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     Home »  General Discussions »  Mac vs. PC
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    Mac vs. PC Views: 5312
     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 03:15 PM EST
    alright guys, I need some help with this (unemotional help):

    my beloved laptop died a very noisy (harddrives make a very bad noise as they crap out) and untimely (right in the middle of the last episode of Shameless Series 2) death this weekend. So I'm off to buy a new one in the next week or so (I don't think I can handle not having a laptop any longer than that).

    I'm really thinking about a Mac this time. But I want to get some more opinions (besides from the boyfriend and my dad) on which people would recommend -- without emotion! I've had PCs since the mid-80s, so joining the Cult of Mac is a big potential step for me.

    Can ya'll offer your opinion (biased or otherwise) as well as your opinions on what components are must haves for any laptop?

    Ta!

    supremacy is relative
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 03:22 PM EST


    Well... of course there is only one option. Mr. Green

    Having said that, it is a great time to make the switch if you are thinking about it. With the free utility from Apple, Boot Camp, you can still run Windows software in addition to the elegant Mac OS and its software offerings. Or you can go the route of a 3rd party software utility such as Parallels if you feel you will be using legacy Windows software you have on a usual basis everyday... Parallels allows you to run both OSes side by side at the same time without rebooting.

    So a transition today is even easier than it has ever been.

    I'll add more later...

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 03:45 PM EST

    Also, the MacBooks and the MacBook Pros use the same Intel Core 2 Duos that many PCs use. And with Parallels or Boot Camp, you can still have your Windows OS and legacy applications.

    Buying a Mac will get you the iLife suite which inludes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, iWeb, and GarageBand. For many, this is more than enough software. Except for maybe the free VLC player, Divx/Xvid, and Flip4Mac to play some of those great, strange or legacy PC codecs.

    I just got a 15" MacBook Pro, and it is a wicked fast machine. It is significantly faster than my two year old Power Macintosh dual G5 desktop, even though their clock speeds are within a few decimal GHz!

    One drawback with the Apple machines is that using the provided DVD Player software, one is stuck with only 5 region switches. It is best to use the free VLC Player instead to avoid the whole region coding issue altogether. Apple will balk at resetting this for you, and I think there is a limit on the number of times this can be reset. If it wasn't for VLC, there would be an angry mob of video connoisseurs descending on Cupertino.

    Now, if you are big into gaming, then one of the Alienware laptops would come to mind, but most of the best stuff (come on Sean, get your buddys to start porting! Smile) is available in a Mac version, though often released a bit later than the PC version.

    Taras

    P.S. And I forgot to mention, the built in iSight webcam and mic. You can actually start podcasting out of the box, if you are so inclined.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 03:49 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  Louis]

    . With the free utility from Apple, Boot Camp, you can still run Windows software in addition to the elegant Mac OS and its software offerings.

    Cheers,
    Louis


    Agreed but you will have to add in the cost of a full version of Windows XP.

    As to the laptop most people seem to go for the widescreen one's now and if you do go for a PC rather than Mac then you need to check out the graphics ability as some are poor if you play any games.

    17in widescreen can run at 1440x900

    Harddrive 80gigs?

    A dedicated graphics card might be something like 256Mb ATi Mobility Radean X1300 - but even that is not fast.

    Better is the X1600 or Nvidia Geforce Go 7600

    Go for as much RAM - 1 gig as it can be expensive to add (often you don't have a spare slot so have to lose the old to put in more)

    Also some laptops pince main Ram to run the graphics.

    If you sometimes want to connect to a larger monitor only a few laptops have DVI out rather than VGA.

    New laptops also now have memory card readers.

    Core Duo and Core 2 Duo are now recommended.

    Also do you need wireless networking?

    Or Bluetooth?

    Firewire maybe as well as at least 3 USB2 ports.

    Lots to think about.

    Good luck! daveac




    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 03:58 PM EST

    Dave,

    Someone coming from a PC will usually already have a copy of Windows to use, though the OEM copies may not work properly with Boot Camp/Parallels.

    [Quote  daveac] Also some laptops pince main Ram to run the graphics.

    I think the MacBooks do this as well, but not the MacBook Pros. Some games won't run on the Intel graphic chip sets of the MacBooks. The MacBook Pros are fine.

