Free-Range Friday: PCs and Macs and Facebook, Oh My

Ever wonder why I stick those asterisks in my titles? It’s because the Triberr program won’t let my tribe mates automatically retweet my posts if they have words like “contest” or “win” or “giveaway” in the title. Which seems pretty odd, but there you go.

When I first began blogging, back in the olden days just after Hurricane Katrina, I had a daily blog called “No-No-Nola.” I shut it down five years ago when I left New Orleans. But my Friday “meme,” if you will was the Free-Range, where there was basically no theme whatsoever. Like today.
So…PC or Mac, Mac or PC? I’m trying to decide. I wrote Royal Street, River Road, and Redemption on a little Dell Inspiron 14-inch laptop. Obviously, it had an overactive “R” key. Elysian Fields, Absolution, Omega and Storm Force got written on a Dell XPS-17 that is currently driving me insane. It has keyboard hiccups that send the cursor, mid-word and without warning, to a different part of the screen, where I’m suddenly typing in the middle of the wrong sentence. As I tend to type very fast, this annoys me to no end because I have to stop, move the cursor back to the right place, delete whatever weirdness it has inserted while wandering, etc. It’s apparently a bug with this particular model.
Still, I could live with it until I subscribed to the Adobe Creative Cloud and downloaded CS6 versions of PhotoShop and InDesign. Now, if I have more than one screen open, everything freezes, even Gmail. This is not acceptable. It’s not worth adding memory to a two-year-old computer to amp up the speed. Still wouldn’t solve the hopping cursor curse.
At the Evil Day Job, I use an iMac with a 21-inch monitor. Love love love. It doesn’t seem to have the issues my past Macs have had, which is the spinning color wheel of death whenever iTunes is open. 
But I want a laptop. I have this need for my computer to go with me when I leave home. Like a security blanket with a keyboard.
Macbook Pro? Macbook Air? Or save a ton of money and get another PC, which I’ve had pretty good luck with, cursor issues notwithstanding? Suggestions?
Let’s see…Oh! Here’s a deal for you. I have been revamping my author page on Facebook and hope to be a lot more active on there (and not just on my personal page). Starting from when this post goes live and until Saturday midnight, anyone who goes and “Likes” my page will be entered for a $10 Amazon gift card or an equivalent Book Depository book of choice. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with posts. I don’t have time! But I will be doing occasional giveaways and exclusive content and maybe a launch party. 
You can find me at this link. And just to be fair, if you’ve already liked my page, I’ll do a drawing for a mystery book for you from my TBR pile. I’ll announce the winners here and on FB on Sunday morning. Later, gators!
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

25 thoughts on “Free-Range Friday: PCs and Macs and Facebook, Oh My

  1. I’m already liking you 😉

    It’s PC for me. Mainly because when something is wrong with it I have several friends who know how to fix it while no one in my circle of friends knows what to do with a buggy Mac.

    • Yes, that is always a problem–even at my day job, my little publications team works exclusively on Macs but the rest of the university is on PC, so we have to go outside to get fixes. My experience with Mac is that they’re either perfect or they are constant spinning color wheels of death.

  2. OMG the whole skipping-cursor thing? My Toshiba laptop does that, and there’ll come a day when I lose it completely and throw the thing across the table. I’ve come close more than once.
    For what it’s worth, I’m looking at the little Chromebooks. Samsung makes a couple, as does HP & Acer. They’re fairly cheap ($200 – $500 for most of them) and tiny, at least compared with my 17″ Toshiba. Everything gets stored in the cloud, which I think is a plus because right now all my writing docs are on The Most Valuable Thumbdrive On The Planet.
    Soon I’m going to do this. Soon.
    Sorry for rambling…

    • Ack! I can’t believe there’s another one that does that cursor thing. Drives. Me. Insane.

      Hm….the Chromebook is a good idea. Cheap enough just for travel without having to lug the 17″ laptop, which is pretty heavy.

      I pay $25 a year for a secure Amazon Cloud Drive, and both my home and work computers automatically back up to the cloud every day. It’s great, and you can access it anywhere from any computer.

