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Pros and Cons of Mac November 19, 2008

Posted by keithkchan in Whatever.

As many people in our CCPP center, we like a Mac. In fact, in our office, 73% use Mac laptop, 18% Windows, and 9% Linux.

I think most of us like Mac since it is very sleeky and stylish. Besides its cool appearance, it is very stable as OS X is modified from Linux, with some added features. We can easily install the Unix package without much difficulty. We have the stability and safety of Linux. From my own experience, my laptop never (almost) hangs, and if some application goes wrong, we can always kill and we never need to restart boot the computer. We don’t need the expensive and resource-consuming anti-virus program at all! On the other hand, it is easier to use than Linux. There are also many commercial package have been adapted to Mac OS.

I have been using for my MacBook for one and a half year. I thought Mac was perfect until my laptop went to the hell. On that day, my laptop suddenly hangs and every thing freezed. I realized something serious going on because it never happened. I turned off my computer, and turned on it again. Oh, my beloved Nature, it could not started. I later learned many people who used MacBook suffered similar problem as I within one or two years after using it. It was hard drive failure. Those people who have that problem within one year warranty can have hard disk replaced free, but they lost everything in the hard disk. Fortunately all my research stuffs are in the department server, otherwise I don’t know what to do. Since my warranty has passed a few months ago, I asked them how much would be charged. They told me it varied from $300 to $800. Oh, f*ck you Apple! Since I was pretty sure that it was hard disk failure, I ordered one and replaced it myself. It costed me $140 for a 160GB hard drive. Now my laptop has returned from the hell now. I just need to install everything again. It is kind of pain ass.

This reminds me that Apple stuffs are usually much more expensive than its competitors. One of the reason is that many companies manufacture computer with Windows, but almost every Mac products from Apple. For example, Apple has its own VGA port adapter, but no usual non-Apple displays such as projectors and monitors, use it. Hence, the speakers, who use Mac, always need to carry an extra adapter with them. If something goes wrong, and the warranty has expired, it will cost you an arm and a leg to repair it.

With those pros and cons in mind, it is up to you to decide which OS to use.



1. fizikosi - November 19, 2008

So, it is better to buy normal PC and install a working copy of a god Linux distro. πŸ˜‰ Screw commercial OS. πŸ™‚

2. Ahmes - November 19, 2008

A real scientist would just invent his own personal OS.

3. keithkchan - November 20, 2008

I tried to install redhat on my laptop several years ago. I found it very technical to install programs generally due to dependences, compatibility, driver of the hardware. So I gave up. Maybe it is easier to do it now.

4. fizikosi - November 20, 2008


Huh? Good idea for you, when installing a Linux distribution install all the elements – some of packages which are optional may be needed later. Most of the distros now alert if some package is missing and you can download/install it along with the program – definitly lot easier.

On the other hand, do you know that there is a distribution called Scientific Linux? It is based on Red Hat Enterprise core and has additional options for Physicists – I use it as my main distribution. It is developed by CERN. I’ve tried version 4.5 and it is working all fine. Ubuntu or Fedora are aslo widespread and relativly good distros with a lot of documentation.

So, I recommend switching to Linux. On the other hand if you have plenty of space, you can have WIndows and Linux together as a double boot – or in case of strong computers it is possible to launch them from a good Virtual Machine type of software.

5. lukabrazi - November 27, 2008

Hi old man πŸ˜‰
Well I’ve got Windows and Ubuntu Linux together, and find it very handy to use both of them…. but still… as keithkchan, I also experience some troubles with Ubuntu, as it’s ver hard to install tar.gz or tar.bz files. I feel very luck if I find .deb files, as they install with no troubles at all, but most of the software is packed in tar.gz files. Sometimes I think to give up using Linux, but it’s so exciting modifing OS as you want and thats why I still have Ubuntu on my HD.

“A real scientist would just invent his own personal OS.”
I think its very unlikely, creating OS is very difficult and needs so much time that, especially when you work alone…. well maybe one enthusiast may create it by his own…. who knows πŸ˜€

6. lukabrazi - November 27, 2008

and what if they included a simple installer for Linux in there distros? Life would have been much more easier then πŸ˜€

7. keithkchan - November 28, 2008

I think the one of the reasons for the difficulties in installing softwares in Linux arises from the fact that there are many, actually too many, distros. Different distros have their own features, and so it is very difficult to come up with an installer that fit all the distros. So in this sense Mac OS is better since there is only one Mac OS (although old versions of the OS X are still used) software developers can easily construct an installer.
Another problem is that so many distros certainly dilute the human resources available to develop the linux OS.

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