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Translating on a Mac.
Thread poster: Dariush Robertson

Dariush Robertson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Chinese to English
Oct 14, 2015

After my 19 month old, £700 Lenovo Thinkpad has crashed for the twentieth time, and after Lenovo have "repaired" it for the eighth time (by replacing random parts - it's not in Lenovo's warranty policy to refund or replace a laptop after the first few months), I'm seriously considering taking the leap from PC to Mac. I've considered buying another brand of PC, but I've had bad luck with a Toshiba (which completely broke just after the warranty ended). People keep telling me to just get a Mac, but I'm not sure how well Macs are suited for translators. I don't use Trados, but I do use memoQ, and of course Word and similar software. I've heard of amazing things called parallels which allow you to run most Windows based software on a Mac, but as I'm not the most tech savvy, and I'm a bit scared of making big changes.

I was just wondering is there anyone out there translating and using software like memoQ on a Mac?

If so - what kind of Mac (laptop) would be ideal for this purpose, and how difficult is it to set it up to run things like memoQ and Microsoft Word?

I'm really sick of working on my PC, I've probably lost around £10,000 over these last 19 months because of my laptop breaking down (blue screen of death, black screen of death, and other things). I just want something that works, and allows me to work.

Thanks in advance.


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Just do it Oct 14, 2015

They work, and work well.

I split between a dual screen iMac in the office and Macbook when I need something portable.

All data is synced between the computers using Google Drive and I use Wordfast pro as a CAT (words natively in Mac).

No need to ever use PC except to use the Thai version of MS Word to do a source word count.


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:45
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Good experiences Oct 14, 2015

I've taken that step earlier this year, and I'm not looking back. Parallels works absolutely fine (although I'm running Studio, not MemoQ). Setting things up needs some thinking beforehand though, as there are several possibilities as to the amount and ways of separation between the Windows and Mac "side" you'll be having on your computer.

I chose to let Windows store files on the Mac side as to allow for easy backups with TimeMachine.

I still haven't found a solution for the problem that the Finder (the Mac equivalent to Windows' Explorer) will sometimes not find files I've just saved on the Windows side, in which case I'll have to quit and restart the Finder (which doesn't have a refresh function, purportedly because you'll never need it on a Mac, which obviously isn't true). You can't quit the Finder out of the box, you'll need to "install" this function manually. Not a big deal, but still.

I'm giving you this example to show that although I'm generally very happy with my decision, a certain amount of fiddling will probably be necessary.


 

2nl (X)  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:45
WFP not ready for production Oct 14, 2015

WFP 3 isn't compatible with El Capitan. WFP 4 isn't ready for production.

http://www.proz.com/forum/wordfast_support/292808-wfp3_mac_users_hold_off_on_el_capitan.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/wordfast_support/293168-why_does_the_import_of_my_tmx_file_fail.html

[Edited at 2015-10-14 07:44 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Slightly off-topic Oct 14, 2015

Dariush Robertson wrote:

......I'm really sick of working on my PC, I've probably lost around £10,000 over these last 19 months because of my laptop breaking down (blue screen of death, black screen of death, and other things). I just want something that works, and allows me to work.


Slightly off-topic. but I'd be interested to know how much you have spent on the PC (including purchase price and add-ons) + the "£10,000" due to problems etc. as compared to the price of the new Mac + add-ons that you're thinking of buying. We hear a lot about how Macs are expensive but that figure you quoted makes me think....

PS if you do install Parallels + Windows then your existing PC version of MS Office will work. Otherwise you could buy the Mac version. Files are 100% transferable between them. I receive PC-created Word files, open them in Word for Mac, work on them, and then send them back to the PC person who sent them. THey open the files in Word for Windows. They don't even know I use a Mac.

