Mac vs PC
The case for Macintosh
There is a strong preference among the computer graphics and digital media faculty for the Macintosh platform. If you are relatively inexperienced with computers and intend to pursue a career in art and design, a Macintosh computer is an excellent choice.
Creative professionals overwhelmingly favor the Macintosh platform for most applications. Current Macintosh computers are often favorably competitive with the best Windows PCs in terms of speed, reliability, and ease-of-use. Mac OS X is an easy to learn, extremely stable, and high-performance operating system.
All types of software we need as artists and designers are available for the Macintosh. A wide variety of high-quality peripherals such as scanners, printers, and digital cameras are compatible with the Macintosh.
Most print-oriented service bureaus and print shops still prefer the Macintosh platform, but most offer services to customers working on either platform.
The case for Windows
If you already are experienced with the Windows platform, and especially if you already own a Windows PC, it is not necessary to change platforms. All the software applications we use in our courses and in the Media Arts Center are available for the PC. However, you may need to consider appropriate hardware upgrades for your PC to run current graphics software.
In general, current software demands approximately 512MB RAM, 20GB hard drives, 17" monitors with 24-bit color capability, and a sizable backup disk medium such as CD-R, or DVD-R.
Although the FPA|MAC operates Macintosh computers, many students own their own Windows systems. All our Macintosh systems are completely disk-compatible with Windows systems. All primary software applications used in our courses are also available for Windows systems (except for Apple's Final Cut Pro HD). Each software application reads and writes its own format that is compatible with both Macintosh and Windows systems. Students regularly transfer files between Macintosh and Windows systems with few problems. There are occasional problems with reading CD-R discs on our Macintosh systems that have been burned on Windows systems with specific non-compatible settings. Consult your CD burning software to learn how to make a Macintosh-readable CD-R disc.