The Great Debate: Mac vs. PC
They say you’re either a Mac person or a PC person… and people will certainly defend their opinion on the matter! Both Mac’s and PC’s work fine and these days, and many of their functions are quite similar, so people’s preferences can be split right down the middle.
Some of us can still remember when “computers” started to become a household word. You can’t forget the first ones―bulky boxes with black screens and glowing green text. That was it. We’ll bet you can still remember sitting down in front of a computer for the first time. Everything was completely foreign compared to your trusty old typewriter. And yet, people would clamor to use them, and siblings were even known to fight over them.
Over time, technology continued to advance and computers became more and more a part of our everyday lives. Laptops started to emerge, just as we were beginning to get comfortable with desktop models. We were making the transition to flat screens, rather than the huge and heavy tank-like screens of the early 90’s!
If you had to split your time between a Mac and a PC you would find the Mac to be completely different in layout and functionality. You couldn’t even understand the mouse – no right/left click… hmmmm. And yet many of us had a love triangle between their PCs and Macs. For instance, if you were into graphic design like some of our people here at EIM are, you needed a Mac for your artistic endeavors, and yet your company probably was more in-tune with PC’s for office programs.
So, what IS the real difference between the two, anyway? Well it’s pretty simple really… it mostly comes down to what operating system they run on. PCs generally use Windows (7, XP, Vista, etc.) Operating Systems (as well as Linux, Solaris, etc.) and Macs usually run on Mac OS X (Macintosh Operating System), but now they can run Windows as well. As with most comparisons, they each have respective strengths and weaknesses, but are remarkable none-the-less!
The main issue most people come across when using one computer or another is software compatibility. There is still a lot of application software out there that runs specifically on one type of operating system and not the other.
When it comes to our customers printing their own labels, we offer BarTender® Label Design and Printing Software that is run on Windows.
HOWEVER―a common question we get asked is whether we have any label printing software for Macs. People who own and use Macs are generally aware that the software their PC-using friends have will probably not be compatible with their Macs. When you want to do more than create an electronic copy of a single barcode on your Mac, then you will want to consider some more advanced software options:
• Belight Software Labels and Addresses: An inexpensive Mac program that lets you print labels using a Zebra printer and a database. An extra advantage to this program is that it can be used to print envelopes and postcards with a laser or inkjet sheet-form printer.
• Peninsula Software’s LabelBase Thermal: More expensive, but compatible with both Mac OSX (including Lion and Mountain Lion) and PC (XP, Vista or Windows 7). Designed for thermal printers, it not only helps you layout and print labels, but it is able to store database information.
• A third option relies on using a Mac-PC compatible utility such as Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare Fusion to run Zebra Designer that comes free with Zebra printers or Seagull’s BarTender® to print to any supported printer.
Technology is a wonderful thing, and it is constantly changing and evolving―becoming much more user-friendly. So, there’s no need to worry! Just because EIM’s BarTender® Software is meant for PC operating systems doesn’t mean Mac users don’t have label software options too. That’s the beauty of the modern computer age we live in!