Help me decide to switch!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by shrhaider, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. shrhaider macrumors member

    shrhaider

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul
    #1
    Ok, I'm just gonna tell my story, and hope you all can help me make up my mind. I have been poring over MR and several other Mac sites and forums for literally months now. And I'm barely farther along in the decision making process than I was when I started.

    I've been using PCs since I was a kid (I'm only 24) but ever since I guess the desklamp iMac came out I've had Mac envy. Just have never been able to muster up the guts -- or the cash -- to make the switch. Now I'm finally ready to buy a new computer and I can't decide. I don't have a computer at all right now, am using my girlfriend's and friends' but the need is not dire. I certainly need to get one soon, it's getting to the point of 'very annoying' but I can wait for the new MacBook (if it gets released ANYtime soon).

    If I was still in the States or if I was stable and staying somewhere, I'd definitely buy the new Intel iMac. It's so beautiful. Then, with the release of the Intel MacMini I thought my decision had been made. But it lacks portability (tho it does have the bonus feature of being able to upgrade the cpu, which is great). I've never owned a laptop, but now I'm considering buying one. A MBP is out of the price range. So I'm eagerly awaiting the new MacBooks. Even if a 1.67 Core Duo version is released, is that going to seem really slow in a year's time? The fact that I won't be able to upgrade the CPU bothers me.

    Here is another problem. I always see the weekly Dell Affiliates coupons posted on various websites and lately have spec'd out a 2GHz Core Duo 15" laptop with all the extras (WUXGA screen, 7200rpm HD, 1G ram, remote, etc) and it comes out to about $1100. I mean, it's so hard to turn down something so CHEAP! But then I mentally smack myself and try to remember all the times I've been so damn frustrated with every PC I've ever had. And all the PCs my family or friends have ever had, which I often end up being asked to fix. I just want to feel what it's like to own a computer that "just works". That doesn't inevitably bloat and slow down and become practically useless.

    So please, what should I do? Living overseas, I feel like a laptop could be the best option. I'm thinking of getting a MacBook plus KMD, because 13.3 inches sounds small for watching movies. Otherwise I'm still considering the MacMini.

    HELP ME! I apologize right now for just venting this, but I guess I'm looking for some expert guidance. This is normally the sort of thing I'd just try to figure out on my own, but that hasn't been working for me the last couple months as I get used to this uniquely Apple-specific torturous waiting game. So any comments are welcome.


    Thanks so much.
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    I think that, if you're going to look at the price/performance issue, you'll never be able to justify a Mac - I mean, now that you'll be able to install XP and so can do a direct comparison, it's clear that, assuming the MacBook comes out priced as expected (over $1000), Dell will always be cheaper - as will basically every PC manufacturer.

    So just forget about the price/perfomance, or you'll go nuts.

    On the other hand, the reason why so many of us bought PowerBooks, when the price/performance issue is even more heavily weighted against us due to the antiquity of the G4 chips, is OS X. I use XP at work every day, and, for me, there just isn't any comparison. You use applications on XP, and the fact that you're running XP is just sort of irrelevant - you use the PC to use the app. With OS X, it's just different, but hard to explain. In a sense, you're always working with the OS, and apps just seem to work together better. So that's, to me, a good reason to buy a Mac - the OS.

    And, now that any new Macs will run XP in dual-boot mode and, thanks to virtualization, any x86-based OS (I've seen Linux, Win3.1, Solaris, OS/2, etc. demo'd), the fact that it'll also run OS X means it'll run more OS's than any other system you can buy. Flexibility is great.

    Also, there's the design. We just got a new $2900 Dell M70, fully loaded, at work. It's a great laptop... but it's just not elegant. The MB Pros - and I'm sure the MacBooks - are just going to look better.

    And, finally, there's the emotional attachment, which is hard to explain. I am finally getting a Mac for work - it took me six years of arguing to get it - and I have already ordered and paid for (myself) a sleeve, a keyboard/screen protector, and a sling case. The Dells I've always had at work? They look like they've been in a war. I just don't care about them. The MacBook Pro, which is also going to be "free" in the sense that I don't pay for it, is going to be treated like a baby. It's just the way you get with a Mac. And it's sort of cool.
     
