Macbook Aluminum Questions - Converting

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by kowspot2000, May 4, 2009.

  1. kowspot2000 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2009
    Hello all! This is my first post here so please be nice :)

    All of my life I have been a Windows user, and only occasionally dabbling into Mac's. Well recently, my old HP laptop is getting to be a beast so I am considering buying one of the MacBook Aluminum's because my university is currently having a sale by selling the 2.0Ghz model for a cool $1,000. My main concerns are:

    1. I am a enrolled at a college to major in Computer Science, so I was wondering, if I do purchase one of these MacBooks and put XP on it with Boot Camp, would it essentially be the same thing as an XP machine? Like would I have any compatibility issues with programming/code?

    2. I know that these models are 13" and weight ~4-4.5lbs, what I was wondering is if anyone with experience carrying one of these around all day could let me know what it was like? Does it become a burden after a few hours? Or does the light-weight-ness of it all not really impact it?

    3. How durable is this machine? I usually slip my notebook into my backpack and skateboard around campus to my classes. It won't take a beating, but it will get bumped around a bit. Will it be able to take this nicely?

    4. As stated in #1, I plan to run OS X and XP with Boot Camp installed. What is the general performance? Like are there any compatability issues? I remember reading a while ago about issues with the multi-touch track pad under XP. Are these issues solved? And if so, is it like running XP on any other machine?

    5. With the 13" LED Display being made of glass, is it too reflect-y to be usable? And what kind of battery life does it get under OS X/XP?

    Thank you for all of your help! I greatly appreciate it and I plan to use you guys a lot in my transition into the Mac world.

    - Tuna
  2. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    1. You shouldn't it depends though, your milage may very. If you don't want to run bootcamp. I highly suggest running Parallels, it is great.

    2. I used to carry my white macbook all over campus with me, and now I have replaced it with my Unibody Macbook, and it is even better. I am never sore from carrying it. I forget it is there.

    3. The unibody construction is very durable and rigid. I should be fine in your bag (especially if you have a laptop pocket). Just don't drop it :eek:.

    4. Look above.

    5. I love the glossy screen, it is amazingly bright and gorgeous. I think the battery life is great, as long as you have the brightness at an acceptable level, and aren't making the fans run too much. :)
  3. Mantronix macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2007
    Hi and grats on your new macbook. I hope I can help you with some of your questions.

    1. Yes it will be just like a Windows machine, with all the problems and viruses that goes with them. :p I strongly suggest get an antivirus if you plan on surfing the internet under Windows. I have Windows on my laptop via Parallels.

    2. Mine is the 13" model and it's very light. Carrying it around shouldn't be any problem at all.

    3. Search the macbook forums and there are threads of the unibodies getting ran over by a car, mothers sitting on them, people dropping them and they are still working. I have the Speck black satin see thru case for it to protect it from scratches and nicks.

    4. I've never experienced any issues with the trackpad and Windows OS. Only reason why I have Windows is because of college and also my job requires use of a program which is Windows only. Again look at Parallels if you choose to run Windows on your macbook. There is nothing wrong with Bootcamp but transferring files from Windows to OS X and vice vera is so much easier with Parallels.

    5. I have the newer model and it suppose to have a superior LCD. The reflection is not bad and you will get use to it. I never used my laptop in direct sunlight so I couldn't tell you how it fairs in that area. As for the battery life I'm impressed with it. I tend to keep it charged and it only ran dead on me once when I feel sleep in bed watching Hulu. It should have the same battery life running under OS X.
  4. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    I would think that the Computer Science department has guidelines for recommended equipment necessary for your courses. It's perhaps that the MacBook doesn't meet the requirements regardless of the OS. You should check this out before committing to a purchase.
  5. morrisman1 macrumors 6502

    surely the computer science department doesnt care what you use, as long as you have access to some specific required software (could be under windows)

    General performance of these things is excellent, in osx it runs briskly even with my ultra bloated way of running things. Under a pretty clean version of windows xp it just flies, nothing stopping it there.

    at 4.5lb it's a pretty light laptop, i dont usually carry mine around but when i do, its nothing major, nothing near the weight of a good textbook!

    If you are prone to falling off your skateboard, perhaps you should invest in a good backpack with a compartment for laptops. a good drop will dent the aluminium if it drops on a corner so the key would to spread the forces away from the corner. If the bag as a hardish foam lining for the laptop sleeve you should be fine. just dont throw it around like you would a cellphone. The unibodies are durable but not bulletproof and aluminium is prone to denting if you are mean to it!

    The multi-touch doesnt work under windows xp. i dont know about vista. two-finger scrolling does work and so does two-finger right click but thats where it finishes.

    glass is reflective but not too reflective, its a grunty backlight so you dont really notice the glare that much unless its a dark image on-screen.

    Battery life under OSX: 4 hours realistic
    Battery life under XP: 2.5 hours

    They are my personal experiences.
  6. mousouchop macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2008
    New York
    I am a Junior in college for CIS right now and love my Macbook to pieces. I have installed Windows on it with Bootcamp in the past for programming needs and it has worked fine. I now just Remote Desktop into my mom's XP box at home when I need to code, or I use the school computer labs. There are many ways to get around the OS X barrier, as others have mentioned you can Parallel or you VMware Fusion.

    I haven't had windows installed since I switched to my Unibody, so I am not sure about the trackpad issues... I have remoted my mom's computer with no issues though.

    Good luck in college and go for the Macbook! You won't regret it.

    haha, you may catch a lot of flack from your classmates for having a Mac, I know I do. :p I just laugh at them when their computers crap everywhere.
  7. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008

    I have a white macbook and regularly take it to campus along with a paper pad and the occassional couple of books. Carrying all that is no big deal at all unless you have a seriously weak back or something :p
    Surely you had to carry heavier stuff around when you were at school?
  8. aaronearles macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2009
    I can't stand the trackpad in XP, the whole thing is very quirky and annoying in XP. I haven't tried Vista on the macbook, but as of a year ago on my SR MBP, the multitouch didn't work very well in vista either.
  9. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    You will definitely be much cooler than your classmates by having a mac. Macs get you laid. FACT.

  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Pics or it didn't...sorry, guess I've been on digg too long. :eek:
  11. Germwise macrumors regular

    May 2, 2009
    What univesity is this? 1000 bucks is a great deal.

    OSU here has a 1299 on a 80gb air but nothing on the mb

    sounds like apple is getting ready to release something else for it to be so cheap no?
  12. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    I've used my MacBook on my Computer Science degree for 18 months now.

    I don't do anything more technical than a Word document in Mac OS X though.

    For programming (C#, Java) I use Windows Vista.

    You'd probably want the 32-bit version of Windows though, because your primary aim will be ensuring compatibility with software you need on your course.

    The only thing that perhaps does need a warning is that Macs use a lot of non-standard technology with regards to installing Operating Systems (EFI vs BIOS and GPT instead of MBR). You'll find it hard to get Linux installed alongside your Windows and Mac OS X installs if that ever becomes necessary.

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