Recently I was in the mood for a new laptop, but have been underwhelmed with the selection of wintel machines available and overwhelmed with the number of security patches for XP. I just needed a small, reliable system that worked.
Making the purchase
Being an ubergeek I have always admired Apple’s physical design, but have avoided Macs in the past due to the operating system. Since I run linux (SuSE 9.0 AMD64) at home I was interested in OSX because of it’s BSD roots. I have tried linux on laptops in the past, but have never been happy with the stability of the hardware support. I know I am going to get flamed for this last line, but when you have 5 minutes to logon to a wifi hotspot to get your mail in between flights you don’t want to have to troubleshoot iwconfig or your VPN.
When it comes to being a geek, I am completely a hardware guy. I want all of the latest toys, but have been disappointed in the past with equipment that does not meet my expectations. Currently my complaints surround Bluetooth hardware and support in Windows. I have a Sony T616, a PALM T3 and a Logitech Bluetooth headset that I really wanted to be able to use with my system, but have always had difficulty with my company issued wintel laptop (a Sony SRX99P).
My other requirement was size. While it is nice to have a 15” display and a full-sized keyboard, I did not want to have to carry a bulky machine in my travels.
Being a design nut I have always been magnetically drawn to the Apple store in the local mall. It was nice to be able to walk in and actually allow the salesperson help me make a decision, as the staff in this store are always eager to educate the uninitiated on the Apple product line.
Because of my size requirements I was specifically interested in the new 12” aluminum Powerbook. A beautiful specimen of industrial design. After allowing the salesperson to do his thing, I inquired about Bluetooth device support. The new Powerbooks already have the transceiver installed, but did it work? He promptly picked up a PALM T3 and demonstrated iSync. When I asked about my phone he immediately asked for it and within 5 minutes had it paired with the machine, setup iSync to sync the address book
phone numbers, iCal to sync the appointments and configured it to be a modem for the machine (GPRS is available through modem scripts that can be found on the web – they DO work). My only disappointment was that my Logitech headset could not be used for voice recognition (not that I would actually use it for that). It can be used for iChat, or my preferred ohphoneX (H.323 client).
The other gadgets I tend to always carry in my case are an iPod (no questions here) and a Canon S200, which works perfectly with iPhoto.
Needless to say I left the store that day with a shiny new Powerbook, an extra GB of RAM and the Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo running OSX 10.3.
Connecting in a Corporate environment:
My corporate environment is a standard Windows NT4 based PDC environment. I have never been a fan of roaming profiles, I typically take the responsibility of backing up my files on my own. My office is a remote location (the only US office of a European company), and I am the Director of IT, so I did not have any battles to fight with net admins.
Upon connecting to the network for the first time I immediately tried to browse the network. We have over a hundred different domains connected to our WAN, so it took a little time to load the list. I was able to view and connect to all that I have rights to. The only issue I had was connecting to Terminal Services servers that required the client to be run from
a machine that was part of the domain. There are quite a few commercial applications for sale that assist with this, but they are completely unnecessary for those willing to get their hands dirty. In order to accomplish this feat all I had to do was give my machine the same name as my old laptop (which already had an account on the domain) and adjust the systems hostname from localhost to the corporate domain name. This can be done through the terminal, making yourself root and using pico to edit the /etc/hostconfig file.
Here just edit the line “HOSTNAME=-AUTOMATIC-“ to “HOSTNAME=machinename.domain”. I would also suggest editing the SMB.CONF file so that the global setting “Server String = OSX” is changed to “Server String =
“. This string is what your sysadmins will see in the description of your machine if they browse servers on the network. If left blank….well what he does not know will not kill him.
I have several W2K fileservers that I connect to regularly and the Apple implementation of Samba works wonderfully. The only catch is when you go to connect to a server be sure to type the server name as “SMB://machinename”. If you do not you will still connect, but the performance will be horrible. Don’t include the share name because you will be presented
with a list of all shares on the target machine to choose from. The Keychain seems to have some issues remembering my user names and passwords here, but I think I
probably misconfigured it.
In order to connect to the corporate network while traveling I needed a working VPN client. Fortunately we use Cisco concentrators and Cisco has a nice OSX version of their client. The ability to configure L2TP and PPTP VPN connections is built into the network settings, so accessing my home network was nearly as simple. Standard dialup PPP connections
are easily configured as well.
Of course MS Office is a requirement in our current time, and MS Office X works nearly as well as Office XP. There are some strange quirks that you must get used to, like the fact that some toolbar buttons you take for granted are now separate floating toolbars. The most important button for most Office users is the Formatting Palette. This floating box contains all of the buttons one would use for font formatting (bold, underline) and for borders/alignments. This type of floating menu is very similar to what you would find in Photoshop or Gimp. The one piece I do not like is the fact that Fullscreen mode is not really full screen.
I have been a little paranoid about the formatting compatibility between the Mac and Windows versions of Office. Despite the fact that MS insists there are no problems, I cannot take a chance on sending an ugly document to my clients.
To increase my comfort level I just print any documents I send out into a PDF file, which works perfectly from all applications. Not to mention that this
adds to the document security and appears a little more professional.
Microsoft has graciously developed a Terminal Services Client, which can be downloaded for free, and works perfectly with properly licensed TSE servers.
Apple’s Safari webbrowser is very quick and has some nice features (pop up blocker), but seems to have some minor issues with sites created specifically for IE. On rare occasions (usually only on my intranet) formatting is a little screwy or functions do not work properly. IE is available as a free download, but I only use it when I am going to a site that
I know has problems.
Entourage is included with Office X, but I do not particularly like it’s interface, so I use the Apple Mail application. I have never been able to use Outlook in a Windows environment because my filed email is well over the 2GB limit for pst files. Apple Mail has never had any problems with this. To migrate from Mozilla mail I just had to move my profile directory
into the proper location in the OSX FS.
My company uses a handful of Windows only programs forthings like time reporting as well as the applications we sell. Virtual PC took care of that. The shared networking function resolves any network issues transparently. I am able to use Citrix GotoAssist and AVAYA’s IP Softphone through this setup without problems. Virtual PC emulates a 350MHZ Pentium 2, which is more than sufficient if you give it 512MB of RAM to work with. If you are switching between a wired Ethernet and wifi be sure to adjust the virtual
switch setting under Virtual PC, Preferences.
