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New study shows that Apple's 13" MacBook Pro running Boot Camp is the most reliable Windows notebook

Apple vs. Microsoft, OS X vs. Windows -- these are comparisons that pit fanboys from each side against each other with little middle ground. The two sides have bickered for years with Windows fans bragging about lower prices and larger market share, while OS X backers cite high quality, reliable machines and the lack of significant malware penetration.
 
Today, however, an Israeli PC management firm has added a slight twist in the age-old Mac vs. PC debate. Between January 1st, 2013 and April 1st, 2013, Soluto monitored 150,000 notebook computers running Windows and analyzed the data from:
 
224,144 crashes
250,791 hangs
84,251 BSoDs
1,346,000 boot cycles
62,476 hours spent on boot
 
After analyzing the above data and giving each machine a "Soluto Score", the results of the study were quite surprising. The results showed that the most reliable "PC" was the 13" MacBook Pro (mid-2012 model) running Boot Camp.
 
Soluto attributes this victory to the fact that a MacBook Pro running a copy of Windows via Boot Camp is free of the typical bloatware that comes with a brand new Windows machine. To this point, Soluto opines, "PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro."

 
To those that say that a clean install of Windows on a MacBook Pro isn't a fair comparison, Soluto offers this consolation, "One could argue that we should not compare a cleanly installed MacBook Pro with an OEM-imaged PC from Acer or Dell… But – for this first report we simply compared the real PCs in the field, some with original images and some reinstalled by their users. We believe it’s more representative of reality."
 
Rounding out the top five entries were the Acer Aspire E1-571, Dell XPS 13, Dell Vostro 3560, and the Acer Aspire V3-771. The 15” Retina MacBook Pro, three more Dells, and a single Lenovo entry fleshed out the top 10. Notebooks from ASUS, Samsung, Toshiba, and Samsung were nowhere to be found on the list.
 
ZDNET's Ed Bott reckons that the reason for the strong showings by Acer and Dell in the study is the companies’ relatively bloat-free installs, with very few third-party utilities to muck with users' computers. On the other hand, Samsung, which didn't make the list, is notorious for filling machines with needless third-party software junk.

Sources: Soluto, ZDNet



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RE: uh, what?
By amanojaku on 4/24/2013 2:13:38 PM , Rating: 5
Entry number six? What about entry number two? Less than half the cost of the number one entry, and it's score is only 7% less. Even Soluto is shocked:
quote:
Our data has long shown that Acer machines are very stable and well-performing, but to find the E1-571 so high on the list was surprising even for us. The reason is that Acer’s E series are considered more entry level vs other series, like the V series (which you can find in the 5th place).

You could buy almost 3 of those for the price of one MacBook Pro 13”3, so this is a superb option for budget-minded businesses who like big laptops (15”6).

To clarify, price was not taken into account when calculating the score (see full methodology details below), this machine is in the 2nd place purely because of its performance and stability.
The Acer had less crashes and hangs, and a larger screen.


RE: uh, what?
By Argon18 on 4/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/24/2013 3:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
crashy buggy virusy proprietary Microsoft ecosystem
crashy buggy or no software/no games? I choose second option, given that crashes and bugs affect Linux and OS X just as much as Windows, and virii only exist for popular platforms like Windows and not for Linux or OS X which everyone ignores, why create virii for those if install base is so tiny?


RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/24/2013 3:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
err sorry, I meant I choose first option of course, I want my very rare Windows crashes and absence of any virii on my Windows machines plus abundance of Windows software/games. no need for OS X or Linux with same rare crashes and no virii BUT no software and no games


RE: uh, what?
By Argon18 on 4/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: uh, what?
By Bubbacub on 4/24/2013 3:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
wine is not an emulator


RE: uh, what?
By JPForums on 4/25/2013 9:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wine Is Not an Emulator
Fixed that for you.