[Edited at 2015-10-14 07:59 GMT]


 

Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
French to English
+ ...
Bootcamp Oct 14, 2015

I use Bootcamp on my Mac, which is already included as a program and allows you to install Windows. The difference between that and Parallels is that you have to restart your computer if you want to switch operating systems, so I've found that I tend to use the Windows side for my translation work and the Mac OS side for personal stuff. I have Microsoft office installed on both systems and Trados installed on the Windows side, and I've have never had any problems.icon_smile.gif

 

Mario Cerutti  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:45
Member
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Other questions on Macbooks Oct 14, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:
They work, and work well.

Could you please tell us if your Macbook Pro overheats when working for a full day with either the Mac and the Windows side? I have been considering to buy a Pro Retina 15" to replace my current Windows workhorse (a Dell Precision laptop hooked to an external monitor), but I have heard that Mac laptops tend to overheat over a comfortable zone.

Also, how happy are you with your Macbook scaling ability under Windows besides MemoQ?

I have a pretty old iMac with Parallels installed, but it has become too slow and therefore I mainly use it as a back-up station. In addition, keeping Macs and PCs connected on the same LAN is quite an adventure (too many restarts on both sides).

Thank you in advance for sharing your direct experience.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Heating Oct 14, 2015

All I can say about MacBooks becoming hot (I think the same applies to any laptop): the MacBook relies on heat dissipation through the bottom surface - so if you leave your Macbook on a soft surface (e.g. a sofa) or (literally) your lap, the bottom of the computer will not be able to dissipate the heat and will become hot. Fortunately this cannot damage it because a Mac will shut down automatically if it becomes too hot. Nevertheless in daily use, if using the MacBookPro for several hours continuously, I have sometimes found myself putting something under it to raise it slightly higher off the table, so that the heat is dissipated more effectively.

I think any MacBook (or perhaps any laptop) that is working hard will tend to become hot. Other non-laptop Macs don't seem to have this problem; on a daily basis I use a MacMini, which I work very hard indeed, and it never seems to overheat.

Perhaps my MacBook Pro tends to run slightly hot because I have swapped the original hard drive with a different one that runs faster.

[Edited at 2015-10-14 09:14 GMT]


 

Dariush Robertson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
£10,000 was being generous. Oct 14, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Dariush Robertson wrote:

......I'm really sick of working on my PC, I've probably lost around £10,000 over these last 19 months because of my laptop breaking down (blue screen of death, black screen of death, and other things). I just want something that works, and allows me to work.


Slightly off-topic. but I'd be interested to know how much you have spent on the PC (including purchase price and add-ons) + the "£10,000" due to problems etc. as compared to the price of the new Mac + add-ons that you're thinking of buying. We hear a lot about how Macs are expensive but that figure you quoted makes me think....

PS if you do install Parallels + Windows then your existing PC version of MS Office will work. Otherwise you could buy the Mac version. Files are 100% transferable between them. I receive PC-created Word files, open them in Word for Mac, work on them, and then send them back to the PC person who sent them. THey open the files in Word for Windows. They don't even know I use a Mac.

[Edited at 2015-10-14 07:59 GMT]


Hi, sure, no problem. My Lenovo ThinkPad cost around £700. I bought it in Taiwan, so the price is a rough conversion from NTD. The £10,000 in losses has been due to my laptop breaking down (so I couldn't work on it), or because it was with the Lenovo support technicians (again, at which time I could not work on it). During these times, I was unable to take on my regular work, which mainly comprises of large localisation projects. I don't have another computer that I can readily use, so I was unable to take on the work. To make matters worse Lenovo wouldn't give me another computer to work on while they repaired mine. I've probably lost more than £10,000, I was just trying to give an even figure.

[Edited at 2015-10-14 16:27 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Wow Oct 14, 2015

Dariush Robertson wrote:

I've probably lost more £10,000, I was just trying to give an even figure.


Wow- so when you do the whole calculation a Mac is not only much smoother and efficient to use; it's also a lot cheaper !


 

Dariush Robertson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
I'll be buying a Mac. Oct 14, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Dariush Robertson wrote:

I've probably lost more £10,000, I was just trying to give an even figure.


