PDA

View Full Version : About to switch


jstef
Jul 13, 2003, 12:59 AM
I think I'm finally going to make the switch to an Apple 15" AlBook if they are released on Monday at MWNY. The 17" is what I really want, but I can't justify spending $3k on a computer unless it's a dual-processor P4 Xeon in a modded case with the current flavor-of-the-week top end videocard.

I like Apples. Iíve always had a special place in my heart for Macs because I grew up on a 52-something (It was one of those all-in-ones with a 75mhz PPC). I went to CompUSA to play around with the Apple a little to see if itís really what I want. Iím not sure if it is, but Iím willing to give it a go. Here's the things I'm a little weary about:

- Itís been a while since Iíve been on an apple. My last Mac ran OS8. Iím a geek, so Iím sure Iíll learn fast, but Iím afraid that the things Iíve become accustomed to on the PC wonít be there on the Mac. Iím going to miss that second mouse button (and SCROLL WHEEL).

- OSX is pretty, but it's feels pretty slow. I've played around with an iBook running OSX and it was like watching grass grow. I'm pretty sure it was due to the pitifully low amount of RAM that iBooks ship with, but it was slow nonetheless. How fast (slow) is OSX? How long does Safari take to open? I do a lot of multi-tasking, will I feel a slowdown?

- What pisses you off most about your Powerbook or Apple or OSX? Donít go into hyper-defensive uber-snotty Mac user mode. What honestly bothers you about your Apple?

I think Iím ready to switch. Iím going to miss the PC because Iíve never had the problems most Mac users bitch about, I like the extra speed I have on a PC, and Iíve never paid this much for a computer before.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Apple Store, here I come! (Education discount in hand :D )

FredAkbar
Jul 13, 2003, 02:09 AM
First off, congrats on your switch to Mac...as you probably know already, you won't regret it.

Secondly, if you're used to using a 2-button mouse with a scroll-wheel, then by all means buy one, preferably an optical one. I have one--I can't stand having to press Control and then click in order to do a right-click (which is what you have to do when you have a 1-button mouse).

Thirdly, I wouldn't say OS X is slow. I have a 1 GHz iMac (roughly the same speed as your upcoming PowerBook, I'm guessing), so as long as you have at least 256 MB of RAM (512 is better), you'll be fine.

Safari takes just one dock bounce (a second or two) to open.

There isn't really anything that annoys me much about Apple. Nothing I can think of at the moment, anyway.

Well, I hope this helps, and good luck with your new Mac.

--Fred

Farside161
Jul 13, 2003, 02:44 AM
congrats on the switch, however i would not expect updates on monday, but rather on wed. or thus. (whatever day the keynote is). about speed, OS X on my mac (a 733 G4 with 1 GB of RAM) is quite snappy safari launches in only 1 "bounce"
the on ething that angers people about the powerbooks is that they tend to scratch. and if you want a multi-button mouce you can use almost any USB mouce on the market (i got a kensington 5 button optical scroll mouse for about $30)

Horrortaxi
Jul 13, 2003, 02:48 AM
Go back and play with OS X on a Power Mac and see if it still seems slow. The iBook is, by far, the slowest in Apple's lineup. They're 800 or 900 mhz G3s with 128 megs. Some argue that they shouldn't even run OS X. I personally wouldn't go that far, but I do save large file editing for the Power Mac.

Macs support 2 button mice and scroll wheels now.

Safari opens pretty fast I suppose. On my Power Mac it jumps right up and on the iBook it takes a second or two.

What pisses me off about Apple? After several minutes of thinking, the only thing I can think of is that my AirPort Extreme base station is kind of a pile. I think it's got some design problems, but Apple does stand behind it. In my case it's just "less than ideal". Apart from that, I've only had great experiences with them.

OS X is really simple to learn. If you're a competent Windows user there are some fundamental differences in how things get done, but once you learn a few things (like a program's menu is always at the top of the screen) but you'll have it mastered quickly. I switched and I was comfortable with the OS within about 2 hours. Within a week I could get it to do whatever I wanted it to do. Put it this way--the first thing I had to do after turning on the computer was get files off my PC. That means I had to network the 2 computers--something I still don't know how to do in Windows--and I figured it out in a couple minutes. Once I got everything onto the Mac I never turned my PC on again.

jstef
Jul 13, 2003, 07:23 AM
Oops... I didn't realize the keynote was on Wed. and not Monday. I guess I'll be ordering mid-week if everything goes to plan.

