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Re: st: Stata on Mac or PC

From   Phil Schumm <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata on Mac or PC
Date   Thu, 26 Jun 2008 09:49:53 -0500

On Jun 26, 2008, at 8:24 AM, Stefano Costalli wrote:
I have a non-Stata question, but I need an answer to use stata at its best!
So far I have used Stata 9.2 SE on my laptop (IBM T series), but now I have to give it back to my department and I have some doubts. I'm choosing between the new version of IBM T Series and Macbook pro. My old IBM worked very well, but I like also the Macbook pro. Unfortunately I don't have colleagues or friends who use Stata on a Mac machine. Could anyone give me some feedback? Has anyone done any comparison? Good functioning of Stata will be an essential variable in my decision..

Thanks to StataCorp, you pretty much get the same Stata experience on any OS they support. There are some minor GUI differences, of course; being primarily an OS X user, I vastly prefer the OS X version (e.g., fonts look better, interface is cleaner, etc.). But, I'll admit, there's an element of subjectivity to this.

One current issue for OS X is that the 64-bit version of Stata for OS X is not yet available. It is, however, under active development, and may be available by the end of the year (see statalist/archive/2008-05/msg00916.html). Thus, unless you need the 64-bit version immediately, this shouldn't be an issue.

Given that Stata is pretty much the same on every platform, the choice then really boils down to other factors. And for scientific computing, an Intel Mac is a shining star. You have the full power of Unix with a nice GUI, and, with the Intel Macs, you can even run Linux or Windows (without a performance penalty and without dual- booting) if you need to.

One more thing: unless you're a die-hard Emacs (or perhaps even vi) user, one of the single best text editors available (TextMate) is only available for the Mac. TextMate makes coding, writing, etc. a dream, and is fantastic for editing Stata do-files. Even if I didn't already prefer OS X for other reasons, I'd still consider TextMate a reason to switch.

-- Phil

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