PC vs Mac. Which is right for me?

My laptop will be 5 years old at the end of this year. It’s a Dell Inspiron 1520 (running Windows 7). It has served me well, but it’s been wigging out on me the past few months. The video driver has been crashing and it won’t run more than an hour (if even that) on the battery. Luckily it has recovered every time the video driver has crashed, but one of these times, I’m afraid it won’t. Then I’m screwed.

So I’ve been thinking about getting a new laptop. I don’t really have the money to get one, but I really do need a computer. I pay all of my bills online. I’m not going to do that at a library or at work if my laptop dies. And I won’t go back to mailing in payments.

I never really considered anything other than a Windows PC in the past. But lately I’ve been considering a Mac. Scary thought. LOL

The reason I’ve been considering Mac lately is the fact that I’ve gotten into iOS development at work. While I prefer Android over iOS (mainly because I have an Android phone), I don’t hate iOS. I’d like to spend more time on iOS development. I don’t think I’m going to get the opportunity at work. We’ve only had one client want a mobile app. Maybe there are more that will or new ones that will come in, but I can’t count on that. That means that I need to do it on my own.

From what I’ve researched, it’s not possible to develop native iOS apps on a Windows machine. So if I’m going to do iOS development on my own, I’m going to need a Mac OS in some shape or form. I have 2 options:

  1. get a new Windows laptop and install a Mac OS virtual machine
  2. get a Mac laptop and install Windows either in Parallels or via Boot Camp (that was suggested to me)

I have had numerous people tell me to switch to Mac. While I am considering it, it’s hard to stomach the price tag. The Windows laptop that I’d probably want to get wouldn’t be that much cheaper, but it would be cheaper.

I need to figure out what will work best for me, regardless of price. I can always put the laptop (whichever flavor) on my credit card and pay that off over a few months. So I’m turning to you (all 1 or 2 of you LOL). Help me figure out which OS would be best for me.

As I mentioned, I want to do more iOS development. I also want to do more Android development. I need to work on my own websites too (as you can tell from the looks of this place … it needs help), so that means php and MySQL development as well.

In addition to development related stuff, I also do the “normal” things that “normal” people do with computers:

  • surf the web
  • pay bills
  • manage my checking and savings accounts
  • listen to music
  • store digital pictures
  • stream radio broadcast and in-car audio during NASCAR races

I plan on going through my computer to see what software I use on a regular basis and use that to help make a list of pros and cons for each OS. I’m hoping that YOU can help me out with those lists. Software suggestions or personal stories or whatever that might help me figure out what will work best for me. At this point in time, I’m open to either (while my checkbook might not be LOL).


  1. This opinion is my own, but I would like to point out that I am a Microsoft Employee.

    My first question is do you really want/need a laptop? going with something less mobile should allow you to afford more or cheaper hardware. Or maybe a 2 device setup. I love my nexus 7. It’s great for the everyday kind of tasks, however I would not want to program using just this device.

    You say you want to do more iOS development, but don’t think you will get the chance at work. Are you looking to do your own thing? Pick up some contracting? Switch jobs? How important is getting something from apple?

    Ok, that was a lot of questions. Here’s what I would recommend. Cheap android tablet + cheap desktop.

    1. I definitely want a laptop. I like having the portability.

      I basically want to get better at iOS so that when I need to make updates to the iOS app we currently have or if we get new ones, I know what I’m doing rather than I’m learning as I go along (like I did with the first one). I have no current plans to leave or do anything on my own.

      I think having iOS programming knowledge and experience in my arsenal will only benefit me (future bargaining ammunition 😀 ).

      I have an Android phone and have no plans to ever get an iPhone (unless they add a physical keyboard). But I have co-workers who I could probably bribe into testing any app I make. 🙂

      I know I can run a virtual machine with Mac OS on it, but I don’t know how stable that would be. That’s why I was hoping someone out there who has done that might stumble upon this post and give me some advice. #wishfulthinking

Comments are closed.