Unfortunately MS Office X does not include Access (or any database for that matter). For me Access has been a vital tool for reformatting large data files into formats that are compatible with my company’s EDI solution. To replace Access I have used a combination of MySQL, Premiumsoft’s Navicat and Datamorph by Qoppa. MySQL is considerably more powerful than Access but does not come with a GUI (it is free though). Sure I know the CLI, but when time is short sometimes a GUI is the quickest. For the GUI I chose Navicat. At $95USD this is a steal compared to the cost of Access for Windows. The one piece missing from Navicat is the ability to chop up files with no delineation
(is available in their Windows version), but this is easily accomplished with Datamorph. Because of the size of the files I work with I had some initial issues with Datamorph’s memory management. The support team at Qoppa were very sympathetic and within 24 hours had compiled a modified version of the software that would take advantage of the 1.25 GB of RAM in my system.
The only other app that I had to do some research on was the Webex client. For those of you who are not familiar with Webex, it is an online service that allows collaboration between users over the internet without firewalls or proxies getting into the way. The Webex website has a download for an OS9 version of their client, but on MacUpdate.com I was able to find an OSX version that works well.
There are some quirks in OSX that are throwbacks to the OS9 days. Once you are used to them they become second nature. The most noticeable differences for Windows users converting are:
Finder – When closing the main window of an application the top menu bar of the app usually stays open. It was explained to me that this is for faster loading the next time you load the app. So instead of clicking on the X to close an application, I suggest the zQ keystroke.
ALT-TAB application switching – OSX substitutes the z key for most Windows ALT functions. The z-Tab works for app switching, but for some reason it does not always bring the app’s main window to the foreground. No resolution at this point, just an annoyance.
Copy/Paste functions – Again substitute the z key. z+X, C or V gives the expected results for Windows users.
There is no image editor (e.g. MS Paint) included in the basic installation.
Office sometimes hangs when you are cutting and pasting or trying to Save As a document for no apparent reason. It does eventually recover.
If you have an external Apple keyboard, the location of the control and option keys versus the keys on the laptop itself is odd.
Right clicking – You hold down the Control key and click for contextual menus. There are some noticeably missing items in these menus (mail send), but they can be easily added through free downloads.
There are quite a few functions in OSX that allow you to do things that are unimaginable in Windows. For example if you want to grab a picture off of a website you just drag and drop it to your desktop. In officeyou can highlight a string and drag and drop it anywhere
in the document.
The same goes for application to application. If you want album art displayed in iTunes, find the album on Amazon or CDNow and drag the picture from Safari to the album art window in iTunes.
Of course there are always the Linux benefits too. These are almost too many to mention, but I highly suggest installing X for OSX. Again a free download. The Apple.com download section is filled with great free/shareware and if you are a developer the possibilities are endless. RealBasic (pro version) will allow you to convert your existing Visual Basic projects into OSX or Linux executables.
I know this article seems like a long advertisement for Apple, but now I understand why Mac users are such zealots. I am so amazed by the fact that everything just works that I feel the need to convert everyone I know.
If you work for a corporation that normally provides a laptop for use, be expected to be laughed at if you request to purchase an Apple. The Apple systems are considered by most IT managers as an incompatible
niche used only for graphics work and will probably deny your request, but it is certainly worth a try. The most obvious benefit is the lack of viruses and malware affecting OSX. I am not saying that OSX is bulletproof, but if you consider the downtime caused in the last six months by viruses and Trojans attacking Windows based machines it is a significant benefit. Now that the kinks are worked out on the networking side, and MS’s support for the Mac versions of the Office Suite
there are really no reasons not to convert.
About the author:
James Kahan is the IT Director for Cegedim USA, located in Philadelphia, a provider of sales force automation tools in the pharma vertical.
If you would like to see your thoughts or experiences with technology published, please consider writing an article for OSNews.
You can do this in Internet Explorer or any good browser in Windows
“Finder – When closing the main window of an application the top menu bar of the app usually stays open. It was explained to me that this is for faster loading the next time you load the app. So instead of clicking on the X to close an application, I suggest the zQ keystroke.”
That is not correct. If the top menubar is still there, it means the app is still open. What happens is that Mac apps are rootless, they do not exist within a window. You have to explicitly quit from the File menu.
I am planning to buy a new laptop, hopefully as NOISELESS (I’m a professional musician and I hate the fan noise on my desktop replacement notebook), light and slim. I was thinking of an ASUS S5200N or a Sony VAIO V505DXP (because I have already a huge library of software for Windows and also x86 Linux distros), but I can’t help to think of a light powerbook. This article has made me stop and think, but it’s hard to make a decision. So can someone please tell me if it’s worth it, how much software already comes with the powerbook (so I don’t need to spend extra), like a good office, and do I get something equivalent to NERO in osx? I do everything imaginable in nero with cds and dvds so I want to know if I will be able to do that work also on the powerbook.
I know it’s not that easy to answer my question, but can someone at least try? Thanks in advance.
Hey pal, i think you might not be noticing, but the ‘z’ key is right by the Command key (aka the Apple key – this would be the ALT key on a windows keyboard). That is the de facto standard for OS X menu accelerators (as they are known in the Windows world).
So, command-q quits a program… what I think you want is command-w to close windows (command-q does nothing in Finder), and command-c, command-v, and command-x are copy, paste, and cut, respectively.
If youre always doing command-q your constantly quitting and relaunching programs. You can tell when an app is running if it has a little black triangle under its Dock icon.
The Application switching function of [command]-Tab in OSX can be easily replaced by a app called Liteswitch. It is aroun $10 and is fully configurable for just about any app switching function you could need. It also fixes that issue of the whole program not coming to the foreground at times.
I wouldn’t mind getting a Mac. Just can’t seem to justify it to myself. I believe they’re worth the money, but my needs are simple. I can get a machine to do what I need for half the price. And yet, I still think about what if…I’d sure love to have OS X….
You defiantly need to go to an Apple store and check it out. If you’re a musician, you’re going to love garageband. You can run all of your windows software on VPC
I would have purchased a Mac last fall but the FSB is still too slow for my taste. Of course, if they ever get a G5 in a laptop I’ll buy one in a heartbeat six months after the second revision is released just to make sure they have all the kinks out.
“You can run all of your windows software on VPC”
Well, the issue with that is its slow. And then you have the VirtualPC cost on top of that. You are better off looking for OS X native alternatives that will do the same things. I had recently been doing some video conversion at work, and it was really refreshing to see the great number of really good freeware available for OS X when many of the Windows counterparts were both lacking in some way and not free.
On my 12″ PB rev. B the fan runs quite often, so it’s far from noiseless. Maybe I’m imagining things, but it seems it runs more often than before I upgraded to 10.3.3. Anyone else with similar findings?
Well, the issue with that is its slow. And then you have the VirtualPC cost on top of that. You are better off looking for OS X native alternatives that will do the same things.
Agreed, especially if you’re doing music stuff. The last thing you need is the overhead of an emulator when doing already CPU-intensive audio-related stuff.