Thanks for your responses, guys. You're putting my mind at ease.

Flowbee
Jul 13, 2003, 07:51 AM
Originally posted by Horrortaxi
Go back and play with OS X on a Power Mac and see if it still seems slow. The iBook is, by far, the slowest in Apple's lineup. They're 800 or 900 mhz G3s with 128 megs. Some argue that they shouldn't even run OS X.

Now that's just plain silly. No one that's ever actually used one argues that OS X shouldn't be run on a 800-900Mhz iBook. OS X runs very well on the iBook. Yes, extra ram increases performance dramatically, but that's true for any Mac w/OS X. (Try a dual 1.25 PowerMac w/128mb of RAM sometime).

I'm running OSX on a 3 year old Powerbook with a G3/400mhz processor, 512mb. It works very well.

Horrortaxi
Jul 13, 2003, 11:41 AM
I don't know whose saying it, but I've heard it said. It's obviously silly. All I need to do is point at the G3 233 AIO I have running OS X with no problems. I don't think that's even a supported machine and it runs fine. So does my 700mhz iBook with 256MB.

solvs
Jul 13, 2003, 01:22 PM
I think he meant for the type of stuff he does (ie: the "large files" comment).

Anyway, if you are familiar with Windows only, it will take time to adjust. But not much. I've used OS 7 to 10.2, as well as DOS to XP, Apples are much more intuitive, and I personally like X MUCH better than Windows. you're lucky if you've never had a problem with Windows. There's always VirtualPC just in case (NOT with XP, it's slow). There's always OS X books, like the "Dummies" books ;) (hey don't knock it, they're good books).

Buy any $20 USB optical scroll-wheel mouse (if you don't already have one) and it'll work just fine on any Mac. Right AND left click. I've never had any luck with ANY trackpads, Mac or PC.

Buy the top of the line if you can afford it, and max out the RAM (third party). Especially after 10.3 is released, you'll have a pretty fast system. You can always buy the cheaper 15" model if you want to save some money. But buy Applecare. 3 years warranty and you can call if you have a question. Plus it covers most problems not caused by user.

The Ti P'Book seemed kinda hot and delicate to me. Especially after using an old G3 P'Book, and an (ugh) Dell laptop. But it is very light, and gets pretty good battery life. There are things you can buy so you can hold and protect them, but if you take pretty good care of it, you shouldn't have to worry. Of course, most laptops (except the iBooks, it seems) WILL get hot on the bottom. Par for the course.

If the new one is Aluminum, not Titanium, you shouldn't have to worry about paint chipping and the like. We'll see.

jstef
Jul 13, 2003, 04:29 PM
Some of you understand where I'm coming from (Solvs), but a lot of you don't get it. When you run Windows for a while, the Mac (at least underpowered ones, i.e. the iBook) seems slow.

The thing that bothers me most about the Apple culture is the rabid fans who won't admit that their beloved computer has a fault. Right now my computer is a PIII-600mhz, and it SMOKES the iBooks I've used, even when they are running OS9. Like I said, I do a lot of multitasking, and when I feel the iBook slow to a crawl running MSIE, it makes me feel a little uneasy about switching to an Apple. I know you'll tell me that it's a RAM problem, and I should be running Safari anyway. 400mhz, whether a G3 or a PIII, is not going to cut the mustard, and it leaves me wondering if a 1.25 (hopefully) G4 is going to get the job done.

I'm 90% sure I'm going to grab the Powerbook, but the Macs I've used in the past seem underpowered. I know it's hard to imagine that 'gods gift' (I mean the computer, not Steve Jobs :D) might not be the best fit for everyone.

