Newbie Help Please

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kdawg, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. kdawg macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2004
    I finally have my finances in order to purchase a Powerbook (After MWSF). I have few questions that I would like to have answered, so here it goes

    I am planning on getting a powerbook for mixing and composing some house music. I was thinking of getting an ibook to save some dough, but I met someone who works at the apple store who told me I would want to go with a powerbook because it has the audio in while the ibook only has a mic..... Any thoughts on this?

    I am a proficient windows users, and as anyone who is proficient in windows knows, there is a lot you have to do to windows in order to “lock it down” when you first start up a box. Having said that is there any site that is less forum and more tech oriented with regards to securing OS X out of the box. Or… Have my years of using MS’s OS just made me way to paranoid about security?

    Then there is the topic of Antivirus
    I am in disbelief every single time a read a post from you members who states that you do not use antivirus… Are you for real? What do you paranoid people use? The only AV I have seen is from Symantec… I did see a release for Mcafee, but it didn’t appear that they supported AV for the latest release of panther… (so it doesn’t count in my book) I guess I have answered my own question here… but still, are you not worried about someone developing something for the Mac platform? And don’t you think you might be setting yourself up for getting something nasty because you think that the probability of getting a virus is so very low?

    And Can someone please give me a link to anything that will have good information on how to use the CLI so that I can do basic connectivity tests on a NW without having to run to a windows machine and go to a command prompt. I am sure I can terminal, but would really like to know what commands to use when I find the terminal on my new computer. BTW, I am not going to VPC just so I can get to a command prompt either…

    Sorry to make this post so long… Any advice and other knowledge will be greatly appreciated.


  2. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I can only answer this question for you- I've used Macs since 1997 and not once have I gotten a virus. Ever. I've never used anti-virus software either.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    The biggest plus to the iBook - and the iBook is a great laptop - is the price. Otherwise, the PBs have substantially more features, esp. the 15" and 17". The one you mention - line in - might be useful in your area, although of course you could probably use the firewire or USB ports to accomplish the same thing on the iBook. So... the iBook will be a lot cheaper, but the PowerBooks - esp. the 15" and 17" - will do more.

    Well, yes, you've been made appropriately paranoid. I use Windows at work, have a Windows lappy for work-at-home, etc., so I feel your pain. But "locking down" a Mac is essentially just a matter of turning on the firewall. There are more options for the totally paranoid, but 99% of what you want can be done with a one-minute trip to one of the control panels.

    Well, with zero viruses out there now, there's no reason for any of us to have one aside from the altruistic reason of not passing along Windows viruses that pass through our emails unscathed and unused. A subscription to .Mac ( includes a subscription to an anti-virus solution - but, with none out there, it's hard to tell if it works.
    Terminal - the OS X application named "Terminal" - gives you access to a true UNIX command prompt. Any UNIX networking book (or site) will tell you all you need to know.
    I hope this helps - the site is so bogged down today that I hesitate to write more now; perhaps more will reply when things lighten up after MacWorld starts tomorrow.

    Best of luck with your purchase - you'll be surprised at the completeness of the OS and accompanying software.

  4. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    There are many iBook Vs PowerBook threads on this forum for your reference.

    Yes, the PB has an audio in socket which the iBook does not. You can however buy USB or Firewire audio interfaces that would arguably do a better job than the PBs anyway, so an iBook + audio device might be the way to go. The PB has the edge on processor power if you think you will be maxing it out though.

    As for locking down your system, apart from applying the latest security update via the S/W Update Process and enabling the firewall if you want to, I don't think there's much to do. I haven't bothered to install a virus checker, and haven't had a problem over the last 7 months since I switched, although I'm sure there are others who would say it's worthwhile (like the AV companies). Life with a Mac is a much less stressful experience on the security front.

    You can run a terminal session and type 'help' for a list of commands, and then type 'man <command name>' (substituting <command name> with the command you want help on). There's lots of documentation there.

    All the very best
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Great post jsw, I think you pretty much said it all.

    Welcome to the Mac family kdawg

    Always nice to welcome another "dawg"

    Now what was that about "monkey" user names??

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
  6. aussie_geek macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Sydney Australia
    Sounds like a candidate for a PowerBook I say

    Most definately get the PowerBook, make sure you get the one with the fastest processor and load it with ram (at least 1Gb).

    As you have stated above, the iBooks only have audio out, the PowerBooks in / out. If you were wanting to sample some sounds from your decks etc, you will have to buy a USB audio in box that just adds money to your investment. And they look untidy too :p

    My PowerBook easily runs Reason and Logic simultaneously, also taking midi input from my oxygen midi keyboard. Garage band with Jam Pack 2 is also something you should look into - there are some really good loops in there.

  7. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    Wait for MWSF there has been rumor of an apple branded firwire based audio input devise which is supposed to be affordable and will be much better than the line in on the PB! there is also the $30 (or so) iMic by Griffen technologies that provides a single audio input through USB.

    Ha, I know exactly what you mean. I've spend about 6 years doing IT work in windows envirnment. I have worked with some of the most paranoid out there and learned the biggest ways to safen a windows machine. So, when i switched about 3 years ago I used the super powers of Unix to lock down my apple. I could tell you enough to sufice a new thread. But what do you really need? Turn on the firewall and you should be fine.

    lol. . .nothing to worry about. NOTHING at all. there have been ZERO viruses for OS X. There was once a proof of something or another (basically someone said they found a hole, once) and that was patched in a day or so. But there really really is no worry about viruses, AND no worry of spyware/adware. A month or so after using your mac you will laugh at everyone who gets a virus/spy/adware and then promptly kick yourself for not switching sooner!

    Also, as a switcher, look for a good book on OS X. I used "Mac OS X Advanced Visual QuickPro Guide" by Maria Langer for 10.1 and it was great, I am sure there is a 10.3 version out somewhere. A book like this will also show you everything for your paranoidisms if you really want to build some security.

    Welcome and Enjoy!!!
  8. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Perhaps it is just my iBook pride coming through, but I disagree with this. First off the idea of a USB audio box adding money to your investment is silly, considering the powerbook will cost you so much more to begin'd save money by going iBook + USB/FW input.

    HOWEVER, if you feel like you'll be using some serious apps that suck serious processor and RAM, then go with the pbook, if you've got the money.).

    If I had my heart set on owning a pbook over an ibook, I would wait for the next bump, even if it's not at MWSF. The current pbook configs just don't seem to be THAT much of an improvement over the ibook to justify the price.

    Just my two cents!
  9. altair macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    There have been some great answers to your questions, the only 2 cents i can throw in there is the reason you wont need to 'lock down' your new laptop.

    A more technical person can throw in more info, but ill do the non technical version :p

    Whenever a program is installed, be it photoshop, or a new codec for quicktime, anything that would potentially effect the system, requires you to enter your login and password. So this gets rid of the potential for most adware and spyware and viruses imediately. If potentially a website had a app buried in it to auto install when you visit the site, it would prompt you to give it a login/pass before it was installed. If you clicked a bad link in an email, it would prompt for a login/pass before anything was installed.

    There might be workarounds to this, but would probably be tough :p

    Most importantly, ENJOY, and relax, OS X and mac's are 99% of the time a very enjoyable experience.

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