About to buy my first mac

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Athos, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Athos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    #1
    I’m thinking about buying my first Mac: the new PowerBook 12” w/ 640MB RAM, 60GB HD and a SuperDrive.

    Since I’ve got my first PC (1993), I’ve always used MS Windows (3.1 to XP). Over the years, I’ve tried OS/2 and LINUX but I found them too much trouble to maintain and use: drivers’ availability problems, lack of software (no MS Office, no Photoshop) and too much command line (I want to work in a GUI 99.9% of the time). When I learned that OS X was base on UNIX (and knowing that Mac I’ve always been “user friendly”), I’ve decided to look more into it.

    I’m now a DB (Oracle) and web developer. At home, I have an AMD Duron 650MHz w/384MB RAM running Windows XP Pro. At work, I’m using a P4 1.6GHz w/512MB RAM running Windows 2000 Pro to connect (using Starnet Xwin32 www.starnet.com) to a Solaris server to access Oracle.

    I have some questions:

    - Does an X server (like Xwin32) exist for OS X?

    - I’ll have to use Virtual PC with Windows 2000 for some Oracle software that will run only in Windows. Does Virtual PC will run well on a PowerPC G4 @ 867MHz?

    - Does anyone know a DB program (like MS Access) beside FileMaker Pro for OS X (I don’t want to have to install something like MySQL just for listing my DVDs, CDs and books)?

    - Will the absence of a 1MB L3 cache on the new AlBook 12” is something I should worry about (I’ll be doing a little Photoshop, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, iMovie and iDVD)?

    Thanks

    YM
     
  2. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #2
    Re: About to buy my first mac

    Er... I would expect Virtual PC to be useful for pretty casual use... if it's something you plan on using every day... I think you'll get frustrated... but thats my opinion.

    You'd have much better luck, imo... if you ran your AMD box in a window under OS X via Microsoft Remote Desktop ( http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/rdc/default.asp ) to use those apps you need.

    arn
     
  3. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #3
    I was going to get the 12" PowerBook but after a closer look i've discovered the 12" 800mhz iBook is far better for the money i was putting in, its only 67mhz slower. Other than the DVD-R there isn't that much of a difference.

    For starters i'd go for the iBook and save yourself some money and buy Microsoft Office X instead.

    Or maybe wait because an update could be around the corner for the iBooks as well. :)
     
  4. AnotherMortal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #4
    Processor???

    Don't forget, the iBook has a G3 and the PowerBook has a G4. I've tried VirtualPC on my iBook 600mhz, and it was beyond painful, it was suicidal. I'd recommend plenty of RAM and the G4 if you're going to try VPC
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
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    #5
    The 12 inch PowerBook isn't a bad machine. I still use my PowerMac G3/400 quite often.

    VirtualPC 5 with Win98 is useful but is not fast, even on my dual G4/800 loaded with memory. As far as Oracle goes, they just released a version of JDeveloper for Mac OS X and the database itself, 9i, is about to become available.

    As far as SQL databases go, you'll probably need to install MySQL, Postgres, OpenBASE, or others to get what you want. There are groups who have done the builds and have put the final product into a nice, neat installer package so you should be able to find MySQL and Postgres ready for you without the gnashing of teeth that usually comes with installing them.

    As far as the L3 cache goes, you might miss it, so you should go to a store and try it with several applications and contrast it to the 15.2 inch model with the L3 cache. I would not suggest that you go with an iBook considering the mix of applications you intend to run...a 667 MHz PB would be better in your case.
     
  6. teabgs macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #6
    You dont want to run Premiere and Final Cut on the same computer. Pick one and go with it. Personally.....I use FCP for all my editing, and I like it much better then premiere.

    But we tried having both on a computer at work, and lets just say that they don't like each other very much....you dont want to try it.
     
  7. TonicAngel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #7
    can you run fcp on an ibook? Or is it really slow? (i'm thinking of 800mhz wize)
     
  8. teabgs macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #8
    I wouldn't. Unless its just for home use, not professional...and you dont mind not having the real-time effects and watching the spinning ball a lot...

    If you have a lot of RAM it might be ok, if you stay away from a lot of filters and dont mind not having the real time effects it will run...Though I've never used it on a G3 so I don't know what the experience would be like. I do know what it's like on a 450 G4....I don't like that at all...but I have a dual 1.25 to compare it to, so I'm spoiled.
     
  9. Athos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 20, 2003
    #9
    I've choose the PowerBook because of its G4 processor (and I know I shouldn't judge a product by it's appearance but I don't like white notebooks).

