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Last post Author Topic: If somebody offers you swapping your PC for a mac cold turkey: would you do it?  (Read 16870 times)

urlwolf

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I now work on a hybrid linux/winXP machine (linux main OS, XP on VMware).
I have been offered to get a Mac Pro in exchange for my machine (long story, new people coming to our group are mac heads).

I think it could be a time investment, but if push comes to shove, I could run XP on parallels as I do now with XP on linux.

If you had the opportunity, would you take it?

Note: I'm happy with my current system, but mainly because I spend most on my time on winXP. When I have to do serious programming, I'll spend most on my time on linux, just because ruby runs a lot better there and there are better tools and command line on linux... but I'm tempted by Macs. I've never played around with one.

40hz

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By 'group' do you mean where you work?

Dormouse

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I've used Macs (& Lisas & Apple2s etc) in the dim and distant, but my answer would always be 'no' now.

If MS is the Evil Empire then Apple is the Most Evil Principality. More evil than MS but less influential. So, 1, I wouldn't want to support them.

2. I don't want to waste time learning stuff I will never use. Linux is quite enough of an extra for me. (Soon, I hope, it will be Windows that is the extra).

3. Apple has been consistently (well, reasonably consistently) successful with Steve Jobs and consistently unsuccessful without him. There will be a limit to how much longer he will drive Apple forward, and then what will happen?

4. There is far more software, free and commercial, of all types available for Windows and/or Linux than for the Mac.

With the Mac you get the OS, lifted from Next/Unix, and a limited set of very proprietary hardware. If the OS were freely available, I'd consider it as an alternative to Windows/Linux but I wouldn't tie myself into a limited set of hardware controlled by a ruthless exploiter of a monopoly.

urlwolf

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@40hz: yes, this is at work. Which could be a problem since at home I wouldn't have a mac and synch'ing could be painful (it already is within the same OS).

@Dormouse: good points.

Darwin

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I don't like the provision about having to swap your machine... Why do you have to give it up? I suppose the answer is that it will be re-allocated to someone in a group that isn't Mac-biased? Anyway, given what can be done with Parallels and BootCamp, I'd go for it, if it will make life easier at work (and hey, you get to add knowledge of another OS to your repetoire).

Dormouse does make some good points though... However, given that (I think) you *could* triple boot OSX, Linux, and XP if you wished, for the most part I don't see a problem WRT hardware.

So, er, verbose way of saying I'd go for it!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

f0dder

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If I had to swap my machine - no way in hell.

If I was offered a reasonably mac, for free, with the catch that I had to use it exclusively at work, I might do it. It'd kinda make sense if I ended up working at a mac shop. But I don't think I'd ever switch exclusively to mac, I just feel too much at home with Windows.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Quote
@40hz: yes, this is at work. Which could be a problem since at home I wouldn't have a mac and synch'ing could be painful (it already is within the same OS).

I suspected as much.

Quote
Posted by: Darwin
I don't like the provision about having to swap your machine... Why do you have to give it up? I suppose the answer is that it will be re-allocated to someone in a group that isn't Mac-biased? Anyway, given what can be done with Parallels and BootCamp, I'd go for it, if it will make life easier at work (and hey, you get to add knowledge of another OS to your repetoire).

Dormouse does make some good points though... However, given that (I think) you *could* triple boot OSX, Linux, and XP if you wished, for the most part I don't see a problem WRT hardware.

So, er, verbose way of saying I'd go for it!

   
D'accord. All other factors being equal, I'd have to go with Darwin. I especially agree with the observation that adding another OS to your repertoire could be beneficial to your career. Never miss out on a chance to learn something new. Especially if somebody else is willing to foot the bill. ;)

The only problem I can see would be if: (a) you are doing development work; (b) are already very productive with your current programming environment; and (c) you will be facing serious deadlines. If this is the case, I'd point that out to them. Maybe that would get you a Mac and still let you keep your old setup.

I'd look at it this way. Macs are expensive. The simple fact they're offering to  get you one and give someone else your hand-me-down tells you something.


Darwin

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I'd look at it this way. Macs are expensive. The simple fact they're offering to  get you one and give someone else your hand-me-down tells you something.

Awesome! I hadn't thought of it that way - good point  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Renegade

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I wouldn't. Simply put, there's no decent software that I want to use that will run on a Mac.

