Computers of Engineers and Scientists

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Erasmus, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    #1
    Hey! Sorry if this is the wrong section for such a thread, but I felt it was the closest, unless I missed one.

    OK, I'm hoping that any scientists and engineers will post what sort of computer they own, what they use it for, what they like and dislike, and what their job description is more specifically. Any other comments are welcome.

    I'm especially looking for Physicists, and Aeronautical Engineers.

    The reason for this is I am completing a double degree in Physics and Aeronautical engineering, and I am interested.

    Thanks, and by the way, Engineering Rules!

    ;)
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #2
    I'm a materials scientist, so I guess you could call it condensed matter physics if you like. I use a powerbook 15" as my main work computer. I use it for writing papers, giving presentations (love Keynote), organizing my research projects, doing some relatively simple simulations, and of course, browsing MR.
     
  3. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #3
    I'm an Electrical & Electronic Engineer, I use a MacBook Pro 15" for day to day work (assignments, presentations etc) and a Power Mac G5 at home.

    Where I can't find a Mac OS X version of a particular engineering application, I can use Parallels to run the Windows version which gives me a very flexible machine which can handle just about anything.
     
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    While not a scientist yet I'm a student studying theoretical astrophysics and a good chunk of it is based on computational physics. C and Matlab are all that I need right now. I imagine that an Intel Mac would be the best solution for a scientist since they can install OS X, Windows or Linux on it, no limitations.
     
  5. btgordon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #5
    I work at JPL, and all the Engineers I know use Apple's.
     
  6. Mac Rules macrumors 6502

    Mac Rules

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #6
    I personally don't study any of the above, but in my Labs, all of our scientists use Apple computers, with only one or two with Windows machines.

    Most professors not only use Apple laptops for presentations in lectures, but Apple desktops in their offices. So, my University is very Apple based, which is nice...

    Cheers
     
  7. Star Destroyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #7
    I am 2 semesters from completing my degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in Fluid mechanics. Unfortunetly Sun Micro systems are used for all our labs and preforming any work needed. To preform FLUENT and CAD and any modling programs we use PC's.. i have never tried to use a mac since i just swtiched. But i can say in High school, my Physics Teacher LOVED Macs, he swore by macs his whole life, so they have to be useful in physics haha
     
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #8
    I am a physics student currently working on part of the LHC collider (being built at CERN) in my lab. I have a Macbook Pro (15'', 2 GHz, 1.5 gb RAM, 120 GB HD)- on which I do things like data collection and programming (C, tcl, Perl, Matlab, Mathematica). We also do some fairly cpu-intensive rotation/displacement simulations, as well as various simulations relating to the collisions themselves.

    I like the mac because it is fast, easy to use, doesn't get viruses. I use the windows partition to view AutoCAD drawings engineers send me so I can comment on the design and make minor changes if necessary. The MBP is second to none when it comes to portability (I commute regularly back and forth between Boston and Geneva).

    Of course, the MBP is good for all of that, but I would probably be lost without external hard drives to hold the rest of the CAD drawings we have on file. We are in the process of getting 2 Mac Pros for the lab to do full-time CAD editing in windows (I control the lab budget, and I don't like Dell :) ) and everything else in OS X.

    But as for the Macbook Pro....it's great. Perfect for the role it needs to fill for me.
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    I'm 10 years beyond Physics Ph.D. working mostly as a EE, and my work desktop is a Dell 2.2 GHz-ish (I don't even really know) box with a Dell Trinitron 17" monitor. I have lots more horsepower at home with a 2.8 GHz Dell Dementia 4600 and my iBook and iMac (see sig).

    You'd be surprised at how modest may of my colleagues horsepower is, even if they use some pretty fancy software. I have a colleague who uses Autodesk Inventor daily who is just beginning to think about upgrading his 850 MHz PIII box.

    B
     
  10. osxnewbe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    #10
    I'm a Civil Engineer who works in Quality Assurance for roadway construction products. Right now I use a Windows PC at work (not my choice) and an iMac G5 at home.

    I am hoping to get a MacBook at home in the next 6 months to replace my aging Dell noteook and would most likely use Keynote for some software training presentations I will have to give early next year...
     
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #11
    You wouldn't happen to be working on the Big Dig would you? :)
     
  12. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #12
    I'm studying Mechanical Engineering and specialising in Mechatronics. I intend on doing some graduate work in Aeronautics and such. Right now, MATLAB, MS Word, and LaTeX are all I need. MATLAB for Mac is actually a piece of sh*t, but it works well enough for me to get through my assignments in a fraction of the time. Word is just there because its obligatory for working with other MS-loving students, and LaTeX is the beautiful piece of work that lets me turn in mind-numbingly beautiful reports with ease. Pages has got nothin' on this ;)

    I use Mechanical Desktop and UniGraphics for some classes, but I use the lab (Windows) computers for those because buying a personal license would be death anyway.

    Engineering isn't all I do either. I'm minoring in German, which is made easier by OS X's fantastic language support. I do all sorts of media projects on my Mac, both for classes and volunteer organisations. The i-apps are pretty-much all I need for this, and are good enough to make people go "Wow" when they see them. That's really all I ask for, and Macs do a great job of it right out of the box.

    \ sales pitch ;)

    Oh, and I use a 12" PowerBook 1.33GHz, 60GB HD, 1.25GB RAM.
     
  13. Erasmus thread starter macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    #13
    Cheers everyone. I must admit I am pleasantly surprised at the number of macs I see around Sydney Uni, from students to lecturers. However unfortunately not the ones open to students, like in computer labs and libraries, which are all Pentiums (I hate that name...)

    Thanks for your input!
     
  14. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #14
    when I go to Uni (im in VCE now) i'm going to use and swear by my MacBook, in OS X wherever possible. I'll probably put XP on it if i really need it.
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #15
    Support for mac versions of MATLAB has always been poor. It runs pretty slow under Rosetta, but a Universal Binary version should be out relatively soon. It might be out already, I haven't checked because I don't feel like buying it again :)
     

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