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Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheFlo, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. TheFlo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Munich
    #1
    Hey everyone.
    My current situation looks as follows:
    I'll be off to college in October. I've never owned or even worked with a Mac in my life. I desperately want to buy a Macbook for college, but the main reason for me is that it's just so shiny and I'm a shallow, shallow person.
    Now, my question is: What questions do I need to ask myself prior to buying a Macbook (I wanna get one while staying in Los Angeles in September due to the Dollar/Euro exchange rate)? And, are there any particularities I need to keep in mind as I'd be a European using a US Macbook, like, do they sell them with western standard (German?!?) keyboards in the stores?
    Plus, what about my set-up-for-windows iPod?
    Is a Mac even recommendable if I do not have ANYTHING to do with graphics and design and am just your regular "Surf the web, download stuff, write college papers" kinda guy who's just fallen so very hard for the Macbook's looks?

    Advice will be greatly appreaciated!
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    Firstly, a Mac, if anything is better than a PC for "surf the web, word documents etc." because of it's total lack of security issues. They just keep going, and going, and going without that horrible Windows slow-down. No need to worry about viruses - you won't actually need a virus scanner at all, there is no spyware or adware or any nasties like that so feel free to surf all the internet you want. If a worm hits your college network feel free to keep on working - it won't do a damn thing to your Mac.

    Your Windows iPod will work fine on the Mac, if you set it to "Manually Update Songs and Playlists" you can just plug it into your new shiny Mac and away you go. You only run into trouble when you want to update the iPod's firmware - it needs to be done on the platform it is formatted for so you would need a Windows machine, not too big a deal at Uni, especially if you are living in a college as there will be plenty of Windows using iPod owners you can impose upon to use their computer for two minutes.

    Pretty sure you can only get a European keyboard layout in Europe, the US store sells US and Spanish keyboards.

    For the best Mac experience, kit yourself out with at least 1GB or RAM, 2GB if you're so inclined.

    I use a Mac and have nothing to do with graphic design or anything moderately artistic - I just graduated with a Chemistry degree, the last year of which was done solely on a Mac. There's nothing further from the arts than bloody Chemistry so it just shows you Macs really are useful for so many things.
     
  3. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #3
    Getting a mac for any reason is a good reason. There's no wrong reason to get a mac. Just like there's no wrong way to eat a reese's. ...do they have reese's in europe?

    As far as the iPod goes, that's a kind of a tough one. Are you saying that it's a newer (as in from 3G to 5G) model that's just formatted to windows? Because then you'd have to put all the music onto your windows pc (if it isn't on your pc already (and assuming you have a pc)) from your iPod (there are programs like iLink that allow you to access the music files from an ipod on a pc or mac) and transfer the actual music files to your mac, then reformat the iPod to run on macs (thus deleting all your songs off the ipod) and reload them through your mac's iTunes.

    What would you do about the electrical outlets though? got an adapter?

    good luck. I'm a student too! going to college next month...:eek:
     
  4. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #4
    WHAT? are you kidding? have I been slaving away at trying to fit 11 gigs of my brother's 5G windows-formatted ipod's music on my ibook for NOTHING?

    whenever I connect the ipod it says I need to update the firmware immediately. I thought it was impossible to do that with a pc!



    EDIT: maybe i should explain myself better by saying my brother took his ipod (christmas present) with him his senior year in college and he just has a windows laptop so it had to be formatted to windows. When he came home he wanted some of my music on his ipod so i've been trying to back up all the music and reformat/reload it back on with the mac.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    Apart from keyboard layouts, the other problem could be AppleCare or just the standard warranty. AppleCare seems to be recommended by many laptop owners on this forum.

    What happens if it breaks? Will Apple Europe cover it when you're back at home?
     
  6. TheFlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Munich
    #6

    OK, that helps a lot. Especially the whole iPod thing is a MAJOR issue for me because I'm really, really scared that it might erase all my songs once I plug it into the Macbook.

    So the only real obstacle so far seems to be the European keyboard. Could that possibly be replaced in a European Apple retail store?

    Also, do I have to order online if I want a, say, 100GB hard-drive instead of the standard 60GB?
     
  7. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #7
    I don't understand what you mean.

    When you plug in a "Manually Update Songs and Playlists" Windows=formatted iPod into a Mac it works just as it should. I have a 3G 15GB iPod that is Windows formatted and it's worked fine on my iBook for nearly two years, I can upload (and download with Senuti) songs and playlists from my Mac to it etc.

    I have to use a PC to do the firmware updates though, that's the only caveat.

    You can, if you want, backup all your music and reformat your iPod for Mac but with a Windows formatted iPod (set to "MANUALLY MANAGE SONGS AND PLAYLISTS - I can't stress enough how important that is) you can plug it in to a Mac or a PC and use it as a hard drive or copy music from friends' computers to your iPod regardless of OS.
     
