Mac + PC at University?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BUbro90, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. BUbro90 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Hey, so I'm headed off to college soon and, being in my university's business school, I was 'recommended' to have purchased a PC. Of course, I didn't (this is my first MBP by the way) and now I feel it may be wise for me to have access to a PC at all times. I'm really opposed to running Windows on my mac via Bootcamp or Parallels, simply because of the potential risk of getting a virus on my expensive machine.

    I initially thought a netbook would suffice given my needs -- I would basically be using the pc mainly for the business classes (i.e. running ms office) -- especially because of the price ($299 for an Asus eee pc; $329 for an HP mini). However, I don't know if this 'setup' (me bringing two laptops to school) is superfluous. I've always used a pc :eek:, so the switch to a mac at this time (even though it's an amazing machine) has me worried...

    Has anyone had success with two laptops (albeit, one laptop and a netbook)? Thanks!
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
  3. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    A virus on a Windows partition will affect your Mac OS side and general hardware just as much as one on a netbook would.
  4. BUbro90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    I bought Office 08 for mac. I probably should have elaborated. My university says that we should buy MS Office Ultimate so we can run the windows-specific programs that Office for Mac doesn't offer (i.e. Groove, publisher). Eventually, Office 08 for Mac will be obsolete because Word, Excel, and PP won't get me through four years.
  5. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I don't see how Word/Excel/PowerPoint wouldn't "get you through four years," since that's all I've ever used in Office Ultimate. I guess Outlook as well, but Entourage/Mail do a good job. Will your courses actually use groove/publisher? If you just need tools to get certain jobs done, you'll find equivalents of pretty much anything, and I doubt that there's a course that's requiring the use of say, Publisher. What school are you headed to?

    Another option is Crossover, which should run most of the office suite without problems.
  6. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008

    They don't have MS Project either unfortunately. What you can do though is purchase Crossover Pro for Mac and run office utilities through that. If you ran Windows in Parallels or VMWare Fusion, there is very little chance that if you did get a virus, that it would affect your Host operating system (OS X). I highly recommend the Virtual Machine approach to this, its how I got through college for all of my MS only activities.
  7. BUbro90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    The entire business school was told this as a whole, so it's not a major-specific requirement. I was a little perplexed too...I've used Office for a long time and I've never even heard of these programs. For certain classes we work as groups, so I would assume that's why they want us to have groove...but still.
  8. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Just install VMware with Windows and use it specifically for those apps that aren't for OS X. Viruses really only come from downloading malicious files. You should be safe using Windows as long as it isn't your main OS.
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Just use Parallels. If you're really paranoid about viruses, don't go on the internet while you're running your Virtual Machine. Buying a netbook just to have a Windows machine when your Mac will make a far better PC notebook is the height of silliness...
  10. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Its impossible for a Windows virus to "jump" to OS X from Bootcamp. Not only are there no viruses that do that but because Windows and OS X use different file systems and they cant write to eachothers file systems without special software installed. Plus it would be a ridiculous waste of time to write a "boot camp virus", Mac users are already rare, boot camp users are even rarer.

    Dont let virus paranoia run your life, a little knowledge and defensive browsing goes a long way.
  11. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    Running windows on your mac seems the best solution. If you get a virus on your windows portion all you have to do is delete windows, then reinstall it. A virus will not travel from windows to OSX.
  12. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    Go for bootcamp, its the best solution and if you buy an antivirus program then you will be fine. I use bootcamp for some windows programs and games and run a free virus program called Avast!and have had no problems with viruses at all in the 5 months I have used it. Lugging two laptops around would be annoying and a virus jumping from windows to OSX is very unlikely. Just use bootcamp, it's the best solution, I love the speed it offers.
  13. BUbro90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Thanks everyone so much, it really has helped me out significantly. It's hard not to be paranoid over virus protection when you're a pc user... I'll definitely put some of your suggestions to work. Thanks again!
  14. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    If you go the VM route, get at least 4GB of RAM in your Mac
  15. doox00 macrumors regular

