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And there are a number of things OS X users can do that Windows users can still only dream of. The effortless in-built app launches the first time you plug an external drive into your MacBook or iMac and checks whether you want to create a back-up. Time Machine saves hourly backups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything else. These backups can be used to restore your computer to a specific date after a fresh operating system install, or import all of your documents, music, files, saved settings and in-app preferences to a new computer.

You can also delve into your back-ups via the stunning user interface, and shuffle through saved snapshots to retrieve a single file from a folder you deleted months ago. This is an incredibly simple feature that — once you start using it — will leave you wondering how you ever lived without it. Dubbed Quick Look, the system-wide functionality lets you peek into the contents of almost any file on your machine — without having to open it.

Apple users can quickly select a file within their Finder window and hit the space bar to launch a large preview window showcasing the contents of the file. Quick Look will let you scroll through a lengthy word document, zoom into a photograph, and will even play a movie file. Any Windows users reading this will likely be familiar with the process of defragging their machine — rebranded to Optimise Disk in the most recent software updates — but Mac owners might be a little more confused.

Defragmenting the hard drive is something Windows users have to do at regular intervals to speed up their machines. It reorganises the data written to your hard drive and fills in any holes that have appeared, minimising how far the heads have to travel across the drive to load files or apps. That means the system is always up-to-date. On Windows and Apple desktop machines, users are asked to drag a file into the Recycling Bin or Trash to delete it from the system.

When OS X users want to delete an installed app, the same principle applies, meaning all they have to do is drag the offending software into the Trash. Confusingly, Windows users cannot uninstall software using the same technique they use to remove unwanted files. Instead, Microsoft wants its users to launch a standalone app from the Control Panel dubbed Uninstall a Program.

You then have to find the software you want to uninstall, select it, and then click Uninstall. Simple, right? This staggeringly useful feature catalogues a history of the document you are working on, as you save any changes. You can then browse through the different iterations of the document, comparing it side-by-side with the latest draft. Your screen was a white representation of a virtual desk, office icons and wastepaper basket or trashcan if you prefer included.

There were folders, windows, pull down menus, all of which could be operated and manipulated, not by keyboard commands but by this mystical magical mouse, a rolling pointing clicking device that completely altered the way you related to everything you did on your computer. The difference was astounding, and the refusal of corporate Systems Analysts to see that Macintosh was the way forward absolutely baffled me. I had no shares in Apple. Yes, having fun and working at the same time. But it was not to be, we were sneered at, derided, told our devices were toys for people with too much money and not enough business sense.

Eventually, years later Microsoft managed to come up with a new operating system called Windows, that copied everything the Mac did, only badly. Steve liked to say that his vision for computing and other devices was a meeting of technology, science and what Americans call the liberal arts. In other words, function, innovation and aesthetic were equal.

No other company had such a view. No other company had such a leader.

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But, as I said, he was fired in just a year after leading the Macintosh into the marketplace. He established NeXT computing, founded on his firm belief that the future wave of computing would mean networking, and he saw the multi-tasking, multi-user UNIX operating system as the means to the end of creating devices that could really communicate. He came up with something that made use of metatextual techniques that he called The Information Mine.

Being a very very modest man he realised that those initials spelled out his name, TIM, so he changed it at the last minute to the World Wide Web. He wrote a language HTML Hypertext Markup Language , a set of communication protocols chiefly htttp — the hypertext transfer protocol and an application, as we would now say, on which all these could run, which he called a browser. Clutching the optical disc that contained the most important computer code in history he sat at a desk while Steve marched up and down looking at hopeful programs and applications.

Like a Duchess inspecting a flower show he continued along the rows sniffing and frowning until he got two away from the man who had created the code which would change everything, everything in our world.

Mac at 30: Stephen Fry on Apple's genius

So, with an an encouraging wave Steve left, two footsteps away from being the first man outside Cern to see the World Wide Web. The rest of the story is pretty well known.

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Steve had taken on a group of incredibly talented Computer Graphic Imaging people who had left George Lucas and whom Steve set up as Pixar. By Apple was collapsing.

7 things Mac users can do that Windows users can only dream of |

Inventory was piled high, the share price was on the floor and all my PC friends mocked me to buggery. And truth to tell the outlook seemed bleak. He took a dollar a year as salary, some stock and complete power and authority over the company. Whole projects were closed. Apple went out of the printer making business, out of the camera making business.

Stephen Fry on Apple: the brand that changed everything

A young British designer trembled in his office and wrote out his own resignation letter, preparing at least to leave with dignity when he, as so many around him, was inevitably fired. No other computer in the world has them yet. Perhaps the greatest team in commercial history. That now iconic Bondi blue computer, christened the iMac, became the best-selling computer of From the brink of bankruptcy to becoming the largest and most valuable company on earth Apple had changed the world again, just as it had when the Apple II was the most popular home computer of the s.

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They get it now of course and fall over themselves to replicate the astounding detailing, bevelling, gleam, glide and sheer beauty of these products. Apple has split the tech world extraordinarily. If he holds up a Samsung and licks it, none of us give a toss.