I think the Mac is the way to go. Especially since you can have a PC with Parallel. The ease of use and the freedom from viruses make it a better choice. I bought an external drive the other day and plug it in while the computer was on. I opened Timeline and selected the drive and it was backing up my stuff in less the 20 seconds. I don't think you can do that with a PC.
I now have an iMac for my desk and a MacBook Pro as my laptop. Major things PC will have to change before I go back to a PC. I'm hoping Apple will give in and develop an Apple Netbook.
I love my Apple products, i.e., Apple computers, iPod, iPhone....even my child and grandchildren have gone Apple. Youngest grandchild is 4 and is using my 1st generation iPhone (wifi only); grandson is using my 2nd generation iPhone; I'm using 3GS iPhone.
Love those Apple products! Our preschool teachers have iMacs in every preschool classroom; there are 11 classrooms. Also, South Central Co-Op has sponsored a three-year teacher project that is based around Apple MacBooks. We bought 17 and provided them to teams of teachers; we also provided each teacher in the group an iPod with microphone eqipped headset, a Flip video camera, and an LCD projector for the team. Susan Brooks-Young has been the technology trainer for both my preschool teachers and the teachers in the Apple project.
There is a great deal more strength with a Mac when it comes to graphics, music, etc. It has been designed to do podcasting, etc. with ease. The pc world is desparately trying to catch up in this area. However, there is a learning curve to consider when switching. For you, it doesn't sound like it will be a big deal since you've used a Mac in the past. Stephen makes a good argument for the parallel feature, but why pay up for a Mac and then use parallel all of the time?
Go Mac, Jack. Ease of use, ability to run Windows with Parallel, almost virus free environment, iLife integrated tools, a multitude of other tools not standard on PC's, easy user interface, and as Stephen says easy plug and play make (I believe) the Mac an obvious choice. Yes, you pay a luxury tax but look at all the advantages especially the seamless integration of the iLife and iWork tools. You will have two computers in one. Ask Devin, I talked him into a Mac and he says he now attempts to do all computer tasks on it. Go ahead...drink the Kool Aid.
Apple!! I picked one up this weekend. They are just too easy to use. I did a podcast in garage band last night in no time flat. I skipped buying the parrallel feature. I have MS Office on the MAC. Go for it Roland
I guess I'll be the lone PC vote here. While Apple products have many benefits, as attested to here, the proprietary issues that regularly crop up, the price, and the fact that many Web 2.0 tools just run better on a PC will keep me in that camp. I also find that Apple's tech support is lacking.
Rowland...a great feature of the Macintosh these days is that you can run both Mac and Windows on it with the purchase of an additional piece of software (VMWare, Parallels, etc) and the Windows operating system. If you need only Windoze access, then purchase a PC, but if you want to have the ability to utilize the Mac OS, then you have to go with a Mac. Go with a Mac. My $0.02. Tim
I strongly suggest you check out a tablet - right now it forces you to the Windows side of the equation, but maybe soon there will be an Apple option. I have really found that the flexiblity of a tablet has revolutionized how I am using technology on a day to day basis. It is much less obtrusive so I can easily use it at meetings, on teacher observations, family meetings, etc. The ability to ink on the screen has freed me in many creative ways as well. We have a few types at my school and my favorite for now is the lenovo.
So many good thoughts. I had no idea we had so many Mac fans out there. Susan, you made some good points that I will look into. Shelly also brought in the idea of a tablet. I had one years ago when HP first brought them out, but mine broke only a year out. I was too rough on it I guess. Let's keep this going as new thoughts come in...I'm learning a lot!