    May 10, 2006
    There are viruses that look for mac users running bootcamp and will take over your computer and bank accounts.. plus kill brain cells and give you a low sperm count.. be careful!
  16. ViM macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2006
    Out of interest does anyone actually use a laptop at uni? Because it seems that unless you have say an interactive lecture it seems kinda pointless. If the lecturer uses a powerpoint then you don't really need to type anything down and handwritten notes will do plus there is a recording.
  17. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    OP, just use VM for school programs. Use MSOffice and view you virus prone porn site on OSX. Back-up your stuff and if anything happens, just restore. Why are you so paranoid?

    Yes. Not everyone goes to a fancy school where the lectures are recorded or are interactive (i wish). They might not be all that useful in many lecture classes but some people need to run programs during class. Plus, laptop are portable to bring to a friends place, back home, or the library.
  18. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    I find it unbelievable how many people are still buying into this Apple marketing FUD.

    I'm a systems administrator in a large environment and use all sorts of operating systems on a daily basis, from various flavors of Linux over Solaris to Windows Servers and Workstations and OS X (on my private machines).

    I can tell you this from my professional experience: Use your common sense and all current Windows versions are as safe to use as a typewriter - even WITHOUT a dedicated anti-virus software on it.
  19. BUbro90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Because when you spend $3000 at the apple store for a mbp and the whole shabang, you want to be assured that no MS problems with viruses and such will show up on your mac.

    Thanks, I'll give it a try...
  20. ViM macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2006
    I don't think a uni is fancy if it has recording most of them have it in my state and this is Australia not a country like the US or UK. But yeah I see your point about the programs I guess in my lectures the only things people do with their laptops is go on facebook.

    Anyway in regards to OP the virus won't jump from the windows partition to OSX unless you have a partition that is shared between both systems, i guess it is possible. Ultimately if you are just using windows for word, excel etc its highly unlikely you will get a virus. For piece of mind office for mac would be best although sometimes there are compatibility issues with users in a windows environment.
  21. zw-gator macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    I surprised how many people are still afraid of viruses for Windows.

    Just install windows on a partition. Don't be an idiot by downloading random stuff and you'll be fine.

    If you're really paranoid, disable wireless on the windows partition and transfer files via USB.
  22. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    You don't need another computer, i just graduated and whilst in a Dell centric school i ran Windows XP Pro & Office 2003/2007 via VMWare on my MBP (still do) to get stuff done when i needed to use programs like Access, Project Manager & other windows centric software and it worked like a charm for the 3 yrs.

    All i had to do was dedicate 2GB of RAM (i had 4GB) to the the VM and used dual core support when running intensive apps and single core when running apps like word and all was good. I advised you to install as little as possible in other words only install what you need and download AVG which should cover you for virus protection...that and apply common sense

    Avoid using the internet if you can and EVEN IF you get a virus just delete that partition/vm and start over (always backup important files). Getting a virus 'shouldn't affect your mac partition in anyway/shape/form eitherway
  23. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    This is incorrect. There is not enough space to write why but in a short and sweet version of why:

    Mac does not have the folders the virus will be searching out, macs do not have a registry like windows.

    There is MUCH more to it but thats the short version. A virus is not going to affect your hardware either.
  24. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Also to the OP you should look at open office or neo office and a free alternative to MS office. Its fully compatible.
  25. suekitch macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    I used mine all the time last year. I type much, much faster than I write and so that's the only way to get down all the notes I want - only the basics are on the powerpoint slides, afterall.

    This approach got me through the year with an 85% average anyway. :)

    We only had one group presentation this year, but I used it for that too. There's also been odd occasions where having the laptop has made it easier to look things up but that won't happen too much now I've got an iPhone.

    I'm also on clinical placement. Without doubt it'd be great if I could bring my laptop into the hospital too but I'm worried about theft and damage, plus I couldn't go on the network with it.

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