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Old 16-11-2016, 03:08   #1
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PC or MAC

Hi knowledgeable all.......
As we contemplate moving offshore, the ponderance of PC (constant, memory hungry intrusive updates) vrs Mac (not used before) becomes more poignant.
I am interested in how those who maintain a windows platform offshore, do so without guzzling tons of megabytes (".....you must have this update to work efficiently......"). The primary reason for the PC would be routing/weather file receipt and processing - over satellite (aka IridiumGo). only once in port would terrestrial wifi be enabled for TV streaming web browsing etc.
Appreciate your thoughts.....
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Old 16-11-2016, 06:07   #2
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Re: PC or MAC

Have always used PCs - Linux and Windows. You don't have to do the updates if it's not convenient. In Windows just turn off automatic updates.

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Old 16-11-2016, 07:09   #3
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Re: PC or MAC

Windows 10 is stable and a great operating system, although a few people have problems just like with any operating system. Most of the "constant" updates are security updates, which you'll want to perform whether you like it or not.

Certainly there is more and better (more mature, more features) software for PC than Mac, particularly in the marine sphere. I think that for receiving weather files over sat phone that there are significantly more options for PC than for Mac at least as far as stand-alone apps are concerned. If you're using a service like Ocens, they have software for both Mac and PC, although a few pieces, like Met Mapper, are not available for Mac.

I for professional reasons am pretty "ambidextrous" on PC and Mac, and find when I move from one platform to the other that I appreciate some things and get frustrated with other things moving both ways. But you acclimate and then you're good.

I currently use a Macbook Pro. It runs all of the marine software I want to use (Open CPN, mainly, Ocens on occasion when racing). If you're rendering WeatherFax maps however the PC has more, and perhaps better, software options for that purpose. One upside to Apple products is that they are very well made, pretty robust right out of the box. My Macbook is almost four years old and still going strong, with a few upgrades (bigger HD, more memory, new keyboard) along the way.

One significant reason to go with PC is that the hardware is cheaper and easier to get. Unless your laptop is of the ruggedized variety, it may (and in some climates will) die from prolonged exposure to salt air. Whatever you purchase, keep that in mind and do your best to protect it as best you can when you're not using it.
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Old 16-11-2016, 07:26   #4
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Re: PC or MAC

PCs seem to be best for navigation software on laptops with Maxsea, Nobeltec etc. Apple products dominate the app based handheld navigation software with Nobeltec, iNavx etc.

Let the arguing begin with CF members prefering free stuff they constantly need to fuss with.

Save yourself some money and buy an ipad air or two and put it in a waterproof case like a Lifeproof.

We own two windows laptops, three ipads and two Apple laptops. The usefullness of the ipads onboard win hands down.
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Old 16-11-2016, 07:34   #5
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Re: PC or MAC

I have a MacBook I use for work. They have updates as well, just FYI, sometimes huge ones. Can't help as to which is better for sailing/liveaboard, I'm trying desperately to get to my future boat in December, if commercial real estate would just cooperate. Not sure what I'm going to buy yet either, but I know I need something beefy for MaxSea software.

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Old 16-11-2016, 07:35   #6
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Re: PC or MAC

Predictwind wins as being the best weather routing app/software available and can be used via an ipad. A subscription is required for offshore weather routing.

I've tried them all.
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Old 16-11-2016, 08:11   #7
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Re: PC or MAC

... I chose a MacBook Pro 13".

I use MAC OS 99% of the time (came from Windows some time back), for the remaining 1% I have VMWare Fusion with Win 10 on the same hard disk (and can instantly switch between the two OS).

Best of both worlds (for me).

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Old 16-11-2016, 08:14   #8
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Re: PC or MAC

Depends on how heavy it is, and if it's attached by chain or rope I expect.
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Old 17-11-2016, 01:35   #9
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Re: PC or MAC

If you have to ask, buy a PC. I say this with particular reference to a boat computer for someone familiar with Windows, not as a general concept.

Most sailing software is aimed at Windows users. As well as the obvious (maxsea, expedition etc.) most vendors' software for use in conjunction with their sailing products will be Windows. Want to configure your new AIS from your mac? Hmm.. well actually it *is* doable with my old SRT-based used sending proprietary sentences via kplex, but it's probably much easier to use the supplied software on a windows machine.

I'll leave others to comment on software for use with satphones and fancy MF/HF radios but I believe Windows is the only game in town there.

If you use OpenCPN you'll find it better tested with fewer problems on Windows. I see you're in Fremantle but here in the UK the only reasonably priced charts compatible with OpenCPN are windows-only.

After buying my first boat I broke with my usual tradition of replacing Windows with Linux on my laptop and instead kept a Windows partition specifically for boat use. If you go with a Mac you'd be wise to have a copy of Windows, either via boot camp or in a Virtual Machine for software that it turns out you need.

I've never had a problem with Windows bloat, probably because the only thing I've ever installed on it are Microsoft-supplied applications and the minimal sailing stuff I need. People who have issues seem to download and install all kinds of rubbish from the Internet.

Also a boat is a harsh environment. Buy 2 Windows machines for the price of a macbook pro and keep one in a sealed, padded plastic bag...
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Old 17-11-2016, 02:33   #10
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Re: PC or MAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by shufti View Post
Depends on how heavy it is, and if it's attached by chain or rope I expect.
This needs a thumbs up.
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Old 17-11-2016, 02:56   #11
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Re: PC or MAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by muttnik View Post

Also a boat is a harsh environment. Buy 2 Windows machines for the price of a macbook pro and keep one in a sealed, padded plastic bag...
Agree, it is a Buyers market with more numerous Windows based so cost and the ability to replace more often with newer/stronger Laptops, favors the Windows .
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Old 17-11-2016, 04:12   #12
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Re: PC or MAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
PCs seem to be best for navigation software on laptops with Maxsea, Nobeltec etc. Apple products dominate the app based handheld navigation software with Nobeltec, iNavx etc.

Let the arguing begin with CF members prefering free stuff they constantly need to fuss with.

Save yourself some money and buy an ipad air or two and put it in a waterproof case like a Lifeproof.

We own two windows laptops, three ipads and two Apple laptops. The usefullness of the ipads onboard win hands down.
Gotta love it. If your a rugged individualist who is against free stuff get Mac? I use IOS, Android and Windows. All three OS's are good in their own way. I think hardware should guide your choice. What fits? What can you afford? What degree of connectivity do you need? Research is required.
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Old 17-11-2016, 05:16   #13
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Re: PC or MAC

If you do go down the PC path, then I suggest you look for "off lease" deals. You can pick up some great gear at really good prices. Usually the off lease stuff is corporate versions and built to a MUCH better standard than you get at Best Buy or another big store.

We picked up 3 off lease Dell's (E6430s) and they have been surviving very well out here. They also came with an extra extended battery each that was still sealed and never used. Really useful for sunny days as we charge all the batteries when we would otherwise be dumping power!
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Old 17-11-2016, 05:18   #14
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Re: PC or MAC

My boat computer is an old Toshiba windows machine now running debian linux.
Runs opencpn faster/better than my newer windows machine with about twice the power and memory.
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Old 17-11-2016, 08:05   #15
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Re: PC or MAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Windows 10 is stable and a great operating system,
It is a good OS but it spies on you, i.e. sends too much / personal data home. Maybe you don't care but otherwise you might want to check out how to block unwanted network traffic. (Config settings alone are not sufficient, hosts file in rare cases ignored).
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