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964RSCS
1st December 2004, 09:53 PM
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum - and to modern mac's - and was hoping to get some advice...

I'm presently a PC user, but am seriously considering buying an iBook or Powerbook. I like Mac's (owned an LC 4/40 about 12yrs ago!), but I do need to run a couple of Windows based apps, so need to consider the likes of Virtual PC.

My main concerns with mac ownership are reliability, software availability, and the ability of Virtual PC to run effectively. Also wondering if Virtual PC opens up vulnerability to virus's and hackers?

I've been reading on here about the dramas a few people have had with iBooks, and I really can't afford to be without a laptop for any length of time. My livelyhood depends on it!

I realise some of these questions should perhaps be posted in a different section, but any help/advice/suggestions/re-assurance! would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Gerard

decryption
1st December 2004, 09:58 PM
Virtual PC runs okay, kinda, on my 1GHz iBook. I hate using it though. Only use it if you *really* have to.

The problems people have been having with iBooks have been the G3 models. The G4 models are pretty much trouble free. Software availability is plentiful, check out www.macupdate.com and www.versiontracker.com

Virtual PC does let spyware and such be installed, however, it won't attack your Mac OS X system, it will just damage the Virtual PC session. Which is easy to re-install. But hopefully you won't have to rely on Virtual PC too often. What sort of apps do you need to run that are Windows only?

964RSCS
1st December 2004, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by decryption@Dec 1 2004, 09:58 PM
What sort of apps do you need to run that are Windows only?
Cheers, thanks for the reply!

I have to run a program called Web Position Gold, which is a search engine optimisation program. Their website gives *some* feedback on it being able to be used with virtual pc, but a little vague and non-commital!! That's the main one, also laptop software for my car's programable ecu, and Garmin GPS mapping software, although that can be run on my PC desktop enough to satisfy! WPG is the major concern though...

jeremy
1st December 2004, 11:16 PM
I just got an iBook about a month or so ago. It was hard to know what to get but I wanted something small so 12" was the only option. Once I added the specs I needed to the iBook, the $400 extra for the PowerBook just didn't seem worth it (and besides I've spent too much money this year already). I think the biggest difference is that the PowerBook has a DVI connector so you can hook it up to an LCD display (e.g. apple cinema). Other than that, it's only slightly faster, weighs 100 grams less, is about half a cm thinner, etc. Nothing noticeable.

I suppose the biggest disappointment I have with the 12" powerbooks is the lack of PCMCIA and the other features that the other powerbooks have. Illuminated keyboards, gigabit ethernet, firewire 800. That's the kind of stuff that'd make it worth the extra money (if the 12" had PCMCIA alone I would have paid the $400 extra) or more and I don't want to be lugging around some 15" monster :)

I did think that the powerbooks would be more stylish with their aluminium finish but the pictures on the web don't do the iBook justice. I've had a few people tell me it's a flash looking computer and little do they know it's bottom of the range (of apple stuff).

But as for VirtualPC, can't help you there. Haven't even got MS Office. But I'm very happy with my iBook, having made the switch from Linux.

pipsqeek
1st December 2004, 11:54 PM
Hi,

I'm pipsqeek.

You might remember me from such threads as "G3 iBook..its not an Apple, its a Lemon".

Truth is. the G4 I finally got as a replacement has been okay.

But at the same time, I have heard of one occasion from a forum member (mainly on the IRC channel) that just got a Logic Board replaced in their G4 iBook. So its not all clear yet.

I'd be saving alittle more and getting that Powerbook.

And the 15" is not really a monster. Just when its sitting next to the 12". I found that the 15" was the perfect size.

But that's my 2¢

pipsqeek

spargo
2nd December 2004, 12:30 AM
YES!

Go for a 15" PowerBook with as much RAM as you can afford. I am with pipsqeek - the Powerbook is a cut-above.. but of course, it costs more.

Also if you can, get the faster spec HDD, and extra video memory - only because these are things that you can only get when ordering, and they'll give it some extra legs as it gets older..

