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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Anybody use a Mac?

Anybody here use a mac computer? If so what do you think of them? Are they compatible w/ most windows stuff? Easy to use? Im in my senior year of H.S. and will need a notebook computer for college in a few months. Im thinking of getting either an iBook or a powerbook. Anyway i dont know that much about them and would like to learn more before i commit to buying one. Any website reccomendations for mac n00bs?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 05:51 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

Have you checked with what your campus supports? Apple provides some excellent student/educator discounts, both on campus and at their Apple Stores.

Compatability . . . depends on what you're doing, but for the most part, whatever can be done in Windows can be done on OS X. Microsoft developed the basis for what is now MS Office from the Mac versions of Word and Excel and the files are transferable. OS X can seamlessly share files with Win PC's and can be part of a Windows network with access to shared files and printers.

About the only thing that might be a negative for Apple is that they are pretty serious about a 5 year support cycle, meaning that they view a computer or operating system's useable life at 60 months and tend not to support much after that time span, so if you want only one computer during your college career, get the newest Mac and OS.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 08:19 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

It's true about the support cycle, but I still have a 68040 Mac the runs OS 8.something just fine. It's good for word processing and games and some educ software. Wife took it to school because it has educ games that the kids like and the OS never crashes. I got the thing given to me by a friend in '98 or so and it's still clicking along.

The Mac I am using right now is "old" in the sense that it's about 4 iterations behind the curve--its B& G-3. It's fine for most things on the internet and almost everything on CD except games. Games evolve so rapidly that you gotta stay on the bleeding edge to keep up.

Also, there are some types of high-end applications that don't have Mac apps equal to or equivalent to PC's. Stuff like GIS and some forms of engineering. Surprisingly, some really good cutting-edge science is done on the Mac in the biological sciences--genetics in particular.

But your normal business stuff is widely available on the Mac and is easily picked-up.

I use PC's exclusively at work and have no problems with files between the systems. If I had my choice, I'd use a Mac at work, too.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 09:24 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

Quote:
MTI - 1/21/2005 12:51 AM
About the only thing that might be a negative for Apple is that they are pretty serious about a 5 year support cycle, meaning that they view a computer or operating system's useable life at 60 months and tend not to support much after that time span, so if you want only one computer during your college career, get the newest Mac and OS.
Thats why I jumped ship.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 09:32 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

I have a household of Macs (two clone desktop models from the early to mid 90's, and a Powerbook G3), and have only lost one to failed guts (power supply on a "Fat Mac" of the original chassis) in twenty years. Those really old Macs were relatively restictive on how they could be updated. The following PowerMac series changed all that, and if you are even vaguely interested in fiddling with the guts of a computer, a modern Mac is very easy to keep up to date. My 17 year old son has a Power Mac from several generations ago (new in about 1994) made by UMAX (technically a step below the PowerMac 8500 of the day) when there were Mac clones. It came with a 603E processor and is now runnng a G-4 processor and OS 10.3. He admittedly spent a few dozen hours getting an officially unsupported Mac to work running OS X at all, and then another few iterations to make it run on every update that has followed. That particular model is up to date on all connectivity schemes as well, as it sports USB and Firewire ports now. I have yet to see a Windows machine last more than 5 years in real use, and be up to date without similar investments of time and money.

OSX is a very robust operating system and is very well supported on forums like this one, along with the hardware. The basic Mac hardware is also very robust, and very easy to learn to use. For any Windows program that is not available to run on the OSX operating system from the vendor, you can use Virtual PC. The latest version of that Windows emulation program is written to be a "native" OSX program and runs on higher end Macs operating on the 10.3 release as well as they work on a Windows machine.

The biggest drawback to Macs is cost. They typically come as a very complete and thoroughly integrated set of computer hardware. Until I started running a very high line Dell laptop on Windows XP Professional, there were no Windows machines I had experienced that even came close. The Dell is still much more cumbersome and quirky when you get into things like setting up networks and the like, but it is much better than any previous Windows machine I have touched. Macs are still, in my opinion, substantially better in terms of integrating hardware and software. All the little details of how things work are cleaner and better thought out, even Microsoft programs like Work, PowerPoint and Excel. But that is just my opinion. Jim
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 09:38 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

K dude I'm a freshman in college and can give you a first-hand account of this stuff. I got a 12" ibook w/ 1.2Ghz (equivelant to about a 3Ghz P4) processor, 60GB hard drive, 512MB RAM, and a superdrive(cd player/burner and dvd player/burner), all for $1600 with the student discount. This exact computer is now $1400. I am constantly running 4 or 5 programs and a 21" CRT monitor off of it (dual screens), and it has NEVER crashed. It is compatible with everything.

In general, college campuses have both brand new macs and pcs in all the libraries and stuff, and support both platforms. Most kids in college have macs. A few of my friends have dell laptops, and I have one at home, and they pretty much suck.

A desktop isn't the greatest in college....unless you're into playing games. It's nice to be able to take my laptop to a friend's room or the library or whatever and do work on it.

By the time you will be buying your computer (assuming august 2005), mac may have the powerbook g5 out(stress the may, they are still developing it), which will be the most amazing laptop ever. It will be pricey though. Like I said, iBooks are an amazing value. I got a very loaded computer for $1600 and you will be able to get a better one for the same price in the future. If you want to spend circa $2500, you can upgrade to the powerbook, which is titanium instead of white, has a slightly faster processor, a slightly larger screen (15" over 14"), and is slightly thinner. But you will be getting about the same hard drive, superdrive, etc.

On a software note, all mac software is compatible with pc software. For instance, mac's ichat is the equivelant to AOL IM and is compativle with MSN messenger, ICQ, all of them, and it supports audio and video chat. You probably have itunes on your pc, but IMO all mac software is superior to pc software. With itunes in college, you can listen to everybody's shared music...it's tight.

Dude, just go the mac website www.apple.com and just look around. All there is to know is that macs are superior to pcs. Macs are just plug and play. You won't have to set up any network connections or anything, it's all automatic. You pretty much won't have any problems with it. If you have any questions or want pics of my setup or anthing, just hit me up. BTW, it's refreshing to talk to a young person on these forums [8D] No offense to the rest of you [;)]

Peace

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 12:26 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

By a mac if you are working with graphic arts or cad programs. Way better than a pc.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

Wow! Im pretty surprised to see how many people here like macs, and a student discount makes it even more attractive. Im seriously considering a 12" powerbook G4 since I want to have a serious desktop replacement. Thanks for the suggestions guys!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 01:04 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

12" powerbook??? Those are so small and whimpy. For less money, you could get a 14" iBook with better hardware, or like I said, by the time you will be buying your computer, the 15" powerbooks will have decent prices due to the soon upcoming G5 powerbook....mmmm pure liquid cooled goodness. Good luck


- Nik

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2003 SLK320 Magma Red "DA SURG"
2002 Subaru Forester
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1988 Yugo
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 02:30 PM
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RE: Anybody use a Mac?

Wait, what's your major?
Don't rush into either one, I have a great CPM unit that will fit in your dorm and I assure you it will be a great conversational piece.
Girlz dig it![:p]

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