What I decided… Mac versus PC?

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

What I decided… Mac versus PC?

Last week I did this poll on my blog asking readers if I should get a Mac or stay with PC.  No surprise that Mac won in the polls. I still have the poll open if you want to vote.

I have not made a firm decision, but if you take the time to read the whole post on my pros and cons, and also the comment section, you will see that the comments tell more the whole story.

My ultimate dilemma of switching has not been solved.  After talking to Apple, Adobe and reading comments, nobody has found a way for me to overcome the biggest obstacle of switching.  I do Photoshop Training and design products (actions) for Photoshop.  As a result I need older versions. I have versions of Photoshop back to v7 and have CS, CS2, CS3, and CS4, and also have 2 versions of Elements installed.  If I could get all of these for Mac, I would probably make the switch.  I cannot.  Adobe said they only sell CS4 (and I can transfer my license for that).  CS3 I probably can still find.  But CS2, CS, v7, older elements for Mac… Well good luck is basically what Adobe said.

Apple’s solution was just put all of this on a Windows side to a Mac.  That just seems crazy.  I mean a few programs – maybe.  All this – ridiculous.  Plus I would want CS4 on the Mac side which means spending $700 for a new license for the Mac side (as I could not transfer if using the others on my old PC or on the PC side of a Mac), plus windows for Mac, a program to switch.  All this plus the Mac.  So… anyone see where this is going yet?

Some readers said HIRE them as testers.  Great idea – BUT it does not solve the training issue and usually when an Action does not work well in an older version (from being created in a new one) guess how you fix it?  You write it from the oldest version you want it working in.  Yep.

So at this point, unless someone magically comes along and can solve these issues for me, I think I am too rooted and invested in the PC side of things. And as such likely to stay where I am.  Yes – you Mac people can laugh if I get a virus or when spyware hits, but other than that, nothing really is “broken” about my current situation.  And so far the idea of getting a Mac appears it may be “broken.”

Now – for those of you PC gurus – who wants to help me configure a Dell Desktop that will rock a Mac back to where it came from :).   I love laptops – but I am thinking a networked situation with a more powerful desktop with a better backup system may help my business and productivity.

Thanks everyone!


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  1. June 13, 2009 at 1:56 pm —

    Jodi.. i switched to macs about 4-5 yrs ago.. this was a huge thing in my house b/c dh is a major major PC guy. I do not regret the switch one bit. I do run vmware fusion in case i ever need windows for something (testing in IE for web design,etc) it works.. perhaps a bit slower.. but it works. we also have a separate windows VM set up on our network which i can access through remote desktop and that works MUCH faster. Personally I did not find much of a learning curve when switching to a mac, but that’s just me. If you get a desktop, macs can use any monitor.. you don’t need one from apple.. same with the keyboard, mouse, etc.

    If you do decide to go with a mac… i have CS2 (the whole suite) sitting on my shelf collecting dust if interested. LMK. I am running CS4 now.

    Anyway, just thought i would offer my $0.02.

    Oh, one thing.. if you buy a mac, don’t upgrade the ram on apples website.. you can get the same ram for about 1/4th the price on newegg.com. 🙂

  2. honey
    June 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm —

    Jodi … if you switch platforms for cs4 you will run your main software on mac. Why would the other pc programs not install? Why couldn’t you run the test side on another laptop … having that many photoshops on one computer is bound to eat up a ton of space… you could be running and creating on cs4 and testing the actions in the other programs on your pc laptop.

  3. robin
    June 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm —

    Check out Dell’s XPS line–for you, one of the higher end jobs, like the 630 or something. The cases are really roomy and easy to work in (these are gaming machines and gamers like to upgrade) and at the 630 level dual video cards start to be standard. I just bought an XPS 435 with the new Intel i920 processor, upped myself to 9GB of RAM (it can go to 24), and it’s awesome. And the service for the XPS systems is phenomenal–next business day, any problems, the guy comes to your house–no lugging it into the nearest apple store to wait on a “genius”.

  4. June 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm —

    I have 2 macs.. I started with a mac laptop, and windows desktop. I purchased cs3 for windows and the windows computer was way to slow without the option of an upgrade.. SO, my husband (network engineer) researched and researched and we decided to get the mac pro. It has way more space but it did give me the cs4 issue. You can upgrade your software w/ adobe (for a small fee) from windows to mac versions.

    techno nerd hubby said to pimp out a dell to match the macpro quad core blah blah it would cost essentially the same amount.. the mac monitor is really what seemed to tack on the $$$$, in comparison.

    all that being said I LOVE MACS but there is a huge learning curve and I wish I had stayed with windows.

  5. June 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm —

    I just picked up a Dell a few days ago because my computer died. I needed to buy it in the store because it was quicker…the specs are Intel i7 Proccessor (faster processor for photoshop) 6 gigs of ram (trichannel 1 gig chips) and 512 meg memory card. The only thing I would reccomend that you do differently if you customize is strip the boot drive for faster performance (raid 0).

