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Dynamo_Maestro

"Macs are better for artists"

50 posts in this topic

Hi

Help me understand this statement (among many other statements). I recently had to fix my brothers Macbook because it didnt understand what a USB stick was, amusing more than anything but I had a chance to play with a mac for the first time, expecting all the statements I have ever heard to be true.

Ok so im not that gullible, I dont believe everything I hear but I do read a lot and have seen statements like the title statement persistently, so you would think with a statement there would be an explanation, the 'best' explanation I have gotten ever from a search is "Photoshop was originally designed for a Mac and is used on a Mac", now to me that doesnt explain anything.

This isnt a hate thread on a Macs either, in my 'world' Macs arent used simply because they arent needed and no one has made a decent sales pitch to make me or the companies I have worked for buy them, there just always seems to be cheaper better alternatives to solutions, I respect others having Macs but when someone says something like "wait, you use photoshop on a PC, wow talk about doing things the hard way" then encourage me to get a Mac I just dont get it.

I normally would never dream of bringing up a comparison thread but these days ponies, one direction and apple seem to be getting popular and I want to understand why. Can someone explain a Mac to me and the 'real' benefits one has over running Windows, from my brief experience with a Mac I honestly only saw a different UI and a different price tag.

These are the statements I hear a lot, far too much tbh.

1. Macs are better for graphical design, if you are working with photoshop or corel draw, Macs are a must
2. Macs are better for programming
3. Macs are faster than windows
4. Macs are safe and virus free

Now for me I dont ever have performance issues with windows, even using my old 2004 single core comp runs fast with Win7, and I havent had a virus since Win95 which was my own fault anyway ("You are our 1 millionth customer, click here!"), with the growing popularity of a Mac what are the real benefit of having one over Windows?

I apologise if this comes across as a flame / vague comparison thread, but I truly genuinely dont get 'Macs' and all the threads / articles I see are too vague

Regards

Edit: I think the edit thing broke, I only changed one word and it said I edited this 3 times :/ Edited by Dynamo_Maestro
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Macintosh had Photoshop in 1988, it wasn't ported to Windows until 1992 and IIRC, the original Windows versions were inferior.
This is just a non-referenced "fact" that's been past around by word-of-mouth since 1990.

Also, Macintosh used to splash out on hardware a lot more than your no-name "IBM compatible PC" would. e.g. Macs were rocking SCSI before it was cool.
These days it's pretty easy to get a Mac-equivalent PC for a much lower price though...

The only games company that I know of that uses Mac, does so because they are forced to in order to make their iPhone games... however they use parallels to run Windows alongside OSX anyway...

If you want to know why people make these statements, then simply ask "[i]why?[/i]" next time you hear it said. Edited by Hodgman
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[quote name='Dynamo_Maestro' timestamp='1345528531' post='4971723']
1. Macs are better for graphical design, if you are working with photoshop or corel draw, Macs are a must
2. Macs are better for programming
3. Macs are faster than windows
4. Macs are safe and virus free
[/quote]

I use a Mac for all my graphical side of things. It's because of other reasons, such as the superior Mail app. But it's all personal preference. Here's why I think they tell you to use a mac:

(1) Ever since the Adobe CS suites this is no longer the case, but habits (and keyboard shortcuts) die hard.
(2) Macs are similar to Linux with their console-y ways. Some programmers prefer this. It also comes with a great dev environment (XCode), but so does Windows.
(3) Macs come with excellent hardware, though if you splash the cash on a PC it's similar. However, the OS (at least feels like) it's slightly faster.
(4) Macs are not virus free, but it's more difficult to get hit by one. (You have to actively install a virus, it cannot sneak in the back way due to the way programs are installed).
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theyre better for making IOS apps

WRT artists, whilst nowadays its all much the same, years ago the color reproduction etc on the screen was generally better on a mac,
also WRT screen theres a macbook today with 2880x1800 or something whats the best standard windows screen on a laptop ? 1920x1080. Im a windows guy but if you want the bes or near to it, hardware wise buy a mac
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I have never really cared for OS wars and vendor fanatism. Used whatever I could get my hands on, and never understood people arguing "Amiga!" "no, Atari!", and I was like "why not both?"
At home I have two screens on my desktop, one of them connected to my macbook, and another to a desktop PC with a good graphics card.
Then I use "synergy" to connect them to each other, so I use the same keyboard and mouse to control them both as if they were the same computer.

