Naive platform question: Mac versus Windows

ocular's picture

Hi everyone!

I’ve always used mainly Macs--never had a PC at home--but recently I’ve been thinking about switching to a PC and to Windows (mainly because the hardware is so much cheaper and freely combinable and the support is easier to get).

So I’d like to ask this: which platform is really better for a typophile? I know that graphic designers have traditionally used Macs, but the focus there tends to be in images and color, not typography.

I do plan to do some photo scanning and image editing, but that’s basically as a hobby, at least for now. My planned focus is in book composition with InDesign and, as an auxiliary to this, font editing with FontLab Studio (so I’m neither a real type designer nor a font production kind of guy). I might also use Illustrator e.g. to draw graphs from imported data. (You can’t do that in FL--but are there better programs for this?).

One aspect of typography is text display on screen. Windows has ClearType, but I have the impression that it doesn’t affect the way InDesign and other Adobe apps display text. Am I right?

There seem to be differences in OS-level OpenType support as well, but how much does that really matter for InDesign/Illustrator composition?

Also, from my experience with Windows XP it seems that the look of that OS is more freely customizable (I dislike the unnecessarily complicated look of Tiger, where everything is transparent and shaded). If I remember correctly, you can change the font, and most importantly the font size, of menus etc. It seems stupid that you can’t use the full resolution of your display (OK, my current one is quite bad anyway) because you’d then be unable to read any text and symbols outside the document/image window itself.

Of course, the comparison might be a little difficult or unfair at the moment because Mac OS X Leopard hasn’t been released yet; on the Windows side, I’d presumably use Vista (which I haven’t even seen “live” yet).

(I also know that doing serious font production, you’d have to use both platforms, if only for testing. But as I said, that is not really my field.)

I may be a little naive here, but I don’t want to start another platform war. I would just like to hear rational arguments for and against each platform. As you can probably tell form the above, I’m not very tech-savvy myself, and I would therefore appreciate your insights.

I must also say that the switch doesn’t seem quite as real an option for me now as it did when I first thought about starting this thread. One reason is the difficulty of cross-platform software switches/upgrades. (FontLab for one said they could only offer me a 30% second-copy discount. I haven’t asked Adobe yet.) Another reason is simple familiarity; and then there is the virus situation, of course, as I’ve known all along … But my hardware (and thus platform) situation is basically still open--and I thought this would be a fun thread to start anyway, in an open-minded spirit!

Olli

dberlow's picture

"Totally. Can’t you talk to someone at Apple with all your clout?"
:) thanks but my clout at Apple is only effective when Jobs is elsewhere. I had hopes with the FTC thing, but...apparently, with the depth of typographic edication he received before dropping out of Reed, his opinion is the only one. We are engaging an alchemist to try and convert carbon into cocoa, but that may take a while if it ever happens. Plan B, is as you read here: make Mac the creative subset of the software you use, with windows doing the brunt of your comminucations and interaction in the textural world, all from Mac hardware!

" this is great as you can expect compatibility between stuff generated on either platform, but on the minus side it means [...] - you have to roll your own."
Well you can take advantage of system-level stuff if the portability contains the system level stuff. Tom, I think, is also talking about print; i.e. that it's important for Adobe to have immortal portability because their documents need that as a priority. The OSs OTOH, have a different focus, more akin to immortal importability and a seemingly insatiable desire to be compatible with themselves, regardless of the qualitative outcome for the user/reader. I'm more confident than ever that this will pass, but in mean time, can you pass those papers? ;)

ocular's picture

I haven't tuned in for a couple of days, but I now see that this thread has actually grown quite a bit. And I have indeed gotten some rational arguments (though I haven't yet had a chance to digest it all). Thanks again to everyone!

One thing though: I have never understood/accepted the way "creative" tends to be used in these kind of contexts. Writing can be creative, can't it? (Oh well, I guess ths just goes to show that I'm not very "creative" myself...)

