My MBP experience

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Luis Ortega, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    I bought a MBP about 2 weeks ago after being a Windows user for many years. I have been building my own PCs for almost 10 years and my main use of them is for video editing. For the benefit of those in a similar situation, I'd like to share my experiences so far.

    The hardware arrived in 9 days from order and it was in perfect condition. It came from Shaghai!
    I bought 2 x 2 gig ram modules from Crucial and maxed the ram to 4 gigs myself and had no problems.

    I was able to set up my mail and wireless broadband very easily with the computer doing most of the work invisibly.
    I installed the apps that I use (FCPS2 and Master Collection CS3 and Office 2004)without any problems or crashes.
    I downloaded all the software updates for the Mac and the apps I installed and except for asking my password, the computer did it all pretty much invisibly and without problems.

    I was advised to run repair disk permissions regularly before and after changes, which I did, and never had any problems.
    Is it possible to overdo using repair permissions? Coming from Windows, I am very experienced with regular maintenance routines like defrags, deleting temp files, etc., and although my Windows systems always ran well, I was used to periodic freezes and crashes but I knew how to fix them or avoid them.

    I added two external drives, one for video on the firewire 800 and another for cloning the completed setup in case of serious errors later on on the firewire 400. I used Superduper to make the bootable clone image and it all worked flawlessly. My only mistake was that I didn't know which key is the option key and I couldn't get the computer to boot up so that it offered me the choice of which startup disk to use. I kept holding down the command key instead, but once I resolved this ignorance on my part it all works perfectly.

    I can connect a dv camcorder or a dv vcr to my firewire port and capture video to the external drive on the firewire 800 port from either FCP or Premiere Pro CS3 perfectly and export he video back to tape as well.

    In all, my experience has been delightful and much more stable than when running my Windows PCs.

    My only negative comment is that I don't like having to wait for Apple to offer particular hardware options. I liked being able to buy and build exactly what I wanted in my PCs.

    My MBP experience has been so nice that I am now considering getting a Mac Pro but I am having to wait until Apple decides to update its current models and I find this frustrating. On the PC side I could easily build myself a 4 or 8 core system with the motherboard, graphics and drives that I want now rather than waiting around for Apple. I did put one together on paper recently to compare prices with the current Mac Pro specs and it came out a bit cheaper on the PC side, but not much. There are a lot of inexpensive PCs available but their specs are not comparable to those on a Mac Pro.

    Another thing that I haven't dealt with yet is setting up the built in webcam for video conferencing with friends around the world. I am still looking into the best approach to it. I used to use Yahoo Messenger on my PCs but I don't know if it is compatible with Macs. If I get a Mac Pro, I hope to use my current Logitech webcam and Maccam drivers to also have a webcam on that system. And I want to be able to connect my midi keyboard to the Mac Pro to create music but it's not a USB so I need to investigate what I can do.

    For those wondering about going to the Mac platform, I can say that the whole experience has been very smooth and painless and I would recommend it. Learning Mac OS is taking a little time but it's an enjoyable experience too.
  2. mistyz23 macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2007
  3. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    It was a VERY painful experience putting Win-doh's on my Mac yesterday. The display looks terrible in Win. (has a nasty blue tint over everything). I am SOOOO glad I only have to run one program through it, lol.
  4. mikeheenan macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2007
    What kind of a router do you have at your place? We have a netgear router, and anytime I connect to the net via wireless with my MBP it craps out the connection.
  5. Aperture macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2006
    Yep. You can use Yahoo Messenger - it is indeed compatible. Here is a link.

    I also have a router and a MBP, and my connection works fine. I know that doesn't help you, but not all MBPs and netgear routers don't play nice with each other.
  6. aimfire macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2007
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Luis, I am in the same boat as you! We must be like twins or something, lol. ;)

    I also just bought a MBP and compared to several other Windows-based laptops I own (and have owned), the MBP is easily the BEST laptop of them all, no contest!

    I also came over from the Windows PC side of things...
    I used to use Macs exclusively for about 7 years, and then swtiched over to the PC side in 1999 because most of my work projects required me to use Windows, plus at the time, I just found the PC more affordable to use and upgrade.

    Like yourself, I also build my own PC's and really like being able to choose my own components and upgrade them as my needs change. There's also a certain sense of "pride" you get from using a machine everyday that you've put together yourself.

    Just about 2 weeks ago, I started on a major PC upgrade project and bought all the parts to assemble an entirely new "super system" and planned on running Vista. I put the thing together, most powerful PC I ever built, and then installed Vista... and that's when the party ended, lol. I absolutely hated Vista and was really disappointed... Here I am with this awesome PC I just built and Vista seem to ruin it all. I went back to XP, but it just felt like a waste to use this awesome computer with such an inferior OS.

    At that point, I had enough... I can't stand Vista and didn't want to continue using XP for yet another 2-3 years and wait for the next version of Windows. I decided to switch entirely back over to Mac! :)

    My father is a Windows guy, and in need of a new PC, so I decided to give him an early (expensive) Xmas present this year, haha. So last week I went out and bought a 17" MBP just to get started... and am so happy to be using a Mac again after several years! I can honestly say, OSX blows away Vista, and Leopard is just going to be amazing!

