T Nation

Running Windows on a Mac

One of my professors claims (and, to his credit, seems) to be a computer expert. He said that the best way to go for a laptop is to get a Mac and run Windows on it. He said it is much faster than a PC, and you get the user friendliness/other pros of using a Mac. I know there are some who consider themselves to be very knowledgeable about computers. I would appreciate your opinions.

And, for the record, linux isn’t an option because I don’t have the time to learn it.

Macs and PCs are all Intel chips these days.

There is no difference in speed of the hardware.

Its the software you’re choosing.

PCs are cheaper.

if your already a mac user linux is cake to learn.
you mentioned no time but there are some that are very user friendly
mepis and ubuntu are 2 that come to mind and both that are a multi boot with my system.

also typicaly macs are slower than pcs hardware wise but the software is more stable and faster making up for the hardware.making them faster than a pc
pcs are way cheaper and if you want the mac stability and the speed and memory size of a pc than I suggest using linux.
also you can put linux on anything weather it is an old or new pc or an old or new mac. so I would say a used laptop with a linux distro on it and there are ways to run windows programs and mac programs on the same machine within linux.

and yes new macs are now intel.
but I have heard you can only run mac OS on hardware contracted by apple thru intel.
I have seen mac os on x86 hardware and I plan on trying this myself soon but havent looked into it much. and it is not user friendly.

if you have a couple weeks you have plenty of time to learn enough linux to be useful. mac is based on the linux kernel,it is not linux but it is closer to linux than windows.

again mepis and ubuntu are distros that are easy there are others but I know these by experience.
I am no computer expert but this is my opinion and I hope it helps a little.

I currently have a macbook pro and have windows XP on a seperate partition of my drive via boot camp. I use that partition with VMWare Fusion to run Windows XP in Mac OS X.

Like someone said above, it’s the software. It takes me no time at all to use all the items I need in Mac OS X but just doing the few things I need in my XP partition takes about similiar to when I had a PC laptop.

Get a PC, join the adult population that can use computers with 2 mouse buttons.

I have a MacBook Pro and run Windows XP Pro via Parallels ( http://www.parallels.com ).

I love it and would agree with your prof.

Also, someone mentioned that PCs are cheaper than Macs. PCs with cheaper hardware are cheaper than Macs. PCs with the same quality hardware are of comparable price.

[quote]Roual wrote:
Get a PC, join the adult population that can use computers with 2 mouse buttons.[/quote]

LOL! Agree.

Thank you for the responses. I currently have a PC, but it is on its way out, and I’m trying to figure out what to get once it finally goes.

[quote]engerland66 wrote:
One of my professors claims (and, to his credit, seems) to be a computer expert. He said that the best way to go for a laptop is to get a Mac and run Windows on it.

He said it is much faster than a PC, and you get the user friendliness/other pros of using a Mac. I know there are some who consider themselves to be very knowledgeable about computers. I would appreciate your opinions.

And, for the record, linux isn’t an option because I don’t have the time to learn it.[/quote]

I can’t understand why you’d want to, but whatever.

The current mac OS is based on a unix kernel, so when you say “linux isn’t an option,” you’re pretty much already using it with a graphical interface. The mac OS is way better than Windows, and I can’t see many Windows or Linux users arguing with that.

If you want to use windows software, than make it dual-boot if you’ve got enough hard drive space.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
engerland66 wrote:
One of my professors claims (and, to his credit, seems) to be a computer expert. He said that the best way to go for a laptop is to get a Mac and run Windows on it.

He said it is much faster than a PC, and you get the user friendliness/other pros of using a Mac. I know there are some who consider themselves to be very knowledgeable about computers. I would appreciate your opinions.

And, for the record, linux isn’t an option because I don’t have the time to learn it.

I can’t understand why you’d want to, but whatever.

The current mac OS is based on a unix kernel, so when you say “linux isn’t an option,” you’re pretty much already using it with a graphical interface. The mac OS is way better than Windows, and I can’t see many Windows or Linux users arguing with that.

