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OFF-TOPIC Mac Users - Would Love Your Opinion

Discussion in 'Off Topic: Sports, Funnies, Pop-Culture' started by Diane Kennedy, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Diane Kennedy
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    Diane Kennedy Bronze Contributor

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    Has anyone investigated the new Macbook Air yet? Thots?
     
  2. Russ H
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    Russ H Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Yeah.

    The dang thing is lighter, faster, and cooler than my intel-based MacBook.

    What else didja wanna know? :smx4:

    (I kid . . . after being in this crazy hi-tech industry for the last 28 years, I'm *almost* immune to seeing some cutting edge device I bought just months before become hopelessy antiquated.

    But hey, I can still run PC programs on my mac-- FAST-- and that's pretty cool.

    But Diane, I have to say that logmein.com is the best thing I've done in computers for the past 3 years. Being able to take my Mac anywhere w/an internet connection and quickly "log in" and be on our Inn PC (locked up in the office) is the absolute coolest.

    I can run all the PC programs I want from the Inn's PC-- I don't even use the PC part of my MacBook!

    My favorite part of each Macworld is Steve Job's presentation. I never get tired of listening to them. He really is a master at presenting.

    -Russ H.

    PS Did you ever see the Mac vs PC "ad" they played at last year's Mac Developer's conference? It's hilarious! :D

    LAst year's:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj-sQmyAn-U"]YouTube - Get a Mac - WWDC Intro by PC Guy[/ame]

    And THIS year's: (!) :smilielol:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6NI5VTo6F8"]YouTube - Mac vs. PC at Apple's Developers Conference[/ame]
     
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  3. Allthingznew
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    Allthingznew Contributor

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    Funny you ask, I just skimmed this article earlier http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=205800577&pgno=4&queryText=
    I just got a Macbook Pro last month and am still getting used to it, but I like it, and I can run windows if I need to.

    I don't know that I like the idea of not having a built in optical drive. (You can get an external drive for $99) More wires, and if they give you all the cool free software in iLife, you have to burn it, right?

    I think for me, I would still get what I got even if the new one was available when I got mine. The Macbook Pro is a more robust machine in my opinion, it's faster and has a larger hard drive, yeah it's a little thicker, still thinner than my Dell, and they both weigh about the same.

    They say the new one is thin enough to fit in a mailing envelope, the kind with the string. I think the key is in what your needs are.
     
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  4. Mr K
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    I have a post on my blog at www.studiowhiz.com let me find it for you http://www.studiowhiz.com/2008/01/16/apple-macbook-air-bah-whatever/

    To be honest, while it is a sexy looking machine it is not that much & certainly not worth the $$ they are asking for it. I'm a Mac user after switching from Windows - although I've been using Mac & Windows for ...well WAY too many years.

    I'm on a 17" MacBookPro right now and the casing between the screen and the keyboard is HOT (I've had it on for maybe 2 hours) - I hate to THINK how hot these Air's get.

    Where I think this will come into it's own is as a support device to your desktop computer. Where you work on the desktop and use the AIR simply for client meetings, presentations & checking your email in Starbucks.

    Hope that helps
     
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  5. Diane Kennedy
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    Diane Kennedy Bronze Contributor

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    Thank you all for your comments. I'm running an OLD MacBook G4 - the tiny one.

    My computer travels a lot with me and size does matter (but not quite the way you might think, in this case)

    The two issues - the optical drive and I was concerned like MrK said with the heat. Our video guy runs his Macs hard when he does our events (couple of MacBookPros and a tower all running together for the events) and the #1 problem he has is with heat. He literally has burnt up computers. (he puts it on a cooling pad...one more thing to carry)

    But boy it looks cool. I also like the iPhone-like functions on the touchpad.

    I have a desktop PC that I use for two functions (tax based software that is a memory hog and an audio recording software I just have never gotten rid of)

    Appreciate the help - everybody gets rep++
     
  6. Allthingznew
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    Allthingznew Contributor

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    Thanks for the speed and I enjoyed your comment. The beauty of life in the fastlane is that you can choose to get something like this and only use it twice a year if you want, or use it so much you have to get another one. Ahhh, the power of choice. Now where have I heard that before? :smxB:
     
  7. Mr K
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    Thanks for the rep++ ... much appreciated.

    I'm trying to find out more about the heat issues with the AIR, it maybe that Apple have solved that solution. I know one of the reasons the MacBooks get hot is that the CPU uses the Aluminum to dissipates the heat - so while the case is hot the CPU remains stable. Of course that means you don't want it sitting on your lap.

    My thought for your video guy is that his tower might be generating more heat into the area than the laptops like. I sit beside a G5 tower here at work, and the fans exhaust under my desk - it's a nice heater in winter, not so in summer. A small desk fan does wonders for lowering computer temps in that sort of situation.
     