But then again to be fair, Visual Studio is important to me. Nothing really comes close to it on a Mac.

If there were more decent software for OSX, then it would be a different story. But everything I've ever used on a Mac has always been dumbed down crap with no level of sophistication. That was a while ago though, and things have likely improved. I'd need a really good text editor -- that's 200% necessary. Editplus is what I use now, and there would have to be some equivalent for the Mac. BBEdit? Dunno. But good regular expressions are 500% necessary for a text editor for me. That's he first thing I look at.

Now, if it were a high-end Mac and I could run Vista on it and Visual Studio, then yes. I'd make the switch. But only for a high-end machine that wouldn't slow me down. VMs are painful to use unless you've got a machine with some serious horse power in it.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Lashiec

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If it's a laptop, then yeah, no reason against swapping.

If it's a desktop Mac, no way in hell. Not only for the fact that desktop Macs rarely have a decent graphics card, but also that I would be swapping a home-assembled PC by a pre-assembled one, and I prefer to build and tinker with the innards of the system myself, and not having some corporation behind telling me "this will void your warranty".

I'd need a really good text editor -- that's 200% necessary. Editplus is what I use now, and there would have to be some equivalent for the Mac. BBEdit? Dunno. But good regular expressions are 500% necessary for a text editor for me. That's he first thing I look at.

TextMate, maybe?

3. Apple has been consistently (well, reasonably consistently) successful with Steve Jobs and consistently unsuccessful without him. There will be a limit to how much longer he will drive Apple forward, and then what will happen?

It will probably keep going forward, the Apple of today is a quite different animal of the 80s Apple, and they have enough provisions and business lines to survive without Steve Jobs, while back then they were a one-trick pony. Besides, they already did quite well without Steve Jobs for a time.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 05:57:43 PM by Lashiec »

Lutz_

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... and the MAC file system is still creating all these annoying "extra" files that only clutter the directories back on a PC.
On almost every meeting I still see PP presentations where some graphics did not properly transfer between OSses (Why not Linux instead? -  just joking)

40hz

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Simply put, there's no decent software that I want to use that will run on a Mac.

I guess you don't do any commercial graphics, publishing, or media work! ;D

Darwin

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Just to remind everyone (who says I take these things too seriously  :P) this isn't urlwolf's personal machine. It's work supplied and, I presume, what he uses at work. I'm with renegade and others on this: if it were me and we were discussing my home computer I'd be a lot more leery unless the machine to be supplied were very high spec.

I note that in Canada Mac prices have remained static while windows based computers have plummeted in price. Thus, the Vista notebook I bought for $749 a month ago has specs that I would be spending at least $1000 more for in a Mac notebook (512 MB dedicated video card, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB RAM, 250GB HD, 15.4" trubrite screen, HDMI, etc.). A lower spec'd 13.3"  iBook is $1200, larger screened iBooks/Powerbooks are more expensive and my estimate is thus likely conservative...

EDIT: clarified the last sentence and would like to add that I went looking for Mac notebooks online in Canada and they range from $1050 for a base 13.3" iBook to $2800 for a 17" Powerbook with specs similar to my PC notebook (albeit with a higher spec CPU).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 11:16:07 AM by Darwin »

f0dder

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TextMate, maybe?
It's certainly hyped enough. But does it do the trick?
- carpe noctem

Renegade

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Simply put, there's no decent software that I want to use that will run on a Mac.

I guess you don't do any commercial graphics, publishing, or media work! ;D

Well, that's pretty well founded.

For audio, the answer is NO to a Mac. Remember what the question was... Desktop.

ProTools is THE software and the platform of choice for it is Mac. But that's in a studio, and not for a desktop computer. I'm not an audio engineer.

For a desktop computer, there are much better solutions that don't cost $10k+. Samplitude or SAW Studio are excellent. If you have MASSIVE requirements, then even in a studio you can't use a Mac for audio (as far as I know). You have to use SAW Studio because it is the only one out there that can slave other computers in clusters. That's Windows only.

Graphics? I know a lot of designers that use Windows for Photoshop and Illustrator. But most use Macs. The platform doesn't really matter a lot there and is more of a personal choice. Graphics are just about all on a desktop computer, so there's no big deal there. I'm not a designer.