Olli

dezcom's picture

Perhaps what is meant is "visually creative" work requires a computer and interface which is different than typing text. Writing is every bit as creative as design but does not need as much from the computer. Don't feel uncreative Olli, feel lucky that you can write without needing so much more complicated tools.

ChrisL

aluminum's picture

"There is a difference, but it’s not big. On the other hand (at least at the time that I was buying my current system) the Intel-based Mac (laptops) were exorbitant."

Well, again, in the US, the dif really isn't that much ONCE you actually compare the full set of features. There's ALWAYS a cheap Dell you can get, but it's typically going to be a lot bigger (poundage wise) and is going to be missing a handful of the features that the MacBook might have. That said, if you don't NEED those extra features, then certainly the PC might be the better choice.

"Web designers checking pages on muliple browser and platform combinations would find this a good way to go as well."

Yea, not so sure about type designers, but if you do any web work, being able to run Windows is pretty much a must for testing.

"But the PC has a bottom end that the Mac does not."

That bottom end is pretty crappy, though. It typically entails on-board everything which means once one part goes, the whole machine goes.

And, then, of course, there is the Mac Mini. Not a bad price.

aluminum's picture

"Writing can be creative, can’t it?"

Absolutely. And there are some great writing apps for OSX (and I'm sure XP as well).

If your main focus is writing, then I'd say find the software you want to use first and foremost.

hrant's picture

> There’s ALWAYS a cheap Dell you can get, but it’s typically going
> to be a lot bigger (poundage wise) and is going to be missing a
> handful of the features that the MacBook might have.

About a year ago I bought this Dell laptop that I'm using now. It's light (even though it has a 17" screen), it was $1000 cheaper, and I couldn't see anything that it was missing (except looks). Really, I wanted to be able to buy a Mac (since, again, I think they're both equally bad but at least the Mac is more prestigious), which is why I even gave it a chance during my purchasing process, but it seemed like an irresponsible, immature decision.

One twist to this btw is that I haggled the price down by about $250 over the phone with Dell! Don't try that: online; or with Apple. So I guess if you have a mental block against haggling your difference would have been $750.

> That bottom end is pretty crappy, though.

But it's our crappy - the crappy we have to design not with, but for.

Paull's use of "myth" above is false - probably a case of blind platform
loyalty, which btw is quite tellingly more common among Mac fans.

hhp

dezcom's picture

"...the crappy we have to design not with, but for."

This may be true for reading on screen but I would guess that the people who actually BUY typefaces most are those in the design and publishing arena. I don't think they are the ones who buy the bottom basement PCs. I don't have a stick of evidence but I'll bet if you were to do a survey of users in the design/publishing area vs. the "Averege Joe", you would find far more PURCHASED (not bundled or free) fonts in the D/P groups library.

ChrisL

hrant's picture

1) The screen is kind of a big deal these days.
2) Companies pay you to make fonts for average Joes,
and in fact that's a hundred times better than retail.

We've already established that testing on both platforms is important. Plus as far as I'm concerned Mac + cheap PC isn't more expensive than a Mac that can run Windows. So the question (which has actually also been asked and "answered" already) is whether it's better to physically have one system or two. Running in circles is for puppies.

hhp

paull's picture

> Paull’s use of “myth” above is false - probably a case of blind platform loyalty

for the record, i use both platforms. i prefer macs, but am not a mac fanboy.

also, the perception that PCs are cheaper than macs IS a myth, as it is a misrepresentation of the truth. the fact is, when you compare equal machines with equal capabilities (inasmuch as you can), macs and pcs cost about the same.

here's a link from a non-mac source if it makes you feel any better:
http://news.com.com/Researcher+Macs+not+as+expensive+as+thought/2100-104...

Bert Vanderveen's picture

In my case it's a loyalty thing — Apple was the first to provide the means to be productive and creative on a computer. Seeing Quark 2 on a II (around 1986) sold me completely. The end of pesky typesetters, litho-guys etc.

