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  1. #1
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    I am looking at buying my first mac.

    I consider myself pretty good at computers. I have never used a mac but I was a system administrator for about 100 pc's and a dozen unix machines when I was in college about 8 yrs ago.

    At my current job (self employed) I use several industry specific programs that are windows only. These programs are not popular, are very targeted towards a small group of users I know there is no mac alternative. I have read there is parallels and vmware to run any windows app in a emulator so i know a mac could run them.

    Here is how my computer use breaks down:

    3-4 hours a day of the specialed windows apps (probably over 50% of my computer time)
    email
    quickbooks
    quicken
    web browsing
    word
    excel
    itunes
    pdfs

    I know the mac will natively do everything else in the list but since over half my time is with wiindows only apps does it make sense to switch to a mac? I hear that the mac's generally outperform pc's but how does running a windows app in a emulator window on a mac compare to running on a native windows machine? Some of my programs are pretty CPU intensive. One in particular you set up and it takes several hours to process on my HP DV7 (i7 with 6 gb ram).

  2. #2
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    yogi's Avatar
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    Considering that over 50% of your use requires Windows in some way (Parallels and VMWare run full installations of Windows, not just the app itself), and that MS Office as well as Quicken are better on Windows (IMHO), I'd personally suggest you go with a good Windows 7 PC.

    If your profession depends on it, go with what best fits it. On the other hand, I'd be interested in hearing why you want to switch to a Mac?

    And on a side note, if you install Windows using Boot Camp, it's not an emulation, but a native installation (sealed off and seperate from OS X) which will definitely bring you the performance you need. Hearing your usage of a i7 with 6GB RAM probably calls for a Mac Pro, if your App can support 64-bit to take advantage of that kind of power.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi View Post
    On the other hand, I'd be interested in hearing why you want to switch to a Mac?
    I have always liked alternative os's. I enjoy learning new things. I enjoy tinkering around with Linux but it is not really practical for my day to day use. I got an iPad for Christmas and love the thing. I am typing this on it. My satisfaction with the iPad caused me to check out the macs at best buy and they sure are impressive. I usually buy a new computer once a year and hand the old one down to wife / kids and it is about that time. If I did get a mac I wouldn't want to use bootcamp because that seems pointless I would rather use mostly Mac apps and then an emulator for my windows apps as needed.

  4. #4
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    yogi's Avatar
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    In that case, I would again not recommend using professional-grade apps within an emulator unless you are getting a Mac Pro.

    I've experienced similar things, where a Mac just seems so much better, but in day-to-day life, Windows sometimes just turns out to be more practical. Especially with heavy-duty Office usage, Windows 7 is a great OS with a ton of features I'd like to see on the Mac (like Aero Snap or Shake to minimize all windows).

    In terms of tinkering, I'm sure you'll have fun with a Mac, but it's not really a tinker toy on the OS level. My personal advice: Get it if you can afford it for tinkering and personal use, but I would not use it for my professional life. Be honest with yourself.

    You said you "would rather use mostly Mac apps", but this contradicts your aforementioned list.

  5. #5
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Bootcamp, so you can run your Windows apps natively. Then when you want to play with Mac stuff just boot into your Mac partition.
    死神はリンゴしか食べない。

  6. #6
    chas_m
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    I'm going to be contrary and strongly recommend that you DO purchase a Mac.

    First off, you will love it. Secondly these specialized Windows apps are probably vertical-market stuff that don't require a high-end machine to run, so a virtualizer like VirtualBox, VMWare's Fusion or Parallels should easily and enjoyably let you pick and choose between Windows and Mac with barely a thought.

    Third, when it comes to Quicken and QuickBooks you *want* the Windows version. See above.

    As for everything else on your list other than the windows-specific apps -- the Mac will do them more enjoyably, from opening PDFs to playing music.

    A really *quality* PC costs about the same as a good Mac, so why not the best?

  7. #7
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    yogi's Avatar
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    I'd like to counter that once more, chas_m, with the fact that if you use OS X, a lot of the features that Apps integrate with (Core Services, regular Services, Integration with Mail, iCal, Address Book) won't be available. I'd think this would be more frustrating, especially if you go for Quicken and Quickbooks in their Windows versions as well, than using OS X.

    The shiny Shell (OS X) would be just that: I shiny shell, while the user can't experience the Mac with all its benefits.

    Windows and Mac OS X are very close on feature sets these days IMO. I use both and the only differences wind up being a matter of personal preference.

    I don't see the point in getting a Mac if more than half your Apps were designed for something else. It just doesn't make for a good experience, overall.

  8. #8
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    chscag's Avatar
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    A really *quality* PC costs about the same as a good Mac, so why not the best?
    A little known fact, but chas_m is spot on. Tom's Hardware did a comparison price review some time ago (Google it) and came to the same conclusion.

  9. #9
    switching with a lot of windows only apps?
    yogi's Avatar
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    I agree on the price point, but in this case the Mac won't deliver the better experience (IMO).

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