OS X thoughts from a new Dell owner

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
Hi all, I've been part of this site for a while now and just wanted to post some random thoughts. My main computer is a Rev. A 12" Powerbook, and I love it. Recently, my wife developed a need for a new laptop, and I bought her a Dell for two reasons. She wanted to go cheap, and she uses Microsoft Access heavily for work. The new Dell laptop came yesterday, and it has one feature that makes me happy about the big new Intel news - fantastic battery life.

Of course there are many downsides of the Dell hardware alone - easily-scratched plastic case, thick, heavy (Inspiron 6000d), DVD tray feels like it's gonna snap every time it opens, etc. However, the major thing this new purchase reminds me of is how much I prefer OS X. Sure I have an Athlon XP desktop to remind me of that every day, but setting up a *new* Windows laptop really drove the point home. The number of times this thing squawked at me to update something in the first hour after I turned it on, unbelievable. The amount of crappy trialware Dell has preinstalled, yuck. The uninstallation process, blech. Now I get to install 3 different spyware apps and hope they don't delete anything important. I hear Microsoft's spyware removal utility targets pretty much all P2P. That's fine as I don't use P2P, but I have no confidence it/they will stop there. For all I know, it will disable Firefox too. I didn't even plan on installing Microsoft's beta spyware removal, but it automatically installed via system updates. Tonight I plan to run msconfig to take as much cr*p as I can out of startup without deleting something important. Why can't these starup items have a useful title that tells you what they really are? Why aren't startup items in the Control Panel?? I know I am stating the obvious, and there are countless examples I'm not going to mention.

In the end, the thing I like best about this Dell is the processor. It gets *great* battery life and is pretty zippy with Photoshop. My next Apple laptop will probably have "Intel inside," and it suits me just fine. Everything I've come to appreciate about my Powerbook will remain intact in Macs to come. This Dell experience has reminded me that nothing most of us have come to appreciate about the Mac has anything specific to do with the PPC processor.

Anyway, I'm quite aware I'm not stating anything new here. Just wanted to share my thoughts at this time when some people seem to be freaking out, and I'm not exactly sure why.
 

Maxiseller

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2005
846
0
Little grey, chilly island.
Great Post.

You know, I JUST had a similar experience - although I admit to it being self inflicted!!

I was so dismayed at the prospect of me loosing re-sale value of my Macs, I put the lot on eBay. While mooching around a Windows computer (twice the speed of my fastest Mac at 3.6Ghz) I was trying to keep my producivity level more or less the same.

Its impossible.

There are so many things that are just down right difficult to do. Nothing is built in, every little "task" is a separate application made by any one of a billion people, all hogging valuable system resources.

In short, it's a mess.

By the way, I'm sitting here, typing from the cool of my patio on my iBook. Ive decided that re-sale value doesn't matter in the least; and that I'm going to enjoy my Macs. When the time comes for an upgrade, Ill invest again. It sure beats dealing with XP.
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,231
444
NY
Do you think sales for the new intel based Macs are going to take off like the G5 did with a few months of a waiting period or will people be skeptical and hold off a bit?
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
Maxiseller said:
I was so dismayed at the prospect of me loosing re-sale value of my Macs, I put the lot on eBay.
Wow, you really had a moment there!

Maxiseller said:
While mooching around a Windows computer (twice the speed of my fastest Mac at 3.6Ghz) I was trying to keep my producivity level more or less the same.

Its impossible.

There are so many things that are just down right difficult to do. Nothing is built in, every little "task" is a separate application made by any one of a billion people, all hogging valuable system resources.

In short, it's a mess.

By the way, I'm sitting here, typing from the cool of my patio on my iBook. Ive decided that re-sale value doesn't matter in the least; and that I'm going to enjoy my Macs. When the time comes for an upgrade, Ill invest again. It sure beats dealing with XP.
That;s how I feel about my Powerbook as well. I've already gotten my money's worth out of it; but even if I hadn't, I just couldn't see myself using only Windows for the next year. If I were due for an upgrade right now, I'd be bummed there was no G5 PB; however, I think I could be pretty psyched about the latest G4 PBs.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
puckhead193 said:
Do you think sales for the new intel based Macs are going to take off like the G5 did with a few months of a waiting period or will people be skeptical and hold off a bit?
I think people are going to buy the Intel-based Powerbooks like mad as soon as they are released. I will be one of those people. I'm not sure about the desktops since the G5 has really delivered in that realm.
 