Video... Hmmm... I'm not too sure what people are using now. Liquid used to be popular. But I'm a bit out of touch with the professional video editing stuff right now. It's been a few years. I don't know if there are video solutions for Mac clusters. I would guess that there are.

But for doing video on a desktop? Not sure. Final Cut is excellent. (Mac)

Audio and video can now be done on a desktop computer fairly reasonably in a commercial setting.

Publishing... Quark. On a Mac. (Last time I was working with print layout anyways -- it's been a few years.)

My audio and video needs are pretty simple. I use Samplitude and Sonar for audio. Video -- I only really do screencasts with Camtasia. Layout? I don't do layout for print so I don't use Quark.

This really goes to the difference between amateur, prosumer, and professional needs. My professional needs are most important to me. That's Visual Studio and a solid text editor. I use Photoshop (7) for graphic work as nothing compares to it. But my needs there are very simple. I don't need CS#. Samplitude is simply a stellar program and doesn't run on a Mac. I don't need ProTools.

Macs are extremely expensive. Not just the computer, but the software as well. There are just too many very good programs for Windows that are reasonably priced. There's just no way I could justify throwing out a perfectly good solution that I'm comfortable with for something that's 10x the price for a Mac. The computer isn't the real cost. The real costs are the programs that you put on the computer and the learning curve for them.

Similarly, it would be nuts to get an audio engineer to switch to a PC if they've been using a Mac. etc.

Blah... I need to get back to my beer then go to sleep! :)

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Armando

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I agree.

And I'd probably go further and say that even for Quark or Video editing, it probably doesn't matter much (or at all) whether you're using a mac or a PC.

[edit]Some "Mac writers" will swear by Scrivener and say that there's no PC equivalent... I couldn't say![/edit]

(If you use Sonar for audio, your audio needs are probably a bit more complex (and $$$) than mine... ;) )
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 11:54:29 AM by Armando »

Darwin

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Yeah... I've never really understood the received wisdom that graphics and video editing is better on a Mac. I mean, I understand the source of the "myth" but over the past 7 or 8 years (or more) as far as I know/can tell, it hasn't applied. Having said that, I think that 40hz point was more that the software that is available for the Mac platform for graphics and video manipulation is as good as that available for Windows...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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At a professional level the graphics and publishing software available for Macs and PCs are almost identical (given that Adobe has pretty much cornered the market on professional level products).

There are different choices for video and sound but the professional tools available on both platforms are very good. ProTools on the Mac probably has the edge but only if you want to have a pure recording studio setup  and don't use the computer for anything else. Even so there is probably much greater choice on a PC even at professional level when you take into account the purely PC manufacturers producing video and audio equipment and software.

Years ago the complaint was levelled that Windows was not truly WYSIWYG for publishing - but that complaint really died with the introduction of TrueType Fonts.

zridling

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Once again, this shows the real issue isn't the underlying OS, it's How can we collaborate among them?

However, of the big three, Apple is the most restrictive. I'd rather take a bullet in the knee than suffer the consequences of vendor lock-in. It's 2008 and I want control of MY data. Anyone or any company that seeks to lock me in and lock others out makes me walk. Still, if your company is forcing you to eventually use a Mac, then make a deal for them to provide conversion software for your home systems when you have to work there.

Darwin

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Still, if your company is forcing you to eventually use a Mac, then make a deal for them to provide conversion software for your home systems when you have to work there.

Great advice - wish I'd thought of that  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

40hz

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Yeah... I've never really understood the received wisdom that graphics and video editing is better on a Mac. I mean, I understand the source of the "myth" but over the past 7 or 8 years (or more) as far as I know/can tell, it hasn't applied. Having said that, I think that 40hz point was more that the software that is available for the Mac platform for graphics and video manipulation is as good as that available for Windows...

Not so much that.

I think what I was trying to say (obviously not too well) was that you need to take into consideration what happens once your file leaves your desktop and goes out to a 4-color printshop, professional CD mastering studio, or design agency.

These people are expecting Mac files. (At least around where I live.) Show up with a file generated under Windows or Linux and you get put on notice that the money-back guarantee does not apply to your file if anything goes wrong.

