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October 09, 2004


I too switched last year. I do biophysics and used to have an old Sun, a Linux box and a Windows 2000 laptop. The Windows machine became unstable and too time consuming to maintain, I'm sure a competent person can make Windows run well, but I spend 14 hours a day doing research and frankly spyware and the bluescreen of death get in my way,

The Linux box also was a hassle. It was solid but the amount of tweaking required to keep it going and even to add minor capabilities was too much more me. Sorry - I want a machine that helps me work rather than something I must commune with deeply.

The Sun box was fairly solid, but expensive and slow. Our budget allowed me to get a new laptop and I decided to go with a 15 inch G4 PowerBook on the recommendation of a friend,.

The machine was something of a revelation. I could run most of our unix/linux based programs on it and, in general, it was easier than getting them to run on the Linux box. I could do my presentations and other things without Windows getting in my way and the box just worked.

SInce then I added a dual processor G5 and our lab has a 20 box Xserve cluster in the budget for next year. We will also be getting a half dozen of the g5 iMacs. All of this to consolidate our computing environment that works and allows people to get their work done.

If you work hard and have to support your own machine Windows makes no sense, If you like to tinker you might consider Linux. If you just want to tool that works I would think about OS X ... at least in my academic sphere.

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