Mac vs DOS

Ross Koning Koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Wed Oct 18 17:52:09 EST 1995


At 12:06 PM 10/18/95 -0700, jperry at uwcmail.uwc.edu wrote:
>Can anyone offer an objective, non-prejudicial appraisal of what one should be
>purchasing in setting up a computer lab for biology?

I don't think anyone can give a truly objective report.
Certainly all trade magazines indicate that.  I would
say that IN THE PAST the two platforms were very different
in "look and feel" and made objective reviews impossible.
They were "apples" and "oranges" ("blues"?).  Since
Microsoft has made Windows 95 appear to look and feel
significantly like the Mac OS, I think the two systems
are now much more comparable.

Either platform (hardware) can do just about anything
you might need today.  Both have software available to
access just about any kind of equipment including CD-ROM.
Both network reasonably.  Both now have graphic interface
available.  Both are fast.  Both are accurate.  Both have
enough installed base to be here for a long time to come.
WINTELs of the past have needed additional "boards" to be
like a standard Mac (graphics, sound, networking, etc)...
now these come pre-installed.

I think there are some set-up issues that are different.
We find that Macs and Mac software generally set up without
training and virtually instantly.  I do not think that it
is so easy to set up new installations in the WINTEL world,
and networking has been easier in Macs, but I think that
is now improved for WINTEL machines too.  WINTEL software
has had a long history of "now go back to some book to make
it work."  And bookstores are good evidence that there are
interface issues still unresolved in software.  But software
for WINTELs is improving rapidly and the emergence of
Microsoft as the standard will help bring all of the WINTEL
software into a "common" interface.  Macs and software have
been "standardized" since 1987 (and before) so training and
books have not been part of the MacWorld.

I think the most important issue is "What software and hardware
are you willing to support with maintenance, upgrades, and site
licenses?"  There is a financial advantage to a campus that
keeps a single hardware standard.  Here we have a hash of
different configurations, making support and upgrades VERY
messy...a nightmare.

Good Luck!

ross

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 \ Ross Koning                                  \
  \ Biology Department                           \
   \ Eastern CT State University                  \
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     \ Koning at ecsuc.ctstateu.edu                    \
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