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Macs for work?

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Hect0r

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I am interested in getting a mac and I would like some information. For the cost they have less memory and are slower than their PC counterparts and after some very basic research it seems that the programs are less centered towards conventional work. Which is a plus in some regards, except I would like my new computer to be able to produce Excel spreadsheets or have the ability to do real work as well as enjoyable little fun programs. Who is the Mac most suited for and what are its strengths over PCs.

Thanks,

Becky
 

mjmoonwalker

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With that logic, why don't you just get a PC?

Macs are not necessarily slower - have you seen the new Mac Pros? Have you seen the new Macbooks? They are by no means slow! And I don't know where you got your research, but there is Microsoft Office for Macs - therefore you can do all your "real work" on a Mac. While there are more work-oriented products for PC, you can still do your work on a Mac, just there are fewer software options to choose from. Macs are more creative-oriented, there are more multimedia programs for Macs.

It depends on what your work field is...which you failed to mention. If you tell us we might be able to better answer your question.
 

bobb-mini

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Mac don't do spreadsheets??? <gasp> Am trying very hard to stay composed.

As mentioned, Macs applications are strong in multimedia/artistic endevours. PCs are more "generalist" It can do artistic things too, but not as "nice" as a Mac.

Little fun programs? (u have to be more specific). PCs are very strong on gamming and I mean big time, latest, $1000 dollers video card gamming.

As mentioned, what kind of "work" are we talking about anyways? otherwise we're just guessing. A Mac will do all your standard "business" applications. If yer big time Autocad user, probly a PC, but then, as mentioned, the latest Mac run Windows. U mean u didn't hear about Macs running on Intel chips nowadays?!!
 
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Kristiano

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I would go as far to say that Macs have at least one programme that is a PC equivalent in whatever field you one.

Many of your arguments are archaic in nature. You need to explain what you mean by "real work".
 

baggss

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Hect0r said:
I am interested in getting a mac and I would like some information. For the cost they have less memory and are slower than their PC counterparts and after some very basic research it seems that the programs are less centered towards conventional work. Which is a plus in some regards, except I would like my new computer to be able to produce Excel spreadsheets or have the ability to do real work as well as enjoyable little fun programs. Who is the Mac most suited for and what are its strengths over PCs.

Thanks,

Becky
If you're looking at this strictly from a price point, you are correct. You want a cheap computer, go to Dell.com and knock yourself out. BUT, if you want a good computer, do a built to order top of the line Dell Laptop and a Build to order top of the line MacBook Pro and see who comes out cheaper, you'll be surprised. New Macs are using the same chips as their PC counterparts and run just as well, in some cases better.

The term "Real" work is relative, bit Office is available for the Mac, so "Real" work can be done. You are apparently one of those folks who equate
 

Hect0r

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ok boys, calm down. I never said I did any extensive research. This was my first step and I was looking for your opinions on macs as dual duty creative center and work center. When I mention real work I am implying that if I spend money on a new computer I would like to have confidence that in the future if I am given a project more financial and less artistic in nature I will be able to complete it with similar effort as a PC counterpart. After I posted this I took a look around and found that there is office for the Mac and it should be fairly easy to go back and forth. I dont have time to go to the Apple store right now and mess with the computers or talk to an Apple representative in person so bear that in mind. How do programs such as Excel work with the one button mouse?
 

Kristiano

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The mouse is no longer one-buttoned.

If you buy a portable, a cltrl+click works similar to a right click.
 

thedodgyguy

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If you buy a portable, Two-fingered click (once you get used to it, it's rather ingenious) does the job. And I can plug in any mouse, as well as use a Bluetooth mouse without any dramas.


Macs bring a certain je ne sais quoi to everyday computer operation. Everything is just a bit more elegant in the way you do things. And the combination of a lot of little nice things adds up to a boost in productivity as far as general office stuff is concerned. You can buy Office for compatibility (There are differences, although not in the supported file formats: the programs work a little differently and dare I say it - better) and find all sorts of 'enjoyable fun little programs' - in fact, I'd say it's easier to find programs of such categories than the PC's.


Although Macs do crash (I think moreso than PC's) they do on the whole 'just work'. There's a lot less headscratching for things that you might want to do in general, and also more things work as you might expect them to. There's no earth shattering difference in terms of what you're doing on the computer in the end, but the Mac is just a nicer way to get your computer work done.
 
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bobb-mini

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Bottom line - Macs do "work" just fine.