Bought my first macbook in 2008 to get into IOS development and was very impressed with the hardware quality.
Specially the track pad which only recently anyone else is even close to in precision and general "feel".

Its hard to rationalise it as an engineer, but its a lot of small details in everything including choice of materials, that just makes it feel sleek and whole, in contrast to most PC laptops that either feel very plastic, or very clunky or both, even when they are physically small.

Its also very well designed from a power and heat viewpoint, which makes it cool and silent.
People say that you can get an equivalent pc laptop much cheaper, but I have still to see one that actually matches the macbook in all respects.

It's easy to find one that has better specifications on paper, or kick the macbooks ass on a few points, (though usually then in around the same price range) but as a whole, no-one else is close imo.
One thing you should never, ever, do though, is upgrade your macbook when buying it. Those upgrades are ridiculously overpriced.

(Oh, and yeah, I too run vmware to boot windows, for ps vita development... :) ) Edited by Olof Hedman
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[quote]1. Macs are better for graphical design, if you are working with photoshop or corel draw, Macs are a must
2. Macs are better for programming
3. Macs are faster than windows
4. Macs are safe and virus free[/quote]

1) no longer remotely true. maybe 20 years ago, but for the last 10 its been a myth.
2) never been true. never. for the majority of the mac's career, this was one of the worst platforms to program on. some still consider objective-c to be the devil's handiwork.
3) again, not true. this has more to do with default config and the user installing stuff. you can throttle a mac as easy as a windows as easy as linux as easy as unix.
4) again, not true. viri are majority caused by a user executing something unwittingly. this was for the most part true in the days of xp and earlier (inability to stop a rogue program from asking to run), but with the kernal mods to windows vista and later, they are on about equal footing now. The only x-factors are 1) how many people targeting that particular platform, 2) how many people are gullable on that platform. I would actually posit it would be easier to get a paranoid mac user to execute a malicious program than to get a paranoid windows user to mainly due to the false sense of security that apple sells. The windows user will never trust it, the mac user will think they are safe. On top of that, you have more things to worry about identity theft these days with websites and the ubiquitous cloud than your personal machine. These are 1000x easier to hack than your desktop due to the myrriad of flaws in the various standards and their implementations. Hell, Wired (or maybe it was Ars Technica) ran an article recently where a writer of theirs had his Mac cloud service "hacked" via social engineering and the attacker erased all his devices remotely among other horrors. The owner never was even contacted by apple.

Anyway, enough of my podium proselytizing. I'll just say this, as with anything in this world: don't believe the hype, its usually wrong.

[P.S. not saying windows is great, just that apple is selling the hype not a product]

[edits for spelling & grammar] Edited by Net Gnome
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Back in the mid-late 1990s I was working in the publishing software industry. All artists used Macs because all Macs were colour calibrated and just worked. They ran a 32-bit OS and always had millions of colours available, and supported professional hardware like drawing tablets and colour laser proofers, vital in the publising industry. PCs ran Windows95 and most applications were 16-bit and ran in DOS compatibility mode, with 16 colours, no color calibration, and support for pretty much any input hardware or proofer was either nonexistent or a nightmare to set up. Many of our installations ran a Linux server back end and 100s of Macintosh front ends. In 1996.

Nowadays, the gap has closed. Windows applications are 32- or 64-bit (while all Macs are 64-bit) with built-in colour calibration and reasonable hardware support, and their UIs are sometimes not nightmares to navigate. In terms of functionality and sophistication, they're on a par with the Mac. The main differences are (a) target market: Microsoft markets to business suits who write purchase orders, a culture which most artists do not consider themselves to belong (but an excellent business decision), and (2) there is a critical subculture of artists who use Macs. Like the enormously crappy Facebook, the critical mass of people is what makes it popular, not any technical feature.

