PC Vs. Mac – The Eternal Debate

June 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Students use both PC and Mac laptops in Winona State classrooms.

Winona State is a dual-platform university. PC or Mac? The choice is yours.

“Are you a Mac or PC?” I’m actually fairly certain I’m still human at this point so I can’t really answer that question fairly. I’ve worked at WSU Technical Support for eight years, five as an undergrad (five is the new four!) and three years full-time, and I still don’t have a good answer for that question.

The best short answer I can give is, “It depends on what I’m doing.”

As a musician/artist, my Mac is absolutely essential to my personal life. I’ve been a musician all my life, I’ve toured the country, worked at a recording studio, recorded hundreds of songs and collaborated with more musicians than I can remember, and all the successful work I did was on a Mac. Garageband is an effortless, easy way for me to record a quick acoustic demo of a song. The App Store is a fast, easy, affordable way to find great apps to help me record songs. It’s basically very easy to make something sound good, even if it might not be very good!

As a person who works out in the real world, my PC is absolutely essential to my professional life. My daily work consists of documenting my work in a database using different types of PC-specific software. I also have to deal with a majority of clients who use Windows based PCs. I have to set up Windows hardware and software on a daily basis and so a nearly instinctual knowledge of Windows is essential to my success in my daily work.

At home, I’m on my Mac to record a demo of an acoustic song with Garageband. Then I’m on my PC to play some video games on Steam. Then I’m on my Mac to edit footage of my band from last night’s gig. Then I’m on my PC to download some pictures from my cell phone via USB. Then I’m on my Mac to use Facetime video chat with my iPhone-using friend in Minneapolis. Then I’m connected through DisplayPort to watch some Netflix from my PC on my HDTV. Then I become a robot constantly attached to forty-five computers at once. Now that I put that stuff down on paper I realize I need to get outdoors more often… Sheesh!

Music students work on their Mac laptops.

Some majors recommend one platform over another. Check to see if your major has a preference: http://www.winona.edu/it/recommendations.asp.

My point here is to show that it depends on what you do. There are good sides and bad sides to each, but good and bad are subjective and vary depending on a number of, uh, variables. I may just be a computer nerd with too many computers or I may just be a jack-of-all-trades who can’t find his niche in one platform but my answer for the eternal question is still not a good one: When it comes to, “Are you a Mac or a PC?” I’m a bit of a hybrid!

At WSU the choice is yours! You can switch from one platform to another by emailing Techsupport@winona.edu or calling Tech Support at 507-457-5240 and asking to be placed on either the Mac Wait List or the PC Wait List.

Travis Norman

§ One Response to PC Vs. Mac – The Eternal Debate

  • Alicia Mier says:

    I still think that Mac is more encompassing as it can also hold the PC platform VIA VMware. I was PC originally, but now that I’ve switched to a Mac, I won’t be going back.

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