Since this is iLounge, I have a strong feeling iTunes Mac works ALOT better than iTunes Windows.
 
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As somebody who actually does use a Powerbook for work after having switched last year from 15+ years in the DOS/Windows world, I can say that I have found almost nothing that I could do on my PC that I can't do on my Mac.

By way of background, I"m an IT Consultant, which means that my needs range from writing reports and giving presentations down to doing network analysis and auditing.

Microsoft Office 2004 is definitely a must-have if you're looking to use your device for serious work. There are a number of other "Office-compatible" applications out there, but that's mostly in the word processing department -- the spreadsheet options other than Excel are somewhat limited, and lack true compatibility with MS Excel, which is important when you're sharing files. I have never had any compatibility problems exchanging Word/Excel/Powerpoint files from Mac to PC or vice-versa.

Truth be told, for presentations I actually tend to lean toward Keynote, as I seldom need to worry about sharing the files (Keynote does save in PPT format, but not everything will translate "cleanly"), but Keynote just works so much better, is far more intuitive, and the graphic effects and transitions are much cleaner (Powerpoint comes across a bit "clunky" on some of the animations and transition effects).

The other main applications that I needed to replace were Microsoft Visio, for which I found Omnigraffle Pro to be an outstanding alternative (better than Visio in a number of ways), and Microsoft Project, for which I found a program called "Merlin" for my advanced project planning needs, and OmniOutliner Pro for my basic ones (I'm also currently evaluating the new OmniPlanner product from the same group).

For e-mail purposes, there is even Microsoft Entourage for those who use an Exchange server at work (as I do). Entourage is not Outlook, but it will connect to an Outlook back-end and provide full e-mail, calendar, and contact functionality with the Exchange server (tasks/notes are only stored locally, however). There are also a number of other features in Entourage that Microsoft Outlook doesn't even have, such as the ability to group related items into "Projects" in the Project Centre.

And if Entourage is too much, Apple's own Address Book application can actually sync to an Exchange server, and of course Mail.app does IMAP to anything (including Exchange or many other corporate e-mail servers).

At the technical level, I find that my options for network analysis have increased dramatically, since under the hood, Mac OS X is a derivative of BSD Unix... Rather than hassling with clunky Windows ports of network analysis tools such as Ethereal, I just run native Unix ports. Basic packet traces can be accomplished with tcpdump, which is built-in, and for scripting all the Unix tools such as perl, sed, awk, and grep are right at my fingertips, rather than having to be installed as third-party products.

The bottom line is that I consider my Powerbook to be the best of two worlds.... I have the incredibly easy and sophisticated user interface of a Mac with the raw, unbridled power of Unix under the hood.
 

JMG

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Kristiano said:
The mouse is no longer one-buttoned.

If you buy a portable, a cltrl+click works similar to a right click.
ctrl-click is a sorry replacement for right click. The macbook pros however have two button right clicks on the touchpad which I use all the time.
 

pohatu771

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Macs can do everything PCs can do... "real work" or not.

But for a very long time, Microsoft has made Office for Mac... and there are third party (often free) alternatives, like OpenOffice.org.

And just because the speed of the CPU says it's slower, it doesn't mean it'll perform that way- especially if you have a dual core CPU. HP (which is the only PC manufacturer I've looked at recently) and Apple have very similar specs. Unless your application requires 3GHz to run (which I highly doubt), it'll run fine- it's like having two 2GHz CPUs in one computer- so the apps are split between them.
 

LukeA

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The 'Macs are slower' argument can't be made at all anymore. The processors in all new Macs are exactly the same as their IBM-compatible counterparts.

I second jhollington's views on OmniGraffle and Keynote. They're great. (Esp. OmniGraffle's layout tools)

Plus iWork '07 in all likelihood is going to have a spreadsheet app that, based on the other iWork apps, will kick Excel in the pants.
 

mjmoonwalker

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pohatu771 said:
Macs can do everything PCs can do... "real work" or not.

But for a very long time, Microsoft has made Office for Mac... and there are third party (often free) alternatives, like OpenOffice.org.
Untrue. If you are say, in the medical field, there is a larger variety of programs for PCs than for Macs. If you do something that requires programs that aren't available for Mac, then get a PC. If it's something that is very common and is available for both platforms, get a Mac. Whether you want to accept it or not, there are more programs to choose from for PCs, no matter what you do.
 

baggss

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The medical field is rather specialized, so I wouldn't call it regular work, although it may seem that way to some.
 
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