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OT: Considering a MacBook now - couple of questions

TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
edited 12:01AM in EggHead Forum
Yeah, you Apple lovers are starting to sound more and more convincing these days . . . [p]I'm looking at the 13" at 2.0 GHz with 2 GB of RAM and 120 GB hard drive for about $1650.[p]No real need to upgrade to the MacBook Pro, is there? I'm not a big gamer and don't really need the larger screen.[p]It says it comes with a 30-day free trial of Microsoft Office - anyone know how much it costs to buy? (I know I can look this up, but thought I'd ask while I'm in the midst of this post)[p]Will I be able to load all of my PC files (word, excel, etc.) files on there and boot up in Windows mode and work on them with no problem?[p]Any other suggestions/comments?[p]Thanks![p]TRex
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Comments

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,521
    TRex,
    Boot up in Windows on the Mac?? Are you crazy? That's blasphemy.[p]Seriously, I am not a techno geek, but the mac is a whole bunch better at working with PC files than the PC is working with Mac files. I've not been "up" on the advances, but I have been using macs since the "Mac Plus" in 1986. I am almost certain you can run windows on the mac if you have the desire to do so. If you can swing it (and it sounds like you're already thinking about it) get mac applications and then work on your PC files in mac, then save them off to PC format for your PC. Office, Photoshop CS, and you'll be nearly all-powerful. Throw in Adobe Illustrator and Quark Xpress and you'll own the world ;-)[p]Good luck with your purchase. You'll already know how to use it when you use it for the first time. Gimme a shout on the phone anytime if you wanna yap.
    Beers mang!
    Chris

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    TRex,[p]The MacBooks are quite nice, but the MacBook Pro's are heavier duty. They'll last several years more. [p]2 gigs of RAM will do fine. Most of the systems I use have 1, and the only time they bog down is with 50 - 120 M .tiffs. The machines with 2 sail through them.[p]If you just want Microsoft Office productivity, there will be no need to add Windows to the machine, for a dual-boot system. Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows is completely cross platform compatible. In most respects, they are identical. I've been using Word on both platforms for years, and there has never been a single compatability problem, other than different machines having different fonts available.[p]You might need Windows in certain networking situation, such as a company server only working properly with a Windows system.[p]gdenby

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    gdenby,[p]Okay, I'm really dumb about this stuff - when you say "dual-boot system," are these new MacBooks dual-boot systems or is that a feature you have to add?[p]Also how do you mean heavier duty? Do you mean their technology will be more up-to-date for longer or are you talking wear and tear or they're just more robust processor-wise?[p]Thanks for all your help![p]Cheers,[p]TRex
  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    Nature Boy,[p]LOL - can you tell I need to read "Macs for Dummies"?[p]I understand more what's going on now - I can use the Mac version of Word and save files down to PC format - cool.[p]Glad to hear another pro-Mac user - my decision is starting to become easier and easier.[p]I may have to give you a call sometime - you still have the same number as a couple years ago?[p]Thanks dude![p]Jason
  • TRex,
    You still have'nt considered linux? Linux and windows
    together is a nice combination. With linux things like
    virus, worms, trojans etc etc just don't exist. The linux
    kernel is a firewall in itself, its just too impossible
    to get attacked. And if you get attacked, well nothing
    happens. My brother in law is a specialist if you are
    interested :-)
    and linux is free...
    best regards
    thorsten

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,521
    Yo Jason, Like I said, you'll know how to use it when you fire it up. No books needed. And any worthwhile mac application I have ever used is able to save files into whatever PC format you want.[p]The phone number is on the side of the rub bottle, on the outside chance you happen to have a bottle of Dizzy Pig rub laying around![p]I'm excited for you. Apple makes some quality chit. You'll dig it. [p]Ooo. Gotta run and cook sumthin. It's past 6:30 and the fam is hongree!
    Beers
    Chris

