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Thinking of switching to Mac - any advice or feedback please?
Thread poster: LilyBart
LilyBart
Local time: 16:40
French to English
Feb 13, 2004

I'm sick of Windows crashing every day and would like to try out a Mac for the first time. I've heard some good things from friends but would like feedback from other translators especially about 1) compatibility with clients who all work on PC 2) cost (I expect I'd have to get all new software 3) are Macs really easier to work with and more reliable or is it just a myth?
Thanks for any input.


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:40
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Don't do that! Feb 13, 2004

1) limited compatibility
2) higher price
3) much more restricted number of programs available (e.g. translation memory)
4) better usability is largely a myth
but
5) if you do a lot of graphic work it might be worthwhile


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Kaxia
Poland
Local time: 16:40
Chinese to Polish
+ ...
mac Feb 14, 2004

I've worked on PC for 7 years...and now I thank my friends who introduced me MAC! It doesn't crash. It is expensive, but worth every penny of that price.
"limited compatibility" - it's a myth. as translator you need a reliable machine, which you can use also as a DTP tool, and MAC is the best choice for that. if you need to work with Trados, then you can still use the PC, which you already got.
I wouldn't go back to PC! never!
it's much easier to use mac, than PC. and moreover all viruses are for windows system, they don't crash mac.
you can write in any language you want in the same line, you switch between languages only by one click! (when I was using windows there was nothing like that there, now I'm not sure, if they changed anything).
well, the choice is yours
good luck!!!
K.


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xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Have both Feb 14, 2004

I'm a Mac person, I've always had Macs and I still use two, a desktop for shopping and other sensitive online operations and a portable to take on trips and for internet radio around the house. This said, you might also consider upgrading your PC equipment and system: my P4 running XP simply never crashes.

There are still things I miss from the Mac: better MS Word (the formatting palette, more convenient commands) and the typing possibilities - the Mac has more characters you can type directly, in addition to language-switching (with the PC, although you can manage to switch, it switches back all the time for no clear reason).

As to CAT Tools, Wordfast can do quite a bit on the Mac (but be aware your TMs will turn up with all kinds of strange characters on Windows). Aside from CAT tools and computer games, pretty much everything you need is available in Mac version and at the same price.

The advice I would give you is: Go with your heart. And to help you, here's a little song you can hear at http://www.dottieburman.com/iminlovewith.htm

After years of looking for a steady lover
I have finally had it with the world of men.
Or never will be married
Or don't want to be re-married
Ever in their lives again.
I've decided no more dating,
No more searching.
I will focus on developing my art.
I've spent hours writing at my new computer.
Now a strange thing has happened to my lonely heart.

I'm in love with my computer.
A cuter computer I've never seen.
I like his style, so sleek and trim
That I'm quite irrestibily drawn to him.
And he's scotch, by gosh!
Yes, he's a MacIntosh.
So it's so easy to see why
He is the apple of my eye
And I'm in love with my computer.

I'm so proud of my computer.
An astuter computer I've never known.
He's very wise, such common sense.
And his big marvelous memory is immense.
And he's there for me.
He'll always care for me.
He's my romantic paragon.
'Cause I can always turn him on.
My heart has gone to my computer.

How I rely on my computer.
My personal tutor inspires me.
Last night I went to work with him.
Oh no, I saw his screen was dim.
Would my Mac survive,
Or had he lost his drive?
Had a computer virus crept into his system?
I thought maybe I could save him if I kissed him.

Well it worked! My dear computer,
My singular suitor returned to me.
I knew that he would be all right
When he hummed so contentedly through the night.

Well I'm still there for him.
And though I'll care for him.
I can't ignore his woeful lack
That he can never kiss me back.
I must admit my Mac is neuter!
So reluctantly I plan
To search again for a real live man
Although I'm still in love with my computer.


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:40
Italian to German
+ ...
Macs used to be easier to work with... Feb 14, 2004

but MS has caught up by copying them; now with OS X, in order to be different, Apple has made everything more complicated
Moreover, my boss installed "Panther" on my computer, but neither he nor anybody else understands how it works, so I can't print, etc etc...

