OSX vs. Windows (Researching...)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by anamznazn, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. anamznazn macrumors regular


    Mar 10, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    For one of my technology/graphics college courses, I have a research paper and experiment to do. My research question is:

    The statement of the problem was to experimentally compare the productivity level of students performing basic computer tasks using a Mac OSX operating systems vs. a Windows operating system.

    Although this sounds pretty good so far, the problem comes down to the students. If the student is more familiar with a certain operating system, obviously they will do the tasks faster. The other problem is that most of the Mac users on this campus (and probably others too) are also proficient in the Windows world due to the fact that there are classes that only uses Windows (and probably lots of other reasons too). The PC-only users will have a bit of trouble if they are new to the Mac side so I think I'm being a bit bias in this experiment.

    Can anyone think of a good way to do an experiment to find out which is better for students to use to increase productivity WITHOUT being bias 'cause a majority of college computer users are already comfortable with Windows.

    I know that instead of college students, I can use people who know nothing about computers....but where am I going to find people like that when I live on campus? lol....So I gotta use the students. Any ideas? :confused:
  2. eric55lv Guest


    Aug 5, 2007
    Las Vegas,NV
    What about windoze chrashes a lot and you might be in the middle of something important but Mac OS X doesnt
  3. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I don' t know if the differences between Windows and OS X are going to be big enough for you to notice any difference. Also, defining productivity is going to be difficult. I mean, can you express how productive you were today as a number so that you can compare it to others? You need to have something concrete to compare to get anything meaningful.

    Why not try something like finding whether with some practice people can use a Unix/Windows shell faster than a GUI app for some tasks. Copying/moving files, creating complex directory structures etc. This is something that you can time and put a number against.

    You don't have to take my example, but something that you can define concretely is going to be important.
  4. anamznazn thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 10, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Uh, that's not really something all that educational...but thanks?

    Btw, my OSX crashes from time to time. It's not like it's a 100% full-proof crashing machine.
  5. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    The only thing that crashes on my Mac is Safari. The OS has never crashed on me.

    *Knocks on wood, knocks on wood, KNOCKS ON WOOD* Glavin :D
  6. GoodWatch macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2007
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Ahh yes. The fanboy contribution. That will help a lot, don't you think?
  7. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    This is a good point. Try to think of a quantifiable read out and a well-defined task. Time taken for a given task is one way to do it.

    I would try to experience-match the two groups (if your sample is more than just, say, your class, and you can pick from people all around your school). Basically, write a survey to assess people's self-reporting of their experience and comfort level with the two operating systems, and try to stratify the data so you are comparing people with similar levels of experience.

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