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    thorsten denmark,[p]Thanks. Although I'm leaning towards the MacBook I'm still in the research phase - will look at linux.[p]TRex
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,994
    TRex,
    Dual boot machines just have 2 different OSs (operating systems) installed on them. When you boot up you select which one you want to use. In this case if you loaded windows onto your hard drive you would chose at start up whether to go with the Mac system or with Windows.[p]You can do the same thing with different versions of windows or with Linux on a regular PC.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    TRex,[p]The hardware Apple is selling can be used to run either OSX or Windows XP at start-up. You can also run both at once using "virtual" machines. I haven't looked into the specifics yet, but it sems that you can have a "virtual" Windows machine running a particular Windows only application, and access that program from within the Macintosh desktop. These are not built in capabilities, you have add other programs. [p]By heavier-duty, I mean durability. They have more poweful processors, etc. but the keyboards and cases are stronger. In general, they take more wear and tear. The top end Mac laptops typically last 5 years, and I know poeple who have ones 7 years old that still do just fine.[p]gdenby
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    TRex,[p]You can run linux on the Mac, too. [p]gdenby

  • TRex,[p]I have the MacBook Pro 17 and I love it. The screen is wonderful. It is fast, thin and powerful. The built-in camera and iChat is a hoot and has a great picture. The ability to run both Windows and Mac programs is an added plus and I think the new operating system out early next year might make the switch between the O/S seemless without the restart.
    It is an awesome machine and I have more fun on this than my G5 with quad processors.[p]Uncle Phil

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    . . . some of the cons that have been mentioned (I know every computer has cons, but I wanted to get y'all's opinions on these):[p]1) Gets very hot (I guess that's a trade-off with power and speed)[p]2) Microsoft Office applications run very slowly (this is kind of a big one for me)[p]3) Keyboard feels kind of cheap (well, I need to go to an Apple store and try one out)[p]Of course the Pros were very numerous - these were just the cons that stuck out for me.[p]Thanks!!![p]TRex[p]

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    TRex,[p]I am fully supportive of folks making the switch from PC to Mac, especially ever since OSX came along which, as a self-proclaimed geek noted a few threads ago, has all the niceties of a MAC GUI combined with a BSD core. And MAC hardware is usually elegant. I love my IPod.[p]I'm currently back on the Linux bandwagon at home, though, and my next PC or laptop purchase is still going to be cheap hardware with Ubuntu Linux on top. The OS is completely free and, IMO, quite elegant. You get lots of software installed by default, and it's setup is quite elegant. As long as you're on supported hardware, it's like a Windows install where you just click yes a bunch of times and you're up and running.[p]You get Firefox, which is, IMO, far superior to at least IE 6 (haven't tried IE7, I admit). The GIMP, which is from what I understand still a ways away from Photoshop, but good enough for folks like me who don't know what they're doing. Good movie and mp3 players. Open Office which is not quite as robust as MS Office, but does probably more than most people want. Plus a ton of other stuff.[p]They also have a really nice package manager, so installs of new free software take like 1 or 2 clicks, and it's all preconfigured. Then there are package managers built on top of the Ubuntu package manager which make it even easier.[p]Updating to new versions of Ubuntu can be done with a single command.[p]It's all very nice when you're on supported hardware. Admittedly, if you have something which isn't supported, you can still fall into the traditional world of Linux install pain, but my experiences have been generally positive.[p]Plus you get the good vibes associated with using Open Source, and best of all, no Vista![p]Later,
    Cornfed

  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,160
    Cornfed,[p]What really makes Ubuntu nice is you can change the repositories to the Debian repositories..and when you apt-get you can get all the cool stuff..!!
  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,160
    TRex,[p]When you save a document in a mac you can save it in several formats...[p]Same goes for open office..you can download it on a mac or a windows box and save in several formats..[p]One great thing about open office is...when you try to open a file in word and for some reason it is corrupted and MS office won't open it..you can open it in Open Office and resave it in word format then you can open it in MS Office...I use this trick all the time..
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    TRex, I'm a PC guy and network 40 pc's, not such a head ache as some will say. I do love these commercials that you by a PC then you need drivers to make it work, thats about saying high speed DSL is way different than high speed cable, not really in the long run. I support the PC just so I dont have to relearn something else, not to mention spending the cash to do so. I have access to most windows applications, so I dont need to buy them. Yes the Mac's do have everything you will ever need when you start the system up, but you get about the same with a PC when you pay that much for it. Dont confuse a $500 PC with a $1800 Mac, it's not the same.
    Mac and PC, or is it BGE and Primo??? If you need MS Office XP for a PC I'll send it to ya!