RE: uh, what?
By amanojaku on 4/24/2013 4:03:29 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Valve steam is on Linux and OSX now.
Yeah, and it only has 2,000 games, less than half of which are playable on OS X (399) and Linux (105). Even if all 1,961 could run on OS X and Linux, that doesn't even come close to Windows' library of 20+ years, and I'm willing to bet less than half the games on Steam are hits.
quote:
And with the WINE emulator, you can run a whole lot of Windows software on Linux and OSX.
WINE is much better than Steam at this point, with 10,000-20,000 apps supported, but application compatibility is still a concern. So far, only 3,500 applications are considered to be fully compatible with WINE.
quote:
Not that you'd want to mind you, because Linux has way more stuff than Windows.
Pirks mentioned games, but the Windows library is still better than Linux. Linux and UNIX software tends to change ownership, or just stop being developed altogether. I used UNIX before Windows, but UNIX and Linux software just don't get the support they need. Great for running servers, and that's it.
quote:
ALL unix and linux type operating systems are immune to viruses.
http://www.kernelthread.com/publications/security/...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Virus
http://news.techworld.com/security/5392/worlds-fir...
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2029303/v...
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/04/mac...
quote:
I haven't used Windows since I dumped that crap in 1996
This explains why you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.


RE: uh, what?
By kingmotley on 4/24/2013 4:06:36 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, you should take off them linux colored sunglasses.

quote:
Linux has way more stuff than Windows.

Buddy, you made me laugh. Linux has perhaps 2% the software windows has, if that, and I'm being very generous.

quote:
ALL unix and linux type operating systems are immune to viruses.

You sir, are hilarious. Perhaps you need to go read some. Go look up what systems were affected by the very first worm. Oh, it wasn't Windows. Then go and check what mobile has the most malware problems, and then go find out what OS it is running. Perhaps a quick peruse of some security sites that actually list exploits would shed some light on the awesomeness that is your world. What OS has the most reported exploitable bugs every year for the past 8 years? Must be misinformation because unix and linux were already immune. Please.


RE: uh, what?
By half_duplex on 4/28/2013 10:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
Linux is a great community, and a novel idea... but they just haven't been able to come very vary in the last 10 years.

Even Ubuntu has a heaping scoop of bugs, and it's lightyears beyond what any other *nix has achieved as far as quality.

Here is what Linux needs to do:
1) Consolidate the 100+ distros into 1.
2) Don't let every noob who's made a hello world commit code to it.
3) Stop focusing on how cool you can make your desktop screen shot look.
4) Take care of the basics. I'm a software developer and even I had issues getting flash to work in Chrom and Firefox.
5) Find a leader, thus far seems the community is running around like a chicken with their head chopped off.

I've tried the whole linux thing 3 times, each time there was a new desktop from KDE to Gnome to now Unity.

It's not surprising Mac is the best platform for Windows, Mac is the best platform for any operating system. It's a machine designed and build by craftsman... not the greased up children's toys you find in the isle of Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

My MBP is 5 years old and going strong. Still proud to whip it out where ever I am.


RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/24/2013 4:09:36 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
And with the WINE emulator
That's moronic to run Windows software through some stupid emulator when you can run it natively on Windows with much less hassle
quote:
Linux has way more stuff than Windows
All the crap that Linux has, all this gawk/emacs/perl/git sh1t - all that Windows has in cygwin, if I ever need any of that freeware crap and I could not afford normal professional IDE like Visual Studio - I could run it in cygwin so no point in using any Linux or OS X for that
quote:
Linux has superior software, superior compatibility, superior stability, and more advanced features than anything from Redmond
That's all BS and crappy Richard "The Foot Eater" Stallman propaganda that only lame fanatics like you listen to. There's nothing superior in perl, it sucks balls compared to ASP.NET, emacs sucks balls compared to VS 2012 and overall Linux kernel sucks balls too, since there's nothing special in it that modern Windows kernel doesn't have. It's just a crappy freeware kernel for hobbyists and poor folk from the third world countries who can't afford better OS from Redmond.
quote:
I haven't used Windows since I dumped that crap in 1996
Man, it's not 1996 anymore, stop pretending that Windows 8 has anything common with Win95 that you dumped ages ago. You look extremely stupid when you do that :))) Modern Windows (which means Windows 8) has multiple protection layers against malware, starting from the Microsoft's own curated app store. It's next to impossible to get infected on Windows 8 unless you run it as admin and manually launch the virus executable yourself, but Linux rootkits do exact same thing in this case, so don't pretend Linux is somehow better protected. Running malware/rootkit as admin in Windows or in Linux will give you the same result - infected system. Stop pretending Linux is magical even if The Foot Eater told you so :)))


RE: uh, what?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/24/2013 7:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well this is the first time I'm pretty much agreeing with everything you've said, Pirks lol :)

Also agree that someone who's stopped using Windows back in 1996, has nothing relevant to say when talking about now in the present.


RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/24/2013 8:06:32 PM , Rating: 3
Haha, when you try to use a high end WP8 handset like ATIV S for a while you may even stop being Android fanboy :P Talking to me is contagious, beware!

It's too early to wean you off Android 'cause I haven't thoroughly evaluated ATIV S myself (still waiting for a parcel from Switzerland) but it looks more likely this year than in 2012


RE: uh, what?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/24/2013 9:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's okay. Like everything else, in two months you'll claim the ATIV S is a piece of crap too :)


RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/25/2013 1:53:11 AM , Rating: 2
But if I don't I'll keep pwning you and other Android trolls ;) We'll see, we'll see, ATIV S may not survive in my house but maybe it will... then beware!


RE: uh, what?
By nikon133 on 4/25/2013 5:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. One really has to be ignorant in order to advertise his ignorance as an argument.

Re Pirks, I'm still having a problem to accept that he turned from one of most vocal all-Windows critics to one of most vocal all-Windows defenders.

There's a good movie material somewhere in there.


RE: uh, what?
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/25/2013 7:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
He has done it with Android, Apple and BB. It's nothing new.


RE: uh, what?
By Totally on 4/29/2013 6:21:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, I wonder what he's going to turn to next now that's he's run out of road figuratively speaking. My prediction, Google makes a big push with Chrome OS, and it gains traction galvanizing the Linux community. Giving them something to rally behind.


RE: uh, what?
By hartleyb on 4/25/2013 10:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
It's hilarious to me to listen a bunch of fan boys from both sides of the issue fight over which OS is best, when in todays world it's easy to run almost any OS, or multiple OS's on one device. Why limit yourself to one piece of software. There are huge advantages and disadvantages to any OS depending on how it is used, and the platform it is loaded on. For example I have an old computer that will run Windows8, through it will be slower then molasses, but if I load Ubuntu on it does all the basic functions just as fast as new machine running Windows 8. Does Linux have everything I need? No, but neither does Windows. I use my Apple for Video and Graphics editing because there is nothing close in comparison and performance in the Windows environment, but I use Windows for just about everything else. I use Linux and Apache for my website, because you can’t beat it for cost and performance. There will never be a one OS or platform solution for the computer / communications world, and if you believe there is, you are not only fooling yourself, but you are wasting a lot of money on a one size fits all solution that most likely doesn’t really work as promised.


RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/25/2013 2:09:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
if I load Ubuntu on it does all the basic functions just as fast as new machine running Windows 8
And if you load PC-DOS 1.0 on it, it will be like 1000% faster than Ubuntu, so why don't you use PC-DOS instead huh?


RE: uh, what?
By inighthawki on 4/24/2013 4:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Linux has superior software, superior compatibility, superior stability, and more advanced features than anything from Redmond


That's just a straight lie.

The software on Linux is typically less-featured versions of things that exist on windows.

Compatibility of what? You mean the lack of driver support for tons of stuff, applications that each require different versions of the same library to run?

Stability Linux may have, but in all honesty I've never had an issue with my Windows machine. It crashes and produces errors very rarely (As in, almost never). I've seen Linux software crash left and right, so there's obviously going to be a lot of dependence on hardware configurations and the software you're using.

More advanced features, really? Like what, the default file system maybe? Anything else, because I can't think of any particular area where Linux excels over Windows. Linux's graphics kernel is a joke compared to the one on Windows, for example.

quote:
ALL unix and linux type operating systems are immune to viruses

I think you now just lost ALL credibility you may have had. You seriously think it has nothing to do with marketshare? You are so ignorant. Who would seriously waste time trying to exploit such a small user base? Notice that how OSX used to be in the same boat until not long ago. It used to be thought as secure, but yet suddenly now that the market share is higher, viruses appear.


RE: uh, what?
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/24/2013 4:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you now just lost ALL credibility you may have had.
What credibility did he ever have? Have you seen his fanatical Apple rants?