And think about getting an Airport Express, the perfect accessory for a wireless Apple laptop which has all of your music on it..

I think Office:Mac is excellent - using it for work over here.. PowerPoint is especially 'a cut above' the Windows version - so don't worry about having to use the Mac version of the suite.

Check out www.macrumors.com (http://www.macrumors.com) for more info on current models and speculation on new model/upgrade releases.

You won't regret making The Switch.

Currawong
2nd December 2004, 04:31 AM
It's always the way that, should you have a computer that's got serious problems, it can be a big drama. On the plus side, Apple keep 7 years worth of parts. The down side is, they can appear to be rather stingy, and it does depend on the tech at your local Apple Centre (who is trained, by not paid, by Apple) diagnosing problems correctly.

With Virtual PC, it's software emulating hardware - you literally get a full Windows PC in in a window. It runs rather slow, but is fine for non-cpu intensive programs. As the Windows HD is a disk image on your HD, you could install Windows and set up Windows, make a full backup copy, and revert to that backup should you have problems.

The "reliability" and "software availability" aspects of Mac ownership are subject to much myth still. Realiability comes from having a BSD/Unix based OS built around hardware which is steadily improved, unlike the "this months cheap special" aspect you get with brand name PC's.

Software is actually less of a problem, as there are great sites such as Versiontracker.com and Macupdate.com where people can rate software. The interface is most software is more consistant as well - no having each application behave and be used in a completely different manner at the whim of the author. Unlike Windows and its registry, to uninstall software on a Mac, you just delete it. System files are named using English too, rather than thousands of cryptically named dll and other files that clog up Windows. An extension or system addition is often a single file, not tens or hundreds.

Anyway, I'd go on, but I have to go to work.

zefi
2nd December 2004, 05:19 AM
There are other perks to owning an iBook. The battery life is far better than the Powerbooks and durability wise they are also a cut above.

Any will suit your general needs, but you have to decide whether you want something that is going to be mostly a desktop or portable.

Good luck.

pipsqeek
2nd December 2004, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by spargo@Dec 2 2004, 12:30 AM
<snip> I think Office:Mac is excellent - using it for work over here.. PowerPoint is especially &#39;a cut above&#39; the Windows version - so don&#39;t worry about having to use the Mac version of the suite...<snip>
One thing to keep in mind with Word or PowerPoint between PC and Mac...

There will be discrepencies between the two.

Yes you will be able to open the documents and they will function normally.

In M&#036; Word, Page Breaks will be slightly off. Formatting can change.

In PP, some effects will not work at all, defaulting to standard effects for slides to work, or the effects of the content of the slide.

Just so you know.


pipsqeek

zefi
2nd December 2004, 09:57 AM
Pip, I guess those discrepancies can be avoided if you run the presentations directly from your iBook/Powerbook to the projector. As for word documents, to make sure the format and fonts stays as I want it, I just Print to PDF which is standard system wide on OS X.

NiftyNev
2nd December 2004, 10:03 AM
Hi Gerard

I see you found your way here.Hope your Mac hunting goes well.There are people on here with much more experience and knowledge than me and you should get the answers you need.

Good luck
Nev

Ozi
2nd December 2004, 12:02 PM
I would echo what Spargo said in his quaint pommy accent: a 15" Powerbook is the perfect blend of portability and power. The 12" has its wings clipped performance-wise, and has less slots. The 17" has an awesome screen, but suffers from less portability and greater weight. The 15" is just right: still has a beautiful screen and as much power as the 17", and is easy to carry around.