mcarnes

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2004
1,929
1
USA! USA!
puckhead193 said:
Do you think sales for the new intel based Macs are going to take off like the G5 did with a few months of a waiting period or will people be skeptical and hold off a bit?
People will buy them based on the specs alone. Wouldn't you want to buy a 4.0 Ghz PowerBook? And most of the world does not hate Intel, only a few die hards around here do. The intel processor won't be as issue for the buying general public. Apple will sell a butt load of Intel based machines, right out of the gate.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
1,670
60
San Jose, CA
An an owner of both the 15" PowerBook and the 15" Dell Inspiron 6000d, I can tell you what I did immediately upon receiving my new 6000d.

1. Reformat the hard drive and re-install Windows XP Pro. Dell creates a System Restore partition on your hard drive that sucks out 3-4 GB of disk space. They also create a non-standard, unrecognizable initial boot partition that is about 50MB. These partitions are nothing but trouble for a person wanting to tweak their system.

2. Reinstalled the useful Dell-supplied software (virus checker, DVD player, etc.).

3. Ordered the Dell Tools CD containing Dell Media Experience (freely by calling Dell or using online support).

Now the system is configured exactly the way I want in a way that I can modify in the future.


I am not a fan of Windows XP Pro at all, but the Dell Hardware is pretty good. 1680x1050 LCD, *very* nice keyboard feel, good build quality, Bluetooth 2.0, dual-layer DVD burner, 100GB 5400rpm HD, 2GB DDR400 memory, 2 GHz Pentium M with 533 MHz FSB and hi-capacity LiOn battery.

The best part: 5 hours battery life (when I turn off Bluetooth and WiFi radios in flight). It actually runs for a full 5 hours.

The worst part: I am on a business trip in Taiwan right now and had to choose between my PowerBook and my Inspiron. Alas, I needed the Inspiron for this assignment.

The future: An Apple dual-core Pentium M laptop running both operating systems flawlessly and at full speed, and maybe even at the same time partitioned across the 2 cores.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,697
1,186
New Zealand
amin said:
The new Dell laptop came yesterday, and it has one feature that makes me happy about the big new Intel news - fantastic battery life.
Wow, really? My mum's Dell lasts an hour, with Word running. My iBook got 5 times that.
 

Moxiemike

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2002
2,437
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Nermal said:
Wow, really? My mum's Dell lasts an hour, with Word running. My iBook got 5 times that.
Didn't you hear? Apple has moved to intel. No more making fun of Dell's with Intel's in them, since we're on the same side. Shhhhhh.

Your iBook, since monday, has magically become crash prone and hot-running, and only gets 21 minutes of battery.

Those new hypothetical 49.8901 Ghz Intel Pentium M iBook's are gonna be out soon with 98 hours of battery life.

Your mac is dead. long live the mac.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,697
1,186
New Zealand
Moxiemike said:
No more making fun of Dell's with Intel's in them, since we're on the same side. Shhhhhh.
We're not on the same side as Dell! They promote Windows! :eek:

Sharewaredemon said:
Well this is a brand new laptop, and I assume he has the Pentium M proc in it?

I dunno but it's supposed to have good battery life.
Mum's isn't brand new, but it's not too old either - less than a year. Don't ask me what processor it is, I can tell you that it's 2.something GHz, but that's about it :rolleyes:
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
1,670
60
San Jose, CA
Nermal said:
Wow, really? My mum's Dell lasts an hour, with Word running. My iBook got 5 times that.
My PowerBook maxes out at 3h 30m. My Dell maxes out at 5h. Sounds like you've got a bad battery in that Dell or perhaps it's one of those 17-inch desktop replacements that are actually spec'ed for 1-2 hours. Dell has an almost gigantic range of laptops. You've got to be more specific.
 

