What is the Best Celtic Computer?

Why is the Macintosh a Celtic computer? you ask. Well, it does have a good Scots name. A number of folk have found the Macintosh and the Mac OS useful for working with Gaelic and other Celtic languages.

I admit freely that I am a devout Macintosh user and bigot. I started using computers back in the days of the Tandy TRS-80 and yes, even the Timex Sinclair. I’ve been using Windows, in various flavors, on a daily basis now for a few years. Now I support and teach users to use Windows and various Windows applications. (If you use or support Windows, I suggest you take a look at Windows Annoyances.) But though I have supported Windows users and have helped test and develop multimedia CD-ROMs and applications that run under Windows, I prefer the Macintosh OS.

If you haven’t taken a look at a Mac recently, you’ve probably taken a lot of silly myths about the Mac as truths. Mac OS X alone is worth buying a Mac for, but if you’re not already one of the blessed users of the Celtic OS, a good reason to consider a Mac is that you will spend far less time constantly applying patches to fix security problems than you do for Windows, which frequently releases patches to “fix” security flaws that are inherent in the operating system. Mac OS X is more secure, right out of the box, than a completely patched Windows OS. And on the Mac, runing OS X, you don’t have to constantly battle thousands of viruses, because there are no viruses for Mac OS X. None. Sure, you should still use and update anti-virus software, but Mac OS X is far more secure. You don’t have to take my word for it, here’s Walt Mossberg’s explanation. Think of how much time you could save if you weren’t always patching your computer, or dealing with viruses.

Why do I like the Mac so much you ask? First of all, because everything’s easier on a Mac. I like the fact that the Mac OS puts the user first. The Mac OS is designed to adapt to the user, rather than the user having to adapt to the way the computer does things. I don’t want to spend my time messing with .ini files, errant .dlls, and my config.sys file. If I’m not working productively, I’d rather be playing, or doing something that’s not computer related. I don’t want to modfiy a setting every time I install or remove a piece of software or add a device, or have to worry about whether an uninstall will break something vital in the Registry. The Mac OS was created with the assumption that computers should adjust to suit individual needs; a user shouldn’t have to adapt to the computer, the computer should adapt to suit the user. I can do more, more easily, and more enjoyably on a Mac. Now, with FireWire and USB standard on the Mac, and the built in stability of Mac OS X, with a Mac interface on a UNIX kernal, things are even better.

Mac OS X really is Unix under the hood, but you don’t have to even think about the Unix underpinnings, unless you want to. You have the beautiful, flexible, easy to use Aqua interface, so you don’t have to use the Unix command line, unless you want to. You get FireWire, USB, Airport, a modern memory management system, support for an enormous variety of languages, including Unicode, open standards. And you get all the Unix stuff you’d ever want—including Perl, Apache, even Unix shell script support from Apple’s own AppleScript. Plus, even with the new Unix based Mac OS X and the Apple default firewall, you still have a lot more security with a Mac than most other operating systems, including any flavor of Windows.

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