A Mac or a PC?

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Guy Sovak
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A Mac or a PC?

Dear All,
Do scientists prefer to work with a PC or a Mac?
Guy

Tony Rook
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I currently and grudgingly

I currently and grudgingly use Windows XP both at work and home!

I can't get over all the positive reviews the major PC mags are giving to the Mac OS and what a let down Vista has become. It seems to me that Apple has quietly taken over the superiority of operating systems and its just a matter of time before the rest of the world realizes that they are using the inferior product. Vista is simply implementing features that Apple has offered for several years without having to worry about the virus and spyware infiltration that MS OS allows.

The next system that I purchase will most definitely be running a Mac OS.

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
Like Tony I begrudgingly use

Like Tony I begrudgingly use a PC mainly because the pClamp electrophysioogy software is so intimately tied to the PC operating systems.

I have not however looked into whether you can now run pClamp 10 in MAC or in a Windows Parrallels system on a MAC

Anyone know?

montgomj
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I use a Mac and love it. I

I use a Mac and love it. I switched from a PC when I joined my current lab that was very Mac dominated and I figured it would be easier for sharing files. I am so glad that I made the switch. I have had far fewer problems, no crashing, no viruses...the commercials are right.

Tracy
Tracy's picture
My lab is also MAC dominated.

My lab is also MAC dominated. Until I saw the commercial about MAC, I didn't realize how compact the MAC is now. I just started using MAC after I have been using PC for more than 10 years. Still feel needing a little bit time to adjust.

samm
samm's picture
For all of you who are ready

For all of you who are ready to tear out your hair in frustration with Windows, and its abysmal file handling and memory management (and not having successfully created a new system, Vista will have many of those issues, though I'm sure it will be much better integrated): help is at hand!
I've been using a Intel IMAc since ~April last year, and a MacBook from ~Nov. They are beautifully engineered, and using either BootCamp (free; either/ or setup) or Parallels Desktop ($79; simultaneous/parallel operation setup) you can run XP, and all the Windows only analysis programs that you need. I also use iWork (YES - I actually do that sometimes!), MS Office and Photoshop on MAc OS X10.4.8, but do switch back to Windows for some of the confocal and FACS analysis tools.

samm
samm's picture
frasermoss wrote:Like Tony I

frasermoss wrote:

Like Tony I begrudgingly use a PC mainly because the pClamp electrophysioogy software is so intimately tied to the PC operating systems.

I have not however looked into whether you can now run pClamp 10 in MAC or in a Windows Parrallels system on a MAC

Anyone know?

All my programs seem to run natively - I've assigned 1 Gb of RAM (out of 2 Gb) to Parallels/Windows, and that is usually quite enough. I run Windows-only density mapping, confocal 3D generator and flow cytometry software on my iMAc without any trouble or lag - and the overall user experience is undoubtedly better than a PC with similar specs.
As far as I can make out, Parallels DOES NOT run as an emulator (e.g. the terrible VirtualPC), but actually RUNS the OS - except it does so with adaptable software restricted hardware limits.
If you aren't as lazy as me, and don't have any problems shutting down all your MAc windows/workflows/browsers etc when you want to use your program, BootCAmp is a very viable option - it devotes >90% of system resources to Windows.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
I just started to work with a

I just started to work with a PC that have got the Vista.
As many says, nothing is new under the sun. The vista is trying to do what apple manged to do long time ago.
If you look closely you can also see the resamblance of the screen saver pattern. Same as in the Mac OS X.

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
An additional point/thought.

An additional point/thought.

I use a PC. My wife uses a Mac. We are both scientists.

I swear at my computer on average 10 times a day.

My wife probably only swears at hers 10 time a year.

montgomj
montgomj's picture
Any LINUX users out there

Any LINUX users out there that want to add their 10 cents?

I'm a MAC user and love it, but have noticed that the PC users I know that run LINUX are happier than the Windows folks. Then again they tend to be people that know a lot more about how their computers actually work.

