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February 10th, 2011

The Macintosh was introduced in the legendary 1984 Super Bowl commercial as “the computer for the rest of us.” The IBM PC and compatible computers, whose descendants are an important part of CRE’s computer rentals, were portrayed as boring corporate machines. The Mac started with a chime, smiled and welcomed you to the first consumer-level graphical user interface (GUI). Each platform had its backers, and they declared war. The two systems didn’t work well together, either, but today they do. What changed?

Is the Mac vs. PC War over

Return of the peacemaker

That war was still raging when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the late 1990s. Without him, CRE would have no iMac rentals in its inventory, as the iMac was among his first projects. In the early 2000s, the Mac’s PowerPC chips fell behind in the clock speed race, so in June 2005, Jobs surprised everyone – and outraged Mac True Believers – by announcing that PowerPC chips were being replaced with Intel chips. Those first models debuted in January 2006.

Happily, the Mac-PC wars are pretty much over. Both systems are capable and powerful now, and digital workflows can easily incorporate both systems. Start a PowerPoint project on a Mac Pro rental, save it to a USB thumb drive or the cloud, then take it home and finish it on your PC – or the other way around. Most of today’s major software packages – from MS Office to the Adobe Creative Suite – are available in both Mac and PC versions, as are a variety of specialized applications.

The foundation of collaboration

Not only do the hardware and software components of a mixed Mac-and-PC operation work together, a range of text, audio, video and image formats are accessible to both systems, too. Whether you’re working on a Mac, a touchscreen Sony VAIO L or a potent HP 8600, you can use the same files. For text, there are txt, rtf and rtfd files; the universal audio formats are wav, ogg and mp3; video formats include avi, wmv and mpg/mpeg; and cross-platform image formats include gif, jpg/jpeg, tif/tiff, eps and png.

There are more, but you get the idea – whatever you need to do, you can do it on a Mac or a PC, accessing the same “raw materials” with either system. If you work in a mixed computer environment and need computers, monitors or printers, simply call or e-mail an Account Executive. If you know what you need, use our handy Quick Rental Quote form. We know the technology across platforms -  and inside out, too.

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