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My old laptop is on its last legs and I'm trying to decide if I should get a new laptop that I could bring to med school classes next year or save money on a desktop. Does anyone out there know what the prevalence of laptop use in med school classes is? I knew they are ubiquitous in law and biz school, but am not sure about us pre doc folks.
 

Astrithir

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OneDayDoc said:
My old laptop is on its last legs and I'm trying to decide if I should get a new laptop that I could bring to med school classes next year or save money on a desktop. Does anyone out there know what the prevalence of laptop use in med school classes is? I knew they are ubiquitous in law and biz school, but am not sure about us pre doc folks.
The trend is towards laptops, some would even argue towards a cross between a laptop and a Blackberry. If you're looking for a recommendation, I would go with the cheapest Apple Macbook over a desktop. The Macbooks have great design, enough power to handle anything you'll need in school, and weigh in at ~5lbs. I don't know if med schools require laptops per se and you'll save $200-300 on a desktop, but you won't be able to take it anywhere you want to go, whether that's the airport (interviews, moving) or just the library or cafe.

The cheapest Macbook is priced at $1099, but if you're any kind of student you can get a discount of 10% and maybe a free iPod (I don't know if the promotion still exists). The more expensive versions come with bigger hard drives and a DVD burner, which IMHO is currently nice but unnessary. [Note: I would be careful with a Windows system, because Windows Vista is around the corner (ca. early 2007). And once that OS comes out, all previous PCs will become obsolete]
 

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Apparition said:
Will Vista be downloadable on a Mac?
If Microsoft decides for a download, yes. Apple has a program out called BootCamp that allows Macs to run Windows or even Linux! But either way, I'm sure you'll have to buy Vista if you want to use it. :rolleyes:
 

ADeadLois

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Apparition said:
Will Vista be downloadable on a Mac?
Vista looks like it's going to be very, very similar to OS X. OS X is also a lot more secure than anything Windows will release.
 

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Since MacBooks now feature intel processors - they can run both Windows XP (or Vista when it's available) as well as Mac OSX.
 

ADeadLois

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Mickeyd4d said:
Since MacBooks now feature intel processors - they can run both Windows XP (or Vista when it's available) as well as Mac OSX.
You're right, but non-native (i.e. non-Mac) software runs very slowly on the new MacBooks. That's been the major complaint about thems so far. I just got a MacBook Pro, and it doesn't run Windows Media Player.
 

Apparition

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ADeadLois said:
You're right, but non-native (i.e. non-Mac) software runs very slowly on the new MacBooks. That's been the major complaint about thems so far. I just got a MacBook Pro, and it doesn't run Windows Media Player.
I was almost decided on a mac before i saw your post. I like the WMP.
 

medrad

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Astrithir said:
If you're looking for a recommendation,

Oh boy. Well, he was smart enough NOT to ask for a recommendation as he must have known that it would set off yet another mac vs. pc flame war.

Well, since the first salvo has been launched, I don't feel so bad about say: It really does not matter which laptop you get as long as you get a decent warranty. If you want go for true utility, the MacBook Pro also doubles as a hot plate on which you can your boil pasta.
 

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Apparition said:
I was almost decided on a mac before i saw your post. I like the WMP.
That has been my only complaint so far about the MacBook Pro. Trust me, I'll take the lack of WMP. Everything else is vastly superior to the PC I had. Not having to worry about viruses is a great feeling.
 

ADeadLois

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Actually, I just discovered that you can run WMP but you need to install stuffit expander. Nevermind.
 

iiiimonica

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lifetime mac lover (i actually have a mac desktop and ibook!) but when i was thinking about getting a new laptop for optometry school, a good friend in vet school suggested a tablet. i had never even heard of them. i did lots of research (about 2 weeks online) and ended up with a ibm tablet (x41). it is just amazing and i am sorry that i didn't have it for undergrad. the only thing that sucks is that there is not a mac version...yet :rolleyes:
 

Apparition

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ADeadLois said:
That has been my only complaint so far about the MacBook Pro. Trust me, I'll take the lack of WMP. Everything else is vastly superior to the PC I had. Not having to worry about viruses is a great feeling.
But if macbooks now run windows xp, why don't they run wmp? I don't get it.
 

