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Thread: Should I go for a Macbook?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    I use a MacBook Pro at work... it is very nice, but I wouldn't personally spend my own money on one.
    OS X is not the panacea of OS's that some people think it is - nor is the hardware. Check out Apple Forums if you want to see what I mean. Despite tight control on hardware, there are significant known problems with the MBP.

    If you think you need one, or if you like the cool lit up Apple logo, then go for it. But any decent laptop can pull off the same tasks.

  2. #12
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erunno View Post
    If you are familiar with the basics of how computer work you should do well with OSX. Apart from some irregularities the applications are relatively consistent and hardware support is, as expected, flawless (at least on my 1.1 MacBook).



    Drag and drop installation mostly, with some installers occasionally thrown in (for applications which need root access mostly).



    You're out of luck here. Apple is all about the out-of-the-box experience and don't offer a lot of ways to customize OSX. You can't change the whole look.



    Compared to Windows gaming support on OSX is still sparse at best but its getting better. Blizzard offers OSX versions of all their new games and EA also ports some games to OSX as well. Apart from that you should be able to use older games with virtualization software like Parallels.



    There are quite a few native F/OSS applications for Mac but naturally not as many as for the free operating systems. You can install a lot of Linux/UNIX software via projects like Fink or MacPorts but the applications integrate badly with the rest of the OSX desktop functionally and look utterly out of place.



    What kind of speed?



    Since I don't own one of the latest MacBooks I can't tell for sure but I am doubtful if things like the button-less trackpad are supported well or at all.



    This is difficult to answer for outsides as "need" is defined by requirements which can vary from person to person.



    Yes, at least in my experience. Virtualization software like Parallels is from an integration point of view vastly superior to Wine on OSX.



    You are on a Linux board. Guess what the answer will probably be.

    One of the best answers so far, thank you

    By speed, I mean how fast it boots up, how well it can handle multiple running processes without choking, etc. I would most likely have 4+ GB of RAM on the Macbook if I were to get one.

  3. #13
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    A new question just came to me. There are antivirus programs offered for Macs quite frequently today. As I understand, OS X uses the FreeBSD kernel, and is a Unix based OS? If this is so, why do you need an antivirus program?

  4. #14
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldor View Post
    A new question just came to me. There are antivirus programs offered for Macs quite frequently today. As I understand, OS X uses the FreeBSD kernel, and is a Unix based OS? If this is so, why do you need an antivirus program?
    We have had Mac's running on the internet here since the year 2000. We haven't used any anti-virus software in that time, & have had not a hint of a virus problem.

    That said, I have just recently set up a stand alone IPCop/Copfilter, firewall, router, proxy server, that I am running ClamAV on, for NO other reason than that this configuration doesn't slow down our surfing at all. If it did slow down our internet use then I would remove the ClamAV anti-virus service, as we really do not need it on OSX or the Linux distro's we run.

  5. #15
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    My own advice is if you feel comfortable paying the premium, go for it. Macs are well-built machines, and last a long time (I can attest to this, typing on one that's nine years old). Ubuntu/(insert other distro here) should run fine on it (the only significant potential pitfall would be the EFI, which simply involves installing refit instead of grub.) I happen to like OS X, but you're always free to replace it. In my experience, Apple's customer service is also excellent if the thing breaks down.

    That said, I recommend you go to an Apple store and play with one for a while (they let you do this) for a while to see if it's for you. Learning to type command-S instead of control-S, remembering that alt types alternative characters and doesn't activate the menus, and especially using control to right-click on one-button trackpads (the new MTT, I think, has a touch shortcut for this) takes a bit of time, and there is a bit of a learning curve, but I myself prefer the Mac's way of doing things.

    That's just my opinion.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    To the OP: I wrote an how-to for installing Arch on the alu' iMac; you may well find the sections up to 1.4 Installing Arch helpful.

    I go into a lot of detail regarding the way Apple have done things & how we have to work with these peculiarities when installing a distro.

    http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/IMac_Aluminium

  7. #17
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldor View Post
    By speed, I mean how fast it boots up
    Boot up is quite fast although, like Windows, OSX will still load services after the desktop has become visible so you can't use it right away. Maybe this behavior is better with a faster hard drive (mine has 5400 RPM). You'll probably hardly ever have to reboot as its way faster to just close the lid and let the notebook switch to stand-bye mode. Reboots are only necessary in case of system updates or when the system crashes.

    how well it can handle multiple running processes without choking, etc.
    I've personally never experienced problems running multiple processes but my personal workflow does not include multiple heavily CPU or I/O bound activities. For what its worth: Compiling in the background, using Eclipse and listening to iTunes at the same time never posed a problem.

    I would most likely have 4+ GB of RAM on the Macbook if I were to get one.
    Apple does not sell MacBooks with more than 4 GB RAM IIRC and people reported crashes with 3rd party RAM, probably due to the aggressive timings on the nVidia mainboards. AFAIK more than 4 GB RAM are not supported currently anyway (possibly with OSX 10.6) and since the MacBook has only 2 RAM slots you'd have to pay astronomical prices for two 4 GB DDR3 modules.

    About "needing" OSX: If use the notebook on battery power for extended periods you'll probably want to stay with OSX. Without having numbers for Ubuntu on a new MacBook at hand OSX is very power efficient. Considering that MacBooks have smaller battery capacities than most other comparable consumer notebooks and can still last up to and over 5 hours (depending on load and power management settings of course) it speaks for how well OSX is tuned to the underlying hardware.

  8. #18
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldor View Post
    As I understand, OS X uses the FreeBSD kernel, and is a Unix based OS? If this is so, why do you need an antivirus program?
    Apple uses a self-developed Kernel called Darwin for OSX, which incorporates some FreeBSD technologies but is not the FreeBSD kernel itself. OS X uses a lot of the userspace applications from FreeBSD and is a certified UNIX system.

    I'm not following the security related news very closely but apart from some proof of concepts I'm not aware of any viruses targeting OSX which are "in the wild". If you are exchanging files with Windows clients regularly one could argue that an additional virus scanner on OSX will make it less likely that you will spread a virus which is "parked" on your notebook. *shrug*

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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrothwell97 View Post
    and especially using control to right-click on one-button trackpads (the new MTT, I think, has a touch shortcut for this) takes a bit of time, and there is a bit of a learning curve
    Argh, will this misinformation never die?! You don't have to use control+click for a context menu (and this has been the case for some time now). Just activate two finger tap to be interpreted as a right-click and you are good to go.

  10. #20
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    Re: Should I go for a Macbook?

    Multitouch on the new MBP is awesome. You just do a quick left-finger then right-finger motion, and it recognizes the "gesture" as a right click.
    I've gotten used to it to the point where I try it on old laptop touchpads, and am then disappointed when it doesn't work!

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