No, Virginia, Macs STILL Don’t Get Viruses

John Gruber takes a baseball bat to a CNN story on Mac “virus attacks” — virus attacks that only came about because a Windows computer at a factory that makes iPods was infected with one of over 100,000 PC viruses floating about in the wild. The virus doesn’t effect Macs, and only involved less than 1% of the latest video iPod.

I’ve been a Mac user for two years now, and almost 100% Windows free for a year. I was actually quite shocked at how many of my colleagues have Macs nowadays. There’s really no reason to put up with the crap that Windows dishes out anymore. Virus attacks, annoying “product activation”, irritating interfaces, and spyware are all annoyances I just don’t have to deal with anymore. Going back to Windows — even using Windows Vista — is like being forced to drive a Ford Pinto when you’ve been using a Lexus for years.

It’s incredibly liberating to spend more time working with technology than fighting it. Especially for a law student, having a Mac is a no-brainer. Note-taking with OmniOutliner is much easier than fighting with Microsoft Word — although I still use Microsoft Word for paper-writing. Securexam works fine on my Mac, and communicating with network printers, file shares, and other aspects of a Windows-based network all work flawlessly — in fact, it’s often easier than doing the same tasks in Windows.

I use Mac OS X for work, Linux for programming, and will probably get a Nintendo Wii for games. The PC is an anachronism, and using Windows these days is just inviting needless headaches. Now that PC users are seeing that Macs are price-competitive with PCs, better built, and easier to use, it’s hardly a big surprise that the marketshare for Macs is increasing by a significant margin. In fact, I would not at all be surprised if Apple sees its marketshare increase to 10%+ in the next few years — in the portable world it probably already is there already.

And there are still no Mac viruses…

6 thoughts on “No, Virginia, Macs STILL Don’t Get Viruses

  1. I have a Mac laptop, and just bought another Mac for my lab (using grant money…that’s why being a grad student is superior to a law/med student!). Most of my phylogenetics programs are on Macs, although unfortunately they run in a Classic environment, which the new Intel Macs don’t support. Mac didn’t exactly advirtise this fact, and it has set me back a few weeks getting new software and such. The only problem with Macs is that you can’t just buy the parts and put them together yourself (at least, I don’t think you can). The Mac I just bought I had custom built for maximal processing power and it cost $3500. The gaming PC I have isn’t top of the line, since I can’t buy that with grant money, but it was only a couple of hundred dollars to upgrade the motherboard/processor and video card so I get 60 fps in Ironforge in the World of Warcraft.

  2. Yeah, that is a disadvantage to Macs — although PC gaming is getting so annoying that it’s just easier to buy a console and be done with it. (I have a feeling that once finals are done, I will be buying a Nintendo Wii — it just seems fun.)

    Classic’s pretty much dead at this point — you may want to check and see if there are any UNIX versions of the software you use – most of those can run on a Mac. Apple is quite popular in the sciences from what I understand, so I’d imagine that a lot of specialized apps will get ported over — especially since OS X is basically UNIX under the hood.

    I also use Parallels when I *have* to run Windows applications. It’s spendy, but it’s nice to be able to open those *&@%! WordPerfect files that the federal courts seem to love. Thank #DEITY for OpenOffice being able to open them…

    IIRC, there is a Mac version of WoW out there.

  3. Yes, WoW, along with quite a few other popular games, are available for Mac. Though they run well, most games require more system resources than they do on the PC… (not that it’s a big deal though, “minimum system requirements” for PC games have been a joke for years now. You usually need twice the resources suggested just to get a decent game in- Civilization IV and any online game are cases in point.) And the new Intel Macs can run anything, if you’re willing to use Boot Camp for games that aren’t available for OS/X

  4. I, on the other hand, have never own and only rarely used anything that is not a PC, and have never met any difficulties or problems. I have not gotten any viruses, whatsoever, the system has never crashed on me, and generally, I have never encountered any problems. New applications run, new hardware install and work nicely.

    While I am not overly fond of Microsoft on general principle, I have no reason, either, to be angry at them. Simultaneously, I am somewhat wary of any product line that seems to make being part of the movement part of the product. Yes, I do own an iPod, but only because won it off a radio show. I like it, and iTunes is a treat, but my life would not be worse, more lonely and less sex-ridden if I did not have that iPod.


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