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Old 06-15-2012, 12:32 PM   #76
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I agree that OS shouldn't be the main consideration in the what-computer-to-buy decision. Yes, what applications she needs should be the main determination in general. But as a starting college student, at a college where both PCs and Macs are commonly used, application availability probably won't be as important as hardware affordability.

So I agree in general and in the long run, she'd probably be happy with a new PC laptop. Starting when I opened this thread, she'd been saying she wanted a Mac so I went with that, without really considering cost and all associated implications much. So I'm glad Harry raised and re-raised this issue and that we're discussing it now.

She is reading this thread, thinking about computers, tablets, and software, and asking questions on phone and in email. I want her to make her own decisions about hardware, OS, and applications, rather than buy a Mac merely because Uncle Unboggling likes his Mac and she's frustrated with her Mom's old desktop PC.

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Old 06-15-2012, 05:04 PM   #77
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I've been doing a little more looking around. Yeah, I see what HarryT and hrosvit mean about the variety of PC laptops, lower entry and mid-level price-points for PCs (in addition to available high performance machines), and not really needing a high-end hardware platform for general student use.

And it is kind of sad that Apple doesn't offer laptops at entry-level and mid-level capability prices. I guess if I were raking in all that cash from iPhone and iPad sales, I wouldn't want to bother competing there either.

Sorry I've been a sort of high-performance snob.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-06-2012 at 03:05 PM. Reason: strike outs
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:13 PM   #78
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All of this talk about OS differences reminds me of my decisions on this. As far as I am concerned it is the applications that I am interested in not the OS. The OS is just a way to run applications. For this reason I use a iPad but my main computer runs Windows. For my use there are many more applications that I want that only run on that platform.

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I have both an old PC and an even older iMac. I feel more comfortable navigating through menus on a PC, which is one reason I prefer doing most of my computing on a PC. Also, as you stated, there are many more applications written for Windows, but just as important to those of us on a budget, those programs that come in both PC and Mac versions tend to cost more for the Mac version. Having said that, I just renewed my Norton Antivirus for Mac after two months of its having been expired and the Mac got no viruses at all in that time. I wouldn't dare get that careless with Windows. Moreover, I can shut down, restart, and log into my iMac in less time than I can log into my already booted PC, and it appears to make much more efficient use of its resources. Overall, I think Macs are the better computers, and if I spent more time with my iMac—whose main function at this time is to keep the rest of the family off my PC—I might well come to prefer the way things are done on them. They're awesome machines, but they are expensive.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #79
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Here is a list of applications people mentioned in this thread, for computer, iPad, or iPhone. And a few I added.


Mac OS X (no Windows version):

-- iWork, $79.00, productivity suite, includes Pages, Numbers, Keynote. Or these can be purchased separately through Apple's App Store at $19.95 each for direct download to Mac. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB942/iWork-09

-- VMware Fusion, $49.99, emulation, to run Windows applications on Mac. (Different vmWare products are available for Windows and Linux platforms.) As an emulation it may run slower than a solution such as Bootcamp with Windows. But it allows running Mac and PC applications simultaneously. http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/overview.html

-- Bootcamp, free, comes with new Mac, allows installation of separately purchased Windows operating system (Windows XP, Vista, or 7) in a separate partition. This is not a Windows emulation so it's probably faster than emulators such as VMware Fusion. With this solution, switching from one OS to the other requires shutting down, choosing the other OS, then restarting. Windows and Mac applications cannot be run simultaneously.