    And once again, like yourself, I am also planning on getting a Mac Pro - but waiting to see when they release the new models. Hopefully it will be soon, would be nice if they released them with Leopard this month or shortly after.

    There are still a few Windows applications that I sometimes need to use, so I've been using BootCamp and Fusion - and Windows runs flawlessy on the MBP. With the ability to now run Windows so well, the decision to switch back over to Mac was a no-brainer. It feels great to be back again after all these years! :)
  7. coocooforcocoap macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2007
    kathmandu, nepal

    omg we must be triplets! i just got a mbp shipped to nepal and it's by far the best laptop i have had in a decade, and my favorite computer so far.

    i have been using ibm pcs since the pcxt, and had a mac classic once, and most recently been thru 3 or 4 vaios and satellites. there is no comparison in hardware/software simplicity in all but three areas: networking, backup, and networked printing (more on that in a bit).

    i loaded the mpb with all the stuff i had on a high powered graphics/3d workstation (some new mac/intel binaries and the rest in a bootcamp partition using parallels desktop) and it all works flawlessly after getting thru the installs of bootcamp (1.4) and latest level of parallels desktop. perfect. runs better then the pc workstation did.

    My only gripes and these may be because i am kinda out of touch with mac os, is in the areas of printing over the lan, backups, and networking.

    On networking, it all works fine but the config tools are a bit lacking. For example, I am using a script to automount networked windows drives from a server, but yet to figure out how to do that gracefully. for example, if a drive is not available using commands like: mount volume "smb://" and it's not online, there is just an ugly error message and the script halts. I need to learn how to do something better then that.

    On backups, I have tried all the major ones and i am not impressed. CC, SuperDuper, and DejaVu all seem to have a hard time with usb external drives and/or networked drives. I can get them to work, but I don't see any of these three as warm&fuzzy feelings like Acronis True Image is in the windows world. (which by the way I am using for the bootcamp partition). We are a small AV studio and I have convinced everyone to dump all our PCs and go macpro for the future, but i need to feel warm and fuzzy about backing up a network of macs on a windows server, as I will be held responsible. So far DejaVu is doing the job albeit inconsistently well. For example, it just won't backup the entire mac drive to USB external, just folder by folder!

    On printing over a network, the gimp strategy is a pure disaster in my mind. We have unsupported Canon photoprinters with no real match for the gimp drivers which appear worthless for any serious print jobs. I use custom canon configs and need the native driver, but i don't want to run a usb cable to the printer. XP server will load the driver for network printing if printing from bootcamp, so thats the solution there. ick.

    But the above are really just nits compared to the overall computing experience on the mbp vs. a similar laptop using XP (or heaven forbid, Vista). It's just fun! There are still spinning pinwheels of death (unexplained) but what computer in the world does not have those?

  8. Luis Ortega thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    Mine is a Belkin pre-N wireless router about 1 1/2 years old and I have ntl (Virgin now) broadband. I don't bother to encrypt it since that always caused problems with the PC wireless connections and I gave up trying to troubleshoot them.
    The MBP just picked it up immediately plus a few others that are perhaps from nearby homes. When I take it to work and start it up it immediately detects any wireless networks and asks me if I want to use them.
    With my PC laptop and my son's PC desktop using Belkin wireless adapters I had to install software and configure the setup before they would work, so seeing the MBP do it all was impressive
  9. Luis Ortega thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    Thanks, that's nice to know since I think that the parties on the other end also need to be on Yahoo to make it all work.
    I'm not sure about that though.
  10. Luis Ortega thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    I also hated Vista and when I found out that the Intel Macs can also run Windows (XP is what I'll use) that was the final incentive to try a Mac.
    Also, I went on a course for FCP and was highly impressed by the software so I needed a Mac to run that, and with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 going back to Windows I can now use both as I choose.
    I don't plan to put Windows on My MBP but I will set up a separate hard drive on the Mac Pro when I get it and use Win XP for some software and games that I can't get on the Mac.
  11. aimfire macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2007
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Same here, haha - I already have another sata drive set up with WinXP ready to go for when I get the Mac Pro.

    Apple's software also helped to make the decision for me as well. I'd been using Cakewalk Sonar on the PC for music recording, which was okay, but after I saw the demos for the new version of Logic Pro 8, I was blown away and had to get that!

    Even better, all of the recording hardware (midi controllers, audio interface, etc.) that I have for PC, is also supported by OSX with all of the drivers, etc. Making the change has been fairly easy so far.

    As for the networking stuff, I have an "old" Linksys Wireless-G router, the MBP found my network with no problem and was automatically set up in about a minute. I also just got the Airport Extreme base station, but have yet to set that up, although I expect it will go smoothly. I love the fact that you can plug in a usb hub to the Airport, and then use all of your external drives and printers, wirelessly over the network.

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