  3. shrhaider thread starter macrumors member

    shrhaider

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul
    #3
    Of course, the design is what initially hooked me. And although I have very limited experience using OS X, I'm sure I will agree with you there as well. I have been acutely aware for years (due to growing up with a computer-knowledgeable dad) that Microsoft has been years behind Apple's OS features and usability since day 1. I have also agreed with myself to stop thinking about the price/components comparisons, etc.

    That being said, what is the likelihood of Apple ever releasing OS X for use on PCs? I read somewhere that some people have actually gotten OS X to work on PCs with a hack. Sounds like the best of both worlds, minus Apple's spectacular industrial design.

    With this little glimpse I've gotten into the Mac world, by reading and posting on forums, and eagerly reading line by line Steve Jobs Keynote speech and getting excited about product releases and poring over every speculation and forum post about new ipods and new macbooks etc etc etc - I see such a different world than that in which PC owners live. And it looks nice, for sure. But I'm also wary of jumping in just for that cool factor. I don't want to worship Steve Jobs and I don't want to buy a Mac just because it will give me a veneer of exclusivity. You know what I'm saying? Again, trust me, I'm sick of Windows and PCs.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    You ask if the sub 2.0 Ghz Core Dual will seem "slow" in a few years. If depends on what you DO with the computer. For typing e-mail and web surfing it will work fine forever. The Old G4 iBooks to this well. For editing HD video it would be dead slow out of the box.

    We know with certainty that the new Intel iBook will be released before the end or 2006. Most people think the iBook will come out before the PowerMac which is rumored to come out in August. My best educated guess for the Intel iBook release is "before mid summer"

    About fixing other people's PC's I only offer to reformat the drive and load Linux and NOT tell them the root password. That's the only way I know how to fix a PC such that it will "stay fixed".
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    It's not a matter of years. BSD UNIX (which makes up the bulk of Mac OS X) was available before there was a "Microsoft Windows" The core of MacOS os 25+ years old With software "age is good".

    likelihood is near zero. No, I take that back it's "exactly zero". However I do expect someone to find a way to make it work ... and then get sued by Apple.

    I know a little bit about software design. That's what I do all day. Been at it from the late 70's. What Apple's got is a very good from the ground up design. They got just about everytrhing. Auqua on Darwin on Mach is pretty much sound design. I'd have argued that they sghould have done some of the details diffeently but I can see why they didn't too. Windows on the other hand is a patch on a patch and inside the patches a mess. So you can feel good that you are buying Apple's Mac OS for the better quality enginerring.

    Apple's UNIX core gives you access to tons for Open Source software that has been written over the last 25 years
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    Well, given recent events, it's hard to say anything for certain, but since Apple makes a lot more money off hardware than software, and since they don't want the support nightmare that generic PCs create, I suspect Apple will never release OS X for general sale on PCs.

    I also suspect that each OS X release will be hacked to run on generic PCs.

    For me, though, it's worth the extra $$ to have an official system with fewer inexplicable glitches than one should expect on a hacked OS running on a generic PC.

    And don't get me wrong about Windows - a lot of people here love dissing it, but i find there are things about it I prefer and miss when on OS X. I just find far more things I miss about OS X when on my Dell. I think having an Intel Mac, having OS X but being able to run Windows if you feel the need, represents a good thing. I don't expect to need Windows, but I can't say I won't install it for occasional use.

    As far as performance goes... because the wife is using the 12" PB now, the kids are watching the TV to which the mini is attached, the PM G5 is boxed in prep for being sold, and the 17" Intellimac is not here on the comfy couch, I'm writing this now on a 1999 "Lombard" 400MHz G3 PowerBook. And it's darn nearly as fun as using the 12" PB which is about a zillion times faster (and yet slow compared to the MB Pro,which hasn't yet arrived). I think you'll find that, 99% of the time, the OS makes you not care about performance. That said, the new MBs won't seem slow compared to any other contemporary consumer laptop anyway.
     

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