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Thinking of converting to Mac - joining the darkside - how easy will it be?

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Gizmos' started by Skywatcher, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    :unsure:

    Ok the laptop is beginning to show signs of weakness :mad: the weakpoint from my experience anyway is the link to the screen and this is beginning to show signs of the dreaded flicker - also the hard drive is small and the USB ports are simply not up to what I need for my astro stuff - according to the boards I'm on there Acer USB's do drop out sometimes and I cant afford for that to happen even for a millisecond

    Having spent a frustrating weeked to say the least trying to sort out something on my MILs laptop using Vista in anger for the frst time I was ready to throw the ****** thing against the wall - it is the single clunkiest most paranoid least user friendly piece of garbage I have ever used and finding a good laptop with XP on is getting increasingly hard

    Which brings me onto MACs - I have been massively impressed not only with the ergonomics but the bulletproofness :)unsure:) of my iPhone and my ipod , and I am pretty late to owning one of them I can tell you.

    I am , I'm afraid a microsoft boy through and through and used to have fun tinkering with windows 3.1 using my autoexec.bat and config.sys boot discs with confidence and have kind of 'grown' with them. I am comfortable with them and know where I stand, but I'm just not sure I could live with vista :(

    How easy is it to be up and running with a macbook or macbook pro quickly - I'm afraid I love to tinker with all the settings on the computer and the Macs just look kind of alien to me ( daft I know) so for othersthat made the switch is it instinctive and easy?
     
  2. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Trivial! :yes:

    The good folks in the Apple stores will even help you by transferring your files from your Windows PC to your shiny, new Mac.

    As far as the actual system setup is concerned, the first time you bring up your new Mac, there's a "wizard" kind of thing that runs that let's you setup the pertinent goodies (time zone, network, user accounts, etc). Subsequently, all these things are available to you via the "System Preferences" application. Kinda like the Windows Control Panel concept.

    Here's the Apple web page with all the particulars about switching.

    Beyond, that; once you've switched, you can still setup your machine with a Windows partition either through Bootcamp (supplied with the machine, dual boot) or one of the VM's like Parallels Desktop or VMWare. Assuming you still want to torture yourself with Windows! :laugh2:

    Tom :)macwave:... Hello.... I'm a Mac! :apple:)
     
  3. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Ok thanks for that. Presumably it would be pretty easy to look at things like power managements of the USB ports? Also do macs use FireWire tech? Sorry for the stupid q's
     
  4. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Certainly not stupid! Legitimate questions.

    Power management of USB devices on a Mac has been, for me, a non-issue. When the Mac goes into sleep mode, it does the all the USB standards specified stuff. It notifies the devices that power is going to die, it gets back acknowledgements, then it terminates power. Any issues with USB power management that I've seen have always been device driver related and usually a rather poor implementation of the USB standards. Most USB things on a Mac just work. When the Mac wakes, it sends USB wakeup signals rather than just turning the power back on.

    Regarding Firewire ports. If you're talking about the Macbook Pro, the answer is yes. They have a single Firewire 800 port. The 15" Macbook Pro has two USB 2.0 ports also. The 17" model has 3 USB 2.0 ports.

    Tom :)macwave:... trying to be helpful!)
     
  5. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    Dawn (fearing losing another to the dark side :lipwobble: )
     
  6. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    So presumably you can set these things to never power off and go into sleep mode :unsure: only for what I need it for I may leave the computer running for hours on end unattended - I'm sure there are ways to do it.

    Only 2 usb ports :unsure: that seems kind of stingy that only leaves one once the mouse is added
     
  7. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    <center>
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    Look deep into my eyes!


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    Mwahahaha
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  8. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Oh sure! The System Preferences that I mentioned earlier has an "Energy Saver" configuration application in it. Through that, you can tell the machine exactly what to do when it's either plugged in or on battery. Things like how long to wait to put the computer to sleep (if at all), or the displays, or specify things like wake on LAN. That kind of stuff.

    That's on the 15" model. On the 17" there's 3. All a matter of real estate space around the edge of the machine.

    Tom :)macwave:... think :apple: :yes:)
     
  9. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    Yay!! We have more recruits :evil:

    Seriously- you will NOT miss windows! If you do, there is also parallels so that you can run windows in a seperate little 'window'.

    Don't worry about the two USB ports. If you buy an apple keyboard and mouse, then the keyboard has two more USB ports for you to use so it acts like a 'hub' :yes:

    The iLife suite is brilliant for your disney photos and videos etc.

    I *promise* you will get used to the interface of a mac- the control panel is in some ways similar to Windows- only improved! You have all the options for different sections from the 'system preferences' panel.

    Also..... if you have an external HD then you will be able to take advantage of 'time machine' which is just stunning!

    If you go to your local apple store and speak to them they will be able to transfer EVERYTHING over to your new computer for you- at the genius bar! :yes:
     
  10. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Hmm interesting there is one near my folks in Southampton.

    Not sure why I would get a keyboard though if I was getting a laptop :unsure:

    Do the macbooks /pro have the same slot type thing I have on my current one for an additional card? Just looking for ways to increase the USB ports, I was kind of hoping to do away with my powered hub.
     
  11. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Sure do. Express Card/34 slot on the Macbook Pro's. Here's a link to the Apple page with the specs for the 15" and 17" Macbook Pro.

    Keep in mind also that they have built in 802.11n networking, gigabit ethernet, and Bluetooth. Lot's of connectivity options.

    Tom :)macwave:... veni, vidi, codi)
     
  12. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    LOL- I thought you had said you wanted to plug a keyboard in but I just re-read and you said a mouse :rotfl:

    Unfortunatley there is no PCMCIA slot on the macbook :sorry: Do you definatley want a laptop?
     
  13. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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  14. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Yep I need it to take outside at night to work with the telescope.
     
  15. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    Ahhh... I see! The USB things is the only real gripe I have with Macbooks tbh :yes:
     
  16. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Yep I need ideally 3 at the very least.

    I can never get on with the touch pad things they have and alwaysneed a mouse
     
  17. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Well, you could always use a Bluetooth wireless mouse. That would leave you with all 3 USB ports.

    Also, if you're going to be using it at night in the dark, you'll love the backlit keyboard. :yes:
    Has an ambient light sensor. You set how bright you want it to be. It's fantastic for use in the dark.

    Tom :)macwave:... who's in the dark himself)
     
  18. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    oh I forgot about that, that's the BEST bit!
     
  19. josh.p.
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    I lovelovelove the back-lit keyboard on the pro's!!! The bluetooth mouse would be ideal Chris!
     
  20. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Wondered where you were? :questionmark:

    Thought I was gonna have to convince Chris all by myself! :whistle:

    Tom :)macwave:... I want YOU... for the Apple army!)
     

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