ADeadLois

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Apparition said:
But if macbooks now run windows xp, why don't they run wmp? I don't get it.
They do run WMP; I was mistaken. A friendly SDNer informed me how to do it.
 

Astrithir

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iiiimonica said:
lifetime mac lover (i actually have a mac desktop and ibook!) but when i was thinking about getting a new laptop for optometry school, a good friend in vet school suggested a tablet. i had never even heard of them. i did lots of research (about 2 weeks online) and ended up with a ibm tablet (x41). it is just amazing and i am sorry that i didn't have it for undergrad. the only thing that sucks is that there is not a mac version...yet :rolleyes:
Tablets are awesome. I just wish they weren't so darn expensive.
 

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Astrithir said:
Tablets are awesome. I just wish they weren't so darn expensive.
Agreed. I have trouble shelling out cash for something when the competing product (pen and paper) costs 1000 times less. :D
 

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Im a recent MAC convert and must say that I will never go back to windows. Everything runs so much smoother, when you plug devices in such as printers they just work right away...no installing drivers.

Also for anyone considering a PC, my cousin who works for Microsoft is saying windows Vista will be out in January.....will be very similar to Mac OS X.......and you will NEED a 256 MB video card, so dont get a computer without one or the ability to add one.
 

rcd

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1SwtWrld said:
Im a recent MAC convert and must say that I will never go back to windows. Everything runs so much smoother, when you plug devices in such as printers they just work right away...no installing drivers.

Also for anyone considering a PC, my cousin who works for Microsoft is saying windows Vista will be out in January.....will be very similar to Mac OS X.......and you will NEED a 256 MB video card, so dont get a computer without one or the ability to add one.
You may need a 256 MB card to run Vista under its highest graphical settings (bells and whistles), but certainly not for normal operation.

Why does an Intel mac run Win XP slow? That doesn't make any sense to me.
 

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this is what i'm doing: saving up for a super-awesome desktop that will cost me less than $1000 (core duo, 1gb ram, basically vista ready) that i can upgrade with the times and a tiny laptop (like the tiny sony vaio or dell running a celeron or old tech) that i can carry around which will cost less than $600 or so. you can feel free to do this or spend it all on an uber-laptop (but it'll be heavy).

don't buy a mac. people talk about how macs don't crash or get viruses. i have NEVER gotten a virus and since i switched to microsoft xp from windows me, i have NEVER had my computer crash. and all i've done is keep everything updated, which runs in the background most of the time. macs cost at least 1.5 to 2x as much as a better built, better performing PC. even the state of the art PC laptop will cost less than a mac, while performing and lasting twice as long. getting a mac is the same as getting an ipod. there are better things out there, you're just paying for the looks and the name. (and i have an ipod). there is nothing better about a mac over a PC. and you can feel free to argue with me over that.

ilife? who needs that? 0.001% would ever need to do anything with ilife beyond itunes, which is available on PCs. pretty fonts and cool effects when you click on things, you can have those on PCs too or you can turn them off as you like.

oh and if cannot run windows xp without it crashing you're either a) hopeless, b) illiterate, or c) surfing too many porn and warez sites.
 

durfen

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ADeadLois said:
Vista looks like it's going to be very, very similar to OS X. OS X is also a lot more secure than anything Windows will release.
I take exception to saying Mac is more secure. It is not, not by a long shot, and it has been proven on several occasions as proof-of-concept viruses have been developed. There are simply fewer computers installed with it.

Simlarly, Linux is more secure because it can't do as much out of the box. Even now, as more things are bundled into linux to make it more user-friendly, they make it inherently less secure. In Linux you have to enable/install everything you need, at least nowadays you usually don't have to compile the kernel yourself. Add to this the fact that Linux is used by people with mad administration skills (i.e me), not your average Joe. It's just easier to attack windows computers.

That said, yes, windows and ie code has security holes, but so does Mac, it's just not as much researched by hackers. I do have hopes for OneCare, though I think it should be made free.

*steps off podium before tomatoes fly*
 

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Actually, OSX is more secure than Win XP.
 

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My $0.02 experience...

I have an ibook G4 and a dell dimension piece of junk, which I've upgraded a few times with more memory, a better graphics card, etc.

The iBook has given me problems with everything from program malfunctions to hardware issues. It's frustrating, and I only use it if I have to travel, or if I want to watch a movie. (Media quality on the macs IS better. That's just the way it's going to be.)

