Fast advice for cs student about macbook pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by niksynik7, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. niksynik7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #1
    heyy everyone,
    I have been debating for days b/w a mbp 13 inch or hp dv3(my uni is offering a good discount). The prices for mbp(after excluding free ipod touch) and dv3 is almost the same abt 1000us$.
    I searched , but couldnt find anything concrete.
    I asked my professor, he said you can buy a mac, but windows will be better as it is cheaper and you will not face any problem about program compatibility. I am quite interested in a mbp 2.26ghz, but hp dv3 has much better specs(512 dedicated video memory,320gb hdd, 4gb ram, 2.53 ghz etc), so could u pls advice me if mac will be good if i will have to use windows on it later on. And i am completely new to macs...
     
  2. steveOooo macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    u can run windows naitively on intel macs - you can even run them side by side using paralesis software.

    your professor sounds like he needs some mac eduction!
     
  3. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #3
    yeah..that will always happen..u tend to get more hardware for the same money when you buy windows...your professor is quite right in saying that a windows environment will not have any problems of program compatibility..but u can run windows on a mac too..either via bootcamp or a virtual machine .... (though it kinda defeats the purpose of owning a mac)...

    My advice to u is...make a list of the programs u need...see if they have mac counterparts..
    1. if yes : decide if u can live with lesser hardware of the beautifully designed mac and use Parallels (or any other program) to run the occasional windows program
      1. if yes, buy MAC (yipee!!)
      2. if no, enjoy ur HP.
    2. if no : buy HP and lead a peaceful life at the uni. Trust me..u dnt want to waste ur time debuggin program compatibility issues when u cud be out partying..
     
  4. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #4
    yeah, he said macs are quite better than windows, but not all programs run on a mac,
    I have one major doubt,
    Will windows run on mbp as it will on a HP, ie. trackpad , some keyboard keys are missing in macs etc, pls explain
    @macjunkie: i am worried about compatibilty the most, what do you think about HP dv3.
    I had plans for iphone programming and for that i think u require a mac, but i dont think i can start that until atleast 2 year(any idea what language u need to know for that)??
     
  5. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 12, 2009
    #5
    Yup..there should be no problems there..my MBP runs windows without any glitches..but some advaced features of the MAC may be missing..such as the gesture control of the trackpad..i m not sure of this...but anyways..not having this feature does not block you from using windows..

    for iphone prgrming...its mainly objective c, xcode and cocoa..

    if ur HP runs windows...iphone programming may not be possible...maybe if u hackintosh it...but i would not recommend that...and i have never tried it..

    if iphone prgrming is really that important to u...just go for the mac...

    and since u plan to program on it...i would suggest u go atleast for the 15 inch...i tried out the 13 but programmin on it was not too pleasant...15 is the sweet spot IMO...it offers the right balance between portability and screen resolution
    and now that I have left programming..i am givin away my 15 lappy and buyin the 13...cause the 13, because of its enhanced portability, is the best for doc editing, internet browsing, spreadsheets etc...
     
  6. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Mar 25, 2009
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    Folding space
    #6
    Keys are not missing, just renamed on the Mac keyboard. Alt is named Command, the Windows key is called Option and so on. I use a Windows keyboard on my Mac. It took a little getting used to, but I got the hang of it (I have never owned a PC).

    Dale
     
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #7
    If your professor recommends getting a PC, and you don't know enough about using a mac and/or programming to be sure that you could get a macbook to work and be 100% compatible with the rest of your class's PC's, I would get a PC. In this case, it's not about what works better, or what doesn't get virus', it's about what you can learn best using, and from the sound of it, the PC is what you should go for. At least that way, you won't have to worry about things going wrong because of compatibility/you don't know OS X
     
  8. 1ofthedavids macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #8
    You got that switched around. Alt = Option and Windows Key = Command. Control is still control.... the alternatives are printed on the keys.
     
  9. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #9
    True, but if I read him right, he is strictly talking about the placement of the keys, not necessarily what the keys' functionality is. On a Windows keyboard, the Alt key is where the Command key is on a Mac keyboard, and the Windows key is where the Alt/Option key is.
     
  10. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2008
    #10
    thanks for the replies anyone.
    Is there any cs student using mac here?
    And I heard the mac trackpad doesnt work well on windows, i think the delete key is also missing on a mac, i read it somewhere.

    But seeing a mac attracts me a lot, my main concern is if something doesnt work on osx, will it run in windows on a mac as it will on a pc.
     
  11. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #11
    I'm a CS student using a Mac. So far I haven't had any compatibility issues...the only thing that I thought would have trouble is in my Programming class, but using Xcode proved to be just fine. And honestly, running Windows on a Mac is just peachy, you basically have all the drivers for all the hardware on your Mac already, and whether you choose to do it the Bootcamp way or the VM way, they both work wonderfully.

    It is true that the trackpad doesn't respond as well as it does in OS X, but that's not to say it doesn't respond well at all. IMO, it does, more so than "PC" trackpads. I definitely prefer the glass feel compared to basically everything else out there.

    As for the Delete key, I'm assuming you're actually talking about Backspace (on a Mac keyboard, the Backspace key is called Delete)...yes, it isn't physically in the keyboard, but a simple Fn+Delete will delete what's in front of your cursor.
     
