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View Full Version : Considering the switch to a Powerbook G4



vargz
1st March 2005, 10:05 PM
Ok, I've been using a Benq Joybook (windows) for about a year now and I've been happy with it in all aspects including general use (office, email, web), entertainment (dvds, mp3s) and for my web dev work (dreamweaver, photoshop, illustrator, php/mysql).

So why am I considering the switch?
- Cos its time to buy a new notebook
- Let's face it, OS X and the Powerbook are simply appealing!
- It would be beneficial in terms of my experience using and working with OS X

But I'm a little tentative to leap just yet, cos
- I've read/heard the graphic/web applications (eg DW,Photoshop) on Win have a much greater degree of performance and polish than their OS X equivalents - correct?
- It seems there isn't the choice of free/open-source apps available for OS X as there is for Win. Take for example text/code editors, there is plenty of choice for win users, how about for mac?

So I guess all im after is a bit of convincing who has made the switch and can give me some compelling reasons why it wouldn't be a mistake if was to follow suit.

Cheers
Rob

Ozi
1st March 2005, 10:16 PM
Meh Apple excels at graphic applications: the software is brilliant, and the programs fly on the Apples hardware.

As for free apps, there is a massive selection for OSX. The general quality is also greater than Windows apps, as peer review is ferocious in the Apple world. :)

Check out Versiontracker (http://www.versiontracker.com/macosx) and macupdate (http://www.macupdate.com) to see just how many applications are available.

Exocet
1st March 2005, 10:19 PM
Open up photoshop on your PC. Open a few windows and press CTRL+W. Then press CTRL+Q. These are Mac OS shortcuts which were built into photoshop. Adobe CS was made for mac, and then ported to windows. These shortcuts are a product of that porting.

Oh, and the Macromedia suite is excellent on mac. Versiontracker.com for all your open-source program needs.

gmask1
1st March 2005, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by vargz@Mar 1 2005, 10:05 PM
But I'm a little tentative to leap just yet, cos
- I've read/heard the graphic/web applications (eg DW,Photoshop) on Win have a much greater degree of performance and polish than their OS X equivalents - correct?
- It seems there isn't the choice of free/open-source apps available for OS X as there is for Win. Take for example text/code editors, there is plenty of choice for win users, how about for mac?
Alright, my turn...

- DW = Dreamweaver? If it is, then let me be the first to tell you that the OSX version of Dreamweaver 7 (ie. MX 2004) is awful. BUT... the 7.0.1 update which is available fixes 95% of the problems, and it is basically as good as the PC version. I swear by Dreamweaver, and when I first ran the OSX edition, I nearly vomited. The update makes it all better. Regardless of whether an app started on the mac, it's irrelevant if all the dev work has moved to the pc.

- You are right, there aren't a great variety of apps in any one category. (wait for it...) BUT... what apps are out there are fairly good, imho. And I've yet to find a category that doesn't have a good quality app in it (well, maybe a replacement for Shareaza, as Poisoned hasn't been pushing my buttons)

To put things in perspective, as most of the locals here know, I switched a matter of weeks ago. What I've not yet related back hereis that in the two weeks that I've had my Powerbook, I have used my PC for burning some CD's only (I've not tried the Mac yet for burning, but it will happen). I've not gone back for games, even though I have unfinished business in Knights 2 and Vampire; I've not gone back for productivity, even updating my resume is now a project for Word:Mac or Pages. I've seriously had no compunction to go back to the PC. Which is still worrying me, as I still think the PC is the best gaming platform bar none, and I've lost interest in gaming!

And yet, this is just a computer we're talking about - why would you have any need to upgrade a 12 month old laptop, pc or mac??? Seriously, unless you just want the latest gadget, there is no justification to drop that much money on the last 12 months of IT progress. If you weren't feeling tentative, I'd just assume you buy toys and not tools and leave you be, but come on!

geektechnu
2nd March 2005, 07:41 AM
Ozi - could you suggest some good freeware? Versiontracker is great, but I still find that there's more freeware & open source for PC. Check out a PC site like NoNags.com (http://www.lisp.com.au/nonags/index.html) to see what I mean.

I love my iBook, but it seems that the shareware concept is still very strong in the mac community. Authors do deserve money for good work, but there's just so much truly free software on my PC - which I find is better that the freeware I have for mac.

I'm currently looking for a syntax-highlighting text editor. I'm using TacoEdit right now, and it's not bad, but I've tried at least a dozen PC text editors that are better (more flexible settings, faster load times, etc). What free text editors are you guys out there using?

decryption
2nd March 2005, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by geektechnu@Mar 2 2005, 08:41 AM
I'm currently looking for a syntax-highlighting text editor. I'm using TacoEdit right now, and it's not bad, but I've tried at least a dozen PC text editors that are better (more flexible settings, faster load times, etc). What free text editors are you guys out there using?
Try SubEthaEdit, BBEdit or Text Wrangler :)

hawker
2nd March 2005, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by vargz@Mar 1 2005, 10:05 PM
Ok, I've been using a Benq Joybook (windows) for about a year now and I've been happy with it in all aspects including general use (office, email, web), entertainment (dvds, mp3s) and for my web dev work (dreamweaver, photoshop, illustrator, php/mysql).
One of my mates developed a $2000 content managment system on his G3 iBook, I've made so many web sites on Macintosh, that I've lost count.