My windows computer has never once given me problems. I take good care of it, and it takes care of me. The software and hardware are easier to deal with IMO, and it's just a better fit for me.

To each his own, I suppose.
 

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Sure macs are great but when it comes to compatibility they suck. Over 95% of the world's applications and software are written for Windows machines. Macs however, have a superior hardware and OS advantage. I do hate getting a hundred Windows updates and the pain in the ass task of hunting the internet to find a single driver file so I can use my printer. Any person using a Mac wouldn't and doesn't have to even know what a driver is.
 

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KingTutATL said:
Sure macs are great but when it comes to compatibility they suck. Over 95% of the world's applications and software are written for Windows machines. Macs however, have a superior hardware and OS advantage. I do hate getting a hundred Windows updates and the pain in the ass task of hunting the internet to find a single driver file so I can use my printer. Any person using a Mac wouldn't and doesn't have to even know what a driver is.
Any person using a Mac wouldn't and doesn't have to even know what a driver is...because they use Apple's printers, which Apple conveniently has drivers for, not Chinzxwan HL-103040502 Las-a Printer that Windows has to deal with.

EDIT: Superior hardware because it is all tightly integrated (no OEM) and upgrades cost you a pretty penny.
 

durfen

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rcd said:
Actually, OSX is more secure than Win XP.
As a die-hard programmer, I've gotten into quite a few args over this, don't want to get into one now.

But....no OSX isn't more secure. It just looks more secure.

In fact, Macintosh is the biggest monopoly there is. They use proprietary processors, proprietary motherboards, required specially made graphics card etc. that work with the system, you can only install one operating system on it, AND only Macintosh makes and distributes the hardware, nobody else has the license to make them. They used to, then Mac took them away. Sounds like a vertical monopoly to me.

Now, they're using Intel processors so you can install other OSes on it, so at least that's a start.
 

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I've had PCs all my life, and I literally spent 3 days in a MAC store trying to figure out if I should buy the Ibook or the Macbook pro. For some reason my credit wasn't approved there so I went to circuit city. I bought a laptop with better specs, great warrarnty, for cheaper than any Mac laptop I would have bought. And as long as you get a laptop with a AMD Turion 64 processor then you will be straight for Windows Vista. The current Intel Core Duo processors will only be able to run the 32bit version of Vista, but that will change when they roll out with the newer Core Duo chips. I've had PCs all my life and I've never gotten a virus. If you know what you are doing, then you'll be fine, and if not, then just buy a virus scan software. I'm telling you, I was 99.9999% close to buying a MacBook Pro, but since I couldn't, I ended up going to Circuit City and buy a HP laptop with 80 GB hardrive, 1.8 GHZ AMD Turion 64 processor, a DVD burner with Light Scribe techology, WIFI, media card reader, 15.4" widescreen for $699 after rebate with no interest till 2008!!! And with the 2 year Circuit City warranty, it was still cheaper than any Mac laptop and more powerful.
 

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i'v worked as a tech support consultant for the past 2 years (part time), and heres my 2 cents.....

there is nothing wrong with macs. They have a good os, they are slim and sleek, they are even priced relatively competitively now. They are also big in academia, so you shouldnt have a problem finding medical software for them. With that said, I still wouldn't buy one. The main reason is you will have to sell your soul to Apple. No matter what you want to buy for it, you will be shelling out top dollar to Steve Jobs.

PC's might have there problems, but as long as you keep your windows/antivirus updated and your firewall up, you shouldnt have to worry about security.

Also, you have to expand your horizons to the world outside of Best Buy/Circuit City. Lenovo thinkpads are probably the best laptop you can buy right now...and you wont find them in stores.

Finally, the obvious. Dont buy a computer until you know where your going. It would suck to buy a desktop...and then wind up going to a school you'll have to fly to. Also, some schools, (like AECOM) have computer requirements/recomendations.
 

rcd

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durfen said:
As a die-hard programmer, I've gotten into quite a few args over this, don't want to get into one now.

But....no OSX isn't more secure. It just looks more secure.

In fact, Macintosh is the biggest monopoly there is. They use proprietary processors, proprietary motherboards, required specially made graphics card etc. that work with the system, you can only install one operating system on it, AND only Macintosh makes and distributes the hardware, nobody else has the license to make them. They used to, then Mac took them away. Sounds like a vertical monopoly to me.

