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College Software and Student budgets...the big decisions.

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posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 02:21 PM
Well, it's that time and I can delay no longer. I'm in Graphics Design Technology for a couple years to AA and I'm staring at an Adobe nag screen for my trial ending in 3 days. Actually, this doesn't even leave time for at least one of my assignments before it goes Kaput. So, it's decision time. Money isn't the issue within Student pricing and given the choice between Standard and Premium versions of CS5. However... I'm asking for a bit of feedback if anyone can help decide a couple other issues before I take a plunge of several hundred dollars for a suite of programs.

* First... Photoshop CS5 vs. Photoshop CS5 Extended. Whats the real difference to a GDT student like myself? I can read the feature comp list well enough, but as a student...this isn't necessarily helpful. For the couple hundred bucks between Standard Design and Design Premium suites..this is probably the biggest difference that has my attention and hesitation? I'm new this semester to graphics programs much beyond Print Shop or MS be gentle..I really am a bit lost in this area.
Classes use Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, BTW.

* Second... I use high end Macs in the GDT labs at the school. I'm using Macs exclusively, in fact. I've been a PC guy since about the time I stopped playing text RPG's on APPLE IIe's way back it's all a new experience. It's very similar while using the same software, of course. However, it's just different enough in little things like font compatibility and subtle aspects of control and layout to add one more layer of headache while trying to focus on the primary course material I'm there to learn. I'd love to remove the transition between PC an Mac I have to mentally go through every day right now. I'm also coming to understand Mac will be my world for graphics once out of school and doing this professionally. (Am I wrong on that?)

Here is the question on that. Money is flush for the Adobe software short of the master suite. The same is nowhere near true for buying a Mac for the house. I have a very solid, powerful machine sitting here that would seem to pass the hardware checks for compatibility with a 'Hackintosh' install of OSX. I'm willing to invest a fair degree of time and effort...and I definitely know my way around the technical/IT side of the hardware and config of PC's. So...Is it worth it?

Is anyone here actually using a 'Hackintosh', have been using it for a period of time and consider it to have been well worth the time and effort to get operating? I'm hoping someone can save me trial and error if I'm only going to end up thinking it as a mistake in the end.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help on these couple questions.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 12:25 PM
Well shoot guys... I guess this wasn't the right place to ask, or I got my question answered about people with a Hackintosh build which are also happy with it and consider it worth all the trouble. No one, eh? I'll pass on even trying then. It looks like a day or two's worth of effort for a first time go at it. Too much if the end result is a qualified question mark for results.

Err... Someone pointed out to me that the term might suggest something illegal or nefarious. For anyone who hasn't heard it (I hadn't until this semester in graphics) Hackintosh is simply putting a Mac operating system onto a PC with hardware which is compatible. As I understand, it would kill any hope of tech support for much of anything connected to it...but then I burn warranties and support the first time I open my case and start swapping boards anyway so whats new? If it matters...I fully intended to BUY OS-X for the effort. O/S's are one item I DO buy, without exception. lol

Looks like Photoshop extended BTW...and for anyone else possibly looking at the same thing. Well, aside from the software difference in what is available between packages, the biggest difference for photoshop CS5.5 vs the Extended.......for what I am doing anyway...... Seems to be something called Smart Content for removing objects.

I'm still so basic in learning the graphics software, I don't fully get what I'm benefiting from compared to older ways of doing it...but what this does, put simply, is allow me to smart highlight something like a light pole or something else I want gone and just apply the smart content fill in it's place. Like magic.....the object is gone, the pixels it occupied are filled using extrapolated data from the ones along the border and leading to that area. *WOW*. I'm reading how that process really was as hard as I'd imagine it was...before that little addition to PS in the extended package.
...Now if only my digital photography teacher will let me use such wonder-tools.

Anyway...... Just in case anyone was curious what happened re: my questions, I thought I'd drop a follow-up to my lonely little inquiry here.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 05:26 PM
I wouldn't bother going the hackintosh route. I'd just buy a Mac and save yourself the pain, if a Mac and OSX is really what you want.

As far as Mac being the future for professional design and whatnot, I've never understood that. Most of the professional software out there is released cross platform. Every time I speak with someone who is going into graphic arts they complain because they "have to" purchase a Mac. Don't buy into this. I've been using Photoshop on Windows for ages, and I've yet to hear a good reason for why people prefer Mac over PC for photo/video/graphics work. I personally think it's just because it's what "everyone else" has, Apple gear is the latest fad, it's nothing more than an aesthetic choice, as far as I can tell. My computer is running Windows XP, has 4 gigs of ram, and an Intel quad core Q6600 CPU, and PS CS5 Extended runs just fine. If you have a comparable setup at home, you should have no problems running the software.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 05:48 PM
reply to post by Morgenstern89

Thank You. It's nice hearing from a PC guy who spends a professional level of time in Adobe software outside of the Mac world. You're right in the push from within the schools being hard on Mac. I don't know if it's like the old days where Apple floods the schools with cheap equipment, so they gain market share...or what. Graphics here is 100% Mac though, where every other aspect of the campus is running off PC.

It helps to at least confirm that I'm not working at some perceived disadvantage or something by sticking to a PC. I almost feel like a second class citizen at times, now.

My system is almost the same as yours. a bit more RAM and I built it to run max settings across the board on any game available in the market a year or so back, so I imagine it should keep trucking right along. It sounds like you know what it feels like to be the lone PC guy in a room full of macs though.

Nice to know I'm not alone.

edit on 22-2-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 23 2012 @ 01:07 AM
Sounds like you should be good to go then. I don't think there would be any kind of problem using the Macs at school and then bringing home the files on a thumbdrive to work on your own PC. Doesn't surprise me that it's just the graphics department that deals with Macs, they want to look sleek and stylish for the artsy materialistic kids. Whatever floats their boat though. I think some just want to buy a laptop for school and figure they may as well go with Mac since that's what's being pushed. I can't believe -parents- are willing to dish out the cash for them though. The 15 inch Macbooks start at like $1800, and a 15 inch Toshiba Satellite is like $600. And it's the misconception of Mac superiority in graphic arts that seals the deal.

What's the final price with the student discount for CS5?

posted on Feb, 23 2012 @ 03:16 AM
reply to post by Morgenstern89

I'm running into minor problems between Mac and PC, but they are things I can adjust to. It's just annoying and a bit distracting. Things like the difference in keyboards and specifically how the Mac equivalent of Ctrl / Alt and the Command key are used. Just starting out, it's maddening sometimes in keeping two distinctly separate systems straight. lol....

They are little things though when the PC install isn't a real option. BUYING the whole Mac so I don't have to transport fonts on my flash drive or adjust to how some text elements translate in the same font is impossible when I have a mortgage to pay. The software is bad enough.

I finally decided on the Premium Design which hit me for $450 w/ the student discount. That hurts....but I can deal with it by knowing the software is the industry standard and mastering it will let me do anything I want for this area. There is also seeing the retail price of $1,900 for the same suite of software if I wasn't in college.

edit on 23-2-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

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