Wow- so when you do the whole calculation a Mac is not only much smoother and efficient to use; it's also a lot cheaper !


Exactly. Any computer that doesn't break down so often would be a lot cheaper.

I was never that worried about the price of using a Mac. I was mainly worried about the technical side of it. But now thanks to all of the these replies I can see that people are using Macs to translate, and when I get back to the UK - I'll be buying one straight away. I'll still have to figure out which way to run the Mac and Windows operation systems. But at least I know that it's viable. Thanks for sharing your experience with a Mac!


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Member (2008)
Italian to English
OK but Oct 14, 2015

Dariush Robertson wrote:

I'll be buying one straight away.


OK but don't become an Apple fanboi. (correct spelling). I hate Apple and its greedy-for-profit business model that tries to lock you into Apple for everything (see the latest iTunes/Apple Music) and I don't like what they're doing with the Mac (latest models have soldered RAM that you can't swap, etc.). So when you do buy your Mac and set it up for the first time, I'd advise you to say no at the page where it invites you to pick a password for the iCloud, and just move on to the next page. Also: lock yourself out of the iTunes Store.

If you change your mind later, you can always do that, but I would advise against doing it on Day 1.

I also have other complaints about the Mac. But even with the complaints, I'd much rather work on a Mac with the Mac OS than on a PC with Windows. Unfortunately all the good things about Apple are legacy from the Steve Jobs era. I worry about where Apple is going. See the Apple Watch, for one thing. WTF????

[Edited at 2015-10-14 10:20 GMT]


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:45
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Probably pointless to say at this point, … Oct 14, 2015

Dariush Robertson wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Dariush Robertson wrote:

I've probably lost more £10,000, I was just trying to give an even figure.


Wow- so when you do the whole calculation a Mac is not only much smoother and efficient to use; it's also a lot cheaper !


Exactly. Any computer that doesn't break down so often would be a lot cheaper.

I was never that worried about the price of using a Mac. I was mainly worried about the technical side of it. But now thanks to all of the these replies I can see that people are using Macs to translate, and when I get back to the UK - I'll be buying one straight away. I'll still have to figure out which way to run the Mac and Windows operation systems. But at least I know that it's viable. Thanks for sharing your experience with a Mac!


… but I have been using a Dell Precision M6800 laptop for a while now, and am very happy with it. It is rock solid. They are a bit expensive new (between £1,000 and 2,000), but I got mine refurbished (with a 3-year, official Dell warranty). A €700 Lenovo is exactly that: a €700 Lenovo. In my opinion, most of what Lenovo make is garbage.

The M6800 is a professional laptop, with a good old-fashioned 17" screen, a fantastic keyboard, oodles of power, space for 3 internal hard drives, dual graphic cards, 32GB of RAM, etc.

The main advantage of a Windows laptop is the vast amount of great software available for Windows OSs. Macs looks nice, but the amount of software available on Macs relevant to our profession is still extremely limited.

Michael

@Hans: I solved the fan problem. Laptop is silent again (currently happily running Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview Evaluation copy. 64-bit. Build 10565)



[Edited at 2015-10-14 10:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-10-14 10:10 GMT]


 

2nl (X)  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:45
Does it come with wheels? Oct 14, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:

… but I have been using a Dell Precision M6800 laptop for a while now, and am very happy with it. It is rock solid.


It is also very heavy. Now I happen to know that you have a minivan, so probably this isn't an issue for you.


 

2nl (X)  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:45
Repairs are expensive Oct 14, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I hate Apple and its greedy-for-profit business model that tries to lock you into Apple for everything (see the latest iTunes/Apple Music) and I don't like what they're doing with the Mac (latest models have soldered RAM that you can't swap, etc.).


I agree. I spilled some fluid on the keyboard of my MBP Retina and noticed that the Return key got sticky. Replacement of only a single key or the keyboard isn't possible. Instead the whole ''top case" has to be replaced. Ouch! That'll teach me to be more careful icon_wink.gif.


 
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