  3. I’m a Mac girl, always have been. I do everything on my MacBook Pro. I can have as many things open as I want at one time and never have any issues. I will always vote in favor of Apple, except for phones. I hate iPhones. They are far too limiting compared to the Android. But now I’m rambling, and have wandered off the beaten path… lol.

    • I’ve always used Mac at the day job because it’s graphics and design-intensive work and Mac just handles that better. I use PC at home because it’s less expensive. Macs are overall more reliable, I think, but when they develop problems they seem to be BIG problems.

  4. My Toshiba broke a while ago and when it came to decision time for a replacement, I decided to get a MacBook. Largely impacting my choice was the fact that in the hiatus of having no lap top, my mom lent me her spare MacBook. I suppose I just got used to it, so the idea of going back to PCs seemed odd. But for whatever it’s worth, I’ll post my observations on the two.

    -My PC did not have a disc drive. My MacBook Pro (Note: NOT an Air! Those don’t have a disc drive either!) does so I can plop in movies whenever I want.
    -Somethings aren’t compatible with Macs. For example, I had a writing program downloaded on my PC and can’t do so on the Mac. Also, I would watch shows/movies on a website on my PC and that isn’t compatible, either.
    -I don’t quite like how Finder looks on my Mac, especially when I’m uploading photos. It seems very messy to me. However, it’s also really convenient as I can see I preview of what I’m clicking.
    -Also, the Mac handles Gifs easier.
    -I found that when issues arose, I had an easier time dealing with Apple. They’re quick and efficient and know what they’re about. With my PC “help” seemed very distant.
    -I like Apple products. All the cousins in my family have iTouches; my parents have iPads; my cousins have iPads; iPhones–there’s a plethora for a reason.
    -If you were to transfer from your current lap top to a Mac, Apple can migrate every GB of information. I lost nothing from my PC to my Mac, despite the fact that my old comp was barely functioning. They managed.
    -On the Dock of a Mac, there’s the App store. I like this because I used it to install a Kindle app–but you can download that for PCs, too. I don’t really know the full extent of what the App store can provide for me because I’ve only had my Mac for a month and haven’t fully explored.
    -I like how you scroll with the track pad on Macs.
    -Macs look cleaner to me.
    -I like that the keyboard lights up on Macs.
    -At least on my PC, it was always a huge hassle to get pictures off my iTouch and save them to my Photos. No such issues with Macs.
    -On Macs, I don’t like that you can’t click an icon to make the screen go away. For example, say I’m on iTunes and want to minimize the screen and access Chrome under it. I can’t click the iTunes symbol to make it go away, I either have to click the Chrome logo or click to the side of the iTunes page.
    -I like the quirks of all the little shortcuts on Macs. Like if you swipe three fingers to the side it’ll take you to something new or swipe with three fingers down you can look at all the things you have open. In addition, the Macs come with a folder of how to understand the little tricks and a page at Apple with lists of shortcuts.
    -Speaking of shortcuts, I don’t like that there’s no screen shot button on Macs. Rather, you have to do Command Shift 3. Not as quirk and hard to remember.
    -I like how you turn the volume up and down on Macs and the keys at the top that can control iTunes or movies without having to physically click anything.
    -Macs seem sturdier to me. They’re compact with no random parts. My PC would rattle around a bit and the reason I needed a replacement was because one of the hingers broke. I highly doubt I’ll ever encounter the same issue with my mac.
    -Macs are made to maintain themselves and are great communicators. To elaborate, when you’re charging a Mac, there’s a little orange light where it inserts into the lap top. When it’s battery is fully charged the orange light changes to green. Also, there’s this little light near-ish the track pad that flashes white when it’s safe to move the Mac without jostling any of its internal parts.

    Overall, I’m really satisfied with my Mac. My biggest hang up with it is the lack of compatibility issues. Other than that, I love it.

    Hope this helps! As someone who has recently experienced both, I tried to list as many pro/con related differences as I could! Let us know what you decide. 😀

    • This was a great breakdown, Dani–thanks! I’m still waffling.

      A lot of the Maclike things are on my current PC laptop–volume control on the menu keys, backlit keyboard, etc. I don’t use the trackpad–doing heavy document editing and such is too slow for me and I can zip more accurately with a mouse. Sigh…decisions, decisions.