Thoughts?

atcg
atcg's picture
We use all PC software for

We use all PC software for our lab stations that are connected to the DNA sequencer, all of our automated lab equipment (liquid handlers and plate prep), as well as for our gel stations.

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
I'm all Mac, except for the

I'm all Mac, except for the windows machines I have to use attached to equipment. BD's switch to PCs on their flow cytometers has me swearing at least once a week.

People should be allowed to use what machine lets them work the best.

My main gripes with PCs and even some Macs in the lab is the poor quality software that was designed without taste or common sense. All lab software would benefit from the Apple treatment for usability.

I also hate the big boxes one older machines, they waste too much bench space. Laptops or Mac minis only please!

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
First let me thank all of

First let me thank all of those who voted.
I use both Mac and PC.
At home I got my PC and at work got a Mac.
I think that both preform quite the same. I know that Mac dont have any (till now) virus issues and thats one of it great advantages.
Overall I like working with both.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
What I like in the Mac, That

What I like in the Mac, That you dont have problems with viruses, and the computer never crashes ( work for 5 years and still going)

UCLAtechgod
UCLAtechgod's picture
I think most scientists use

I think most scientists use the PC - thats what we use in my lab right now...and most of the building. I was just looking at Biocompare.com and Invitrogen has a great PC system for sale there....if Invitrogen uses it then it must be pretty good....

Charon
Charon's picture
PC-user. Around 90% of all

PC-user. Around 90% of all bioinformatics tools that I use require unix/linux systems. For some reasons I still use a windows system for writing, though.

Paul Weinreb
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Mac for me, all the way. PW

Mac for me, all the way.

PW

Bettye
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I've used both. I'm currently

I've used both. I'm currently using a Mac and prefer it.

dsimmons
dsimmons's picture
gsovak wrote:Dear All,

gsovak wrote:

Dear All,
I wanted to know what dose scientist prefer to work with a PC or a Mac.
Guy

As an anatomist interested in graphics capabilities, Mac has always been the hands-down best choice. My first computer was an Apple and once Mac came on the scene I never looked back. Must admit I haven't really used a pc, and can only say (like others in this thread) those frustrated shouts at the computer are much less frequent for Mac users than those I've heard from pc users.

Now, it appears the capability to run windows on the new Intel Macs has brought down the last barrier -- the need to use pc-based software on certain scientific machines, etc. I'm currently shifting to all-Intel Mac, and lament the demise of old favorite Classic Mac programs... Maybe I'll keep a G-5 around for some years, just to access old data and programs.

I hope with running windows on a modern Mac we manage to stay as free of viruses as in former times!

jillchavez
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I am an avid mac user.

I am an avid mac user. Sometimes this has posed a small problem with the use of PC only software. However, with the latest Intel-macs this problem is now only a small glitch. I do keep a pc around for nmr spec software.

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
dsimmons wrote:gsovak wrote

dsimmons wrote:

gsovak wrote:
Dear All,
I wanted to know what dose scientist prefer to work with a PC or a Mac.
Guy

As an anatomist interested in graphics capabilities, Mac has always been the hands-down best choice. My first computer was an Apple and once Mac came on the scene I never looked back. Must admit I haven't really used a pc, and can only say (like others in this thread) those frustrated shouts at the computer are much less frequent for Mac users than those I've heard from pc users.

Now, it appears the capability to run windows on the new Intel Macs has brought down the last barrier -- the need to use pc-based software on certain scientific machines, etc. I'm currently shifting to all-Intel Mac, and lament the demise of old favorite Classic Mac programs... Maybe I'll keep a G-5 around for some years, just to access old data and programs.

I hope with running windows on a modern Mac we manage to stay as free of viruses as in former times!

Welcome to the boards.

