Mac vs PC

  jay123 17:36 30 Mar 2003

I have a desktop PC and am looking for a laptap.
I will be using it for my uni work, so word processing, data analysis, some movies and games.
I have a few questions,
Firstly if i get a Mac can i network this to my pc via bluetooth and/or normal cabels?
Secondly, How do Mac's perform at 800mhz compared w/ a pc at 2000mhz?
And last which is best for my needs?

Many thanks

  rct 18:20 30 Mar 2003

/:rct Puts up shield in case of heavy MacAttack:/

Unless you have a specific reason (other than fashion) for buying an ibook/powerbook, buy a PC notebook, they're cheaper to buy and to buy for, will network happily with other PCs and have a much much larger software range including many OSs.

  DieSse 18:25 30 Mar 2003

Whilst you might technically be able to do it, you'll get so many hassles that it ain't worth it.

  jay123 18:33 30 Mar 2003

What specific reasons are there for haveing a mac over a pc?

  rct 18:44 30 Mar 2003

Maybe your need to use certain Mac Only software for example.

  recap 20:28 30 Mar 2003

Mac's are excellent for graphic work.

And yes Mac's can be networked to a Windows environment via the AppleTalk facility. You should be able to just use a crossover cable no need to buy a network card either as they come with one preinstalled.

Once you have got used to the interface of a Mac and the different jargon I am sure you will enjoy the experience.

One person I know of in here uses Mac's and swears by them. My boss also uses Mac's, I have one on my desk at work also but don't use it to it's full potential.

click here and click on the link "Switch".

  bfoc 21:07 30 Mar 2003

And in my experience the Mac is better designed, easier to use and, generally, a more stable platform.

But, and it is quite a big but, it is more expensive to buy and keep running, it has nowhere the same amount of software available for it, getting parts/repairs can be a nightmare and switching files between Mac and PC, whilst not that difficult, rapidly becomes just another layer of annoyance.

Also I would suggest you check how easy it will be to use any Mac you get, or the files it produces, in the University environment where you intend to use it. That could be a deciding factor!

  Taran 21:31 30 Mar 2003

If you are going to be using your new notebook for uni and intend doing any serious MS Office work, you almost have to choose a Windows based platform. Going against the most common platform currently in use makes no sense when you will have to work in MS software at uni for the most part. Preference is all well and good, but this is hardly a luxury most uni students can afford.

Think of it like this; any Excel work where you have to do some complex, nifty macros or VBA will need to be thoroughly rewritten at worst, or heavily modified at best, since the way in which Excel on a Mac differs from Excel on a PC can be quite dramatic. So your data analysis could suffer.

If you need to do any Access database work at all, you don't have any other choice than to go for a PC, since running MS Office/Windows on a Mac requires some exotic and comparatively expensive third party emulation software that still won't allow reliable use of Access. Your other alternative is to port your database work from Access to Filemaker Pro or SQL on the Mac (which is no bad move all things considered) but this will mean six times the work because you will still have to turn it back into Access at some stage to hand in, with no discernible gains unless you go into advanced databasing.

There are a great many pros and cons for either platform, but practicalities and realistic expected use should steer you toward a PC rather than a Mac. You can do your work on either, but you will have to hand in MS Office files for assignments, and the Mac limits just which file formats it can produce by dint of fact that not all MS Office programs are written for it.

Before anyone stones me in the village square, I own and use several Macs and a selection of PCs, and I think the gap between what one was better at than the other has long since closed up.

Unless you have exotic programming requirements or one or two other specific needs (which you can still do on a PC, if a little less easily) you really have no choice.

You say you would like to play the odd game; it will be an odd game because there are still comparatively few available for the Mac.

Go with the flow until you have the means to follow your own preference. That is, if you actually end up by preferring the Mac.

For the record, there are some things I like to do on the Mac, some I prefer to do on the PC, and neither one delivers everything I would like them to. Pros and cons - yes, but follow the majority so that your work, at least, can be handed in and marked.



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