Mac or PC ?

Cornelius Krasel krasel at alf.biochem.mpg.de
Mon Nov 21 12:56:16 EST 1994

Tim Cutts (tjrc1 at cus.cam.ac.uk) wrote:
> dehais at next9.lirmm.fr (Patrice DEHAIS) writes:

> >I work in a laboratory specialized in genetics. We have to change all  
> >our old personal computers (old PC running DOS) and buy new machines. 

[In favour of PCs:]

> Unix is available quite cheaply these days
> (even for free, in some cases, like Linux or FreeBSD), and there is a
> lot of genetics analysis software for Unix, such as the GCG and Staden
> packages.

But I doubt that GCG for Unix is supported for Linux (and I'm not willing
to spend $3000 to try out :-).

> I think the PC is also superior for connectivity.  Networking
> macintoshes is expensive, unless you buy an expensive macintosh with
> built-in ethernet.  If you will need to connect to remote hosts (for
> example, my groups use an SGI machine running the Staden and GCG
> packages), the PC stands out.  I can use my PC as a dedicated
> X-terminal to the remote machine.  My fellow lab workers on their
> macintoshes cannot.  There are X servers for Macs, but they are
> supposed to be awful.  After all, X requires three mouse buttons, so
> you're onto a loser from the word go...

In my experiences, PCs are much harder to network than are Macs. Especially
with the new PowerMacs which come with built-in Ethernet, it's just
plug'n play. MacTCP is for sure some of the most unreliable software
you can get on a Mac but compared to Windows or DOS, it's still out-

On the other hand, there is really no decent X server for Mac. I have
some experience with MacX, and I found it slow and clumsy. You can get
around the one-button-mice problem by buying three-button-mice from
third-hand parties, but accessing a workstation by X is still much nicer
on a fast PC with eXceed for Windows (or the like).

> Also, other software.  Microsoft is now the established king of the
> applications software world.  They obviously push their own system
> first, so all their Mac software is usually lagging a bit behind the
> Windows version.  Just something to consider.

I'd like to add the following rumour: Microsoft Word for Windows is reported
to be faster on a PowerMac running SoftWindows than Microsoft Word for Mac
(both version 6). Makes one think :-)

In addition, I think a DOS-/Windows-based environment needs some more
administration than a Mac-based environment (which still needs to much
of this :-).

Good luck!


/* Cornelius Krasel, Abt. Lohse, Genzentrum, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany  */
/* email: krasel at alf.biochem.mpg.de                 fax: +49 89 8578 3795  */
/* "Science is the game you play with God to find out what His rules are." */

More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net