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/25/2013 12:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
Speaking as someone that uses all three major OSs (Windows, OSX, Linux), here’s my attempt to give a balanced view: Essentially, your choice of primary OS should determine your choice of hardware. And with some exceptions, it makes no sense to buy a Mac unless OSX is your primary OS. While Apple offers beautiful hardware, what you’re really paying for with the Apple premium is OSX. And if that’s not your primary OS, you’re not getting the full benefit of your extra $$. Note also that, while the retina display is very nice, its native resolution is not (as I understand it) well-supported in Windows. And while this may have changed with the new Macs, as of late-2011 BootCamp did not support a SATA driver for the storage interface, leaving you with IDE. So if you have a fast SSD, you can’t get its full benefit when running Windows in BootCamp on a Mac.

So which OS to choose? Let me offer these three categories:

1) Gamer: The choice is clear -- you should get Windows (for the superior selection of gaming software) and a PC (so that you can custom-optimize your hardware via CPU overclocking, video card choice, etc.).

2) Scientist or engineer that does a lot of coding: Linux or OSX, since both offer a native *nix interface, which is very power for code development. One can get this in Windows with Cygwin, but what Cygwin offers is very limited compared to a native *nix interface.

3) Someone doing serious office productivity work (such as a scientist putting together publications incorporating text + equations + tables + graphics): Here OSX is the clear winner. It is by far the most powerful OS for doing heavy-duty office productivity tasks. When I wrote my thesis I typically had 10 programs open, with about 10 windows in each, and needed to rapidly navigate among them. Using a combination of Expose and Spaces on OSX, this was easy and fluid. With Windows it would have been hopeless, and with Linux not much better. That’s why one group among which Macs are very popular is physical scientists like myself (chemists and physicists).


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/25/2013 12:21:40 AM , Rating: 2
"So if you have a fast SSD, you can’t get its full benefit when running Windows in BootCamp on a Mac."

Let me be more precise: you can't get the full benefit if you are running Windows *natively* in BootCamp on a Mac. But if use a VM (like Parallels), and run Windows from within OSX (and this works quite well), then you do get the full SSD speed, because you are using OSX's SATA interface.


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/25/2013 12:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
" ...BootCamp did not support a SATA driver for the storage interface, leaving you with IDE. So if you have a fast SSD, you can’t get its full benefit when running Windows in BootCamp on a Mac."

Arrgh -- this is what happens when you don't proofread. Correction is as follows:

" ...BootCamp did not support an AHCI driver for the SATA interface, leaving you with IDE."

Mea culpa.


RE: uh, what?
By inighthawki on 4/25/2013 12:43:17 AM , Rating: 2
I kind of feel like your own preferences have biased your opinion. I, for example, can't stand doing programming and development on Unix. I find it a horrible experience and I find the standard Unix libraries to be amongst the worst APIs I've ever touched. But that's also my opinion.


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/25/2013 2:56:30 AM , Rating: 2
Understood. I can see how some might not care for Unix, making my point no. 2 the most subjective of those I've listed. But I strongly stand behind my other two points, especially no. 3.


RE: uh, what?
By TakinYourPoints on 4/25/2013 1:07:32 AM , Rating: 4
As someone who also uses multiple operating systems, I totally agree with this post. You're in physical science but what you said about development mostly applies to many of my friends in software development as well. OS X + Win7 in a VM is their preferred work environment. As for UI, OS X is so good for juggling workspaces and applications. What they introduced in 10.4 really made me move my main work desktop from Windows to OS X. Still love Windows for games though.


RE: uh, what?
By JPForums on 4/25/2013 9:41:06 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
As for UI, OS X is so good for juggling workspaces and applications.
Agreed. Out of the box OSX is much better at this than Windows/Linux. Programs like VirtuaWin (Windows) and Gnome 3's Overview mode (Linux) can close the gap with respect functionality, but OSX is still a smother experience as it was a design consideration up front and not an add on. In my particular work environment, Linux + Win7 VM is the necessary work environment, but I can definitely see why OSX + Win7 would be popular if your work flow didn't require Linux.


RE: uh, what?
By Pirks on 4/25/2013 3:20:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Scientist or engineer that does a lot of coding: Linux or OSX
Nah, quite far from truth, I was working as an applied researcher prototyping mocap postprocessing software that would find the best fit of the facial 3D model bones to the set of scanned facial mocap markers, and I was using Windows Matlab for that, it was head and shoulders above any scientific/math software I ever used on Unix in my grad school. So no, Windows quite often is the best tool, things like Matlab leave no choice to any serious applied mathematician.

