Mac or PC?

I'm not very knowledgeable on Mac, since I've never owned one. But I always hear people say Mac is much better than PC. And it is not only their voice


I know
that you can put Windows (or as the Apple fanboy says, "Winzoz") on an Apple machine.

I also know that the Apple purists takes this as an abomination.

I also believe that the Articulate products are not compatible with Apple (at least for the moment).

So, having to
create
courses with Powerpoint, Articulate, Captivate (until Storyline's launch) etc, but having to change computer, what is the best solution?
Stay on a PC or switch to Apple (maybe with Windows)?

46 Replies
James Brown

Depends? Are you into multimedia and want things simple and easy to use than a MAC is right up your ally. Yes there is Office 2010 for MAC's however, you are going to pay for it. PC's.. You constantly have to purchase antivirus software, yes they are cheaper but you need to make sure you have a decent processor and lots of ram. I must admit Windows 2007 is a big hit for MS. Especially the 64 bit version.

Robert Kennedy

I run an iMac and use Parallels with Windows 7 for any Articulate stuff.  Works great.  I wouldn't call myself an Apple fanboy (although I own an iMac, an iPod, and an iPad, but an Android phone ), but I just can't see myself going back to Windows.  It's a different world really.  I won't join the chorus and say its much better (it really is though), but its just different strokes for different folks.  For accessibility in corporate world, Windows really is what you are going to need (for everything else and more, Mac).  

So that was my totally unbiased perspective.  I hope it helped.

Gabriele Dovis (italgo)

Hi guys, I want a dedicated-to-my-job machine, and I need it to be performing.
@Rob, you said something that I've heard many times: once you switch to Mac, you never go back. In your opinion what are the major benefits of using a Mac?
Does this Parallels you are talking about works fine? Is it the unique "emulator"?
I have never seen it at work. Does the machine slows down?

@James, I'm not sure i got your first sentence.. "Are you into multimedia and want things simple and easy to use than a MAC is right up your ally" - Sorry - Maybe you wanna type "Are you into multimedia and want things simple and easy to use, then a MAC is right up your ally"?

About PC's, You say "yes they are cheaper but you need to make sure you have a decent processor and lots of ram" - so true..and this means you have to put hands on your wallet if you want a performant machine..

Phil Mayor

Parallels allows windows to run on your Mac, is more a virtual machine than an emulator because the hardware is really just the same.

You can run in bootcamp, i.e. you only boot windows but I really try not to do this.

Parallels will let you copy and paste between windows and Mac apps, generally works really well, there a sometimes issues with file associations but they are easily fixed

Phil

Steve Flowers

Word of warning about Office2010 for Mac. It's quite a bit different than 2010 for Windows. The interface placement and workflow differs enough that I'm not yet a fan of Office2010 Mac. I do love the Windows version. I bought both to save bouncing between the virtual machine and OSX when working documentation. There are many functions I simply hate on the Mac version of Office.

Pages is cool. Keynote is cool too. But conversion wise too much formatting is lost to rely on those for sourcing originals.

I like my Macbook 'cause I'm on the road alot and don't want to haul multiple machines. It's nice having an all in one luxury machine. I use it so much that my other Windows machines probably feel neglected. If reducing your pack weight isn't a business requirement, you might be just as well off buying a PC (or three since that's what you'd be able to afford for the price of a Mac:P)

Carolyn Daughtry Krill

I use a MacBook Pro and run Windows as a virtual machine (VM) with VMware Fusion (a product similar to Parallels). I really like having this flexibility because I prefer working on my Mac in general, and I do all my graphic/photo work on Adobe programs on my Mac side. 

Like others said, these VM programs make it easy to drag and drop files between sides, which is really convenient. 

A word of advice from my experience: Be sure to save all Articulate project files entirely on the Windows side.

When I first was working with this VM set up, I kept all my files on a shared folder that was accessible to Mac and Win. However, that caused loads of issues with Articulate not properly linking files. Storing the files just on the Windows side resolved this issue.

