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Are macs ok for computer programming?


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Not Orange

 
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So, I recently decided to switch to a mac. In doing research for what to do, I've come across people who have told me that macs aren't the way to go for what I want to do. In the fall, I will be attending a university as a freshman and majoring in Computer Programming. I've been told numerous things against macs, such as:

-Mac's aren't good for computer programming
-Professor's wouldn't be able to read the documents from the version of Microsoft Word you use on a Mac.
-Macs are just for entertainment

Can anyone please tell me if a Mac would be ok to use in this course, and if all these statements are just those of brainwashed pc guys?
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AlyciaAnimation

 
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I think Macs would be great for programming, because you can have the best of both worlds. I don't often recommend this, but you can have both Windows and Mac os X on your Mac. I don't know a whole lot about programming, but I bet the main courses you'll have are based on Windows programming. I know native Mac apps are written in Object C, which is probably a cross platform language? And if you get used to Macs you can better program for Macs if you choose to do so.

I haven't heard of anyone having problems with documents made by Word on the Mac not being read on a Windows computer.

Macs can really do anything that a Windows computer can do and they do it with a lot more style 8)
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tux08902
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Macs are great for computer programming, especially because OS X is a Unix operating system. Unixes have been used in computer science classes as paradigms of great programming. They also come with tons of programming tools that you have to individually buy on Windows. So, OS X is a much better programming environment than Windows. Any Unix, be it BSD, Linux, or something else, beats Windows at this. I'd like to know what those other people were recommending because if it was Windows, then don't even pay attention to what they were saying.
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CL33Zero

 
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I know very little about programming, but I do know that these......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Orange View Post
-Professor's wouldn't be able to read the documents from the version of Microsoft Word you use on a Mac.
-Macs are just for entertainment:
are a big load of.....ya.

Word works on both platforms, one way or the other. And Windows PCs are more associated with games then Macs have ever been, I mean, there is barely even any games out for OS X (when compared to windows). If it really comes down to it, you can always run Windows on the Mac.

(Like I said, I dont know anything about programming though)

Its time to go...
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Sachsr1

 
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I would bet that most of the work you will be doing in school will be windows based. Mac's work great for more then entertainment, but check with your school before plop down $1k for a computer that you may not be able to use for class. Your professors will have no problem reading your documents, but you may be better served with a windows machine for class. I don't know if windows running on a Mac will cause problems with the programming.

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Discerptor

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Orange View Post
So, I recently decided to switch to a mac. In doing research for what to do, I've come across people who have told me that macs aren't the way to go for what I want to do. In the fall, I will be attending a university as a freshman and majoring in Computer Programming. I've been told numerous things against macs, such as:

-Mac's aren't good for computer programming
-Professor's wouldn't be able to read the documents from the version of Microsoft Word you use on a Mac.
-Macs are just for entertainment

Can anyone please tell me if a Mac would be ok to use in this course, and if all these statements are just those of brainwashed pc guys?
Macs are better for computer programming than Windows because you actually get a USEFUL Terminal and anything on Linux pretty much will compile straightaway on a Mac (provided you get the freely downloadable Apple developer tools and any dependencies). This goes for any UNIX/POSIX-compliant operating system. No need for silly crap like Xmine, Cygwin or some bloated GUI-ified Windows release with diminished options to get simple open source stuff working. Furthermore, UNIX/Linux/etc is universally accepted as the best development platform, and you can dual boot that anyway. Not that you'd even need to for your likely purposes, since unlike WIndows, OS X allows you to use all the development tools you would use in UNIX and friends.

