Going to attend business school..should I switch?

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 12, 2009
906
504
Hi all,
I am going to attend business school next year. However, I have been told by the college admin to get a PC and they have specifically asked me not to invest in a Mac.:eek:

Anybody know why? I know that excel 2007 is used extensively in finance classes but what is stopping me to use Parallels????

Thoughts anyone?

P.S : I intend to get back to the college admin...after I get to hear some of your thoughts.
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,523
253
I guess they are not familiar with Bootcamp, Parallels, or Fusion.

With one of those you will be able to run whatever Windows-specific software is needed.

There's no problem: Your business program requires a PC and a Mac is capable of being a PC.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,852
30,369
Boston
Hi all,
I am going to attend business school next year. However, I have been told by the college admin to get a PC and they have specifically asked me not to invest in a Mac.:eek:
Ask them what software you'll be running. While you may be able to get away with Vmware or bootcamp, you want to be sure that you don't paint yourself into the corner getting something that may not work too well.
 

lazybum

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2009
3
0
Here's my recommendation...

I've used Parallels and VM Ware and quite frankly am disappointed with both. While yes they do work, my computer as a whole becomes slow as a snail on both sides so while yes you can use it, I don't think it's a very efficient solution.

I would go out and buy a cheapo PC (for like $300) and use that just for your biz stuff...

If it's just excel and internet stuff, I think you'd be fine and you'll be able to work with more ease...

Just my thoughts...
 

mac2x

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2009
1,147
0
Hi all,
I am going to attend business school next year. However, I have been told by the college admin to get a PC and they have specifically asked me not to invest in a Mac.:eek:

Anybody know why? I know that excel 2007 is used extensively in finance classes but what is stopping me to use Parallels????

Thoughts anyone?

P.S : I intend to get back to the college admin...after I get to hear some of your thoughts.
Boot camp might be a better option if you need native speed; however, it would be better to be able to get it working over a nice long break (summer) to ensure that no 'mission critical' problems show up during the semester (driver problems and all that). I also like lazybum's suggestion of just getting a cheap PC for biz school.
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,393
0
It's very necessary that the OP finds out what softwares the school will be using. I would find it hard to believe that the school has NO Mac programs. Especially when it comes to business school, most of the work done for that curriculum will done through MS Office which is on both platforms.

Now, if the school is going to have multiple PC programs then just buy a PC notebook as they recommended. Why spend more money on a Mac, just to run it as a Windows machine? You'll still have to get a copy of Windows, plus it's wasteful if you're not going to use OS X. For business, a cheapo Windows PC will get you through school just fine.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
7
My guess is that you'll need to have a version of Excel that includes VBA, and unfortunately Microsoft decided to hobble the Mac version of the program by removing that.

Bootcamp into Windows 7 and this problem goes away. Keep your existing Mac, but buy a copy of Windows. Best of both worlds.
 

RandomKamikaze

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2009
884
45
UK
Here's my recommendation...

I've used Parallels and VM Ware and quite frankly am disappointed with both. While yes they do work, my computer as a whole becomes slow as a snail on both sides so while yes you can use it, I don't think it's a very efficient solution.

I would go out and buy a cheapo PC (for like $300) and use that just for your biz stuff...

If it's just excel and internet stuff, I think you'd be fine and you'll be able to work with more ease...

Just my thoughts...
I have used VMware since getting my Mac. I have upgraded the RAM in my MBP to 4GB. Before that it was running sluggish. Now though, both the VM and OS X run fine with no sluggish behaviour or problems.

To the OP, just virtualise an XP box or use bootcamp.

Oh, and remind the college admin that Windows runs better on a Mac
 

Mumford

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2006
181
2
Altadena, CA
I worked support at a business school for a few years. There's some programs besides Excel you will be using, but nothing that won't run in Bootcamp or Parallels/VMWare.

The tech support guys don't want you getting a Mac because they don't want to have to support it. And since you're paying the bills, they will have to support it, whether they like it or not. If the admin is spouting off the usual "no macs" BS, but the school has no standard hardware ("you must get this model of Dell otherwise we won't support you"), then I call shenanigans.