  8. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    I don't want to hijack or derail Diane's thread, but I am curious about the price of Macs. Why are they so much more expensive than similar PCs?
     
  9. Diane Kennedy
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    Diane Kennedy Bronze Contributor

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    With all due respect, why does it matter?

    I could spend all day complaining that my beachfront San Diego house costs more than a house in Central Texas, but the fact is there are features of my Sand Diego home that I can't get in Central Texas.

    If I've done a cost/benefit analysis and it meets my criteria and I can afford it. Why not?
     
  10. Russ H
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    Russ H Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    8 Snake-

    Back when I first started doing 3-D CAD, I billed my services at $400 an hour (this was in 1989, before the PC even had Windows 3.0). Back then $400/hr was expensive!

    I got lots of jobs, because my bids were about 10% of what those on the PC and other platforms would charge (i.e., 90% less). I could do in 3-6 hours what took someone on the PC about 30 to 50+ hours (and this was guys who just did CAD-- total whiz's at the stuff).

    It got so that I didn't even tell people how little time it would take. I just bit out the work at $1000 an hour, and I *still* beat out all of my competitors.

    I spent years trying to get guys in my industry to switch over to the Mac. And then one day, it hit me: Why was I working at making more competition for myself?

    So I stopped promoting the Mac. Over the next 8 or 10 years, I made hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra income, all b/c I had a Mac.

    Nowadays, I don't really do CAD work anymore. But I do spend time on the 'net. A lot.

    Wanna know how much time I've spent in the past 7 years dealing with viruses on my Mac?

    0 minutes.

    Contrast this w/our Inn computer, where last year we lost over 100 man hours due to viruses (15 hours of down time x multiple employees adds up fast).

    So when someone asks me why I use a Mac these days, I don't tell them how much more efficient I am on this platform (since I use both each day). I just shrug and say, "I dunno. I just seem to like 'em." :)

    -Russ H.
     
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  11. zaiteku
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    zaiteku New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    As a person who switched from PC to Mac, and one who used to hate Apple products and Mac Nazi's, Ive been very very happy. I have a macbook pro and its been solid since I got it. And it still feels really fast. Its around 2 years old and I dont think Ill need a new one soon. Even though I handle 1.5GB photo files in PS it still feels peppy. And I recently started editing HD video on it, and for reasons I cant explain myself, (I suspect its the OS) its FAST.

    I have ordered a Macbook Air, should get to me in 2 weeks or so. The reason I got one is that even though my MBP is light for its size, I need something super light and real thin to lug around. Meeting clients all the time and traveling on planes all the time gets old even with a 5lb laptop. Shedding those 2 extra pounds will feel nice. I rarely if ever need an optical drive on board. Especially while traveling.

    As far as heat it "looks" like its using a Low Voltage version of the merom chip instead of mobile penryn. So its 65nm, rather large. These LV Core 2 Duos run at 0.9V - 1.2000V under normal operating conditions, and they are available in 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz speeds. I would guess from the die size and voltage that its most likely warm and not hot. But Id have to sit one on my lap while doing a render to know for sure. But its definitely not the coolest running chip they could have put in there but its the most readily available, and doesn't sacrifice as much speed as a ULV merom chip (1ghz-1.33GHz max). I think mobile penryn (45nm) is expensive, low production numbers, and it has less L2 cache.

    As for the design, its obviously beautiful. But to me, design aside it doesnt compete with PC ultraportable laptops hardware feature wise. Its just lacking. no removable battery, and the solid state HDD is a complete ripoff. No 3G or mobile broadband. But for me, using OSX for years, and windows for years (still use both now), the differences are obvious. The bottom line is I get more done in OSX with less hassle, I get much more done. My only concern for a work computer is productivity. I have had 0 problems with my computer since I bought it, no viruses, crashes, nothing. I dont even have to defrag the hard drive. There is no maintenance at all. I can just work and do what I need to do. But if there is a problem I just take it into an Applestore. So in shopping for an ultraportable I may get certain hardware features in the PC models that I agree I wish the Air had. But it just doesn't make up for the faults in the OS Id have to run (Windows) in regards to working. (I do however dual boot Xp to play some games now and then, I think windows is still WAY better for games. Apple has been stupid about their game support).

    So IMHO, like me, if you "need" an ultraportable spine saver and dont mind those (limited) features, AND need OSX its a good buy. But if you dont need those things together, it would be a lot better to get a different model or a PC. Also if you wait the price will no doubt drop in about 2 weeks or so! (maybe Ill get a 100 dollar rebate? :smxB:
     
  12. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    WHOA!!! I have absolutely no idea how or why you took my post as a shot at you, but it certainly wasn't.

