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Old Apr 17, 2013, 07:54 AM   #1
webcity
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Mac's in a web development office?

I know, I know....this has been discussed countless times, however, I'm in need of some opinions and a sort of sounding board.

At present, our web development office are using a mis match of computers and I want to improve the look/feel of the office and that will possibly include changing the computers that are in use.

At present, they are using:

1 x Custom PC with a Core i5 2400 3.1GHz CPU, 8GB Ram, 120GB SSD, ATI 5570 GPU
1 x Dell Laptop with a Core i7 720QM 1.6GHz Quad Core CPU, 8GB Ram, 250GB 7200rpm Hdd, nVidia GPU
2 x HP DC7900 with a Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz CPU, 4GB Ram, 500GB 7200rpm Hard Drives, ATI low profile GPU

We've just invested quite a lot of money and time setting up an internal HP server running Windows Server 2012 to store all client work, etc, and I was surprised that when connecting the computers to the domain, there was the option to connect Mac computers and this got me thinking.

Would there be any advantage to using Mac's in the web development office? I'm unsure what we would go for but it would be either the quad core mac mini's or the lower end 27" iMac's.

The other option would be to ditch the 2 HP desktops and build 3 more custom PC's but that wouldn't really improve the look of the office as such because the pc's would just go under the desk and monitors would be the same.

We use Adobe software quite a lot but we have this on the Creative Cloud program so can use this on Mac and PC's. We use Office365 so again, have access to the Mac version of Office without any extra expense so software costs really aren't much of a concern.

I would be interested to know your thoughts.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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I'd say stick with what you have unless those workstations are failing to meet the needs in some ways. You mentioned that you just spent a lot of money and time getting your server setup, why invest more money and time on something that is not needed.

Less disruption means more productivity.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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Hi Webcity. If your current setup is working fine and helps get the work done in a timely manner, maybe just stick and maintain it. Unless you are adding staff, or one of your PC 's hardware is defective or problematic, not yet needed to get new replacements.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 09:47 AM   #4
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Stick with what you have. While I personally greatly prefer using a Mac for web development, it is definitely not needed and doesn't really make me any more productive. Maybe if you were going to hire more people and wanted to give them the option of using a Mac but even then it might not be worth it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by webcity View Post
I want to improve the look/feel of the office and that will possibly include changing the computers that are in use.
Why? Is that going to result in you getting more business? Being able to attract better employees? Sounds like an easy way to waste a lot of money.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 09:54 AM   #5
webcity
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Thanks for your posts.

The reason I'm considering this is two-fold really. First and foremost, our office is looking tired so we're going to be (hopefully) getting it decorated, new carpet, etc, and the last thing we want is to put old tired looking PC's back in it once it's all looking nice.

We put a lot of emphasis on image and I think that's an important message to get across to clients when they visit our office.

Maybe the best idea would be to stick with what we have got but to get some sleeker looking monitors or something.

Is there anything out there that's good quality but with the same sort of class that a cinema display has?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide View Post
Why? Is that going to result in you getting more business? Being able to attract better employees? Sounds like an easy way to waste a lot of money.
Image is something that is extremely important to us as a company. When clients walk into our offices we want them to know they're dealing with a professional company, and I'm sure that's the same for a lot of web/graphic design companies.

I'm not saying that Mac's alone will result in this but along with the other plans for our office, I think upgrading the equipment will help - we certainly don't want to be seen to be using archaic computer equipment.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webcity View Post
I would be interested to know your thoughts.
Macs, in my opinion, is probably the best platform for web development.
You get all the POSIX UNIX toolsets as well as the Adobe CS suite along with MS Office. You can also virtualize all environments- Windows, Linux, and of course OSX.
When you run open source tools like Apache, GIT, rsync, SFTP, SSH, it is all the same across *NIX operating systems. With windows, you have to use a bunch of third party shareware apps and the experience is not the same.

If you are a dot net shop, then definitely stick with PCs.
But if you are a LAMP stack, Python, RoR (Ruby on Rails), you can either go Mac or Linux. In fact, the preferred platform for RoR and trendy NoSQL stuff like Cassandra,Mongo is OSX.
Developing LAMP, RoR and all the open source stuff is easier on the mac/linux. You can do all your coding/dev and drop in the console without weirdness like Putty/Cygwin. If your web servers are Linux,it is easier to migrate and set-up similar staging environments. For example, setting up paths like /folder/file is much more consistent across UNIX oses than that of d:\inetpub\file.html

If you ever go to the big developers conferences and workshops, you'll notice something interesting. A majority of those users are toting macbook pros. If you go to Google's main campus, a large majority of developers are using Mac OSX. Even the entire Android dev team are mostly mac users.