If you want to use windows software, than make it dual-boot if you’ve got enough hard drive space. [/quote]

Thanks. What I meant by linux isn’t an option is that from what I understand, you can use linux all by itself as another OS. So, I meant that I don’t have the time to fiddle with that until I learn it. From what I have read on here, it seems that Linux is a great way to go if you understand it. Would you agree?

[quote]engerland66 wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
engerland66 wrote:
One of my professors claims (and, to his credit, seems) to be a computer expert. He said that the best way to go for a laptop is to get a Mac and run Windows on it.

He said it is much faster than a PC, and you get the user friendliness/other pros of using a Mac. I know there are some who consider themselves to be very knowledgeable about computers. I would appreciate your opinions.

And, for the record, linux isn’t an option because I don’t have the time to learn it.

I can’t understand why you’d want to, but whatever.

The current mac OS is based on a unix kernel, so when you say “linux isn’t an option,” you’re pretty much already using it with a graphical interface. The mac OS is way better than Windows, and I can’t see many Windows or Linux users arguing with that.

If you want to use windows software, than make it dual-boot if you’ve got enough hard drive space.

Thanks. What I meant by linux isn’t an option is that from what I understand, you can use linux all by itself as another OS. So, I meant that I don’t have the time to fiddle with that until I learn it.

From what I have read on here, it seems that Linux is a great way to go if you understand it. Would you agree?
[/quote]

Linux is great because it manages processor cycles and memory very well and because it’s free. The Mac OS is great also. Since you’ve already got the Mac OS, I would just stick with that. People use Windows because they have to, not because they want to.

BTW, once linux is set up, there’s really nothing to it. You can get graphical versions of it and then it’s just the same as anything else. But you have the Mac OS, and it’s based on Unix.

Unfortunately, Windows has a tarnished reputation. We all know that. It is not entirely Windows own fault. Obviously it has had its security issues. Windows is the largest target. Mac (actually the underlying Unix foundation) does do a better job of protecting itself.

First of all, Windows runs on a multitude of different hardware. Not all of this hardware is created equal and it changes frequently. New tech or more cheaply made tech is constantly being thrown into the mix.

The third party providers of all this hardware are the ones who provide the crappy software to make all this crap work. Mac only has to deal with its own hardware.

Next you have all of these consumer targeted sub 500 dollar computers subsidized with third-party CRAP software. My Mac did not come pre-loaded with system crippling, in your face, bloated antivirus software that expires in 30 days…

It didn’t come with a free TRIAL of AOL… The Mac I bought didn’t come with a bunch of crippled and half assed productivity software that falsely inflates the value of my purchase. These are the things that make the Windows experience so bad.

The first thing I do with a consumer brand windows pc is format the hard drive and load a pristine copy of Windows. I then load any of the software I know I will use or need.

When Macs went Intel… I bought one. I love having the ability to boot OS X, Windows XP/Vista or Linux. But Macs are not as bullet proof as some people would have you believe.

I’m sure you have heard of the “Blue Screen of Death”… well Macs have a “Pinwheel of Death”. But once again… its the third party stuff that causes problems.

I don’t think Linux is yet ready for the masses. Remember all the third party hardware manufactures I mentioned? With Linux you have that and a whole slew of different Linux distrobutions doing things their own way. Now you’ve got a serious cluster f*ck! Good for customization. No good for the masses.

Basically, with OS X, you are kept from behind the scenes. With Linux you are making the damn movie! I feel that Windows does the best job of blending the two extremes. I find it the easiest to make stuff work and get things done.

Bottom line… if you want cheap… go with a cheap windows laptop and reload it. You are also more likely to find someone who can help you with Windows for free… with Mac you have the Genius Bar and it ain’t cheap.

You are also going to find that everything else for PCs is cheaper than Mac. The same exact stuff marketed for Mac costs more. They don’t want you to know that you can walk over the the PC part of the store and buy the same thing cheaper.
/rant

[quote]engerland66 wrote:

Thanks. What I meant by linux isn’t an option is that from what I understand, you can use linux all by itself as another OS. So, I meant that I don’t have the time to fiddle with that until I learn it. From what I have read on here, it seems that Linux is a great way to go if you understand it. Would you agree?
[/quote]

There are many distributions (distros) that are all based on Linux. Some are complicated and take time to learn, some are as simple as Mac OS or Windows. All the learning you’ll have to do is that things look slightly different.