I will add that I've experienced different issues like slow processing speed when I have the VM and various other programs running. However, my work computer is a few years old, very full, and ready for an update. I currently use Windows XP, and after upgrading to Office 2010, I have experienced some additional issues, including difficulty publishing Articulate files.  

However, I'm soon upgrading to a new MacBook Pro (with more processing power!) and will be upgrading my VM to a slimmed down version of Windows 7, rather than XP. I'm hopeful that a fresh start to the Windows side will make production life smoother. (My coworker just did a similar upgrade, and said that Articulate does work faster than before.)

Good luck with your decision! 

Vasily Ingogly

I run Win 7 and Win XP using Parallels; as others have said, Articulate runs great in Parallels. Several have brought up Pixie: there are many alternatives on the Mac to Pixie. OS X comes with a DigitalColorMeter, and you can extend the OS X color picker with plugins; I have the following color picker add-ons: RCWeb (simple RGB), ColorNamePicker (color by RBG or name or both), HexColorPicker (gives hex value), and Mondrianum (access Adobe Kuler color palettes).

In addition, I have a great tool for web and graphics design called xScope, which I highly recommend:

http://iconfactory.com/software/xscope

Andy Bowyer

People will tell you that Macs walk on water and never get viruses.  Neither of those things are true.  Viruses on Macs are rare, but they *do* happen.

That said, I'm a die-hard PC guy, although I used to work for a web design firm that used Macs exclusively.  The trouble I have with Macs is that they're *too* easy to use which makes doing "little" things a real challenge for me as I'm used to jumping through all the hoops required by PCs.

Still, for simplicity, ease of use, and a relatively worry-free experience, Macs aren't a bad choice, especially given the cross-platform compatibility with PC applications mentioned above...I guess sometimes you *can* have it both ways, eh?

ab

Gabriele Dovis (italgo)

Carolyn Daughtry Krill said:

A word of advice from my experience: Be sure to save all Articulate project files entirely on the Windows side.

When I first was working with this VM set up, I kept all my files on a shared folder that was accessible to Mac and Win. However, that caused loads of issues with Articulate not properly linking files. Storing the files just on the Windows side resolved this issue.


Hi Carolyn,

thanks for your helpful adds..

Gabriele Dovis (italgo)

Thank you to all!


Now I'm making my ideas much more clear..

I was wondering if is this VM are free, and if someone had trouble with some software running on.

When you're running Windows, is it possible to use every PC born for software?

I think that if I will pass to Mac, then I will use some of these VM, and that I will remain close to XP, that I believe it's still better than 7 and Vista (bleah :P).

Vasily Ingogly

Gabriele Dovis (italgo) said:

Thank you to all!


Now I'm making my ideas much more clear..

I was wondering if is this VM are free, and if someone had trouble with some software running on.

When you're running Windows, is it possible to use every PC born for software?

I think that if I will pass to Mac, then I will use some of these VM, and that I will remain close to XP, that I believe it's still better than 7 and Vista (bleah :P).

 If you need free, try VirtualBox:

http://www.virtualbox.org/

Vasily Ingogly

Andy Bowyer said:

People will tell you that Macs walk on water and never get viruses.  Neither of those things are true.  Viruses on Macs are rare, but they *do* happen.

That said, I'm a die-hard PC guy, although I used to work for a web design firm that used Macs exclusively.  The trouble I have with Macs is that they're *too* easy to use which makes doing "little" things a real challenge for me as I'm used to jumping through all the hoops required by PCs.

Still, for simplicity, ease of use, and a relatively worry-free experience, Macs aren't a bad choice, especially given the cross-platform compatibility with PC applications mentioned above...I guess sometimes you *can* have it both ways, eh?

ab

Not to start the usual tiresome fanboy war, but I've been using Macs since my computer science graduate student days at University of North Carolina, and have also been a Windows user since 3.1 days. The reason you don't have a lot of viruses is, Mac OS X is a layer built on top of Unix which is a stable secure OS and the root source of OS X's security. To get people to compromise their Macs, you have to trick them into it. Microsoft's fatal error was ActiveX controls, and the tight integration of IE Explorer into the OS. ... a truly idiotic design decision. And don't get me started on the Registry (which you don't have on the Mac).
Mike Enders

Gabriele,

I love both ecosystems, but haven't gone virtual out of fear that the Articulate rendering times would be slower.  Of course, I haven't used the very latest version of Parallels or Fusion, so this may no longer be the case. 