As spargo said: as much RAM as you can afford and the 5400 RPM HD (upgraded from 4200) and the 128MB Vram (upgraded from 64) will really help in the long run. And these upgrades only cost about &#036;100 each, which is very reasonable&#33;

Here is all the info you need on these specs. http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html

Disko
2nd December 2004, 12:11 PM
Nah&#33; Don&#39;t get a mac&#33; They suck&#33; They don&#39;t have *any* software, no games, they can&#39;t go on the internet, they can&#39;t network with windows, they break down all the time & they cost like &#036;10000+&#33;&#33;&#33;

jeremy
2nd December 2004, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by pipsqeek@Dec 1 2004, 11:54 PM
I&#39;d be saving alittle more and getting that Powerbook.

And the 15" is not really a monster. Just when its sitting next to the 12". I found that the 15" was the perfect size.
Well it is when you consider that my last laptop was a Toshiba Portege 3010CT. But guess that makes this iBook a monster as well&#33; :D

I spose the 15" PowerBook is only weighs 300 grams more than the 12" iBook and 200 grams less than the 14" iBook. Pity that apple can&#39;t use consistent measurement with dimensions on their website (using cm for ibooks and inches for powerbooks; I can&#39;t even really get an idea from inches). But I spose since 300 grams isn&#39;t much, it&#39;s really just bigger in width and length and apparently 2mm thinner than the 12" Powerbook.

Makes me wonder why Apple doesn&#39;t make a slimline laptop. Though for a fairly compact size, I think the 12" iBook does the job quite well.

Ozi
2nd December 2004, 12:22 PM
off course they can&#39;t go on the internet... EVERYONE knows the internet only runs on windows PCs and only then when the planets align just so...

Anyways, i think my computer just brokasgklg l:YJLH*(&(z89ª¥®¢≈∆˙∫ ≤≈º–…≥˜∑∑ΩΩ¢

*critical error*
/quit: ozi (294.565.186.3)
runprogram= allmacsbreaklots.app
runprogram= explosion.exe

iluvmymactoo
2nd December 2004, 01:25 PM
My iBook communicates very well with window&#036;, it&#39;s just that window&#036; won&#39;t always play with Apple and that&#39;s they way M&#036; have worked their OS and apps. Contrary to popular belief that Macs don&#39;t communicate with peecees.

Remember Word, Excel (and I think Powerpoint) were all originally developed for Macs to begin with not the other way around.

As for the iBook/PowerBook choice the current line of iBooks are a very good deal. I have a 5400rpm 60GB HD (same as what is in the 12" Powerbook) in my iBook as opposed to the stock 4200rpm 30GB one as well as 1.25G of ram. It flies :D

Of course VPC 7 is going to be sluggish in comparison to a peecee, it is only an emulator. But for basic tasks it does the job. Any pro apps available to peecees are available to Macs in any case.

964RSCS
2nd December 2004, 09:06 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys

Good to know that you all seem to have confidence in the abilities of these little babies&#33;

The PC software I would use isn&#39;t too demanding, so think I should be able to get by with Virtual PC.

My main use will be for macromedia web software and p&#39;shop.

It&#39;s between a 14inch iBook with 512Mb and Bluetooth, or 15inch Powerbook with 512MB. I&#39;m off to the local Apple retailer on Saturday to compare&#33;&#33;

Gerard

p.s - thanks Nev&#33;

Husq
2nd December 2004, 09:29 PM
My main use will be for macromedia web software and p&#39;shop.

Well you know that both of these are on the Mac.

Also, office x 2004 has the option to check the compatibility between different windows and mac versions - well word anyway. Haven&#39;t really had any word issues, but a few minor powerpoint annoyances.

Phillip
2nd December 2004, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by Disko@Dec 2 2004, 01:11 PM
Nah&#33; Don&#39;t get a mac&#33; They suck&#33; They don&#39;t have *any* software, no games, they can&#39;t go on the internet, they can&#39;t network with windows, they break down all the time & they cost like &#036;10000+&#33;&#33;&#33;
Yeah Apple Sucks&#33;

Ozi
2nd December 2004, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by 964RSCS@Dec 2 2004, 10:06 PM
My main use will be for macromedia web software and p&#39;shop.