It's a little like sex. Whatever you do in the privacy of your own home (or desktop) is pretty much your own business. What you do outside it is subject to local community standards, customs and ordinances. ;D

40hz

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There are different choices for video and sound but the professional tools available on both platforms are very good. ProTools on the Mac probably has the edge but only if you want to have a pure recording studio setup  and don't use the computer for anything else. Even so there is probably much greater choice on a PC even at professional level when you take into account the purely PC manufacturers producing video and audio equipment and software.

The choices are better (or at least more numerous) on the PC side. I use Cubase, Sonar, and GigaSampler. But anybody that does serious music work on a PC will tell you that, unless you want to have a grand day out troubleshooting constant bits of weirdness, you'd best dedicate your studio machine to your music app(s) and nothing else. General rule of thumb is start with a clean ultra-minimal Windows install and then only load  your music software. That means no antivirus, firewall, or other security software; no power management; minimal (or no) network protocols; etc. - which IMHO renders the machine unsuitable for general computing use.

And yes, there are more hardware choices for Windows music apps. But the industry heavies and big studios pretty much all use ProTools. If you ever get a crack at working with a ProTools studio setup you'll understand why. It's very fast and fluid once you learn it - and time is money in the recording industry.

Quote
Years ago the complaint was levelled that Windows was not truly WYSIWYG for publishing - but that complaint really died with the introduction of TrueType Fonts.

Not so much TrueType per sce. What really did it was that the makers of various high-rez output devices (i.e. Linotronic, Fiery, et al) finally caved on their "Postscript Only" position and updated their raster image processors (RIPs) to correctly handle TrueType. Later on they added the ability to directly RIP Adobe PDF files and the issue became moot for most of the places that wanted to use TrueType. They just sent PDFs and that was the end of it.

Personally, I think the best quality type output comes from a RIP of either a Quark or InDesign file using "foundry quality" Postscript Type-1 fonts. PDFs always lose something in the translation. The letter shapes and metrics get distorted. It's subtle but still there if you know what to look for.

But most people have never seen old school typography so it doesn't really matter. If you've never seen it it doesn't exist. ;)

Deozaan

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My answer is emphatically no!

I've had jobs where the computers used were exclusively Macs, but I would never (in the foreseeable future) trade in my PC for a Mac.


ingkiller1

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I would not even consider it! I have used Macs at school and I will never use another unless required to. Software is way too expensive compared to a PC and the sheer amount of software available for great prices or free compared to the MAC is incredible not to mention the extreme amount of customization that can be done to PCs for gaming is undeniable. I have never seen a MAC with a Quad SLI Nvidia GeForce or SLI configured Radeon.

Not to mention Water cooling... so awesome.

techidave

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Let's look at the problems of having Macs on a Windows network.  One year ago we bought 8 of the white MacBooks and 2 MacBook Pros.  At first we used Boot Camp to run Windows XP, now we run it with Parallels but only because Boot Camp didn't support XP sp3 ( in june 2008) maybe they do now.

As a tech person for a school district I find them hard to do anything with. I image them using NetRestore to a firewire external hard drive.  Creating an image takes over an hour and restoring an image is around 40 minutes.  Compared to ghost this is unexceptable in my books.

Apple told me they would connect to a W2k3 server with no problems.  Not!  I had to turn on some macinstosh services first.  You cannot easily map drives like you can on a pc.  Creating an alias is as close as it comes.  In my books the dock is a joke.

Even those accounts setup as an administrator do not have full rights to all folders without logging as a root user.  That takes some work to "turn on" that feature.

Also, there is no "all users" folder to put shortcuts on.  Apple told me that it would connect with a projector without doing anything special.  Not!  You have to turn on mirroring first.

I believe their iLife software to be difficut to use.  I find burning a cd to be more difficult than on XP.

Apple brags up how their batteries last 4-6 hours but if you change the settings on a pc to match the apple defaults, it would do just as good in most cases.

the one advantage of a macbook running XP is it does run XP good and fast.  Boot up time is much faster than a pc.

I think there is good quality software for a pc that will match the mac software.  a lot of our students do not like the macs at all.  The teacher is probably one of the few that do.  

At the risk of sounding negative against macs, I am not 100% against them, only 90%.   ;D  I do think they have their place but I believe that will be short lived as their is continued improvements in Windows software.

Just my two cents worth,
Dave