Hrant: if Amiga were still in business you'd be on that, I figure...

ocular's picture

Sorry again for the lag – partly due to the fact that I'm using my old, slow G3 (my G5 is still in the Apple service waiting for a diagnosis).

If your main focus is writing

Well, I'd say my natural focus is text--writing/editing and typography. I don't know if that fits the market, though, and as I said, I'm not exactly starting a business at the moment, so I'm not prepared to make a big investment.

I wanted to be able to buy a Mac … but it seemed like an irresponsible, immature decision.

I must say I still kind of have the same feeling. I might consider an iMac or even the Mac Mini, though.

yuzgen's picture

Hardware: Mac had almost become a PC. They turned SCSI into IDE, then SATA. Motorola CPU's to Intel. ATI cards to NVidia etc.

Software: Mac had almost become a PC. We're using an ornate Unix OS.

Me: I feel comfortable on both platforms. In my opinion it's all about the corporate image. Mac has always been targeted professional users. Successful marketing and campaigns made "Apple Mac" a professional platform in many years. I'm using a Mac Pro at work. An old iBook and a cheap PC at home. I'm using Mac keyboards and mouses on the PC. They just feel better.

ocular's picture

All the shifts that Apple has made – first to PPC, then to Unix, now to Intel – really do tax the Mac user.

We’re using an ornate Unix OS.

Way too ornate, if you ask me! Right now I feel like I'd happily go and buy a PC unless I had the Mac version of FontLab 5.

I just realized that the Nikon Scan software that came with the Coolscan V I recently bought may not work on Intel Macs...

Stephen Coles's picture

> Software: Mac had almost become a PC. We’re using an ornate Unix OS.

Wow. We better start delineating between the terms "PC" and "Windows" then. Windows has nothing in common with Unix.

dezcom's picture

The funny thing is that in the 80s, the term IBM was used for a PC that was not a Mac. This was not because they were all made by IBM or used IBM processors because they didn't. It was just the prevailing jargon. Later, Windows was the term of choice (even though UNIX X Windows was available as well) AMD came along and messed up the Wintel label, then Apple went Intel and screwed up the whole shebang.
Real UNIX is that truly geeky stuff used by scientists for serious stuff. It doesn't crash but has a learning curve few office workers would want to climb.
Apple put a nice shiny interface on top of it and made it more accessable to the non geek world who never sees a line of UNIX code.
Whichever box you pick, you will have some set of issues to overcome. Your issue set may vary with what you choose and what you do. Take your best shot and know that you can always switch to something else if the headaches seem worse than the payoffs.

ChrisL

aluminum's picture

"Paull’s use of “myth” above is false - probably a case of blind platform
loyalty, which btw is quite tellingly more common among Mac fans."

No, it is a myth, hrant. You have to compare the features list side-by-side. Now you found a cheaper Windows machine that had all the features you wanted/needed. That's great. But that doesn't change the fact that feature-for-feature, dollar-for-dollar, Macs are quite equal in price. It's just that you are fine with a level of machine that Apple doesn't currently offer, so that works great for you. Apple certainly doesn't do the shotgun approach to their target markets. They pretty much stick to 4: Pro vs. Consumer and Desktop vs. laptop. If you don't fit in their exact persona definition for any of those, then it may very well make sense to look at one of the other companies that might be targetting your needs more directly.

As for loyalty, both operating systems have pissed me off more than once. Apple support had been great at times, but there's a couple of bad experiences that still leave a bad taste in my mouth. Gateway's support was hell. Toshiba's support has been non-existant. I've never had a huge issue with Dell, but, then again, most of the Dells I've used have been el-cheapo toss-away models that didn't need to last more than 2 years as it is. HP supports Logoworks, so I can't justify supporing them too much.

