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Using a Mac for B-School

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Current Student
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Using a Mac for B-School [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2007, 09:41
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Howdy,
Is anyone here planning on using a Mac for school? If so, what program will you use to take class notes?

I'm having trouble finding a good Mac equivalent to MS OneNote, which is giving me some pause about getting a Mac. (I don't want to use Parallels to switch over to OneNote all the time).

Most of the Mac note-taking programs I've found are either souped up stickies or more of a cataloguer intended for serious academic research.

I like OneNote because it's basically a word processor with extra flexibility in the page layout (ie multiple text boxes) and the tabs on the top and the side make it super easy to organize everything. Also, all your notes are one place, which makes it easy to search and navigate.
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16 Apr 2007, 02:11
I may well get a mac - the ability to dual boot it makes sense, and I am a sucker for the asthetics as well as its music capability (apparently my school says a 15" MacBook Pro is OK).

For notes? Software? I am obviously so retro.

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16 Apr 2007, 08:35
Ha! Nothing beats the reliability of the pen/paper option.

Did you see that Leopard got pushed back from June to October? If the new hardware is delayed I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Have you ever used OneNote? It's so intuitive and easy to use that it doesn't even feel like you're on a PC. It's enough to make me reconsider getting a mac.
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16 Apr 2007, 09:37
Naturallight - What do you use OneNote for? Taking notes at work meetings?

I went to the Microsoft website and "test drove" the program, seems pretty cool, I could see how it would be handy in school but don't think I'd need it at work.
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16 Apr 2007, 09:51
I would just have the concern that it would be a nightmare for any calculus.

Which shows me up as the kind of maths bore that I am.
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16 Apr 2007, 10:01
There are other math specific packages out there that would work well for Calc. Maple comes to mind as a pretty inexpensive albiet good option.
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16 Apr 2007, 10:16
I still can't see how anyone thinks they could use a computer to quickly note down a PDE or somesuch. It doesn't make sense to me. If I need it in an essay, I will have the application to do it, but I have yet to see any formula software that is quick to use.

And the accuracy of these things is so important I would just stick with a pencil and paper.
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16 Apr 2007, 13:19
Johnnyx9--I used OneNote for my CFA studies. My wife (and many of her classmates) used it for law school.

It definitely is a better app for taking notes from a book or a lecture than taking notes in a math class.

However, if you have a tablet laptop, you can draw graphs and math equations directly into OneNote. I've done this on my friend's computer, and it seems to work ok.
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07 May 2007, 18:16
Using a mac at bschool should be fine, but you need to load bootcamp on your computer so that you can run non-mac programs. I've been running bootcamp for a while and, thus far, its been great.
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07 May 2007, 18:19
Using a mac at bschool should be fine, but you need to load bootcamp on your computer so that you can run non-mac programs. I've been running bootcamp for a while and, thus far, its been great.
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13 May 2007, 18:02
Are there any differences in performance between a Mac running on bootcamp and a Window machine with similar specs (say 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB ram)?
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26 May 2007, 22:22
I know I'm a little late adding to this thread, but I thought I would chime in. I actually decided to switch to a Mac for B-School because I couldn't find any PC laptops that I really liked.

I didn't want to run bootcamp because it requires a full reboot to switch between the different operating systems...instead I'm running Parallels with a WinXP image and Office 2007. The cool thing is you can run Parallels in Coherence mode which allows you to run native Windows applications directly from OS X. It works great for just running OneNote without requiring a reboot.

I have a Macbook Pro (2.16ghz dual core with 3gb ram) and the CPU barely budges when I have everything open.

-Steve
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26 May 2007, 23:29
3underscore wrote:
I still can't see how anyone thinks they could use a computer to quickly note down a PDE or somesuch. It doesn't make sense to me. If I need it in an essay, I will have the application to do it, but I have yet to see any formula software that is quick to use.

And the accuracy of these things is so important I would just stick with a pencil and paper.

I agree with the pencil and paper approach. Let me explain why:

I can type quite fast and without looking at the screen. I can even follow up with a conversation between different people and type what everyone says (I've been doing so for some time at a regular meeting at work). However, what I've learnt in the process is that this method would probably not be so useful for taking notes during classes. The main limitation I foresee is the impossibility of rapidly drawing arrows or other types of graphic aids or cross-referencing stuff in your notes. Yeah, you could scroll up and down and insert the drawing objects, but you'd need to look at the screen, thereby missing on the non verbal communication and probably getting lost. In particular, for case method classes, I may be writing notes in the case print itself or cross-referencing sections in the case with my own notes. Try doing that with a computer.