If it's made in a Mac version of Office, it'll be readable in Office 2007 or even Office 2003 if you don't save as .docx. The only program I've seen any issues with is Powerpoint in Office 2004 if you do something weird that makes your presentation dependent on Quicktime and the Windows machine doesn't have Quicktime. Quite honestly, if you have Office 2008, these days you're more likely to find Windows-made documents that won't work on your machine properly than you are to find the opposite, since Office 2008 added the amazing new feature of TAKING away VBA and any ability to create/use macros from Windows versions of Office. In fact, if you're feeling that antsy about it, you can create a small Windows partition to use Windows Microsoft Office in. Of course, I'd recommend using LaTeX for official-ish documents you make, since you can get those to be far more professional-looking and PDFs are totally platform/reader-independent.

I find that Windows is just for entertainment such as games, whereas I can get actual programming work done efficiently and in a non-backwards way on OS X and Linux. In the computer science lab at my college, Windows is not present on any machine except one, and the only purpose of that computer is to play Eve Online with.

That should cover my opinions on the matter. In short, everything you were told was actually the opposite of what's true.
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Dysfunction

 
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I work in dev, on a mac, all day long I've made presentations in keynote that were exported to ppt and sent world wide without issue, same with pages. I do have office installed on my mac, but it was free.. since the license was paid for by work.. I tend not to use it.

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Murlyn

 
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It just completely depends on what language you are programming in, and what compilers you will be using. Again, if they are windows only, you can easily boot into windows and do it there also.. so you get both worlds, it does cost a little more to buy windows also, but completely worth it if you HAVE to have windows for what is being taught.
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Hope for Chaos

 
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This fall will be my third year as a computer science major and I plan to get a mac before starting next semester. I came to the conclusion that a mac does what I LIKE to do better than windows and yet I can still run windows for programming work. I program mostly c/c++ now with a little bit of Unix and know I'll be doing some major java work next spring and the beauty of macs are that I can do all this. I can run windows and Linux while still getting OS X for the non work side of my computing. You'll have no problem doing any type of programming on a mac whether its for OS X or in a virtual machine for windows or Linux.
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Tex-Twil

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sachsr1 View Post
I would bet that most of the work you will be doing in school will be windows based.
I have a Master Degree in network security and during my 5 years of university studies we naturally did a lot of programming and development. Almost all of the project we did were developed in Linux and we used Windows only very rarely.
Some of my teachers were using OSX for development.

Though, I guess that it depends on your school/University whether you will be more Windows or unix/linux oriented. As said before, you can also install Windows on a mac.

cheers,
T
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I'm doing a business informatics course, which involves a fair bit of programming and so far I'd say a Mac is great for it:

Lots of courses start of with Java, which is cross platform by nature, so you should have no problems there.

Plus should you ever need to do any Windows programming, just use bootcamp or virtualization software and you're good to go!

We've also done things like looking at the structure of various mainstream OS's and it's quite cool being able to run all 3 simultaneously to check things out.
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Not Orange

 
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Thanks everybody for your input, i now have no problem picking up a mac. I'm going to wait until June 16-17, cause that's when I go for freshman orientation. I hope to find out if coming to class with OSX in my backpack will be ok.

As expected, those who fed me that crap about the negativity of Macs, were, sadly, PC users. Like a few guys mentioned, they went on to suggest PCs great for gaming. I told one guy that I have an Xbox 360, that I'll bring to college, I need a laptop for programming and class work. I'm dying to get a Mac Book now, but I don't want to rush into it and have a professor tell me otherwise.

Thanks again everybody
-Not Orange
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Lytheil

 
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I dont think that you will need a professor to tell you that Macs can boot Windows. If you can boot windows on your mac. Wouldn't you have best of both worlds?

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Hit

 
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Apple is fully supportive to programmers
They give out a free application called XCode which I personally find much better and much more worthy then Visual Studio from Microsoft which isn't free
Also they have a Developer connection, for small and large developers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit View Post
Apple is fully supportive to programmers
They give out a free application called XCode which I personally find much better and much more worthy then Visual Studio from Microsoft which isn't free
Also they have a Developer connection, for small and large developers
Indeed, one ex windows developer describes just how good he thinks development on the mac is

http://arstechnica.com/articles/cult...-apple-III.ars
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