And apple computers really accel at these applications: Apple computers are consistently shown to be faster with Photoshop than similarly-priced PCs.



It&#39;s between a 14inch iBook with 512Mb and Bluetooth, or 15inch Powerbook with 512MB. I&#39;m off to the local Apple retailer on Saturday to compare&#33;&#33;

off course im sure you know this, but the Powerbook comes with Bluetooth built in. :) And the Powerbook will slap the ibook with a dead mackeral in terms of CPU intensive tasks. Faster system bus, faster CPU, better GPU (up to 128MB of Video RAM) the option of more RAM, a better and bigger screen (the 14" iBook is still 1024 x 768, whereas the pBook is 1280x854)

its really up to you and your bank account as to which one you buy. :)

pipsqeek
3rd December 2004, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by zefi@Dec 2 2004, 09:57 AM
Pip, I guess those discrepancies can be avoided if you run the presentations directly from your iBook/Powerbook to the projector. As for word documents, to make sure the format and fonts stays as I want it, I just Print to PDF which is standard system wide on OS X.
This is exactly what I do.

And people tend to take you more seriously. Cause you rock up with a white (or silver) laptop. they all sit up like Merecats.

And the Apple sign glows.

And you give them a little tease of Exposé.

And the effects in Office 2004 using Powerpoint are much nicer, cause it uses the 3D stuff.

And this one time, at band ca......

I also change things to .pdf (which is so bloody easy in OS X - open document, print, save as pdf). No requirements for 3rd party apps to do so.

pipsqeek

Disko
3rd December 2004, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by 964RSCS@Dec 2 2004, 09:36 PM
My main use will be for macromedia web software and p&#39;shop.

Exactly the same usage as i bought my powerbook for.

Here&#39;s some bad news: Dreamweaver runs like a sick, old, infected dog. Not Apple&#39;s fault - Macromedia have released "Dreamweaver MX 2004 &#39;bloat edition&#39;". Because of this - i&#39;ve reverted to building webpages via my favorite text editor.

Photoshop is great though. ;)

Phillip
3rd December 2004, 06:24 PM
The whole MX studio is dog slow :( Shittest piece of crap even invented. But 2004 is great on windows :P

Adobes products are much much better :)

Currawong
3rd December 2004, 07:47 PM
And it sucks up the machines memory until full. Doesn&#39;t help that the app appears to be written in Java...

Pip knows, I made sure to put a nice, BIG apple logo as the background on my Powerbook before lending it to him for his presentation. People will bag out Macs until you pull one out of your bag and blow them away.

Phillip
3rd December 2004, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Currawong@Dec 3 2004, 08:47 PM
Pip knows, I made sure to put a nice, BIG apple logo as the background on my Powerbook before lending it to him for his presentation. People will bag out Macs until you pull one out of your bag and blow them away.
By showing off my Mac to other members of my family I have convinced them to get a Mac and get the fact that Apple doesn&#39;t "suck"

964RSCS
3rd December 2004, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by Disko@Dec 3 2004, 08:49 AM
Exactly the same usage as i bought my powerbook for.

Here&#39;s some bad news: Dreamweaver runs like a sick, old, infected dog. Not Apple&#39;s fault - Macromedia have released "Dreamweaver MX 2004 &#39;bloat edition&#39;". Because of this - i&#39;ve reverted to building webpages via my favorite text editor.

Photoshop is great though. ;)
hmm great... <_<

So is GoLive a good wysiwyg html editor? I&#39;ve never used it...

I&#39;ll pose a more detailed q in the software section...

Cheers

964RSCS
13th December 2004, 10:01 PM
Just thought I&#39;d let those of you who had followed this post what I have gone and went and done...

I&#39;ve ordered myself a 15-inch Powerbook Superdrive. Stocko incl 512MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, and 1.5GHz processor. Figured it was better to get on off the shelf as opposed to buying the lesser 15 inch and waiting for an upgraded one to be built. .. Also get a FREE Airport Express with it&#33;&#33;&#33;

So thanks to all those here for the help on various topics, including ones I didn&#39;t start but read through and learnt from...

