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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard billy_111's Avatar
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    Mac or PC?? Advice please...

    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice. I currently have my 4th laptop and have experienced many problems. Now I need to purchase a good system as i am a Web Developer, and need something that won't let me down as much.

    I mostly develop in php, however also create the occasional .net sites. After liaising with peers and looking on reviews it seems as though the Mac is a VERY good option.

    Am i making the right decision?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks again.
    Software Engineer ASP, ASP.NET, VB, PHP

    Kind regards
    Billy

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Probably not if you want to use .NET, the .NET platform is proprietary to Microsoft so unless you plan on running it virtualized within the Mac using Windows you might want to stick with Windows itself. As far as I'm aware, there's no support for .NET's framework on the Mac.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard billy_111's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply Alex.

    I have actually been looking into this, as i will definitely need something that uses .net, and have found this link

    Again, as i mostly program in php i would be using the MAC, however when i need to build a site in .net i can simply use the "virtualization software" that you have also suggested where i can flip between the two. However would this slow down the overall performance??

    The only reason i want to do this is i have heard good reviews about a MAC in itself and want something reliable.

    Software Engineer ASP, ASP.NET, VB, PHP

    Kind regards
    Billy

  4. #4
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I don't think it will be that bad if you have a decent spec mac with at least 4GB RAM.

    I've seen people use Photoshop on Windows through Mac with little in the way of lag

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    Hi Bill,

    It would seem to me like you're set in your ways of getting yourself a lovely Mac! (And why the hell not?! They are beautiful looking machines after all and do a damn good job, but I digress!)

    I just wanted to say though that for me I see the Windows as a developer platform and Macintosh as a designer platform. If I was really into my graphic design and Photoshop and Illustrator then I'd have to go buy myself a Macintosh, although I know a Windows PC is just as good for designing on. Whereas if I was a developer (just so happens to be that I am!) I would stick with Microsoft Windows, especially if I wanted the best performance when working with the likes of the .NET Framework and similar proprietary Microsoft products and services. Even if I wasn't a .NET developer (and I'm not actually) I'd still stay with Microsoft Windows because I personally see it as a development platform for coding. HTML, CSS, JS, .NET, PHP, Django, RoR, and so on. I'd stick with Microsoft Windows for coding and development.

    As for wanting a Macintosh because it's reliable, I've never tried one (sadly) but all of my Microsoft Windows PC's have been fine and dandy for me. I've only ever had one problem and that is Internet Explorer (which technically isn't the operating system itself but a software application) when it sometimes crashes and burns Every other software application (including Photoshop and the rest in the Adobe suite) works perfectly fine. Of course you need good computer specifications for it to be reliable, as with a Macintosh too though.

    As for making the right decision, it's up totally up to you on which decision is the right one. You're the one that is going to be using it for work and what not. Hope it helps in some way. Let us know what you decide to go with

    Andrew Cooper

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard rozner's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I used Windows for a long time until about 3 years ago when I got a Mac. Although I still use Windows at work, I do a lot of development at home on the Mac. Generally speaking I prefer developing in Windows but I'd this is likely because I know the keyboard shortcuts very well in Windows and in OS X I'm often having to use the trackpad which to me is lost productivity. But other than that the Mac is just fine for developing.

    As for .NET you can certainly run a virtual machine with XP. If you have 4GB (which is not that expensive any more) running XP in a VM is no problem at all. I do it all the time.

    As for reliability I'll say this much. OS X is a solid operating system but it still does crash from time to time. It's far from perfect, that said in general I do prefer it to Windows, although I haven't used Vista/7 much so my comparison to Windows is strictly XP.

    There's also price to consider. Many criticize Mac for being over priced. I'm happy with my purchase but it was a lot more expensive than a similarly spec'ed Windows system.

    Hope this helps your decision.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard billy_111's Avatar
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    Hey,

    Thanks for your replies.

    Hmmm, i'm still in a thinking process, i have had 3 Dell Laptops and they have worked fine. I currently have a Dell studio laptop, and was looking at the XPS laptops and Alienware laptops, you can see them here.

