My next class, Business Statistics, starts on Saturday. The textbook comes with a PC full of Excel data files and PHStat2 software. My computer can read the Excel files without a problem, but there's a small issue with the statistics software. It's written for Windows based computers, and my computer is a MacBook.
I love my MacBook, and I've even created complicated Excel spreadsheets on it, but have not needed to do any statistical computing so have not had this issue before.
I'm not going to buy a new computer for one class. Instead, I made a few phone calls. One friend is traveling right now but has an extra PC laptop, with all software in Italian, in his Beijing apartment just in case his main laptop fails. I now have it sitting in my living, though the charger is with him in Tibet (due to a packing mistake) so I would need to go to a computer market and find one that works in order to be able to use it. Another friend has a PC laptop that she is willing to loan me, with all software in Chinese, that she is going to leave at her office for me to pick up tomorrow.
I'm going to take the statistics software with me when I go to get the laptop, so that I can ask someone in her office for help if the computer asks me something in Chinese as a I load it. Other than that, I should be fine.
In an ideal world all software would run on a Mac. I don't live in an ideal world though, so it's nice to have backup plans, and friends who are willing and able to loan me extra computers.