In summary, there used to be strong technical reasons why artists preferred Macs. Nowadays there are not, but there are strong social reasons.
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[quote name='Net Gnome' timestamp='1345546971' post='4971776']
2. Macs are better for programming
...
2) never been true. never. for the majority of the mac's career, this was one of the worst platforms to program on. some still consider objective-c to be the
[/quote]

I just wanted to say something regarding this. I find Macs to be the hands-down best development platform there is, better than Windows and slightly better than Linux, and that's because I have the tools from the *nix world (proper terminals, compilers, interpreters, file groking stuff, etc.) but also nice GUI thingies. I work with all three platforms (Linux, Windows and Macs) on a daily basis, and while they're all good environments, I prefer the Mac. OTOH, I really like Emacs, sleek GUIs and solid hardware [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png[/img]
Also, I'm a bit of a hipster. If anything, the hype should really drive me away... if only there was something better! Edited by patrrr
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[size=5][sub]I guess i should caveat my point #2. I was talking more history than current state. Mac is now a decent dev environment, but i dont consider it -better- than windows or any posix environment. they all have their pro's and con's.[/sub][/size] Edited by Net Gnome
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I decided to check Apple.com, something I really should have done before making this thread, adverts tend to give me an idea of what companies are targeting and I guess it makes sense why I have never been interested in their products. Eitherway thanks for all the replies :)
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As others have said, I imagine this is a hangover from the days with classic Macs back in the 80s and early 90s, when the hardware and software was very different, and it did have better support for 2D graphics.

3D graphics were more the speciality of the Amiga platform. Amigas had all the same advantages of Macs over Windows then (and more - don't ask a Mac to multitask back then!) But that shows you how silly the argument is really - just because the Amiga was more suited in the 80s, doesn't mean I should be using one now [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Software like Lightwave is long available on Windows.

"Macs" today aren't even the same computers, either in terms of hardware or software, so it's just the company and trademark in common. The hardware is now the same as any other PC (so even the early 2000s claims that Photoshop was supposedly better optimised for PPCs is irrelevant). That just leaves the software, and all the high end graphical software is available for Windows too anyway. As Bregma says, it's more probably that the artists who grew up using Macs years ago now continue sticking with the brandname, even though there's nothing in common with the original machines from a technical point of view.

A super-high resolution might be useful for artists. Though bad for most users - you have problems of not having the GPU power to drive such a large resolution, and things like HD video still have to be upscaled. The reason why most hardware has settled on 1920x1080 is that it matches HD video perfectly, and it's fine for most people. "Retina" is really just a marketing buzzword - you can tell that by the way that they advertise it to mainstream users rather than graphics artists, and don't explain what it is, to pretend that it simply means "better" display somehow.

I also find it interesting that Macs all seem to be glossy displays, when matte is recommended for graphical work (no reflections, and IIRC matte gives better colour reproduction, or something like that). Of course, glossy looks "shinier", which is what seems more important these days, sadly.

[quote name='zedz']Im a windows guy but if you want the bes or near to it, hardware wise buy a mac [/quote]But you quote the one single stat of resolution, when there are far more important factors.
I'm not sure if Apple offer something with the spec and customisation choices I got with my Clevo... or maybe they do?

As for the other points:

2 - can't see why. On Windows, I get far more market share, and means most people I know can try out something I write. Even if you consider competition (i.e., that smaller platforms might do better, due to less competition), OS X is well supported enough by software that there isn't that much less competition. And it doesn't have Linux's advantage where users might be more interested to try out less-mainstream games. (On my cross-platform game, the Mac version gets the least downloads, after Symbian, Windows, Linux and Android.) For development itself, that's personal opinion - some people like one platform better, others like other platforms.

3 - no evidence of that. The specs that Macs come with make the idea that Windows is bloated rather laughable - again likely a throwback to decades ago when the Mac platform did have lower requirements than Windows.

