Teenagers and Their First Computer

By Dan Hinckley

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This is a guest post by Jack Liu, from Teen Business Forum, about Macs, PCs, Technologies and how they’re viewed by Teenagers. To write a guest post for Maciverse, send us a note. Let us know what your first Computer was and if you’ve switched from PC to Macs in the comments.

Jack is the owner of TeenBusinessForum, the only online destination where teens discuss entrepreneurship. Jack also maintains his own personal blog. You can follow his entrepreneurial journey from day 1 at OffTheBeaconPath.com.

A few days ago, I was looking through the forums and saw an interesting thread- Mac or PC’s. The majority was saying PCs were
better. After browsing through, I came up with this theory: A teen’s first computer is a PC but will eventually switch to a
Mac. Stick with my argument here. We’ll assume that the parent of the teen will make the purchase. Here are my reasons:
Mac more expensive
——————-
A Mac is clearly more expensive than a PC. It has better resell value but the initial investment is larger. In the world of
electronics where technology is obsolete every 2 years, it makes sense to upgrade every once in a while. So if we’re just
thinking in terms of “cutting edge value”, a less expensive PC is definitely the way to go.
Gaming
——
Let’s be honest. How many of us brought our first computer so we can install Linux, write programs, or use it as a word
processor? My first computer my parents brought for me as a educational tool. I quickly asked around and install the best
games on it- Street Fighter and that addicting tank game where you can buy weapons to blow your opponents to smitherines.
Those games didn’t come out on a Mac. From that point on, our computers or laptops were fitted with the best and latest
graphics cards, memory, monitor and processor. We were able to spurge on certain things and cut out others. On a Mac, you
can’t do that. You get a box, a very good box however without many options to swap out components.
No Hacking Around On A Mac
—————————
This should speak true to all the technies out there. A Mac doesn’t allow you to install various software on it like a PC does. Techies and hackers like to install Linux or another operating on their computers. That is what I meant by hacking around. Someone who has a Mac just doesn’t care about that. For a techie, it’s a great way to know the ins and outs of a computer- the hardware, the operating system, and how the two work together. For a teen, this is probably the second most important reason to having a computer- to learn about it. This is even more true for a teen entrepeneur in the technology space.
More Software Created for PCs
——————————
Because PCs have the majority share of the personal computer market, there are of course more software written for it. Why do we buy computers for? Well, let me ask this instead. What does a teen want to do with a brand new computer or laptop? With my experience, I found the first thing I did was install software- mostly games. That’s also how we get a lot of viruses but that’s a different story. With a Mac, there’s less software to “try out”.
With all these reasoning, I am still leaning towards a MAC however. While I been a predominantly a PC user all my life, using it for gaming, work, programming, etc. I see the advantages of a MAC. Like I said before, teens start out with a PC so they can experiment. With a Mac, the user just want it to work. For example, if I plug a video camera into a computer, I expect it to allow me to import the video, and export it to a file. I do not want to go finding third party software to do the job. That’s the case on a PC but not so on a Mac. As an entrepreneur, that’s what I want now. I just want things to work. I do less and less programming on my PC and certainly I know enough about computers in general that I don’t care to take apart my PC or try some Windows hack to make it faster. No, those days are over. I am now focused on good user experience, ability to sync things easily. For example, I just found out that the Mac iMovie software allows you to upload pictures and photos directly to YouTube and such all within the program. As an entrepreneur, that’s what I like to see- innovative thinking. So with all the teens buying up PCs, the entrepreneurial ones will eventually switch over. The debate is still out on whether they’ll go back. My thinking is that they won’t and neither will I.
Jack is the owner of TeenBusinessForum, the only online destination where teens discuss entrepreneurship. Jack also maintains his own personal blog. You can follow his entrepeneurial journey from day 1 at OffTheBeaconPath.com.

A few days ago, I was looking through the forums and saw an interesting thread- “Mac or PC“. The majority was saying PCs were better. Why is that the case though? After browsing through all the posts, I came up with this theory: A teen’s first computer is a PC but those that are entrepreneurs will eventually switch to a Mac. Here are my reasons:

Macs Are More Expensive

A Mac is clearly more expensive than a PC. It has better resell value but the initial investment is larger. In the world of electronics where technology is obsolete every 2 years, it makes sense to upgrade often. So if we’re just thinking in terms of “cutting edge value”, a less expensive PC is definitely the way to go.

Gaming

Let’s be honest. How many of us brought our first computer so we can install Linux, write programs, or use it as a word processor? The first computer my parents brought for me (a 486) to use as an educational tool. I quickly asked around and installed the best games on it- Street Fighter and that addicting tank game where you can buy weapons to blow your opponents to smithereens. You remember that? Those games didn’t come out for a Mac. This really hasn’t changed. Although a lot of mainstream games are written for both PCs and Macs, there are still many that are just written for PCs. From that point on, my computers were fitted with the best and latest graphics cards, memory, monitor and processor. Yeah yeah, I used it for school and stuff but the majority of the time I used it for gaming or recreation.

No Hacking Around On A Mac

This should speak true to all the techies out there. A Mac doesn’t allow you to install various software on it like a PC does. Techies and hackers like to install Linux or another operating on their computers (e.g. Hackintosh). That is what I meant by hacking around. Someone who has a Mac just doesn’t care about that. For a techie, it’s a great way to know the ins and outs of a computer- the hardware, the operating system, and how the two work together. For a teen, this is probably the second most important reason to having a computer- to learn about it. This is even more true for a teen entrepeneur in the technology space.

More Software Created for PCs

Because PCs have the majority share of the personal computer market, there are of course more software written for it. What does a teen want to do with a brand new computer or laptop? From my experience, I found the first thing I did was install software- mostly games. That’s also how we get a lot of viruses but that’s a different story. With a Mac, there’s less software to “try out”. This is very important for someone who does a lot of development as they might need to find a opensource or third party software to do a particular task. Most if not all of the time, those not mainstream will be written for a PC or Windows.

With all these reasoning, I am still leaning towards a Mac however. While I’d been a PC user all my life, using it for gaming, work, programming, etc. I see the advantages of a Mac. Like I said before, teens start out with a PC so they can experiment. With a Mac, the user just want it to work. For example, if I plug a video camera into a computer, I expect it to allow me to import the video, and export it to a file. I do not want to go finding third party software to do the job. That’s the case on a PC but not so on a Mac. As an entrepreneur, that’s what I want now. I just want things to work. I do less and less programming on my PC and certainly know enough about computers in general that I don’t care to take apart my PC or try some Windows hack to make it faster. No, those days are over.

I am now focused on good user experience, and the ability to sync things easily. For example, I just found out that the Mac iMovie software allows you to upload pictures and photos directly to YouTube and such with a click of a button. As an entrepreneur, that’s what I like to see- innovative thinking. So with all these teens buying up PCs, the entrepreneurial ones will eventually switch over. The debate is still out on whether they’ll go back. My thinking is that they won’t and neither will I.

About Dan Hinckley
Dan Hinckley is an experienced Mac user who converted to Apple products when they introduced them on Intel Processors. He loves helping others get more out of their devices! Subscribe to Maciverse.com to get the latest from Dan and the Maciverse Team!! Find out more about Dan:

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