Is the MBP right for me? Or 'How do I learn to stop worrying and love the Apple'

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Azathoth, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    Please bear with me during this rambling post... :)

    I need a new laptop for:
    Work (general office stuff, engineering, web) and it should be linux compatible, as that's what we use at the office

    Home (Image editting (Lightroom), general web browsing, almost no games)

    I'm tired of being my own sysadmin for my laptop and work PC. Therefore would like a system that integrates ease of use, Linux/unix compability (ssh, xterm, openvpn) and good portability, so that i can use a single machine for work, home and some traveling around.

    Have been using Windows 7 RC and am very pleased with it on my Thinkpad T60. a 14", stylish (IMO) black workhorse weighing in at 2.2kg.

    I'm able to do simple linux things (recompile kernel to include ethernet drivers, occassional compile from source), but the amount of hassle is draining me now that I'm on the wrong side of 30. Moreover, in Linux things don't just work like they do in the Windows arena.

    I have been reading the boards here with interest. Overall my brain says to go with the new Thinkpad T400S (1.75kg, 1440x900 matte display, good keyboard (spill proof), rugged design, attractive (eye of the beholder), priced around the cost of a MBP 15" - integrated gfx model)

    I'm happy with most things Windows now that 7 is out, except unix compatiblity, therefore Im considering the MBP 15" (due to its matte option), but have the following reservations, and would be itnerested in other people's opinions:

    1. Is the 15", being 5cm wider than the current laptop, too big for travel, cafe's etc?

    2. Reliability does seem worse than other brands. Sure Apple have great customer care, but if I look at the premium one pays for a Thinkpad these things you can throw around and they keep on working, is this something i should consider - especially if I'm out in the field doing measurements?

    3. I'm not sure if I can live with the facist apple regime... No matte option for 13", sharp edges on the Al macbook, iTunes and Quicktime are de facto forced on you, one-button mice, pretty but not great keyboards, and the general Steve-Jobs-is-God mentality that pervades much of the mac community. So-called 'Think-differently' and yet all hardware choices are made by Apple, all GUI choices are made by Apple etc.

    There is an assumption that Macs are uncrashable and just work, however looking at the amount of program incompatibilities with SL this seems like an outright misrepresentation. Regarding security, if I look at my non-admin setup in Windows 7 then apart from the market share issue, I don't see why there should be an a priori difference in that respect either.

    I think it comes down to this: the Thinkpad T400S provides everything I need hardware-wise (size, weight, screen, reliability) - more so than a MBP 15". Even software-wise I'm only considering Apple due to its unix basis, yet I'm having a hard time dealing with the Mac-mentality.

    Could anyone provide me with some arguements that I could justify a MBP decision to myself?

  2. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

    Dec 21, 2008
    only you will know if the Mac is what you need, although if you can get by with win7 i would go that route. Is that an homage to Kubrick's film? if so, classic
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I wouldn't recommend an Apple as a solution to you.

    Get the Thinkpad T400S with enough RAM so that you can comfortably run *nix as a virtual machine along side Win7.
  4. mrbobbo macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2007
    Hidden benefits

    My experience with Macs is that they have built-in things I didn't know I needed or wanted. As time passes, I realize I need or want something and HAH the Mac already has it. Screen and window capture, print to PDF, convert image formats are just three. You may find Apple's control of its product distasteful, but you'll pay the price in Windows by having to integrate software and hardware from different vendors. I think the Mac will grow on you. I have had a Mac for years, and have always used Windows at work because it was company policy. Windows always strikes me as impossibly complicated, and I was a software engineer for many years.
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    You know that you can install x11 and run KDE/GNOME on macos?
    Back in the PPC days I always used linux alongside with Mac Os (Yellow Dog),
    but nowadays I just compile the linux apps I'm using to run in macos
  6. Azathoth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    If I run Linux virtually, but then I still end up maintaining two computer - jsut that one is virtual. All my companies information is on linux partitions, most of the design software is run via X over ssh etc.

    Setting up desktop stuff in linux has always been a mess - and KDE 4.1 has been such un incredibly buggy clusterfrag that it's really turned me off. At least with VLC player there's the abilty to play AV files! Audio under linux is just a myraid of incompatible driver models (ALSA, Pulse, gaudio), it's a mess.

    Basically I need a friendly version of Linux (Ubuntu, Mandriva, Kubuntu, Knoppix, CentOS and minilinux are the ones I've tried :p), maybe I should just bite the bullet and try mac... I have to admit it's refreshing to hear that people here in this thread are not immediately proclaiming that the Mac will solve all my (computer) problems. I know I'll end up installing Win7 on the Mac in order to run a few programs that are not ported yet (LTSpice for one).
  7. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Compared to the 14" you use now, there will be little noticeable difference. I much prefer the 13" but that's moot if you absolutely need the matte screen.

    Lenovo has outstanding customer care. I think it's on par if not better than Apple's. They seem to treat you a bit differently and play less support games. I suppose it has to do with the mac user base being a much younger and less business oriented crowd.

    Not really. This is why I use a mac. Granted, I really don't do anything heavy with my machine but it's true... the damn thing just works. And even when it doesn't, it lets you limp by until you can figure it out. I've never encountered any show stoppers.

    Me too. It's really quite juvenile IMO and you need to ignore the kiddies the embody this mentality. You should see me sitting at an executive board meeting with my whitebook. :p I used to get plenty of snickers and stares until everybody noticed that I could connect to the wireless projector 10/10 times and they can't. :D These are Lenovo's no less. I have inadvertently converted 2 other people to macbooks in the last year and haven't uttered a word. :p

    Place greater emphasis on your home life and how you will use any laptop there. OSX really is a pleasure to use (most of the time). I also use Lightroom on both OS's. Adobe really did a good job on the mac version.

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