4 - Probably safer, but more due to being a smaller platform. I see no evidence of greater security compared with Windows Vista or later. And not really an important issue - MS Security Essentials runs in the background, never bothers me, and I've never had virus problems.
Use whatever platform you like. It's a matter of personal preference. I get annoyed by fanatics who constantly try to ram their choice down my throat, or claim that their choice is so much better, or did everything first, without using any evidence or logic in their arguments. And I'm not saying which, but these days one company gets more of those fanatics than any other company or platform...

[quote name='Olof Hedman']in contrast to most PC laptops that either feel very plastic, or very clunky or both, even when they are physically small.[/quote]

Remember that the same can be said of many PC companies with high end hardware. When we're talking about hardware, we shouldn't polarise it as "Mac vs PC", as Macs are just another make of PC. I could say how in my opinion, Clevo offers wonderful quality, better than most PCs, or so does Samsung (e.g., my Samsung netbook has a much better keyboard that the poor quality ones I've seen on any of the Apple ultraportables, and other makes).

Indeed, this is the fallacy I hear most often with Apple PC users. If someone bought a good expensive PC from any other company, they'd just say it's a good PC. But if it's Apple, then it then gets compared against the worst excesses of the poorest other PCs, and then this gets generalised into "Macs are better than PCs!" Saying that one make of PC is better than average isn't really that strong a claim when you think about it - and a very different claim to saying that Apple are a better PC manufacturer that *all other* PC manufacturers.

(I'm not saying that you're doing this - but it's something I often see done.)
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I think a big problem is that the majority of PC hardware is for the average PC user. Almost all mac hardware is at an enthusiast level, though average users still buy it. Don't think because all macs have great screens and only some windows pcs have great screens that there are not great screens for windows PCs. The good hardware is still an option for PCs, it's just rarely the default option.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1345564315' post='4971870']
I think a big problem is that the majority of PC hardware is for the average PC user. Almost all mac hardware is at an enthusiast level, though average users still buy it. Don't think because all macs have great screens and only some windows pcs have great screens that there are not great screens for windows PCs. The good hardware is still an option for PCs, it's just rarely the default option.
[/quote]

Is there a not-Mac laptop that has a screen resolution comparable to 2880x1800? I'm not aware of one but I'm curious if there is.
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For me I prefer the Mac environment over windows. I Use windows at work but when I get home I feel more comfortable and find it easier to code and get around the system on my Mac.

As others have mentioned before it's all preference. Both have their pros and cons, it's really just a matter of what you like.
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When people ask me why I use Windows instead of insert-their-OS, I just reply, "get back to work."
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I use Mac at work, and Windows at home. In terms of overall usefulness and productivity, I'd still give Windows (at least Windows 7) a higher rating vs. Mac.

Mac/Windows
Pros/Cons (respectively):[list]
[*]UNIX terminal. Good for programming. grep, vim, less, and all that useful commands are available from the console. Windows console is just pure trash, although there's Cygwin which helps out a bit.
[*]Easy to install/uninstall apps. Compared to Windows, Mac wins. Drag and drop to your Application folder to install, and delete to uninstall. No need to mess around with Registry or Add/Remove Programs (which takes forever to load if your PC has had tons of updates and apps).
[/list]

Cons/Pros:[list]
[*]Unintuitive shortcuts. Copy is ?+C and Paste is ?+V. You have to awkwardly curl your thumb to press the command key. Home and End doesn't actually take you to the beginning/end of a sentence, rather it does nothing. Try it on Safari. click on the URL, and press Home. Nothing. You have to press two keys: ?+Left or ?+Up, but to move one word left and right, you use Alt+Left or Alt+Right.
[*]Finder isn't as good as Windows Explorer. Finder has four views: Icons, Details, List-Columns, and that iTunesy Cover Flow (which is totally useless for document files, btw). The only slightly usable one is Icons. Details is useless as it has this collapsible tabs that confuses you. If you highlight one folder a couple levels deep, and Paste a file, it actually pasted it to the parent view, rather than that folder you selected.
Not to mention that to delete a file, it's ?+Delete!! Just delete doesn't work. And to open a file it's ?+Down, not Enter. Horrible.
[*]Fan view in the Documents and Downloads folder in the Dock is just totally useless. That's the first I do to any new Mac installation, remove Downloads and Documents folder from the Dock. I'd rather access them from Finder.
[*]You can't maximize your Finder window to fill the screen. Pressing the green + icon only changes the dimensions. Not sure what the logic is behind this strange behavior.
[/list]

