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Old Aug 10, 2003, 11:11 PM   #1
Fat_Tonie
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Thinking of Switching

Hello. I am thinking about getting a Mac, but I have a few questions. I am a looooooong time PC user. As a matter of fact, I am a computer science graduate and have programmed on nothing but UNIX Systems and Windows Systems. I need to know if I can still program using a Mac in such languages as C, C++, and Java. As well as, other languages I am trying to learn such as PHP, JavaScript, DHTML, and Perl. I have looked at Apple's site and they talk about it somewhat but most of it is Objective C and there is little or no talk of C++. I couldn't find much on PHP or Perl. There were Databases I could install so that is a plus.

In addition to that, I was wondering how stable the laptops are? I have never owned a laptop, and kind of want to get a wireless router and hook it up to that for use in the living room. I have looked around on Apple's Discussion site and found that many of the logic boards on those computers fail pretty frequently and the hard drives melt due to excess heat. How true is that?

I really like the Mac line and have really grown quite fond of them, but they are rather expensive. I was hoping to get a G3 iBook to save some money, but was worried about reliability and speed. I wasn't sure if the iBook was powerful enough for occasionally programming and web surfing. Also, I keep hearing rumors about new laptops coming out and Apple getting rid of the G3 line all together. I am more worried about buying a new laptop and then two months later the new iBook is for sale. Switching has become quite worrisome. Thanks for your help and listening to my worrisome ramblings.

Nathan
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Old Aug 10, 2003, 11:24 PM   #2
arn
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I wouldn't worry about the reliability as a factor. Apple's support forums are obviously going to attract the worst case scenarios... as well, there will be individuals who have those horror stories... but for the most part, they seem to be pretty reliable machines.

Now, that being said, some will debate the merits of AppleCare... but that's another conversation.

Regarding development -- Mac OS X is unix, so you will have access to many of the same command line tools that you may be accostomed to. You can ask for specifics on more dev-oriented sites such as:

http://www.macdevcenter.com/mac/

there are others, but I don't frequent the developer sites.

However, as I said -- Mac OS X is unix and comes with Apache. I don't believe PHP/MySQL comes with it, but you just have to download/install it.

arn
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Old Aug 10, 2003, 11:38 PM   #3
Fat_Tonie
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Is AppleCare not worth anything?

Thanks...
Nathan
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Old Aug 10, 2003, 11:50 PM   #4
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Its worth it, especally if you're going to shell out $3000 for a computer. Some feel it doesn't go far enough. I love it, but I feel is costs too much. However, the cost is subplanted by the cost of the components used to fix it.

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Old Aug 11, 2003, 12:18 AM   #5
arn
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fat_Tonie
Is AppleCare not worth anything?

Thanks...
Nathan
It's been discussed already:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...threadid=33926
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 07:13 AM   #6
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Re: Thinking of Switching

Quote:
Originally posted by Fat_Tonie
Hello. I am thinking about getting a Mac, but I have a few questions. I am a looooooong time PC user. As a matter of fact, I am a computer science graduate and have programmed on nothing but UNIX Systems and Windows Systems. I need to know if I can still program using a Mac in such languages as C, C++, and Java. As well as, other languages I am trying to learn such as PHP, JavaScript, DHTML, and Perl. I have looked at Apple's site and they talk about it somewhat but most of it is Objective C and there is little or no talk of C++. I couldn't find much on PHP or Perl. There were Databases I could install so that is a plus.

In addition to that, I was wondering how stable the laptops are? I have never owned a laptop, and kind of want to get a wireless router and hook it up to that for use in the living room. I have looked around on Apple's Discussion site and found that many of the logic boards on those computers fail pretty frequently and the hard drives melt due to excess heat. How true is that?

I really like the Mac line and have really grown quite fond of them, but they are rather expensive. I was hoping to get a G3 iBook to save some money, but was worried about reliability and speed. I wasn't sure if the iBook was powerful enough for occasionally programming and web surfing. Also, I keep hearing rumors about new laptops coming out and Apple getting rid of the G3 line all together. I am more worried about buying a new laptop and then two months later the new iBook is for sale. Switching has become quite worrisome. Thanks for your help and listening to my worrisome ramblings.