Sorry if I sound harsh, but these aren't baseless concerns. I'm sure a lot of switchers-to-be are wondering if sacrificing speed and low cost for convenience is the right way to go.

question fear
Jul 13, 2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by jstef
Some of you understand where I'm coming from (Solvs), but a lot of you don't get it. When you run Windows for a while, the Mac (at least underpowered ones, i.e. the iBook) seems slow.
Sorry if I sound harsh, but these aren't baseless concerns. I'm sure a lot of switchers-to-be are wondering if sacrificing speed and low cost for convenience is the right way to go.

you are totally entitled to your opinion, but i have had an opposite experience. coming from a 4 yr old dell running win 98 on 128mb ram, my 900mhz ibook is insanely faster. everything went slower on my dell.
also, at some point in your post, you mentioned IE...i dont know about OS 9 (literally just switched a few months ago) but IE on the ibook doesnt seem so bad the few times i fire it up (very few times.) on my dell, IE would bring down the entire system within 10-15 minutes of opening it. explorer would crash, my taskbar would disappear, my desktop would turn off, and i'd be left staring at my background while the fan and harddrive competed for which sounded more like they were about to levitate out of the case.
so in my case, windows is faster.
don't know about a top of the line xp box really. just my parents, which is not very well configured so i dont really consider it in my comparisons.
--carly

Flowbee
Jul 13, 2003, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by jstef
Some of you understand where I'm coming from (Solvs), but a lot of you don't get it. When you run Windows for a while, the Mac (at least underpowered ones, i.e. the iBook) seems slow.


The fact is, OS X seems sluggish compared to Windows no matter what processor you're using (we'll see about the G5). That's a fact. It's been discussed hundreds of times. I noticed it when I switched from Windows last year. Additional RAM goes a long way toward reducing the effect.

But i think you're confusing the sluggishness of the OS with the overall usability of the system. On my G3/400mhz that 'doesn't cut the mustard' in your estimation, I'm currently running Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop, Safari, iTunes, IE, and Mail. They're all open. I can switch between them in an instant. iTunes is playing music, and mail is checking my server every 10 minutes. Is it as 'snappy' as my Windows machine? No. Am I more productive on my Mac? Absolutely. I never feel like I'm just waiting around for the computer to 'do something' (unless it's an especially complex series of filters in photoshop).

You'll get used to the difference in 'feel' of the OS. It's just like getting used to driving a new car. My wife's Toyota Camry isn't as 'zippy' as my Dodge Neon, but I get from point a to point b in the same amount of time (and the Toyota is definately a better car).

And for the record, IE runs slower that Safari on the Mac. We all know that, too. That's why so many of us use Safari. If running IE as fast as possible is a big concern of yours, stick with a PC.

EDIT: And you may want to do a little more research on the G3 vs. G4... here: http://macspeedzone.com/html/hardware/machine/comparison/portable/powerbook/index.shtml

There's not as big a performance gap as you may think.

jstef
Jul 13, 2003, 07:00 PM
Flowbee- So what you're saying is that it takes longer for applications to open, etc? That's what I'm afraid of. I've gotten used to the 'zippy' car and I don't want to wait. Then again, my zippy machine is a 600mhz, so maybe the Powerbook will be a step up. I hope so.

I didn't mean to rag on the iBook, but the one I used seemed like a real POS. I think it was due to the lack of RAM. That's a good link you listed... I heard that the G4 wasn't a much better performer than the G3 but I didn't realise the 900mhz iBook could hold it's own against the G4. Interesting stuff.

Also, I wasn't saying I was planning on using IE, just that the iBook I used had it installed as the default browser and it was slow. I'll probably end up using Safari or the Mac version of Phoenix.

I respect the fact that you backed yourself up with some solid info and good sources. You put me in my place :D. At least some die-hard fans have their heads on straight!

Flowbee
Jul 13, 2003, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by jstef
Flowbee- So what you're saying is that it takes longer for applications to open, etc? That's what I'm afraid of. I've gotten used to the 'zippy' car and I don't want to wait.

Ah, but that's the great thing about OS X (and 512mb of RAM)... you can leave your most used apps open all the time. When you're done using an app, just close the window. The app stays open in the dock (you can tell what's open by the little black arrow under the icon). Then when you're ready to use it again, just click the icon in the dock and the app appears instantly (almost).

I leave all of the apps mentioned in my previous post open all the time. When I'm done using my powerbook, I just close it and it goes to sleep. When I open it again, the desktop appears instantly and all of my apps are ready to use.

Once you get used to it, you'll be hooked.

pilotgi
Jul 13, 2003, 08:52 PM
Don't count on the new PowerBook being announced at CreativePro.

My guess is it will be announced the following week.

I'm about 90% sure they won't announce it in NY and about 50% sure it _will_ be the following week.

jstef
Jul 13, 2003, 10:05 PM
Would they make a decent sized lineup change like that with no buildup? A lot of people are waiting for these new AlBooks, a lot of them students like myself. If Apple doesn't release them soon, well then "dude, I'm getting a Dell".

