1. Utopia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    #1
    Hi everybody.

    I don't mean to ask the same questions that've been asked by everyone else, but I've got a couple of questions.

    Currently, I'm running an IBM computer; it's pretty nondescript so I don't think it's deserving of a full introduction. Before I go off to college — specifically, in a another month or so, when the educational discount kicks in — I'll be buying a 12" PowerBook, maybe even a 15" if I can get enough money together for it.

    I'm going to school for writing, and I need the word processing application I'll be using to be very comprehensive. I know that Microsoft Office (which includes Word) has a Mac version, and I was looking into that... but then I read that Office has a habit of being slow and shutting down on the user. And part of the reason I'll be switching to Mac is so that these things don't happen as frequently. What is Pages like? Is it easy to customize? Is there a spell/grammar checker? A thesaurus? Is there something similar to Word's AutoCorrect (which fixes accent marks and the likes automatically; ie: cliche into cliché and so on)? Can anyone tell me if there are any unique features to Pages that Word doesn't really have?

    Is Office for Mac really so bad? It's not that I'm uncomfortable with switching (far from it!), but when it gets to text documents, I like to know how everything works...

    As far as the Mac hardware questions go, I just would like to know how easy it was for some of you to adjust to the keyboard. I've tried out various laptops over the years and sometimes the keys are nearly flat. I'm sure I can adjust to that, but it will make it difficult and I'm going to be writing quite a bit next year.

    Also, as far as speed goes, I've become pretty accustom to multi-tasking. That is, I'll often use PhotoShop, iTunes, MSN Messenger, Firefox and sometimes even PowerDVD all at once... How good is the low-end PowerBook at handling this type of thing? I don't think I can afford a 15" PowerBook at this point, much less a 17" one, so if it's not great at working all that at once, I may just have to cut back. Still, it would be nice if it could accommodate everything.

    I'm sure I had more questions to ask, but these are the only two coming to mind at the moment. Thanks for your time, everyone!
     
  2. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #2
    I have by modern standards a dinosaur of a Mac (Blue & White G3 with a G4/450 upgrade card, 768mb ram, 16mb rage 128 video card), and Office 2004 runs perfect on my computer. It is not slow, never crashes, and works like advertised. All in all, you should have no problems whatsoever.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    Hi U, Welcome to MR

    First bit of advice: If you make your thread title a more accurate description of your question, you'll get faster and better advice.

    MS Office runs fine on a Mac, it's a workhorse. Save yourself the agony of document format conversion and stick with Office. Use your student status to get the Student and Teacher Edition.

    Multitasking is limited primarily by the amount of RAM the programs require. If your requirements go over the amount of physical RAM you have installed, you'll start hitting the hard drive for swap space often, which slows you down and suck up battery power.

    Get the 15" if you can, there should be Apple Education pricing you can take advantage of, or look at an Apple refurb.
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #4
    Pages is great i love it ,its also very fast, it is like a hybrid of MS word and MS publisher, i say unless u need to have ( becuase of ur school's computer) do not get it . Pages it better( and cheaper)
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    The PowerBook should handle your needs just fine.

    But if you want to run all those apps, simultaneously, you need RAM, 768 minimum but go for the full 1256 MB (if you get the 12", the 15" can actually hold even more RAM, and 1 or even 1,5 GB (or even the max 2 GB) might be what you want), if you can afford it. So I would rather get a 12" with maxed out RAM than a baseline 15".

    And remember, get as little RAM as possible from Apple, as they charge insane prices for RAM upgrades. Get a 1GB RAM stick from some 3rd party seller (Crucial is highly recommended on these boards, and I've never had any problems with TwinMos in either my iBook or our two Pismos).

    Also max out the HD, as that seems to fill up very quickly (my iBook has a 60 GB HD, and it's a daily struggle to keep more than 5-6 GB free ;)).

    Office for Mac isn't bad at all, actually it's much better than the Windows version, IMO. I think all new Macs now has both Office and iWork trials on them so you can test them against each other for a month or so before deciding which suits you best.

    Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) has a built-in dictionary and a cross system spell-checker, so writing should never be any problem.

    There's a great number of esteemed writers who has written some truly masterpieces on Macs: Umberto Eco and the late Douglas Adams, are two off the top of my head, but if you search these forums there should be mentioning of more... ;)
     
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #6
    Welcome to the light side of computing.

    I have a Rev. C 12" PowerBook and love it. I have an external display which makes working with it at "base" great, and when I'm out and about, 5 hours and up of battery life is amazing!
     
  7. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #7
    And in no way suited to producing professional papers. Office 2004 is really quite nifty. There's also EndNote 8, if you're into writing really formal stuff.

    Only go for Pages if you currently find yourself getting a lot of mileage out of WordArt(tm).
     
  8. Utopia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    #8
    Thanks everybody!

    CanadaRAM, I will keep that in mind and next time use a more telling title! Sorry about that!

    Mitthrawnuruodo, re: maxing out the HD, I've already got a 250 GB external harddrive, so it really shouldn't be a problem. :)

    As for a cross-system spell check, do you mean cross-system as, well, the ENTIRE system? As in webforms and chat windows and everything, in addition to the text documents themselves? I've never heard that! That's REALLY cool. :)

    Thanks for the info everyone - I'm more heavily considering the 15" PowerBook now - I think I can swing an extra $500 or so.

    Since there's an additional educational discount to the iWork bundle, I may very well get that. How is Keynote? And what is it exactly?
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9

    Keynote is a much better version of PowerPoint.

    Welcome to the community. :)
     
  10. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #10
    I've got a 12" PB and it is great. I'm looking at getting a 17" external monitor and for my needs that is much better than lugging around a 15" PB. The price will end up about the same. For typing at home, I'd highly recommend getting something like the Podium Pad from roadtools.com. I rarely suffer from wrist fatigue and it keeps the PB cooler.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    Nope, no problem with Office on Macs. Its actually supposed to be better on the Mac than the PC, but probably because it comes out years after it came out for Windows. Also, Mac users at Microsoft probably have a few ideas of their own for us Mac users.
     
  12. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #12
    Correct. It works here in this form when I'm answering this very question using Safari... ;)

    All Mac native programs may utilize it. It also works in programs like Mail, Adium (IM), Conversation (IRC), TextWrangler/SubEthaEdit (text editors), Stickies, Taco HTML edit and all Omni apps to mention a few (Word has it's own). In some rare cases, ports of apps from other platforms (most noticeably Firefox) does not have this function...
     
  13. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #13
    I believe there is a spellchecker for FireFox on the Mac. Do a Google search. There is on the PC version, and I think you can get it for the Mac. Safari is perfectly fine for most web surfing though (especially v.2 that comes with Tiger).

    Speaking of MS Office, Textedit (built in to OS X) reads most simple Word .docs natively. AppleWorks is ok, but very limiting. iWork looks good so far. Keynote is great if you don't like some of the hassles of PowerPoint and Pages is pretty good for simple stuff. But it's more of a basic page layout replacement than a Word replacement. Office is fine, but it does lag sometimes on slower hardware. Any current system will run it fine, just get lots of RAM (third party, it's cheaper). People just hate M$, and it's not the greatest software sometimes (a little bloated), but it's still better than the PC version IMO. People in the Mac world just have higher standards for software sometimes.

    Just make sure the word count is off, as that used to be a major slowdown in the last version I used.

    Edit: yeah, here it is - http://spellbound.sourceforge.net/download
     

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