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DMaxx
20th May 2004, 03:44 PM
Hi guys,

I am a PC user, but unlike all other PC users i know, i am not here to bag out macs at all. Infact i am looking for inspiration to join the "dark side".

I am a uni student at RMIT in melbourne doing a double comp sci/communication engineering degree, and i have become increasingly more interested in buying a laptop to do uni work on. I simply put love the iBooks and PowerBooks in respect to there appearance and also there portability. I spose all i am really writing here for is to get a good idea from people who already live and breathe the technology into how good it really is, so i have a couple of questions!
FYI, i am considering buying a 12" iBook G4s.

1. What is the story with IDE's for programming languages like C, Java etc?
2. If networked to a PC with a shared printer (or any shared resource) can the mac make use of it?
3. What is the staple software diet of a mac user (what software does everyone have)?
4. What minimum specs are normal these days (RAM etc)?
5. How good is the virtual PC s/ware, and is it really necessary?
6. How easy is it to use UNIX s/ware under OS X?

Thanx to you all for putting up with this complete noob (or should that be nob?), the only reason i ask these questions is that i have no time at the moment to do all the indepth research, with exams rapidly approaching, time is of the essence... but i guess when i get my laptop that'll be different!

Cheers for now,
DMaxx

Damian
20th May 2004, 04:02 PM
1. What is the story with IDE's for programming languages like C, Java etc?

Xcode comes with OS X on the deveoper CD. C/C++ / Java

2. If networked to a PC with a shared printer (or any shared resource) can the mac make use of it?

Yes. Easy access to shared drives/ most printers. Active Directory client is available if needed.

3. What is the staple software diet of a mac user (what software does everyone have)?

Varies a lot. If you need lots of Office type compatibility thre is always MS Office for Mac, although NeoOffice (native port of OpenOffice) works well. A big range of browsers.

4. What minimum specs are normal these days (RAM etc)?

At least 512mb, 768mb is better.

5. How good is the virtual PC s/ware, and is it really necessary?

Works OK, but don't expect speed - like forget games.

6. How easy is it to use UNIX s/ware under OS X?

Apple provide the full X11 that is easy to install. I run the X version of OpenOffice and Gimp.
The other usual Unix stuff compiles easily and is often available in binary form: Apache, MySQL, Postfix, Sendmail etc etc After all it has a *BSD core so most things compile fairly easily.

Damian

Quamen
20th May 2004, 05:02 PM
Drew SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn't resists it. haha

stickman67
20th May 2004, 05:06 PM
Once you've had Mac, you'll never go back ...

:lol:

cmetom
20th May 2004, 05:10 PM
welcome DMaxx!

you're not alone, as my main PC is a PC.. my "baby", tho, is my iPod and my "child" is my PowerMac G3... hehehe

i'd add Photoshop and Dreamweaver to the 'essential software' thing, personally.

Ignoramus
20th May 2004, 05:24 PM
I pretty much use my iBook for the same reasons why you're considering getting one. I use it to write c++ code and html/php pages so a fast computer is not absolutely necessary. Damian has pretty much covered all the questions you had so I'll just give you some aspects that might not have been considered and that's mainly the aesthetics and price.

While it may be a subjective thing, I feel that Apple laptops look much better that their Windows counterparts. Whilst they are some manufacturers, such as Sony, that make good looking laptops, the majority of Windows based laptops are simply ugly. With the 12" iBook listed at $1695 (even less for educational purchasers) I think that it's great value for money. At this price range, with most of other laptops you'll need to either sacrifice weight or battery life and thus the portability.

What I'm not sure about is the performance of the iBook compared to an Intel based system as it's extremely hard to compare the two due to differing architectures. However I'm not too concerned about this myself, as I got my iBook for portability not performance reasons. So basically the only reasons why you're having doubts about crossing over is due to software which I don't think is that big of an issue as there is plenty of applications available to do the tasks you want.