What makes you think that Apple won't release them in NY, or even announce them?

bennetsaysargh
Jul 13, 2003, 11:57 PM
my problem with my apple is that it's too slow.
400Mhz G3 iMac. i want to upgrade soon.
safari takes 5 or 6 bounces in the dock to load most of the time. so does almost any other aplication. a lot of things are starting to require a G4, or speeds just above 400Mhz, like iChat AV videoconferenceing needs a 600Mhz G3 or better. argh.

other than that, it's fine:)

CmdrLaForge
Jul 14, 2003, 05:07 AM
Originally posted by Horrortaxi
Go back and play with OS X on a Power Mac and see if it still seems slow. The iBook is, by far, the slowest in Apple's lineup. They're 800 or 900 mhz G3s with 128 megs. Some argue that they shouldn't even run OS X. I personally wouldn't go that far, but I do save large file editing for the Power Mac.



Hi,

I have an iBook 900Mhz 256MB RAM. I cannot understand why you think that it is slow ? Its absolutly not slow ! I even do videoediting with iMovie and its really fast enough.

The only app that really opens too slow is OpenOffice under X11.

Cheers
CmdrLaForge

jstef
Jul 14, 2003, 07:58 AM
Fast enough to be usable and fast-- period, are two different things. I want a computer that I don't have to wait for. I'm not sure how fast the iBook I used was, it might not have been a 900mhz, but it was slow.

Keep in mind that all of this bitching I'm doing is my own opinion. If you can get with whatever computer you're using, more power to you.

yzedf
Jul 14, 2003, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by jstef
Fast enough to be usable and fast-- period, are two different things. I want a computer that I don't have to wait for. I'm not sure how fast the iBook I used was, it might not have been a 900mhz, but it was slow.

Keep in mind that all of this bitching I'm doing is my own opinion. If you can get with whatever computer you're using, more power to you.
I hate to break it to you, but the OS X machine you buy will feel slow compared to the PC. That is the wonderfull effect of Quartz Extreme. It looks pretty, sure. But it is also slow. There is a lag in visualizing stuff on the screen that is not there in Windows 98 / 2000 / XP. "That's the fact, Jack."

Besides the slight lag (not too big of a deal after a hour or 2 of use), things are good. I have been using Linux since 1998 or so, I just was never happy with Windows. If you have used Linux, but are not hardcore, than most likely you will love OS X. You get the command line, a nice GUI, and ease of setup and use. The limited hardware specs helps so that drivers work, and are all included with the OS (just about all). Plug in a 2 button scroll wheel mouse, it works. Add a airport card, it works. Stuff like that is nice.

If I was you, go to a Apple store (if you can) and walk right up to a salesperson and say "I am 90% ready to buy a new PowerBook, but I have a few reservations." Let them sell it to you. If you like it, buy it. Make them earn your sale. We here can only do or say so much.

Good Luck!

bryanc
Jul 14, 2003, 03:46 PM
It sounds like you're in the position I was in just over a year ago.

I made the leap and bought a powerbook despite my reservations (and over two decades of windows experience). My modestly powered (667 MHz) powerbook is somewhat less 'snappy' than a current high-end Windows desktop, but very comparable to the Dell laptop I was looking at for the same price, and has gobs of features the Dell lacked, not to mention a really kick-ass OS. This thing has not crashed since the day I got it...not *once*! On top of that, I can do way more with it than I can with my desktop PC running Win2000 (I won't upgrade to XP for a variety of reasons).

Although I won't try to make the claim that my powerbook is the greatest computer in the world and everyone should use one, it's been the best computer I've ever used by far (and I've been using computers since 1968), and I love it. It'll be a long time before I consider buying a PC again. I'm now planning to buy a G5 to replace my desktop system, but I'm going to wait until the dust settles before I decide exactly what system will give me the biggest bang for my limited computer buck.

Hope that helps.

jstef
Jul 14, 2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by yzedf
Good Luck!

Originally posted by bryanc
Hope that helps.

Thanks! (to the both of you and everyone who has posted) I think I will take the plunge and get a Powerbook. I've been looking at other laptops and the Apple is the surefire winner when it comes to the balance of speed and mobility. I think Apple has another switcher. I'll let everyone know how it goes. (Maybe I'll take some pictures too)

Thanks again!