[Edited at 2004-02-14 08:44]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:40
German to English
+ ...
Have all three Feb 14, 2004

Buy a new hard drive (around 40 Euros for the smallest available), put it in your current PC, and install Linux on it. You can still use Windows by booting your PC from the other drive.

Try it for a while. If you don't like it, spare hard drives are always useful. What have you got to lose?

Marc


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Pilar T. Bayle  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
My Windows hasn't crashed in 3 years... Feb 14, 2004


I'm sick of Windows crashing every day and would like to try out a Mac for the first time.


Before going into the expense of switching computers (plus all the software), why don't you try the cheapest solution? For what you say, I assume you use Win 98, or ME. Switch to Win 2000 Professional. It's extremely stable.

Kind regards,

P.


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LilyBart
Local time: 16:40
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
That's sensible advice! Feb 14, 2004

You're right, I use ME. I do have XP on my laptop, but don't use it often. Maybe I should switch to that first. Otherwise, 2000 pro.
Thanks for your help!


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LilyBart
Local time: 16:40
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Feb 14, 2004

Thanks to everyone for all your advice; there doesn't appear to be a consensus. Maybe I will try a different OS first. My troubles may very well be WIndowsME-related.
Thanks again!


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Ruben Berrozpe  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
Some more detailed arguments Feb 14, 2004

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

1) limited compatibility
2) higher price
3) much more restricted number of programs available (e.g. translation memory)
4) better usability is largely a myth
but
5) if you do a lot of graphic work it might be worthwhile


Riccardo, your post doesn't really impress me too much, and I think we might do with some more elaborate arguments.
But I'll try to give you my POV:

1) Limited compatibility. From a translator POV, this is just limited to CAT tools. Invoicing & Management software are also better in Windows. For the rest, I cannot see any compatibility issues right now.

2) Yes, but my mother used to say: "Buy expensive 'cause it turns cheap in the long term" - and this applies 200% to the Mac.

3) See 1. This is a myth. Mac's even better in many areas right now.

4) False. No myth, but reality. OSX is just wonderful.

5) Definitely.

Now, I am not saying you should use a Mac. I have been torn between Mac and PC for months. And I have realised that Mac, despite the huge step forward in the last few years, is still mostly geared towards graphic design or AV professionals. Windows was conceived with traditional business (mostly small ones) in mind, and that's how it got its market share (also thru games, I know...). But the thing is, right now the PCs are no longer gaming machines, at least not as much as the old Win95 and Win98 ones. Playstation replaced them there. And they're trying to get stable and versatile so they don't lose their traditional business base. Mac is not competing with Windows there, their greatest target is the "young generation" who donwloads music and buys iPods.

Bottom line: If you use a new PC with WinXP, it shouldn't really crash so much. You will get a solution that can't compete with the Mac in terms of quality and performance, but you can live with that.
Also, Windows is reputedly a very slow and "heavy" OS which relies on a huge amount of HW resources - mostly because its guts are chaotic and not to be trusted in most cases. Linux is much, much slimmer, and even though I have not tried it, I believe Marc's advice about trying Linux is a good one.

Your choice; I am using PC for my business right now (and a Mac for other things), but I'll keep an eye on the market and will migrate definitely to Mac as soon as there is a nice Mac-native CAT tool (maybe Fusion?) and Invoicing software (TOM is releasing a Mac version soon) available.

Rb

P.S.: I forgot a major thing here: Viruses. NEVER heard of a virus in my Mac, even remotely. The first day I switched on my PC, blaster ravaged it. Makes you think.

[Edited at 2004-02-14 14:29]


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Cassandra Greer  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:40
German to English
+ ...
I agree with Ruben 100% Feb 15, 2004

except I want to add that Macs usually come bundled with tons of nifty software that usually makeup for any price differences. To buy the same thing for a PC would make the PC just as expensive.

I have been using Mac since 1987 (and I am not in any way an AV person and I don't have an iPod). During this time I also had the opportunity to run a computer lab for a couple of years with both Mac and PC. I did my thesis work and statistics on my Mac. I also worked for an Internet startup and have been working closely with programmers across all platforms for years.