  12. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

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    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #12
    Not very well, but at least the latest Apple trackpad driver for Windows has made it tolerable (unlike the original one for the glass trackpad, which was a disaster). But I use Windows on my Macbook every day at my job and for me a mouse is still a necessity.
     
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #13
    I took some java classes and my MBP was just fine, however it was just using the basic Jgrasp, which is cross-platform. Placement of keys doesn't matter as much as whether you can do what you need to do using your choice of OS. It's much harder to follow along when you're using xcode and everyone else uses something else.

    I second that- I've never seen such horrid Windows drivers for a trackpad in my life. It's almost as if Apple wants you to get frustrated running Windows on a mac. :confused:
     
  14. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2008
    #14
    thanks for the replies everyone,
    But is the trackpad still better than the normal pc's one or even worser?
    Coz trackpad is a necessity in classs..

    Does the lower right button work as a right click in windows as in osx.

    I can windows for coding thats why i am enquiring about windows on a mac more..
     
  15. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    I just graduated with my CS degree and I can say that while all the department computers were windows PCs a hefty majority of the students had macs. Just partition the hard drive and throw another operating system or two on there. Its simple and you get the joy of using OS X, which is pretty priceless IMHO.

    As for the trakcpad thing, I've not had any issues with it, so I dunno why it would be considered any different than a PCs trackpad.
     
  16. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #16
    Buy the mac. It's a far nicer machine, and if you're stuck needing to use some Windows-only software, you can always use VMware Fusion and boot up Windows. Mac has all the great UNIX comand line tools, so just what you need for a CS student. Will get you through 4 years of school no problem without all the hassle of crashes and viruses that the windows people have to deal with.

    Mac trackpad is *WAY* nicer than a pc trackpad due to the multi-touch and gestures. Use two fingers to emulate the mouse wheel and scroll down a web page, for example. It's lovely to use. I cringe every time I use a windows laptop now that has none of these convenient features.
     
  17. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2008
    #17
    But if i buy a mbp , i will buy the 13inch 2.26ghz(dont wanna invest more than that right now) , will it be enough for cs?
     
  18. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

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    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #18
    The latest trackpad driver is acceptable. The biggest problem for me is that it behaves slightly differently under Windows than in OS X. Specifically, I like to rest my thumb on the bottom of the pad (where the click button used to be on previous MB models). In OS X that's perfectly fine; one- and two-finger gestures work as they are supposed to. But under Windows the thumb acts as another finger, so trying to move the pointer up and down with one finger turns into a two-finger scroll action. My hand has been trained by years of click buttons, and I can't keep my thumb off that spot. It's annoying, but it may not bother you at all.

    You can get a right click by putting two fingers on the trackpad and clicking, in both OS X and Windows. It's quick and easy to get used to.
     
  19. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #19
    It'll work but I have to say that it will be cramped. When I did my brief CS stint (jGrasp like the guy above) i'd have my book in front of me, the jGrasp window and the Java reference info side by side and it was pretty cramped on my 15 inch (but easy on my external display).

    As far as which machine to get, I couldn't tell you. Get the one you are most comfortable with. When I went to my first class I expected everyone to be as geeked out as I was, yet some of them had pretty powerful laptops (lots of macs included) but couldn't tell windows from a door knob.

    I will tell you though here at the University of Wash. alot of the faculty including my professors sported the latest Apple laptops and most had the 30" ACD's too (just throwing my tuition money around), and I personally never had an issue getting my assignments done or having to download something that was windows only.
     
  20. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #20
    What i want to know abt the trackpad is, that is it same as other trackpads on hp etc in windows if not better ie. i mean a normal trackpad. And can we use lower right part of the trackpad for the the right click?


    And as far as screen size is concerned i dont wanna go above 13.3, both the laptops i am considering are 13.3 inches, so thats not a problem..

    And i am gonna video chat with msn friends, so does isight work well with windows live messenger?
     
  21. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #21
    For me a normal trackpad is one that gives you a single click. You know, a Mac trackpad.

    I don't believe so, no. Put two fingers on the trackpad and click. It's real simple.
     
  22. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2008
    #22
    For me a normal trackpad in terms of usage is same as what i use on my toshiba...
    I osx i read, u can use lower right bottom to right click, isnt it possible in windows
     
  23. mrbrightside623 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #23
    I think I know what you're talking about for the lower right bottom for right click. In OS X you can program it as bottom left as well. But as the others have said, it is simple to right click on a Mac trackpad. All you do it place 2 fingers on the trackpad and press down for the click. The computer will recognize it as a right click. As for the NORMAL TRACKPAD question. I think it works about the same. Since Toshiba trackpads aren't that great. The tend to feel sticky... you know kinda like lag. The Mac trackpad might actually be a step up on it. The plus is that its Glass which makes it feel so much smoother when it comes to scrolling and moving the mouse and so forth.

    -Tony
     
  24. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #24
    Just actually felt the macbp again,
    felt very nice, excellent build quality, trackpad is huge.
    i think i am gonna buy a 13inch mbp, though hp will have a better configuration, but mac has such a good feel.....
     
  25. niksynik7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2008
    #25
    what abt isight, does it work well with windows live messenger??
     

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