Converting to Mac update, 1/2 way there.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by InlawBiker, May 1, 2007.

  1. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    A few weeks back I asked the forum about switching to Mac from Windows, replacing 2 XP desktops with Macbooks.

    After much research and a couple failed Craigslist attempts I bought a base white Macbook from CompUSA ($250 off, going out of business) for my wife, so we're half-way there. I've been installing Office on it and playing with it, it's pretty nice. I thought I'd have to get more RAM but with just Word and Safari running it still has memory left - so far so good.

    In the meantime there's a new decision. I've installed Ubuntu on my desktop while I wait and... it's really nice. I'm a Unix guy which was a main motivator for switching to Mac. I've maintained lots of Sun & Linux servers but never used one for a workstation, but it's definitely feasible now. And I can still dual-boot or VMWare to Vista if I need to.

    This will be a tough choice. A LOADED PC Notebook is signficantly cheaper than a MB-Pro. It'll come down to how much easier OS X makes my life. Let's face it, Gnome & KDE work but they're not nearly as polished as OS X ... or Windows for that matter. Plus it'd be nice to be on the same platform as the wife. So I'm really looking forward to seeing the new OS and hardware.

    Here's a question - I understand there is no dock for the Macbooks. Personally I think this was a bad idea, but oh well. Is there such a thing as a Bluetooth keyboard & mouse that are AC powered? It'd be nice to just set the Macbook down at the desk and starting using the BT devices without worrying about batteries or plugging anything in.
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I suppose you could also experiment with putting Ubuntu on her Macbook?

    As far as the dock thing...

    - I don't think there are AC powered BT kb or mice. I've never heard of an AC powered KB or Mouse period. There are rechargeable ones, if that helps.

    - I personally prefer using my notebook as-is and don't really mess with a lot of external peripherals... but have you considered something like this:

    Or else, perhaps using a USB hub to minimize the number of plugs?

    FWIW, it's not quite like one must replace the batteries constantly with BT.... just FWIW. I personally would just (and ought to for my own) buy two sets of rechargeable batteries and keep one in the charger and one in the mouse / kb. You really won't be swapping that often.
  3. InlawBiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    Ubuntu on the Mac - nah, the whole reason I got the Mac for her is OS X. I see no reason to use Apple hardware to run Ubuntu - any PC will do. For myself, I can deal with fixing problems, compiling drivers, whatever - to a point. I'll give it a few more months and see how I like it.

    How long do the batteries last? I have a MS wireless lazer mouse and the battery life isn't very good.

    A USB hub also makes sense, minimizing the things to plug & unplug is key.
  4. mwp98223 macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2007
    Conway Washington
    Dell announced today it will ship some systems with Ubuntu.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    As far as the wireless batteries, my experience with the Apple mouse and kbd is that I have to replace batteries in the mouse every three months or so, and in the keyboard maybe every four or five months, although I do not use mine that heavily.
  6. InlawBiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    This is a whole other discussion, but in my opinion this is good for a number of reasons.

    The prices might be lower on new machines with Linux since the OEM cost of Vista is no longer part of the price. For people who never intend to use Windows, or for large companies buying machines for employees this is a savings.

    Dell will also need to ensure proper drivers are written and tested for all of their machines, so they can support them.

    This should make MS nervous, since part of their strategy is to have all machines pre-loaded with Windows, never giving people a chance to see something else. So thus the OEM price for the OS is so ridiculously low, especially for large companies like Dell.

    Personally though I'd prefer just to install Ubuntu myself.
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Same experience here. Mouse batteries last me ~3 months, keyboard a few months longer. I like how OS X will alert you when the battery level on either of the devices is low. :)
  8. InlawBiker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007

    This helps a lot. My experience with the MS mouse was about 3 weeks, which was totally unacceptable. Three months is no big deal, thanks guys.

  9. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    I think the reason Apple hasn't come out with a dock is that for most people, they aren't really needed. When I sit down at my desk, I hook up my DVI cable for my external monitor, the USB cable that feeds the hub in my external monitor, and snap in the Mag-Safe connector for power. It really doesn't take very long at all. Perhaps your situation is different, but I suspect you'll spend less time plugging in your laptop (even if you have to do it many times per day) than you will messing around with the inner-workings of a Linux system.

    The only time I have needed any type of docking is way back in the day when I had a sub-portable Vaio with no internal CD drive. My Mac manages to stay portable and still be fully-featured.

    I hope that helps...

    PS: I just replaced the batteries in the Apple bluetooth keyboard I bought with my computer in November, and I'm really bad at remembering to turn it off when I leave my desk, so it's basically been "on" the whole time.
  10. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    i've had my BT keyboard since August 2006 and i still have 20% battery left - it's been on the whole time.
  11. zero2dash macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2006
    Fenton, MO
    On the topic of OSX v Windows/*nix...

    the problem lies in the fact that most of the 'pro' apps have little to no equivalents under *nix. Office has OpenOffice, sure. GIMP for Photoshop (albeit not as good). I know there's others that are similar to Illustrator and InDesign, for instance. But it's not Adobe's stuff.

    The video guys out there...who live and die by Final Apple product. :eek:
    I don't know enough about Handbrake to know if it's available on anything but Mac. :confused:

    So on and so forth.
    By all means - if you can use what you need under *nix distros out there, then you (Windows) PCs, and install your distro flavor of choice. (I like OpenSuSe myself. I prefer KDE; obviously Ubuntu is Gnome and there's Kubuntu which is Ubuntu w/ KDE...but IMO OpenSuSe is better supported and more polished.)

    ~just a few thoughts :)

Share This Page