Switching Maybe A few Questions plz!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Makyz, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. Makyz macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2003
    Hello, my name is Luis and I am planning to switch over to Macs. I was pretty much a hardcore PC user for 8 years and presently Im in my freshman year of college. I was originally going to go wtih a Sager Notebook (http://www.pctorque.com) because you get the most out of your money there.

    Then I applied for an on campus job at my university, and they told me that at the interview I would have to show some Mac knowledge. Well I didnt have a clue on what to do, so I delved into websites and read up on troubleshoting, went to the library to practice on a Mac- the whole nine yards. But it wasnt enough and I was docked for a person with more mac experience. The side effect of my research was that I read up on what Mac had to offer me.

    I mostly web design and graphic design, I love watching full screen DVDs and videos, and I am planning to take up a hobby of video editting in the near future. I barely play computer games anymore, maybe Warcraft and I beleive they comeout with Mac compatable games... All my friends tell me to go with PC because that is the most compatable platofrm and you cant go wrong with a PC. That is why I am here. I want to ask a few questions to see if its worth switching over.

    Here are the spec on which I am planning to go for:

    PowerBook 1.25GHz (15.2" TFT) $2,389.00
    1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200 rpm
    SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM
    AirPort Extreme Card

    1) Do I have to change all the software I acquired (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, ACDSee, etc) for Macs?

    2) Is there an equivalent file sharing program for Mac ( ie Kazaa) avaiable? Will I be able to download programs, music, and cracks etc etc?

    3) What is a 1.25 GHz PowerBook comparable to ala Intel?

    4) How much stable is the OSX platform?

    5) Is the battery life decent? 3 hours maybe? Oone of the reasons Im not going to PC is because in order to get power i need to pack on weight and lose battery life.

    6) Are there scroll and two button mouses compatable with Macs?

    7) How long before it goes obsolete? Pc go so fast, but I heard Macs last longer. I need this for 4 years of my college life

    8) I only bought one piece of ram 512, so i could buy another off the interent cheaper and install it myself? is the reccomenable, or should I go for the 1 gig immediately ?

    9) I shouldnt have any trouble using my on capus wireless with ariport right?

    Thanks for all the info and sorry for all the questions and if I asked any repeat questions!!!!
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    1. Yes, you do need software specifically for Mac for any real speed.

    2. Yes, there are Mac file sharing programs made just for Mac and those like Bittorrent that you can download Mac programs over.

    3. This is very hard to say... but at least a 2ghz P4 but faster for most tasks.

    4. OS X is one of the most stable OS'es ever since it is based on the Unix core. In fact, you can access Unix from within OS X which most people find VERY useful since you can use alot of free Unix apps.

    5. Battery life is 3-4 hours.

    6. You can buy a 5 button scroll wheel mouse like I have and it works fine with no drivers. In fact, I have a Microsoft mouse.

    7. Macs do stay useful longer than PCs. You can use 4 to 5 year old Macs with the newest Mac OS and they do fine for most things (except games, since those require the most recent hardware etc).

    8. You should just get the 1 512MB stick and buy the rest online later. Apple charges twice what other companies do for RAM, and since RAM is standard, you can buy from your favorite PC RAM dealer.

    9. Wireless should work better on the Mac than the PC since Apple was the first to use it :D

    Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
  3. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR

    erm.... no.... Mac software doesn't make it faster on Macs, it makes it WORK on Macs. There are hybrid CDs (starcraft, for example) that will install on either. The major Adobe apps (and most other apps) have Mac versions, but I have no clue if they're sold seperately or as a hybrid. As for the speed: Ha. 1.6GHz, maybe. maybe a little better for things that use Altivec a lot. Don't underestimate the P4; It's not a nice design, but it gets the job done quite effectively.
  4. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
    Re: Switching Maybe A few Questions plz!

    Unfortunately, yes. But sometimes companies will let you "upgrade" to a newer version on a different platform.

    Can't comment on that. But you might find something. ;)

    I think about a 2GHz. Maybe a little less, but it's PLENTY fast.

    I have never crashed Jaguar once...wait, only once in a year. It's really truly amazing. And I almost never shut down or restart my computer.

    It's pretty decent. About 3 hours under real-world conditions. 1.5 if you're watching a full screen DVD.


    Just because a newer faster computer comes out, it doesn't make yours any slower. And the new version of OS X is actually faster than the previous version. OS X gets faster with every version, not slower. So you should be in good shape.

    Apple RAM is rediculously expensive. Buy it elsewhere and install it yourself. Crucial RAM is good and cheap.

    802.11b and g are standards-based. You'll have no problem. And it's SUPER easy to set up and configure on a Mac. In most cases, there is no setup required. It just connects automatically.

    Good luck. You'll never look back.
  5. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Re: Switching Maybe A few Questions plz!

