mac newb, please answer some Q's

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SnowSpyder86, May 18, 2007.

  1. SnowSpyder86 macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2007
    Hello everyone.

    Im not a mac owner, and never have been. Im a pc technician, and only have worked on pc's and windows servers. The reason of this post is to ask some questions that have been on my mind about macs, becuase im thinking about getting a macbook.

    How does the difficulty of upgrading ram and HDD's differ from mac to pcs (notebooks)?

    If i get a macbook (one of the ones just released), will it be possible to upgrade to Leopard when it comes out? If yes, do you think there will be any dissadvantages of doing so such as slowness, etc?

    I read that there was recently a class-action lawsuit against apple for the new macbook screens being very unevenly lit and blurry (i believe). Has anyone in her bought one of the new ones, and if yes, have you noticed this problem? Also, i have read about problems of swelling cases due to battery issues, and the top of the notebook cases rubbing off. Are these issues fixed yet?

    I currently hook up my toshiba laptop up to my samsung 52'' DLP through VGA, and it looks friggin fantastic. I know that there is an adapter for macbooks that lets you do the same thing, but i heard some people complaining about the video output quality being fuzzy. Does anyone know if thats true from personal experience?

    Also, how much HDD space does OSX take up?

    Say i get a macbook, and it comes with pc 5300 sdram, can i replace it or upgrade it with any brand of pc 5300 sdram? Same question about HDD's. Also, how many ram slots are in the new macbooks.

    What are the big differences between macbook and macbook pro that justify the huge price difference? is it just the size?

    How do you adjust the volume on a macbook? I have a toshiba laptop with windows, and it has hotkeys and a volume control on the front.

    Thats all the questions that i can remember. i know thats a lot to read, and i really do appreciate any helpfull feedback i can get. I came here becuase i know you guys (and gals) are the mac experts! Thanks in advance:)
  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Both RAM and HDD is easy to upgrade on the MB, RAM is easy but HDD difficult on the MBPro.

    Yes. Each iteration of OS X has been faster than the last. But no one can say for certain that Leopard will be faster.

    I don't know about the latest ones, but my wife bought a MacBook the day after the first version was released and never had any problems (apart from a dead HDD, which can happen any time to any computer). The swelling battery problem was a MBPro problem, I believe.

    The OS itself takes about 4GB. The extra software (iPhoto, Garageband, iLife etc) pushes it up to about 15GB on a new machine. You can remove any of the programs you won't use to free up space. Some people do a fresh customized install but I don't think that's necessary.

    Macs are picky about RAM. Some value brands will work, some won't. If you're willing to take the hassle of experimenting, you may need to try several RAM sticks to get one that works. Getting Mac-guaranteed RAM is the safest but most expensive option.

    Dedicated GPU, FireWire 800, size.

    There are function keys along the top.
  3. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    I'd say it's easier, since you can got to Apple's web site and get a detailed pdf with step-by-step instructions. You might need a special screwdriver, but I'm sure you have that....
    You can, but it'll cost you about $129 -- just like everyone else. As for slowness, the MacBook may not have the ability to smoothly run all the animated OS stuff like time machine, but it will run, no doubt.
    Haven't heard about the screen thing -- maybe someone else can help with that. Battery stuff is across all makers, and I haven't heard about the case top "rubbing off" -- not sure what that would look like.
    I've used the VGA adapter for presentations and I never had any problem with poor image quality, although I have no experience with DLP.
    According to Apple, 3 GB is required -- 4 GB if you install the developer tools.
    Yup -- and every experienced Mac user will tell you to do so. It's a general complaint that Apple's RAM and HDD upgrade prices are outrageous. MacBook has 2 RAM slots, and can address up to 3GB of RAM, so max would be 1x2GB + 1x1GB.
    I'd say that the major difference is that the MBP has a video card with dedicated VRAM, whereas the MB has a graphics processor and uses system RAM. Other than that, it's FW800, ExpressCard 34, metal case, illuminated keyboard, bigger screen.
    There are hotkeys (F3 and F4) and a menu item.
    Hope that helps....
  4. BoughtAAPL@4.00 macrumors member

    May 14, 2007
    Difficulty of upgrading RAM and HDD's is no different. Apple's non-laptop enclosures are easier to open (no screws), and have less internal spaghetti inside. Laptops are always a small pain, but no major differences there. You can find installation guides and manuals for all models on Apple's web site.

    Yes, notebooks just released will run Leopard. Should be no issues there.

    The newest screens are generally fine. The battery issue was confined to a small subset of batteries and has been addressed.

    No experience with VGA output. Would hope that your 52" DLP handles DVI, which is standard on MacBooks:

    HDD space taken up depends on what you install. Multiple language packs, fonts etc. can eat more space. Our System folders run 1 to 2 gigs.