    The MacBooks and MacBook Pros also have built in Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme, 2 USB and one or two FireWire ports.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 03:59 PM EST
    Mad4plaid - My laptop is nearing the end of its life (my 2 year old daughter has stood/danced/sat on it a few too many times!).

    I too have always used PCs but have decided that I will get a shiny white slab of MacBook. I had a play with the OS in an Apple shop and I was immensely impressed.

    I'll use my old laptop as a plaything to experiment with Unix!

    He's the strongest, he's the quickest, he's the best..... "Yorkshire is a state of mind"
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 04:05 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  Dangermouse] I'll use my old laptop as a plaything to experiment with Unix!
    You could be playing with UNIX on the MacBook. just open the application called Terminal and you have your command line. And Mac OS X is just the Aqua interface over a port of one of the BSD UNIXes.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 04:13 PM EST
    Ooooooh!!

    I'm looking forward to crossing over from the dark side.

    Darth Gates has held me long enough.


    He's the strongest, he's the quickest, he's the best..... "Yorkshire is a state of mind"
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 04:16 PM EST

    Now, some of the things one gets used to when using one platform may take some getting used to on the other. Most things are simpler on the Macs, but that is not alway the case. Sometimes, one will try to do something on the Mac the Windows way, and get frustrated, because it doesn't behave as expected. But then when the proper way to perform the task is demostrated, sometimes one gets a eureka moment, and other times one will will wonder why they did that in that way. A key difference in behaviour between the two platforms is how copying a folder over another folder with the same name. The results are very different on the two platforms.

    Us Mac users can say that our platform is more intuitive, but it is only more intuitive to us, not to those used to other platforms. That said, there are many operations that will take fewer steps, or just have the options arranged better.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 04:19 PM EST
    ya'll are helpful! I'll take anything else you've got, by the way!

    I'm definitely going for the Intel Core 2 Duos, so that's something I won't have to worry too much about.

    I am NOT ready for Vista, and I think that pcs purchased after next Tuesday all have Vista, so I'm really looking for a decision from myself this weekend.

    Taras- I'm all about the VLC.

    Right now, I'm not looking at the MacBook Pro, unless you guys can give me a good reason to look at it.

    My latest question is this: does mac have something that I can wirelessely stream video to the TV? and not just Quicktime stuff. I ask b/c I have a subscription to Setanta.com so I can watch the rugby and football (SPL as well as the Gunners) on my TV. My understanding is that iTV works strictly with iTunes/Quicktime: any ideas?

    supremacy is relative
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 04:30 PM EST

    An Arsenal fan?

    I don't think that there are any current wireless solutions. The only thing I can think of is hooking up the laptop to the TV via the DVI port, just as you would any external monitor.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 04:58 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    Now, some of the things one gets used to when using one platform may take some getting used to on the other. Most things are simpler on the Macs, but that is not alway the case. Sometimes, one will try to do something on the Mac the Windows way, and get frustrated, because it doesn't behave as expected. But then when the proper way to perform the task is demostrated, sometimes one gets a eureka moment, and other times one will will wonder why they did that in that way. A key difference in behaviour between the two platforms is how copying a folder over another folder with the same name. The results are very different on the two platforms.

    Us Mac users can say that our platform is more intuitive, but it is only more intuitive to us, not to those used to other platforms. That said, there are many operations that will take fewer steps, or just have the options arranged better.

    Taras


    I used Macs at college - that's Adult college (night school) back with Performas and Mac 7.2

    I know about the new Tiger desktop of Mac 10.2? and even heard of the to come Leopard version.

    I dual boot my PC (Windows XP) with Linux (was Ubuntu - now Redhat Fedora 6 Core)

    My background comes from the early days of BBC Basic 1984 (EDIT 1982) with the BBC Micro - followed until only a couple of years ago with Risc OS :-

    Geeks can check:-
    here

    I used Mozella and Quark Express mostly whilst learning DTP and Web stuff.

    Back then the two things that put me off Macs were the harddisc filing system with resource forks (two files for each object) and the one button mouse!

    I guess the filing system is now transparent to the user but I still don't like the single button mouse - of course that's coming from RISC OS with it's three button mouse (middle button brings up a context sensitive menu)

    Sorry for all that - I do think a Mac is a good choice for a media rich computer experience and I think anyone looking at laptops SHOULD check out what Apple has to offer - It's some sexy kit!

