This is a question I used to get pretty frequently when I was still a tour guide working in the Welcome Center. The Mac vs. PC feud has started wars and has broken friendships. And I’m not here to perpetuate the fight, but instead leave it up to you and your choice, since it truly is whatever you want. Parsons doesn’t have operating system requirements.
Though there are key differences between both operating systems, the main thing is you’ll be using your computer choice for the next four years, so you’ll need to invest some time and money to make the smartest choice possible. I should preface my post with a statement of fact: I am not a computer person, merely a person who has used both operating systems and found which to suit her needs better. As we all know, there are pros and cons for everything, so bear with me friends.
Personally, I have joined the Mac side of things due to the fact that it’s the best machine for my type of usage. I use programs like Photoshop and InDesign simultaneously (like most Illustration and Communication Design kids), and Macs are known for being more user friendly towards these software programs. Also a Mac doesn’t crash as frequently as PCs while using these programs, so for my usage a Mac fits my needs. For most of the Adobe Creative Suite, Macs will be much more user friendly. However, if you are much more PC oriented, you’ll find that they will still work well on a PC, but not in the same way. I also like Mac because of the sheer number of Apple stores in Manhattan; if I ever have trouble, I can easily trot over to the Apple Genius Bar on 14th street and they’ll help me right away. I can also say my Mac has lasted me all four years of college and is still running relatively well today – I have treated it like my precious child though, so I guess that helps.
A lot of my friends use PCs, especially in programs like Design and Technology, Architectural Design, Product Design and Interior Design. Those who are interested in these majors will find a PC to be much more useful because animation and Auto Cad programs are much more functional on a PC. Especially for Auto Cad folks (those in Architecture, Product and Interior) you can get a Mac and create a PC interface (I probably am writing this incorrectly, sorry), so you could potentially use both systems. If you do invest in a PC, I would suggest thinking about getting a desktop because it would be easier to design on instead of a laptop – but again that is up to you and your price range.
Overall, the main theme in this post should be invest in a computer. Buy the Apple care, warranties, LoJack and extra-extra security because you will never know what will happen – there may be a terrible accident with a cup of coffee at 3 AM one finals night. Also if you can buy an external hard drive (especially if you’re a laptop user) because computers can get bogged down and then certain programs will slow down because of all the “stuff” on your computer. Save those heavy PDF files and jpegs on the external drive while keeping an online dropbox and maybe even a flash drive. I am a neurotic keeper of files – I have my big external hard drive, my zip drive that I update once a month, my online dropbox and then my zip drive on my keychain. So four places to keep my files, oh and my email for back up back up situations because you never know when you may need something! This seems crazy but once you’ve lost a zip drive, you’ll learn real fast to back up everything three times!