    Upgrading RAM is the same as with any other computer as long as it meets the tech specs. Again, see or check the manual:

    Differences between MacBook and MacBook Pro is the coolness factor. For tech differences, again, see the tech specs for each. The MacBook Pro's are at

    You can adjust the volume from the keyboard or on-screen with your mouse/trackpad.
  5. SnowSpyder86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2007
  6. MagicUK macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    You are now in the position I was 6 months ago and all I can say is "Go for it, you will never look back".

    I have supported Microsoft products since 1995 and I will not complain as it has paid the bills, but I thought long and hard about it and decided to apply simple logic. When I get home I want to use my computer not sys admin it!

    I am currently writing up a little report on why I made the change and will be publishing it on my web site if you are interested (, one thing you can be be certain of is a high recommendation for the Mac community in offering assistance and the general acceptance of PC to Mac converts.
  7. SnowSpyder86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2007
    I really appreciate all of the advice i have received thus far, you guys are awesome! I will post any other questions that i forgot later.
  8. SnowSpyder86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2007
    OK, so..... I GOT MY NEW MACBOOK TODAY!!!!! Im so friggin excited, i cant even explain. I got the one with the 120 gb HDD.

    So, with that said, i have some more Q's.

    When i install something, it puts the install/program file on the desktop, which i hate, and ive tried to find out how to change this, with no luck. So, how do i change the location of the program files?

    Also, is there a feature in osx like disk defrag in windows, or do you not need to do this in osx?

    Also, how do i import the bookmarks from mozilla from windows to mozilla on my mac?

    Thanks. Ill post more Q's when i have em.
  9. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I believe your "program files" will always locate themselves to the Applications folder. Just drag and drop, it's that easy. Not sure if that answers your question though. Good luck!
  10. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    If you download the program to the desktop it will unstuff to the desktop if you use stuffit. You can change that. If it uses dmg files then you download it wherever you want but the disk image will always show up on the desktop. OS X doesn't need defragging unless you are low on HD space or you have individual files that are very large. Other than that, I'd recommend you run disk utility often. I'd recommend you download onyx. It's free and it's a great program to keep things clean. Just don't use all the features you don't know what they do. You can also use keychain utility/colorsync utility if you are having problems. If you really want to defrag you can buy idefrag.
  11. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    ??? The way I do it, is it mounts a disk image, I drag the app into the Applications folder, and delete the .dmg and eject the disk image.:confused:
  12. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Just to clarify, the typical method for installation of applications is this:

    Download a xxx.dmg file. This is a Disk Image file. When you open it, it verifies and mounts a disk image to your computer, normally showing up on the desktop. This is not the application - this is like a simulated external drive which contains the files.

    The xxx.dmg will typically have the file, and maybe some other documents etc. In this case, dragging the file to your Applications directory is all it takes to 'install'. After that, you can unmount ('eject') the xxx.dmg, and even delete it if you want.

    To uninstall such and, just delete the (move to trash and empty). The only trace that it typically leaves behind is a small .xml file that contains your preferences for that program. They don't cause any problems for your computer and basically take up no space - they only get called upon when booting the app, so I normally just forget about them.

    That's it.

    For the most part, many applications are self-contained like this.

    Occasionally, the xxx.dmg may contain scripts to install folders and other stuff - like Microsft Office - in those cases, just run the script as per instructions inside the .dmg file.
  13. Pili macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2005
    Orlando/Miami, FL
    Just export you bookmarks on your PC as an html file, transfer the file, and import in the "organize bookmarks" > file > import. You can just drag the html file into the window as well.
  14. MagicUK macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    Okay as a newbie to Mac convert may be I can help translate.

    So under windows you downloaded a program, maybe a self expanding EXE or a zip file. (The later you extracted to a folder).

    Once you did that you double clicked the .EXE or ran the .MSi file and followed the wizard.

    Well welcome to the :apple: world. It just got easier.

    So you download your application and it do one of two things.

    1. Walk you through the install. (Just follow the instructions).
    2. Download a .DMG file and mount it.

    Now this is the thing that confused me to start with, but it might help to think of it in these terms.

    You just downloaded an application. The Mac now see's it if you have just inserted a CD/DVD and goes into auto run mode. This is where the Mac wins hands down on ease of installation. To install click the .DMG file and when it fires up drag the application icon to your "Applications" folder.

    That's it program installed!! can then just eject the .DMG like it was a CD/DVD (CTRL-CLICK --> Eject <Name.dmg>).
  15. SnowSpyder86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2007
    Ah, just the answer i was looking for, thanks a bunch!
  16. eenu macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    got to disagree with everyone on the OS size. Once i stripped the useless languages and the PPC binarys etc out of the install (which is easy to do) and minus most of iLife i had a 2.2GB install. I did this yesterday so it is fresh in my memory :p
  17. SnowSpyder86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2007
    Two more questions:

    1. Is there any way to disable sleep mode when you close the lid

    2. Will it damage your battery to leave the ac adapter plugged in over night?
  18. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    1. I believe a program called Insomniac was recommended previously. Try googling it.

    2. No. Your battery will probably not fully charge (as I have seen on other Apple laptops) and it limits this to make sure that the battery is not damaged.

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