The Mac comes with lots of software. I have not purchased one in almost a year but at the time it came with AppleWorks (Poor man’s office) as well as iMovie and iDVD. CD burning is built in, so you do not need Nero, and iTunes can burn audio CD’s as well. It also came with quiken and a dozen other applications. The apple site has tones of free downloads for nearly every concievable application. Garage Band is part of the iLife add on that Apple was giving away with new mac’s for a while (I do not know if they are still doing it).
Ah man, you had me in your corner the whole time til you mentioned Pico, it’s VI the whole way.
But seriously, another quick and very useful way to quit (or hide) and app is to combine the Command-Tab with Command-Q (or H to Hide). This is done by (1)
hold the Command Key
the tab (brings up the floating window of active apps)
hit either ‘q’ (to Quit)
or ‘h’ (to Hide)
For me, its nice to have ONE PLACE to go to quickly quit (or hide) several apps (without using the mouse).
To the musician who posted: I use a 15″ PowerBook with Cubase SX 2.0 and have had great success with it, unless you are using Sonar’s Cakewalk (unavailable on the Mac) as your main app, you should find the Mac a lovely (and well supported) platform for music. CoreAudio and CoreMIDI are just awesome. A little (free!) app named soundflower even lets you route audio from any app to any other app (for more than ReWire will do). Ever wonder why the vast majority of pro studios are running Macs?
You can get an e-Mac with for $699. Even buying wholesale parts, you would pay around $600 for a complete PC, 17 inch monitor, keyboard and mouse, and speakers. Trow in windows XP Home or for a closer comparison XP Professional and you are right up there. Not to mention th great movie software if you need it. Since Mac’s tend to have 2-3 times the useful life of a typical PC, the mac is really half the price of the PC.
And it will be stable – I still use both, PC’s and Mac’s – but the PC’s are the only ones i threaten to throw off the roof! The lower stress has got to have a dollar value!
If I were you I’d go with a 15″ PowerBook. It comes with great apps, including GarageBand which will work well until you are able or willing to go with a pro app. Toast or toast with jam would do you well for CD/DVD burning. OS X has built in CD burning as well but not as many options of course. For office apps if you are a student you can get Office X for $150 or you can go with Open Office which works pretty good depending on what you need it for.
If you have Linux apps that you want to run check out Fink/Fink Commander which will easily download and compile programs for you. VPC will work fine depending on what Windows programs you want to use. If you plan on using VPC make sure you have lots of RAM (which helps OS X a lot too). Beware though if you are a gamer, OS X has most of the good games but you may not get everything you want to play.
To end this rant let me just the PowerBooks are great machines. I love the fact that I can run programs for OS X, Linux, Classic Mac OS and Windows all on one machine. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
I switched from PC (x86-WinXP-RedhatLinux) to a G4 1GHz running the amazing Mac OS X Panther after reading that Eugina gave Panther the award of being the best desktop OS in 2003. And belive me, she couldn’t be more right!
I love Mac OS X and all it’s nice features! Small details like a smart way to easy jump between the picture/movie/mydocument/music folders in finder, finally gives me a clue of what Microsoft has tried to do in Windows with it’s “My Doc”, “My Music” and so on. In Windows I hated them because I could never belive why Microsoft had put up directorys that I could have created myself in 5 seconds.
But thanks to the great crew at Apple I finally know what Microsoft has allways tried to do, but allways failed.
And iMovie/iPhoto/iTunes/Garageband is really awesome software!
What image manipulation software does Microsoft stock with WindowsXP Pro? The answer is… Paint! *lol*
So can someone please tell me if it’s worth it, how much software already comes with the powerbook (so I don’t need to spend extra), like a good office, and do I get something equivalent to NERO in osx?
I’ve had a rev. B 12″ AlBook for a little over 4 months now and think that’s it is worth every cent I paid for it. I couldn’t even think about getting an x86 laptop anymore.
About the software: yes, OSX comes with a lot of useful software. OSX’s integrated CD burning is really nice and featureful: I have Nero installed on my machine at work and I still quite often find myself using my PB for most CD related tasks. For those not satisfied, Roxio’s Toast seems to be a quite popular 3rd party CD burning software. I don’t know much about office suites.
I don’t know what you are going to use the laptop for, but if you, as a musician, have been thinking about using it for making music, a Mac would seem an obvious choice. At least I have, both as a programmer and a (non-pro) musician, found OSX’s MIDI/Audio related stuff to be superior compared to that of Windows’.
Nero is cd burning software and on the Mac, like XP burning Data is built in… also iTunes can burn audio cds… but… what I recommend is Roxio’s Toast which is by far the best burning software out there… pc or mac (IMHO). You can burn audio so easy, and if you really want to make more advanced audio cds, you can get Jam… Get it, Toast and Jam…
very nice article, I’ve been drooling on the same laptop for a while but don’t have the cash for it. I didn’t know osx was so compatible with the windows world. I have a dell latitude pentium III 700 with 256mb ram on it, and only 9gb hd from the company and they expect me to do Java on it
The album art in iTunes is far behind my favorite Linux player – muine. Not only is iTunes’ album art an afterthought in the interface, the huge lists of songs on the right make an unclear connection as to which songs will receive the dropped. However, more importantly, muine – as long as your files are tagged close to the correct artist and album title – will grab the album covers automagically. So much more elegant. Sorry for being slightly off topic. I just thought I’d hype an awesome Linux app. http://muine.gooeylinux.org
You can also drag the album images onto muine, just like in OS X.
I work with PBs and iBooks on a daily but I wouldn’t buy one for myself. There are just too few platform specific software options to warrant buying a MAC over a PC. For weight, speed and battery life the IBM t41s, the Sony TR#, 505X and the Fujitsu P5020Ds are better solutions for the sub 5.5lb bracket with all of them doing around 5 hours on battery life tests.
I am partial to the p5020d. Lots of media options, doesn’t slouch on performance, has a great screen but has 5 hour battery life with constant dimming and shutdowns ever few seconds.
I suppose I was getting greedy, eyeing that $1299 iMac, but I suppose that $799 eMac might do just fine. I don’t burn DVDs anyway. Don’t really need the super drive or the flatscreen. How are those speakers? You’ve seen them for $699?
I am a Embedded OS developer, I get along fine with hardware and complex configurations. I have to use Windows PC’s because the Cross compilers I need are windows only (unfortunatly). Everytime I have to reboot my PC, I think would I still have a job if My OS was this unstable? The fact that I CAN keep my PC safe and running is not a problem. The fact that I have to keep everyone elses running is. The best news I get is when a friend or collegue buys a Mac, it means I will have less to deal with.
