Out of curiosity

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Swain, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Swain, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011

    Swain macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Why are MBP's so popular amongst scientists?

    Simple question

    With a complex answer.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Depending on what area of science you're talking about, they're not popular at all. There's no sense paying thousands of dollars for fancy hardware when all you're running is a Linux shell and Root.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Who says they are?
  4. Swain thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    They are quite popular amongst my professors/lab people.

    I'm talking about the medical branch.

    Might be wrong, and they just like them though.


    Might be generalizing a bit too much.
    It was based on my own observations.

    Guess I was wrong.
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I couldn't even hazard a guess. Among the medical crowd I know, they all use Think Pad's or Dell Latitudes.
  6. ZZ Bottom macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    My guess is based on a preference for the OS and the money to afford a premium computer. People of as much schooling as Drs & Scientists were likely exposed to Macs on a campus setting. Anyone who's been to college can attest to the fact that Macs are quite prevalent. Typically only the CS students are the ones strongly opposed.

    All of this is based on my observations. Started college in 2002, graduated with 2nd bachelors in 2009, back to school since jan of this year; so I've had my fair share of exposure. The only reason I am not a Mac loyalist is because I was forced to work with Macs in 2007 in a media-production program.
  7. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    My guess is they either get whats provided to them, when they buy their own they get what works with the network and software provided to them.

    If they trully can choose either than maybe they related Macs to being better becasue they cost more, you know the old adage if it costs more it must be better.

    bottom line there is no real answer if you were looking for one

  8. Swain thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Thanks for all the answers.

    I was wondering if it had something to do with the possibility that some science software might run better on mac. But looks like those programs don't exist.
    So yea.

    I guess I've reached a consensus, so this thread is now invalid and closed.
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Some software runs only on OS X, some runs only on Windows, others only run on certain flavors of Linux. Some run on everything.
  10. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    My experience is that it really depends on the research group, i.e. on the person with the grant money that buys the computers.

    I'm not aware of any widely used software that requires OSX, except maybe in graphics/design related fields. I do believe that the mac to windows PC ratio is larger among scientists, probably due to a combination of the following:

    - department/lab pays for the laptop
    - less problems with viruses etc.
    - easier to set up a code development environment
    - easier to maintain than linux on a windows laptop
    - better design
  11. Swain thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    I know that there is software out there just for Os X. But I was talking about the medic/science region in particular.

    Thanks though.
  12. Mojo1, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I Don't See A Consensus...

    My wife and I both work in the medical field; I'm a researcher/publisher and she provides care to hospitalized patients.

    Macs are really making inroads into the medical field. Mac-native software is available that is comparable to Windows offerings. Folks who need to run Windows software simply run Windows in Bootcamp or via virtualization software. A lot of people simply prefer Mac hardware and the OS and its integration with iOS devices.

    I have a friend who runs her entire practice on a Mac Mini along with a 15" MacBook Pro. She uses a variety of heavy-weight Windows medical software in conjunction with VMWare Fusion. No problems to report and she enjoys being able to minimize the Windows interface while having complete, simultaneous access to the Mac operating system.

    iPhones and iPads are also becoming ubiquitous in medical practices, research facilities and hospitals. The small portable devices are revolutionizing medical care in a variety of ways.
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    So was I.
  14. Swain thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Can you give some examples, I'm rather curious.
  15. Eddyisgreat, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011

    Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Depends on what field. Granted one can do anything on any platform these days, whether it be virtualizing windows on a mac, or running a hackintosh or maybe a remote os x vm on a windows desktop.

    Back when I was working with some astronomers about two years ago they all ran OS X with the occasional boot into red hat because it was compatible with some code that they bolted onto. I'm not sure what the exact program(s) were though. I think its just personal pref.

    Now if you ask Apple they lists these examples as scientific software for OS X:
    4Peaks by Mekentosj
    Bioinformatics Toolbox
    CLC Combined Workbench by CLC Bio
    EMBOSS by UK Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre
    FASTA by William A. Pearson, University of Virginia
    Gene Construction Kit by Textco BioSoftware
    HMMER by Washington University in St. Louis — Department of Genetics
    iNquiry by the BioTeam, Inc.
    Lasergene by DNASTAR, Inc.
    Lucidyx Searcher by Lucidyx, LLC
    MacVector by MacVector, Inc.
    NCBI Toolkit by National Center for Biotechnology Information
    Peaks by Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc.
    Phred/Phrap/Consed by Phil Green, Brent Ewing and David Gordon
    Prospect Pro by Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc.
    Sequencher by Gene Codes Corporation
    WU-BLAST (Washington University BLAST) by the Washington University School of Medicine
    ADF by Scientific Computing and Modeling
    Amber, Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement
    ChemDraw Ultra by CambridgeSoft Corporation
    CCP4 Program Suite by UK Science and Engineering Research Council
    Gaussian 03M by Gaussian, Inc.
    JChem Base by ChemAxon, rch
    Marvin by ChemAxon
    Molecular Operating Environment by Chemical Computing Group
    NAMD by NAMD
    O by Alwyn Jones
    PyMOL Molecular Graphics System by DeLano Scientific
    Rocs by OpenEye Scientific Software
    SPARTAN’02 for Macintosh by Wavefunction, Inc.
    SYBYL by Tripos International
    VIDA by OpenEye Scientific Software
    etc etc

    Many of these are NOT exclusive to linux/OS X however some are such as macvector
  16. Swain thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Thanks :)
  17. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Not directly related to the question ... but amusing (to me)...

    My dentist office has a black Macbook in each examining room, iMacs for the staff such as scheduling, etc., and I suppose they have a server somewhere which I haven't seen ... all Macs!

    However ... they are all running Windows XP :rolleyes:

    I suppose the dental application system they are running is Windows based, but it is nice to see all the Macs around the offices.
  18. jvmxtra macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2010
    Ummm because people have taste?

    People know to get a decent laptop, no matter what, you have to shell out some money.

    If it's getting close to $1000, why not get a mac?
  19. Nice macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2010
    the OS is much more reliable than windows-thats the main reason i think
  20. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    There is a Mac-only program that is essential to me and it isn't specifically designed for medical/scientific use: DEVONthink (http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/index.html)

    It's primary strength over similar software and databases is its artificial intelligence, which makes it easier to categorize data and find connections among seemingly disparate studies. The fact that it can ingest just about any kind of file out there makes it my to-go app for storing data. I'm moving toward using the Finder a lot less than in the past.

    I started with DT Personal and after a couple of years I upgraded to DT Pro, mainly for its multiple-database feature. The Pro Office version adds built-in OCR and close integration with Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners. But I haven't found a need to upgrade since my ScanSnap S1300 came with the same OCR software and I don't do enough scanning directly to DEVONthink to make it worthwhile for me.

    I currently have around 1600 studies in my research specialty database; I have several additional smaller databases for ancillary subjects. DT makes it possible for me to not only find what I am looking for easily and quickly, it helps me make sense of the data that I find. If I am writing, I can export the studies to Scrivener where my sources are available within the word-processing program.

    I use DEVONthink with DEVONagent, a powerful Internet search program that is like Google on steroids. (My apology for the cliche...) The programs are designed to complement each other.

    Most of my colleagues struggle with a deluge of information that comes in every day. I've been able to convince some of my friends to try DEVONthink and most "get it" within the first thirty minutes of starting-up the software for the first time. It's very reasonable cost (especially compared to some arguably over-priced medical software) is a nice bonus.

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