Damian
20th May 2004, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by Ignoramus@May 20 2004, 05:24 PM
What I'm not sure about is the performance of the iBook compared to an Intel based system as it's extremely hard to compare the two due to differing architectures. However I'm not too concerned about this myself, as I got my iBook for portability not performance reasons.
Performance tends to be a subjective thing, but I use a G4 DP450 and an iMac 500 at home and one place I work. At my other work I sometimes have to use a Compaq P4 1.4ghz with XP, and frankly I can't tell the difference in performance for such things as: (and I am quoting the same apps)

o Booting up - G4 and iMac are way faster
o Loading and using a browser such as Mozilla or Netscape 7.1 (G4 loads Mozilla faster)
o Browsing experience is the same (sorry, I avoid IE on either)
o Manipulating images in Gimp and Photoshop Elements
o Web development (Mozilla composer or Dreamweaver)

And on a more practical note:

o The number of patches / stuffing around lately with the XP box because of the various Windows security hassles is way bad compared to what I have had to do on my Macs.

o Personal tastes: XP is locked down (because of the virus crap) and I can't change anything whereas as on the Macs I can customize my layouts, colours etc to my heart's content. Makes for a more pleasant working environment.

o I don't spend time worrying about viruses, trojans and such like - I just get on with the job.

Damian

elvis
20th May 2004, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Damian@May 20 2004, 04:02 PM
1. What is the story with IDE's for programming languages like C, Java etc?

Xcode comes with OS X on the deveoper CD. C/C++ / Java



6. How easy is it to use UNIX s/ware under OS X?

Apple provide the full X11 that is easy to install. I run the X version of OpenOffice and Gimp.
The other usual Unix stuff compiles easily and is often available in binary form: Apache, MySQL, Postfix, Sendmail etc etc After all it has a *BSD core so most things compile fairly easily.
A few visual expansions on Damian's post:

1) Apple XCode:
http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/xcode/

6) The FINK Project:
http://fink.sourceforge.net/


So with a Mac you get:

* The security and stability of BSD
* Simply the best and most well-researched user-interface in the world
* Seamless integration with the open-source world (AND without needing to reboot)
* Native use of existing industry-standard open-source applications and servers
* A rock-solid and FREE GUI IDE for the three APIs/languages you mention

And all of that costs you only the hardware (comparable to a PC laptop - cheaper in some circumstances) and the OS (half the price of Windows). No need to pay for Office, MS Visual Studio, and all the other stuff.

There are a number of reasons why both Windows and Linux users are jumping ship to MacOSX. The above are only a few. It ain't the dark side over here, I can tell you now.

For developers, it's simply one of the best platforms you could ask for!

jimmy
20th May 2004, 08:02 PM
i'm thinking of getting an ibook too.


2. If networked to a PC with a shared printer (or any shared resource) can the mac make use of it?

Does the printer have to be a compatible one? I have a PC network with a hp laserjet 1100 connected to a print server. Can i hook up an ibook and print to the print server?

Currawong
20th May 2004, 08:07 PM
May as well throw in a few thoughts - I'm on a Powerbook now in Japan where I'm visiting in-laws.

If you're a bit of a power-user (like me) and have everything going at once, which I do, a gig of RAM is helpful. Make sure you buy quality RAM (not Hynix or generic that means), and it'll be worth your while.

My wife's iBook had an uptime of 97 days (before I had to shut it down to catch the plane to Japan). Every night, she'd just close the lid to put it in sleep (standby) mode.

I can't find which topic it was again, but someone posted in the forums how they were doing about 5 things at once, including updating software, playing music, downloading files and whatever else without any problems.

I have 14 apps running at the moment doing just about everything while I listen to music with no issues at all. A great deal of that has to do with Unix based OS'es being designed to handle many users and hundreds or thousands of processes on gigantic file systems.

A linux die-hard who bought a Powerbook wrote on his forum (gotta find that link too) about how he was amazed how he could have a bunch of devices plugged in, including network, put the powerbook to sleep, change all the devices and move to a wireless network, then wake the computer again, having all the devices and network recognised and running instantly. This I can confirm as well having a Windows computer also, which, if I did that, would take up 5 minutes giving messages, wizards and other junk if I were to try the same thing.

It's very true that it's the result of the same company designing the hardware as well as writing the OS.

elvis
20th May 2004, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by jimmy@May 20 2004, 08:02 PM
i'm thinking of getting an ibook too.


2. If networked to a PC with a shared printer (or any shared resource) can the mac make use of it?

Does the printer have to be a compatible one? I have a PC network with a hp laserjet 1100 connected to a print server. Can i hook up an ibook and print to the print server?
Yes.

I'm the admin for a network used by architects and graphic designers. We run primarily Windows 2000 servers with a few Macs around the place for the GD's. All of our printers are hooked up to Win2000 print spool servers. The Mac's all connect to the Win2K servers using Rendezvous and SMB, and can spool to the Windows spool files.

You can do the same whether the printer uses Windows, CUPS, MacOSX or it's own HP JetDirect print server.

You'll need a PPD for the printer in question, but I can guarantee you any HP printer made in the last 15 years will have a PPD included with MacOSX. Laserjets especially are dead simple to hook up to a Mac through any print server software you could possibly think of. In fact, 99% of the time Rendezvous will pick up the printer and suggest a PPD for you without you even having to do anything! :)

I tell you now, if MacOSX was in place in every Australian business, I'd be out of the job! :D

jimmy
20th May 2004, 09:07 PM
thanks elvis thats all i needed to know. Is anyone in the market for an AMD 2600?

moo
20th May 2004, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by DMaxx@May 20 2004, 03:44 PM
Hi guys,

I am a PC user, but unlike all other PC users i know, i am not here to bag out macs at all. Infact i am looking for inspiration to join the "dark side".
Hi Dmaxx
I was under the clear impression that "the dark side" was M$ Windows.
"We" are wearing the white hats aren't we?
moo

DMaxx
20th May 2004, 11:29 PM
First of all...
Thanx Gareth... Drew does smash...

Second, thanx to all of you guys for your suggestions and advice, it is great to see that a noob can be treated nicely sometimes!!!

But anyway, i guess a contreversial question to ask would also be, how easy is it to get Mac warez and the like??? I mean, with PC i run eMule and can get anything i like, to of course try before i buy... cause i know for sure i couldn't survive with out photoshop until i save the extra money for a Mac copy as well.
I spose thought that with all the freeware opensource and the like, warez woudn't be such a big deal.

Cheers fer now,
DMaxx

Disko
20th May 2004, 11:39 PM
Just a heads up: Discussing warez or anything else illegal isn't permitted on AppleTalk. Any posts in reference to warez or the like will be deleted.

If we break the law, then AppleTalk Australia will be gone in no time, so please try and keep it legally suitable. :)

DMaxx
20th May 2004, 11:49 PM
Sorry!

I wouldn't want anything to jeopardise the forum! Forget i even mentioned it...

Cheers
DMaxx

Damian
21st May 2004, 07:21 AM
In regards to software, a lot of people not involved with Macs don't seem to realize that a new Mac comes with quite a bit of useable, legal software out of the box. This compares to Windows where a lot of things cost extra - and certainly are not provided as part of the package.

Add to that the ready availability of the bulk of Unix software, you can have a fully-fledged system with minimal extra cost. Unless you are doing a lot of quality printing then Photoshop is a big expense (but no more than Windows). If you are mainly web based for graphics then Gimp or Photoshop Elements are the way to go.

With the education prices of a lot of software (like Adobe, MS, Dreamweaver etc) it is not expensive to get rolling with high end stuff, and I notice you are a student.

My observations of the warez junkies (and I have worked in Unis for a long time so I see a lot) is that most of them are just collectors. Not a lot actually use the stuff (except for games), but just show off how much they have.

On the downside, any of them with a cracked XP are plain dangerous as it is very hard to apply XP patches to a lot of the warez XP cracks. These guys cause much grief to the world at large as they are an ongoing source of the virus/trojan/spam zombie crap that the Windows worl endures and us on the other side suffer from the fallout - network slowdowns, spam etc.

</Soapbox on>
I was talking to a young male the other day - complete moron - he thought that re-installing his warez XP every few weeks was OK - it would get infected and slowly become unuseable. This cretin had no clue about the realities of the real world.
</Soapbox off>


Damian

elvis
21st May 2004, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by Damian@May 21 2004, 07:21 AM
</Soapbox on>
I was talking to a young male the other day - complete moron - he thought that re-installing his warez XP every few weeks was OK - it would get infected and slowly become unuseable. This cretin had no clue about the realities of the real world.
</Soapbox off>
The description quoted, as well as your eariler one of "collectors" is pretty much identical to my direct experience with similar groups of people.