Don't be afraid to go talk to whichever Dean is responsible and ask if there is an official policy regarding Macs. Where I worked, it was the Dean of Non-Academic Operations. You're paying the bills, and the Deans realize this even if the techs forget it. Sometimes the support staff needs to be reminded that it's their job to support the users, not to define policy.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,116
925
Germany.
Hi all,
I am going to attend business school next year. However, I have been told by the college admin to get a PC and they have specifically asked me not to invest in a Mac.:eek:

Anybody know why? I know that excel 2007 is used extensively in finance classes but what is stopping me to use Parallels????

Thoughts anyone?

P.S : I intend to get back to the college admin...after I get to hear some of your thoughts.
Simple matter of fact: The business world speaks Windows - ONLY. And it makes zero sense to purchase a Mac when all your applications require Windows - it would just be an expensive designer PC. End of story.

Just look at it from a common sense perspective: What is your rationale behind using a computer with OS X as its main operating system when all your bread and butter software runs in a virtualized environment, which only provides resource and performance overheads, but does not actually improve anything for you.

Since you are going to a business school: What is your business case for paying extra for designer hardware and paying an extra for additional software that you wouldn't even need when you purchased a much cheaper Windows notebook or PC? Remember - all you need is Windows. You do NOT need Mac OS X and a virtualization crutch like Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

Also, you will have to bypass a lot of roadblocks when you want to integrate an unsupported computing platform into your college network. Unless you find a friendly administrator, you will be on your own. And they might even not allow you to connect to the local network with your Mac.
 

RandomKamikaze

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2009
884
45
UK
Really? How long does your laptop battery last under BootCamp/Windows?

...
No. As I said, I use VMware.

And I didn't said it runs better, not the best at everything ever.

This is based on several articles on the net as well as comments made on here and my own experience with virtual machines
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,393
0
I worked support at a business school for a few years. There's some programs besides Excel you will be using, but nothing that won't run in Bootcamp or Parallels/VMWare.

The tech support guys don't want you getting a Mac because they don't want to have to support it. And since you're paying the bills, they will have to support it, whether they like it or not. If the admin is spouting off the usual "no macs" BS, but the school has no standard hardware ("you must get this model of Dell otherwise we won't support you"), then I call shenanigans.

Don't be afraid to go talk to whichever Dean is responsible and ask if there is an official policy regarding Macs. Where I worked, it was the Dean of Non-Academic Operations. You're paying the bills, and the Deans realize this even if the techs forget it. Sometimes the support staff needs to be reminded that it's their job to support the users, not to define policy.
Excellent advice. This crap has got to stop about I.T. people creating their own rules in terms of which OS they will "allow" because they're too lazy to support anything else. The school doesn't survive without the student's money.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
7
Excellent advice. This crap has got to stop about I.T. people creating their own rules in terms of which OS they will "allow" because they're too lazy to support anything else. The school doesn't survive without the student's money.
Unfortunately any organisation that wants a wide spread of supported systems has to pay for it. Most don't. That's why IT have to standardise, because most IT departments are marked as cost centres and have to run on less budget than required to meet even the standard demands from their user base.

It's not as easy as saying "IT hate Macs. Therefore they are evil."
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,393
0
Unfortunately any organisation that wants a wide spread of supported systems has to pay for it. Most don't. That's why IT have to standardise, because most IT departments are marked as cost centres and have to run on less budget than required to meet even the standard demands from their user base.

It's not as easy as saying "IT hate Macs. Therefore they are evil."
Well TBH, that's been the experience of most. Most I.T departments DO hate Macs. They never want to support them, from my experience some I.T guys I know personally say that they would prefer to only have Windows to work on because it keeps them employed due to consistent problems with Windows and since the Mac OS is a complex but more simplified system they are concerned that less maintenance will be required, thus jobs getting downsized. Personally I think that's horrible.