Your experience sounds much like mine, I became a Mac user when my roommate upgraded his Apple II to a Mac (or was it Mac+? - too long ago). I became true love when I saw cricket graph in action plot something and print it our on a daisywheel printer in a few minutes, when i would have taken 20 minutes with my pencil, ruler and graph paper.

BTW, I still have cricket graph and cricket graph III lurking in my OS9 application folder. Then there all those old figures in MacDraw.

ryan_m
ryan_m's picture
Use linux!!!

Use linux!!!

Neither OS X or Windoze come with loads of scientific software pre-installed. But one linux distro does. check out this post for more information.

Oh, yes, and linux is free if you get the right linux.

jithomps
jithomps's picture
PC's and laptops are all we

PC's and laptops are all we use where I work and the IT personnel are running around constantly to fix whatever bugs come up in the system. Maybe we should switch to Mac's. I'm not an avid Mac user myself but I'm up to new experiences

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
Since I know that most of us

Since I know that most of us scientists prefer to visualize things before drawing a conclusion, I thought this image I found on the net would be helpful...

jachmoody
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When I saw the cost of Vista

When I saw the cost of Vista development [more than several Space Shuttle flights]it made me wonder if it was worth it and when alternative energy supply development will get the attention it deserves?

Can anyone verify that Vista requires ~ 2GB of Ram, instead of the 1 GB that many laptops come with?

JA

Jason King
Jason King's picture
My personal computer

My personal computer ownership looks like this:

Home:Texas Instruments Ti99/4A (16k RAM. i think)
School: BBC "B" microcomputer

Home:Amiga 500 (using motorola 68000 chip)
Uni: Honeywell mainframe with "dumb" terminals

Really really wanted a Mac but they cost 3 times more than Intel machines, which were themselves well out of reach.

Home: Apple Mac Centris 610 (got the education discount)
Work (PhD lab): Apple Macs (IIfx, IIVX, IICi ,SE30 etc)

Home (2001): Apple G4 iMac 17" 1GHz(edu)
Work (2001): Apple G4 Titanium 1GHz

And they're both still working perfectly today...so there's no looking back for me now.

Macs used to be much more expensive because the components were far superior to those used in PCs and were actually compatible with each other. SCSI was excellent and it wasn't long ago that Intel owners were puting SCSI controllers into there multi-storey PC towers. Now that Apple is using Intel chips and USB is common the price differential has almost gone. Intel PCs have become a commodity ware whilst Apple, having invested in its operating system and device design is still making products that people want to own and use (for ages) and even collect. (I still have my Centris and have even aquired an SE30).

nin1318
nin1318's picture
in my last job, all but a few

in my last job, all but a few specific-use computers were mac. there were many more problems with them than i ever had with a PC...i have had the same dell PC at home for 5 years without even a hint of a problem.

Mac's are way way overpriced.

for those who complain about viruses/spyware, perhaps you should learn to navigate the interweb and emails more carefully...and there are many good free programs that will prevent infections.

i don't really have much of a preference of using them on a day to day basis, but if it's me spending the money and a platform specific program isn't an issue, i'd go with a PC without question.

having the sleek all in one package of an iMac or mini is pretty, but you can't do anything with them, upgrades, modifications, etc. oh you want more [insert function here]? guess you have to buy a new computer (for a ridiculous amount of money).

nin1318
nin1318's picture
jachmoody wrote:When I saw

jachmoody wrote:

When I saw the cost of Vista development [more than several Space Shuttle flights]it made me wonder if it was worth it and when alternative energy supply development will get the attention it deserves?

Can anyone verify that Vista requires ~ 2GB of Ram, instead of the 1 GB that many laptops come with?

JA

my girlfriend recently bought a laptop with vista basic which came with 512MB (we planned on adding more RAM). with only the 512 in there it could barely function. with the 1.5GB it does quite well.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
I dont like the Vista at all.

