Hi all- I'm a longtime PC user looking for advice. My current PC laptop is gearing up for replacement in about six months, and I'm thinking about going mac. I used a macbrook pro last night at a friend's and was really impressed with the flexibility of the OS and the available programs to enhance the functionality (I loved the widgets and post its, as well as the free software that enhances the functionality a lot.) I am very interested in making the switch to mac because the flexibility and appearance of the OS really interests me, but now for the problem. Obstacle number one is my father. I'm a sophomore in college (by the time I buy a new laptop, almost a junior), but he is a hardware developer working 100% with windows. He's been courted by apple for a high powered development position and rejected it. Suffice it to say that he thinks macs are overpriced and underfunctional. He's opposed to the idea, and since we will be at minimum splitting the cost 50/50 he does have a say in the decision. So I'd need some compelling reasons to switch, and I suspect "I like the pretty OS and extra software" won't really do it. I'm hoping there may be a compelling reason regarding some software I use that will encourage him to let me at least attempt the switch. He is insisting that by the time I'm ready to buy, all the mac applications and operating systems will be perfectly functional on a windows system. Is this true? That brings me to my second point. I'm a chemistry student and use software that involves CAD and 3D modeling- and a lot of the programs I will end up accumulating are available only for windows, with the exception being the Chem3D 10 suite. These are the programs that I need to use on a regular basis: Mathcad 13 Mathematica 10 HyperChem 7.5 Maple 10 AutoCAD TurboCAD Pro 12 Solidworks Chem3D 10.0 As mentioned, only Chem3D is available in a suite for Mac. Would it be inadvisable to try to run these programs on parallels or bootcamp? I enjoy the functionality of the Mac OSX for more everyday stuff, but will need these programs pretty often. Additionally, some of my data comes from linux systems- does that complicate things even further? I know for all this 3D work I'll need a lot of memory and a good graphics card, so I'm probably looking at a macbook pro. That I'm okay with. Many of my professors use macs and they're the driving force behind getting one for myself, but I want to be sure I'm making a $3000 investment I'll be comfortable with. Any advice from people who use this type of academic software, or who have to run a lot of programs on parallels? My father is a whole 'nother issue, but as far as the computing goes, would a Mac work for me? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks so much.