Once you go Mac ...

Not directly Mothur related (however!), but I was wondering what advantages a Mac has compared to other systems for data processing and analysis.
I’m looking for a new machine which is faster than my current Dell Desktop (Windows XP).
I know you (Pat) are a proponent of Mac(book). What objective (please :stuck_out_tongue: ) reasons do you have for this?
There’s a lot of Linux based programs out there too, is this anyway compatible with Mac?

… there’s no going back :slight_smile: So I can give the reasons why I went mac…

6 yrs ago (yikes!) I was setting up a new lab at UMass Amherst and needed a new laptop having spilled one too many Dr. Pepper’s on my Dell. That was an ideal time to figure out which direction I wanted my whole lab to go. My Dell had a dual boot of linux and windows. Windows seemed much more painful to develop in than Linux did. Mac OS X is basically a really nice and expensive version of linux and so it made sense to go Mac because I wouldn’t have to be swapping back and forth between operating systems. That was the real reason I went Mac initially. I had also noticed that the same source code compiled for windows and linux took longer to actually run in Windows. The other advantage at the time was that it was possible to run ARB in Mac, but not in Windows.

We still find that Mac is a lot easier to develop in, run, and is faster than Windows. It is also easier for us to transfer code to our linux-based cluster. I suspect anything command line programs you can run in linux can also be run in Mac pretty easily.

Hope this helps,

PS. Macs are also just cool. I mean nothing else says cool like a computer that is 5-fold more expensive that a comparable Dell.