Mac users in science, speak up now

by Giles Turnbull

Scientists and academics who use Mac OS X are being asked to take part in a short survey of their opinions about the transition to Intel processors.

The team at want to gather together opinions about the Intel switch from the Mac-using science community, prior to a forthcoming meeting with "some top Apple engineers" in Cupertino, during which they will have the chance to pass on thoughts, concerns and questions from real users.

So they have created a short survey which asks, among other things, which apps users think ought to be ported to the new architecture, whether 64-bit support matters, and so on.

Asked where Macs are commonly found, most people would probably say "Publishing, audio/visual work, and schools." But Macs have been widely used in science for a long time now, and usage has only increased since the switch to Unix-based OS X. Just spend five minutes looking around and you can find dozens of online resources for Mac-using scienctists: OS X for Oceanographers and Atmospheric scientists, OS X for physicists, and Scientific computing using OS X. These days, there's also an impressive collection of science widgets available.