Overall, Mac seems to be optimized for mouse users, and people who don't mind the fancy animations of their UI popping in and out of screen -- easy to wow the general population with. Programmers tend to like something that's more snappy and keyboard-friendly.

Linux would've been that nice middle ground: UNIX console + Windows shortcuts + snappy + customizable like PC, except that it doesn't have Office, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Edited by alnite
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[quote name='cowsarenotevil' timestamp='1345566880' post='4971883']
Is there a not-Mac laptop that has a screen resolution comparable to 2880x1800? I'm not aware of one but I'm curious if there is.
[/quote]

The retina screen is an impressive looking screen but in reality bigger numbers don't mean better. My 1920x1080 laptop screen looks great at a normal viewing distance. Plus, a 2880x1800 pixel size on the retina screen is actually 1440x900 points, meaning I get more screen space to work with on my 1920x1080 than I would on a 2880x1800 retina screen.
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[quote name='HappyCoder' timestamp='1345576253' post='4971933']
[quote name='cowsarenotevil' timestamp='1345566880' post='4971883']
Is there a not-Mac laptop that has a screen resolution comparable to 2880x1800? I'm not aware of one but I'm curious if there is.
[/quote]

The retina screen is an impressive looking screen but in reality bigger numbers don't mean better. My 1920x1080 laptop screen looks great at a normal viewing distance. Plus, a 2880x1800 pixel size on the retina screen is actually 1440x900 points, meaning I get more screen space to work with on my 1920x1080 than I would on a 2880x1800 retina screen.
[/quote]

There was a several-page discussion on this subject just a few weeks ago and I've recently bought one of these Macbooks and have been using it for a few weeks. The default setting in OSX does indeed scale up the UI elements and for a lot of programs this means that they run at a lower resolution, but if you download a third-party program you can treat it just as a normal display.

To be honest I'm not the biggest fan of OSX (for reasons alnite has mostly covered) and I'm much more used to Windows so I've been using that almost exclusively, and Windows also treats it just as a normal 2880x1800 display (although the Bootcamp software also defautls to the largest DPI setting and larger UI elements where possible this is very easy to change).

I was concerned that text, etc. would be too difficult to read on a 15-inch screen at this resolution but so far it's been great.

I don't think I would have gotten a Mac if not for the screen, though. Like I mentioned OS X isn't really a selling point for me (I do use Adobe products on Windows and don't see why they'd be any better on Mac, although the disks I got through school can be activated twice and work on both Windows and Mac), but the hardware was all completely in the range I was looking for and a comparable computer from other companies, while cheaper, wasn't substantially so and I couldn't find anyone offering a screen above 1920x1200 which is a pain if you want to edit video that is 1920x1080.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the sound; the audio quality is markedly better than all the laptops I've had before.
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[quote name='alnite' timestamp='1345574466' post='4971922']
Windows console is just pure trash, although there's Cygwin which helps out a bit.
[/quote]