-- Chronicle, $14.95 from application site, or $9.99 from Mac App Store. Financial, bill management. Application site: http://www.chronicleapp.com/


Mac OS X (also available in Windows version):

-- Open Office, free, productivity suite. http://www.openoffice.org/product/index.html

-- Microsoft Office for Mac Home & Student 2011, $149.99, productivity suite. Includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook. Note that iWork or Open Office provide most of the same functionality (other than eMail) cheaper or free. I was wrong when I previously said Outlook (eMail) doesn't come with MS Office for Mac. http://www.microsoft.com/mac

-- ESET Cybersecurity for Mac, $59.99 for 2 years. I like this much better than Norton. Had trouble with Norton, never with ESET. Includes antivirus and anti-spyware protection. http://go.eset.com/us/store/

-- Free antivirus software. I've noticed that the free ones may be partial protection, often with more comprehensive packages also sold by the same company. I haven't used these or researched them in detail. Mentions were: iAntivirus (Mac only), Avast, and Sophos.

-- Evernote, free, notes and projects. http://evernote.com/

-- Calibre, free (donate), eBook management and conversion. Includes eBook reader for ePub formats, which also translates various other formats into ePub for viewing purposes. Calibre can also convert between various formats. http://www.calibre-ebook.com

-- Acrobat X Pro Student and Teacher Edition for Mac, $119. The student edition is much cheaper than the non-student edition, if you want or need an application to edit PDF format documents or books, where those PDFs are not locked against editing. Available $111.99 at Amazon (on DVD).
Adobe: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatpro.edu.html
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Acrobat-...+x+pro+for+mac

-- Adobe Reader X, free, PDF reader. http://get.adobe.com/reader/

-- Adobe Digital Editions, free, ePub format eBook reader also good for reading ePub eBooks borrowed from a library. http://www.adobe.com/ap/products/digitaleditions/

-- Kindle for Mac, free, Amazon formats reader (azw, azw3, azw4, Mobi). http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000493771

-- Kindle Previewer, free, Mobi format eBook reader, Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?docId=1000765261


iPad or iPhone:

-- Evernote, free, notes and projects. http://evernote.com/

-- Kindle for iPad/iPhone, free, Amazon formats reader (azw, azw3, azw4, Mobi). http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000493771

-- BlueFire Reader, free, ePub and PDF format eBook reader, iTunes store.

-- MegaReader, $1.99, ePub format eBook reader, iTunes store.

-- GoodReader, $4.99, robust PDF format eBook reader, iTunes store.

-- Pages, Numbers, & Keynote, $9.99 each, iTunes store.


Multi-platform, Various Computers and Devices:

-- Cloud storage, syncing, file hosting, backup services. Many venders offer 3 to 5 GB of free storage space, and some have various syncing options. As one possible example, the user could keep music files in the cloud, then listen to a tune by streaming it direct from cloud to mobile device, without having to actually store it on the mobile device. There are many venders, many associated applications. For more information and comparison charts, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_storage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ation_software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...sting_services
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ackup_services

-- Some specific examples of above: Dropbox, SugarSync, Amazon Cloud, iCloud, Mozy, CrashPlan.

Last edited by unboggling; 06-20-2012 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Additions.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #80
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Could anyone recommend good security software for iPhone or iPad? Is it even necessary?

Edit:
Per discussion on Apple site, there are no viruses affecting IOS devices. Yet. So there are no antivirus apps for IOS devices. They recommend using "safe" web practices. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

Interesting article re security for iPad: http://www.esecurityplanet.com/trend...d-Security.htm

Re security apps for Mac, I just noticed that iAntivirus is free.

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:30 AM   #81
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Could anyone recommend good security software for iPhone or iPad? Is it even necessary? Edit: Per discussion on Apple site, there are no viruses affecting IOS devices. Yet. So there are no antivirus apps for IOS devices. They recommend using "safe" web practices. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

Edit: Interesting article re security for iPad: http://www.esecurityplanet.com/trend...d-Security.htm

Edit: I just noticed that iAntivirus for Mac is free.
Avast is free too, and afaiac much better. It has a long established reputation, as does Sophos which also has a free version for OSX.

Havent bothered about security on iPad yet. I'll have a read of that article, thanks for the link
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:58 AM   #82
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Maybe that was already answered in the thread, but what is your niece majoring in?

