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Mac or PC?

Mac or PC for web development?



3:46 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm taking a wed design/development course at Bridgewater State College, Massachusetts. I'm going to focus more in development(coldfusion or asp) rather than design. I need a laptop desperately but i dont know wheter to get a mac or pc. I really want a mac but as far as I know it wouldnt be a good option to go with a mac right now since I'm a beginner developer. What do you guys think?


11:43 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You can develop on a mac but you would find it a lot easier and get a lot more support with a PC.

I used to develop on a mac but for web stuff its not a good idea due to the gamma differences, quirks in IE and the simple fact that the mac is a minority platform and you are developing for a majority platform (PC).


8:06 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you want to get a Mac, it's very possible to do the Web development you want to do with it.

I've been developing Web sites for about 10 years, using both Macs and PCs, and I still prefer Macs, and have happy clients. So that's my angle. But I'll try to give straight answers here.

If you develop on a PC, you'll have the majority browser (IE for Windows) at your fingertips. You'll have a wide variety of software to choose from to help you do your work. You'll become familiar with Windows, which is a boon if you end up using Windows-based Web and database servers.

If you develop on a Mac, you'll be able to run Windows in emulation when you need to. Emulation is a drag to do all day, but for testing Web sites, it gets the job done fine. You'll have a smaller selection of software tools to choose from, but the software is of competitive quality. With a little effort, you'll become familiar with Unix, which is a boon if you end up using Unix or Linux-based Web and database servers. (Also, if you spend any time at online message boards, you'll have to put up with an endless parade of clueless Mac bashers.)

When I work with Microsoft technologies (ASP, .NET, MS SQL Server) it can be a bit of a drag to work on a Mac (i.e., too much time is spent in emulation). When developing for a Unix rollout, developing on a Mac has advantages, since a Mac itself is a Unix workstation, among other things.

The bottom line is that neither choice is a bad one. Each platform has its advantages, and its pitfalls to avoid, but you can become a good Web developer regardless of the computer you buy.


1:42 am on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank timster for your opinion. It's been really helpful. I think I'm going to start with a pc since windows has an easy and great database, microsoft acess, while a mac has a Mysql but i heard that is a bit complicated to set up. I dont know anything about databases yet but I will learn. My goal right now is to learn coldfusion and then we will see what happens. But with no doubt, I will definately buy a mac soon.

Thanks for you advice.


9:49 am on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Mysql "complicated" to setup... Um, no... It takes about ten minutes to set up at the most. Now compare that will the install time to Access... Yes, you will need to read some documentation but if you are going to be doing some database interaction then you should be able to do that.

And did I mention that its free...?


1:25 pm on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes, regardless of whether you choose a PC or Mac, I'd eschewing MS Access. Access is really a database for personal use, and not that well-suited to be a back-end of a Web application.

Admittedly, it is easy to connect to Access with ASP. You would be probably be better served with MSSQL if you want to go that route.

If you learn a little abotu database connectivity standards (ODBC, JDBC) it's pretty easy to connect any common Web app (in PHP, Perl, .NET, etc.) to its database (PostreSQL, MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, etc.)

Good luck!


12:59 am on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The great thing about running a Mac is you can test things in ton of browsers and OS's. Obviously you have IE/Safari/Opera/Mozilla/Firebird/OmniWeb/iCab on the Mac side but fire up VirtualPC and run all those versions in 95/98/XP/2000 or just for fun boot up Linux and try Netscape there.

I could never survive without OSX.



1:03 am on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

PC is way better! More programs for webmasters can be installed on PC and PC is a lot more reliable IMO.


9:55 am on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm just a Dreamweaver girl (I don't venture into any complicated or sophisticated web features), and my Mac does a great job for creating web pages. I have a new(ish) PC and I could design all my web pages on it, but I just don't. I usually am using Dreamweaver and Photoshop side-by-side, and I don't enjoy using Photoshop on the PC.

My sites look fine on the PC (I do occasional browser checks), so it's good to have access to a PC (for the site checks). But for my needs, a Mac is more than adequate.


8:35 pm on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Macs have all the applications for assisting design (Adobe GoLive, Dreamweaver.. etc..)