I know many “hardware geeks” that love to work on their PC’s – when I first got one, I felt the same way. But that did not last long. What has occured to me is this. I have used a dozen operating systems. All but one were stable and fun … Windows is the exception – it is work to keep it running. My old TRS-80 had a superior record to windows.
The problem with windows is that it has brought this attitude that computers require work to keep going. So many people have been able to develop self-worth by enduring and succedding in making windows work, that they actually look down on those of us that simply want a tool that works day in and day out.
The Mac gives you Unix power and stability combined with the Mac’s concept of ease of use. You do not have to keep it working, it just works.
“Right clicking – You hold down the Control key and click for contextual menus. There are some noticeably missing items in these menus (mail send), but they can be easily added through free downloads.”
Yes I know it isn’t right clicking. But if you click on app name, like Safari, click on Services, click on Mail, you have “Send Selection” (if you have something highlighted) or “Send To” if you have an e-mail address highlighted. Very easy.
As for Liam the Linux Nazi – I am a desktop support person, among other things (my official title is “Information Technology Systems Analyst”) and I know how to keep my Windows systems safe. In fact I haven’t gotten a worm or virus on my machines I personally use, in years. So that has nothing to do with why I prefer Mac OS X to Windows XP. All I can say is that you can buy a Chevy or a Lexus (Apple says BMW but I think that’s wrong). I’ll pick a Lexus any day of the week over the Chevy. Mac OS X just works. If you don’t get it I can’t explain it to you. As for Linux. I also use that but it is a pain in the *** compared to Mac OS X. I’m VERY busy at work and get few breaks. If I relied on Linux or Windows as my main computer I’d NEVER get breaks.
I am partial to the p5020d. Lots of media options, doesn’t slouch on performance, has a great screen but has 5 hour battery life __without__ constant dimming and shutdowns ever few seconds.
Oops, my last girfriend was a teacher – I may have been quoting an accademic price – sorry.
The article notes there is no image editor in the default installation. While that’s true of an installation from the system disks, my PB came with GraphicConverter on the drive, as well as Omni Graffle. Omni Graffle is a bit like the old MacDraw (the same, only different )and is useful for vector graphics, while GraphicConverter is a veritable Swiss army knife of an image editing app,particularly when it comes to reading and translating graphics formats. Perhaps they are not bundled any longer.
I am planning to buy a new laptop, hopefully as NOISELESS (I’m a professional musician and I hate the fan noise on my desktop replacement notebook), light and slim. I was thinking of an ASUS S5200N or a Sony VAIO V505DXP (because I have already a huge library of software for Windows and also x86 Linux distros), but I can’t help to think of a light powerbook.
I’m a musician as well, and while I use Macs, I’ll say the hardware isn’t any better or worse than PC laptops — when it comes down to it. Macs have firewire, so that’s the real difference if you think you need it (unless it’s Sony or something). If we’re talking desktops, I might say something different.
Just about all commerical audio apps are available for Macs and PC’s alike, so there isn’t much difference there either, whether it’s PT or the smaller stuff (though to be honest, I’ve never actually seen a Windows PT user).
The main difference is in Operating Systems I guess. So I suppose you’ll just have to make up your own mind about which is better. Because there aren’t a lack of ProAudio options for either one these days.
I’ll just list some advantages for Macs: Core Audio, UNIX, open source software, integration=less hassle,
interopability with Windows.
As for CD burning programs, there’s Toast.
Keep your eye out for refurbed/special-deal eMacs at smalldog.com and also at the “Special deals” section of Apple’s online store (link is in lower left corner). You may be able to do better than $699 for a combo drive model.
And the eMac’s speakers are pretty good — not great, but not bad, either.
I also play some keyboard (musical). Garage band is great .Also most recording studios use Macs for very good reasons. Check out the Logic the other professional (and home) audio products for Macs and you’ll see why.
No, Apple still bundle Graphic converter, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner and the most useful of the image editing apps, Preview. They also bundle Art Directors Tool Kit, and a few other useful tools. Apple always look after the creative department
There all definitely installed by defualt.
>>Yes I know it isn’t right clicking.
Sabon: The good news is that if you should happen to connect a two button mouse (I use, ironically, a MS mouse), the right button will act by default to activate contextual menu choices. Of course, it’s equally true that one of those menu items is not “Mail”.
i’m not a mac user, but a friend of mine has a new mac 12″ powerbook and i was not impressed by the performance and the display. in comparison to a pentium-m (centrino) laptop it seems a bit slow. also the fan is to loud. samsung p30 is very quiet and toshiba m30 is not.
there is nothing wrong with OSX, but you can get better x86 laptops for less.
The guy said it all, there is no reason left to think you have to use Windows.
OSX the ultimate experience.
A few notes/suggestions for the author & readers
I find MS office v.x to be way better than the windows version. I spend half my day in excel (I do financial underwriting), and I can’t get by without the floating formatting palette.
I experience two main formatting problems between windows & mac office versions. 1) fonts – default fonts are different for windows and mac versions of excel, and both systems don’t have the same fonts installed, so if I make something with Copperplate on mac and send it to simeone with windows, it comes out looking ridiculous. I just pdf everything I send out too. 2) dates in excel get messed up betweeen mac and windows all the time. I think this has to do with the system dates, but I’m not really sure.
I also have to use some windows-only apps, but instead of VPC, i have my old windows box on my network and use it with Remote Desktop Client, which is a free download from MS and WAY faster than VPC.
Finally, I use Filemaker for databases. It’s cheap, and way more reliable and easier to use than access in my experience.
I’m not sure how many folks out there realize it, and I’m not sure just how many apps support it, but I’ve noticed that many work with it…
Click-and-HOLD down the single mouse button. This will usually pop up a contextual menu just as if you had used the right-click or control-click.
you are hardly an unbiased reviewer.
I find the display of my 12 inch iBook (my first Mac that I bought) to be fine….perhaps you are seeing a difference in the color display…there is a different white shift in the default mac color settings than in a PC, however, you can change it to be what PCs use (I like it better than the Mac default)
as for the speed, a 1.25 GHz PPC is not slow enough for you to notice a speed difference between it and the standard 1.4 GHz Pentium-m….your friends probably did not add any extra memory to the system, and OS X runs a lot better in systems with 512Megs of memory than it does with 256.
I have a suspicion that you are just a little more picky than you are about PC laptops because you don’t like the Mac….but I might be wrong about that.
actually, Ctrl-click works through out the system, I have only seen click and hold work on the deskbar.
if you like context menus…get a 3 button mouse, it makes it much more comfortable, but on a laptop, I find that control click is just as easy since both my hands are on the keyboard at all times and I don’t have to reach for the mouse or keyboard.
