ComTech: IT Support Stirling

A couple of things to think about before switching to Mac

Mac’s are great.  Yes they are expensive but for your money you get a fantastic design, intuitive interface and a system which (in general) tends to be free of viruses.  But moving to a Mac is not as simple as buying one and switching it on.  If you are thinking of making the switch I would strongly suggest you consider the following:


Why exactly are you making the switch?

Is it because a friend told you they were better than Windows machines or is there some business reason behind it? Make sure you understand the why before you spend your hard earned.


Mac’s are much more expensive than Windows systems.

You would be surprised how many people still don’t understand the difference in price before they purchase one.  Also bear in mind that although Mac’s tend to break less than Windows machines (in general) repair costs tend to be much higher.  Most techs, myself included, don’t tend to fix Mac hardware issues just software ones.  This means the machine goes back to Apple who ramp up the repair cost.


Make sure your Windows programs actually work on Mac’s.  

This is the one thing which catches most people out.  Windows programs do not work on Mac’s.  The software you use might have have a Mac variant (eg Microsoft Office) which can be used but a lot of programs still don’t (eg ACT!).  I know of one company in Stirling who were advised by an IT guy to purchase 4 new iMac’s because “they are much better than Windows PC’s” only to discover during the installation that none of their accounting software worked. The solution was to run Windows as a virtual machine which kind of defeats the purpose of buying the Mac in the first place!!!


You can get viruses and malware on a Mac. 

Yes you read that correct.  Is it possible to get them but not that often as most viruses and malware are still written for Windows.  If your system interacts with Windows machines (eg on a work network) I would suggest running some form of antivirus as you might inadvertently be passing viruses around the network even though they can’t infect your system.


Lastly it is not Windows!! 

The interface and keyboard are different.  You will have to relearn how to access your documents, use shortcuts and even use the delete key (shift + backspace).  This does take time and patience.

So hopefully the above has given you a couple of things to think about before taking the plunge.  What I usually tell clients is that if you are Windows based then stay with Windows.  It is what you know and unless there is a business reason for changing why change?

Yes Mac’s are great but if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it!!

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Cisco, Windows, OS X and Linux based IT Support to small businesses throughout Scotland.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter





Mac’s can break too

I am finding that more and more of my clients are looking towards buying Macs for their businesses. Some like the design, others the functionality while others have been told that Mac’s are much better than Windows machines in that they never break.  It is that last bit I have issues with.

You see it is true (generally) that Mac’s last longer than Windows machines, whether it be laptops or PC’s, but they are not without problems of their own.  I have seen MacBook’s lose their wifi connection on a regular basis and need new wireless cards installed (I have had this on my own system).  Then there are the hard drives that die on relatively new systems and of course screens get damaged just like a Windows system.  When some piece of hardware does go it gets VERY expensive as most tech’s (myself included) don’t deal with Apple hardware which means you go back to Apple and they ramp up the repair price.

People expect Mac’s to be superior to Windows systems and in some respects they are.  For example there are much less options for a someone to tinker with when compared to a Windows system (unless of course you open up a terminal) which means that your average user can’t go and break anything by accident.  On a windows system this is much easier to do but on the flip side this means that Windows systems tend to be more configurable.

This expectation that Mac’s are better also transfers across to the quality of the hardware.  “Macs don’t break” is something I have heard a lot of during the last couple of years and it is simply not true.  Yes they do break but they also tend to break less.

So if you are looking to purchase a new Mac do yourself a favour and take out that lovely expensive Apple Care as chances are you might need it at some point.

Comments welcome as always.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Cisco, Windows, OS X and Linux based IT Support to small businesses throughout Scotland.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


All else being equal would you rather support Mac’s or Windows machines?

This is a question I got asked by a potential new client a couple of weeks back (I was surprised as I never get asked what I would like!!).  They were looking at introducing a couple of new iMacs into their business and were looking for opinions on whether they would be easy to support.

Personally I like the way that from an end user point of view Macs have limited options on what you can configure. Apple decides what is best and for the most part they get it right.  If you are coming from a Windows world they can seam very alien (where is my delete button!!) but once you get used to them they do “just work”.

From a support point of view Macs can be a double edged sword.  Yes they “just work” which usually means you will spend less time fixing software issues but if any hardware starts playing up you will end up sending them back to Apple.  If you don’t have Apple care then expect big bills and also don’t forget the downtime in waiting for them to be fixed.  In a Windows world hardware fails and it usually gets fixed the same day and repair costs are in a different league.

Another thing to think about is centralised management. Active Directory and Group Policy make managing a Windows network very easy. I know you can add both Linux and Mac machines to Active Directory but my understanding is that you can’t control the settings as much (please correct me if I am wrong).

So personally I would say all else being equal I would rather support Mac’s on a smaller network but when it comes to the bigger ones keep it simple and stick with what you know. In this case that would be Windows.

Then there is the topic of Android and iOS devices but that is for another day!!

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to both business and personal clients in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



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