So I have to get a new Laptop (that runs XP Pro) -- any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jnyepu, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. jnyepu macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I am a physician who has (finally) finished training and is starting in practice. My group's Network Administrator/IT go to guy contacted me about my computer needs for my own office. My needs will be largely document handling (we are migrating to Electronic Medical Records) and lots of data (labs, radiology reports, other test results), as well as dealing with a lot of literature searches. Ideally, I will have the ability to look at radiology films on my system (get access to hospital's server). I have the choice of a laptop, desktop or notebook, they will buy a printer and scanner and whatever else I need too. When I asked him what my options are, he replied:

    "We purchase Dell computers unless another brand is specifically requested. We get, on average, a 10-15% discount on the Dells and have a standard support agreement with them."....."We buy Windows XP Professional as our operating system of choice. If you do decide to configure it yourself, please make sure that you opt for Windows XP Professional as opposed to Home."

    I am leaning toward a laptop so I can finish records and charts at home, and even access stuff when I'm on call (and not have to configure two systems for office and home). I've decided to go for a laptop with a 2nd larger monitor and keyboard/mouse.

    He included a link to the Dell site

    I guess its a foregone conclusion that I will be getting a Dell/PC/XP system. I suppose I could ask for a Mac but that might leave me out in the cold for a lot of support stuff, and frankly I can't afford to be left in the cold. Plus, when the migration to the EMR is fully underway, I don't want to have any snags because I'm running XP under VMware or something, however unlikely that might be.

    When I asked about a budget, the exact words were, "spend whatever you'd like."

    Issues I'd like some input on:

    1. Do the Dell thing, right? Any way I could make a Mac system integrate seamlessly into the above computer culture? Should I go for a different PC system?
    2. Any thoughts about which Dell laptop from the link I pasted above?
    3. Theoretically, I could spend whatever I want, but being the new associate and not wanting to freakishly stick out, "did you hear the new associate dropped 5 grand on his office computer!", I'd like a nice balance of power and a not unreasonable price, so any advice on that account would also be reasonable. I don't think I'd want to go more than $3k including the monitor and keyboard/mouse, but if someone says for $500 more you can get this amazing system.....
    4. Any other considerations I've missed?


    Addendum: I might like to use the thing to game once and a while (heh).
  2. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    I think you are too late for XP. Didn't Dell stop offering it installed on new computers on 6/18?
  3. jnyepu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    From the same IT Administrator:

    "Yes, Microsoft has been trying to strong arm everyone into Vista. They had previously told Dell and other OEM’s that they would no longer be able to sell XP as of the end of this month. Due to the outcry, Dell and a couple other OEM’s have been able to ‘extend’ the deadline until 2009. What they are really doing is selling us a Vista license and installing XP as a “Downgrade License”. So, at a later date we can legally “upgrade” to Vista if we so choose. You are correct, SP3 was the last SP update for XP. "
  4. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Get a Thinkpad. T61. Go to Lenovo and trick it out. By far the best use of the staff's money.
  5. bart rijksen macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    Use bootcamp to run windows on a mac, if you want to. or just get a dell.
  6. Mebsat macrumors regular

    May 19, 2003
    Congratulations on finishing residency.

    If you are posting here at all, isn't the question you are really asking:
    "Can I get away with using a MacBook/Pro for my main laptop considering it can run Bootcamp/Parallels/Fusion?"

    There are few issues with Bootcamp for the type of use you describe. Depending on what type of EMR solution your group uses, there should not be an issue. Any new EMR should support all flavors of OS, because if it doesn't, it's already obsolete. Obviously, you will need to verify what they are using.

    As far as Radiology/medical imaging goes, you would be hard pressed to find a better DICOM compliant program than Osirix, which is Mac ONLY. It is starting to show up in clinical settings as the primary reading station. And the 32 bit version is free. Compatible with GE/Siemens/Philips.

    If IT guy won't support XP running on Apple hardware and he has no reason, that is a lot different than not supporting OSX which he doesn't know.

    If you have the authority, use it. Make the IT guy tell you why, specifically, you can't use a Mac. If he can't and he's just being lazy, make him order you one.

    Good luck.
  7. jnyepu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks. Actually, I have some experience with the Osirix platform, but it never occurred to me that it is Mac only. Your post brings up another issue. Ideally, I should also be able to get access to images/pictures from procedures I perform, so I also need to figure out if the system that merges endoscopic pictures I take during a procedure into our EMR could be accessed via a Mac/OS X platform. I never really thought of it in terms of running OS X on a daily basis.

    More digging.
  8. Mebsat macrumors regular

    May 19, 2003
    You may be thinking of Osiris, which was also developed by the University of Geneva, I think. I'm not sure if they are still supporting it, but whereas Osi-ris evoked the RIS, OsiriX evokes MacOS "X"

    As far as endoscopy images, several types are listed here as supported DICOM file types under OsiriX (scroll down to Processing Application Support):*checkout*/osirix/ConformanceStatement.html

    Regardless of use in your group with the EMR system, it appears that you could probably use OsiriX for at least some endoscopy images as is.

    For Mac microscopy, check out:
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    You could just run xp on a MBP aswell and use OSX at home :p

    XP on my MBP is one of my best Win experiences, since apple supply and upgrade your drivers with System Update in XP!
    Never any problems, MBP is the best computer out there for XP really.

    Just insert your bundled mac DVD after installed XP and everything is configured, without the crap PC manufacturers always adds with their system disks.

    From PCworld dec 2007:
    Quote: The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year is a Mac. Try that again: The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year--or for that matter, ever--is a Mac. Not a Dell, not a Toshiba, not even an Alienware.,136649-page,3-c,notebooks/article.html
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    When running XP in boot camp there is no emulation. You are running a Windows PC. Any devices plugged into any port will use the same drivers in Windows as on any other Windows PC. As far as Windows is concerned the only difference between a Dell and a Mac is the specific hardware used. However the differences between an AMD Dell and an Intel Dell are far more than that of an Intel Dell and an Intel Macbook. Therefore I would say if you can choose any Dell you want then any Intel Mac would work just as well.

    The IT guy is either lazy or does not know Mac OS X. But if he can support Windows on any model of dell then he can most certainly support through boot camp as well.
  11. MattBaker macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2008
    Buy exactly what the IT guy knows already

    Buy exactly what the IT guy already knows and can support.

    Your time is now worth a zillion dollars per hour. Your business goal is to offload every non-essential activity you can to somebody else so that you can concentrate on your highest-value activity -- which isn't troubleshooting computer issues.

    If something goes wrong with your computer, you want to be able to point the IT guy at it and continue seeing patients without interruption. If you have to do ANYTHING else -- even show him how to boot into XP via Boot Camp -- then you have failed to optimize. Your patient count will drop, and your patient satisfaction levels will drop (because they're waiting longer to see you).

    If you want, separately, to have a Mac as a hobby, then buy a Mac and keep it at home. Business is Business.

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