Re: Mac laptops and Tech Comm

Subject: Re: Mac laptops and Tech Comm
From: jimmy -at- breck-mckye -dot- com
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:18:58 +0000

Well, quite. If you intend to use Windows applications, just get a good Win laptop. They're an awful lot cheaper than the Apple option.

Windows gets its 'buggy' reputation because it appears on machines with poorly supported hardware with crummy firmware. A good laptop with good parts resolves a lot of that.

An when isn't portability an option?

My last tech writing role was completely office-based. When I needed a field visit, I just borrowed a company lappy for taking notes and sometimes showing off web output. Your requirements, however, may vary.

[You can run Windows software on Mac] ... via VM software such as Parallels or VMFusion (3rd party s/w you have to buy)

You could use a free virtualization option like Virtualbox instead, though.


On 27.02.2012 09:13, Phil wrote:
I think the answers have been covered, but here's my take:

You can't use Frame, Flare and quite a few other Tech comm tools on a
mac natively, so if you're going Mac you need to run an Windows and/or
Linux installation on your mac box anyway. That should make you
consider why you need a mac box at all. Of course, you can't run any
mac apps on any other box, so if you need Mac OS then you can put both
Windows and Mac (and LInux, and Chrome, too for that matter) all on a
single Mac.

You can do that three ways, as has already been pointed out:

via bootcamp (internal software that comes with mac)
via VM software such as Parallels or VMFusion (3rd party s/w you have to buy)
via rEFIt bootloader (this is just a boot picker actually, but it
will let you switch between multiple OSs easily)

I've tried all three ways and I prefer Parallels personally because
you can actually be booted into both systems simultaneously, share
drives and other resources, and even cut and paste between them on the
fly. Parallels also sets up all the peripherals and drivers for you so
its also very easy to set up and get going.

You'll want a minimum 8GB RAM to run that at decent speeds (yes, I
know there are some doing it on 4GB, but you're either experiencing
lag or you're running much heavy duty stuff on both OSs at the same
time).

In all cases, you'll of course have to buy the Win OS on top of
buying your Mac, and the software to run on it.
You'll also need a reasonable amount of internal disk space if you
want to carry all those OSs around with you.
If portability 's not an issue, consider installing one of them on an
external drive.

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Re: Mac laptops and Tech Comm: From: Phil

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