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Your tech questions answered by McMaster Engineering faculty and studentsAugust 18, 2020

Should I get a Mac or PC? What are some options for note taking apps?

Which laptop should I get - a Macbook or Windows PC?

The short answer is students can expect more flexibility running Windows PC, but having a Mac will not hinder your studies. 

"A laptop running Windows 10 is strongly recommended," says Colin McDonald, director of Engineering 1 in the Faculty of Engineering.

Labs will require the use of a software called Autodesk Inventor, which runs on Windows 10. Students with a Mac will be able to connect remotely to a virtual machine running Windows 10, where all the required software will be available to them.

While students can depend on access to these virtual machines during their scheduled labs, access outside of lab time will depend on availability. By having Windows 10, students can access Autodesk Inventor 24/7, McDonald explains.


Need recommendations for a good notetaking and productivity apps?

"I use Goodnotes 5 to write notes on my iPad," says Melanie Chung, an incoming first-year McMaster Engineering student. 

Melanie recently took over our Instagram account (@mcmastereng) to show a day in her life in the EMBER program for incoming students.

Some other popular notetaking apps include:

  • OneNote 

  • Anki to study using digital flashcards

  • Forest to stay focused and off your phone