Programs are often labeled by what they do by default in order to make it painless for new users (i.e. to browse the web, open “Web Browswer”, to edit text, open “Text Editor”). I’ve got my girlfriend’s computer running Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com), and she has no problems with it, and I finished my undergrad running it.

It’ll allow you to get more speed and usefulness out of old hardware, but if money isn’t a concern for you, Windows or Mac makes it much easier to get face to face help if ever something goes wrong.

[quote]Nich wrote:
if your already a mac user linux is cake to learn.
you mentioned no time but there are some that are very user friendly
mepis and ubuntu are 2 that come to mind and both that are a multi boot with my system.

also typicaly macs are slower than pcs hardware wise but the software is more stable and faster making up for the hardware.making them faster than a pc
pcs are way cheaper and if you want the mac stability and the speed and memory size of a pc than I suggest using linux.
also you can put linux on anything weather it is an old or new pc or an old or new mac. so I would say a used laptop with a linux distro on it and there are ways to run windows programs and mac programs on the same machine within linux.

and yes new macs are now intel.
but I have heard you can only run mac OS on hardware contracted by apple thru intel.
I have seen mac os on x86 hardware and I plan on trying this myself soon but havent looked into it much. and it is not user friendly.

if you have a couple weeks you have plenty of time to learn enough linux to be useful. mac is based on the linux kernel,it is not linux but it is closer to linux than windows.

again mepis and ubuntu are distros that are easy there are others but I know these by experience.
I am no computer expert but this is my opinion and I hope it helps a little.
[/quote]

What in the fuck are you babbling about?

Buying an Apple laptop/desktop is usually slightly more expensive than buying a non-Apple (the next person to say PC meaning a Windows box is getting punched in the face) box, but you get a bit more default software and usability. The Windows box will be a bit cheaper, but you’ll have to go grab some free software that’s available to get to the usability level of a Mac.

Macs use commodity hardware. This is important to note again: there is nothing special about Macs in the hardware department. Their LCD screens can actually be pretty bad compared to many other brands (the more tech savvy may know of the 6-bit dithering fiasco). They use x86 Intel processors, normal DDR2 RAM, a typical hard drive, etc. As was mentioned, the ONLY difference that you’re buying is included software.

For day to day use, Linux distros work very well and don’t require a lot of education outside of making sure drivers are available for the hardware you’re purchasing. That said, if you’re used to another OS, stick with it if you’re not in the mood to learn a new one.

Your professor is wrong, OP. The best way to run Windows is to get or build whatever machine you’re going to use and install Windows fresh, then not install shitware like browser toolbars or Weather Channel updates or other such nonsense. One way to do this is to buy a Mac and then install Windows with parallels or boot camp, but a less expensive way is to get your machine, wipe it clean with a new installation of Windows, and not be stupid.

-Dan

[quote]buffalokilla wrote:
Nich wrote:
if your already a mac user linux is cake to learn.
you mentioned no time but there are some that are very user friendly
mepis and ubuntu are 2 that come to mind and both that are a multi boot with my system.

also typicaly macs are slower than pcs hardware wise but the software is more stable and faster making up for the hardware.making them faster than a pc
pcs are way cheaper and if you want the mac stability and the speed and memory size of a pc than I suggest using linux.
also you can put linux on anything weather it is an old or new pc or an old or new mac. so I would say a used laptop with a linux distro on it and there are ways to run windows programs and mac programs on the same machine within linux.

and yes new macs are now intel.
but I have heard you can only run mac OS on hardware contracted by apple thru intel.
I have seen mac os on x86 hardware and I plan on trying this myself soon but havent looked into it much. and it is not user friendly.

if you have a couple weeks you have plenty of time to learn enough linux to be useful. mac is based on the linux kernel,it is not linux but it is closer to linux than windows.

again mepis and ubuntu are distros that are easy there are others but I know these by experience.
I am no computer expert but this is my opinion and I hope it helps a little.

What in the fuck are you babbling about?