    One other thing with laptops in general - I hate those scratch pad or button controllers - the mouse - any mouse is better.

    Rant over, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 05:17 PM EST
    I think the MacBooks do suffer from build quality issues - possiblly because Apple 'tweak' them so often. I listent to Adam Curry's Daily Source Code and he has gone from a Mac lover to a very happy user of a Sony Viao running XP. This is after several MacBooks and iBooks die on him!

    They truely are lovely looking machines but I've got to say I just can't get on with the Mac OS at all - I don't know why, but I just can't! I am a Windows 'Power User' as I provide 3rd level support on the client! However, I do get involved with Windows NT, 2K and 2K3 servers, various flavours of Linux as well as Unix and the Mac OS is the only OS I don't get on with - despite the familiarity with other OS's!

    I also think the MS bashing is now out of date - what MS did with Windows Apple are equally guilty of doing with the iPod (which I own one of and love). Yes XP does still have it's issues but I can honestly say that with a long background of supporting Windows, XP is very very good - when I was running 98 it was expected that you'd have to reboot at least once a day following a BSOD - I've got XP machines running months without so much of a hiccup!

    I'm by no means saying stick with Windows - just that you may not get on with the Mac OS at all. I'd also say tey and have a very good play with one (not just 10 minutes in an Apple store!) before buying as you may get it home and then realise it's not the OS for you!

    whatever you end up with - enjoy Big Grin

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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 06:38 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  capricorn1] I also think the MS bashing is now out of date
    Actually, there are still some very good reasons to bash MS. The latest monthly patch tries to sneak IE 7.0 onto user's machines. There is a right kerflufle about it in the PC press about it. For a number of users, it has crippled their net access. IE 7.0 may be great with Vista, but many non-Vista users are just not quite ready for it.

    With regards to the dying laptops, you get that with all makes and models, it is just that the Apple incidents tend to get over-reported. For the most part, the laptops are all assembled by a number of companies out in Tiawan, and other places, so what tends to happen is that the allotment to a particular geographical area would get a disproportionate amount of the lemons due to a QA issue at one of the assemblers not being noticed until too late. It sucks for the person who gets a couple of lemons in a row... but one can not extrapolate to the full population of machines from one or two incidents. Except when a machine catches fire!

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, January 23 2007 @ 11:03 PM EST
    Cool risc page daveac! I agree about the one button mac mouse.

    With the ability to run linux/*bsd or windows or macos on the new intel macs it seems like a good choice, but I would still not get a mac laptop, if I could go back in time (I have a powerpc mac laptop), because of the one button mouse. For me, doing X11 stuff for 99% of the time that I'm using the mac, a 1 one button mouse is too painful to deal with.

    There is a program called Sidetrack that let's you use different areas of the trackpad to represent mouse buttons, but I've found it impossible to do somethings that I would do with an actual 3 button mouse. So, I have mouse plugged into my USB port and a wide and tall book about Mars to support the laptop and mouse (or sometimes I use a different book).

    For a desktop mac, it was the case that you had far fewer options open to you in terms of hardware upgrades if you went with a mac. I don't know if that is still the case.

    I bought a G4 powerbook a couple of years back and I wish I hadn't. I somehow tricked myself into getting it because the screen looked so pretty.

    Aside from the one button mouse, you have many greater options open to you using windows for anything multimedia. There are at least 100 times the options open to you with windows compared to mac for sound graphics and video.

    I mainly only use Unix though. On windows I use emacs and cygwin for 90% of anything that I do. On mac I use emacs and the command prompt for 99% of anything that I do.

    I don't put work in any program that is likely to disappear soon, so I have little use for Office programs and so forth. So, I may be a special case. I wouldn't touch any iBlech program. I can't stand itunes and programs that insist on being monolithic things that want me to hand over control of my resources to it. I want to use the resource browser of my choice and open with media player of my choice. The media player should do only that. The resource browser should do only that.

    So, even if you can run windows on the mac laptop, aside from the 1 button mouse, the limitations/benefits of macos are important because you have a limited amount of disk space available to you that you need to divide in 2 for the 2 OSs. I think 160GB maximum disk space for 2 different OSs. 80GB is not much space. And switching back and forth is annoying.

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