Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mac vs "Knowledge"

Macs are arguably the "smarter" computer when compared to the consumer diverse PCs. They are more uniform both as a company (seeing as how PC manufacturers are many) and in the user functionality. Despite this, however, there is a down side. They do not always integrate well with PC based software/hardware. For example, my blackberry (of which I LOVE) is windows based, and therefore, PC-compatible. While there is PocketMac for syncing capabilities, it is glitchy and does not allow for internal updates to the blackberry software. My Mac and I have had a tough road to go down.

I was a reluctant converter to Macs. I am still not a proponent of the iPhone (did I say glitchy before?). My iPod is fun but not a purse must-have. And I just bought a Kindle over the iPad. That being said, I worked in the film industry where it is very much the standard. When my PC laptop died and my desktop Dell proved not so portable, I invested in a MacBook. I am a pretty happy girl and relatively Mac-savvy now.

Then school started. For my Data Analysis class, there is an add-in software called "StatTools" that makes Excel more user friendly for calculating out those difficult quant problems. Super big bonus! Anything to make my math illiterate self have to do less physical calculating is awesome. HOWEVER, my Mac is not compatible with StatTools. Being that Macs are so self-sufficient, it makes it very difficult for third-party programmers to design for both PC & Mac equally. So, PC almost always wins when they are determining their demographics. While Macs are catching up in popularity, they still are not as practical for a smaller programmer with less R&D money to invest in making Mac compatible software.

Oh, dear Mac! I feel like you are testing my loyalty! You have a work around, yes. Boot Camp. You can actually boot your Mac as a virtual PC but utilizing a free program on your harddrive. However, you need to invest in both Windows and Microsoft Office for PC. This process was extremely frustrating. Probably the most difficult part of my first week of b-school was this disaster. After much misinformation, I was able to figure it out. My advice for those reading this is that they speak to someone who has done it before. Also, buying a student version of the update software can be installed on Parallels or Boot Camp but using a work around. ASK FOR HELP. *rant over*

My point is this. While I still do not regret my decision to buy a MacBook, I do wish there was more market continuity in products. As Macs rise in popularity, I'm sure some of this will be remedied. For now, I will just sit here, head spinning and wishing the world of computers could live in harmony.

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