Macs are everywhere these days, including in an ever-growing number of law offices. In recognition of this trend, Law Practice Today is pleased to announce this monthly column, The Legal Mac, which we hope will be helpful to Mac-using attorneys. These articles will be not only from me, but also from other Mac legal experts, and we hope that you enjoy them.
You’ve seen the commercials. “I’m a Mac … and I’m a PC.” The Mac guy is calm, cool, and in control, whereas the PC guy is bungling, insecure, and in trouble. The commercials are not only humorous, but they offer a good insight into these two types of computers. Consider the following and decide which one you are (or which one you should be):
- Macs are famous for their reliability. As the saying goes, it “just works” whenever you are ready to do so. Virtually all PC users have experienced “freeze-ups” and/or the “blue screen of death.” For some, the infamous control-alt-delete keystroke is almost second nature. With a Mac, you can put those days behind you forever and get more work done with less headaches.
- You can use your existing peripherals. Macs will work with your existing monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, and other peripherals. Therefore, you won’t need to start from scratch when you decide to make the switch. Of course, when you see how beautiful and functional Apple’s peripherals are, you may want to replace your existing peripherals anyway.
- If you want a little help, Apple’s support is second to none. AppleCare provides outstanding warranty protection if you encounter any hardware issues, and it also provides answers to any software questions for Apple’s programs. Help is also available in person at all of the Apple Stores through their Geniuses, workshops, and One to One training.
- Macs are a smart investment. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to make smart purchases. Whereas many PCs are obsolete after a year or so, the lifespan of most Macs typically runs three or more years. Also, Macs hold their value much better than their PC counterparts. If you want proof, go to eBay and see what used Macs are selling for today. Also, you will save most, if not all, of the money that you have budgeted for your computer support/repair. My firm went from seeing our tech guy in our firm on a monthly basis to occasionally bumping into him at the grocery store.
- Sleep easier because Macs are more secure than PCs. Lawyers keep secrets for a living, and security is always a primary concern. Macs are built on a UNIX foundation that provides rock solid security. Viruses, trojan horses, and other malware that plague PCs are simply not concerns for Mac users because of the security features built in to OS X.
- Macs work the way you do. The Mac operating system, OS X, is very intuitive and easy to learn. In fact, most programs are intuitive and do things the way that users would expect them to, without having to waste time searching through manuals. This is just one of the many reasons that Mac users view their computer as a pleasure to use instead of just another necessary tool.
- Only Macs can run both Windows and OS X. Perhaps there is a program that you need that only runs on Windows or perhaps the rest of your office is still using PCs. No problem, because Macs can run all of the Windows operating systems (including XP and even Vista) using one of the several virtualization options available. Also, Macs can be integrated into Windows networks quickly and seamlessly. You can have the best of both worlds!