On the Macs, I love their style, but IMHO aren't worth the hassle (probably because I haven't used Macs aside from the occasional drop by at Apple stores). All systems at school (at least the one I'll attend) are Windows-centric. Why would I want to pay more for a Mac and then boot Windows in it? I'd rather save some money and use the Lenovo.

Cheers. L.

Last edited by lepium on 27 May 2007, 00:06, edited 1 time in total.
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26 May 2007, 23:58
As I see it, the main advantage of taking notes on a laptop is that you can search them quickly on the computer. It's not possible to do that with handwritten notes, and I can't imagine transcribing notes after taking them by hand (ahh how nice it was to have a secretary). Anyhow, I'll probably be doing both, typing notes into the laptop, and also taking notes by hand that I can reference.

With regards to using a Mac, I agree with Lepium. I don't know about other schools, but I know that Darden has specific requirements for integrating laptops with their system at school. For example, the required XP Pro or Vista Business - XP & Vista Home do not have the required security functionality and cannot be configured for use on their network. I can only speculate, but I don't believe that Macs running parallels could be so configured either. I think Bootcamp (as I understand it) might work because it basically boots up a copy of XP and you can utilize Pro. However, as Lepium said, why pay more, just so you can boot to Windows?

Another thing about Macs is that they get really really hot, uncomfortably so. I guess there are different opinions about this, but it seems that most people attribute this flaw to designing for looks over functionality. Whatever the reason, the heat is really annoying. The fans in Macs are also really loud - according to a friend loud enough to be very noticeable in a classroom or especially in a library. Some of the better designed business notebooks run 30-40 degrees cooler than Macs, and have whisper quiet fans that rarely come on.

I've voted with my pocketbook and selected a nice Lenovo. I was wondering what people view as the strengths of Macs in a business setting. Other than the looks (which are a matter of personal taste and completely meaningless to me), why would someone want the aggravation of trying to work with a Mac when everything is designed to work with Windows? Not a rhetorical question, I'd actually like to understand.
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27 May 2007, 04:06
For me I need to buy a new laptop and I want a mac because of the benefits of being able to run Reason, Ableton and a variety of other software that I want.

Because business school is a reason to buy a computer, and not the sole motivating factor.

There are several classes where they won't allow laptops at school, btw. And at most schools you should be able to configure a mac.
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27 May 2007, 04:35
Personally I like the size/mobility of Macs - but I am a PC guy so I don't think I could live with one. That black macbook would be sweet - but only if it was running windows

I think it would be too annoying in the business environment to have to work around the issues that would come up.
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29 May 2007, 08:19
I don't want to start a Mac vs Windows flame war, but in regards to the pricing, I thought that Macs had nearly closed the gap. I think they seem expensive because Apple doesn't offer a super low-end version--the cheapest Macbook has some pretty decent specs.

In some cases, however, the pricing is weirdly expensive. Going from a 80 gig HD to 160 is about $150 on a Mac,$70 on a PC. That seems pretty stupid, considering that HDs aren't unique.
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26 Jun 2007, 15:00
Finally pulled the trigger. Got the stock 15" MacBook Pro. Unfortunately they're out of stock, so it could be a couple weeks before it comes in.

I got a heck of a deal though: $200 off for my edu discount, a free nano (worth$200), $160 off Applecare, no tax (~$200), and only $8 in shipping cost. Can't wait! VP Joined: 11 Dec 2006 Posts: 1430 Location: New York, NY Schools: NYU Stern 2009 Followers: 42 Kudos [?]: 220 [0], given: 6 [#permalink] Show Tags 27 Jun 2007, 04:10 Ah - good work, Natural light. I am still deliberating (mainly as to how long it will take me to get my head around parallels), but will likely plump for the same model. I might call NYU Bookstore before I arrive to give them a leadtime on me buying it. Was that deal through yr school, or elsewhere? Current Student Joined: 24 Aug 2005 Posts: 260 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0 [#permalink] Show Tags 27 Jun 2007, 07:50 3underscore - yeah, it was through the Berkeley computer store. It was buy far the best deal, since I have to pay tax on amazon and online apple store purchases. The online apple store was offering$100 of the printer, but not the apple care discount, so that part evens out.

Yeah, I have no idea how Parallels works either. Do you know when Office 2008 for macs will be out?

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