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Author Topic: A new notebook computer. Choices  (Read 358 times)

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Offline BlackRoseTopic starter

A new notebook computer. Choices
« on: July 24, 2013, 04:14:45 AM »
I am a little hesitant to put this in this forum instead of the PROC forum... but here goes.

I am in a position that in the very near future, I might possibly be able to replace my current notebook computer (An HP that is having apparent motherboard issues) with a new computer. I received a suggestion today that I should look into a Mac. This is the reason why I was hesitant to post here. I've had many heated debates over Windows vs Mac vs Linux in the past.

While Linux would be optimal if there was better support by corporations, many programs simply do not have any compatibility with Linux and would prevent me from using it the way I intend. I do understand the potential to dual boot, however, the idea bothers me in that, any time I would want to do one thing, I would need to restart the computer from the other boot drive and it just seems like too much hassle for minimal benefit.

So, that brings me to the point of this. I have -never- used an Apple product since my first encounter with iTunes, when it liberated almost 3500 songs from my Stepmania directory and changed their format and rendered them unusable. This was indeed several years ago, but I held that grudge due to how long it took me to get those files back. I have had two Windows notebooks from HP and am absolutely certain I will never buy another HP product so long as I am able to. I am planning to go to an Apple store either tomorrow or the day after in an attempt to poke around at the apple notebooks and see how they feel. I know it is going to be hard learning an entirely new operating system, but I have heard good things.

It seems like most everyone I know is polarized on this issue though. Either people love Apple products and would never use anything from Microsoft, or they think Apple is the plague and snub anyone who uses it. I admit, I've been part of that latter group, but out of ignorance.

What I really want to know, what specifically should I be trying to work with on an Apple that is different from Windows. If you have switched over from Microsoft to Apple, what gave you the most trouble and what new things were the most beneficial?

In short, what should I be looking for when I "test drive" an Apple notebook?

Offline Psi

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Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 05:13:33 AM »
I have an OS X Notebook - Current Model Air.   (and several of the previous iterations of Air/Pro/Mini etc)

And while I have yet to re-install VMWare Fusion, I used to seamlessly switch between a desktop that was "Apple" and a desktop that was "Windows 7"
Within both, my "Desktop" "Documents" etc are shared seamlessly, what I save in one, is there on another.

You will find that if your running Office 2011 that it doesn't have features or capabilities you would expect in Office 2010 - one of the reasons I have both setup and running.

In terms of compatibility, it works in an Enterprise Win2008 R2 Domain (aka I can access all resources) although we have a Mac Mini that provides printing to OS X Devices.  If I can't do something in Office 2011, I slide across to Office 2010 in VMWare.   I can get out to the internet, authenticate to the Radius Server for Enterprise Class Auth, and I can do everything I need to at work.   This is including connecting to an Exchange 2010 server natively in OSX.

If I need a program to run that doesn't run on OS X (access, publisher, visio) I switch to Windows.   And I can do all of this, with iTunes, Mail, Calendar etc open in OSX and Word or Visio 2010 running on Windows, and switch between (inc copy/paste)

Simply put, if your happy with the look, feel, design of the computer, make your choice.   An OS X Device can run both, either independently or simultaneously.

You may not be prepared to pay what many people call the "Apple Tax" but then, I don't consider an Apple Device to be equivalent to the cheapest PC available on the market.   I consider it to be similiar to the high end "ultrabooks" such as the higher end Sony, or HP Envy's etc which have similiar setups (including the reduced feature sets etc)

That said, I support both platforms at work, and linux to the best of my knowledge (+ a few google searches)

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 06:37:11 AM »
I agree with Psi. Some of the best Windows Machines I've used in the last few years have been Macs.  It proves, to me anyway, that Windows isn't the typical problem but the hardware side is aside from that I can add a few points

-First off, if you get an Apple Product ALWAYS look into the AppleCare program that applies to it. They are a bit pricey but some of the best coverage out there you can find.
-VMWare and Parrallels are both good products for running windows. BootCamp is the Apple OS option to run Windows (orLinux) rather than OS X.
-I agree with Psi that the Windows Side of Office is much more robust than any version of Office for Mac. For me it was statistical tools for Excel, Vision and the MS project management program

I personally wish Apple would make their MagSafe plugs open domain. The number of times that has saved me from a person tripping over a cord and pulling my laptop to the floor makes it worth it.  I do suggest going to an Applestore or BestBuy to play with a MacBook but I always prefer to be hands on. Ever model of Mac I've played with has been good, for me, but I also typically spend three days reconfiguring any computer I use. My Mac desktop doesn't look at all like it did when I bought it, on the inside.

