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This question comes up a lot on the list, and being someone who has worked
on both platforms, has worked both freelance and in several studios, I
honestly don't see much reason to worry about it. The software is the same -
as far as the tools that I use. Mac OSX is more similar to Windows than any
previous operating system. The operating environments are indeed different,
but that seems to be something that is relatively easy to get used to. We
need to be flexible about so much in this profession - I see this as just
another area where flexibility is necessary.

Of course, one should use whatever platform is most comfortable, and while
macs do have the reputation for being "better" for graphics, and I have a
mac at home, I can't say that I would agree that they are better for
graphics. At least not now that I have done work on both.

I can also add that 2 out of 4 of the places where I have worked in-house as
an illustrator have been PC-only and it has been to my great advantage to be
able to transition to that work situation.

One advantage to using a PC that I can think of is that if you have to use
PowerPoint, with linked animations, crossing platform can cause some
problems. Several colleagues of mine that work in-house at medical and
scientific companies also use PCs exclusively. So to rely on the assumption
that having a staff job means working on a Mac might not be a accurate as
you think.

So I would say that the best situation would be to use what you are
comfortable with, with the knowledge that you can't pick the perfect
platform and predict where you will work in the future, and remain flexible
with regard to what you work on. And if you are self-employed, keep both so
that you can test on the PC!

-Tami Tolpa


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Tami J. Tolpa, MFA
Biomedical Illustrator
4144 Madison Avenue
Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: 310.733.7145
Fax: 509.461.9182
Web: www.tolpa.com