Some background information on myself: I still have a soft spot for Apple computers, since I was working throughout the beginning of my study years (88 - 92'ish) on Macs because I was earning my money with graphic design (Desktop publishing), which was at that time non-existant on any other platform. However, as time proceeded, I changed to the Windows camp.

While I understand that Apple computers are way cooler than PC machines for a young lady, I would respectfully suggest that she is unlikely to encounter Macintosh computers in the workplace, unless she works in video editing, photography, media or graphic design or some similarly "artistic" domain. The "standard office workplace" normally consists of some Windows PC (OK, it also might be different in an architect/doctor/musicians office, but not in a "normal" office) unless I am very much mistaken.

Considering that computer literacy is to a part also the familiarity with the computer (to be precise: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Webbrowser) for everyday work, I guess a PC might be the more logical solution (but not as cool as the Mac, of course).

Best regards,
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #83
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Considering that computer literacy is to a part also the familiarity with the computer (to be precise: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Webbrowser) for everyday work, I guess a PC might be the more logical solution (but not as cool as the Mac, of course).
That's an excellent point, Andy.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #84
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Could anyone recommend good security software for iPhone or iPad? Is it even necessary?

Edit:
Per discussion on Apple site, there are no viruses affecting IOS devices. Yet. So there are no antivirus apps for IOS devices. They recommend using "safe" web practices. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?
While no platform is 100% secure, Apple makes it hard to download any unvetted file or program. This can be a pain for people who like to tinker, but it is also a huge hurdle for anyone who wants to get a virus on to an iOS device. I'm sure there are exploits, and I imagine that someone will eventually sneak something nasty into the app store, but most anti-virus software seems to work from a database of known exploits. Because of Apple's tight control over what is available on iOS, once an exploit becomes known, it will likely be addressed more quickly by Apple than virus software would be able to do. Also the iOS is not really made for applications to run primarily in the background, which an anti-virus program would have to do to be effective, and which it seems like many types of virus software would have to do to be dangerous.

I'm sure an iPad is not bullet-proof, but I do feel that it is more secure than most platforms, and the idea that the lack of anti-virus software makes it less secure is usually an idea that's put forward by people selling anti-virus software.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:31 PM   #85
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Maybe that was already answered in the thread, but what is your niece majoring in?
She wants to be a doctor of veterinary medicine.

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...she is unlikely to encounter Macintosh computers in the workplace, unless she works in video editing, photography, media or graphic design or some similarly "artistic" domain. The "standard office workplace" normally consists of some Windows PC (OK, it also might be different in an architect/doctor/musicians office, but not in a "normal" office)….
I agree. Speaking from personal experience, Mac users who have to use PCs at the office may experience some frustration. But most computer skills are transferable from one platform to another.

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Considering that computer literacy is to a part also the familiarity with the computer (to be precise: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Webbrowser) for everyday work, I guess a PC might be the more logical solution (but not as cool as the Mac, of course).
All of which also run on have versions for Mac OS X, except perhaps the browser Internet Explorer, but Mac OS X can run browsers such as Firefox or Chrome in addition to Safari. Browsers are very similar. But I agree with your point about learning MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, because those are most likely to be used in the workplace. So spending more money on MS Office than a cheap or free office productivity suite may be worth it in the long run just for the sake of familiarity. Though word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation skills are also basically transferable across suites, the specific differences can be time-consuming to learn. For example I'm having trouble changing from Word to OpenOffice specifically with their different search/replace methods.

Last edited by unboggling; 07-06-2012 at 03:17 PM. Reason: strike out, for precision changed Mac to Mac OS X
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:05 PM   #86
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I'm sure an iPad is not bullet-proof, but I do feel that it is more secure than most platforms, and the idea that the lack of anti-virus software makes it less secure is usually an idea that's put forward by people selling anti-virus software.
I'm not saying IOS devices are insecure, or that they're safe. I read elsewhere that they're safer than Android or Windows based devices. I raised the issue here because a conscientious student might wonder about it, while pondering budget for necessary and useful software purchases. I think awareness of the environment in terms of potential security risks is a good survival habit, whether with computers and devices, or in real life.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:45 AM   #87
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Could anyone recommend good security software for iPhone or iPad? Is it even necessary?
iPad and iPhone, not at all. Mac, only if you work on it in a firm.