Now, they're using Intel processors so you can install other OSes on it, so at least that's a start.

Actually, I'm a "die hard computer programmer" as well. Macs are more secure.

Your posts would hold much more weight if you had supporting evidence. Why just say "macs aren't more secure, people wrote proof of concept viruses?" Give links. Cite.

Next, use more logical supports. Sticking to that same point about security, you assume that the existance of viruses means an OS is insecure. That's absurd! NO mondern OS can avoid viruses without AV protection. Self-installing spyware, worms, "full access" security holes are what people are worried about with "security." OSX, being based on BSD 4.4 has just about none of these in the core of the OS. Also, less people have OSX (is it like 20:1?), so there's relatively less reward/profit for malicous guys to develope ways to circumvent the security. That means it happens less to macs and more to pcs. I could go on...

Also, nearly all laptops use non-upgradeabe hardware so most of your point is irrelevante to this thread.
 

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Being a programmer doesn't really make anyone FULLY certified to judge the security of an OS anyway...unless you study that stuff intently or are a friendly whitehat and not some scriptkiddy. That being said just by the sheer fact that there are less viruses written for it makes it more secure. Security doesn't always have to be the difficulty of writing a pointless virus or searching for holes through various programs. We can't really base our judgements on 10 percent of the market versus 90 percent as far as the os security goes....equal them out and have the best minds in the area working on it then we'd see much better. Get whatever computer you want, that has solid reviews, and don't be stupid and everything will be fine. I see too many people go overboard with hardware and software firewalls and the like because they think some blackhat really wants to spend the time on digging through that to look at their quicken files and mp3s. You want real security? Stop handing out your social security number like it is nothing and leaving relevant information everywhere....human error is where the most security flaws seem to happen anyway.
 

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look, this mac vs. pc thing has been going on forever, and probably will go on forever. just buy the computer that you feel most comfortable with. for me, even having been a die-hard thinkpad guy for like 10 years, the macbook pro is best. for someone else who has a lot of free time to reformat their computer every other day, a pc is best. whatever.
 

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durfen said:
As a die-hard programmer, I've gotten into quite a few args over this, don't want to get into one now.

But....no OSX isn't more secure. It just looks more secure.

In fact, Macintosh is the biggest monopoly there is. They use proprietary processors, proprietary motherboards, required specially made graphics card etc. that work with the system, you can only install one operating system on it, AND only Macintosh makes and distributes the hardware, nobody else has the license to make them. They used to, then Mac took them away. Sounds like a vertical monopoly to me.

Now, they're using Intel processors so you can install other OSes on it, so at least that's a start.
i was thinking the same thing.
 

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yourmom25 said:
don't buy a mac. people talk about how macs don't crash or get viruses. i have NEVER gotten a virus and since i switched to microsoft xp from windows me, i have NEVER had my computer crash. and all i've done is keep everything updated, which runs in the background most of the time. macs cost at least 1.5 to 2x as much as a better built, better performing PC. even the state of the art PC laptop will cost less than a mac, while performing and lasting twice as long. getting a mac is the same as getting an ipod. there are better things out there, you're just paying for the looks and the name. (and i have an ipod). there is nothing better about a mac over a PC. and you can feel free to argue with me over that.

ilife? who needs that? 0.001% would ever need to do anything with ilife beyond itunes, which is available on PCs. pretty fonts and cool effects when you click on things, you can have those on PCs too or you can turn them off as you like.
Wow, the pc vs. mac argument continues. This post is the pinnacle of mac hate with so many myths being perpetuated.
 

ND2005

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durfen said:
Any person using a Mac wouldn't and doesn't have to even know what a driver is...because they use Apple's printers, which Apple conveniently has drivers for, not Chinzxwan HL-103040502 Las-a Printer that Windows has to deal with.

EDIT: Superior hardware because it is all tightly integrated (no OEM) and upgrades cost you a pretty penny.

Pssst...Apple doesn't make printers. They just had the common sense to make it easy to install the proper printer drivers when needed.

Also, I'd urge you to look up the logical fallacy known as an argument from authority. Simply prefacing your comments by saying "I'm a computer programmer" doesn't add any real weight to your (mostly incorrect) comments.
 