You have to applaud Apple for their development of OSX though I still wish they would get on the bandwagon by offering a G5 64-bit 17″ laptop with pro graphics (ie: FireGL or Quadro FX). I agree that going Apple does provide one with the stability and power of UNIX but at a cost and I’m not only talking about the dollar value. If Apple could support more hardware and software then their market share would surely grow.
I hope one day Linux distros will get to the point where OSX is. Offering the user power and stability in a point and click GUI. Novell’s SuSE seems to be getting better at accomplishing this task. Sure IT Personelle or Linux Gurus love to use a Terminal to run UNIX scripts but for the common PC user they wish ease of use when computing. One day Linux will get to the point where OSX is. If only developers work more with the Linux community offering standardized programs, services, etc while offering what the typical consumer wants and not just the business sector.
For now I put my faith in Linux R & D and will not be making the switch to OSX. Only time will tell if Linux can improve on it’s model and be something all of us can be proud of just as Apple users are proud of OSX.
By the way I am not even a MS fan – I am a diehard Linux enthusiast since 1996 and my primary desktops are Suse and Xandros. I am just user sick and tired of Apple’s hype and the stinking attituide of its Nazi like fans. So sue me, Sheesh!
Dontcha think its kinda interesting that Doc Searls, longtime linux community member and publisher of Linux Journal thinks OS X is the bees knees?
How about Tim O’Reilly? He gushes on and on about OS X as well.
In fact, most developers blogs I read, tons of people have made the switch to Mac Laptops as their dev boxes. In fact, Doc Searls speaks in wonder about the sheer volume of Mac Laptops at Apachecon last year.
I mean I dislike any OS Nazi, but truth be told, Apple has something going on, because its eating into your precious Linux mindshare.
Sorry guys and gals I forgot to add my name. I’m on a differant machine surfing. Another caffiene fix should help wake me up.
will of course have a variety of hardware and software.
i run xp, slackware, os x, freebsd and os 9.
i’ve got an old quadra 950 sitting in the garage, next to a trash 80.
i really like my dell precision laptop dual booting xp/slack.
my next aquisition will be a shiny new powerbook.
I can’t remember the last time I command-tabbed on my G4 … that’s what the Dock is for! Or Expose. But I don’t have 10.3 yet.
Personally I keep my Dock on the right side (the bottom was annoying) with the icons significantly smaller than the default, and it’s one of the features I miss most when using Linux or Windows. Being able to drag a PDF file to Illustrator, FlightCheck, Acrobat or Preview depending on what I want to do to it is incredibly useful, so much faster than starting the correct app and doing File/Open. I know in Windows you can right-click, do “Open with …”, wait 5 seconds for Windows to auto-generate a list of every single app on your machine, then scroll down and choose one, but this takes forever.
The Dock is basically a combination system tray, list of running apps, Windows Task Manager and more. I mean … opening a minimized app, I just look in the corner for the shrunken version of the app window I want, I don’t even think about it. In KDE I have to guess based on a bunch of truncated titles like “Konqueror file://hom…” and basically have to scrutinize all of them to figure out what they are.
CD burning … I second the Toast recommendation some have made, it lets you burn basically any format disc you can name. However you can burn many different formats using Apple’s Disk Copy utility and also iTunes, which can automatically burn mp3 CDs and data CDs as well as burn a set of mp3s as audio disc (with standard options like gaps between songs). Disc Copy will let you specify MS-DOS or Unix formats in addition to ISO 9660 and Mac formats. There are options for multisessions and encryption and a few others.
The Finder burns discs too (drag files to disc icon, then when you go to eject the disc it asks you if you want to burn) … in ISO 9660 format.
“MySQL is considerably more powerful than Access but does not come with a GUI (it is free though).”
Check out MySQL4X Manager at http://www.macosguru.de/
If you don’t like the command+(key) for doing things you can get a program called Double Command ( http://doublecommand.sourceforge.net/install.html ) and change the command key to be another key (say the ctrl key).
“Being able to drag a PDF file to Illustrator, FlightCheck, Acrobat or Preview depending on what I want to do to it is incredibly useful, so much faster than starting the correct app and doing File/Open. I know in Windows you can right-click, do “Open with …”, wait 5 seconds for Windows to auto-generate a list of every single app on your machine, then scroll down and choose one, but this takes forever.”
You can put a shortcut for the apps on the desktop and drag the file on the icon, it will open it with the the app. You can even do this with the Quick Launch icons on the task bar. Just because you don’t know how to do something in Windows does not mean it’s worse.
“The Dock is basically a combination system tray, list of running apps, Windows Task Manager and more.”
Which is one of the things old time Mac users hated most about it.
“I mean … opening a minimized app, I just look in the corner for the shrunken version of the app window I want, I don’t even think about it. In KDE I have to guess based on a bunch of truncated titles like “Konqueror file://hom…” and basically have to scrutinize all of them to figure out what they are.”
The situation is not much difference if you have a bunch of documents open with similar looking icons in the dock.
…then it’s all about the Sony Vaio X505 or the Sony TR series. Walk into a local starbucks with either one of those will leave even the mac users with their frappucinos dribbling out of their agape mouths. Most people here in the US aren’t aware of these new VAIOs, but they are extremely portable. This is just my opinion after carefully examining the powerbook selection against these laptops. I couldn’t afford the carbon-fiber X505 so I went with the TR. IMO, the screen on the TR series leaves the powerbook looking dull and colorless — read reviews on the web if you don’t believe me.
to name a few.
As for the OS experience, that’s an entirely different matter, but I do think nothing beats the OSX experience.
Let me know if I’m wrong, but when you are complaining about Linux hardware compatibility issue, you are not looking at same perspective on the mac. I understand Linux still doesn’t support a lot of hardware. But seriously, most mac hardware on the mac and handpicked by apple. So, when you thrown in some pci or agp hardwares that’s not Mac certified, what happened? I have no doubt that MacOS is rock solid, but have anybody ever think what would happen if Mac does support more(all) hardwares just like Windows/Linux. I think, it’s very safe to assume that Mac will be some stability issues too.
yea, the sony is pretty nice, my roommate(an investment banker) has one, but it by no means out classes the 12″ powerbook. Perhaps in the same league.
but you won’t find a powerbook owner green with envy.
i’d rather have the sharp MM20 or fujitsu lifebook(after a powerbook with backlit keyboard, and radeon 9600 of course)
sony’s linux support is not as good as could be…
mac is a “small… system”???? What world is this guy living on?
It may be a nice machine, but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
For nerds, OS X is great as Unix, terminal window, runs very fast.
No wonder unix users won’t give up the command line.
The thing I like about using a Powerbook is, Apple’s great applications, User Tested, and the option to load Yellow Dog Linux.