Second point - if you are really advanced numerical computation guy and you work for military, government, big oil etc, and you develop massively parallel simulation code - then Windows with CUDA is light years ahead of any Unix/OS X kids toys. Big guys with $$$ to spend usually choose Windows for the best tools for doing grand scale stuff like CUDA or Distributed Matlab. Small fish - yeah small guys often use Linux 'cause they don't need convenience of Windows, or they can't afford it or they don't need to do big overly complex stuff. For small cheap things Mac or Linux is not too bad, maybe. Here I may agree with you, more or less.
quote:
a scientist putting together publications incorporating text + equations + tables + graphics
I wrote my MS thesis on Windows too, don't remember LaTeX distro I used for that, TeTeX maybe? Anyway, I used both this LaTeX thing and emacs in cygwin to write 200 pages of my thesis, the formulas, the index, contents, illustrations, graphs - it was all pure pleasure to work with. The topic was techniques to compress mocap data and also applications of sequential quadratic solvers in motion data compression, it was based on a few very interesting papers by Zoran Popovic from UofW.

I was able to write my thesis while running the best version of Matlab, shooting some imps in Doom 3 once in a while, running other fancy games when I felt like it, watching any video, any rip I got form torrents, plus my huge industrial music collection etc etc etc. Everything existing out there at my fingertips, no lack of software like on Macs or Linux ;)

And all of that on a cheapo $800 PC desktop with some Pentium 4 inside, then Athlon XP etc. OS X or Linux are nowhere close to comfort and universalism of Windows. They are much more narrow minded systems, OS X is more like for design freaks and Linux is for people who like to tinker in computer internals and debug their own kernels.

Windows is for the rest of us :)


RE: uh, what?
By JPForums on 4/25/2013 10:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
OS X or Linux are nowhere close to comfort and universalism of Windows.
True. Windows tries to be all things for all people and does a reasonably good job of it.
quote:
They [OSX/Linux] are much more narrow minded systems
Another word for this would be focused. The implication here is that there are specifics that these platforms are designed to do better than Windows. Windows isn't as good as OSX at task management out of the box due in large part to the lack of multi-desktop support. VirtuaWin can address this, but I'd estimate that most people who need it don't know about it. Further, while many tools (Matlab, Xilinx ISE/Plan Ahead, etc.) work better in Windows, there are also tools (I.E. Cadence and Mentor graphics ASIC design tools) that work better in Linux. I would be remiss if I didn't again call attention to the suitability of *nix operating systems in a server environment.
quote:
I was able to write my thesis while running the best version of Matlab, shooting some imps in Doom 3 once in a while, running other fancy games when I felt like it, watching any video, any rip I got form torrents, plus my huge industrial music collection etc etc etc. Everything existing out there at my fingertips, no lack of software like on Macs or Linux ;)
Perfect example of how Windows is suitable for a diversified role. It doesn't necessarily do everything the best, but it does have the greatest chance of doing everything you want at least reasonably well.


RE: uh, what?
By royalcrown on 4/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/26/2013 6:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you are really advanced numerical computation guy and you work for military, government, big oil etc, and you develop massively parallel simulation code - then Windows with CUDA is light years ahead of any Unix/OS X kids toys. Big guys with $$$ to spend usually choose Windows for the best tools for doing grand scale stuff like CUDA or Distributed Matlab. Small fish - yeah small guys often use Linux 'cause they don't need convenience of Windows, or they can't afford it or they don't need to do big overly complex stuff. For small cheap things Mac or Linux is not too bad, maybe.


Pirks, this statement is so ridiculous it's clear that that you're only interested in trolling. Fermilab and CERN both use Scientific Linux to handle their enormous computing tasks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_Linux. The LHC in particular produces ~ 15 petabytes of data annually, and analyzing it is one of the largest computing tasks currently in existence. For this, they use Scientific Linux/Ubuntu (http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/336822...

“We use it [Linux/Ubuntu] every day in our analyses, together with hosts of open software, such as ROOT, and it plays a major role in the running of our networks of computers (in the grid etc.) used for the intensive work in our calculations,” continued the source.

“In terms of data analysis, Windows could be used in principle. We could also use some type of device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a simple table of rules. Linux is used because it is most appropriate for the job.”

And (http://malandes.web.cern.ch/malandes/cc.html):
"All physics computing is done using the Linux operating system"


RE: uh, what?
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/26/2013 7:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Pirks, this statement is so ridiculous it's clear that that you're only interested in trolling.
It's been obvious since I have been on this site.