    • No problem, anything to help! 🙂 And I waffled, too. Even as I was in the Apple store buying my Mac. Another reason I went that direction was that I didn’t want to be labeled a “Mac” or “PC”. I wanted to experience both.

      Hm, that’s convenient. Wish my Toshiba had been like that. As a fan, I feel obligated to urge you to make a decision that benefits your writing, e.i. a lap top that doesn’t have a wonky cursor. 😉

    • Late reply, sorry about that, but hopefully you will see this, Dani. The way to minimize a window on a Mac is to click the yellow button at the top far left of the screen (there is a red, a yellow, and a green button there), or to double-click anywhere on the top part of the window to the right of those buttons. This minimizes that window and puts it down in your control panel along the bottom of your screen. To blow it back up again, just click on the little miniature window that is now sitting on the control panel.

      Obviously, I’m a Mac girl, always have been from the time the very first Macs were introduced, and I’ve always resented having to use PCs at work. To me, they are difficult to set up and keep running, and horrible at plug and play. I’m always amazed at how often I have to restart my PC to fix a software freeze whereas that might happen once or twice a year on my Mac.

  5. Mac is pretty overpriced. I don’t really recommend it unless you are a graphic artist. Though my main reason for going with PC is because I’m a gamer 😛 I also have a brother who builds my computers instead of buying them out of the shop where they often use cheap parts and overcharge for them, so that helps too!

    • Yes, Macs are ridiculously expensive. The tricked-out Macbook Pro is outrageous. I do use a lot of graphics–PhotoShop and InDesign, mostly, but I can’t see paying that much $$ for something with a 15-inch screen considering I work on a computer, on average, 14 hours a day.

  6. … i would say PC… i tend to keep them years while the really old mac of my father for long ago gave us lot of trouble ( compatibility, when it needed repairing etc etc)

    sadly i don’t have facebook so i can’t like you but i’m with you in thoughts

    • Oh, I won’t be on FB all that much. My work hours prohibit my playing around too much!

      A lot of the Mac-PC compatibility issues have improved. Although I’m about to try and open a Scrivener file I created on my Mac at the office and see if it runs on Scrivener for PC without a hitch. Hope so!

  7. I love my MacBook Pro and IPad. I would never go back to a windows based system. I don’t use Facebook so I’ll just say I like you here! Have a good weekend!

    • Thanks, Liz! I got the big Kindle Fire HD instead of the iPad because of the cost, but I did spring for an iPhone. I’m about to talk myself out of doing anything now–LOL.

  8. I didn’t even know you had an author/fan page. Liked!

    Btw, there is a new thing under “settings” (if you hover over the “liked” button. Click on settings and then you can click on “all updates”. Since I’ve done this for other pages I haven’t missed any posts in my newsfeed.

    • Thanks! I will have to look for that–I’ve been noticing a lot of people have disappeared from my feeds….so maybe this will find them again!

  9. PC!!! Don’t support Apple! 🙂

    The cursor issue sounds annoying as heck!

    A quick search suggests maybe trying a little program called TouchFreeze here:

    It disables the touchpad when you start typing. Don’t know how well it may work. Use at your own risk! 🙂

    • Argh. The cursor issue is awful. Makes writing kind of precarious! I use a wireless mouse and disable my touchpad most of the time, but I’ll check out TouchFreeze and see if that might help 🙂

  10. I’ve always been a PC kinda girl, not really a fan of any Apple products lol (example: I still use the old mp3 stick to hold all my music). I also have second on a previous comment, the price for Mac is pretty expensive, you can get a PC for half the price and get the same job done!

    Liked on FB! (I’m friends with you on facebook, thought THAT was your author page!) 🙂

  11. I bought an iMac two and a half years ago and I don’t believe I’ll ever go back to a PC. I use one at work, and I like my Mac so much better. I’ve never had a laptop, so I can’t say how great the Macbook is, but I don’t doubt you’d love it. I also have an iPhone and an iPad, so I guess I’m an Apple fan.

    I’ve “liked” you on your FB author page, so now I guess I’ll be seeing your posts on both pages. 😀

  12. I have a PC and my sister has a Mac. Her Mac annoys me and I use it whenever I am at her house and the entire time I am on her mac, I am anxious to get back home to my PC 🙂

    Liked you on FB