    I asked a very simple (and legitimate) question about why a Mac costs more than a PC. I'm far from a computer guru, so I thought there may be a cost difference in components or something else that I wasn't aware of. Perhaps there isn't. I do not know, so I asked.

    WADR, I hope that some people are able to answer my question rather than attack me for asking it.
     
  13. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    Russ, thank you for giving me some feedback! I appreciate it. I'm a bit torn between a Mac and PC for my personal use, so your experience gives me some info to think about.

    Mike
     
  14. Allthingznew
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    Allthingznew Contributor

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    I did quite a bit or research before making the switch recently to Mac. One answer I found to the cost difference is basically summed up in comparing Apples to oranges. (No pun intended, well maybe a little)

    The difference is that Mac doesn't contract out so there is no competition between mfr. But really, that only means that PC can offer cheaper intro versions. If you compare what you get standard in a Mac, whatever model you choose, go look for the same "upgrades" to a PC and you find that basically their not far off in price.
     
  15. Mr K
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    @ 8 Snake

    I think you'll find that since Apple switched to using Intel internals their machines are on par with those of Dell etc. In fact if you take the top line Mac Pro & compare internal spec to internal Spec of a Dell the Mac is cheaper.

    Here in NZ the Apples are between 2% and 10% more expensive than PC's but that is because our Apple suppliers are a subsidery of Apple Aus not Apple USA. Still as someone else mentioned, you will find that Apple Hardware will last & perform better and longer than most PC vendors. I have a 7 year old Apple Laptop at home that is running the latest version of OSX 10.4 (no it won't run Leopard). It works fine for what we use it for (email, internet and the occasional game). I have a work supplied MacBook Pro. I've had 0 down time in the 18 months I have had it, 0 viruses, 0 hassles. I can turn around presentations & training material so much faster than I can on a PC (for example, taking a picture of a section of a website, on a Mac you simply hit Apple + Shift + 4 & you draw a box around what you want - done. On a PC .. well you'd need extra software for a start..)

    With things like MS Office & OpenOffice you can do all the office stuff you need. And with Parrallels or BootCamp you can run Windows on your Apple Hardware - and they look so damn sexy .... really, why would anyone buy a PC any more? For multimedia, for churches doing photos & videos, for families oranising photos, for kids doing homework ... out of the Box the Mac can and does everything you need.
     
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  16. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    Mr K,

    Thank you for a great response! Speed ++
     
  17. zaiteku
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    zaiteku New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    8 Snake,

    I have not paid much attention to the debate over cost, I simply look at productivity. If my productivity is going to be higher, Im most likely going to make more money, much more than the cost difference of a PC to a Mac. For me this has been the case. I get more done with less downtime in OSX than in windows that = more money and less headache.

    I did have an incident with my battery, when all the Sony laptop batteries were exploding, mine bulged. I just walked into the Apple store and in 5 minutes I have a new one and walked out. My friend with a Dell had to wait for a box, then send his computer back to Dell then wait for a new one. Thats major business down time. Also, he has bought 2 PC laptops in the time Ive owned my 1. He keeps buying the cheaper models to save money, but ends up increasing his purchasing cycle. For these reasons the minor cost increase (and sometimes Macs are actually cheaper at the same feature set) is a moot point, for me at least. I love getting more done.

    What you could do is go to an Apple store and inquire about their return policy. They used to have a 30 day return policy, not sure if they still do. But you could try it out and if you didnt like it you could return it. See if they still do that and you can decide for yourself how you like it.
     
  18. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    Ty,

    I can certainly understand the value of productivity when deciding on a new computer. If the Mac is more productive for you, then it makes complete sense to pick one up.

    I really appreciate everyone's responses about the differences between Macs and PCs in your individual circumstances. I've learned a lot that will help me with my purchasing decision.
     
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  19. Mr K
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    Mr K New Contributor

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    One last thing ... the pick up speed on a Mac is quick. It will take you maybe a day or two to get used to not having a C:/ drive, but that's about it.

    I've had friends who are computer noobs...who struggle with anything new on a PC. I showed them my mac and within hours they are racing around it doing things quickly and easily.

    For example, installing applications. Many (not all but many) apps you simply drag the application to your "Applications" folder and its installed - no faffing around with installers etc. Most software you want is a lot cheaper than PC equiv and simpler to use - and there is heaps of free stuff.

    Right now the guys at MacHeist are selling a heap of software for $49, and 25% goes to charity. There is about $400 worth of software here & I'd highly recommend any mac user checks it out:
    www.macheist.com/

    Each year these guys do this, and the developers get behind them and give the discounted software. The target this year is to raise over $200k for charity ... at time of writing this there are 5 days left to get the discount.