Nathan
Nathan,

Yes you can still program in C,C++ and Java on Mac OS X. I am a developer and I use OS X to do most of my programming when I am at home. I even use Virtual PC for windows programming when my work's projects are not in Java.

The thing you will like the most about programming on a Mac is that the same development IDE and tools that Apple developers use you can to for FREE! All you have to do is download the developer tools from Apples website. Their IDE supports C,C++,Objective-C, and Java.

As for how stable is that laptops my answer is my fully loaded 15.2 1Ghz TiBook with a Gig of Ram is the most stable computer I have ever owned.
I to was a (Wintel,Lintel)x86 user for a long time I switched Jan 2002(bought a PowerMac G4 800Mhz sold it later to get my TiBook) and I have to say Apple makes the best products. You will not be disappointed.

BTW, checkout these sites http://fink.sourceforge.net/ for all the Unix software (PHP,Perl,Apache,etc) that you will ever need.

ooartist
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 09:52 AM   #7
timman
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Apache, PHP 4, MySQL, and PERL are all part of OSX. They are not all enabled by default, but with your UNIX experience that should be no problem. Apache is enabled via a control panel, the others require you to futz around with some text files. The Apple development tools are cool as well since they are FREE. C, C++, JAVA, and Objective C are all supported. If you plan on developing for the MAC, Objective C is preferred... It's not much to get your head around. Apple is supplying lots of first class tools with the price of admission, and configuring it in a great package. What else could you want?

Steve
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 11:14 AM   #8
Fat_Tonie
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I just realized that Panther 10.3 is not out yet, and most are speculating that it will debut at the Paris show. If I get an iBook now, will I have to pay for Panther when it comes out? I remember someone telling me that all point updates have to be paid for unless you bought your new machine at a certain time before the new OS release.

Thanks...
Nathan
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 11:34 AM   #9
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Yes Nathan you will have to buy Panther when it comes out. It will be worth it to you because you will get the developer's tools with it and there are new versions.

If Panther's release date is announced at the Paris Show, chances are good that it wont be released that day just the release date announced. Basically once the date's announced, any one who buys a Mac between the date it's announced and when it's released can usually get the software for 20 bucks.

As far as paying for "point" upgrades, to be truthful as a switcher also, the 10.2 upgrade was not a minor upgrade. It was like Win95 to Win98 (basically the same interface but TONS of features that made it worth buying).

Panther (OS X 10.3) appears to be following that trend.

Good luck on your purchase...you will not be sorry you switched!

MacBoyX
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 03:13 PM   #10
Fat_Tonie
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Thanks for all your help. I think I am going to try to get either a 12" or 14" iBook when Panther is announced. I want to get the 15" PowerBook but I just do not have that kind of money to spend. If prices go down then I will reconsider. From what I have read more ram with the iBook is a plus so I am going to try to max out the ram. I think the G3 will suit my programming and web surfing needs just fine.

Thanks again...
Nathan
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 05:56 PM   #11
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Re: Thinking of Switching

Quote:
Originally posted by Fat_Tonie
I have looked at Apple's site and they talk about it somewhat but most of it is Objective C and there is little or no talk of C++. I couldn't find much on PHP or Perl. There were Databases I could install so that is a plus.

You can use Objective C with C++ you just cant subclass Objective C/Java objects from C++. If you want pure C++ you can use Carbon. But Objective C, the language itself, is very very easy to learn (A day at most)...you can port your existing C++ code by doing the UI in Cocoa (Java or Objective C) and then the back-end using C++...it might be easier...separating the back-end logic from the more proprietary UI...

You can also integrate scripting languages with cocoa like python, ruby etc...
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 06:30 PM   #12
Keith Purfield
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If you're going to get a 14" iBook and max out the RAM, it may be a good idea to get a 12" PowerBook (combo drive). If you max out the RAM on that (and give it a 60 gig hard drive), plus give it an AirPort Extreme card (which is good since you want to do a WiFi network), it's only $120 more than the maxed out iBook.