I may also check out Gentoo Linux.
yea, i know. it’s hard to read through them once you already know how great powerbooks.
so AC, why don’t you right an article on how you utilize your powerbook?
“yea, i know. it’s hard to read through them once you already know how great powerbooks. ”
Doorstop? Something to level a table with?
Also, using applescript to automate your daily and job tasks make it a sweet customizable machine!
After 3 weeks, I still love my 12″ ibook, even moreso after I found out how to calibrate the display. It’s not a perfect laptop, and OS X isn’t perfect either, but they’re pretty darn good. I was, and still am I suppose, a Linux user, and I liked putsing around with stuff to get it working, but it’s nice to have stuff done for you once in a while. Just so long as when I want to do changes it doesn’t get in my way. Things I dislike about OS X: no sftp support in the finder, and not https support in the finder. I get 5-6 hours of battery life, the applications (except MS Office, for which I prefer the Windows version) are a joy to use, and i’ve got the developer tools I need to do my work.
But seriously, most mac hardware on the mac and handpicked by apple. So, when you thrown in some pci or agp hardwares that’s not Mac certified, what happened?>>
It either works or it doesn’t.
Remember, we’re talking a completely different processor and instruction set, so the instructions on the chips on the card have to speak PPC or the whole thing’s a no-go.
For example, if you go and slap an nVidia or ATI x86 card into your powermac, it’ won’t work unless you flash those cards to the Mac instruction set. (Which is what many people do with PCI ATI video cards in their B&w G3s.)
Some products are certified for both, this is because they have chips with instructions for for x86 and PPC.
Hey, I was the guy pimping the Sony VAIO and I do agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s true that the case may seem “plasticky” to some, but what often gets the powerbook user when I’m in a public place like starbucks or at the airport is the screen. They will almost always put their Powerbook next to my TR and directly compare the screen and will admit that the Xbrite technology outclasses the powerbook display.
Anyway, just for your opinions, if you found the TR to be kind of plasticky, what do you think of this carbon fiber VAIO? (I really like both Sony and Apple’s designs. I think both look great, just FYI). What sets it apart is how thin it is (which also means it has less built-in features like an optical drive..), so I found a video that helps to convey its actual thinness..
Just from a tech junkie standpoint, I think this is amazingly cool…
I haven’t had troubles getting linux to work on my TR apart from the centrino wireless and the widescreen display, problems that affect any laptop that use an intel solution. I still have yet to try the intel drivers for the 810 widescreen display. Is there that much Linux support from other vendors like dell, hp?
There is no image editor (e.g. MS Paint) included in the basic installation.
I thought Macs are bundled with AppleWorks, which comes with something like MS Paint?
Do not come with Appleworks and other “home” applications.
SONY may look good but I hate it how it works. I have 2 Sony laptop and no Linux Work normaly on that sony books I try to install RH, MDK, SUSE, Debian, Gentoo but it is not very good hardware support for sony hardware from Linux Kernel.
Next I will try the Powerbook G5 whan is ready
Just curious, but what type of problems are you having? I’m a semi- linux newbie — only started using it as a desktop for about 3 months, but I have been doing Linux kernel programming for school on RH 9 for about a year.
To note my own experience, I’ve loaded RH 9, Mandrake 10, FC1 and FC2 Test 2, Xandros 2.0 and Lindows on the Sony TR and everything works fine. CDs and DVDs play and burnable, wireless working through Linuxant Driverloader (no other option for ANY centrino based laptop ATM), touchpad works, all USB and Firewire ports work. The only thing I haven’t gotten working is the Motion Eye camera on top.
Not that I’m trying to negate your experience with Sony and Linux, but as a new user who has had no problems with Sony and Linux, I’d just like to know what those problems may have been. For any regular use of the notebook, you can see that, from my experience, I have around 98% of the functionality in the laptop with Linux.
Nothing compares to the screen of the 17″ powerbook. I have one, and it is just the sexiest machine ever. The thinnest/lightest x86 17″ laptop i’ve seen so far is 1.8″thick & ~9 lbs without battery. Xbrite might be useful outdoors, but i usually don’t feel like using a computer when i’m outside and in good weather. And the light up keyboard is a REAL envy producer. Those ultra-light notebooks from sony have almost no graphics acceleration, lack an optical drive, and have limited ports/ram expansion. What other laptop has FW800? 6 pin FW400? how about an ambient light sensor.
And the fan on the 17 almost never goes on. Been using mine for nearly a year, and it still looks new. The dells my buddies got are all scratched up and look like crap. Plus most of them have slowed to a crawl(windows fault).
The only windows laptop that actually tops the powerbooks in my opinion is the IBM t40 (whatever the magnesium one is) Thats a trully beautiful business machine. Magnesium is lighter, stiffer, and more expensive than aluminum.
My Opinions on OS: yea you guessed it. I use both sides of the camp, but pc’s only because there is no MathCAD or AUTOCAD for mac(i know of the alternatives, but i get the PC software free from the school server). I use the remote desktop method to avoid sitting at my desk.
and please don’t get angry or hate me because i love my mac- this is just a forum and these are mostly opinions. So chill!
you just said one reason X86 laptops stink by and large….tehy use intel integrated graphics….yuk….
give me the mobil radeon or Nvidea Geforce Go chip. (mac or Alienware)
but unfortunatelly I find it even more difficult to decide right now, because besides the cpu, everything else is almost the same (ddr,hd2,5,etc) and I read on arstechnica only good things about pentiumM. Too bad apple doesn’t sell yet PB with IBM’s powerpc cpu, that would definitelly make me buy a PB, but it seems that these PentiumM based laptops can hold their own, or do even more. And I REALLY need to run linux (I don’t know much about powerpc based distros.
Anyway, if someone has an argument to add to help me decide, it is most welcomed.
BTW, I forgot to mention I use Nero to backup my DVDs (entirely with menus, extras), so is that possible in osx?
Yellow Dog Linux runs great on Mac laptops, and in OS X, if you get a super drive PB you will have iDVD so you can make menu based movies…I do not know about ripping DVDs, but check Tech TV’s site, I believe that they did a story on OS X based DVD ripping software….check it out.
Have you tried ‘Graphics Converter’ that came with the Powerbook, with a bundled Licence?…. It is IMO, far superior to Paint, alowing you to save/load in practically ANY format (even Amiga IFF/ Tandy TRS 80/ etc).
In reply to the guy who mentioned Paint in Appleworks, Appleworks DOES NOT come preloaded on the professional models (Ie, the powerbooks), only the iBooks/imacs. Like I said in previous post, Graphics Converter ( http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/graphcon.htm ) is the paint replacement you’re looking for.
