Computer Science Major at UC Berkeley?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by calbear93, May 18, 2011.

  1. calbear93 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    I am thinking of getting a 13-inch MacBook Pro for my time at UC Berkeley. I am also thinking about being a computer science major. Does anyone know if getting a Mac is a good idea?
  2. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Congratulations. I recommend you contact the computer science department at berkeley. Ask them about computers, software, etc. They probably cannot tell you a whole lot of specific information, but they could put you in touch with current students, graduate students, or faculty who can offer advice. There are lots of things to consider, including discounts and so forth.
  3. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    A Mac is a perfect way to go for college, especially in the Comp Science section. I don't suggest calling UC Berkeley ahead of time to talk to students, etc all about a Mac vs PC. You're guaranteed happiness, ease and satisfaction. My friends just graduated from there and they used Macs and never had an issue. Especially with how in sync files are between mac & pc you'll never have an issue. Everything you do anyways can be run on both machines, if not you have bootcamp, parallels, vmfusion, etc. Best of Luck, I'd only recommend a 15" for the power and it'll still be strong by the time you graduate (if that's your thought process, and no I'm not saying a 13" wont be when you graduate).
  4. palpatine, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Any reason why not?

    My contact with staff and students in my department before I entered my university was very helpful. It significantly impacted my hardware and software purchases (discounts/deals), along with my course selections and so forth.

    As a graduate student and instructor, I am always happy to answer questions from prospective students (check the list of classes at the registrar page--depending on the university, you can sometimes see the names of GTAs as well as full-time faculty), and I think the same can be said for regular faculty members. To put it another way, we literally get paid to be here as a resource for undergraduates, so take advantage of us.

    Anyhow, it looks like Berkeley has designated contact people. Most universities do nowadays. I would get in touch with them. I should add that I wouldn't frame it as a Mac v. PC debate. Rather, ask what kind of computer setup people recommend, and what sort of equipment/software students typically purchase. Although some people will say "anything is fine," you might be surprised at what people actually use (and the discounts/deals they got for them). I am in the humanities, and I was surprised to find that nearly all of the faculty use Mac, and most of the students do as well. It turns out that the Mac OS and certain software selections are very well-suited for my field of study.
  5. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2009
    not always true, you don't know what exact software he might need, and if he gets the 15" like you suggest and then runs bootcamp he is going to have to fork over more money for a copy of windows 7, and when he runs bootcamp on win 7 he will have to use the discrete gpu and his machine will have considerably less battery life. It's never a bad idea to ask the school what kind of programs and such you will need to be running ahead of time. Yeah macs have come a long way and are pretty compatible, but there are still some programs that won't run on a mac and some nuances when using a mac when most everyone else is running pc.
  6. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Given your doing a computer major and the MBP is not just for show, you better call the university and get a recommendation from them. When I did my computer major, a mac was useless as all the programs etc we used were PC based. Bootcamping will mean extra costs for you, can frankly a very expansive PC. Do your research first.
  7. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    i went to Berkeley and can say the Mac/PC split is pretty evident on campus. Some departments are hellbent on keeping Macs out of their domain while others are all Macs. I think the comp sci department has a huge Mac Pro lab (known as the "Apple Orchard").

    I ended up working for an engineering dept where practically everyone used PCs, and everyone used their personal laptops as the department was too cheap :mad: to provide research students with computer equipment. The few desktop towers they had, none had keyboards/mice/monitors available for them, as well as no wireless, and they had to use some 1970's network cable that worked about 10% of the time. ugh!

    Anyways, I still used a mac as I liked to use some mac programs and worked alone anyways, so platform compatibility wasn't an issue. One of my classmates laughed at me when she said she bought a PC with better specs for half of what I paid. Later in the year, I really rubbed it in her face when her PC went down with a virus and she lost all her data while my mac was safe from viruses and the important data was also backed up to a time machine :D I told her: You get what you pay for :D
  8. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    Ever notice if you start OS X in Verbose mode you'll see one of the typic BSD copyright messages about the University of California? :D

    You'll totally be fine. Just get ready to use the terminal and various other crap.

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