"if Amiga were still in business"

I strongly believe that personal computing's 'fun vs. maintenance' ratio peaked with the Commodore 64 and Amiga. It's been downhill since then with 'maintenance' far exceeding any fun we're getting out of these things. ;o)

"All the shifts that Apple has made – first to PPC, then to Unix, now to Intel – really do tax the Mac user."

Tax? I consider it a tax break. It's been a huge improvement.

"Way too ornate, if you ask me!"

Have you tried using a command-line Unix or Linux? I think you might change your opinion of the 'ornate' at that point. ;o)

"I just realized that the Nikon Scan software that came with the Coolscan V I recently bought may not work on Intel Macs…"

For the most part, in my experience, bundles software with peripherals are all crap. No matter the operating system or the peripheral, any bundled software will only cause headaches and eventually break. I wish peripheral companies would just write against industry standard hooks instead of writing their own bloated horrifically designed behomoths.

ocular's picture

Have you tried using a command-line Unix or Linux? I think you might change your opinion of the ‘ornate’ at that point. ;o)

No I haven't, and don't intend to :) What I meant was simply that I'd prefer the much simpler look Mac System 7, for instance. Even if it weren't for the fact that it taxes the system unnecessarily, I just dislike the "Aqua" look stylistically. But it's all part of the brand, of course.

pattyfab's picture

I'll add, since price is a consideration, an Apple refurbs can be a GREAT deal. It's at the bottom right of the Store page - look for the red SAVE tag. For example a 17" MacBook Pro can be had for $1999 which is a savings of $800 from new. MacBooks and iMacs for under a grand. In terms of bang for your buck, this is hard to beat.

I got a refurb iMac about a year and a half ago. Will do the same when I'm ready to upgrade the laptop. Have had no problems with it at all.

crossgrove's picture

"So, when buying a PC, you can even put together a ‘budget-system’, or a monster machine. Whatever you want. Whatever your wallet allows.
As far as I know, you can only choose from a limited amount of different pieces of hardware, when ordering an iMac for example."

I disagree. Depending on the machine, you can configure nearly any mac with memory, graphics cards, hard drive, etc. I think there's some logic to keeping the number of options down. Check the claim Apple makes about the number of possible configs of their top-end machines. an iMac is not a good example for comparison, since it's an all-in-one machine. Of course you can't get a cheap monitor for your iMac. ;)

I have a Mac Mini and I'm nearing the point of having to upgrade to a more powerful machine, but that has to do with Adobe's CS2 suite churning away (due to it's own disproportionate processing demands).

Olli, I fear you may not be aware of hidden "costs" involved with PC setup and configuration. Adding a printer, connecting to the internet, and other common milestones in a PC's life can be nightmares on the Windows side. Typically it's plug-and-play on the mac. My roommate, a programmer in about 20 different languages and a lifelong computer nerd in all platforms, had to help set up a new PC (with Windows XP) and it took 4 system reinstalls and countless fatal blue screens, and 3 hours to find a way through the windows security software so the machine would recognize the printer. New hardware all around. I NEVER had that kind of trouble with any peripheral or network on any of the macs I've had in the last 13 years.

Just comparing dollar amounts isn't telling the whole story. Gray hair and ulcers are factors too.

pattyfab's picture

Yes but bear in mind it's much easier to get tech support if you have a PC. I spend untold hours on the phone recently unraveling network problems. Turned out to be an old creaky router, but needed to talk to at least 4 different tech supporters to figure out why my internet connection kept dropping and I couldn't print. It's so frustrating when you hit these walls with tech support - "oh I can't help you with that, you'll have to call your service provider" then "oh I can't help you with that you need to call the router company" etc etc.

And then try to find someone who can help you on the Mac. Chalk one up for the PC there.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The reason it is easier to get tech support for a PC is because there is more need. ;^P

dezcom's picture

I have been using a Mac since 1986 and never called Apple Tech support because I was alway able to figure out my problem and there were very few of them.

ChrisL

aluminum's picture

"I’ll add, since price is a consideration, an Apple refurbs can be a GREAT deal."

