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Although no hard figures are available, anecdotal evidence suggests various Apple machines, from the Xserve G5 to the PowerBook, have become viable options in the scientific community. "If you pull up a shot of NASA after the [first] Mars landing and look at the desktops, you'll see a couple of PC laptops there, but you'll see more PowerBooks," Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president for hardware engineering at Apple, told the E-Commerce Times. As Apple continues to reinvent itself, how are scientists putting Macs to work in research projects and other innovative endeavors?
A valuable free comprehensive collection of hundreds of worker-efficiency studies,
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more has been compiled by a North Carolina teacher when his school system
board threatened a Windoze replacement of $10-million-worth of Macs. This is
a great resource to settle the issue (there is also a 115-page downloadable PDF
for printouts)... go to http://www.macvspc.info ... 'nuff said!
Get over it... use the one you prefer and are productive with. PC or Mac, it's just a machine. NASA this, JPL that, blah blah blah... big whoop.
Anytime I visit a physics or mathematics colleague, at any university or research institution, there on his desktop I see a Powerbook. Occasionally, when I see something else, the person is running Linux, or they say they are planning shortly to get a Mac. I am referring to faculty people who can afford the best. "A Sun and a Mac" is a good way a recent posting described it. I wouldn't work at any place where Windows machines were required. 1. I wouldn't use one. 2. I would know the place was run by someone very ignorant. The command line in OS X allows the use of Unix. This is not news!
"I wouldn't work at any place where Windows machines were required. 1. I wouldn't use one. 2. I would know the place was run by someone very ignorant..."
Only in ignorant person would ever say such a thing.
Macs are the computers supplied to everyone at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics (KITP), a national resource on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. I have observed this as a visitor. I am not a permanent member or a spokesman.
"Have become" is better stated "always were". Microsoft had nothing before 1995 that interested anyone with brains. There used to be a saying that a scientist's desktop was "a Sun and a Mac". I remember around 1990 that 1/3 of all computers using the Internet were Macs.
Stop living in the past...it's gone. Let's move on to newer better things.
I completely agree with the idea that "Have become" is better stated "always were". (see David Menges post). I started using Macs as a postdoctoral research chemist in the mid-80s. Until 3 years ago, I had never used a PC in the workplace. Because Microsoft has made a reasonable effort at duplicating most aspects of the Mac interface, the transfer was not that difficult - but I still use Macs at home.
Several programs written originally for the Mac (and later ported to the PC platform) made the Mac streets ahead. These included Excel, ChemDraw and Chem3D. Another major advantage was the early advent of the Apple LaserWriter.
Genentech, one of the early biotech companies, and which is still very prominent, was operating a large combined Mac/PC network as far back as the late 1980s. Personal choice of desktop CPU was important even then. I smile when I hear ignorant people still claim that "Macs can't be networked"
"I smile when I hear ignorant people still claim that "Macs can't be networked" "
Well, that's because they are mac users trying to network macs.
As a mac user, who needs a network? I went to my brother's house, who had a cable modem plugged into his wireless access point (802.11g), turned on my laptop and turned my computer (and his 2 machines) into wireless servers in about 5 seconds. He and I could share files, music, anything in no time at all. My tech person at work was amazed at how easy our wireless iBook found our wireless system. It took about 30 seconds to set up- and neither she nor I had done it before.
Loving my Mac (I'm not concerned that not everyone has one- they'll figure it out someday)
Hoorah. Nightflyer just doesn't get it, but we can't save everyone, can we.
I have a dream. That one day, the people who are too ignorant to learn to use a computer will stop buying Mac's and leave it to those of us precious few on Windows. Please, get off Mac's, they are over-priced picture viewers and mp3 players. The GUI restricts you from its power like a prison, and AppleScript in its Console is worthless. Get a Windows and use its power like it lets you. If you are thinking about getting a mac, buy a TV with a DVD player hooked up to it and maybe attach a typewriter, because thats basically what you are getting.
HAHAHAHAHAHA! you obviously don't know what you are talking about. you can use the terminal to use the power of Unix in the GUI much like you can run a dos terminal in windows, only this is stable and uses black text on white page so you don't kill your eyes. what do you care if other people buy expensive things? this is a good reason for YOU not to use a mac, but i don't see how that matters to people who have plenty to spend. On a g5 mac, people can sequence DNA chains and simulate complex protein folding, and on my lower-end powerbook i edit video, music, author dvds, download tons of media, and play numerous games.
your statements would be true if televisions could compute complex human genome sequences, but they cannot.
have fun using your stolen graphic user interface!
Strictly speaking, JPL is a CalTech facility, so I'd be careful about anything that implies that something at JPL represents NASA. Recall that a few years ago, the Johnson Space Center CIO tried to eliminate Macs from JSC. Fortunately, he did it stupidly and his work was reversed somewhat. I supported the CIO, as the lead Mac systems engineer for ACS Gove't Systems Group, at Goddard Space Flight Center when NASA was developing its ODIN (Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA) program. Again, there were efforts to eliminate Macs from NASA but, as I understand it, the CIOs from GSFC and Ames Research Center managed to assure ODIN's embrace of platform diversity.
There are a lot of scientists thoughout all NASA using Macs - thankfully - but Windows minions are always trying to change it. It's not as rosy a picture as this article implies.