EE student Question

  • #1
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So im staring my 3rd year of EE, taking calc 3, physics 2, and other crap. So i currently have a macbook pro 13" (2.2 dual core cpu) with 8gb of ram and 2 ssd running in raid 0. Its very fast for what i do now.. (basic programming)

a) My question is simple, since most (if not all) of the faculty members and computers lab use windows/linux, should i sell my mac and get a windows computer and dual boot windows and linux? if yes -> b

b) how much power do i need on that new system?

pst: im really into microcontrollers and robotics.. not sure if it maters
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Can't you install Linux on a Mac? Seems like that would be a simpler first step if you already have a Mac.
 
  • #3
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Can't you install Linux on a Mac? Seems like that would be a simpler first step if you already have a Mac.
I tried ubuntu but i had a very hard time with the wirless the fans the touchpad was crazy and very slow. So i gave up
 
  • #4
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My $0.02 - get a Windows machine and you'll make your life a lot easier for your engineering needs.

I'm not sure what programs you have to use now, but generally speaking, Mac/Linux take a backseat to the Windows in development and support for a lot of engineering software that I have to use. This is especially 'fun' in any software that needs drivers to interface with peripheral devices as it looks like you have found out.
 
  • #5
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How powerful should that system be?
 
  • #6
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How powerful should that system be?
That all depends on what software you are trying to run. Start by checking the system requirements for the software you have. You could also check the hardware out at your school to see what they are running to get some ideas.

Just for some embedded development on the firmware side, I can't imagine anything too spectacular is really needed.

From my experience, the only time the computer hardware really starts to matter is when a lot of calculations and/or rendering are needed (advanced simulation and PCB layout). Otherwise, if the system meets the software requirements, it usually won't crawl too badly.
 
  • #7
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I may be wrong here, but can't you just use boot camp and install windows 7. I do not believe that a mbp has a raid controller, but rather the raid 0 is done by software.

edit: My bad, I re-read and saw you want a linux/windows pc. I had a buddy with an old powerbook and his hdd controller failed on mobo and he ended up booting the OS from an external hdd (you could throw linux on that).
 
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  • #8
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Yes that raid 0 is a software one
 
  • #9
MATLABdude
Science Advisor
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I use VMWare Fusion with my Macbook Pro: you can run both Windows and Linux as virtual machines. If you load up on RAM, it (or Parallels) will run pretty well for most of the simple development stuff (MPLAB, WinAVR, PCB layout, etc.) Most of the physical hardware is abstracted (at least in Windows) and you get a pretty generic setup.

If you're into really computationally intensive stuff (long COMSOL simulations and the likes) you'd probably be better off running the simulation on a PC (in the computer lab, which you hopefully have access to) in either case.
 
  • #10
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Ummm
 

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