  6. June 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm —

    So you are stuck in PC (microsoft) H E Double Hockey Sticks essentially forever? 😛 Is a viable solution for you to go MAC with what you can and keep your PC for the older stuff? A pain, but as time goes on the hopefully you won’t need those older versions.

  7. Jodi Bell
    June 13, 2009 at 11:35 am —

    Unfortunately, that is the biggest hurdle to overcome – the expense of it all. I went through this myself, but was sure i was financially ready to invest (or should I say “reinvest”) in the programs, etc. before doing so. I think when that time comes, you will be glad you made the switch (I would never go back to a PC, personally after having my Mac). Until then, I say “don’t fix what isn’t broke”! If the PC serves your needs, go for it. :o)

  8. June 13, 2009 at 11:31 am —

    I think for your particular situation you are very wise to stick with PC… this coming from a MAC user. 😉

  9. June 13, 2009 at 11:24 am —

    If you’re willing to spend the time searching you can usually find most of the older versions of the software on Amazon or eBay. Usually they’re overstock items or surplus that stores are now trying to clear out so they’re still new and come with everything you need. I’ve found both PS6 and PSE6 in a matter of minutes this morning:



    I hope those links actually work. Obviously, it will cost you more to get started but I think in the long run, it would
    be worth it.

    Good luck!

  10. June 13, 2009 at 11:12 am —

    Could you get the mac versions of all the photoshop software on eBay? I did a quick search and it seems there all all the versions you need on there 🙂 Good luck with your final decision!

  11. Tina Harden Photogaphy
    June 13, 2009 at 11:10 am —

    I want the Challenge of learning new things on my PC not the Challenge of learning the things I already know on a Mac… No time for that not to mention the money and the software replacement and the fact that the I wouldn’t want to run parallel. I’m a PC! LOL

  12. June 13, 2009 at 11:08 am —

    Hey Jodi, if you need guidance on building a PC, email me and I will help you out.
    My previous career, I was a network engineer. Depending on how much u want to spend
    You can totally rock out the dell to blow the mac out of the water!!

    • June 13, 2009 at 11:19 am —

      Jason – thanks – yes I want your help and $$$ is actually not a huge object. I mean I do not need a 10 thousand dollar computer – LOL – but I would want something that kicks – you know what…

      Emailing you now.


  13. June 13, 2009 at 11:07 am —

    Jodi, the software dilemma is exactly what kept me from Mac for years. I finally decided to switch… a YEAR before buying my first Mac. This gave me a year to accumulate software, look for bargains, closeouts, etc. By the time I got the computer most of the major software was on place, even if it wasn’t the latest version. I knew I could get a free or low cost upgrade once I was up and running. Of course, I only needed one version of Photoshop.

    I’ve done consulting, installs and troubleshooting for years for computer owners. In cases like yours, when people are looking for help with a buying decision, I usually recommend staying with the platform you’re already using. The choice is less a matter of religion to me and more a matter of which tool is best for the job at hand. Money aside, you don’t have the luxury of time to get acclimated to a different system. I would recommend, after your new Windows computer purchase, perhaps buying something like a Mac Mini or entry level Macbook. This will allow you to get familiar with the system outside of your business. If and when you decide to make the switch completely, a Macbook could be used as a nice, small, non-business laptop; a Mini could be set-up as a media center computer hooked up to your TV.

    I have a feeling you’ve already come to the same conclusion. Enjoy your new computer!

    • June 13, 2009 at 11:18 am —

      Ken – great suggestions – I really appreciate it! And yes – pretty much same conclusion. Basically unless adobe contacts me and says we see your problem and will send you mac versions of everything – LOL.

  14. June 13, 2009 at 11:00 am —

    Katie – yes – but then why switch if I am on a PC side to a Mac – still can get viruses and malware that way. Just does not seem to make sense.

  15. June 13, 2009 at 10:57 am —

    Good for you. Makes the most sense to me.

  16. June 13, 2009 at 10:52 am —

    Jodi what about getting that software where you can run Windows on the Mac? Basically you can run two operating systems for those programs that won’t transfer over and see it all on your mac. I think it’s called Parallels Desktop 4.0, here’s the link:


    you don’t have to reboot to access XP…..you should look into it 🙂

  17. June 13, 2009 at 10:49 am —

    I’m sure you can find old Photoshop disks on Ebay. They should be pretty cheap, too.

  18. No one
    June 13, 2009 at 10:38 am —

    Easy solution:
    switch to mac and develop for the new versios of Photoshop

  19. Krista Lund
    June 13, 2009 at 10:35 am —

    I was just faced with this dilemma not too long ago and the only reason to not switch to MAC is for PSCS4. I did switch to MAC and man! was it/ it is a BIG Learning curve! I run PSCS4 through Windows and it is a bit of a pain. I don’t know if I will ever purchase the MAC version of PSCS4 or just learn to live with it.

  20. June 13, 2009 at 10:24 am —

    I had the same exact thoughts about switching to a Mac. I would have to purchase new software for the Mac so it would cost me so much more than just the computer…

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What I decided… Mac versus PC?