I dont like the Vista at all.
With a less then 6month computer it is working very slow (1K Ram)
I cant understand the manufactures, if they check the computer and realize that it is slow why dont they do anything about it. On top of it I have heard that Dell and HP offer a freereplacement from Vista to the XP.

smn
smn's picture
PC vs MAC ? Right now I'm

PC vs MAC ? Right now I'm typing on a PC however, MACs are so cool & I've used them in the past. Thinking about
purchasing a MAC laptop. What do u guys think?

Jason King
Jason King's picture
guy wrote:I dont like the

guy wrote:

I dont like the Vista at all.
With a less then 6month computer it is working very slow (1K Ram)
I cant understand the manufactures, if they check the computer and realize that it is slow why dont they do anything about it. On top of it I have heard that Dell and HP offer a freereplacement from Vista to the XP.

The manufacturers don't care because they know that PC users only look at the retail price, have very low expectations and enjoy opening up the computer to upgrade the RAM and hard disk.

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
I believe Microsoft had a

I believe Microsoft had a choice to make when developing Vista. As they were developing an OS which could compete with Apple's OS, they realized that they could either limit the amount of RAM required as risk of limiting the features. Or they could release an OS which uses much more RAM than a typical OS with the hope that memory technology will continue to grow at the rate it has in the past. Therefore, within 1 or 2 yrs, the memory issue to run Vista will be a mute point. However, at this time it becomes a real issue. We obviously know what MS opted to do...

Herwig Just
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use both, recently witched to

use both, recently witched to mac (dual core)

chirswang
chirswang's picture
Depends on the purpose of the

Depends on the purpose of the computer, MAC or PC can be used for different reasons. For example, if you just want to use the computer doing research of collecting data, writing notes, internet or emailing, then the MAC is the good way to go. But if you want to develop something that will be shared for many others, then PC is the one to choose.

Like we do programming, we build the website to support many peoples all over the world, we just PC to develop. It's fast and has more software that we can use. It's productive and can cover most of computers. Sure we also need to cover MAC users, but using PC will save our more time than using MAC to develop.

Also, a lot of cool software or utilities for PC are far more than MAC. My job is programming. For this reason, I use PC.

qiang wang
qiang wang's picture
I use both Mac and PC,

I use both Mac and PC, whatever they say, I like PC better

dattak
dattak's picture
Can't believe I am seeing

Can't believe I am seeing that age-old argument in this forum also... heh heh! :D

I use both, without any problem. Each has its own shortcomings, but I can easily live with them. It is not true that Macs don't crash, particularly older machines attached to instruments... but a computer crash - on a PC or a Mac - depends upon a lot of different factors, not the least of which is crappy software with poorly written instructions. It is pointless to blame the OS always.

I prefer PCs. But the new generation Macs are great machines, and they have overcome successfully many of the problems in the previous generations, in both the desktop and laptop format. Plus they are aesthetically pleasing (but so are some new PCs from specific manufacturers). And Parallels is a great way to bridge the cross-over!

What I dislike heartily is the Apple business model (I can provide reasons if anyone is interested) and the holier-than-thou attitude of most Mac users (I am generalizing here...).

Jordanchumphrey
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I love my PC with Vista.

I love my PC with Vista. However, I have 4 GB of RAM and a Quadcore processor.

Edward Dougherty
Edward Dougherty's picture
I for one, cannot stand using

I for one, cannot stand using the Mac I have at work. I think it emphasizes "style" and "looks" more than function. Try opening a word document and blowing it up to full screen in a Mac--it just can't be done without 10 inches of extra space at one side of the monitor. With my PC, it is easy to zoom/fit the screen to read two full pages of text at once side by side and still have legible pages. With the Mac, the windows, buttons, and dock take up an obscene amount of room, even at their smallest settings.

And the lack of a "right click" and easy to use task manager really bugs me.