Other tips/tricks:
- if you have a student or teacher in the family, they can get edu discounts
- if you have a family member or friend in state/federal government, they can sponsor you to get a gov discount

"I disagree. Depending on the machine, you can configure nearly any mac with memory, graphics cards, hard drive, etc."

Not entirely true. Consumer models (Mini, iMac) don't have a whole lot of options...mainly due to the tight industrial design and the fact that most consumers don't modify their boxes much. The desktop pro line, however, can have pretty much any peripheral you like with the exception of a custom MoBo.

"Yes but bear in mind it’s much easier to get tech support if you have a PC."

Networking is networking, so whoever your networking person is isn't very good if the operating system you use was causing them to be unable to figure things out.

Bad tech support is just bad tech support. I got into an argument with Qwest support once arguing that "no, the reason I can't connect to the internet has NOTHING to do with me not having Netscape Navigator installed" even though they insisted that everythign would be fixed if I just installed Netscape.

pattyfab's picture

I don't have a "networking person" so when my network crashed and I couldn't figure it out on my own, I had to call tech support. I had to speak to Earthlink, Ricoh, Apple AND Linksys before figuring out it was the router. Apple and Earthlink are well configured for Macs, Ricoh had to transfer me to a separate Mac dept (more hold time) and Linksys doesn't give official Mac support; luckily there was someone on hand who could help.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Oh, yuck. Sorry that happened, Patty. :^!

aluminum's picture

Yea, I'd question any company that has a separate 'mac' tech support group. They really should have 'tech support', period.

But, the bigger the company you deal with, the less common sense and effort they're going to put into front-line tech support. That's why I'm reluctant to ever go with a large nation-wide ISP again (after dealing with Qwest).

dezcom's picture

Patty,
I use a small but reliable provider for my web account who is Mac based but does both Mac and PC. If you want contact info, let me know off line.

ChrisL

pattyfab's picture

Actually Earthlink does handle Mac OK. It was a matter of a clusterf**k of network issues all related to the screwy router. It doesn't surprise me that they are more equipped to handle PC issues than Mac (90% vs 10% - and interesting that Earthlink is hep to the10%) more a matter of needing to fill in the gaps between the various segments. This is where IT comes in I guess.

But all resolved in the end, very simply, for only about $60. (not counting my time)

ocular's picture

Is this thread still alive? Sorry if I seem to have been ignoring a thread I started myself!

I got my G5 back yesterday; they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I may just get more RAM – I only have the standard 512 MB now, which (I've known all along) slows the system down badly – reinstall the OS (perhaps even do a clean install), and hope I'll have no more kernel panics.

But I still kind of feel that this would be the time to switch to a newer system. With Mac, I would face 2 problems:

1) A forced choice between a machine that is severely limited in its expandability (esp. maximum RAM) and one that is very expensive. The cheapest Mac Pro costs about 2,500 euros in Finland. Used ones are very hard to find. I am aware of no firms here that sell refurbished Mac (yes, I've seen all the adds in MacWorld).

ADD: Patty, I now realize that Apple Store indeed has a section for refurbished stuff. But it turns out to be empty on both the Finnish and the Swedish Apple sites.

2) Intel Macs might be unnecessarily slow running my current PPC-based programs. OK, I'm gonna have to update my Adobe apps sooner or later anyway (and that would be a reason to get an Intel Mac), but I'll probably be using NikonScan a lot (because of ICE4, if nothing else), and it may never appear in a Universal Binary version.

Nikon Scan doesn't seem to support Vista either, at least not yet, but maybe I could get a PC with XP and then update to Vista later. That is, there would no problem comparable to the PPC/Intel dichotomy. Am I right here?

Carl is of course right when it comes to the learning curve with Windows. However, I still feel – like Patty – that the availability of Windows support is a balancing factor. For example, my ISP recently told me, when I was having some problems with my email, that they no longer support the Mac. I've had that experience over and over.

