MacBook Air for Math Students

Tired of “blue screens of death” that are so common in Windows? Don’t want to wait 10 minutes for Windows to “start up”? Switch to Mac OS!

My old computer (ASUS) has lasted me 5 years, but has recently gotten to the point that it slows down to a crawl. Booting up Windows takes up to 15 minutes, and “blue screens of death” occurs extremely frequently. It hasn’t spoiled completely yet, I still use it for printing documents.

I have since switched to MacBook Air, and so far it has been a great experience.

Tips for Math Students using MacBook Air / Pro

For Math students, some apps that you may want to install are MacTeX. It is the LaTeX Mac version. The initial download is over 2 GB, so it might take a while. I downloaded the installer from the main website, it took around one hour.

Another app is Google Chrome, which works very well on Mac. runs better on Chrome, for instance the LaTeX expressions are rendered better on the Chrome browser versus the Safari browser.

MacBook Air is one of the lightest notebooks around. The downside is that it does not have a few features, for example Ethernet Adapter and Optical Drive. Not to worry, one can purchase add-ons to remedy the problem. (Listed below)

Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Aluminum External USB DVD+RW,-RW Super Drive for Apple–MacBook Air, Pro, iMac, Mini

MacBook takes some time to get used to, hence it is good to play around with it to discover the hidden shortcuts. For instance, Copy on Mac is command-C instead of control-C.

If you have any tips for using the MacBook, do feel free to share it in the comments section below!