But we're not really talking about corporations here, the OP is a student and the subject is about schools telling students not to bring that "virus" (Mac), excuse the expression, into the school, because they are not supporting them. This is BS because the students are supporting the colleges financially and many people are buying Macs as they are a very desirable product. OS X is not some new toy on the block and students shouldn't have to conform to what the school wants. Just about every school should have software for both OS X and Windows so students can have a choice. Why should a student be forced into a system they don't want use?
 

Mumford

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2006
181
2
Altadena, CA
Unfortunately any organisation that wants a wide spread of supported systems has to pay for it. Most don't. That's why IT have to standardise, because most IT departments are marked as cost centres and have to run on less budget than required to meet even the standard demands from their user base.

It's not as easy as saying "IT hate Macs. Therefore they are evil."
Yes, but that's in the business world, not the educational world.

It's hard for me to describe how it's different between business and education, but it definitely is. The faculty and students had an expectation of openness and heterogeneous support, and this was across ALL facets, not just IT.

If anyone from IT dared say something like "use this computer or we won't support you", they'd be laughed off. When I left, there was still 15+ year old Sun hardware (that Sun refused to support no matter how much $$ we sent them) that was still in production because it was needed for research. More than once I had to go to the local Weird Stuff to grab spare parts to keep them going.

But yeah, be ready for a huge about face when you leave the education environment & enter the business world. Most likely you'll be handed a blackberry, a bottom-of-the-line dell laptop that you won't be given admin rights on and told "nothing else is allowed to connect to our network".
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
7
Well TBH, that's been the experience of most. Most I.T departments DO hate Macs. They never want to support them, from my experience some I.T guys I know personally say that they would prefer to only have Windows to work on because it keeps them employed due to consistent problems with Windows and since the Mac OS is a complex but more simplified system they are concerned that less maintenance will be required, thus jobs getting downsized. Personally I think that's horrible.
I'm sorry, but this in my experience just isn't correct, unless you're talking about a conversation that happened some time ago. I've worked within many IT departments, still do in fact, and whilst you do get occasional Microsoft fanboys who seem to think their passing an MCSE means they now know everything the majority of IT people are very open to the sort of new challenges learning a different OS brings. Otherwise where's the fun?
 

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 12, 2009
906
504
Well....here's what I got to hear from he college admin...
Office 2008 will not work out at all cause it does not support VBA anymore...but I did point out that his can be resolved.

So they go on to say that many financial classes involve heavy use of Excel...and these classes serve as learning opportunities for excel (apart from the finance stuff of course!)...so the lingo in these classes is based on windows excel shortcuts...and these shortcuts do not match the ones in Office 2008..

And the fact that sometimes there are problems opening Excel sheets designed in Windows in Office 2008.

So the point is ... being 'different' in college is not going to be worth it...:rolleyes:

They also gave me the gibberish about the IT staff being not very conversant with Macs and their hesitation to support Macs...:rolleyes:

On my part...I bought Win 7 Professional along with Office 07(Student discount of course!)...
Installed Win 7 on Bootcamp...and all of a sudden I found myself scouting the net for good backup programs (Oops!Backup seems nice FYI)...good anti-virus programs etc; :mad:

Also..now I need to sync up my life with Outlook (not a big fan) !! And then I would need to look out for programs which would sync my iCal calendar with Google and my iPhone (BusySync does this very nicely on SL) calendars..too much work me thinks...

And how will I ever be able to replace Curio...the wonder jewel from Zengobi:eek:

and not to forget...Ultimately..Win 7 looks like Win XP dressed in a nice frock!!! (apologies to all the Win 7 fans out there!! :p)....

The worst part...the Win 7 installation took nearly 20GB!!!!! C'mon!!!! At 160GB, the HDD in my MBP is not exactly generous!!