I actually keep a powerful PC desktop as my primary workhorse and then keep a Mac laptop on my desktop as an enhancer (using software such as Art Text, Pulp Motion, iMovie, etc.).  I then use DropBox as a transfer conduit between the two.

The only catch is that this isn't a "mobile" solution.

@Robert, I seem to recall you having mentioned (at some point in the past) that you were running some tests on Articulate rendering times in the the virtual environment.  Have you found that the render times are equivalent to a native PC?  (Please say "yes" so I have an excuse to purchase a new Mac)...

Mike

Mike B.

I've used PCs and Macs over the course of my career and there are things I like and dislike about both. My two cents: your choice really depends on what you're using your system for. If you're doing video editing or a lot of graphics work, the Mac is pretty much a no-brainer. (Especially for the former, now that a new version of Final Cut is coming out soon.) If you're dealing more with databases and LMSes, the PC is likely a better choice.

Also consider your work environment. If you work for an organization, does your IT department support Macs? Will everyone else but you be a PC user? If that's the case, you probably don't want to be testing courses on a system no one else uses, and at the least will need access to a PC.

My biggest drawback to switching was all the money I had put into Windows software (especially from our friends at Adobe). Now, because of Parallels, my next home computer will be an iMac.

Gabriele Dovis (italgo)

Glad to see that this debate gathers followers :)

Actually, I think the two Mike had caught two interesting points: If you work in a company where everybody uses the PC, I think it's not the best to be the only one who use a mac.

And
then the conversation about the publishing times is very important. The first thing that comes to my mind is that I am wondering if the staff have worked on this "issue" with the new products that will be released (the new Studio suite and Storyline). Those who attend the forum and the various Articulate-related blogs know that there are "tricks " to reduce the time of export, but having the time lower without these tricks would certainly be cool.

In my case, today I am working in a company, but I do not exclude that it could soon start my own business and create my own company. That's why I'm considering buying a new computer.

As many solo developers, I use the computer for almost everything.
I can't say I use it most for graphic or video editing, as I can't say I use it most for text editing or audio recording/editing, as I can't say I use it most for this or that. I do a little bit of everything. To this, add the use of e-learning software

Danny Simms

When Apple first brought out the Imac with the Intel chip I purchased one with the intent to swap between Mac OS and Windows depending on the application or project.

I used Parralells as the means to swap between OSs. Unfortunately I had a bad experience with this process and it corrupted the Windows partition causing me much heartache in lost time re-installing everything. I tried it 2 more times with a similar result.

Admittedly, it was an older version of Paralells but I wasn't willing to lose any more time in rebuilding the Windows side of the fence.

I settled for Bootcamp, although a little slower the purpose is served.

Several years later, I have now purchased another Windows-based system and divide my time between it and the Mac, depending on what project is currently a priority.  I have no preference for the Mac or the Windows based systems. They both do their respective tasks extremely well.

Gabriele Dovis (italgo)

Hi friends,

finally, I took my decision

iMac 27'' i5 (working station)

MacBook air 13'' i5 (for outside demonstrations and out of office work)

It's only a week since I made the change, but I can already say I am really happy.

To run Articulate in these first days I tried bootcamp, but I can say it's not the best way to work, since I have to reboot the machine every 15 minutes to switch to other programs.

This WE I will go for Parallels or WMware.. Any suggetion between this two?

Vasily Ingogly

In my opinion, Parallels is the better solution today ....  see this comparison between Parallels 7 and VMWare Fusion 4 (a summary of the pros and cons of each is on the last page of the article):

http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/10/virtual-showdown-parallels-desktop-7-and-vmware-fusion-4-reviewed.ars

I've been a Parallels user since version 5. It works extremely well, and Windows 7 boots faster on my MacBook Pro than it does on my HP at work. Be sure you have plenty of RAM if you're going to run any virtualization solution (at least 4GB).