MySQL and PHP modules are easy to install and use, with terminal making it easy to integrate with your database (MySQL). And TextEdit is the best basic text editor around if you choose to write your webpages from scratch like me.


8:32 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ok, i know im gonna get flamed by alot but... I see no real reason to use Mac over PC now. In the past maybe Mac had a performance advantage, but not anymore.

I have SQL server, mySQL, asp, php, asp.net, cgi and its all supported. The PC has all the same designs and web programming tools (visual studio .net anyone? ;P) as the MAC.

Mac is more expensive and isnt better than a PC.
PC alot more programs than MAC.
Mac doesnt outperform a PC of the same price. (yes I actually said that)

I dont say there isnt any flaws with the PC, but advantages outweight the disavantages.

I say go with the PC.


8:54 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm sorry people, but I'm gonna turn this into a full scale MAC vs. PC debate. Mac does outperform PC for the same price, it has been proven by many independent studies.
Mac has a far more impressive and easier to use operating system and using MacSQL, Neocat (I think that's what it's called) and Terminal, MySQL databases can be easily edited.


4:57 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I say go with the PC.

I just had to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 tonight. It went okay (knock on wood), but my goodness, what a hassle.

No, I don't see any compelling reason to go with a PC. I have a PC, I don't think it's a bad machine, it's very useful to me, but I am glad I have a Mac and I do almost all of my web development on my Mac.

It seems that the people who think that we should all go with a PC are forgetting that it isn't always about cost, or about "what you can do," (on paper, anyway). It's about how you are not annoyed or aggravated or inconvenienced by some of Windows' antics. It's about how you simply prefer OS X. Just prefer itólike it a whole lot. It's about how you like what you like, even if someone else doesn't "get" it.

The computer is just a tool, but it is a tool that you've got to like using. I don't care how many times people list hardware stats and hardware prices, if I like working on a certain platform, I'm going to continue to use it. Waving hardware stats in my face (as some will try to do), or saying, "But you can't play as many games!" (I loathe most games) isn't going to cut it.


6:01 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Reasons for PC: more software is designed or readily availabe for pc. Eventhough Apple has almost all programs PC does you may have to wait longer.

Generally there is less of an investment in price.(good for general bussinesses)

More drives available for add ons.(the new powerdrive on the apple which can do anything but burn on the fly not much room for adding on an apple because your addons may all have to be external)

A 3 button mouse is better when your used to it.

I enjoy Internet explorer over alternatives.(the apple's IE version isn't quite the same)

Reasons for Apple: The DOck at the bottom of the screen is more convenient and organized in my opinion.

If you wotk with heavy or large graphics in photoshop I think Apple wins. Ihavent used an apple with DW yet.

My personal turnaround on learning how to use the Apple was much quicker than I expected.

A mouse with 3 buttons does work. The scroll wheel works fine and I heard that you can set the computer to do what you want with the mouse.

An apple is supposed to easily reconize a PC file, but PC may have a tougher time opening an Apple file.

I like both, PC and MAC. As a business owner, webmaster with SEO and SEM I prefer using PC. As a student and working with design, art, and images I like Apple more. I wish I owned one but the prices will have to fall soon.

For PC Laptop Verses MAC Laptop you're on your own. Good luck. I think you'll be happy either way. You should play around and make sure either one is capable of performing your requirements. Make sure the MAC has software you need available. I hear working in Vitual PC isn't that fun(a little slow, but to bad pc isn't thoughtfull enough to allow cross platform software)


9:14 am on Sep 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's a common misconception that MACs don't have the same software available to them as PCs do, go to [versiontracker.com...] and you'll see that there is tons of software available for MACs, they may not get all the PC software, but there are tons of better replavements. There are alot more amateur software developers for mac, constantly producing fine software.
Windows always has been a poor attempt at copying MAC OS and it always will be. You can pick up a resonable Mac (far better than any PC) for around £1000 new from Apple and cheaper elsewhere. Also if you want to ask some people who really know there stuff about macs, go to: [freaky.staticusers.net...] and they'll put you straight.

[edited by: Macguru at 11:34 am (utc) on Sep. 2, 2004]
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