I&#39;d hazard a guess and say about 5% of people who actually have a copy of things like photoshop, dreamwaver and whatnot on their machines actually NEED (or are even able to use 10% of the functions within) these applications.

As I mentioned eariler, projects like FINK and DarwinPorts give MacOSX users access to THOUSANDS of free and open-source projects. Things like the GIMP, OpenOffice, Sodipodi, etc are all valid replacements for Photoshop, MS Office, Illustrator, etc.

The very Mac I&#39;m running now contains nothing but the installed OS (OSX 10.3) and open source applications. No need whatsoever for anything other than shelling out for the OS (the best investment this little iMac ever saw) and the rest is all free.

DMaxx
21st May 2004, 10:28 PM
In regards to software, a lot of people not involved with Macs don&#39;t seem to realize that a new Mac comes with quite a bit of useable, legal software out of the box.
Thats a good point, as i don&#39;t think that that is made very clear to us what you actually get when you buy a Mac. Even looking on the apple website it is a bit of a maze to work out what you actually get in the box, is there anywhere better that lists whats there??? And also the functions it performs i spose.

All this is great guys,
Cheers
DMaxx

Byrd
21st May 2004, 10:39 PM
On a standard install of Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.3), you get all this (http://www.apple.com/macosx/overview/), and a further outline of the installed iLife software can be found here. (http://www.apple.com/ilife/)

Most of this preinstalled software is the sort of stuff you&#39;ll use each and every day, instead of looking for substitutes unlike the unpolished, default applications that come with Windows XP.

JB

Ignoramus
22nd May 2004, 04:06 AM
Originally posted by bYrd@May 21 2004, 10:39 PM
On a standard install of Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.3), you get all this (http://www.apple.com/macosx/overview/), and a further outline of the installed iLife software can be found here. (http://www.apple.com/ilife/)
It&#39;s Panther not Jaguar, just being anal :P

pipsqeek
22nd May 2004, 08:46 AM
Everything about my iBook is free except for the iBook itself. I unfortunately don&#39;t use AppleWorks, But I use NeoOffice (OpenOffice) which I find likes me better.

I have a few shareware/donationware apps that are worth the purchase, but being a fulltime student and unemployed, I just can&#39;t afford it.

But you will find that the apps you do download and use which are shareware will be a very polished piece of kit and worth every penny the authors are asking for.

Another reason I use Mac is because while every time in class everyone is on their respective PC&#39;s or laptops, I am on the iBook. Randomly throughout the day you will hear someone groan over a crash, M&#036; Office Autosave just locked the system...a common problem. Then there is me, happily typing away ending up being asked for all the notes because they lost them all from the crash, the recovered files that Office created are fucked up anyway, and I charge them &#036;5 for 1 email with all the notes they need. There&#39;s about &#036;40 in the kitty from this exercise alone. Looks like I am not the only one profiting from M&#036; products...Bill?

Regards,
Steve

trotkiller
22nd May 2004, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by DMaxx@May 20 2004, 04:44 PM

2. If networked to a PC with a shared printer (or any shared resource) can the mac make use of it?

Orginally I had problems getting my pc&#39;s shared printer, however there are a lot of good howto&#39;s out there.

If you can&#39;t find a printer driver try the gimp-print printer drivers

fompsweeva
28th May 2004, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by pipsqeek@May 22 2004, 08:46 AM
I charge them &#036;5 for 1 email with all the notes they need. There&#39;s about &#036;40 in the kitty from this exercise alone. Looks like I am not the only one profiting from M&#036; products...Bill?

Regards,
Steve
Wow, you must take good notes for people to PAY for them. :P

pipsqeek
29th May 2004, 10:53 AM
No better then everyone elses. The difference being that my laptop, the iBook, doesn&#39;t crash and take all unsaved work with it.

Hence, me being the only person in the class with the notes.

There are one or two people that I don&#39;t charge, the mates I hang with, and this chick...

Hey&#33; sex sells, and I&#39;m sold on her. She&#39;s an intelligent version of Jessica Simpson.

Steve