RE: uh, what?
By JPForums on 4/25/2013 9:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
I see many valid points here, but I respectfully disagree with some of your assessment. It's not that I think your points are necessarily wrong, but rather that your purview is a little limited.

quote:
1) Gamer: The choice is clear -- you should get Windows
I agree. Games are making their way to OSX and Linux, but as things are now, both the absolute number of games and the number of high quality games across all genres are overwhelmingly in Windows favor. For what it's worth, I believe OSX is currently in better shape than Linux at the moment (even if Valve is working to change that).
quote:
2) Scientist or engineer that does a lot of coding: Linux or OSX, since both offer a native *nix interface, which is very power for code development.
I represent the engineering side of this coin. I would qualify your choice depending on what you are developing in particular. I'm not really sure what you are referring to as the *nix interface advantage. I'd probably give *nix the advantage for certain languages (like python) and command line interfaces. If you need an IDE, Eclipse works well enough, but I think Windows has the advantage once you get away from the command line (not really my thing, though). Matlab and Xilinx tools seem to be easier to use in Windows, though again, use of Xilinx at the command line and scripting was more natural on *nix. I've had better luck with Cadence ASIC design tools on *nix. What little I've done with CUDA was definitely superior in Windows. I have yet to find a situation in my field where OSX is better than or even equal to *nix so my choices end up being *nix or Windows depending on workload.
quote:
3) Someone doing serious office productivity work (such as a scientist putting together publications incorporating text + equations + tables + graphics): Here OSX is the clear winner.
I'll agree that OSX is the winner here. Though, there are some things you can do to get a lot closer with Windows and *nix. For Windows, a little program called VirtuaWin (with hotkey switching) can be used quite effectively in conjunction with the built in Flip3D and Aero Peek for workspace/task switching. If you want something closer to the expose experience you can use Emcee Desktop Organizer. Add to that the combination of Windows native applications, your choice of LaTeX editors, and programs like Emacs that you get access to with cygwin and you get a windows environment well suited to productivity. In *nix a workspace switcher is par for the course, though I'd make sure I got a window manager that supports hotkey switching. For Expose like functionality, you can use Gnome 3's overview mode. I believe there are plugins for Compiz and KWin that give similar functionality as well. LaTeX is easy to get a hold of, but the Office applications may not be up to snuff, depending on what you are doing. Again, OSX is definitely the out of the box winner here, but it's not as if you are out of luck with a different platform. They just need a little help.


RE: uh, what?
By robinthakur on 4/26/2013 12:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
Whilst I build my own pc's, I have to say that if you use an iPad and an iPhone or work issued you with them, it makes life a lot simpler to use a Mac as well because of the way iCloud/iMessage/Facetime etc. all work together seamlessly.

I bought a Macbook Pro relatively recently and rarely use my PC now, partially as I've installed Windows 8 and find it hard work. The way the track pad and gestures work perfectly and reliably on a MBP changes the way I use the machine 1000% and has absolutely made me far more productive. Simply using gesture and finger combos, you can scroll, drag, lookup, show/hide launchpad, check notifications, scroll between full-screen apps etc, I don't know why PC manufacturers are still stuck in the dark ages. Whenever I have to use a pc laptop, even on modern machines on sale now, I am still shocked that the track pads don't seem to have been properly planned out and gestures added as a barely working afterthought. The fact that the build quality of the mac itself is incredible is also important, there is no flex in the materials and features like the magnetic power lead are genius.

I can remote into my work environments or my VM dev environment or Visual Studio/SharePoint on the pc for Windows and it work fine, but still have all the benefits and fun of OSX and the avenue of iOS development to explore. I do view OSX as marginally more secure (despite having Java on it) as anything which could cause issues requires elevation and for one to type the admin password, which takes time when you can consider whether you should be doing it! When they tried this in Windows Vista, users were up in arms at the interruption to their work and now you have a far less secure "click to elevate" as standard.


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/26/2013 9:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

quote:
[quote from my post:]
2) Scientist or engineer that does a lot of coding: Linux or OSX, since both offer a native *nix interface, which is very power for code development.


