I am on the verge of receiving my first Macintosh computer. It is going to be an iMac, coming in with a striking 24″ display with plenty of power underneath its slender frame. And let me tell you, I couldn’t be more excited! It is going to be my primary design machine, and from what I hear, this is a wise decision. And I, for one, completely buy into this. But why? What makes a Mac the designers dream? When did they become the standard and is it based on anything other than precedence?
Status Quo Or True Leader?
As far back as I can recall, it has always been the consensus that a Mac is the designer’s dream computer. However, I only recently started to think about why this was. Well, they say designers need loads of power in their computing and back in the Power PC days, Apple swore that they were in the lead. However, the switch to Intel has all but eroded their purported hardware edge. So what could it possibly be now?
The way I see it, it must have something to do with the platform. Now I may be one of the few people to argue that my Windows Tablet has never run into any serious problems. Performance has been great and it has been very stable for me. But what I did feel was what I will dub, “Mac App Envy.” This is where I feel that the best apps for designers are made for Macs. Obviously, the big vendors make their software for everyone, but the smaller outfits with the interesting programs seem to always come out for Macs!
Severe Mac App Envy
To illustrate this symptom, I am going to give you a list of 15 programs that I am most looking forward to using. They look good and work well, while staying simple and to the point. Does it get more Mac than that?
- Coda: A web coding program.
- Locomotive: Ruby on Rails development.
- Quicksilver: Program launcher.
- Backdrop: Desktop simplifier.
- DEVONthink: Database application.
- Ecto: Desktop blogging app.
- Severskine: Client password manager.
- Transmit: File manager and FTP client.
- iBiz: Billing and invoicing clients.
- Puka: Bookmark sources of inspiration.
- Image Tricks: Lightweight, quick image editor.
- Voice Candy: Record voice memos.
- Sticky Windows: Clutter free work environment.
- FontExplorer X: Font manager.
- QuickSnap: Screen capture utility.
This is the kind of toolbox a designer could put together while working on a Mac. Now, the thing is, are there not Windows or Linux alternatives? I am sure that there are. So I am still partly left with my original question.
Why Do We Go For Macs?
Perhaps this idea of designers needing Macs is sort of a self-perpetuating myth at this point. There isn’t really any design factor that makes them better than any other platform. But, they are certainly the most beautiful pieces of hardware; and perhaps, as designers, we lean towards them because they are in fact, well designed. Do you think that a Mac is a designers must have computer?
This post was written by J David Macor.
Originally posted on September 26, 2007 @ 3:48 am