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I am the kind of person that needs the following things from a computer:
1. Just need the computer to work.
2. Need someone to fix it if it breaks.
3. Want something that will not need me to do a lot of stuff with it (updates, installations, anything complicated)...

So my macbook is really great. I have Procare at the apple store and they are really nice. The laptop worked perfect out of the box and is really, really cute and fast. So if you aren't a techie or just don't have time to deal with all of that computer stuff, the macbook works.

Apple even transfers all of your stuff from your old computer (even if it is PC) to your new Mac for you and will install whatever you need, whenever you need it. You have to be a Procare member though. For me it is worth it.
 

durfen

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ND2005 said:
Pssst...Apple doesn't make printers. They just had the common sense to make it easy to install the proper printer drivers when needed.

Also, I'd urge you to look up the logical fallacy known as an argument from authority. Simply prefacing your comments by saying "I'm a computer programmer" doesn't add any real weight to your (mostly incorrect) comments.
Haha, yeah Apple does not make printers, my bad.
And I was not making an argument from authority, I do not consider myself one. I was simply saying that I have gotten into a few args because of being one.
 

durfen

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rcd said:
Actually, I'm a "die hard computer programmer" as well. Macs are more secure.

Your posts would hold much more weight if you had supporting evidence. Why just say "macs aren't more secure, people wrote proof of concept viruses?" Give links. Cite.

Next, use more logical supports. Sticking to that same point about security, you assume that the existance of viruses means an OS is insecure. That's absurd! NO mondern OS can avoid viruses without AV protection. Self-installing spyware, worms, "full access" security holes are what people are worried about with "security." OSX, being based on BSD 4.4 has just about none of these in the core of the OS. Also, less people have OSX (is it like 20:1?), so there's relatively less reward/profit for malicous guys to develope ways to circumvent the security. That means it happens less to macs and more to pcs. I could go on...

Also, nearly all laptops use non-upgradeabe hardware so most of your point is irrelevante to this thread.
You are correct, AV protection is a requirement. Many Mac users (and Windows users) do not have it however.
Having proof-of-concept viruses means an OS is not secure, unless you want to change the definition of secure. 'Adequately secure' is a better word to use here. Mac, owing primarily to its relative rarity among users, is adequately secure.

You haven't pointed out another basic flaw in my arg: 60% of the web runs Apache, to which I have said that Linux is highly customized to each application and have good administrators. However, I'm not sure that's a valid argument.
Laptops are slightly upgradeable, memory+processor.

Citations:
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6043353.html - an ok citation that links to flaws that were exposed.
Lookee:
"A machine running Apple's operating system might actually be easier to hit than a Windows PC, Schmugar said. "There are fewer and less evolved defenses around a Mac, because there have been fewer threats against it," he said. "The success rate for getting malicious code to run is probably greater." "

However:
["Asked if the Mac, compared with Windows, is still the obvious safer choice for people on the Internet, Gartner's Wagner simply replied: "Yes." "

Citation given. That done, this is a board, not a journal.
 

durfen

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MossPoh said:
Being a programmer doesn't really make anyone FULLY certified to judge the security of an OS anyway...unless you study that stuff intently or are a friendly whitehat and not some scriptkiddy. That being said just by the sheer fact that there are less viruses written for it makes it more secure. Security doesn't always have to be the difficulty of writing a pointless virus or searching for holes through various programs. We can't really base our judgements on 10 percent of the market versus 90 percent as far as the os security goes....equal them out and have the best minds in the area working on it then we'd see much better. Get whatever computer you want, that has solid reviews, and don't be stupid and everything will be fine. I see too many people go overboard with hardware and software firewalls and the like because they think some blackhat really wants to spend the time on digging through that to look at their quicken files and mp3s. You want real security? Stop handing out your social security number like it is nothing and leaving relevant information everywhere....human error is where the most security flaws seem to happen anyway.
Nope don't study the stuff intently, though I will in the coming year.
Nope not a white/blackhat or scriptkiddie.
And yup to the rest of it.
 

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Wow and I thought slashdot was bad...

Seriously buy the kind of computer you like. If you're familiar with Windows, scared of switching, or have some application that won't work on Macs, stay with a PC. Most of the major stuff works (well, except games), but the little niche apps are the ones to worry about. You can always run Windows on the new Intel Macs, but you technically have to buy a copy to use it.