I represent the engineering side of this coin. I would qualify your choice depending on what you are developing in particular. I'm not really sure what you are referring to as the *nix interface advantage. I'd probably give *nix the advantage for certain languages (like python) and command line interfaces. If you need an IDE, Eclipse works well enough, but I think Windows has the advantage once you get away from the command line (not really my thing, though). Matlab and Xilinx tools seem to be easier to use in Windows, though again, use of Xilinx at the command line and scripting was more natural on *nix. I've had better luck with Cadence ASIC design tools on *nix. What little I've done with CUDA was definitely superior in Windows. I have yet to find a situation in my field where OSX is better than or even equal to *nix so my choices end up being *nix or Windows depending on workload.

quote:
[quote from my post:]
3) Someone doing serious office productivity work (such as a scientist putting together publications incorporating text + equations + tables + graphics): Here OSX is the clear winner.


I'll agree that OSX is the winner here. Though, there are some things you can do to get a lot closer with Windows and *nix....Again, OSX is definitely the out of the box winner here, but it's not as if you are out of luck with a different platform. They just need a little help.


Thanks for your comments.

Regarding my point no. 2, by *nix I mean any flavor of Linux or Unix, which thus includes Apple's version of BSD Unix in OSX.

More importantly, in point no. 2 I should have been more precise and instead wrote: "Scientist or engineer that does a lot of coding using the command line interface." For most of our heavy-duty scientific computing, we did our development work locally on our personal machines, and then sent the jobs to one of our computer clusters (two use Linux, and the other uses OSX, which means Apple's flavor of Unix -- the commands are nearly identical). Interaction with the clusters, as is typical, was entirely through a *nix command-line interface. Thus doing our development work locally via a *nix command-line interface (I used OSX) made for much more seamless porting to the clusters. And of the three big OSes, only OSX and Linux offer native *nix command-line interfaces. Alas, I found that what you can get in Windows with Cygwin is a poor substitute. See also my response to Pirks, where I note that Linux is the standard at computationally-intensive scientific institutions like CERN, and it's the standard for a reason. If you're doing a very different kind of programming from the type of scientific computing that falls within my purview, the optimum OS could, as you point out, be very different.

I should add that the remainder of my scientific computing was done via Mathematica, which I assume runs equally well on all three platforms.

Regarding point no. 3, I respect what you are saying, but I think you may be overly minimizing what I suspect could be a substantial real-world difference in functionality between native OSX and Windows + add-ons. Please take a look at my reply to Nikon133, and note the extent to which I was stressing the navigation and windows management capabilities of the UI when I was writing my thesis. As I'm sure you can understand, I'm highly skeptical whether, under such conditions, Windows+the add-ons you mention could come close to providing the efficiency, ease and fluidity I got from OSX.


RE: uh, what?
By nikon133 on 4/25/2013 6:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
I cannot discuss programming part as I am not programmer.

However, my wife is senior lecturer and research fellow (physical chemistry), so I have a bit on insight re that topic.

Academics are rarely DTP experts, and rarely are really good in Office apps (use of styles, for example). As such, all of them (that my wife has frequent collaboration with, that is) use MS Word for their articles and books. Apparently Word's built-in equation editor, tables, graphs etc. are enough for them to put paper together.

After Word come Excel and PowerPoint. Parallel to those, they will use specific apps like Sigma Plot and Chem Window.

There is also a bit of CorelDraw, which seems to be much easier than Illustrator for whatever drawings they cannot achieve in specialised chemical structure drawing apps.

Of course, when their files end up with actual publisher, they will be processed with whatever desktop publishing software (and hardware) being used by that publisher, but that part of work is not done by academic staff themselves, not in her environment at least.

Their lab equipment - NMR Spectroscopy, EPR... is all rigged to Windows machines.

They also use Windows network infrastructure for collaboration - Exchange, SharePoint...

My wife's PhD thesis was done on modest Toshiba Satellite 1000 (at home) and Dell desktop at Uni, between 2002 and 2005. Research gave around 600 A4 pages of text, tables, graphs. It seems to have been reasonably serious research, as part of it ended up in patented IP with good commercial potential (according to Uni's lawyers).

I'm not saying that all that could not be done on Macs. I'm just saying that all that you consider serious office work can be done (and is being done) on Windows too, as well at least.


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/26/2013 8:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Academics are rarely DTP experts, and rarely are really good in Office apps (use of styles, for example). As such, all of them (that my wife has frequent collaboration with, that is) use MS Word for their articles and books. Apparently Word's built-in equation editor, tables, graphs etc. are enough for them to put paper together.....

