A reader asks
May I ask a few minutes of your time to offer an opinion re Apple computers?
I’m a long term Access developer, should really be retired; had PCs since the early 80’s but fed up with their vulnerability to outside threats and the deterioration in their performance once they have been in use for a year. I need a laptop and I usually buy the best going with the largest screen on offer.
The primary use I put my computer to is the development of Access applications; still with 2007.
Do you think an Apple Mac would provide a better long term platform for my work?
My goal every time I buy a new machine is more and more about ergonomics. This time round I did spend quite a bit of time in the Apple store because an Apple Mac Book Pro wins big on that score. In case you didn't know, Macs come with bootcamp and also an internal virtual system that can Windows 7 and XP if you want. So I started to dream of software like garage band for my sons and other neat programs that run on a mac that I have never used. In the end I didnt go for a Mac Book Pro for the following reasons.
I liked the 13 inch MacB Pro but it was as slow as my previous computer in terms of hardware. The 15inch MacB Pro felt really neat but it too was under specified. One thing that really irritated me was that the place where your wrists sat was quite hot. This also seemed a problem with a number of Windows machines. Disk space at 300-500gbytes also seemed a little light on as there would have to be two operating systems on the machine. I did find out along the way that some specialist firms would add extra memory and disk but by then the price was going up and up. One thing that was apparent was that Mac's had good batteries. Unfortunately a lot of the speed of a mac is due to the fact that the hardware is optimised for the Mac software as there is only one version of hardware to cope with. Windows has to cope with all sorts of configurations and hence hardware/software cannot be thus optimised. But if you are running Windows on a Mac, a lot of this advantage disapears. I didn't look at a 17 inch MBPro as I don't like walking around with a piano on my back.
In the end I went for a Sony total ultra light beast of a laptop with really fast solid state memory disk drives. This had the compromise of not much disk space but as a Windows laptop allows for more peripherals than a mac, I will be find other places to store all the files that I don't use very much.
In the end I kept thinking of my business, have I every made any money from someone using a Mac and the answer is no. Maybe if they bring out Access for Mac, then that may change. That said, I see programs like LogmeIn running on an IPAD as being a very good way to run Access and Office software on a remote machine. This is an interesting area, contact me if you agree
Other favourable mentions were HP Envy and Dell machines, and watch for Samsung, their next machine could really rock as they own the sold state drive market.
Garry Robinson - Access programmer from way back then till now.