Like Ozi said, the programs fly, and they use the Apple Technology to their advantage, rather than being all software based, like the windows versions tend to perfer.

my $0.02

geektechnu
2nd March 2005, 08:22 AM
Thanks

Haven't tried SubEthaEdit - I always thought it was just shareware, must have missed the "free for personal use" bit :P I've seen some people complaining about it flashing "non-commercial license" in the background.

I use TextWrangler (for plaintext) alongside TacoEdit (for html & php). TacoEdit is good beacause it loads real fast and has a live preview split-window. PHP intergration is also ok.

On PC I use Notepad2 (http://www.flos-freeware.ch/). Highly flexible and literally loads in less than 1 second. I you use a PC, you should get this.

Ozi
2nd March 2005, 12:15 PM
OK geektechnu: http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?s...essential++Apps (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=21&hl=essential++Apps)

Here are some essential apps... its the official Appletalk list, and has a great range of stuff. Most of it is freeware too, and a lot of the posters in this thread have linked it to Versiontracker or Macupdate for you to download. :)

EDIT: Notice in the link that I used the "Search" function of the forum, found in the top left corner of every forum window. God bless it. :rolleyes:

vargz
2nd March 2005, 12:44 PM
Hey thanks for all your insights :)

Thanks for the links to Versiontracker and Macupdate, I'll makesure I bookmark them. Though there's more free/open-source stuff out there than I originally thought, I guess I was expecting more considering OS X is linux based, etc. Win has way more choice, but I'd expect to find enough quality choices for my needs on OS X.


Originally posted by gmask1@Mar 1 2005, 11:11 PM
why would you have any need to upgrade a 12 month old laptop, pc or mac???

Yeah I kinda ask myself the same thing as I normally wouldn't change/upgrade so soon (usually every 3-5 years for my desktop). Apart from the reasons provided in my original post, one compelling reason is that I can get one notebook each year at an 'attractive' rate through work, so now seems like a good time to take advantage of this whilst I can get a decent resale price on my Benq.

geektechnu
2nd March 2005, 12:48 PM
Thanks Ozi - I've seen that thread before. That's actually how I discovered TextWrangler. I never got the chance to try BBEdit Lite before it was discontinued tho. Is TextWrangler pretty much the same, or should I try to find an old version of BBEdit Lite?

My point was that the shareware community is pretty huge on mac. Often this makes true freeware harder to find. Are there any sites out there dedicated solely to mac freeware (not shareware)?

Anyway, this is getting a little off-topic. In response to the original post, If you've been using PC all your life (like me) mac feels a little odd at first (good, but still a little odd).

Getting a mac laptop is definitely worth it. If you can afford a PB make the switch! Mac-optimised apps can't be beaten for speed. I still recommend having both a PC and mac tho - they actually co-exist really well (I was really surprised at that). Maybe get a 12" PB just for the sheer portability it offers. Compared to PC laptops, iBooks & PBs are great value for money.

gmask1
2nd March 2005, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by vargz@Mar 2 2005, 12:44 PM
Hey thanks for all your insights :)

Thanks for the links to Versiontracker and Macupdate, I'll makesure I bookmark them. Though there's more free/open-source stuff out there than I originally thought, I guess I was expecting more considering OS X is linux based, etc. Win has way more choice, but I'd expect to find enough quality choices for my needs on OS X.
On a technicality, OSX is actually based on a more direct port of Unix for PPC rather than linux, which curtails some of the software availability (need to recompile the linux apps at the very least). It does support X11 (free download from Apple) which gives you options - in fact one of my key apps, Tarantella, is an X11 app.

I think that OSX has everything you will need without resorting to alternatives like that. Particularly for web dev, it has Apache built in, Perl, mySQL and CGI ready to roll, Dreamweaver and several really top notch text editors on hand, and plenty of image editors to run with.

vargz
2nd March 2005, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by gmask1@Mar 2 2005, 01:05 PM
I think that OSX has everything you will need without resorting to alternatives like that. Particularly for web dev, it has Apache built in, Perl, mySQL and CGI ready to roll, Dreamweaver and several really top notch text editors on hand, and plenty of image editors to run with.
I read that Apache, PHP and MySQL come ready to go with OSX, but they are quite outdated versions - is this correct?

How about something like MAMP, is that a better way to get a dev environment up and running?

gmask1
2nd March 2005, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by vargz@Mar 2 2005, 01:51 PM
I read that Apache, PHP and MySQL come ready to go with OSX, but they are quite outdated versions - is this correct?

How about something like MAMP, is that a better way to get a dev environment up and running?
I'll be honest - I already have test beds on other machines, so I've not even got near to trying the OSX webdev environment.

Knowing the speed that these types of apps (Apache, MySQL, etc) release at, I'd assume that they are outdated, but not massively so.

teej
3rd March 2005, 08:34 PM
My machine running 10.3.8 has Apache 1.3.33 and PHP 4.3.10. You will find the Apple software updates will keep you mostly up to date with Apache and PHP. It's unlikely, but if you are after PHP5 and Apache2, have a look here: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/unix_open_source/
Personally, I'm sticking to Apache 1.3 and PHP 4 for the moment. Also, OS X comes out of the box with a syntax high-lighting editor - vim.