However, you should stick to what you are familar with, If you are hosting your server on a Windows machine, then it sounds like you are already a Windows shop. I'm a big believer of sticking with familarity. If your dev are still PC-Centric. Get their feedback before making a major change. I tried to switch a group of Mac developers to Linux (due to costs) and that didn't work out too well.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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Why not keep your existing set-up, as others suggest, because it works right now for you, and instead (if you have the desk space) get some vintage 'design classic' Macs simply for aesthetic effect? I'm thinking the original coloured iMac and its equally original white lamp-style successor. Maybe a clamshell iBook? You should be able to get them at good prices from eBay and the like. Get your company logo on some screen wallpaper on the old machines and, when the clients arrive, boot up the old Macs. It'll certainly be different and maybe a real talking point before the clients get see what other good stuff you can do.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 01:37 PM   #8
Efrem
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Personal opinion(s):

1. The Mac is the best platform for Web development.

2. The best platform for anyone is the one they already know how to use.

3. The difference in (1) is not enough to offset (2).

Windows, despite what the Mac fans here (myself included) may occasionally say, isn't that awful. (Caveat: I have not used Windows 8. Maybe Windows 8, or "Window 8" as it should probably be called, really is that awful.)
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Old Apr 18, 2013, 02:01 AM   #9
jafingi
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I prefer Mac for development. I am working as a lead-developer on a large agency, with over 8 years experience in programming.

The workflow is great on Mac (I'm using Sublime Text 2), and I like it way better than Windows (I switched to Mac 5 years ago).

However, if your current setup is working, spend the money elsewere, and replace the computers to Macs when they die
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Old Apr 18, 2013, 03:45 AM   #10
webcity
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Thanks for all the comments.

The key reason for looking to change is that two of the PC's we use now are 5 years old and are showing their age. We've already had to add pcie graphics cards because of issues with the integrated GPU's and the hard drives are about due to be replaced so we're going to be replacing them soon anyway.

I do agree though that it might be better to stick with Windows for the time being (even though many of our staff's personal preference is OSX) because we could get much more for the cash (albeit without the support offered with Apple products).
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Old Apr 18, 2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webcity View Post
At present, our web development office are using a mis match of computers and I want to improve the look/feel of the office and that will possibly include changing the computers that are in use.
Hide those ugly PC's just get Apple Cinemas, that's it!
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Old Apr 18, 2013, 01:11 PM   #12
webcity
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Originally Posted by calzonzote View Post
Hide those ugly PC's just get Apple Cinemas, that's it!
I wasn't aware that you could use cinema displays with PC's??
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Old Apr 19, 2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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IMO it depends on what stack you're developing on. If you're writing .Net apps or deploying on Windows Server, stick with Windows, of course.

But if you're writing Python, Ruby, PHP or other scripting languages with POSIX roots, or in some cases even Java; if you're deploying to any sort of UNIX or Linux server...

In those cases it's awesome to have OS X because each developer can run a local development instance of each site using the same tools and libraries as on production (even if compiled or configured slightly differently than the production and staging servers). In the same environment as Photoshop, browsers, etc. -- which saves a lot of effort shuffling assets back and forth.

You can't really do that the same way on Windows unless you're using VMs (slow and clunky).
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Old Apr 19, 2013, 10:48 PM   #14
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webcity,

It honestly sounds like you want to go Mac, and you're looking for justification to make the change. You've given different reasons in different posts to rationalize the change. I'm not criticizing, I fully understand. All the reasons you stated no doubt are important to you as well, but when you get to the nitty-gritty of the matter, you want Mac's.

It may or may not be the best business decision for you at this time, but it's clear that you have the bug (the Mac bug). If it's YOUR decision to make, and it's what you want, just do it. If your developers want to work in a windows environment, you can just install windows on your Mac's. That way you can have your cake and eat it too, as they say.

Just my $0.02 worth.
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Old Apr 21, 2013, 06:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webcity View Post
Thanks for your posts.

The reason I'm considering this is two-fold really. First and foremost, our office is looking tired so we're going to be (hopefully) getting it decorated, new carpet, etc, and the last thing we want is to put old tired looking PC's back in it once it's all looking nice.

We put a lot of emphasis on image and I think that's an important message to get across to clients when they visit our office.


----------



Image is something that is extremely important to us as a company. When clients walk into our offices we want them to know they're dealing with a professional company, and I'm sure that's the same for a lot of web/graphic design companies.
In relation to the above post, just sharing some photos of office workstations that look sleek and presentable to visitors. Professionally looking offices may help in bringing in more clients.











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