Moxiemike

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2002
2,437
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Nermal said:
We're not on the same side as Dell! They promote Windows! :eek:



Mum's isn't brand new, but it's not too old either - less than a year. Don't ask me what processor it is, I can tell you that it's 2.something GHz, but that's about it :rolleyes:
i should have put my whole comment in sarcasm quotes. :p
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
I'd like to update this thread. So... I bought the wife a Dell 6000d back in June. She immediately thought it was too big, so I exchanged it for a 700m. Props to Dell for making the exchange painless and not charging me a restocking fee even though I deserved one. Then the 700m came. I didn't want all the AOL cr*p, etc, so I formatted, reinstalled drivers, and started from scratch. Short story is, the 700m never really acted like it should. Wouldn't shut down every time I asked it too. Some applications would crash it. Not as stable as other Windows machines I've had, and I don't know why. NAV didn't find any malware, and several spyware apps found no problem. I tried System Mechanic and Norton System Works Premier without help. Of course I had all the updates from Windows Update. Yesterday I tried a third clean Windows install, the hard drive made some funny noises, and then the machine died. Won't boot, and won't let me format the drive to reinstall Windows. I assume it's a faulty HD. Is this just bad luck, or is Dell using suspect parts? Too much frustration. My dad's HP never gives him any problems. Since the wife needs Windows, maybe I'll get one of those for her next time around.

So glad I don't have to deal with any of the above with my PB!
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
Nermal said:
Mum's isn't brand new, but it's not too old either - less than a year. Don't ask me what processor it is, I can tell you that it's 2.something GHz, but that's about it :rolleyes:
Probably one of those 12-pound P4's... Never quite saw the point of carrying something the weight of 4 mac minis on my back so that I could game for about an hour before another charge. (although i wouldn't mind being able to game now and then when i'm on the go, if i could preserve battery life :D )
 

iDM

macrumors 6502a
puckhead193 said:
Do you think sales for the new intel based Macs are going to take off like the G5 did with a few months of a waiting period or will people be skeptical and hold off a bit?
I think depending upon how Apple does to advertise/familar the public with the intel based Mac that will represent how well the sales do. I think they have the potential to do very well right off the bat, I however will be waiting till their second revolution of PM whenever that arrives!
 

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2004
3,258
117
Nowheresville
Here's one thing to help you ease getting rid of apps from starting up - I use it instead of MSCONFIG - regedit
If you go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run you can remove programs from there and BAM, they'll never start up again
Same with: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
As for Spyware removal - I recommend Spybot S&D and Adaware - great programs and they do the job. For anti-virus I recommend Avast! - they constantly update - update every week garunteed.
As for trialware stuff - http://www.snapfiles.com/ they have a lot of freeware programs - google helps too.
What's something else.... I think that's all the advice I can give you on your Dell Comp. If you ever decide to go Linux - choose SuSE for x86 and x86_64 architecture - for PPC (macs) go with Fedora
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
slooksterPSV said:
Here's one thing to help you ease getting rid of apps from starting up - I use it instead of MSCONFIG - regedit
Ack! NO! NO! Don't suggest using regedit!

You have to know what you're doing or you'll screw up your PC.

If you've played around with PCs and want to get into tweaking the system, and you don't mind possibly having to do a reinstall, go right ahead, but for the average user even msconfig can be dangerous.

I always use services.msc. It gives a better description of the services running.

I've posted this before, and it needs to be posted again, DO NOT disable any service unless you know it is not needed. The following link gives the safe ones to disable http://www.jasonn.com/turning_off_unnecessary_services_on_windows_xp
 

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2004
3,258
117
Nowheresville
plinden said:
Ack! NO! NO! Don't suggest using regedit!

You have to know what you're doing or you'll screw up your PC.

If you've played around with PCs and want to get into tweaking the system, and you don't mind possibly having to do a reinstall, go right ahead, but for the average user even msconfig can be dangerous.

I always use services.msc. It gives a better description of the services running.

I've posted this before, and it needs to be posted again, DO NOT disable any service unless you know it is not needed. The following link gives the safe ones to disable http://www.jasonn.com/turning_off_unnecessary_services_on_windows_xp
If he goes where I told him anything he delete's shouldn't, didn't say it wouldn't, impact the system as badly as deleting/renaming a service. I did that once, had to reinstall all over again. Services, do not play with unless you are like Grade A Professional.

EDIT: Backup your registry before making any changes whatsoever. This will help if you delete something you needed.