  8. TheFlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Munich
    #8
    I'm in the US quite frequently (average 4 times a year), so that wouldn't be too big a problem I hope. And Apple Europe covered problems with my US iPods before, so I don't see a reason why tey wouldn't do the same thing with other hardware too... I'm only guessing of course.
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #9
    Just set it to....deep breath..Manually Manage Songs and Playlists and just copy the music you want from your Mac to the iPod, no need to reformat.
     
  10. TheFlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Munich
    #10
    Whoah.... I haven't even THOUGHT about that before. How stupid is that? Hm. If I get an adapter it should work just fine, right? So, no major problem there... right??


    Gosh... so much to take care of....

    P.S.: I have a 5G 60GB iPod, and yes, there's Reese's in Europe, only they are hard to find. :D
     
  11. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #11
    So it should be simple enough when you get back home.

    And as far as I'm aware, all you'll need is an adaptor. I'm pretty sure all Macs handle 100V - 240V.
     
  12. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #12
    wow okay i totally didn't know this. when I plugged it into the mac it told me i needed to update firmware but that I couldn't with a windows-formatted ipod. I guess I thought that meant I could never update the firmware unless it was mac-formatted. ... Pretty stupid of me to think that, but hey it is an apple product. Oh, and when I plug it into the windows iTunes it doesn't say anything to me about needing to update. So i assumed.

    well that will save a lot more effort. I'm glad I clicked on this thread.
     
  13. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #13
    thank you thank you thank you

    When i took my ibook to england last year it worked perfectly fine with an adapter. You must make sure that you get an adapter that has the correct voltage/wattage/whatever though, because an adapter with the wrong...whatever(voltage i guess) blew out the power adapter on my mom's pc laptop. It also blew out her hair dryer, in case you wanted to know. Same concept. Just ask someone at the apple store...I'm sure they'll know about this kind of stuff.
     
  14. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #14
    Yeah, you need a Windows machine to update a Windows iPod's firmware but that won't stop you using a Windows iPod on a Mac.

    Back when my iPod was still getting firmware updates I just used a mate's Dell laptop to apply the patch. I figure there won't be any more updates for the ol' girl now so I've left it in Windows format and use it to shuffle data and music between my Mac and other's Windows machines.

    On the flip side, a Windows machine can't read or write a Mac-formatted iPod. If you format your iPod for Mac you can only use it with Macs unless you buy a special program for Windows that allows it to address HFS drives.
     
  15. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    If you're getting a Mac, and it is to be your main computer, I think you should tranfer all your music to the Mac and reformat your iPod.

    Transferring the music is easy. There's a freeware program called senuti (that's itunes spelled backward) that is for the Mac. It will very easily take everything on your iPod (or just selected songs) and move it into your Mac's iTunes library. Then you're free to reformat the iPod.

    don't worry about losing your collection when you first hook the iPod to the MacBook. iTunes will kindly ask you if you'd like to sync the iPod to the new computer and replace all the music. Just Say NO! Then take your time tranferring the files via senuti and you'll be free.

    Seriously, once you ditch Windblows, you might as well ditch it all the way.
     
  16. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #16
    I DID NOT KNOW THAT WAS iTUNES SPELLED BACKWARDS!

    i LOVE reading things backwards.



    AMAZING.
     
  17. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #17
    I don't think they would be able to swap the keyboard because of the MacBook's design. With iBooks, PowerBooks and MacBook Pros, you can lift the keyboard out easily, as it is all one piece, but the MacBook has a completly new design of keyboard where the keys are all seperate, and the top panel of the laptop goes over the top of them between the gaps, like this:

    [​IMG]
    Look at this page if you don't know what i mean.

    Anyway, are there any major differences between a European keyboard and a US one, because my UK PowerBook's keyboard looks the same as any US ones i've seen.

    Also, i know you can buy a MacBook Ultimate from Apple stores which is just a normal 2.0 GHz one in black or white with 1GB RAM and an 80GB hard drive for $1,449 (white) and $1,599 (black). They may be able to upgrade your hard drive to 100GB in store because it only takes a few minutes, but you may have to pay extra.
     
  18. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #18
    Wow, yeah it is! I have been using Senuti for ages, and i never reilised, either!

    Maybe we're both just stupid. :D
     
  19. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #19
    There are several threads where this is discussed but yes, there are a few.

    The 'return' key is differently shaped. The £ is above the 3 rather than # and, I'm not sure if the US keyboards, show the € logo on them (on the 2).
    None are major and all can be got by using the option key rather than just shift alone.
     
  20. TheFlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Munich
    #20
    The "@" is a combination of Alt Gr + Q and all the basic symbols are in different places...
    Plus, living in Germany, you get those:

    ä, ö, ü, ß

    Damn my language for not being compatible with US keyboards.
     
  21. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #21

    isn't the ß being done away with?
     
  22. TheFlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Munich
    #22
    Only on some words that are pronounced a certain way.
    I'm surprised you know about that...
     
  23. SteveRichardson macrumors regular

    SteveRichardson

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #23
    hm.

    ...me too. :/
     

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