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While no platform is 100% secure, Apple makes it hard to download any unvetted file or program.
Personally I have no problems with getting files on or of my iPad. Especially with Dropbox, this is no problem at all.

But the reason for this not being totally obvious, is that Apple///Jobs wants to remove the conventional view on dealing with files, and only deal with the data itself. Like the way iTunes and iPhoto also deals with things.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #88
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Personally I have no problems with getting files on or of my iPad. Especially with Dropbox, this is no problem at all.

But the reason for this not being totally obvious, is that Apple///Jobs wants to remove the conventional view on dealing with files, and only deal with the data itself. Like the way iTunes and iPhoto also deals with things.
Right. I'm not saying files can't be added to the iPad, just that Apple does not do a lot to facilitate the process. In terms of vulnerability to a virus, a file that is added to an iOS device with no knowledge of the device user seems unlikely. If you can convince a user to seek out a file that's harmful to iOS, put it in their Dropbox folder, then download and activate the file on the iOS device, then there's no anti-virus software that will protect that user.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:20 PM   #89
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Regarding security on computer, I wouldn't want to risk running without comprehensive and frequently-updating antivirus and anti-spyware protection. I use that along with an OS X based firewall, behind good security on my wireless router. There are security threats aimed at OS X, though there seem to be less of them than for Windows.

With Dropbox (or equivalent), the files that reside in the Dropbox folder on my computer have been virus scanned, so syncing to the file hosting/syncing server and mobile devices doesn't offend my sense of security.

iOS devices are different, but with those I try to funnel most email and downloads through the computer (and its protection) before transferring to device. To me that's safe. I don't have to trust security precautions of outside companies or servers, or even Apple's walls between apps on iOS devices. I make exceptions sometimes, doing email with attachments or downloads direct to devices, but I keep in mind that doing so is less safe. I also try to limit surfing on iOS devices to known safe sites.

Even if there is not yet any malware that affects iOS devices directly -- which I don't know is true -- that doesn't mean iOS devices cannot be the recipients and transmitters of malware back to the computer, Windows or OS X, bypassing firewalls on the computer and local network.

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:51 AM   #90
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Device: iPad 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
In terms of vulnerability to a virus, a file that is added to an iOS device with no knowledge of the device user seems unlikely. If you can convince a user to seek out a file that's harmful to iOS, put it in their Dropbox folder, then download and activate the file on the iOS device, then there's no anti-virus software that will protect that user.
While it is technically true, it would require that a specific app is present for the file to wreak havoc, the chances of which are quite low. Unless of course it targets an Apple app that comes with the device, but in that case you can betcha that Apple will issue an update, as they have done before.

It is not possible for a file to wreak havoc on its own in iOS, since all apps have to be signed from Apple, massively lowering the chances of something going wrong.

And in *any* case where hell freezes over, you still have your iTunes backup, so...
Quote:
Originally Posted by unboggling View Post
Regarding security on computer, I wouldn't want to risk running without comprehensive and frequently-updating antivirus and anti-spyware protection. I use that along with an OS X based firewall, behind good security on my wireless router. There are security threats aimed at OS X, though there seem to be less of them than for Windows.
There are absolutely no virus' available for OSX, and as long as you use sensible approaches to downloading things from the shady sides of the internet, ie. not installing trojans (And to that extent - Any app that requires your admin password for installation, which doesn't belong to a trusted source, is a no no), there is absolutely no way your machine will get harmed.

Firewalls is another matter, but that is built in to OSX anyway.
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