Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Neoraven, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Neoraven macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2006
    After visiting a Mac store recently I've been seriously considering buying a Macbook, for obvious reasons. I'm a big PC user and was always die-hard about it and Anti-Mac. But the simple design, and compactness of the 13.3" MacBook's have really appealed to me.

    My questions are:

    • How does the wireless networking work? Do I need to use an Apple made-router?
    • How easy will it be to transfer files from my PC to my MacBook (i.e. Music/Movies, etc...)
    • Many programs I like to use are windows only or are on seperate operating systems (i.e. Knoppix), how easy is it if at all possible to partition part of the Mac's HDD and create a windows or other OS partition?

    The MacBook I was looking at was the Black MacBook 2.0Ghz, 2GB Ram, 180GB @ 5200rpm. I want to use it for Logic Express, M$ Office, and Adobe PhotoShop, for these applications will it perform as well as a MBP?

    Thank you in advance for the answers, and thank you for your time.
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    1) No, you don't. it's 802.11G (and B) just like most wifi.
    2) Pretty easy. There are several ways to do it. I just moved it all from my exernal HDs. You should definitely have one as a data backup anyways, and if you don't, buy one.
    3) It's pretty easy with BootCamp, or you could use parallels or similar.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1. It's an international standard for wireless networks. What do you think? Any router will work.
    2. Use a flash drive, CD/DVD, a FAT32 formated external hard drive, LAN, or cross over cable.
    3. Boot Camp handles partitioning and provides Windows drivers for the Apple hardware. Try Parallels for a virtual machine solution.
    4. None of those applications are heavily 3D. You won't see any major benefit on the MBP vs. a MB other then a few shaved seconds.
  4. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    u will be fine,
    one note: bootcamp probably won't do linux, while parallels can.
  5. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    In order to dual boot to a native Windows partition, you'll need a full retail copy
    of Windows XP Home or XP Pro including SP2.

    Parallels Desktop will allow you to install just about any OS and give you the ability to transfer files between operating systems.

    In many cases you will not need to install Windows at all as long as you can
    access dedicated Windows only applications via VPN to the server.

    You can also download Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac to access your P/C
    at work from home or on the road without installing Windows.

    Macrumors has an amazing guide database.

    Well worth your time to check them out.
  6. Neoraven thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2006
    Thank you for the overwhelming amount and quick responses. I guess I'll be picking up my MacBook this Friday =)
  7. Stadsport macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2006
    1. It works just like in Windows, since it uses the same standard. Yeah, it'll work fine with your wireless networks.
    2. Extremely easy. It can network with Windows with no configuration, any external HDD will work, and you can even put it in Target Disk Mode--you can hook the MacBook up to a computer and make it act like a Firewire external hard drive.
    3. Sure is, BootCamp has a nondestructive partition manager. Should be smooth sailing. You can also use Parallels and run multiple OS' at the same time.
    But I'd bet you'll be able to find alternatives to most of those applications. What are these apps, if you don't mind sharing?

    For the apps you listed, it should run just as well as the MBP. Photoshop and MS Office may be a little laggy, as they're PowerPC (don't worry, OS X can translate them in realtime), but it should be more than usable with 2gb of RAM, and their intel/Universal Binary versions are just around the corner.
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    It's been taking a while for some major software developers to come up with universal binary versions of their software, but most will finally be ready in 2007.
    MS Office 2007 and Adobe CS3 are just around the corner.

    Once those updates are released, they will fly on this architecture.

    Even so, you'll be able to use most of what you already have if you can't find better Mac OSX alternatives.

    Hopefully you can swing by a local Apple Store to take a good look at all the available models before you make your final decision.

    If your job requires you to do presentations, you'll want to pick up iWork '06
    to take advantage of Keynote. iWork '07 will add a spreadsheet.
  9. Neoraven thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2006
    I use programs like uTorrent, Trillian, and the Macromedia series (Fireworks/Freehand/Flash/Dreamweaver). If I remember Adobe bought Macromedia? So that shouldn't be a problem, but I know uTorrent is a Windows only application and I'm unsure about Trillian but I'm presuming the same. Not to mention the countless number of independent programmers that write simple programs like file converters and such that are windows only.

    I'm restricted to a MB rather than a MBP mainly because of my budget, and as far as job goes, I'm a HS Senior and I'm looking to get used to a Mac for college and finish out my senior year.
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Go to and and search Mac OS X applications for file sharing clients and servers.

    The favorite multi-format chat client for Mac OSX is Adium.

    I seriously doubt you'll need to run Windows at all for most of the applications
    you've mentioned.

    That's a good thing actually since that means you also won't have to deal with
    Windows security issues or the cost of A/V software.
  11. Neoraven thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2006
    I'm used to using Microsoft Word for my papers, using MLA format and such, does the pre-loaded Mac Word Processor have all the capabilities? Or will I really have to spend $500 on Office o_O
  12. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    Unfortunately the Macbook will not have Office preloaded. I think trial versions of Office may be on the MacBooks. (?) If you're a student, try checking out your college bookstore or IT dept for an edu-priced copy. If you don't have that option, NeoOffice or OpenOffice may meet your needs.
  13. laidbackliam macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2006
    the university of illinois at champaign used to sell office for mac for around 50$. i'm not sure if thats still the way it works, but i know they used to.
  14. Neoraven thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2006
    Not a college student yet, I've applied, but I'm still a senior in High School. And will hopefully want to use the MB to finish out the year, so I'd need to find a way to get Office before the years over.

    One thought I had was possibly locating someone who has the ability for multiple installs and use one on mine?
  15. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Yep, that's a possibility. You could also probably get by with NeoOffice or OpenOffice until you were able to raise the funds for Office. Microsoft is starting to discount it's Mac Office suite for the Christmas season and I would expect similar discounts ahead of the release of Office:2007 sometime later next year.
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I think you'll find that most of the things you thought you could only do in Windows are not only easy to do in Mac OS X, but even better under Mac OS X.

    Ms Office for Mac 2004 education version is available just about everywhere.
    It will run fine on your MacBook.

    If money is really tight, you might want to wait for MS Office 2007 for Mac and the education version will be more than sufficient. Generally most schools
    will offer bulk rate pricing to students if the usual retail price is too dear.

    For simple reports and text documents, there's a very good free Text Edit
    application included in Mac OS X that allows you to save to Rich Text, HTML or Word .doc format.

    Even better, for universal access, you can finish your work and select Print
    in your file menu then save to .pdf.

    Mac OS X also comes with free 30 day trial demos of iWork and MS Office 2004

    BTW, you'll fully qualify for Apple's education discount as soon as you have
    a letter of acceptance from the school of your choice.
  17. paeza macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2006
    Canberra, Australia
    just wondering whether parallel will work on my c2d MB 2 Ghz and 1 Gb of ram. and if it works, how good is it?

  18. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Parallels Desktop seems to be doing quite well for running most of your basic
    Windows applications, but it's not going to give you desirable results in advanced gaming performance.

    You'll still need to own a full retail copy of Windows XP Home or XP Pro.
    Parallels will allow you to run other older versions of Windows and Linux,
    but you still need a full install CD.

    Just remember that if you do install Windows and use those applications online
    that you'll still need to use A/V software to protect that part of your system.

    Windows viruses and malware will not harm your Mac OSX partition, but
    infected files can pass through your system on to other Windows users.

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