I have to agree with the sentiment that Macs are more secure, however. Until IE7 and Vistaa come out, Macs have the advantage for a couple of reasons. One, IE6 is notoriously bad about security holes due to ActiveX crap. You can get around this by using Firefox of course. Two, Macs are based on Unix (BSD specifically), so everything is run in user mode by default. Windows XP runs in administrator mode by default, meaning any application can basically do whatever it wants. This can be catastrophic if a malicious app somehow gets onto your system.

Both have good and bad things about them - buy what is best for you.

A few points though:
-You can run media player files with Flip4Mac
-You don't have to be an idiot to make Windows crash, I'm sorry. It's much more rare now, but definitely happens
 

durfen

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bretticus said:
Wow and I thought slashdot was bad...

Seriously buy the kind of computer you like. If you're familiar with Windows, scared of switching, or have some application that won't work on Macs, stay with a PC. Most of the major stuff works (well, except games), but the little niche apps are the ones to worry about. You can always run Windows on the new Intel Macs, but you technically have to buy a copy to use it.

I have to agree with the sentiment that Macs are more secure, however. Until IE7 and Vistaa come out, Macs have the advantage for a couple of reasons. One, IE6 is notoriously bad about security holes due to ActiveX crap. You can get around this by using Firefox of course. Two, Macs are based on Unix (BSD specifically), so everything is run in user mode by default. Windows XP runs in administrator mode by default, meaning any application can basically do whatever it wants. This can be catastrophic if a malicious app somehow gets onto your system.

Both have good and bad things about them - buy what is best for you.

A few points though:
-You can run media player files with Flip4Mac
-You don't have to be an idiot to make Windows crash, I'm sorry. It's much more rare now, but definitely happens
Yeah I started it, sorry all.
 

tacojohn

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Back to the original topic:

Get a mac if you've got a few extra dollars to spend. They're pretty cool and you can install Windows on it alongside Mac OS X and it will be identical to a Dell or HP from your perspective if you really want to run Windows still. If you're looking for something cheap, go buy one of those $699 laptops from Best Buy. Don't expect anything great but it will certainly do the job without any problems.
 

63768

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Tusk said:
Wow, the pc vs. mac argument continues. This post is the pinnacle of mac hate with so many myths being perpetuated.
i'm not going to take it too far since this is detracting from the OP's dilemma, but how am i perpetuating myths? i never said macs crash or that i'm a "programmer." macs are priced higher than pcs for marginal if any improvement in performance. it's a fact. i don't reformat everyday. i reformat every 6 months, i defrag every week on saturday when i go to bed. i really don't see the whining from the mac side in saying that it takes SOOOO (insert melodramatic tone) much time to maintain a pc. shrugs. oh, and my toshiba laptop is 6 yrs old (with 256mb ram, 1ghz P3) and it runs at about 70% the speed of a mac i tried out. not too shabby for an old comp vs brand new "awesome" technology.

and to the OP, all i can say is choose the best comp for you. go run the computers. go through your daily routine, open files, open IE/FF, surf, etc. tell any salesman to back off and take a spin for 10-15 mins. find the one that works best for your budget. as i said before, i plan on getting a desktop and a small laptop, but that's w/ my budget and preferences.

edit: i love how the only reason macs have so much popularity lately is because of their recent string of ads, comparing mac osx to windows 95. a head to head comparison w/ xp? no, win95.
 

sanche60

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OneDayDoc said:
My old laptop is on its last legs and I'm trying to decide if I should get a new laptop that I could bring to med school classes next year or save money on a desktop. Does anyone out there know what the prevalence of laptop use in med school classes is? I knew they are ubiquitous in law and biz school, but am not sure about us pre doc folks.
At all the med school classes that i sat in on during interview season and at the summer "mock medical school program" im attending, Id say like less than 5% of the students actually had their laptop out during the lecture. You should be fine if you dont, but I know my school has recently set up a wireless connection in all of their medical school lecture halls, so that would be cool if you could access online notes in class and maybe even cross-reference things being said with search engines or something. Since alot of teachers post their lecture notes online it might also be good to go back a few slides if you didnt understand something or relate different parts of the lecture together without having to print the whole thing out.