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Computerized Investing > First Quarter 2012

Why I Love Apple, But Run Windows

PRINT | | | | COMMENTS (11) | A A   Reset

by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Last month I had the opportunity to meet many AAII members and CI subscribers at the AAII Investor Conference in Las Vegas. I truly enjoy interacting with members and getting direct feedback. One question that I got over and over was when AAII would start producing a Mac-based version of its fundamental stock screening and research database program, Stock Investor Pro (of which I am project manager). I am forced to disappoint our Mac users by explaining that we have to allocate our finite resources to benefit the greatest number of members, and an overwhelming percentage of our members use Windows.

Although I have used computers for over 30 years, the Mac has never played a large role in my computing life. I grew up in a Commodore household—first a Vic-20 and then a Commodore 64. In high school my family purchased a PowerPC, but I kept the Commodore 64 in my bedroom. When I arrived at college in 1993, the computer labs were filled with Windows 3.1x systems, so I didn’t think twice the following year when I bought a Gateway laptop loaded with Windows. For the nearly 15 years I have been at AAII, the dozens of the systems I have used have all been Windows-based.

Do I have something against Apple? Absolutely not! I love Apple products, as evidenced by the iPod nano I listen to at the gym, the iPod touch I listen to during my commute and when I am traveling, my two iPads, and my new iPhone 4S. All of these products satisfy specific needs that I have, but I cannot say the same about the Mac. Historically, the Mac OS has been more stable and secure than Windows. But with Windows Vista (which received a lot of undeserved negative press, in my opinion) and Windows 7, Microsoft has finally come up with stable and secure operating systems that rival the Mac OS.

In addition, Mac computers carry a price premium over similarly equipped Windows systems (for an example of this, check out my annual PC Buyer’s Guide, available at the Computerized Investing website).

Perhaps most important is the issue of software. As an investor, I use a collection of specialized programs for analysis and tracking, all of which are Windows-based. While readers chastise me for not covering more Mac-based software in CI, there is not a lot out there. This issue’s comparison of technical analysis and charting programs, features a program, Investor/RT, that is unique in that it offers Mac and Windows versions with the exact same features and functionality. TC2000, another of my top picks in the comparison, is now cloud-based, meaning it can be run through a Web browser irrespective of operating system. This is where I envision Stock Investor Pro ending up at some point.

Also, in this issue, Joe Lan reviews iBank, a fully featured personal finance program for the Mac. If you are aware of any quality Mac-based investment analysis and tracking software, please contact us at ci@aaii.com.

I wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year!


Discussion

Carl from SC posted over 2 years ago:

I have had the chance to try Stock Investor Pro which is an effective tool, but can be a hassle to manage. I love using tools like Stockcharts.com, that are always up to date, continually improved and I don't have to be and IT manager and run them on my Mac. I do use iBank, which is better then Quicken for my tasks, and there it makes sense the have personal finance stuff on my PC. Good luck to getting to your online version soon, I would probably be a taker and you will find more customers, better control and offer a more up to date hassle free product for your clients. Regards Carl


Don from CA posted over 2 years ago:

Last year, after many frustrating years of XP and sluggish Vista issues requiring reboots, I dumped my HP laptop in favor of a MacBook Air laptop connected to a Samsung Monitor, and now I have the best of both. For Windows-only programs I use Parallels, running Windows 7.1

What is interesting is Windows boots almost instantaneously when I boot up the MAC. I often click on a Win7 programs (TC2000 for Funds) and then back to an OS program (iPhoto, for example) seamlessly. When on Win7 for the MAC, you can hardly visually tell the difference.

It is also nice that with an iPhone 4S (which you mention you own), your photos appear shortly on iPhoto on the MacAir (and I assume your iPAd), thanks to iCloud.

Bottom line -- one computer, two operating systems - Best of both





Robert from FL posted over 2 years ago:

In your Outlook column, you stated that the overwhelming percentage of AAII members use Windows. Exactly what is that percentage and how do you know what operating system I am using? Has AAII or CI taken a survey of what OS its members use, and is that information available on the AAII or CI website?

Thank you.


John p from GA posted over 2 years ago:

Windows 7 is a huge improvement in stability and for maintenance and solving software issues. I love Apple for photo and movie editing, but have never sprung the big bucks to Apple (except for a 30gig iPod). Don in CA has good idea and I might consider going Apple that way. Thanks for the post Don.


Harvey from IL posted over 2 years ago:

I, too went to windows (but from an Apple II plus,and improved my way to Windows 7. My issue was the severe restrictions on getting into the Mac system, not encouraging third party programmers, which resulted in very high program costs. I must agree that Microsoft teird to do the same controlling , but was over0rulled by the many programmers that were able to offer good programs


Chris from MA posted over 2 years ago:

I'm actually quite surprised that the outlook for Stock Investor Pro winding up as cloud-based is "at some point", and not "by next year" or even "this year".

Such a transition would bring with it a host of other benefits: you'd be able to share your custom screens with other AAII members at just the push of a button; data backups would be automatic and painless, as would be data updates and software updates; offering a mobile / tablet version would be easy as well.


Wayne from IL posted over 2 years ago:

While I would love to say, as project manager of Stock Investor Pro, that a cloud-based version of Stock Investor would be ready by X date, I am also a realist. This is a great opportunity for us to take a step back an re-examine all elements of the program, including functionality and usability. It is not worth rushing out a product to say we are "on the cloud" if we can't also make it better and easier to use. Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, AAII


Robert from CO posted over 2 years ago:

An online version of SIP would free AAII members from the "gatekeepers" of Microsoft and Apple, and provide the benefits of using opensource operating systems such as Linux/Unix. They have an initial steep learning curve, but what doesn't that is really worthwhile in life. My experience has been once past that curve, you will never look back.

Right now we are "stuck" with virtualizing Windows or Apple (based on Linux) hosted on a Linux computer. And, if you want to build your own high performance workstation for serious financial analysis, Windows is a flawed option.

There are good reasons why most of the world's super computers use Linux or Unix, and not Windows.


John Bauman from CO posted over 2 years ago:

Ditto re Linux. I finished the switch from XP ti Ubuntu Linux a few months ago. Does anyone know if SIP can be installed and run using Wine?


Charles Perrin from TX posted about 1 year ago:

Stock Investor Pro reportedly can be run on a Mac using CrossOver (a commercially supported version of Wine). There is also CrossOver for Linux, but there are no comments about if it will run.


Wayne Thorp from IL posted about 1 year ago:

We do not have a Linux box in the office we so can't provide a definitive answer. However, a Linux user told us that enhancements/upgrades we made to Stock Investor Pro last year prevented him from running the program on Wine.

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA
Editor, Computerized Investing
Program Manager, Stock Investor Pro


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