By the way, I just came across this discussion about Mac vs. PC.

The above may be just "the grass is always greener on the other side" type of whining. In the end, familiarity is a powerful factor, at least for me :)

Olli

aluminum's picture

"I only have the standard 512 MB now"

Ouch. Yea, up that to 2 gigs, at least.

"when I was having some problems with my email, that they no longer support the Mac."

Get a new ISP. Email has nothing to do with the operating system you use. Macs and PCs (and linux, etc.) are 99% the same in terms of how they talk on a network or access the internet.

Sounds like they screw you on Apple pricing over there, though. So, with that said, grab a windows box!

crossgrove's picture

Olli,

Going back to your original question, it is clear that the software you plan to use works equally well (is written natively for) either platform. from that standpoint, it's a tie. There are plenty of controls in the system preferences of macs to control appearance like font size etc. One crucial preference is to set the monitor resolution to the actual native resolution of the monitor you have. I discovered recently (because someone was complaining about macs looking blurry) that when you select a resolution lower than the native monitor resolution, the mac system doesn't do a good job of rendering text at the lower res. It looks blown up and pixely, and yes, blurry. Once this is set correctly, you can set your default system preferences like minimum font size, and you can even change the look of the system (it can be other colors than blue, for instance). I've heard recently that the next version of OSX (coming soon?) will have a black or charcoal appearance.

You most certainly need more RAM than you have now. See what that does for your system performance and Adobe apps; I barely get normal performance from InDy with 1 Gig of RAM. The next version of the Creative Suite will be optimized for the Intel macs, so that performance slowdown should go away.

ocular's picture

when you select a resolution lower than the native monitor resolution, the mac system doesn’t do a good job of rendering text

Thanks for the hint, Carl! But does this apply to LCD or CRT or both?

What I have found myself is that my old Sony CRT looks much more washed out when connected to my G5 running Tiger than when connected to my old G3 running OS 9.2. This might be due to the digital-to-analog adapter that I have to use with the G5, but I get the impression that it also has something to do with the OS.

But as I have said, this Sony CRT is very bad in general, having lost most of the contrast. It's barely usable even at 1600 x 1200, even though the max resolution is 2048 x 1536. Can anyone suggest cheaper but good alternatives to the Apple 23-inch Cinema Display? It doesn't have to be wide-screen.

There are plenty of controls in the system preferences of macs to control appearance like font size etc.

As far as I can see, Carl, you can't change the size of all system-level text, only the names of folders and files within their windows.

The next version of the Creative Suite will be optimized for the Intel macs, so that performance slowdown should go away

Well, that would be a reason not to invest any more money (e.g. in the form of RAM) into PPC-based hardware. Damned if you do, damned if you don't! This is what I meant buy saying that these kinds of switches tax the Mac user.

rs_donsata's picture

Here in Mexico, Macs are overpriced, a standard 17" Mac Book Pro costs about 43,000 pesos; this is about 3,900 dollars.

Héctor

ocular's picture

That sounds bad, Héctor. But even here, it's 2,850 euros, or about 3,700 US dollars (at least in this one store).

I took a brief look at Vista yesterday. It's coated with the same unnecessary eye candy as Tiger, to be sure (and a salesperson said that the way it's done, it actually places greater demands on the processor). However, you seem to be able to choose between two sizes for all text.

