bit is enabled or not. Relying on a single point of failure, like a file extension is never a good idea. Also, things execute and install with out authentication.

    5) Unix has been around since the late 1960s, and POSIX since the 80s. It is more tried, tested and proven than any other OS out there. That is why Unix based OSes run the Internet, they run the DNS servers, and they run high end networks. Companies have been switching, due to security concerns. Google just switched all their users to Macs, and while they will not publicly disclose why, if you Google search on it, it was due to Microsoft Windows and security concerns. It is pretty safe to assume that Google can afford the best security experts in the world, since they are one of the top tech companies in the world.

    I have already touched on this in many ways. Most websites these days are driven by CMSes, which are content management systems. These include millions of lines of code and usually rely on certain set technologies. Things like: CSS, Python, Perl, Ruby on Rails, HTML, Java, PHP, .NET and other web technologies. This is fairly new, and filled with security holes. The zero day exploit that was used in the webkit browsers, affected all webkit browsers. It was OS Independent. Chrome and Safari are the two largest used Webkit browsers. Firefox had a memory bug, and since Firefox runs on all systems, the bug could have been used to exploit Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. When you have a very small hand full of web developers working on something that has 10s of thousands of lines of code, possibly 100s of thousands written in over 5 different languages all playing together you are going to have tons of security holes.

    Now, back to POSIX. This is how it works, and if you cannot understand this I suggest you read up on how open source Unix based OSes work. If I were to visit that guy's webpage logged in as my user account, which by default is not an admin (since I use a separate admin account to administer the computer via POSIX) and my machine got injected with that malicious code, the only thing that would be hacked is my user account. The root user, and all system files would be still untouched, because you would then have to escalate code even further to actually fully hack the system. Though, most malicious code these days hijacks your account and wants to you buy fake software to fix it, so hackers aren't really interested in hacking your system.

    Just look at how many Windows machines out there are botnets and look at any other OS. There isn't any, because it just harder to hack the system. Also, all those security holes in web browsers are pretty much patched these days and developers are finally getting ahead of the game.

    Now, if you want to discuss this further I am willing to, but please do your homework before doing so. Otherwise you can just do a search on this forum for my posts on this subject. Since I have had to repeat myself a billion times, I really don't want to do it again. Just to recap.

    -There are zero known viruses in the wild for any Unix based OS. Make sure you know what a virus is over malware or spyware, they are different

    -Unix based OSes use a modular approach, and Windows uses a monolithic approach. Allowing you to easily configure a Unixed based OS to be way more secure by adding so many different levels of security.

    -Ultimately, hackers no longer target systems, they target end users. End users are easily fooled to install malicious software or to go malicious websites and 99 times out 100 hack their own machines. Another popular one is embedded viruses/malware into pirated software and then let the user download it and install it on their PC. So, really, you could be running the most secure OS in the world but if you are an uneducated user and install malicious software on there yourself, the OS is not to blame. The end user is.
  12. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    So, I read your reply....although impressive with all your knowledge and fact regurgitation. You are simply trolling this forum with Pro Mac and Anti Windows posts - if thats your thing, power to ya!

    Ok, Unix based Operating systems are more secure than Windows - thanks for the enlightenment. But what does that actually mean for the OP of this thread, who is simply looking for a machine that can surf the web, do the basic computing that he requires, while being secure and reliable for him.

    I pointed out that a Windows based PC can be had for cheaper and contain higher performance components compared to a MAC based PC.

    Security to the End user simply means, the computer turns on, does what he wants, and protects him from being exploited and losing personal information. This is where your argument for security becomes somewhat relevant. But look at it this way:

    Mac user: Buys a MAC, thinks his computer cannot be hacked and is more secure against virus and malware and therefore does not want to install any Antivirus or Anti-Malware applications. Sits down at the beginning of the day working along on his Video Editing software fixing up his home movies. Opens up Safari, does a google search for a clipart, and mistypes a search term and (with the mindset that he can click on any link without an afterthought because his MAC is SECURE) clicks on a link thats designed to trick the end user to a site that they think will contain their search results. He hits a site riddled with malware, and now his MAC is rendered useless as the hacker takes control of his MAC through the Safari Web Code - which, based on your "facts" is OS independent.