Some advice for above mentioned.
Before you do anything serious with a new Mac, you should take a couple days,or weeks, of intense poking around, and try every app you can find.
Poke around the HD and get to know where things are.
Also get used to the system preferences menu, and set it up to match your needs.
The same goes for every app that you feel you might use on a regular basis.
Open the preferences menu and set them for your specific needs, like file saving locations etc, and get used to the functions.
If you download something make sure you know where you saved it.
(use desktop, you can file it later)
Then when you are satisfied that you understand whats going on, use the install disc to completely erase the HD, and reload only the basic system and apps that you need.
( On OSX 10.28 base install comes to about 1.3 Gigs.)
This leaves a lot more space on the HD, and the machine is noticeably faster.
If you don’t need developer tools, don’t load them.
iDVD is 1.5 Gigs alone.
If you are not an IT guy, you won’t need a lot uf the IT guy stuff!
If there are apps you have no use for, use the finder to hunt down that app and related files and throw them away.
Now repeat the first part,and make an attempt to keep your computer organized.
It’s all happy sailing from here, enjoy.
Wow. Throughout all of these over seventy posts, only one mention of Expose!
Expose is an awesome technology, far more flexible and functional than meets the eye for window switching — and far more flexible and functional than that Windows shareware rip-off of it thats out, now. With Expose, you can tile all your open windows and easily select the one you want. Each window’s content is displayed, making it easier than OS X’s Command-Tilde window switching or Command-Tab app switching — and is better than the default icon representation of all your open windows in Windows. The Windows shareware ripoff of this (I forget its name) only goes this far, while Expose goes leaps and bounds further.
For example, Expose preserves the window’s activity. Have a render or big file transfer going while you’re watching a DVD or whatever? Expose the windows and you can quickly check the status of the progress bar (updating in realtime) WHILE the DVD is still playing in its Exposed mode.
Another example is that you can drag-and-drop using Expose. Say you have some text on a web page that you want in an email you’re typing. Simply select the text with your cursor, grab-hold with the mouse, hit Expose, drag the grabbed text over to your Exposed email, kill Expose and your email pops up and you can drop it in. It takes HALF the time to do this with Expose than it took for me to explain it, and is faster than using copy-paste.
I have often read off PC guys moaning about Apple’s one button mouse, and I never bought it. The Control key doubles as a right-click and your hand is always there. Regardless, you can pop a multi-button mouse on a Mac and move on — but we all know that key commands are faster, anyway. Well, Expose is the FIRST legit reason for a multi-button mouse on a Mac. triggering Expose’s modes using a mouse is too easy and efficient!
As for software and hardware compatibility, put Apple’s Product Guide to the test, listing over 4,500 peripherals and over 18,000 software titles, both Apple and third party: http://guide.apple.com/ And OS X supports an awesome range of peripherals: http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/devices.html
For the musician thinking about switching, as a composer I have two words for ya: DO IT!
Sony laptops are nice, but they run Windows. This guy didn’t “switch” because of the hardware. ‘Nuff said.
As for this article, I was really impressed by the level of integration the guy threw at it in a heterogeneous environment. I’m happy you’re happy!
“If you work for a corporation that normally provides a laptop for use, be expected to be laughed at if you request to purchase an Apple. The Apple systems are considered by most IT managers as an incompatible.”
I work at a school where almost everyone is firmly planted in the Wintel camp. However, I actually asked IT to buy me a dual 2 GHz G5 and they did. Now whenever a Wintel guy walks into my office their eyes stain to look away — it almost funny. One proplem though, is that IT treats me like I’m a rouge nation and they won’t let me authenticate to their network. I’m an island that is allowed few resources. Thankfully some of the printers let me print through AppleTalk and they’ve actually let me use the network to get mail, ssh, ftp, etc.
I only wish they weren’t so hostile to having me as a neighbor.
I have been thinking about getting an iBook G4, but when I compare it to the Mac desktops I can clearly see that on the desktop they’re years ahead in terms of speed.
I get the feeling that buying an iBook G4 means that I’m buying an already old system. I’m afraid that within 2 years it will be way too slow to do ‘new stuff’.
But for the same price I can get a Pentium M laptop that’s still able to keep up with modern desktop PC’s.
Any thoughts on that? What should I do, get a centrino or an iBook G4? I’m often developing C++ and JAVA apps. In the future I want to do some C# as well.
People seem to often mistake Mac users for zealots. Why get so upset when someone states that they love Mac OS X? Sure Windows and Linux can do all the stuff that Mac does but the difference is that Mac make it really easy.
I initially bought a computer 3 years ago with Windows98 installed on it, a year ago I installed Debian on it and then about 4 months ago I got an iBook.
With windows 98, the install (even though it was pre-loaded, it still had to set itself up) took about an hour. In order to have work ok I had to make sure that I had my antivirus up to date at all times. Even at that, a virus got through which made me reinstall.
It took me about a month to get Debian up and running with the same functionality as Windows. It took a lot of reading man pages, asking questions on linux forums. I much prefer Debian to Windows98 though ’cause it’s rock solid stable and there’s little or no threat of viri. That said though, if I want to add a new piece of hardware or configure something, it takes a while of reading up an the web, asking questions etc. This is fine, maybe even a little fun and really educational, I really found a lot out about Linux and OSes in general but when I have to do this and at the same time have a college project deadline coming up, it can be really frustrating. I’ve screamed at the computer “Why don’t you just work?!?” more times than I care to remember. I have had to reinstall a few times from borking my installation, the freedom and power of apt can be dangerous when you don’t know 100% of what you’re doing.
Then along came my iBook. When I first turned it on and it asked me to insert to Mac OS X CDs. About 15 minutes later my system was set up and running. I haven’t changed the majority of the settings because there was no need to. Everything’s so simple and elegant.
If not having to set up partitions, run anti virus programmes, read man pages makes me “stupid” then so be it. What’s the point in going through so much hassle when there’s no need to?
I was in your position about 6 months ago and I eventually went for an iBook G4. Mac OS X comes with the Java SDK 1.4.2 preinstalled. There’s a development environment called XCode too which supports C++, C, Java and Apple’s C# although I’m not completely sure (I work with Java, Perl and Prolog so there’s little point in me using XCode, I use jedit (jedit.org) instead).
Then get a 12 inch powerbook.
you get Pentium-M speeds in a 12 inch ibook size.
I still use a G4 400 desktop for a lot of my work and do not find it lacking.