PowerShell 2.0 is one of Windows 7's best kept secrets and makes up for a lot in my experience. Still not as great as bash and its variances for linux/unix, but leaps and bounds better than the basic cmd line. If you know what you are doing, you can script UIs via the .NET framework as well as access system features, processes, etc. through WMI. its awesome. Highly recommend it to windows power users. If you got good enough at it, i suspect you could code a game in it. Edited by Net Gnome
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[quote name='Amadeus H' timestamp='1345530575' post='4971731']
(4) Macs are not virus free, but it's more difficult to get hit by one. (You have to actively install a virus, it cannot sneak in the back way due to the way programs are installed).
[/quote]
[url="http://www.dailytech.com/Apples+OS+X+is+First+OS+to+be+Hacked+at+This+Years+Pwn2Own/article21097.htm"]False.[/url]
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[quote name='cowsarenotevil' timestamp='1345577392' post='4971940']
I was also pleasantly surprised by the sound; the audio quality is markedly better than all the laptops I've had before.
[/quote]

Clearly you've never had a Dell XPS. The sound was simply amazing for a laptop. The upgraded screen is also great. Not as good as an upgraded Clevo, but still very good. Overall I was very happy with the Dell XPS.

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mL_mg45Rug"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mL_mg45Rug[/url]
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No, I've never had a Dell XPS, but it seems like that video mostly refers to the speaker quality which is something I was mostly ignoring; the Lenovo and Clevo I had both produced a very-quiet but still-audible noise/interference through nice headphones, and the Lenovo produces some other artifacts as well in certain cases. With the Macbook there's absolutely no noise at all and no artifacts that I've noticed. I'm sure there are other Laptops that work just as well, but since it wasn't something I put a great deal of thought into I was surprised at how much better it works.

In terms of the internal speakers I think the Clevo was the best, but I hardly ever use laptop speakers for anything.
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I think it is too hard to compare Operating Systems nowadays. The PC (understand as Personal Computer) market is so big that Windows, Mac and Linux are inovating every day and bringing awesome products to its users.

Lets be objective then. I bought a Mac last year to develop apps for iOS, and here is my experience so far:

1) XCode is GREAT. It is right now (version 4.x) the best IDE I have ever used (My second favorite is Visual Studio). Why?
Because it provides an outstanding semantic analyzer of your code and presents great suggestions without changing the actual code (NetBeans does change your code as you type and I hate it).
Its debugger is awesome and you can attach actions to breakpoints (watch the video "Session 412 - Debugging in XCode" about it).
Its integrated dissasembly presents the AT&T format (which is dirty) but the otool that XCode provides can be easily used on Terminal to obtain the Intel assembly code.

2) The Terminal is great. It uses bash just as most distros of linux.

3) As for hardware. The Trackpad is great and it totally eliminated the use of mouse for me when I am doing general stuff (programming, browsing the web, etc.) Just for games we need a mouse.
BTW, the 2-finger scroll acceleration is hard to forget. I can't stand normal scrolling with a mouse anymore (it gets on my nerves xD)

4) The overall organization of your desktop is great. You can have multiples Desktop Spaces just as Linux, and it runs very smoothly.
The Finder is worse than Windows Explorer. Why?
It doesn't have "cut file" (ctrl+x).
When you are saving a file in a browser, the Finder instance doesnt let you move files, remove some, etc.
It doesn't have the option to see hidden files

However, those features can be easily modified by typing some commands on the terminal (just google your problem), or by installing an app (for the ctrl+x problem for example).

On the overall it is a great platform for development and for general use.
Only one more thing (sorry for the long post). It has one thing that sucks and I couldn't fix it yet ... its 'fn' and 'ctrl' keys on the keyboard have been switched. Then for gaming (where you have to press ctrl) it is bad. Edited by kuramayoko10
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[quote name='kuramayoko10' timestamp='1345583597' post='4971984']
1) XCode is GREAT. It is right now (version 4.x) the best IDE I have ever used (My second favorite is Visual Studio). Why?
Because it provides an outstanding semantic analyzer of your code and presents great suggestions without changing the actual code (NetBeans does change your code as you type I and hate it).
Its debugger is awesome and you can attach actions to breakpoints (watch the video "Session 412 - Debugging in XCode" about it).
Its integrated dissasembly presents the AT&T format (which is dirty) but the otool that XCode provides can be easily used on Terminal to obtain the Intel assembly code.
[/quote]

That's odd, I want to open my wrists whenever I use XCode.
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