That's a big jump, especially if you're going to be using X-Code (when Panther comes out) to develop. It'll be faster on the PowerBook (not sure how much faster, though. I've never used an iBook nor a PowerBook, I only Switched™ in December).

Plus, if you ever wanted to, you could add a SuperDrive to a PowerBook (again, not sure if you could do that with an iBook).

But then again, with an iBook, you can always paint the case a cool color and stuff like that (as seen on Applefritter ). I'm really into stuff like that, I don't know about you, though.
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 11:49 PM   #13
kaizer
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Hiya Partner! I'm a recent switcher too and like you, I have my doubts when considering a Mac. Altough I'm not a programmer but I fiddle with Dreamweaver MX, Photoshop and the likes.

Frankly, if you're doing your programming as a hobby, then go for the G3. But if it's for work, then the G4 might suit you better. I have a G3 700 with 386MB ram. It's okay for light to medium use, but any heavy user should go for the G4 IMHO. Oh yeah, I tried the PB12" with stock 256 ram, it's faster than mine loading iMovies, iPhotos... It's my unofficial test, since those display unit doesn't have anything installed innit.

Switch baby, switch! You'll never regret it. Well, there's just one regret though... why I don't switch sooner!

Oh yeah, comparing a G3 700 with a 1G PIII, it's about the same, depending on what version of Windows you're using.

Did I mention the looks I got when I surf at hotspots round town? Man... It's Mac-envy!

Muahahahahahaha...

Usually, I'm the center of attention... and it pisses me right off when someone whip open their PowerBooks
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Last edited by kaizer; Aug 11, 2003 at 11:54 PM.
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Old Aug 28, 2003, 11:26 AM   #14
radhak
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Question switching : imac or pb?

I have been itching to switch for months now, and finally i have some money to actually do it. Both me and my wife are professional software developers on PC and Unix(at slightly senior levels, like manager / leader) who need to keep ourselves 'updated'.

I have been slowly persuading her that our next should be from Apple, and her (last) main concern is how well she could continue to do program on it. This thread has been good info for me to pass onto her. (if nothing else, Virtual PC could help her with the MS languages. And of course we will retain our current IBM Laptop with Win2K - still need to earn our salaries, you see ;-)

But I have a limited budget, so the iMac (17" LCD, super-drive) is the most attractive. (Any PC Desktop she likes adds up to $2000, which is what this iMac come to too). And I admit, the sexy look is a major plus with her.

So now finally, the question from me is, how does the iMac compare with a PowerBook in terms of usability and power? I know that the PB with similar features (15 or 17" screen, superdrive, wireless, etc) might be costlier, but would it be substantially more 'bang for the buck'? I get the portability, but do I lose (or gain) anything else? Is the iMac's display as good as the PB? Also, how would they compare if i want to install a webserver or a database server?

[ Note that I have not mentioned a full-fledged Mac (desktop?) : what i saw at the store tells me that those could easily cross $3K (including LCD), and I may not need the expandability...]

Thanks,
- Radha
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Old Aug 28, 2003, 12:04 PM   #15
timman
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Whether you believe the rumors or not, both the i-mac and the powerbook are are due for speedbumps soon. When... is the 64K question. As to your question, I'm not sure about the specifics in relation to specs on the i-mac vs the powerbook but if memory serves me right, the perceived performance is roughly the same. I know that the L3 cache as well as a faster front side bus makes the powerbook a bit faster but I don't "perceive it" for day-to-day activities. If you are a heavey user of Photoshop, Logic or Final Cut Pro, your milage may vary. But, comparing apples to apples ;-), the lcd on the 17inch i-mac is the same as the 17inch powerbook and discounting portability, the cache and faster front side bus, does the extra >$1K make sense to you? Your call... The other thing to keep in mind is that if you currently have a monitor that works, why don't you use that and step up to a G5. If the reports are correct, even getting a G5 1.6 would be a significant step up performance wise. Just something to think about.

Steve
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