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Apple versus PC's

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:25 am
by Nussgipfel
Great weekend all,

I am starting to contemplate buying a new computer and I am considering purchasing an Apple I-Mac 5 24'' machine. Currently I am using a Sony Vaio but it is almost 4 years old and it is starting to act up.

Just wonder if any of you who is using Apple Computers found any problems when running Windows based programs such as TBB or any other programs such as Trade Navigator, Metastock or Gannanalyst etc etc. Would you buy your Apple again? Any problems one should be aware of? I intend to wait until the new Windows Vista version is released before I make my move but I might just have to bite the bullet earlier.

I am typing this message on an I-Mac 5 20'' computer but really only use it for my photos, music etc. I love it but would appreciate any feedback from those who already made the move. Since this machine is not equiped with the intel chip I can not test run any programs here.

Thanks for your comments. This forum has been extremly helpful to me.

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:40 am
by painless
As you are no doubt aware there is not the range of packaged software available for OS X as there is for windows. So unless you can find what you need or write it yourself then your choice may be limited.

Having said that a 64bit Mac Pro is a nice machine to crunch numbers on and OS X, being freebsd Unix, is far more reliable and secure than windows. Unfortunately the world is not perfect and most people are stuck with "it will do". I have bought an Apple and I plan to buy a Mac Pro next year. I mostly use tick data and all have all my own testing software so my requirements are steep. If you write your own software then an Apple has a lot of advantages as it comes with a considerable amount of developer software out of the box and of course with clustering you could do some serious work, sigh!

I have a degree in com science and started developing analysis software in the late 80s (Unix, since that was all there was). So I have some degree of knowlege about the topic. I don't take a computer OS personally because I am neither Bill Gates nor Steve Jobs and I do not understand how some users feel the need to defend "their" OS. Apple used to be a piece of junk in my view but now it is Unix with a pretty front end. As such I consider it to be a superior platform to windows for the scientific community and has some obvious advantages for those who conduct research.

hope that helps

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:37 pm
by mojojojo
I echo painless's comments. The Apple machines and OS are much better then any wintel machine; however, most software is written for Windows. Plus, it really depends on your plans for the machine. Will this machine be used for everyday use and for system testing or system testing only?

System testing only: go with PC and Windows. Much simpler this way

Everyday and System testing: go with the Mac and run Windows via Parallels.

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:30 pm
by Forum Mgmnt
I really wanted to buy a Mac laptop but ended up getting an IBM T60p instead. The ONLY reason I didn't buy a Mac is the screen size. They just didn't have enough vertical pixels for my taste.

I really find the 1600 x 1200 screen size on my T60p to be a huge productivity advance, especially when programming.

The Mac laptops only had 900 vertical pixels and only in the version that was very wide which is great for watching DVDs but I didn't want to lug around a huge laptop just to get a few more vertical pixels.

But the Mac OS is much much better. My next desktop will be a Mac, and my next laptop once they have at least the same vertical pixels.

- Forum Mgmnt

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:38 pm
by painless
While we are are the subject I think that TB should port their software to Mac. Specifically the 64 bit Power Macs. I have not used the product but it seems that many of the users are satisfied with it. This is software written for a niche market, market research and testing, and as such it needs as much grunt as it can muster to drive it as well as stability. Waiting for windows to actually make vista work is not a very good option. In any case a Power Mac is cheaper than a Dell in the same config.
Should be relatively painless to port and the performance increase for the average Joe will be substantial. With that much power you could let users play with tick data and find out what happened during the day.
I for one would consider buying TB just to do daily analysis it would speed up my schedule no end.

Where are you Mr TB? What do you think?

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:37 am
by Nussgipfel
Thank you very much all for your comments. Looks like my next computer will indeed be an Apple now the only question is which one. I do not intend to buy a laptop so the pixel issue is not a concern.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:51 pm
by RedRock
I for one, am very happy with my Athlon 64 2x core with 2g of ram on Windows XP. Wont be jumping ship anytime soon.

Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 4:40 am
by Nussgipfel
Anybody out there that is using an Apple computer in windows mode with programs such as TB have any comments about ease of use and potential problems he/she is running into?


TB on a Mac

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:05 pm
by traderDJ
I run Trading Blox on my one year old 20" iMac with 2GB of RAM and configured with a Parallels virtual machine running WinXP. When I backtest, I set the RAM allocated to my virtual machine at 1.3GB and find it rockets along nicely. I only have a two year old clunker of a laptop to compare to and my iMac is a rocketship compared to that machine, which now is gathering dust.