    These have i7 processors which i have been told are the latest???

    Anyway, now the reason why i'm looking at a Mac is because they are seen to be much more reliable, don't really suffer from viruses and simple look beautiful

    Now, although rozner has brought up the point of keyboard shortcuts, i'm sure one could get used to this in about 6 months

    The price is slightly higher, and i agree they are overpriced. I think i am still more likely to go for the Mac, as Andrew has pointed out that it can be seen to be used for designing more than development, i can run a virtual Machine and have Windows running aswell. BUT.. If i am to use Windows on a Mac most of the time for development then whats the point?

    Anyway, i am still looking around, not going to purchase until a couple of months or so..

    Hopefully you can get back to me regarding the above concerns

    Thanks again
    Software Engineer ASP, ASP.NET, VB, PHP

    Kind regards
    Billy

  8. #8
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Yes i7 are the latest, greatest Intel processors. In respect to what's the point, I think the benefit of Mac's are that you can run Mac, Windows and Linux all on the one machine (rather than on Windows where you can't use Mac software at all). Some products on Mac are really beautiful and do the job better than their Windows comparisons (IMO) and I do think about moving every now and again. It really depends if you think you'll get any benefit from having the option of Mac software (and if you'll end up using any of it). Personally I can see a benefit from the testing side as you'll have Mac browsers, iPhone emulators and other ways to check your stuff works. In the end though it's entirely up to you and whether you think the extra price justifies your business needs.

  9. #9
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    I don't know whether Macs are generally more reliable. They are of high quality, though you can get a PC equivalent for every Mac.

    They are pretty secure, however. Perhaps not because the OS is better but probably due to the fact that so few people use them and thus aren't exactly interesting to hackers. A lot less Virus/Trojan headaches. But then again, use a good anti-virus app for Windows and you're good to go as well...

    Very similar to rozner, I switched to the Mac about three years ago after having used Windows exclusively for over a decade.

    I must say that the switch was the best thing I could have done. The switch was easy, the difference are minute, at best. I prefer the OS, I prefer the apps that are available for it, I prefer pretty much everything. It's a "don't make me think" kind of computer. Not for everyone.

    Many developers use Linux, so perhaps that's another option for you to consider?
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  10. #10
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    hi friends i am also planing to buy laptop and may be i go for Apple and i am software engineer and i need to run Dot net ,java ,oracle and many softwares (Developments) so should i go for apple ,HP or dell
    Plz suggest me

  11. #11
    Non-Member devashishseo's Avatar
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    If you are doing web development you should prefer mac.

  12. #12
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devashishseo View Post
    If you are doing web development you should prefer mac.

    Why?

    I am a Mac user, but there's nothing I can do on the Mac that I wouldn't be able to do in Windows. Not sure whether any of the Linux distros are as "designer" friendly in terms of available software...
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  13. #13
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    I had used Windows since Windows started, and switched to Apple Mac about 4 years ago. Its been one of the best decisions I've made. I agree with all the earlier comments from kohoutek. I haven't found anything I can't do, but have to switch to XP (under Parallels) now and again to check sites in IE6/7/8. On a Mac Pro, this is no problem. Parallels is a little slow on a 4-year-old MacBook Pro with only 2Gb memory. I develop PHP sites and this is no problem. I don't use .NET so can't comment on that.

    In general, I found my productivity improved considerably (after the first couple of months of getting used to the changes). The best way I can describe it is that I don't seem to be 'fighting' the computer and opsys any more and can just get on with the job of building sites.

  14. #14
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    Mac is more nice and protected. Windows is more popular.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict dnordstrom's Avatar
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    I've used Mac for 4.5 years now if I recall correctly and I will not go back to PC. There is one PC in my apartment, it's my girlfriends computer, and I can't stand using it or even watch her using it.

    So obviously I'm all for a Mac and you already know the "why"'s.

    Using virtual machine(s) to run Windows software works very smoothly. You can set up different "spaces" on you Mac and simply flip between them. Both VMWare and Parallels now have what is called "Coherence Mode" which means you won't have to actually "see" Windows anymore. You can simply run Windows applications and just see the application window in your Mac environment, using the same shadowing as regular Mac apps.

