Apple vs. PC: Science?

<p>I will be purchasing a notebook soon for college. I am very fed up with Windows ME and would be more than willing to step out of my Microsoft induced comfort zone to try a Mac. I am looking at becoming a physics/math/economics/pre-law type major. Basically science and math. I have heard great things about macs, but haven't used them since they were green screens! I am concerned that it will be too hard to upgrade, to learn how to use, and too little compatibility. Anyone else have any comments? I am just worried that add on's such as Virtual PC, Word, and other things easy to get with Windows will be too expensive.</p>

<p>well first off ME is garbage. That is the root of your problems, any other windows operating system will be better, i recommend 2000 or XP Pro. I would stick with windows since its the standard for most colleges, and its easier to get tech support from the college that way.</p>

<p>"I would stick with windows since its the standard for most colleges"</p>

<p>don't let that be your deciding factor ... os x is nearly seamlessly compatible with windows.</p>

<p>edit: ease of use will not be a problem. macs are as a rule much more intuitive than pcs.</p>

<p>jerew, I am a supporter of apple products and although I don't have a powerbook or powermac, I am getting one for college. Frankly, I don't want to deal with the hassles of the spyware and viruses anymore. Not to mention that at college you're so much more susceptible to attacks. Mac computers rarely run into these problems. You can get basically all the same exact software as well. </p>

<p>I think your money concerns are valid. I don't really know how much certain software things cost.</p>

<p>windows has become a system good for those who know what to do. in all my years i havent had anything wrong, and windows 2000 is more stable then anything. but to each his own. everybody is all the sudden jumping on the mac bandwagon. ill stick to good old windows, its only a matter of time before crap starts to show up on macs.</p>

deal with the hassles of the spyware and viruses anymore


<p>I've never understood this. Just don't install random software and it doesn't happen. I think I've had one spyware infection for a grand total of 7 minutes in the past 5 years. Stupid website ran a buffer overrun and installed itself on me. I took care of it in a few minutes.</p>

<p>If you play it smart you'll get infected next-to-never. If you play it smart and keep your windows updated you'll never get infected. </p>

<p>---don't even need antivirus software...</p>

<p>I second Maize&Blue22's comment. If you're a tiny bit more intrepid than your average CCer, you could try installing Linux on your notebook. You could dual-boot XP and <*nix distribution of your choice>. It's rock solid, more secure than Windows, and has thousands of specialized software packages in the fields you listed. They're all free, of course.</p>

<p>I find these comments interesting b/c the people on my floor at school(I go to Georgetown) don't go to crap websites or install crap programs, etc., yet they "magically" get spyware/adware.</p>

<p>I work for the University Information Services at my school, and I have a Mac as well. You honestly won't need a windows PC if you don't want to. A Mac can do everything a windows based PC(yes Macs are PCs too) and more. On viruses, it's not only that there are fewer viruses written for the Mac. The most important reason why you don't get viruses on a Mac is because of its authentication system. Basically, if you want to install a program, Mac OS X will prompt you to enter your username and password. There is NO way around this, and you MUST do this to install a program. Therefore, viruses simply can't install themselves onto your computer. Also, there are currently no spyware applications/programs written for Mac OS X as of now.
Most programs that you need either have a Mac version, or a Mac equivalent. Office 2004 Mac is SO much better than Office 2003 for Windows. Also, Apple released its iWorks suite which includes Pages, a word processor, and Keynote 2, its presentation software. Both are compatible with Word and Powerpoint. I deleted Word and Powerpoint and don't need them to open documents from Blackboard, or save documents to open on windows computers. As you said, if there's a program you need that simply doesn't have a Mac equivalent, or it's just easier to do in Windows, you can install Virtual PC 7, and have both Windows and Panther on your computer. Therefore, there really isn't any reason to get a Windows computer.</p>

<p>The Mac operating system is amazing, so easy to use, yet so effective and powerful. With Terminal you can also have a command line interface, or you can just stick to the GUI. All Macs come with iLife '05, which includes iTunes, iPhoto, Garageband, iDVD, and iMovie. You also get iChat(compatible with AIM), the Safari web browser, Internet Explorer(though i wouldn't really use it), Quicktime, Sherlock, iCal, Address Book, Mail, iSync, XCode, Text Edit, etc. The list goes on. The OS feels so smooth and fast. Also, since you haven't gotten a computer yet, if you wait until at the most June, Apple is releasing its newest major release of Mac OS X, called 10.4, Tiger. It also includes new applications, such as Dashboard, which is a widget based program that allows you easy access to weather, stocks, a dictionary, iTunes controller, translator, flight planner, and much more, Spotlight, a system wide search engine, a new version of Quicktime, Automator, which allows you to make it so that the system automatically performs certain tasks that you do over and over, and much more. </p>