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    icemncmth,[p]Do you find that Office runs slow on the Mac (uh, compared to a PC, I guess)?
  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    Uncle Phil,[p]I wonder if I should wait for the new OS to come out - or will that be an easy upgrade you think?[p]Do you think that upgrade may improve the speed of MS Office? The reviews I've read say that the Mac version of MS Office has not yet been optimized to run with the Intel processor (I have no idea what that means but that's what the reviews say).[p]Thanks,[p]TRex
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    thorsten denmark, be careful with "Linux is free". Linux is open source which means that the specifications are readily and freely available to anyone who desires to create a Linux operating system. There are some versions of Linux that are free but the more robust versions (Red Hat, etc) do carry a price tag.

  • TRex,[p]>>I wonder if I should wait for the new OS to come out - or will that be an easy upgrade you think?[p]Do you think that upgrade may improve the speed of MS Office? The reviews I've read say that the Mac version of MS Office has not yet been optimized to run with the Intel processor (I have no idea what that means but that's what the reviews say).<<[p]The OS upgrades will be a breeze, tho I personally think the cost of the incremental ones is too much for what changes are made - if the newest version is not too far away, you may want to wait until it actually ships on the machines for no extra $.
    Any Mac OS upgrades really won't effect (or is it affect?) the speed of software that's not yet been written to specifically run on the Intel chips - I personally haven't run Office on one of the new machines, but I'm sure it's not slow by any means - and really if you're using mostly Word & Excel, speed differences may not really be even noticeable (not like rendering complex drawings, running big Photoshop filters, etc) - if your current machine is a few years old, it will probably still be faster than what you're used to...[p]- Andy

  • Rocketman,
    I agree. I bought this in May and already they have a faster machine than mine! I have MS Powerpoint, word and Excel on this and it works like a champ! Take a trip to your nearest Apple store and see for yourself what it can and can't do.
    The next generation is supposed to have an even faster 802.11.n system which is like 200 speed. It is beta testing now.[p]Uncle Phil

  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    tach18k,[p]I've been trying hard not to say too much about the Mac's shortcomings so I appreciate your making those points. Like you I supported a network - I had about 500 PCs on, originally, a Banyan network, then a MS network (which took an additional 4 full-time managers. Then I got into IT security. Now retired I just support a couple small firms. In any case, I've not seen much that is superior with the Mac and, despite the sleek sexiness of the equipment, I don't see it as particularly better than what the other producers come up with. In fact the reason I rejected buying a MacBook and the MB Pro was because they were too damned heavy to carry around. I almost bought a Mac for my wife only she has declining eyesight and couldn't read the screen. So . . . you makes your choices, pays your cash, and live with whatever. [p]BTW, I assume you wouldn't put that last offer on a public forum if it weren't a totally legit license . . . ;~)
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Haggis, Banyan network, yikes! Oh my software has that nice logo with multiple colors hologram, and the 25 digit number

