Newbie With Too Many Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Way Tall Whitey, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Way Tall Whitey macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2007
    Hello all! I've been lurking here for a few days trying to glean as much info as possible about Macs…Whew!

    I am currently in the market for a laptop that will be used for business travel purposes; typing and sending reports and editing and sharing pictures with clients. I don’t know much about computers, whether it’s Mac or PC, but I have learned a lot here in the past couple of days.

    I’m very strongly leaning towards a MacBook 13in 2.0GHz 512/80/SD/AP/BT. My wife and I have checked them out at Small Dog Electronics in Burlington, Vermont; she is PC loyal (for now!) and is concerned that I may have file sharing or system interface issues that I won’t be able to resolve right away while I’m on the road. The folks at small Dog did their best to ease her concerns, but she has taken the stance that, “Of course they’ll say there are no problems, they sell Macs!”

    So, with all that in mind, has anyone here experienced these types of problems with this Mac? I really need to hear the bad as well as the good…warts and all!

    Also, is there a camera that works better with Macs than others, or is it just user preference?

    Thank you all in advance and I apologize for the length of this post!
  2. arcsbite Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    I have a mbp and a windows PC and they integrate pretty seamlessly
    file sharing is fine, I head into network places (PC) and added my mbp fine, and on my mbp I just head into network or Apple+K to connect to my PC.
    Camera's are, as far as I've seen perfectly fine with either OS, As the interaction between camera and computer are fairly minimal except for picture transfer.
  3. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Excellent choice. That's what I have. But UPGRADE THE RAM! I have 1.25GB, and it's about right for my usage (and yours, it would seem). But you can't have too much. Upgrading to 2GB in the store is $250. Sounds expensive, but maxing out the RAM is by far the most efficient upgrade you can perform.

    I seriously doubt you'll have any problems. Apple's implementation of Samba (which allows Macs to read and write to a PC's shared drives and directories) is very solid. OS X is very stable and reliable. If you have USB flash devices/thumbdrives/wtfever, you won't need to reformat them or do anything else to use them with OS X successfully.

    I would suggest that you turn on your PC's "remote desktop sharing" functionality or install a VNC server on it (ask for more information). That will allow you to control your PC from your Mac through any network connection, which is very nice if you forget an important document or need to do some other emergency task. It might be slow, but good in a pinch.

    Also share your PC's hard drive with the Mac. That'll allow you to transfer documents back and forth easily.

    If you have questions about this, just ask and ye shall receive.

    What warts? :p Seriously, there's a reason we all use Macs. There is a possibility that your machine might have a serious problem on arrival, but Apple's hardware reliability is basically the best in the industry. Software problems are very rare. All in all, it's a very reliable, stable, and fun platform.

    Basically user preference. My wife's $200 Canon digital works fine, as did an old Mavica of mine. You might want to run specific brands and models past some people, to get their experiences... but generally, if a modern digital camera doesn't work with OS X, it's a problem with the camera and not with OS X.

    You shouldn't apologize for stating your questions and concerns concisely, clearly, and intelligently :) I hope this helped.
  4. Way Tall Whitey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2007
    Thanks so much! Are there other sites I can go to to learn more or that might help me convince my wife? Ultimately the decision will be mine but I'd like for her to be comfortable with me buying a Mac
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Hi, welcome to MR, Whitey. :p

    With respect to the file sharing and interface issues, it's really impossible to know right away without knowing with whom you're sharing files and with what you're interfacing, right? I take it you're involved in small business, since you're buying your own equipment and not having an IT staff do this?

    Generally, most things that are web-based clients work in OS X, although there are a few notable corporate level applications. If you're using Siebel, SAP, PeopleSoft, etc, kinds of packages, you really need to ask the people administrating them what the compatibility is.

    With respect to file sharing, do you mean e-mailing Office documents back and forth, or do you mean using WebDAV or some service like that, or do you mean accessing some more sophisticated file sharing system? The answer is generally yes, although for the last option it can be iffy, depending again on specifics. Sharing office documents, pictures, etc, by e-mail is very easy, and it won't make much of a difference that you're on a Mac.

    As far as cameras go, that's kind of a whole other thread. The short answer is that pretty much every camera from the major brands (Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony, etc) works instantly with OS X and without any need for configuration. You'll plug it in and iPhoto will help you manage pictures (or you can change it so you can download them manually or have Aperture, etc, manage them). Incredibly easy.

    Another option, I guess, technically, is to get the Macbook, install Windows also on it (this can be done easily...Smalldog might even be willing to help in order to convert you! :p ), and then run Windows as a safety net if you get confused in OS X. Depending on your specifics (what specialized apps or services you need to connect to), it may or may not be necessary, though.
  6. arcsbite Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    Just a plus note.
    if you do decide to upgrade the ram (although in my mind 512mb would be ok for basic word processing and iPhoto, though, more RAM = faster machine) remember you can upgrade it anytime and by yourself, this will not void your warranty and it's also as easy as changing a plug.

    also, shop around for your RAM, Crucial can be quite good, I wouldn't recommend apple as they are a tad overpriced
  7. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    The only issue I've ever had working in a Windows environment is related to accessing Windows 2003 domain shared resources where they use Microsoft encrypted authentication for access to domain resources. I haven't been able to access shares in that environment. Most Windows networks I encounter use a more open authentication and so long as I have a user name and password for their domain I am able to access the shares.

    Also, do upgrade the RAM, get at least 1GB but 2GB is better. Refurb or new you will have a great system; capable of working and playing wherever and whenever you need.

  8. Way Tall Whitey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2007
    WOW! Thanks you guys, this is great! The laptop will be used for sending reports possibly with photos attached; I doubt I'll be logging onto the facility system other than to access the internet.

    I'm going to have my wife read all of this when she gets home, but I doubt it will convince her, she'll just have to use it and see for herself!

    If any of you have the chance to check out Small Dog, I highly recommend it! Nice new store and they allow employees and customers to bring in their pets, although I imagine if you have a Komodo Dragon you'd have to leave it at the curb! We have English Mastiffs, so I doubt we'll bring them in the store; floor tile and big dogs are not a good combination!

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