<p>Also, there are many Apple Stores around the country, allowing you to go to an actual apple store to get help with choosing a computer, getting software, or repair help, etc. That's the great thing, that you can go to a physical store representing Apple, not a reseller, and get hardware troubleshooting help.</p>

<p>So, I say go with Apple. The new PowerBooks are amazing, and even include this technology where if you drop your computer from a desk or something, the hard drive will lock into place, so if the computer breaks, the hard drive is safe, and you have all of your info(the hard drive is very fragile, which is why you don't want to shake around the computer when it's on and running). Apple always comes up with amazing ideas, and you'll definitely have no regrets going with Apple.</p>

<p>"The new PowerBooks are amazing, and even include this technology where if you drop your computer from a desk or something, the hard drive will lock into place, so if the computer breaks, the hard drive is safe, and you have all of your info"</p>

<p>Many notebooks have this now. It uses gyroscopes to sense acceleration. It is only a safety measure. Pulling back and locking the r/w head doesn't do anything to reduce the impact on the platters, except to avoid scratches by the head. This is all "IIRC".</p>

<p>jerew: at chicago it really isnt going to matter. </p>

<p>The powerbooks are the best notebooks out there, with thinkpads coming in at a close second so you can get a good system either way. The caveat that goes with science is that you <em>might</em> have to run something that is windows only (or even *nix). If that happens with science, it is probobly also going to be something that doesnt take kindly to virtualPC (needs power) but there are tons of computers on campus to use (or could use one of mine) so its somewhat of a nonissue</p>

<p>If I had the choice of brand-new notebooks, I would definately go with a 15inch Powerbook although I would wait until OSX Tiger is released (and there may well be a new generation of powerbooks coming out soon).</p>

<p>actually the mac notebooks are a LOT of money for the tech that's inside, but there's no denying their "sex appeal"...</p>

<p>the things are pretty slick</p>

<p>actually, they are pretty well priced, all coming with wireless, the PBs standard with 512 MB RAM, the software it comes with, the operating system, bluetooth technology, the processor speed(don't compare PowerPC to Intel, it's completely different architecture, you could go into a whole other thread about this(RISC vs. CISC, etc.)), etc. Don't forget the student discount which takes off about $200 from the price, usually.</p>

<p>Whoa, student discount? How does that work? Is it through Apple?</p>

<p>Every manufacturer (dell, gateway, mac, and some smaller ones) gives a 10-15% student discount.</p>

<p>for the discount, you can simply select your school on the Apple Store's education site(and of course there really isn't a way for them to check that you actually go there,lol), or you can go to an actual Apple Store with your ID or acceptance letter(i did the latter to get my PowerBook).</p>

<p>FYI, the sales divisions at Dell are independent so they often compete. The Small Business division couldn't care less if you are a student. Buying from them often nets huge upgrades for free, as well as deep discounts and package deals. I expect that other retailers are the same.</p>

<p>yup, just select your school on the apple website and buy away.</p>

<p>Just remember to buy less ram and buy more later as all computer OEMs overcharge for it. The best way to do it is: if the computer has 2 memory slots and you want say...a gig of the computer with 1 512 meg card and then buy another one from newegg where it is cheaper (dont buy it with a 256 or you are just going to have to buy 2 512 cards to replace the 256).</p>

<p>As long as you don't use IE, you'll be fine. Since I started using Firefox (actually Firebird) I haven't had a problem.</p>

<p>Get an Apple, then look for Linux distros. I recommend Ubuntu. </p>

<p>P.S: Opera is way better than Firesomething.</p>

<p>I don't think OS X is any more user friendly than Windows is. Nor is it less friendly, for that matter.</p>

<p>Windows Me sucks. There's no argument. It sucks.</p>

<p>Get 2000 or XP and be happy.</p>

<p>Or...get Linux.</p>