    How secure is the MAC now? If i was the user, I would be kicking myself for buying this unique looking computer that I paid a huge premium on, just to be affected by the same tactics that affect windows users, but was told it wont affect my MAC by pretty much every MAC user I talked to.

    Windows User: Just finished the custom built PC with high performance parts from manufacturers that stand behind their hardware for 3 years (covers most HDDs, motherboards, PSUs, and various Components) while knowing the Memory is covered for life. Installs Windows, all the patches and a few applications to protect himself from the net (AVG, CCleaner, Malwarebytes - just to name a few FREE ones). Does some video editing, gaming, and surfs the web. Searched for something, mistyped it, but was leery about clicking the link. The user is a bit desperate and clicks on the link anyways, as soon as he clicks, AVG pops up and blocked the site and informs him/her it was not secure, but gave him the option to go there anyways. User gets up and walks away.

    Hmm....I wonder which user was better off....

    EDIT: Tlarkin - Im still waiting for you to point out my fails, please, as a Windows user i know that software isnt perfect, and that goes for people, so please point out my fails so that I will not fail in the future.
  13. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    you mad bro? :cool::)

    I was talking in reference to other people, I already addressed the OP in several posts earlier. The OPs preference is a Mac, I was simply saying get what you want.

    This is where opinion gets skewed with facts. PC people always think hardware is the end all be all of system performance, and it is not. You can have the best hardware in the world, but sub par software won't run efficient or fast on it.

    This doesn't really apply. Any users on any OS can have this happen. It is not exclusive to any platform, period. That is like saying, what if you have a power surge? Will a PC or a Mac handle it better. Also, it is a Mac, MAC is an acronym for something else. I would also be very hard pressed to find an example of this. These hacks used, were zero day exploits used by top security people in IT. They aren't being used in the wild or by other hackers. There is a difference. Proof of concept is not proof in application always.

    Again, POSIX standards won't allow a malicious program to infect anything outside your home folder unless you input your admin user name and password to infect the system. If you have back ups, worst case scenario should only be down time.

    HD and RAM is no different among platforms. Apple uses x86 Intel based hardware just like a PC does. Also, no computer company gives out life warranty, only parts companies when buying direct. I could buy the same HD and RAM for a Mac, the point is moot. CClearner is crap cleaner, it got it's name from all the crap Windows OS puts on the system. Also, the registry is another single point of failure, is very convoluted and bloated. Self contained apps is where it is at. Safari and Firefox both have a plethora of built in pop up blockers, plus OS X comes standard with an IPFW, with a full set of security features built in. You don't have to download other apps for your Mac, except maybe A/V. There are several free anti virus apps for the Mac and several pay for clients.

    If you actually read my posts here, I already agreed that the end user is the weakest link and that you will ultimately use what you prefer regardless of how good it looks on paper. The problem I have is the misinformation and the fact that no one bashing the Mac platform knows the first thing about it, nor are they using actual facts.

    I own two PCs, and 2 Macs at home. 1 windows box for gaming and minor windows development. 1 HTPC running Linux, because I refuse to pay $100 for an OS to stream media to my HD LED TV, that is just ridiculous. I have a Macbook Pro and a G5 dual 2.5 desktop. I am well versed in all of them, use all of them. I build my PCs, I don't buy them. However, like I have posted many times a Mac is not over priced, and when you look at overall cost of ownership, they are actually cheaper. The fact they have resell value makes them a better investment money wise over a PC. At my work I manage 8,000 Macs, 40 OS X Servers, and around 10,000 PC devices. You could say I use both platforms on a daily basis.

    However, users will use what they want regardless and most of them won't know what is going on under the hood.

    If you want to truly compare a Mac to a PC with out any bias you need to compare it feature to feature, spec to spec, cost to cost, and then evaluate overall cost of ownership. Otherwise you aren't making a comparison, you are simply stating your opinions.
  14. paulcheung

    paulcheung Active Member

    I agree with you, It is look like troll to me. The OP claim he use pc from 1992 near 20 years and built pc himself yet can't reinstall wondows OS on the same pc? yet can't identify the failling part if it happen?
    According to all these posts. (I never own a Mac and never will because I have better place to put my money and I have enough knownadge to deal with any problem it might arise). I got this conclusion that PC is for experience Users and the Mac is for the novices users. ( PCs need to be maintained and the Mac doesn't Due to the PCs flexibilty and the Mac closed system).
    I have use pc since the 8088 processor come out with PC(MS)DOS days. Never fail to install any OS unless the hard drive is dead or failling. The PC the the OP own sound like Hard drive is failing.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  15. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    The title of the tread is called Buying Advice for a Mac. He didn't come here to ask for questions about Mac Vs PC but that is what he got instead.