I'm not saying that all that could not be done on Macs. I'm just saying that all that you consider serious office work can be done (and is being done) on Windows too, as well at least.


Thanks for your comments. First, I should mention that while almost all of us academics do use Word, many physical scientists prefer and use LaTek for producing large technical documents. While I myself use Word extensively for simpler documents, I personally found LaTek much more powerful and stable than Word my thesis. It's also much better at handling complex equations (that's a large part of what it was originally designed for) than Equation Editor.

Also, I think you may have misunderstood my point no. 3 (and that may have been partly my fault, for not being more explicit). It certainly wasn't my intention to say you couldn't do office productivity work in Windows. Indeed, in an earlier job my colleagues and I used Word+Excel in Windows to put together three publication-ready books, and it worked fine.

What I should have said is that OSX is the most suitable OS I've found if you are doing serious office productivity tasks, where by "serious" I mean those that push the core functions of the OS's UI (which are navigation and windows management) to their limit. For the book-publishing task I mention above, at any one time it was not necessary to have more a than ~ 10 windows open. Windows is fine for this.

Now as regards my thesis, I needed to combine text, tables, equations, vectorized graphics, bibliographic cross-references, etc., into a very large (225 pages) LaTeX document. And I could have done this in Windows, if my preferred work style was to do the graphics in one session, the tables in another, the text in another, etc. However, I personally found it most efficient to do it straight through, rapidly switching back and forth as needed from graphics to calculations to text, etc. Thus I wanted to be able to rapidly access all needed material and programs as I was typing. This meant having perhaps a dozen windows open, simultaneously, in each of the following programs: Adobe Illustrator, Word, Entourage, Mathematica, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and Safari -- plus a few Windows in each of LaTex, BibDesk (bibliographic software), and XCode (source code editor). This meant nearly 100 windows total. Ever tried to easily keep track of, and move among, 100 different windows in Windows? In OSX, however, it was easy: Using OSX's Spaces, I created four virtual desktops: I. Writing Desktop (LaTeX, BibDesk, and Word); II. Graphics/Papers Desktop (Adobe Illustrator and Acrobat); III. Calculation/Spreadsheet/Coding Desktop (Mathematica, Excel, and XCode); and IV. Internet and Email Search Desktop (Safari and Entourage). Each virtual desktop contained all windows for its assigned programs, and no others. Then, within each virtual desktop, I used OSX's Expose to explode all windows for a given program, or all windows in the virtual Desktop. Thus whenever I needed to, say, modify a vectorized graphic in my document, I'd just toggle from Desktop I to Desktop II, click the middle button on my five button mouse (yes, you don't have to use the silly Apple 1-button mouse!) to pull up a dock of the (two) programs open in Desktop II, select Illustrator, move my mouse to the upper left corner to simultaneously display all dozen or so graphics I had open in Illustrator (on a 24” monitor, they’re easily distinguishable), click on the one I wanted, modify and save it, then switch back to Desktop I.

I don't know this for certain, of course, but my guess is that your wife didn't write her thesis the way I did -- with about 100 windows open simultaneously -- which is why Windows was adequate for her purposes. And note I'm not saying my approach is any better than anyone else's -- I'm simply saying that my approach to technical writing (which is dictated by my personal preference in work style) necessitated a UI that could allow me to easily and efficiently navigate among an enormous number of open program windows. And in my experience, there's only one OS that offers this capability -- OSX.

As to the contention, by another commenter, that there are add-ons to Windows that allow it to work as well as OSX in this regard, I would need to see that demonstrated.


RE: uh, what?
By royalcrown on 4/26/2013 2:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Mac does indeed allow AHCI in Bootcamp, at least my 2010 27 did. As for the rest of all that, i'll just agree with you because I do not use all that.


RE: uh, what?
By chemist1 on 4/26/2013 9:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting that it's natively supported in your 2010 machine. In the 2011 models, it's not -- it can be done, but it's a serious hack that disables some of BootCamp's features:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread...


RE: uh, what?
By royalcrown on 4/27/2013 1:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well they did redo the motherboard in may to support the new Sandy bridges, maybe it had something to do with that. I purchased mine in January...right before the upgrade.grrr..


RE: uh, what?
By Omega215D on 4/25/2013 12:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
He failed to realize that malware writers are beginning to target Mac OSX and there happens to be a botnet made up of Mac OS PCs.


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