No issues to report whatsoever. This was my first Mac, and as long as there is a virtual machine option to let me run Windows only software I'll never go back to a PC. I just can't believe how much I like Macs compared to PCs once I got used to the differences (took all of about an hour). They are just SO slick.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:35 am
by damian
Thanks for your user review.

This Parallels software has really got my attention: the biggest bonus is it allows file sharing between operating systems, so you can easily email a Blox object using your email client in OSX. Or you can open CSI ASCI files in Excel that is also in OSX. Without such filesharing dual OS capabilities were of limited benefit.

I also don't follow Mac hardware closely any more, but did just notice that the MacBook Pro 17 inch model has 1920x1200 native resolution if you get the optional widescreen display. The normal 17 inch screen has a native 1680x1050. Both are as good as or better than my current 17 inch Acer machine (which I like very much). The fancy MacBook Pro also costs less than a one R loss on a properly funded LTTF account.

I am really close to going back to Mac.

Or perhaps I just like spending money and am attracted by the good looks and incredible marketing.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:14 am
by Nussgipfel
TraderDJ and Damian thank you both very much for your comments. I was very close to consider the THinkpad X 60 but now it seems that the new Macbook Pro might just be the best solution after all. I checked with the NYC Apple store that you could even attach the 30 inch external monitor with the laptop.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:58 am
by mojojojo
I am slowing rolling out Macs across the company that I work for. Right now a majority of the software applications that we run are windows only. Because of that we do have parallels installed with either Windows XP or 2000. So far we haven't had a problems with it and the performance is pretty good. Part of that is because we are using the mac mini; however, I just ordered an iMac and Mac Pro so I will see how the beefier machines stack up. I fill confident in recommending a Mac and Parallels. With Parallels it's also easy to play with different Linux distros.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:59 am
by damian
The latest OSX version (leopard) is supposedly just around the corner. I might wait for that rather than pay for the upgrade.

Can anyone comment on configuring DSL sharing, eg: OSX is used to connect to DSL and Windows uses that connection.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:15 am
by traderDJ
Apple's annual Developer Conference is on Monday. They usually have some surprises up their sleeve. While they have gone on record as saying Leopard won't be ready for a few more months, you never know.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:24 am
by king1999
damian wrote:Can anyone comment on configuring DSL sharing, eg: OSX is used to connect to DSL and Windows uses that connection.
Router is so inexpensive these days (you can find a decent one with wirelsee support for less than $50), it is hardly worth the effort to use one of your computer to share DSL connection. In addition, if you do that you need to leave that computer on all the time just to keep other Windows computer connected to the Net.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:45 am
by damian
King1999 - it seem odd to me, the idea of using an external piece of hardware to share an internet connection between machines that are both running on the same motherboard. Generally speaking though, I agree with you.

Getting off topic, but I use one of those 3G wireless data cards/cell phone connectors to access my DSL service. Its slower, but the freedom is valuable: internet anywhere I can get cell phone coverage, including on a moving train. Once I plug the 3G card into the slot I want to have internet access in either OS running on the same laptop without using a router.

DJ - OSX leopard is due in October, a delay into 2008 is a hassle.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:52 am
by king1999
damian wrote:King1999 - it seem odd to me, the idea of using an external piece of hardware to share an internet connection between machines that are both running on the same motherboard. Generally speaking though, I agree with you.
damian: Sorry I didn't follow the whole thread. It doesn't work to use a router if you are running a virtual Windows session on the same computer. I was thinking about multiple physical computers.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:46 am
by traderDJ

Parallels uses something called shared networking which I don't profess nor care to understand. From their website:

"Shared Networking works by hiding your virtual machine IP addresses behind your Mac's IP, meaning that even connections like DSL or Cable modems that only allow 1 IP to register will work with virtual machines. In short, it means that if your Mac is connected to the internet, so is your virtual machine. No manual configuration required."

When I fired up WinXP in Parallels for the first time, the internet just worked. No issues whatsoever.

I hope that was what you were asking about.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:57 pm
by damian
Yes, that is my question. I hope it does 'just work'. Thanks for relating your experience, it is encouraging.

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:09 pm
by mojojojo

I just setup a parallels install yesterday and it did "just work". Once you have the Mac setup, the parallels/windows install goes very smoothly ... as far as network connectivity goes.