    Also, this whole Mac is only for simple users thing.....yeah man, you do know I can program with python, perl, shell/bash, and ruby native on a Mac right? You know how powerful the Unix command line is? A Mac is hardly for simple users, it is for every user. You don't have to know Unix to use a Mac, but if you do, you have a whole bunch of power at your finger tips.
  16. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    Please, show me. All you do is back up the Mac using Unix based arguements. Please go build yourself any Mac, and build a equal windows based PC, and prove to me that Mac is better in price, features, specs, and overall cost of ownership. I think you will then be in for a shocking conclusion.

    My advice was to simply buy a Windows based PC and save money instead of wasting it on an overpriced, and ultimately the same level of security to the end user, system that looks good in white.

    Tlarkin, you are the one, and usually are the ONLY ONE to start the Mac Vs PC in pretty much any thread you post in.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  17. tlarkin

    tlarkin VIP Member

    I already have done comparisons top build your own PC versus an iMac on this thread, and the iMac is way cheaper. For one iMacs have IPS LCD screens, which are expensive. You won't find an IPS LCD screen that is 22" for less than $500 by itself.

    You need to go back and reread the whole thread.
  18. PixelVandalism

    PixelVandalism New Member

    My iMac is awesome, my Macbook Pro is awesome, my dad's friend's brand new MBP is amazing, so much faster than my pc, it cost him $5000 XD.

    I've always used mac, this is my first pc, and I only got it to play games, and the price.

    and as tlarkin has said, mac's are more secure, for a virus to do something fatal to a unix/linux based environment, which you need superuser permissions to do, only the first user created on the account can type in terminal
    and get a result.

    and a 12 core fully speced mac pro will out perform everyone's computer on this forum.

    I had to say it.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  19. Demilich

    Demilich New Member

    Mmm wow, damn, ow, you got us good this time. Your 12 core Mac just, uugh, killer man...haha sorry, bored, or something...I don't know.

    You probably didn't read the rest of the thread, did you? Viruses are basically all but dead, because hackers want to steal information with malware (which Mac's are not protected against any better than a PC is), so that point is almost moot, since well, obviously PC's aren't getting as many viruses as malware anymore. Mr. Tlarkin HIMSELF disproved his own theory that a Mac is safer than a PC because the end user is the issue, not the operating system. Registry aside (which does have its usefulness), Windows UI aside; if the end user is the ultimate failure, than your theory (not a fact) of a Mac being safer than a PC is a failure. Even if "Windows by design is less secure", that doesn't mean a damn thing if the OS will fail the operator by receiving malicious code. Your argument is kind of like, "yeah, well, airplanes crash way less often, statistically, but, in a car, you're safer, because if you do crash, you're much less likely to die, so I always drive, and never fly". That analogy is probably horrible, yes, but it makes sense to me, and that's all that matters loll

    Tlarkin again, you say you built a cheaper Mac, yet, again, you don't give us any example. At least three people have presented PC's that have much better features than the same priced Mac, and you then proceed to attack us for not presenting an example, even though we have shown plenty. Just saying.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  20. Iceyn1pples

    Iceyn1pples New Member

    When windows is installed, the user that is created does not have full Admin access either...

    Ya, a full spec'd Mac pro is fast...but it also costs over 13k. No one in this forum has spent anything close to that on their PC. But give me 13K, i'd build a PC with better performance, and still have enough money to go on vacation in the dominican!

    Tlarkin: I personally think you are a waste of time. Rather than help anyone here, you simply troll the Mac topic. When asked to back up your claims, you simply change the topic, or "I already did this" type of reply.

    You still havent justified all the "fails" in my post. I showed you how a PC was a better value with higher performance, yet you still ask for a comparison. Maybe its time YOU do a comparison.

    Demilich, thanks for the backup!
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