  • TRex,
    I don't have a mac book, but I have an Imac G5.[p]I've had PC's forever, and supported them prfessionally (luckily I got out of that nightmare).[p]I use a PC at work, and have the Mac at home.[p]I have to say, if I could only pick one to use from now on, it would definetly be the mac.[p]Its just a nicer, more elegant and thoughtful interface.[p]The problem with MAcs or Apple in general is that they are like drugs, or the BGE. There is always more you want because everything gives you a taste of what you COULD be capable of.[p]True story:[p]I've had the mac for almost 2 years now and have made a bunch of DVD's of my kids and slideshows of photos (usually of the kids too). They always look great, far better than I could do on a PC with the same amount of effort (and thats key... more on that later). So my Sister-in law is getting married and asked me to make a slideshow of her and her fiance for the rehearsal dinner. So I start to, and I start reading about the latest upgrade to Iphoto, Imovie, and Idvd. I have to have it. So I go and get it. Well after loading it up, I find out that to use the new features that I didn't really care about at first, I need to upgrade the OS from 10.3 to 10.4. I wasn't going to upgrade, but I got in to making the movies, and all of a sudden I saw what I COULD do. I had to have those darn new features. So of course, back to the store to upgrade the OS.[p]It was totally worth it. The DVD came out incredibly. I had 2 other brides asking me to do theirs and offering me a good amount of cash to do them.[p]But of course, now I want Aperture (another professional photo program from Apple, but to use it I need to upgrade my video card, which I really can't do, so I may need to upgrade the whole computer, and luckily they just came out with a 24" version that makes me salivate.[p]Its worse than crack.[p]Anyway. Office on the mac works great, but don't be suprised if you want to get Iwork, it is SUPER. The files interchange well, but not flawlessly (you lose some of the really nice formatting from Apple's Pages when you transfer to MSWord). Iwork is Far far superior to Word and Powerpoint.[p]Excel is still the best.[p]FWIW, I have switched almost exclusively to Google docs and sheets.[p]Works great, totally platform independent, and can access from anywhere.[p]I did say I would explain about the amount of effort. There are a lot of people that will tell you that a Mac can run rings around the PC creatively. BS. Its just a tool. The thing is, for most stuff, the mac lets you do things that look better for far less effort. Sure you can create a beautiful DVD on a PC, but it takes a lot of work, and many times several programs that don't really work well together. But if you know what you are doing, it can come out great. On a Mac, its far far easier to get the same results. Same goes with almost everything. I mean, Excel sheets are still excel sheets, but if you want to create a newsletter, Pages will let you create a masterpiece in half the time it would take to create a mediocre on on the PC.[p]And Believe me, this is something I do all the time. I'll usually take the work home with me just so I can do it on the Mac. Its really that much better.[p]

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    I think I've decided that I just need to go find an Apple store and try one of these bad boys out. I'm still leaning in their direction . . .[p]Gigabytes,[p]TRex

  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    tach18k,[p]Banyan Vines was far ahead of its time and the best thing going in the 80s and early 90s. Novell couldn't come close but had much better marketing. Both fell to the juggernaut of Microsoft. Oh, you say, Novell is still out there . . . yup, this week . . . and I say that even though I support some Novell setups because damn near every announcement I hear from them mimics the ones Banyan made ten years ago.
  • Wise One,
    Yes you are right, I have suse linux the german commercial
    version.
    b regrds
    thorsten

  • TRex,
    1) heat: my 15" macbook pro gets warm on the bottom, but i wouldn't call it hot. in fact when i browse this forum i have my laptop on my lap (who woulda thunk) and it's not a problem at all.
    2) speed of MS Office: have never seen that as a problem. i used to use a PC laptop and can't see any noticeable difference in speed between that and the mac
    3) cost of MS Office: if you have a student or teacher in your household (you get to define that--the MS police aren't in the stores) the normal street price is $149, for a 3-user license. about every week one of the big box electronics stores has it for 129 or 119. instead of Outlook for email, Mac Office includes Entourage, which i like better than outlook (not sure why).[p]do you use a PDA--either palm or pocketPC--that you would want to sync with your calendar or address book on the mac?[p]Ken

  • TRex,[p]I came to the dark side from the PC world last April. I have an iMac 20 and a Macbook Pro. Both have 2 gigs of RAM and the 2.1 GHz dual core processors. The notebook generates some heat, but then so do all the other notebooks in the world. Ever notice that they've pretty much quit calling them laptops? They're really kinda hot for a lap.[p]The big plus for me is how well Photoshop CS2 works on these machines. I converted my Wintel license to Mac and loaded up, and CS2 screams compared to my old Pentium IV box. I can't imagine how fast it will be when it is re-written to run native on the Mac-tel hardware.[p]I use bootcamp and load up Windows XP Pro when I absolutely must (SQL Server, Oracle, etc.). That works fine too, but it is succeptable to all the viral nasties online so wear protection!
  • EdFEdF Posts: 121
    But if you really want to get into what you can do with OS X, check out the OS X Tiger - The Missing Manual book, which is by the guy who writes the "for dummies" books.
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