Middlebury

Mac vs PC

Functions are graded A to F, A being highest. It's expected that details for each grade will be added.

Function
PC
Mac
Comments
Notebook docking stations
A
D
Dell creates docks for their notebooks that have built-in port replicators, video output ports, and allow you to use your laptop's monitor while docked.

Apple does not create docks for their laptops. After market docking stations for Apple laptops are model specific and LIS doesn't provide them.
3rd party manufacturers also make notebook 'lifts' to raise a notebooks up from the desk. These can be used by either Apple or Dell machines, though they offer less utility for the Dells as they have no external connectors.

Adapters required to connect to projector
A C No adapters required for Dells to connect to Middlebury projectors.
Apple laptops require a dongle to connect to most Middlebury projectors.
Compatibility with external displays
B B Older dell laptops come with only VGA ports, newer Dell laptops come with VGA and HDMI ports.
Apple computers come with a single port that uses a dongle to attach to VGA, HDMI, or DVI connections.
Outlook A B

Office 2010 for Windows comes with a robust Outlook, while Office 2011 for Mac comes with an Outlook that is a lesser version in comparison. A minority of users consider a step down from Entourage (Office 2008 for Mac).

DFS Lists Editing (granting permission to server folders) A A- Macs need to use the Outlook Web Access (WebMail) to edit the lists.
Banner INB
A
D Some of INB works on Macs, but it is limited and not officially supported.
Hyperion
A
F
Hyperion will not run on Macs; would need to use remote desktop.
Native file server support
A B Both the Mac & Windows Operating Systems can connect to Middlebury's file servers, though some delay has been noticed in the Mac OS as it navigates highly populated folders.
Can embed flash/shockwave media in PowerPoint
A C  
Support for specialized applications (e.g. common chemistry/physics software)
A C-
 See list at bottom of page
Built-in, free, secure remote support:
A
B-
 
R25
A
D
 
Internet Explorer
A
C+
 A lot of functionality requiring a web browser can be done with Safari or Firefox on a Mac.
Built-in, free video editing app
B-
A
 
Built-in, free, easy video DVD creation A  
Easy burning of music, or data CDs and DVDs A A  
Free photo/graphics software
A B-  
Free screen video capture A C  
Viruses F A  
Can spread viruses to other Macs and PCs

F

B-  
Susceptible to SPAM, phishing F  
Proofing tools A B- PC: 40+, Mac: 18
Can run legacy software A C Apple regularly removes support for old applications. Microsoft regularly supports even extremely old applications.
OCR software A B-  
Computer Games A B  
Accidental Damage Protection  A

 F

Full Accidental Damage Protection available from Dell for fac/staff laptop computers.  None from Apple.
Support outside Middlebury A B-  
Ease of switching to this platform B B  


  • Macs can run Windows, and this is an option for running PC only programs. However, this can be daunting if you've never used a PC with Windows. Running Windows on your Mac does not make the Windows side immune to viruses (i.e. you probably will run into the same problems that PC/Windows users have). Running two operating systems does put extra pressure on your Mac (it may be slower when they are both running) and  you may run out of space sooner (this shouldn't be a common problem with newer Macs).
  • Not available for Macs: MS Access, MS Publisher, MS OneNote, Minitab, LabVIEW, Sonar, applications needed for running scientific instruments, Allele A1, ATLAS.ti, CMAP Tools, Cn-3D (NCBI), DL Recorder, EViews, Express (USA Express), FatePC, FTS (Financial Trading System), GenMAPP, GeoSim, IGOR Pro, MDL Chime, MestReC, Mike's Bikes, OpenBabel, OpenPerl IDE, OR Tutor, PCGets, PC-ORD, PopCycle, Protein Explorer, RasMol, Swiss PDF Viewer, TeXnic Center, Viewer Lite (Accelersys),VMD, WinEdt, WinHaze, Brainstorm, DataStudio, E-Prime, Kaleida Graph, Logic Works, Multisim, Shazam, Spartan 08, StatTransfer, etc.

    Not available for PCs: Final Cut Suite (Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio, Motion, Color, etc), iWork (Pages, Keynote, Calc), iLife (iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand).
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