Are MacBooks the best choice for physics?

  • Thread starter Sublime Overkill
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In summary, D H mentions that when getting a Macbook, to enable full disk encryption and back up to iCloud or google drive. Another solution is to have two backups, one for data and one for user files. Macs are great for physics, but there are concerns about data loss and backups.
  • #1
Sublime Overkill
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Hi! So I am in need of a new laptop. After reading that Macs are better for physics, I will be getting one. However I heard of some issues with the new 2018 models regarding a data recovery port. This is the link for that
https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/22/2018-macbook-pro-lacks-data-recovery-port/

When researching Linux for Macs/ Windows for physics I came across this forum
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/mac-vs-windows-for-physics.824321/page-2

Where D H mentions some recommendations when getting a Macbook, which includes "1. Enable full disk encryption right off the bat if there's any chance you will have confidential information on your computer, (e.g., bank accounts, passwords, work you want or need to keep out of the wrong hands). 2. Spend a few extra bucks ($50 will get you a nice terabyte drive nowadays) and buy a backup device. Enable Time Machine, and use it. All you have to do is plug the device into your computer. Backups are done automatically."

So this is basically what Apple has done with the new Macbooks. They removed the data recovery port and placed a T2 chip that is supposed to increase security by encrypting data(removing the possibility of recovering data if motherboard fails) and work with "Hey siri" and the touch bar (which I don't carer about) among other things. I was hesitant to get one of the 2018 models for this reason of risk to data loss and having to back up all the time. However now reading that someone recommended encryption anyway, I'm left wondering what is my better choice. I am looking at a refurbished Macbook pro quad core i7 with 16 gb ram 2015, as well as a new Macbook pro 2018 with similar specs. Thoughts? Thank you.

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/mac-vs-windows-for-physics.824321/page-2
 
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  • #2
The bottom line of the article is to use time machine so you will have your data saved and versioned meaning you can recover files even when you’ve had a user error. Another scheme is to enable two time machine drives and alternate between them every month or so. One can even be placed in a safe area like a bank vault in case the other gets destroyed or goes bad. Your backups will be protected too with a two drive setup.

Another scenario to consider is ransomware where not only do they encrypt your files but your backup gets hosed so having a second backup that is used less often can help here. It’s all a matter of timing and vigilance on your part to protect your data.

A third idea is to backup user stuff to iCloud or google drive so you don’t lose your important files that you really need.
 
  • #3
Sublime Overkill said:
After reading that Macs are better for physics

?, it is a personal preference. We use MacPros as linux boxes, but the guys who do have major issues with our network and software requirements.
 

Related to Are MacBooks the best choice for physics?

1. Why is a Macbook considered a good choice for scientists?

Macbooks are popular among scientists because they offer a streamlined and user-friendly operating system, as well as powerful hardware and software options for data analysis, modeling, and other scientific tasks. Additionally, Macbooks are known for their durability and long battery life, making them ideal for field work.

2. What features of a Macbook make it suitable for scientific research?

Macbooks have high-resolution displays and powerful processors, making them perfect for data visualization and running resource-intensive programs. They also have a wide range of software options specifically designed for scientific research, such as statistical analysis tools, coding environments, and data management programs.

3. How does the Mac operating system support scientific work?

The Mac operating system, macOS, is built on a UNIX-based platform, making it highly stable and efficient for running scientific software. It also has a built-in terminal, which is essential for coding and running command line programs. Additionally, macOS has a strong focus on security and privacy, important considerations for any type of research.

4. Is a Macbook a good choice for collaboration with other scientists?

Yes, Macbooks have a wide range of collaboration tools built-in, such as FaceTime, iMessage, and iCloud, making it easy to communicate and share data with colleagues. Additionally, many scientific software programs have Mac-compatible versions, allowing for seamless collaboration and data sharing.

5. Are there any downsides to using a Macbook for scientific work?

The main downside to using a Macbook for scientific work is the higher price point compared to other laptop options. Additionally, some scientific software may not have a Mac-compatible version, although this is becoming less common as Macs gain popularity among scientists. Overall, the benefits of using a Macbook for scientific research often outweigh any potential downsides.

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