MacOS vs. Windows PC for Mathematica?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg13793] MacOS vs. Windows PC for Mathematica?
- From: franki at aerodyne.com
- Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 04:18:18 -0400
- Organization: Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
- Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
Greetings! I'm wrestling with the option of switching platforms. I'm currently on a PPC Mac 7500 running MacOS8.1 (yup, I have the AppearanceExt Patch). I'm contemplating switching to Win95/98 or WinNT. Since Mathematica (Mathematica) is a workhorse program for me, its rendition quality on these platforms will make a substantial impact on my decision. Of course, overall OS reliability (separate from Mathematica) plays a strong role in one's overall productivity. BTW, I'm not a platform/OS zealot, and respectfully request that any such zealots refrain from responding. Here are some issues/items which I can identify as impacting a relative evaluation amongst these platforms ("+" = favorable; "-" = disadvantage). Of course, the platform rendition quality is a function of both the platform OS quality and the efforts WRI decides to invest into each (presumably as dictated by market forces). Another factor bearing upon these issues is the OS upgrade path of Apple versus Microsoft - over time, each OS will presumably make headway on their respective deficiencies, but at the risk of leaving older systems behind. I'll presume that for the time being, no platform can claim a strong speed advantage; thus, robustness issues are prime in my view. MacOS: ====== + Predictable (Postscript) printing behavior + No stupid filename length limitations + Filename extension freedom (extensions not tied to resource fork/registry) - Lack of robust/dynamic system memory management: - Need to manually set memory size partition (via GetInfo) - The ineffectiveness of virtual memory - Inexplicable paging (swapping) to disk while scrolling a notebook - Lack of process protection/pre-emptive multitasking - Typically, exceeding of memory limits crashes system; corrupts notebook if in process of saving - Sluggish notebook/kernel response loop - Smaller Mac market share presumably means lower priority for Mathematica upgrades/ ports Windows: ======== Regarding the issues I can identify on the various flavors of Windows, I only speak with secondhand knowledge: I assume that under WindowsNT, the system memory and process protection deficits identified under MacOS are either mitigated or absent. I'm not sure if this also applies to Win95 or Win98. I believe WinNT allows long filenames unlike Win95 and Win98 (?), but that they all key off the filename extension. Regarding printing robustness, my sense is that Windows still lags behind the Mac. Of course, overall OS reliability (separate from Mathematica) plays a strong role in one's overall productivity. A few years ago, the Mac was well ahead of Windows on this point, but recently it seems to me that the Mac crashes almost as unpredictably as Windows. I'd appreciate any enlightenment on these issues, and any others which impact on platform selection. Regards, -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==----- http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum