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Never thought I would say this: I want a MAC!

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PhiBer
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Never thought I would say this: I want a MAC! Reply with quote

Windows has been my primary system for years. I have been using Windows Vista since it first came out and patched it with SP1 yesterday. Now, the network drives are not running any faster and file access seems to have become even slower.

I am just tired of having to click "allow" to multiple messages of "are you sure you want to do this" with UAC, and having to click "allow scripts" for NoScript messages in Firefox because I choose not to use Internet Explorer 7. This is all for the sake of - security!

At one point in time, I argued that the PC can do everything the MAC can. This is true, but I am slowly starting to believe that a MAC just works! without many of the inherent vulnerabilities that exist within the Windows operating system.

Although Vista is inherently much more secure(able) than XP, many of the 3rd party applications do not utilize the security features such as ASLR and the increased security comes at a cost of hindered productivity/usability.

So, what are your thoughts, should I get a Mac? The new MacBook air seems pretty cool. Wink
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graycat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[darth vader voice]
come to the dark side, PhiBer...... we've got cookies
[/darth vader voice]

Laughing

seriously though, i remember the thread you're talking about (PC can do anything that mac can) as I posted in it. Smile as someone who's a windows fiend but who has recently ditched their windows based home machines and got a MacBook, I thought it might be apt to let you know what I've found.

bad news first
- they don't "just work" 100% of the time. they do however work a lot smoother and more reliably than any windows machine I've used
- they are not impossible to crash or freeze as I was told by a mac-head. I know that I can get the mac to freeze almost at will using some combinations of apps
- they're much more expensive than a Windows laptop.
- the community is very hit and miss - they're either really helpful or so stuckup their own firewire ports
- Mac's don't do anything special over any other OS.
- can't natively write to NTFS directly attached ... but it can read no problems and there are addons to allow write. either that or pass it through a VM machine Smile networking works well as it uses the samba interface

the good news now
- they are smooth and whilst they do no one thing especially better than any other OS, they do do a lot of little things very very well
- the user experince is different from windows and in a good way
- the hardware may be expensive but it's of a very high spec. I asked a cowork who was complaining about the price to price up a similar hardware laptop .... and he really really struggled!
- the MacBook that I have (the black one so it's top spec for the MacBooks) will happily run a VMWare XP machine, iTune and some word processing apps for 5 hours with no problems. 6 or 7 if I'm careful.
- VMWare Fusion means I'm never without my windows machines. it also has "unity" which supposedly means you can drag the apps out of the vm pc and run them without it ... somehow. I haven't tried it as of yet though Smile
- sleep and wake is just plain awesome! put side by side with my XP viao that's hibernated, the mac will be useable about 2 seconds after you've opened the lid! the xp machine takes a good 30+ secs to be vaguely awake and complains no end if you've got too many apps open and try to hibernate it
- applications on the mac are abundant and well priced if not free. well, other than the MS stuff which is their usual price scale. iWorks which is now pretty much equivilent of MS Office is only 50 and Pages makes PowerPoint look like an etch-a-sketch!

Conclusion so far - to be honest, I don't think i'll buy another windows only machine again unless budget is really tight. I had a samsung x10 XP laptop that lasted me for two years and this MacBook is superior by far.

As far as work goes, with all the apps that allow cross platform work it's getting tough to not admin my windows servers from it when at home! ok, there's a few things that i can't do yet but i think that's me not the lappy / OS.

well that's my brief thoughts on it. I'm sure i've missed somethings out but fire me any questions you want Smile
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PhiBer
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graycat - excellent and informative post. I would have to agree with you that with hardware virtualization, there is no reason not to give MAC a shot!

I don't think i'm expecting anything incredibly different or superior in terms of software, but I do believe you can be more efficient and productive when it comes to doing basic tasks such as web research and audio/video editing. I like the battery life as well!

What particular MacBook do you have?
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graycat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As i said, there's not really any one thing that Mac does alot better just lots and lots and lots of little things that it does better which in the end add up to a hell of a lot IMO! Smile lol

I've got the Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz MacBook with a 160Gb hdd and 2Gb of RAM. When I looked at the laptop range I was torn between a top of the range MacBook (which I got) or a lower end of the range MacBook Pro. In the end the price difference for the same spec lead me down the MacBook path. As far as i can see dual 2.2 GHz cpu's with 2Gb of RAM is going to be more than enough for me for the near future. I can happily run and XP VM PC and see no hit on the performance at all however it does start to slow a little bit when running the XP, a 2000 server and a 2003 server at the same time but a) i'd expect it to and b) it's only a little bit slower than normal so I can live with it.


For me, the main differences between the MB and the MBP were:
- screen size - MB's are smaller and only in the one size whereas the MBP's go up to a beast of a size. As I need to carry it around easily, I was always going to get the smallest I could.
- hardware performance - the MBP's are a lot more hardcore than the MB's but you pay the price difference. A top of the range MB is a higher spec then the lower end of the MBP's
- upgrade of the hardware - because the MBP's have a separate graphics card not only will it handle graphics better but it's also upgradeable. Not really a consideration for me at the moment as I'm not a gamer and I don't do graphical work yet.

If you're thinking of using the laptop as your day-to-day machine, I would strongly recommend you don't get an Air. Whilst those things are great for being thin and light .... there's only one usb port and no internal cd/dvd drive so you'll end up carrying more kit around with you. Well, that's my opinion at least. oh, you'll also get stopped at airports a lot as the security guards are very wary of them as they're so slim and small. Smile lol

on the software side, i'd recommend that you get iWork and VMWare Fusion straight away. They're both under 50 each so it's not going to break the bank and it gets you up and running for most things right from the start.

sorry to keep hitting VMware but I'll mention one more thing whilst I think about it - my quickest ever Windows XP Pro installation was done on the MB with VMware ....... 3 minutes after putting the CD in and I was at the desktop! Shocked ok, so there's a bit of prestaging with making the "partition" and adding a few informational bits in (cd key etc) but that's it. I was understandably gobsmacked though not with the next 3 hrs it took me to get the thing updated and patched fully! Smile lol

oh, one word of warning - mac-heads really don't like it if you refer to it as MAC. I mean they literally start foaming at the mouth from my experiences! Smile lol some day I'm going to post on a mac forum asking "I've got a MAC which i've called MAC and I need to find the MAC address for it so I can join it to my wireless that's got MAC filtering enabled" Laughing
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