So I decided to try out Win 7 on Parallels...Allocated 1600MB of RAM to Parallels VM. The entire installation of Win 7 Professional 64 bit along with Office Ultimate, Visio, Project and Sharepoint took only 12.5GB! And it worked pretty well I must say. Games falter on it....but I don't play games anyways!!! So I am going ahead with this approach. Parallels in Coherence mode is pretty non-intrusive.

THe advantage of this approach is that I will be able to backup my stuff normally with TM, continue to live in an integrated environment with Mail, iCal, access all the docs via Spotlight...basically...I can continue using all the stuff in the Mac I like so much!!!

The drawbacks I see in this approach are :
poor battery life : having said that, the battery life of my MBP sux big time anyway....

Sluggish system : Well...I guess I just have to keep in mind to run very few Mac processes when I have Win 7 running.If possible...if the prices drop...I will consider investing in a 4GB stick...(6GB is all that my Mac can support)

Its pretty sad though ... that the business world speaks Microsoft lingo...basically making it inconvenient to Mac users. I personally feel..running Windows on my Mac (bootcamp or VM) defeats the purpose of owning a Mac...damn you microsoft...for such a poor implementation of Office 2008!!

Thank you everyone for your inputs!!!
 

scroto

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2009
108
0
Trenton, MI
Jeez dudu, That's alot of trouble just to use your Mac. Just get a cheap laptop and forget about trying to be special with your Mac.
 

macrem

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2008
1,391
66
Hi all,
I am going to attend business school next year. However, I have been told by the college admin to get a PC and they have specifically asked me not to invest in a Mac.:eek:
That would make me go get a Mac even if I did not already have one ;) Plus it's a great machine for any business purpose.
 

macjunk(ie)

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 12, 2009
906
504
Jeez dudu, That's alot of trouble just to use your Mac. Just get a cheap laptop and forget about trying to be special with your Mac.
To be frank...me trying so hard to use my Mac ... is very normal!!! :rolleyes:

I do understand...that there is a whole lot of trouble...but then....I really can't get myself to buy a Win laptop...especially the cheap ones...man they are ugly!!! And the fact that I have become a bit obsessive about these things..:eek:

Instead of spending 300USD (plus some more for anti-virus subscriptions, backup software etc), I did rather spend 150 USD on a nice 4GB RAM stick..

Doing so would reduce he number of drawbacks to only one..and that is : battery juice.

So this will mean that I cannot use the laptop in the college gardens under a tree!! So be it :p
 

EliteF50

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2009
197
0
Just keep your Mac for personal use, and buy a cheap Windows-based laptop for school.
 

macrem

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2008
1,391
66
To be frank...me trying so hard to use my Mac ... is very normal!!! :rolleyes:

I do understand...that there is a whole lot of trouble...but then....I really can't get myself to buy a Win laptop...especially the cheap ones...man they are ugly!!! And the fact that I have become a bit obsessive about these things..:eek:

Instead of spending 300USD (plus some more for anti-virus subscriptions, backup software etc), I did rather spend 150 USD on a nice 4GB RAM stick..

Doing so would reduce he number of drawbacks to only one..and that is : battery juice.

So this will mean that I cannot use the laptop in the college gardens under a tree!! So be it :p
I was just in a computer store yesterday. The Mac section is a masterpiece of design. The aesthetically appealing hardware is unlocked & open to try SL, the only OS version & edition on the shop floor that does everything.

It is in stark contrast with the PC section, where all the machines have locked screens with some ads playing on the screen so you cannot even test Windows. I did gather that there are three different versions of Windows (XP, Vista & 7) depending on which machine you pick, not to mention the various Editions + the Edition you get with hardware will be crippled. I guess they do not really consider the OS to be a big selling point. Unfortunately PC hardware mostly looks either drab, cheap & ugly or a ludicrous contest to see how many ways can you shape, colorize & make plastic light up & blink.
 

SolRayz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2007
687
0
Ft. Lauderdale
Man college admin's are so worthless. Personally I would do an about face and head for zee hills. Switch majors even. Ok no, I'm just kidding. But don't let people feed you bs.

Use common sense and bootcamp and you will be fine. Think different! ;)