CPU speed is 1/3 of the system speed factor…Amount of Ram and Speed of hard drive are the other 2/3s
in a laptop that is low power you will, no matter the platform end up with a 4600 RPM hard drive, but the iBook uses DDR Ram, just max it out and you will never feel like you are waiting for anything.
also, OS X uses the GFX card for a lot of the UI, and they use a readeon mobility with 32 megs of independent ram, and also I think there are models that use the nvidea GeForce Go with 32 megs independent memory.
PC laptops, almost all but the top of the line use intel integrated video with shared memory which really puts a drag on UI performance.
I bought an 800 MHz iBook after owning a 1.1 GHz celeron notebook….the ibook is more responsive than my celeron, even though it had almost twice the clock speed and the same amount of system memory.
just make sure that you calibrate the display so you get the right color for you (it is in display settings) the default is a little to washed out for my tastes…but GFX designers seem to like it I guess.
oh…and I have had PCs for 15 years, and my Mac is a hand me down that I got when my brother upgraded to a Powerbook 2 years ago.
I was as apprehensive as you were when I thought about actually buying a mac, but now I feel I made a great choice…I love using this machine. I feel none of the stress that I got from using windows when I use this…and what is funny is that I actually use this machine less because I get my work done faster (probably to do with less stress).
I am however still evaluating this experience and have no intentions of ever ruling out a PC laptop for my next purchase, but if my entire experience is like this, I will have a hard choice to make in 3 years when I get a new laptop.
SubEthaEdit is a free aqua editor that has syntax modes for 16 languages including java and pearl…no prolog though. I like it better than jedit, and it should hold me over until ranger rick gets a self contained OS X version of KATE running.
Powerbook 12” & Mac OS X 10.3
The best choice I have ever made!!!!
So crazy, so beautiful, so powerful!
Since one year I’m always so charmed when meeting my powerbook again, after a work day on a horrible “OS”…
Video, Photo, Programming, Web Developement, Mac OS X is the right answer!
So happy with it!
With this article OS News finally realizes it’s masthead’s promise.
OSX and it’s ability to play well in any environment, is the Future of Computing.
Longhorn, is nothing more than Microsoft’s last gasp at totally controlling all access to it’s programs, and keeping it’s user-base isolated from the rest of the World.
“Make your plan, all our base is belong to us” ~ Bill Gates
Sorry, but those commenting on the musician’s request for an OSX equivalent of Nero, really are not equipped to answer. If you even suggest Toast or such, I know one thing 100% sure: you are not _well_ familiar with Nero Burning, and do not have a DEEP understanding of burning. Simply put, at this point in time, there is NO *functional* equivalent to Nero on either OSX or Windows. CD-burning is not just all about the GUI, or features. It is about the underlying technical methodology of data transfer and handling in burning – and at that, Nero is without peer in the OSX and Linux world. This is a significant area where OSX and Linux need to catch up.
so all these disks i burned are no good?
Geez, all my IS9660 disks that seemed to work on WIndows and Mac (Joliet & Mac extensions) don’t work? Geez, I’m sure I tried ’em with my Win98/XPp/OS8.6/OSX computers…
I’m sure there’s some Windows issues that NERO does better than Toast, but I am almost positive that Nero can’t burn those Mac disks from Windows… Oh yeah, there something to do with the file system?
Windows needs to catch up with file systems… we’re all waiting for 2006, 2007, 2008… whatever
Since you didn’t comment on what version of X you were using I feel obligated to tell you to get yourself a copy of Panther….you can thank me later. 🙂
>There is no image editor (e.g. MS Paint) included in the basic installation.
GraphicConverter, a shareware app with full functionality other than batch processing, and without an expiration date, is included with every new Mac. It is well worth the $35, and has nothing that comes close on any platform.
And I mean, nothing that comes anywhere close… It is insane. Check out the list of supported file formats (imports 175, exports 75!!!) and features here:
As for complete audio recording functionality, Jam is superb… Not quite sure what other functions are missing from Nero, other than….
Nero allows you to burn, on the fly, from SHN and FLAC files. I have been waiting forever for the Mac to do this. I have an XP machine and that is pretty much all I do with it theses days – I use it to host my music (all legal FLAC and SHN files) and to burn these CDs. If only it was stable and did not require booting on a regular basis. Nero locks up the burner if the music files are being served out over BT from my Mac, even if they are locked files (I use Azeures on the Mac to share my FLAC files on the PC). However, being able to burn from these compressed files without needing to convert them first to WAV or AIFFs is a godsend…
I hate to say this because I am huge Apple fan but unless Apple has made a change to their powerbooks in the last little while (I have one of the first of the new 15″ powerbooks) the fan noise is loud and obnoxious. If you are doing any heavy duty processing such as sound recording the fan tends to kick on and it is a very high pitched whine. Go play with one in the Apple store do something processor intensive it has to get pretty hot before the fan kicks on but get it to kick on and then put your ear close and unless they have made some changes you will hear what I am talking about. It has been a frustration for me and I hope that have fixed it but if not the powerbook is not going to be the silent dream you are hoping for.
PS I live is Arizona which is a very warm climate so the fan kicks on much more frequently here. If you live in Alaska it may be just what you are looking for 🙂
Then when you are satisfied that you understand whats going on, use the install disc to completely erase the HD, and reload only the basic system and apps that you need.
Sorry, but I cannot leave it at that. That sounds too much like Windows! I myself run OS X since 10.0 and I never swiped my HD clean or re-installed the OS. I just updated and updated.. and I guess I have installed and uninstalled hundreds of tools, apps and games since then and there is no problem here. Mac OS X is not getting slower, it’s getting faster the longer you use it
For those that were missing a way to send a file as an e-mail via a right-click:
Just drag the file(s) to the “mail”-icon in the dock, and you will get a new mail with the file(s) already attached and ready to be sent!
Amen to that! I have been using OS X since Jaguar (year and a half) with a four month period before that running 10.1 (but retreated to OS 9 because I was tired of dual-booting for music apps that have since gone OS X). I have never had to wipe the drive and reinstall. Ever. In my experience, OS X just doesn’t break. Ad like you I have also installed tons of stuff and applied LOTS of hacks (implemented via shareware GUI). Yes, I clone my drive periodically, but have never had to rely upon it other than when I trash a file due to human error. But THE SYSTEM has remained solid. The type of comment I have heard from Windows users who have been compelled to reinstall Windows “because it was getting sluggish” or their registries were getting bloated and screwed just doesn’t happen with OS X.
If you really want to understand your new computer, buy yourself a book on the OS – there are many excellent books on Panther … It is foolish to expect to go from one platform to the other, and know all the idiosyncrasies of it straight away … AND contrary to popular opinion, the Apple OS does operate differently to Windows, and it’s not necessarily easier if you’re still stuck in your old mindset … Many of your gripes are easily solved – as evidenced by a lot of the posts here.