Also, just a sidenote. I have had a PC and PC laptop both for >5 years running XP and I can count on one hand the number of times either has crashed and neither did the ones I had before these. My Mac at work never crashes either, but I don't know what all the fuss is about. I attribute computer crashes to the constant downloading of freeware by most of the world.

sharmakaushikp
sharmakaushikp's picture
I mostly use pc/laptop for

I mostly use pc/laptop for both lab and personal use. however, i have to use mac to be able to use NIH image software for western blot analysis.

Wnt
Wnt's picture
It also depends on what

It also depends on what institute and dept preference is. Generally this is PC by default, unless you happen to be working in structural biology or something.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
I tend to agree,

I tend to agree,
I must add that the majority of Mac users are coming from the USA or had a felllowship done in the USA.
Some how many of the fellows that I have known that came from Japan used also a Mac.
Any Japanese members can give us input?
Guy

genius_nitin
genius_nitin's picture
I am a PC user with both

I am a PC user with both windows and LINUX flavor.

Bettye
Bettye's picture
sharmakaushikp wrote:I mostly

sharmakaushikp wrote:

I mostly use pc/laptop for both lab and personal use. however, i have to use mac to be able to use NIH image software for western blot analysis.

I think NIH image software has a windows version now, but it's been awhile since I used it. It's called Scion.

dattak
dattak's picture
Edward Dougherty wrote:

Edward Dougherty wrote:

And the lack of a "right click" and easy to use task manager really bugs me.

The new Intel-Macs have almost solved those problems. On the laptop trackpads, you can tap with two fingers to get the context sensitive menu (akin to the right click), or Control-click has always been an option. With a mouse, you can configure it such that if you press the right side of the Mighty Mouse, you can get the effect of the right click!

Edward Dougherty wrote:

I attribute computer crashes to the constant downloading of freeware by most of the world.

I love freeware. I download them both on my PCs and Macs (yes, I have several of each). I almost never get virus or malware problems. Why? Because I am careful, and take precautions. In the end, it boils down to the user. :)

pushpendra_dollars
pushpendra_dollars's picture
i am using mostly pc with

i am using mostly pc with windoas and linux multiple use . i think the mac is most reliable and it is not corrupt eaisly and not hang but the pc had many advantage and have most use ful features so dont so big comparison between them both are use as the place

heehawmcduff
heehawmcduff's picture
Just got a new aluminium

Just got a new aluminium macbook for work after using a pc laptop for years.  The difference is like night and day.
The Mac laptop is the best computer I've ever had! And it has the reference management software "Papers" which is fantastic.

ksb.79
ksb.79's picture
gsovak wrote:Dear All, Do

gsovak wrote:

Dear All, Do scientists prefer to work with a PC or a Mac? Guy

depend upon interest, both operating system are user friendly. but  most of all users are using windows based operating system. 
 
thanks
 

Ivan Delgado
Ivan Delgado's picture
The answer to this question

The answer to this question depends entirely on where you are. In biology labs Macs are very prevalent, while in engineering labs PCs are king. Personally I have always been a Mac person (molecular biology, genetics labs) and most people around me (and surrounding labs) were Mac people. I used both mainly due to necessity: there are always a few programs that are only available for PCs, although I have to say that over the years more of these programs are becoming available for Macs.

The FFM
The FFM's picture
guy wrote:What I like in the

guy wrote:

What I like in the Mac, That you dont have problems with viruses, and the computer never crashes ( work for 5 years and still going)

 
Be careful.  Mac's are no longer 100% immune to viruses.
 
This link is quite ironic as the story is reported by MSNBC (i.e. microsoft)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12537279/
 
The viruses may however not be quite as advanced as the windows ones
www.webmonkey.com/blog/Mac_Viruses_Continue_to_Lag_Behind_Windows_Counterparts
 
How to scan you mac for viruses
http://www.simplehelp.net/2009/01/12/how-to-scan-your-mac-for-viruses/

heehawmcduff
heehawmcduff's picture
I have had ClamXav installed

I have had ClamXav installed since i got my mac and would highly recommend it.