    About Virtual PC, I'll only use it for one Oracle development tool (Discoverer Desktop), Internet Explorer (for testing webpage) and maybe other little apps like DVD profiler. I won't need it too often. The other Oracle tools will be install on the Solaris server. So you could say that I'll use this notebook for typing reports, creating webpages, using photoshop and connecting to a Solaris server to do Oracle development.

    On a side note, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a superdrive: since my university has better price than Apple educational webstore (C$ 280 less on the PB 12"), I want to buy it from them, but they don't want to make a "special order" to Apple for me:mad: .

    Anyone know if the Sony DRX500UL DVD writers works under mac OS X?
     
  10. teabgs macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #10
    hey man...private message Backtothemac about a price. HE might be able to hook you up real nice. He gave my and my girlfriend great prices.
     
  11. Fukui macrumors 68000

    Fukui

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    #11
    Well...

    I would suggest that if you want to use iDVD you get the DVD internal. So you should try to get your University to special order, cause iDVD won't even launch without an internal drive (since it is a free app with PBooks)...
     
  12. Athos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    #12
    Thanks teabgs but I'm trying to buy locally to avoid shipping charges and, since I'm in Canada (where money don't worth nothing), customs fees.

    But, if you tell me that Backtothemac can get me a good price up here, I'll PM him.

    Thanks to all and keep the discussion going.

    YM
     
  13. teabgs macrumors 68030

    teabgs

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    behind you
    #13
    Oh...Canada....I don't know if he can, but it doesn't hurt to ask....:D

    good luck with whatever you do get...I think/hope you like it
     
  14. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #14
    Re: About to buy my first mac

    Apple has its own X server called X11 (really original), and there's also a good 3rd party one called XDarwin. Why do you need to run X windows to connect to Oracle, though? Can't you run SQL Plus or Server Manager from the command line just using telnet or SSH?

    And what Oracle software do you need to run that won't run on OS X? Didn't Oracle port 9i and the developer tools to OS X? There are also 3rd party database tools, for example: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/development_tools/sql4xmanagerj.html.
    Won't have all the functionality of Enterprise Manager, but at least you can browse the objects in your schemas, if that's the main thing you use Enterprise manager for. If you're doing more DBA-type stuff, like managing tablespaces, extents, etc., then c'mon, you should really be using the command line ;)
     
  15. Athos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    #15
    I'm using some utilities from Oracle9i Developper Suite (like Discoverer Administrator and Designer) that are installed on my company server (Solaris). Since Oracle hasn't port them (yet) on Mac OS X (except JDevelopper), I need to connect to the server X window to use them.

    Imalave: I know that I have to use the command line, but I'm trying to avoid it as much as possible (like when I have to use SQLPlus);) . BTW, I'm not a DBA I'm just a developper...

    Anyone knows a tool that can do on OS X what Xwin32 does on Windows?

    YM
     
  16. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Erm - see above. Apple X11 will allow you to run the windows intermixed with Aqua programs on your Mac. XDarwin will allow you to do this or run with a single large screen that holds all your X apps.
     
  17. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #17
    See above about using XWindows. You can download X11 from Apple or, alternatively, use XDarwin.

    Can you use this as a solution to avoid having to use Virtual PC? In other words, is the software you need (Discoverer Administrator, Designer) available for Solaris? Then you could just run it using XWindows, assuming it's not too slow (in my experience any program except for Netscape is pretty snappy when run remotely). Believe me using XWindows will be a LOT faster than Virtual PC. You really want to avoid using Virtual PC if at all possible. Same goes with OS 9 in Classic mode (though that's a lot better). OS X is great man. If you're used to working with Windows and Unix, then OS X is, like, the best of both worlds.
     
  18. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #18
    if you buy now, you will be happy with the $1799 g4 powerbook, but like all high tech items, it will go obsolete

    ...and if and when, i don't think "if" is a question here, apple comes out with a cheaper g4 ibook, then you might feel bad, but at least you don't have to sink well over 2 grand into a powerbook as was the case before with the g4 powerbooks and g3 powerbooks before that

    i have heard that virtual pc xp is not the fastest thing going but that is one thing you may have to consider in your switch
     
  19. Athos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    #19
    Thank you all for your help.

    About the Oracle tools that I use: most of them are on the UNIX server but Discoverer Desktop need Windows. I might keep the P4 at work for when I'll need to use Windows...

    I just bought a book to learn more about OS X (Mac OS X Unleashed 2nd Ed from Sams Publishing).

    I'll call Apple Canada about my little problem with my local education retailers (they don't want to order a PB12 with a Superdrive for me :mad: ). I hope they will help me. I don't want to be force to buy from the Apple online educational store (they sell the PB12 C$280 more than my university!!!).

    YM
     

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