    Anyway ... I'm sold on Mac's, and my wife loves the simplisity. I've been around Mac, Linux and Windows for years, was primarily a Windows guy - but yeah now I'm a Mac nut.

    Oh and those of you with BlueTooth phones check out BluePhone Elite
    http://mirasoftware.com/BPE2/

    This allows you to link up your mobile phone to your mac, set up proximity systems, auto mute audio when your phone rings, send & receive SMS on the Mac, see your address book, see the details from your address book when your phone rings etc etc. A very cool app - never seen anything like it for the PC
     
  20. Legacy Dad
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    Legacy Dad New Contributor

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    Interesting thread...

    The wife and I were looking at an iMac today, we are sick of Vista and everything else Microsoft that never works and crashes often.

    We are getting a Mac in 2 weeks and looking forward to more productive computer time.

    I saw the iWork which seems comparable to Office but what other programs are recommended for daily use?

    What is the Mac version of Photoshop?

    Lance
     
  21. zaiteku
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    zaiteku New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    iwork is not as powerful as office (more Excel), but its very good. If you dont need the power features then its fine.

    Photoshop runs native on the Mac and its very fast.

    For daily use, I use Office, Photoshop, Aperture and some other photo apps. (I dont like iPhoto but thats just me). Mind manager, Flock, Skype, AdiumX, the Blackberry sync app. I guess it depends what you do but you should be able to find "most" everything you use on PC on the Mac.
     
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  22. Mr K
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    Mr K New Contributor

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    @Legacy Dad
    Good choice, stick with it over there first few days of hurdles and you'll love it
    iWork is great and so much cheaper than Office. It now includes Pages (word processor), Keynote (powerpoint), Numbers (excel).

    Microsoft are about to release Office 08 for the Mac and it looks solid. You can run OpenOffice (actually it's NeoOffice on a Mac) - but it's crap, oh sure it works, it just looks rubbish.

    Photoshop actually started life as a Mac application, so you can quite easily buy Photoshop, however if you where to check out MacHeist (click here) you can get Pixelmator as part of the package. Pixelmator is an alternative to photoshop and is darn cool. MacHeist also has some other cool apps you can check out.

    Other apps you might want:
    * VLC (video lan): by far THE best video playing tool for Mac or Windows.
    - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
    * Skype: works great on Mac
    - http://www.skype.com
    * Firefox: is the best browser, Safari is good but as a developer I like firefox
    - http://www.mozilla.com/
    * Things: great task list tool
    - http://www.culturedcode.com/things/
    * AppZapper: (part of MacHeist) is great at removing apps from the Mac
    - http://appzapper.com/

    My work suite of tools includes:
    * OmniGraffle: the best tool for outlining & creating diagrams
    * OmniPlan: think MS Project but better
    * OmniOutliner: brilliant tool I use all the time for keeping my brain in order
    http://www.omnigroup.com/ - I see they also have a Task list tool OmniFocus
    * TextMate: by far the best text editor for developing with (not that I develop anymore)
    * Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat

    Your Mac will come with most things you need
    * Apple Mail - great mail tool, far better than Outlook
    * iCal - calendar app
    * Address Book - clean & tidy address management
    * Safari - it's a browser
    * iLife:
    * * iPhoto: by far the best photo organiser on any computer
    * * iWeb: okay for personal websites & a bit of fun
    * * iTunes: as we all know, the best music software
    * * iMovie: brilliant app for editing home movies - the kids'll love it
    * * iDVD: turn your iMovie & iPhoto stuff to a DVD

    These apps are pretty much reason enough in my mind to switch to a Mac & most families will never need to purchase other software (maybe iWork too).
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
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  23. Mr K
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    Mr K New Contributor

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    Note: yeap as zaiteku said, Apple Pages is not as fully featured as MS Word, however for most word processing you won't need Word.

    If you are in a commercial environment you can get MS Office from www.mactopia.com
    You can get a great checkout app here: http://www.checkoutapp.com

    And another brilliant app I love is Delicious Library - if you have lots of books or dvd's etc you can use your webcam as a barcode scanner and index them all:
    http://www.delicious-monster.com/

    I'll shut up now, feel like a mac salesman ha ha ha ... I really need to update our home computer ey
     
  24. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    Mr K,
    With the help of some members here, I've decided to give the Macs a try as well. I'm curious about the comparison between iWork and MS Office. My fear with iWork is that I'll be frustrated in not being able to share documents with other people using MS Office. I'll still have a PC in the house, but I'd rather not have to go back and forth for features that I'll use on a regular basis (word documents and spreadsheets).

    Thanks for your input.
     
  25. Poudda
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    Poudda New Contributor

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    Just bought a MacBook Pro over the weekend. Thanks everyone for the info. I'll let you know about iWork, going to play with it just now.

    Garage Band is too much fun too!
     

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