My experiences are that if anyone says what Riccardo says it is most likely because they have never set fingers on a Mac (don't know if this is really true for you, Riccardo, but your wording is suspiciously similar to most of the PC propoganda against Mac I've heard). All my programmer friends who have come into real contact with OS X have fallen in love with it and use it in addition to whatever other OS they need to use. And there seems to be a big race at the moment in getting more and better software written for OSX. And with Virtual PC, I can use essentially any PC software I need on my Mac (within certain speed and memory constraints which usually aren't a huge problem).

Anyway, Ruben rebuts Riccardo's claims just fine.

I just wanted to add my 2 Eurocents: It would be cool if you ever get an opportunity to use a Mac - either the old OS or OSX. Linux can be really fun too - but all this depends on your Geek level.
However, it is always better to find out whether what you already have can be salvaged/repaired (know your tool!) and therefore money saved, esp if all you want to be is a user of programs. I run Windows 2000 Prof as well as XP and have found that W2K has been the most stable and compatible with my PC programs. I have Trados 5.5 and have issues running it on XP (which I have been too lazy to figure out) but no problems and no crashes with W2K. Plus I keep all my virus definitions current and only let my computer-challenged husband use the Mac so we never have any infections, etc.

Good luck!

Cass


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:40
Member (2003)
English to Czech
+ ...
Upgrade to Windows XP Feb 15, 2004

Elaine Fann Holt wrote:

You're right, I use ME. I do have XP on my laptop, but don't use it often.


Windows ME is one of the most unstable versions of Windows. Windows XP is very stable. Upgrade to it and you won't hear of a crash anymore. But you might need to upgrade your hardware too. Also, don't forget to download all critical patches from the Windows Update site.


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:40
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Answer to Ruben Feb 15, 2004

Ruben Berrozpe wrote:

1) Limited compatibility. From a translator POV, this is just limited to CAT tools. Invoicing & Management software are also better in Windows. For the rest, I cannot see any compatibility issues right now.


OK, so, as I was saying: limited compatibility as far as the things that are of most use to most translators (CAT tools): as a technical translator I am using my CAT tools every day, and heavily: even if the Mac was 100% compatible in all other categories (and I'm not sure it is), this point would suffice, for me, to tilt the balance towards the PC.
It might be different for translators that do a lot of graphics work (where the Mac is probably better). And this certainly won't matter for those that deal with text where the use of CAT tools doesn't help.


2) Yes, but my mother used to say: "Buy expensive 'cause it turns cheap in the long term" - and this applies 200% to the Mac.

I disagree: one can buy a high-end PC for less than a Mac, and if one is only doing word processing and using a TM tool such as Trados, one can go much cheaper than a Mac and still get a reliable machine.
For the record, I haven't had my computer crash in years, though I admit Macs are probably more stable than PCs, overall.


False. No myth, but reality. OSX is just wonderful.

Reality? - this is just subjective, and that's why I call it a myth: a Mac is more usable and intuitive for people that are accustomed to working on it... but not for people that are accustomed to work on a different platform, and vice versa. For the record, I use mostly a PC, but I have used Macs.



[Edited at 2004-02-15 19:50]


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Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
Italy
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
True but for Trados dongle Feb 15, 2004

Cassandra Greer wrote:
with Virtual PC, I can use essentially any PC software I need on my Mac (within certain speed and memory constraints which usually aren't a huge problem).


Hi Cass

I agree with and share every single word you say (included having a computer-demi-challenged partner confined to Mac for virus-integrity sake )

Personally, I haven't been able to get my old iBook (SE) to tecognize the Trados dongle - I think I'd get a missing driver message, don't remember well. But then, why using Trados (esp. on a Mac) when there's Wordfast, nice and easy, and pretty reliable on a Mac by now?!?


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Anne Seerup
Ireland
Local time: 15:40
English to Danish
+ ...
ME equals "multiple errors" - go for WIN 2000 Feb 16, 2004

My old computer came with Windows ME installed and that was about the worst I have ever experienced - it kept crashing. I know there are a lot of reasons for PC's crashing but this OS was so unstable. I was recommended switching to Win 2000 and the PC ran smoothly.


Pilar T. Bayle wrote:


I'm sick of Windows crashing every day and would like to try out a Mac for the first time.


Before going into the expense of switching computers (plus all the software), why don't you try the cheapest solution? For what you say, I assume you use Win 98, or ME. Switch to Win 2000 Professional. It's extremely stable.

Kind regards,

P.


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