...getting ready to cross the line and buy Apple!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by 0s and 1s, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. 0s and 1s macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #1
    Hi all, long time, first time here...

    I'm a Computer Science major student considering purchasing the 14" iBook with the Student Developers discount and was wondering if there are any people out there who would advise me NOT to buy a Mac. I haven't touched an Apple since the IIe days and I'm tired of Windows! I'm doing a lot of Java programming and I hope to continue doing so on an Apple without a problem. In regards to VPC, does it work as a dual boot, or simply as another app on the computer?

    Also, I'm considering of starting a business that will involve a lot of digital pictures and video capturing. Are the programs installed "easy" enough that a clueless person such as myself or Jessica Simpson for that matter could use it? Any help/advice/insults would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. hughdogg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Location:
    Springfield, MA - Birthplace of Basketball
    #2

    I doubt your going to get a lot of takers on this board talking you out of a Mac. As a switcher myself, I love mine, and wouldn't go back to Windows.

    Can't help on the Java and VPC questions, sorry.

    The iLife software is very, very easy to use. A little limited in some functions, especially if you are planning to use them for business. Take advantage of you student discount and stock up on the Pro software now. Once you get used to iMovie, you can start working on Final Cut Express (which is much more feature filled than iMovie) But if you are looking for easy, the iLife software is it! Plus, you plug in a camera, or camcorder and it just works. (Don't know about Jessica Simpson though, there are limits as to how user friendly you could make any software. :D )

    Actually you could say the same thing about the whole Mac experience, it just works.

    Cheers, and good luck,
    hughdogg
     
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #3
    VPC works as an open app on your desktop. You "can" run other OSX programs at the same time - but it is VERY slow and memory intensive. Consider running Win98 or Win2000 instead of XP - unless you have plenty of RAM to spare.

    If you even know the term Javascript - you'll be fine with OSX. I view it as the best OS for someone who has never even used ANY computer! Jessica Simpson shouldn't be allowed to open her mouth. Just sit there and look blonde.
     
  4. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #4
    May I make a comment about why are you getting the iBook?;
    IIRC only the top-most part of the line 'makes up for' the cost of ADC developer; and as a CS major myself I have to wonder about not getting a PowerBook. I understand the student membership gives more than the discount but take advantage where you can!
     
  5. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #5
    If I were to go to a Powerbook, I'd only be able to afford the 12", and that's too small for me....believe me, I'd LOVE to get the Powerbook, but I'll gladly 'settle' for the 14" iBook.
     
  6. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #6
    Heh. I've been saving for the PowerBook for the past year. To the point of refusing to eat to save grocery money. >.< I know I know; but I want one and have a personal thing about taking out loans (Only reason I'll ever do it is mortgage on a house). and I can sympathize on the too small; I'm perturbed the 17" PB has such crud resolution.
     
  7. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #7
    I had some trouble with the Mac apps at first, because I was used to how things worked on Windows. But usually my Mac-ish friend would say to me "okay, what would be the intuitive way to do that?"; I'd think about it, and 90%+ of the time the intuitive is how the Mac would do it (unlike Windows obviously! hehe)

    If you're a CS major, another plus to getting the Mac is it has the BSD (Unix-y) underbelly available from the terminal. If you're already Unix-savvy then this isn't that big a deal - but if you don't have much exposure to non-Windows OSes this'll be a nice learning (and resume-padding) opportunity for you.

    Where I work most of the servers that I have to interact with are running Red Hat Linux, so I find the command line on my Powerbook invaluable.
     
  8. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #8
    I hate to play devils advocate but I really feel I have to.
    #1) The problems I have with the Mac seem (and still seem) unintuitive to me. If I close the window to a 'single window' app; I think the program will (and should) close - for Word its debatable I suppose.
    #2) The Mac's "Top level" menu bar violates proximity. If I put a window at the bottom of the screen it breaks my attention if I need to go to the top of the screen to perform an action. And if I click too early -- focus on another app or the finder and I have to go /all the way back/ to the bottom-of-screen app and click it and start over. I can use keyboard shortcuts but when I use the mouse its normally because I haven't memorized the shortcut for that act yet.
    #3) If I click and drag a disc to the trash; it ejects (yes, the icon changes I know) -- if I take a 'disc image' to the trash the icon changes to eject but (from what I've seen) it deletes the image. Qua?
    The parts of the interface that are intuitive, I normally figured out just by using it. Some parts of this the Mac does really well, of course, but others it doesn't. I'm being nitpicky here on purpose.

    The BSD core is nice of course; but really I'm surprised at the way CS programs stress UNIX cores. IT work uses UNIX all the time (webservers and whatnot); but CS work tends to be either OS generic (higher level design) or consumer oriented (which means Windows or MacOS X generally). About 75% of the CS classes I've been in/observed/etc are UNIX oriented. 75% of the CS jobs I see are Windows. This gets into a lot of personal beefs so I'll stop now; suffice it to say I think CS (undergraduate) degrees are 'pieces of paper' for anyone who plans to do real CS work.
    I've found lots of people who claim the supperiority of UNIX but until MacOS X I found it utterly inferior to Windows. RPM packages (as one example) made binary installs a pain, and if you didn't go a package installs you got tar.gz files you had to install by hand. I could put up with it but it doesn't compare to Windows/Mac "install this" "done" system. (Ports and Gentoo emerge is the only other UNIX I really appreciate, it gives me a Slackware/DOS style control without making me hunt down packages/prereqs).
    I could go on and on but I seem hostile enough I think. Don't let me discourage you/perturb you; like I said -- sorta playing devil's advocate.
     
