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PC Vs Mac
Thread poster: Capicuan Girl
Capicuan Girl
English to Spanish
Jan 30, 2008

Dear all, I will be buying a new laptop in the shorterm (let's say in March) and though I had first considered a HP6700 laptop, I would like to consider (for the first time ever, by the way!) buying a Mac instead.

I would like to know your point of view, for example:

- will I be able to get used to a Mac after having worked with a coumputer for more than 16 years?
- will I find find software compatibilities as easy as now (with a PC)
- If I decide on a Mac, what would you recommend me to have into account in terms of memory, capacity...
- If I decide on the HP6700, what can you tell me about it? Do you recommend me some other?

I will be very glad to read all your comments!!

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Search through the forum archives Jan 30, 2008

The Mac versus PC laptop issue was discussed on at length a few months ago.

The gist seemed to be that Macs are more flexible (Macs can run Mac *and* PC software, whereas PCs only run PC software), more aesthetically pleasing, etc. but that PCs are far more affordable.

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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:36
English to Czech
it depends ... Jan 30, 2008

... on your intended use of the laptop, your clients, etc.

I haven't received a translation job that required a mac yet so I've never considered buying an apple laptop (costs more, proprietary hardware, small number of native applications, etc.)

re: pc laptops, I've been using toshiba satellites since 2000 and so far didn't have any hw problems. they're real workhorses.

I know nothing about the reliability of hp laptops so you should check some sites like

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gccAlex  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:36
English to Russian
PC and Mac Jan 30, 2008

I'm using new MacBook and I'm quite satisfied with this product.

Yes you need to learn some new things in Mac OS (but nothing dramatically new)
No compatibility problem whatsoever. Like Steven just said you can run all PC software you need on your Mac, using Boot Camp utility (which is pre installed on Leopard) or you can use "Parallels" and run Mac OS and Windows simultaneously. You can really use the best from two systems: secure and virus free Mac OS X and all the software from PC side.

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Bruno Scokaert  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:36
English to French
+ ...
Mac Jan 30, 2008

Having experience on both systems, and having definitively switched to Macs, I would advise you a Mac. I am far happier with this system for lots of different reasons. Without getting into many details...

- I don't think it is more expensive than PCs on long term, all considered
- You should find most programs you need for Mac OS. Some of them are already on the computer when you buy it. And as said here above, you can run PC programs if needed, and it works well.
- You should get used to it pretty fast, even after years of PC
- Choosing the right model and configuration is not too complicated, but I couldn't help you as I don't know what you need. You could ask at an Apple shop...

Many people will stick to their PC for various reasons, but I personally have made my choice and I would recommend it.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Price Jan 31, 2008

Bruno Scokaert wrote:
- I don't think it is more expensive than PCs on long term, all considered

I really like Macs and have been using them off and on since they first came out (I still remember Word and Excel 1.0, before there were PC versions of Microsoft apps).

But when my G4 laptop started to fail last year, I replaced it with a Dell PC. Pricing was the main reason.

I got an up-to-date laptop PC for about $600 including tax and shipping. To get a comparable Mac would have cost about $1,300, and then I'd first have had to buy Parallels and a full copy of Windows in order to run Trados and SDLX.

There are still some things I prefer to do on Mac, such as video editing, desktop publishing, web design, and DVD authoring. And if I were wealthy I'd be running an all-Mac shop. But if you're on a budget, a PC is a fine option.

[Edited at 2008-01-31 00:21]

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:36
English to German
+ ...
Depends on what files you are working on Jan 31, 2008

If you work on files that will go directly to the printer on a regular basis I recommend a Macintosh. Printing companies will love you for that (Macintoshs do have the better color management).

I use both, Mac and PC, which is quite a luxury, but I chiefly use my beloved big fat Toshiba Satellite (Hi, Pavel! ) for which I paid $ 1600. This gorgeous monster never ever created any problems. I love this thing to death and the Macintosh is eating his heart out with jealousy. For Photoshop, QuarkXPress and Indesign work however I will use the Mac.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:36
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
And much worser font management... Jan 31, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
(Macintoshs do have the better color management).

Well, it should read "did have" - all pros and contras for a Mac or PC are even today based on what was the experience some many years ago. Both have changed much.
Having both PC with Windows XP and Mac with OS X I fail to see any advantage of a Mac for a translator.
But this is just my opinion.


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Antti Nyrhinen  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
English to Finnish
+ ...
another switcher here Feb 7, 2008

Hi CG,

I made the switch to Mac about two months ago after some 15 years of using PC's exclusively. I don't think I will ever buy another PC.

To answer your questions, yes, you will get used to a Mac very easily. It's a matter of days rather than weeks, I would say. Things like keyboard shortcuts take a while, but pretty soon you'll be like me - trying Mac keyboard shortcuts whenever you (have to) use a PC rather than trying PC keyboard shortcuts on your Mac.

I don't think software compatibility is much of an issue anymore either, with so many good options for running Windows either virtually (I use Parallels myself) or via Boot Camp. If you decide on a Mac, you don't have to worry too much about memory, capacity and the like. All new Macs are very well designed and have plenty of power for most users' needs. You generally don't have too many confusing choices to make - with the MacBook, for example, just 3 models. Even the lower end of the range (such as the cheapest of the three MacBooks) is very powerful. Perhaps a RAM upgrade is a good idea since memory is so cheap these days, but other than that, don't worry about system specs too much.

If you plan to use the laptop's own keyboard instead of an external one, well, MacBooks are a good choice in that regard as well. I am fairly picky when it comes to keyboards - I have a Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard on my desktop PC, and I half expected to be plugging it into my MacBook half the time, but the MacBook keyboard has a really nice feel to it and I was touch typing away at very good speeds in no time, with no CTS-related issues so far.

Strictly as a tool for translation, I suppose PC's are not a bad choice. But in terms of enjoying the time you spend using your computer, having an intuitive and very stable operating system and not having to worry about viruses and other malware, I just think the Mac wins hands down.

[Edited at 2008-02-07 03:15]

[Edited at 2008-02-07 10:30]

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