Here's the story. Bob is getting irritated at his laptop. It seems to pick random things each day that won't work. The big thing is his new photo processing program, CS3, is supposed to have a plugin called "Camera RAW," and it does on my computer, but it doesn't on his. He blames this, in part, on Kasperski antivirus, which he has tried to uninstall, but, like Norton, it is very stubborn and impossible for a normal person to be completely rid of. Were there enough commas in that sentence? Also, the hard drive isn't big enough, and a few other things.
So anyway, at the BX Sunday we looked at the Apple iMac desktops, which looks like a BIG flat panel monitor with a keyboard. The good one is $1789. Macs are supposed to be "better" than PCs - faster, less prone to viruses, more reliable, easier to use (once you get used to it). But, many programs are made only for PC; it doesn't have a memory card reader (for the pictures), so we'd have to get a USB plug in card reader; it doesn't have TV or video in or out; as an all-in-one it has limited upgrades (and only comes with a 350 GB hard drive).
We went back last night - we went in for a Bible study that we may be joining - and they had an HP desktop for $1050 or so. It is just the computer, but we already have a monitor, and it has everything. It's a quad core (good for multi-tasking and high performance programs like CS3), has 6GB memory, a 600something GB hard drive, built in TV tuner and wireless LAN (which will be very handy since our current internet configuration is wireless), card reader, etc.
So the mac has a lot of challenges to overcome, but all mac users say it's worth it.
On the other hand, we don't "need" a computer right now, as we may not be doing any professional photography for a while yet (legal difficulties over here).
So vote in the poll and tell me what you think.