  9. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #9
    Gee, thanks, devil's advocate! Add more confusion to me head, why don't yah? :p

    What to do, what to do...

    BTW..thanks for the advice, folks. I really appreciate it. Lots of nice people on this BBS. Keep it coming!
     
  10. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #10
    If I could, I'd run Win2000 VPC on my Mac. How much RAM would you recommend? 512?
     
  11. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #11
    I'd recommend 512 as a 'going rate' if you can at all afford it; benifits seem, from what I've seen (feel free to correct), level out at 1024.
    VPC performance hasn't been very good, and it doesn't work on G5s (though you're getting an iBook so no worries) - so what do you want to have it for?
    Don't expect anything that reqs a Pentium3 to work. Most demanding app I'd suggest are your office apps and Visual Studio if you don't mind waiting on long compiles. :p Until xCode gets Intellisense I'll probably grab a PPC compiler for it and write code in VS -- though I haven't decided if I want the pain of using VPC to run it or the pain of doing code writing on machine A and running on machine B. :p
     
  12. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #12
    Well, I don't REALLY need VPC, but I'd figure that I would need to use it to run Java dev. apps. As of now, I'm using JBuilder (which is trash!!...but that's for another thread...) and as far as I know, it's only available for Linux and Windows. I like the 12" PB, and now that I'm reading up on it, isn't it widescreen? If so, it's an obvious choice to go for the 12" PB over the 14" iBook that I originally wanted. As I've pointed out, the student developer discount will help a lot! Oh...is MSN available on Apple??
     
  13. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #13
    I've used MSN Messanger on my friend's Apple if thats what you mean
    And why the heck do Java development; if you're using the PC at least use C#; far supperior :D
     
  14. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #14
    I'm talking about the MSN software....and I don't know why my school's program wants us to focus on Java...no C, C#, B flat, etc. They're probably funded by Sun.
     
  15. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #15
    Java == Fugly
    Same thing as my above UNIX rant; schools are stupid.
    "OBJEACT ORIEANTED SI GOOD!!!!! KNOW OTHER THESIGN PATRN EVAR!" - profstupid
    "OMG! SO GOOD! UZ NOTHING BUT!" - cirriculum manager
    "I NO! WE US TEH JAVA! JAVA ONLY SI OBJEACT" - profstupid
    :p
    Object Oriented is great and useful; but the way Java does it (and more specifically, the way its taught) it really bad.
    I've actually seen "All object oriented programs are simulations" -- which takes the metaphore WAY too far. And leads to stupid questions (i.e. the "Mugger" question as my roomie calls it)
    But soapbox=off for the moment :p

    Stolid
    PS: Mugger problem
    If I have a Mugger object, and a Muggee object, which one gets the Mug method?
    Answer: Wow. Horrible use of OOP.
     
  16. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #16
    Great one! And it's true!...LOL...
     
  17. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #17
    just to let you know, you would only be able to afford the 12" powerbook. the 14" ibook and the 12" powerbook have the screen resolution of 1024 x 768. you will only get a bigger version of what's on the screen, not any extra real estate. just something to consider if you didnt already know that.

    iJon
     
  18. 0s and 1s thread starter macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    OK, USA
    #18
    Why would I be able to ONLY afford a 12" PB? If I wanted to, I could buy the 17" but it wouldn't make any financial sense to do so.
     
  19. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #19
    I don't know, maybe cause you said this

    "I'd only be able to afford the 12""

    just a guess though ;)

    iJon
     
  20. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #20
    Yeah; though in some ways I'm surprised there isn't a 15" cheaper (12 may have a smaller screen but it has to miniaturized that much more) And the 17" has some limitations on where you can use it (I hear on places like a plane its a real PITA)
     
  21. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #21
    well in that case the 14" ibook will be perfect for you. the 12 is small, but is very nice. but i couldnt imagine it being my only machine. i think im able to endure it just cause i have a g5 with a 20" screen, so i can do all my window intensive work on there. if i had to have just one mac i would get the 15", perfect size and weight, best of everything. the 17" is nice but is to big for many people's taste. my dad takes his on the plane and he doesn't have a problem with it at all.

    iJon
     
  22. Stolid macrumors regular

    Stolid

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA, USA
    #22
    Really? Good to hear. I want a 17" (but first I'm waiting for line updates, I want a faster processor as well as higher resolution on the screen) Anyway; getting OT. Sorry.
     
  23. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #23
    you could always just pick a flavor of linux and make your machine dual-boot. you can download them for free, and you have a lot of choices. also sure to be faster than running anything through VPC.
     
  24. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #24
    As far as java on a mac is concerned. Xcode can be used for java, though you wont be able to do command line stuff from it. I usually code in Textedit or vi and compile in the terminal. There's no dl'ing involved in getting your mac ready for java. You can code out of the box. If you want syntax highlighting, you can load xcode from your dev tools cd for free (a documentation browser is also included with the devtools). If you want a development suite, with which you can compile command-line only code then you'll have to buy something. I haven't done that yet and really don't have any issues with java development on mac os x.
     
  25. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #25
    This seems to depend on what school you're going to, how big the CS department is and what track you're on. I've run into CS majors who don't know UNIX from a hole in the ground - these are the ones that will come take courses in our department (Elec. Engr.) and express wonderment that we're running some Webserver other than IIS. :D But I KNOW that the program over there isn't that Windows-centric; so it must be whatever the student's particular emphasis is.

    Then again I know faculty personally who believe "why would anyone NOT want to run Windows?", as well as others who are rabidly anti-Windows. Just because they're smart doesn't mean they've set their biases aside, apparently. :p
     

Share This Page