Cheers

Gerard

Phillip
13th December 2004, 10:04 PM
Congrats. Tell us more when you get it, we would love to hear ;)

mjankor
13th December 2004, 10:21 PM
Oooh I love the 15". If I didn&#39;t have my Powermac the 15" is the one I&#39;d have bought. I got the 12" PB instead. (Not being demeaning to the 12" PB of course, it&#39;s great too)

Tell us how you like your new Powerbook and ask us lots of tricky questions to keep us all busy. :D

spargo
13th December 2004, 10:26 PM
good work Ozi, we&#39;ve done it again&#33; - another 15" PB out into the world in the hands of a PC convert&#33;&#33;

when do we all start asking Steve for commissions for our good work??

NiftyNev
14th December 2004, 12:26 AM
All this started with a phone call from me to enquire about a GPS.I was considering a new Garmin GPS 276C.I asked Gerard about Mac compatability and the subject changed to the Mac.He mentioned something about buying a Mac and I told him I had just got a PowerBook 17" so I pointed him in this direction.Strange how some things work out.

Neville

ps Gerard.I still want that GPS but it will probably have to wait till after Xmas.

designers_hub
15th December 2004, 11:25 AM
go get a apple laptop. any is good.

dw about compatibilty and all that stuff. you will find that more formats run on mac than a pc. plus all main software have mac versions e.g. adobe, macromedia etc.

ibook or powerbook?

its hard to say, there both very good systems. If you got money to blow get a powerbook if not get a ibook. The difference between the powerbook and ibook is the size, look and thickness. For me i am very fussy about thickness and looks therefore i would only get a 15inch powerbook. But if you just want a mac for the sake of a mac get a ibook.

designers_hub
15th December 2004, 11:28 AM
btw. forget about virtual pc is reall sinks. i tired it on my Imac G5 1.8ghz and it really sucks.

but what software do you need to use anyway? since i switched from pc to mac it has been very very very smooth. i can do everything on a pc on a mac using Mac version software.

just list a few application you use and i can suggest some mac versions.

and yes apples are very very relible.

iluvmymactoo
15th December 2004, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by designers_hub@Dec 15 2004, 11:28 AM
btw. forget about virtual pc is reall sinks. i tired it on my Imac G5 1.8ghz and it really sucks.


I disagree :)

I have XP home installed on VPC 7.0.1 with all the shitty background programs turned off and it runs pretty good. I also formatted it as NTFS rather than FAT32.

964RSCS
15th December 2004, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by designers_hub@Dec 15 2004, 11:28 AM
just list a few application you use and i can suggest some mac versions.
Thanks for the offer, but not sure how you&#39;re gonna go with these ones...

Web Position Gold (search engine optimisation), Garmin Mapsource City Navigator (GPS mapping), Microtech LT series software (in-car aftermarket ECU programming)... These are the main reasons I need VPC. I&#39;m not buying virtual PC just for the fun of it - i&#39;d rather not need to, but these programs are very much PC only.

Cheers

Gerard

designers_hub
15th December 2004, 10:05 PM
wow thats very specific. what line of work do you do?

well if there not graphic instensive you could try out VPC

964RSCS
15th December 2004, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by designers_hub@Dec 15 2004, 10:05 PM
wow thats very specific. what line of work do you do?
I&#39;m in the process of starting an internet marketing business (for want of a better term) Part time atm until the ball gets rolling properly. Specialise in search engine ranking, and attracting highly targeted traffic to a site... Affiliate marketing a main focus...

The Microtech stuff is purely a hobby - playing with my cars to improve performance.

GPS mapping - incar navigation.

964RSCS
20th December 2004, 08:02 PM
First post from the new powerbook&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

yep, finally got it on Saturday. Very impressed so far. Still learning all the ins and outs though...

All i&#39;ve shown it too so far are very impressed&#33;