I would say Macs are good but not everyone likes the Hardware cost but I have only had one 'BSOD' event and that was my fault, in like eight years of using them.

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Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 08:56:47 AM »
I would like to suggest that if you have the ability to visit more than one Apple store you do so.  Not all Apple associates are built the same and training doesn't always stick in the same way from associate to associate.  If you don't have more than one store available visit at a different time of day and speak to a different associate to have your questions answered.  Conflicting information can be taken to the company. 

I usually do this with anything I am new too and have been amazed at the difference in the level of knowledge between even two people from the same store.

Offline Psi

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Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 05:15:51 AM »
-First off, if you get an Apple Product ALWAYS look into the AppleCare program that applies to it. They are a bit pricey but some of the best coverage out there you can find.

If you are relying upon your system for day to day work, this option is something to consider regardless of the vendor.

In AU, Apple has to provide warranty for 2 years by law, rather than its 1 year based on EULA.  however with every laptop I have used (3 PC, and 4 Apple) I have either wished for warranty, or utilised it within the 3 years.   I am a rather heavy user of the equipment though.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 05:38:18 PM »
If you are relying upon your system for day to day work, this option is something to consider regardless of the vendor.

In AU, Apple has to provide warranty for 2 years by law, rather than its 1 year based on EULA.  however with every laptop I have used (3 PC, and 4 Apple) I have either wished for warranty, or utilised it within the 3 years.   I am a rather heavy user of the equipment though.

Apple care has been good to me. I figure that the first two iPhone plans I bought saved me something in the area of 800 bucks in damaged phones. Understand I worked in high energy output lab and someone in the lap liked 'zapping' other folks phones. We tended to get 'goofy' gripes when the phones broke. (I had one phone that would jump direct to voice mail with one buzz.. no ring.. just a buzz, one of the early android guys had a phone that would power cycle when you called him. Weird electronic damage)

I suspect eventually someone caught the merry prankster as they stopped having 'mystery phone gripes' in the shop.

Offline BlackRoseTopic starter

Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 12:19:33 PM »
Okay, update. Amazon had a fairly interesting deal (still does, I think) where you could sign up for a "store account". It's basically a new credit card that you can only use on Amazon. I did that, bought a Macbook Pro (13 inch with retina screen, amg so pretty). So now I have a Macbook Pro. It's pretty. I'm not disappointed so far but I still don't really know how to use it all that well... I installed Steam on it when I first got it but I am playing through Fallout New Vegas for the first time. FNV doesn't work for the mac without following some youtube videos that are needed to crack the game for Mac and that's just a bit awkward. I know, with some creative work, I can install a windows partition on my macbook, but I almost don't want to. I'm afraid that if I put windows on the Mac, I will tend to always start it in windows...

Also, installing windows seems a touch complicated. There are plenty of other games on steam I can use on a Mac, but until I finish FNV, I may end up setting the new mac aside unless I can easily find a way to run FNV on it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: A new notebook computer. Choices
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 12:52:43 PM »
Okay.. you got three basic choices for putting windows on a Mac.

1. You can create a bootcamp partition. That is the 'native choice'. You can put it in, do boot to Windows or OS X.
2. Install VMware Fusion
3. Install Parallels Desktop

Choices 2 and 3 let you run Windows AND Mac OS at the same time. I use Parallels but I also know folks who swear by VMWare. It's a personal outlook thing to me. These aren't the ONLY options. There are things out there that will let you run some Windows things (like say.. Fantasy Grounds II) without installing Windows at all (Wine is one that comes to mind)