Buying an Apple laptop/desktop is usually slightly more expensive than buying a non-Apple (the next person to say PC meaning a Windows box is getting punched in the face) box, but you get a bit more default software and usability. The Windows box will be a bit cheaper, but you’ll have to go grab some free software that’s available to get to the usability level of a Mac.

Macs use commodity hardware. This is important to note again: there is nothing special about Macs in the hardware department. Their LCD screens can actually be pretty bad compared to many other brands (the more tech savvy may know of the 6-bit dithering fiasco). They use x86 Intel processors, normal DDR2 RAM, a typical hard drive, etc. As was mentioned, the ONLY difference that you’re buying is included software.

For day to day use, Linux distros work very well and don’t require a lot of education outside of making sure drivers are available for the hardware you’re purchasing. That said, if you’re used to another OS, stick with it if you’re not in the mood to learn a new one.

Your professor is wrong, OP. The best way to run Windows is to get or build whatever machine you’re going to use and install Windows fresh, then not install shitware like browser toolbars or Weather Channel updates or other such nonsense. One way to do this is to buy a Mac and then install Windows with parallels or boot camp, but a less expensive way is to get your machine, wipe it clean with a new installation of Windows, and not be stupid.

-Dan[/quote]

Thanks for the information. I have never wiped a machine clean and installed Windows. Do you know where I can read up on it? I consider myself to be somewhat computer savvy with regards to using them, but as far as what goes on in the background, I am pretty clueless.

Get your hands on a copy of Windows XP with SP3 pre-loaded into it (either buy or download a version - I’ve got plenty of legal copies so I have no problem downloading others of the same OS).

Google “how to install a fresh copy of windows” and follow some instructions - it’s really not difficult.

  • Make sure your system is set to boot from the CD drive before the hard drive so you can boot from the disk.
  • Once the disk has booted, you agree to the T&C, and proceed to formatting the hard drive. This should be NTFS as it’s a better filesystem and has support for larger files.
  • It’s a case of following the on screen instructions.

If you have the time to play around and get comfortable with installing Windows, you can go further and get a program called nLite which can actually modify the installation to further remove certain Windows components which you don’t use and even speed up the installation.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
Get your hands on a copy of Windows XP with SP3 pre-loaded into it (either buy or download a version - I’ve got plenty of legal copies so I have no problem downloading others of the same OS).

Google “how to install a fresh copy of windows” and follow some instructions - it’s really not difficult.

  • Make sure your system is set to boot from the CD drive before the hard drive so you can boot from the disk.
  • Once the disk has booted, you agree to the T&C, and proceed to formatting the hard drive. This should be NTFS as it’s a better filesystem and has support for larger files.
  • It’s a case of following the on screen instructions.

If you have the time to play around and get comfortable with installing Windows, you can go further and get a program called nLite which can actually modify the installation to further remove certain Windows components which you don’t use and even speed up the installation.
[/quote]

That about sums it up. The only problems you might run in to is that XP SP3 or whichever version of Vista you choose won’t have drivers for all the hardware preloaded; the manufacturer of the computer will include a drivers disk, or you can download them on to a USB drive first before wiping the drive.

Once you reinstall, if you want to run an antivirus AVG is a good free one that I’ve used for a few years without a problem.

Have a good one,

Dan

Also, what I usually do is make sure I have the ethernet/chipset driver before I reload as once this is installed you can access the internet and download anything you need.

As a side-note, I’ve grown to absolutely HATE Vista - I had to reload my work machine today with XP 64bit because my Vista had become so slow it was almost unusable after only 8 months - and I never get any viruses.

Thanks a lot, guys. I will be doing this at some point in the next few months (when I can be w/o a computer if something were to go wrong), and I will let you know how it goes.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
Also, what I usually do is make sure I have the ethernet/chipset driver before I reload as once this is installed you can access the internet and download anything you need.

As a side-note, I’ve grown to absolutely HATE Vista - I had to reload my work machine today with XP 64bit because my Vista had become so slow it was almost unusable after only 8 months - and I never get any viruses.[/quote]

Did you run across the problem where if you try to copy a file over 100MiB it seizes up Explorer and takes many, many hours to do so? I honestly would have considered the switch, but it doesn’t play nice with my IDE controller, so that broke the deal. Otherwise it runs reasonably snappy on a modern machine.