I wasn't alert enough to say whether the text actually looked better at the larger size, though (as it took the salesperson with a password – and even a reboot – to effect the change), and the display wasn't high-resolution enough to actually require the larger size anyway.

thierry blancpain's picture

olli, i think in every of those three systems (xp, vista, osx) you can change the level of graphic "ornaments" in the os. i set my xp design to classic mode and its fast, easy to work with and non-distracting. you can turn of aero in vista, im 99% sure.

i worked on both systems but have ever had a windows pc at home for both freelance work and personal use. both systems are about on the same level, i personaly prefer the myriads of shortcuts available to windows-users way over the drag & drop-workflow in osx - but thats personal preference!
the others were right about viri on windows pc: if you use firefox, if you have a good antivirus-program running (and there are good free ones!), check all incoming mails for virus and dont surf on "shady" websites, you'll never have a problem. a firewall (preferably on the hardware-side with a router) would be good, too.

hrant's picture

> Hrant: if Amiga were still in business you’d be on that, I figure…

Only if it did what I needed, which means being equal or better than the current Windows or MacOS machines. Brand loyalty is a luxury enjoyed exactly because the two platforms are pretty much the same now.

> Apple put a nice shiny interface on top of it

No, Xerox PARC did.

> you are fine with a level of machine that Apple doesn’t currently offer

?
My system isn't low-end at all! Well, not when I bought it. :-/

> hidden “costs” involved with PC setup and configuration.

Now there's a myth.
As is the crashing frequency business.

> you select a resolution lower than the native monitor
> resolution, the mac system doesn’t do a good job of
> rendering text at the lower res.

Carl, you still think this is anything besides a result of the fact that a given LCD screen only has one native resolution? The way I see it, OSX does an inadequate job of rendering text at any size. And this is something I feel any typophile should mind more than pretty much anything else.

hhp

hrant's picture

Windows vs Mac? Garbage in, garbage out.
http://www.stevensfkm.com/media/11/images/Logo_11.jpg

hhp

ocular's picture

olli, i think in every of those three systems (xp, vista, osx) you can change the level of graphic “ornaments” in the os. i set my xp design to classic mode and its fast, easy to work with and non-distracting.

I did the same when working on XP during my internship in a printing house – but I don't think that you can make a comparable change in Tiger (except, perhaps, with some third-party tweaking software?). That's my complaint.

OSX does an inadequate job of rendering text at any size. And this is something I feel any typophile should mind more than pretty much anything else.

I get the same impression, both from personal experience and from reading some of the posts in this thread. Why is this? Anyone? This is indeed what we should be concerned about as typophiles.

dezcom's picture

I don't share that impression. Text renders quite fine on the 3 mac systems I use. Two have LaCie Electron Blue CRT monitors and my main computer is a 23" Apple LCD, which I love. I also see plenty of PCs around and they are no better. I just don't get all the fuss. Screen rendering is much more about monitor and videocard combined with resolution and the font itself than which platform.
If I connect my old monitor from 10 years ago, it does look fuzzier that the new ones.

ChrisL

aluminum's picture

As mentioned, all LCDs look like crap when not run at native resolutions.

crossgrove's picture

Right: Hrant, rendering is as good as anywhere, on the Mac monitor I have, set at native resolution. I could provide a screenshot to illustrate, but given your dissatisfaction with any commercial PC product, I'm not sure what level your expectations are set at. In other words; I disagree: OSX/LCD monitor set correctly give me very crisp type, very clean image and text rasterization. Still not sure what you're seeing. I don't think it is as good as it could be, certainly not if monitor resolutions do finally increase, but I don't have a problem reading and working in this environment. How well-hinted a certain font is can affect its onscreen readability, but that's true everywhere.

ocular's picture

OK, guys. I certainly can't claim to have done a good, objective comparison. It may be partly that the expectations for the Mac are higher.

if monitor resolutions do finally increase

In that case we would really need the ability to change the size of all text and symbols (e.g. palettes) in all software (because the increase isn't going to affect everyone at the same time). And as I said, Windows seems to be ahead in this respect. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

dberlow's picture

"you can’t easily take advantage of system-level stuff like complex script support"

By this I assume you mean OTish stuff? First of all, I think it fair to say that MS's 13 year delay in recognizing the need for OT support at system-level, as opposed to the long-time focus on application support, has all but killed it. Secondly, in order to take advantage of OT in a wider area than ones own computer, or PS devices, doesn't one need more than system-level support? One needs network-level support, no?

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