    Edit: Check this out to see a demo of this "Coherence Mode".

    Works great. So I'd suggest getting a Mac. 4 GB of RAM will do and you can upgrade to 8 GB when you feel the need to. Go for an Intel i5 or i7 CPU — I think that will definitely last you longer than the "old" Core 2 Duo.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I have developed on Mac, Linux and Windows at various times over the years - and they all have strong point/weak points. I now develop almost exclusively on Macs, simply because I find the OS a pleasure to use. As my main "tool", it is important that the experience is nice for me. I haven't delved into Bootcamp (not a .net developer, so no need), but suspect it would mean that you can happily develop cross-platform on one machine.

    I always have a Windows/Linux machine kicking around for testing - and I will confess that with the advent of Windows 7 the whole experience has become quantumly better - but the lack of things like symbolic links (a facet shared by OSX and Linux) make it a platform I would still not have as my number one.

    Having said that - I am currently looking at business management software (my home rolled is creaking a little) and the options for Windows (and even to an extent Linux) seem far better than those for Mac.
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  17. #17
    Headed Home! KM Richards's Avatar
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    Dude, go with Windows 7 and use Acronis True Image... and plan on
    not keeping any data (in your My Documents folder) on your C Drive
    by using a secondary drive to save all your data to as you work

    Win 7 is rock solid, but if you do run into any problems you can
    restore your system exactly how it was prior to the problem
    in about 8 to 10 minutes using Acronis True Image

    It's the only way to compute, so you can restore and not just reboot

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    If you are a PC geek then you can go for Mac or else PC is the best thing for you.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by navidimran View Post
    If you are a PC geek then you can go for Mac or else PC is the best thing for you.
    Can you say that again?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Member kalko's Avatar
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    If your use to PC's than remain there, Win 7 is much more solid than Vista and a good PC is much cheaper than the same performance Mac.
    Anyway the final decision is up to you.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
    wwb_99's Avatar
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    I know quite a few very good windows/.NET devs who use macbooks as their main machines. Now, things are spit between bootcamp and paralells in terms of what environment to use, but it is definitely workable. The whole VS/SQL stack is definitely VM friendly.

  22. #22
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    I have used both PC and Macs for website development and I find that im more productive on a mac. I really can't describe it other than saying you can do more with less clicks and crashes.

    Right now im stuck on a Windows 7 machine. Windows 7 actually is a great step forward for Microsoft but I would still prefer working on a Mac.

    As for a virtual machine I would recommend http://www.parallels.com I had 3GB of RAM and was able to work without lag.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast Kricket's Avatar
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    Something else to consider in addition to hardware costs is software. I upgraded to a Mac about three years ago and have no regrets. It took awhile, though, for me to be able to replace all my Windows versions software to Mac software which, depending on your software you use, can be an expensive proposition. Of course, using VM software running Windows on your Mac is an option for those not wanting to (re)purchase Mac compatible software.

    Thus, the first year I ran Windows through Parallels (3.0) which I wasn't impressed with (reliability was questionable, although I am sure many improvements have been in the newer versions).

    Now I use my iMac and MacBook Pro as my primary machines sans Parallels or VM Ware and run a Windows testing machine as well.

    After the initial brief transition period becoming customized with OS X, using a Mac became second nature and I am unequivocally happy with my Macs.

    Your individual requirements and preferences will guide your selection of a computer that meets your needs and that is the bottom line!

  24. #24
    SitePoint Enthusiast techiekaran's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend a Mac. Get an iMac 27" or an MBP.!!

  25. #25
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    Honestly I don't see what the argument can be against getting a Mac (besides the price) when you can either set up windows via a VM or if you want that native support, bootcamp is more than sufficient. I have OS X and Windows 7 on my mac and I switch between them rather frequently. They are solid machines and honestly AppleCare has been the best insurance that I've seen for a long time. And Macs being based on Unix technologies enables you to be able to run terminal and start working with linux servers right from the box. I used to try to do the same with cygwin and although I am very impressed with what they accomplished, you can't beat native.
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