    Unfortunately, yes, but edu discounts are really cheap for Studio MX (about $199 (?)), Photoshop is also really cheap for students 299 and the whole adobe suite is 399 so, you can guess what is the better deal....
    BTW. ACDSee for Mac is junk, there are other options though.
    Yes, many. Limewire, Aquisition (GNUtella), Poisoded and MLMac (Kazaa/Fasttrack etc.) and a lot more.
    Probably the same or somewhat better (in altivec SIMD) than similarly clocked Penium4 M chip.
    Pretty stable, but if you order, wait until Panther (OS) has shipped, it'll be better than it is now, though not like its any worse than linux currently is on that front anyways...what you'll really like though, is the instant wake and sleep when using OSX, no more hibernation.
    It should be, my ma's G4 800 gets close to 4 hours, there are people here who can tell you better than me.
    Absolutely, they work right out of the box without any drivers, though if you have more than 3 buttons, the drivers can help. Actually, I use a Sony Viao mouse, and the package said it only works on Viaos...but guess what, it just works perfectly.
    Well, a G5 Powerbook might be comming, but who knows when. When it does, thats when it will be outdated, but if you mean too slow for current apps to run, I would say it could last you your college time. Apple and software companies are always squeezing more and more optimization with each release of software, so things can only get better.
    Don't pay apple's extortion price for RAM. Go elsewhere, just make sure its certified to be high quality (CAS 2-2-2 or something)
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I was referring to using Virtual PC to run your PC programs, which is very undesirable for any real speed.
  7. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    As far as speed goes, it depends on whether or not the app you are running is optimized for altivec. If it is, then it is equivalent to about a 2ghz P4. If it is not optimized for altivec, then it is about equivalent to a 1.5 to a 1.6 ghz P4.

    I think that you will have no problem having your computer last you through college. Apple is still using the G3 in the iBook, though for how much longer is unclear. The G4 will be current for a long time, though with the advent of the G5, it is no longer the creme of the crop. G5 laptops are coming, its just a matter of when. But regardless, you should be just fine for 4 years.
  8. loveshismac macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2001
    You say u mostly web design and graphic desgn?
    And what were you tought how to do these professions on, may I ask?

    I am an Art Director for a 80 Million a year fashion company, and would never hire an artist with no mac experiece, no matter how good the piece of paper in front of me says he.she is.

    And you will probably find, real fast that if your serious about it you better get to know the Mac real fast.
    Competion is a killer in this market.
  9. Makyz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2003
    Thank you all for the information!
    Now I am a bit more confident that a Powerbook is for me. I have afew more questions though.

    10) is it worth upgrading to the more recent airport for the 54mbs transfer rate? Is it very noticable?

    11) do you really notice if you upgrade the hard drive to 5400 rpms? I dont like 4200 but im not an impatient guy, just annoys me abit. anyone have any advice?

    12) Anyone recommend a cool looking carrying bag, hehe Im gonna need a new one to replace my Strongbad Bag! , preferable messenger style? (no backpacks)

    13) Any of you guys run Gentoo on your Mac? I m intrested in maybe experimenting in that.

    14) Im planning for the educational discount, and then the student loan to apy it off. Is this feasible? Or should I just amass in the next 2-3 months and pay it all in one chunk?

    15) Anything else you guys can say to pull me closer, and closer to buying would be appreciated!
  10. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    If you buy the 1.25ghz PowerBook you automatically get the 54mbps airport.

    Upgrading the hard drive to a faster drive will get you a higher transfer rate, whether or not you will notice is up to you.

    I dont think you can run a Linux built on the Mac unless it is made for the PPC chip. PC's use x86, but the Mac does not. Most Linux builds are x86, not PPC. There are a few versions of Linux for PPC, but I really dont know why you would want to run them, since OS X is essentially a GUI running on Unix.

    You will also love OS X... Im using the latest version "Panther" and it is VERY fast on my 1ghz Titanium PowerBook, so it will be even faster on a 1.25ghz PowerBook!!
  11. benjaminpg macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The Airport Extreme (54 mb/s) cards and the Airport (12 mb/s) card are different and any given mac can only handle one or the other. In the case of the new PowerBooks, only the Airport Extreme card will even fit into the machine. (I think it may be included)

    I seem to remember Adobe having a deal, whereby you could trade in your software, but maybe only if it is the newest version. Obviously, the software has to be acquired legally to start with ;).

    Good luck
  12. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    I ran the CineBench on my new 1.25Ghz AluBook against my buddies 2.2 Ghz P4, and it edged out his computer by a bit.
  13. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
  14. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    Switch to the good side of the force! ;-)
  15. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
    If you can swing it, a faster hard drive will make your laptop seem quite a bit faster. Right now, that's the largest bottleneck on a portable machine-the HD speed.
  16. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
  17. Vector macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2002
    I would buy a timbuk2 bag (http://www.timbuk2.com) for the laptop if you get it. I have a powerbook g4 and one of the commuter bags and it is great. The bag has its own computer sleeve built in with plenty of padding on the sides and the bottom. These bags also have a good deal of space for other things (ie books and whatever else you need for school) and have lots of pockets.
  18. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    I think the 1.25 AlBook is closer to a 2.4 P4.
  19. Makyz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2003
    thanks for all the info~, i am convinced now I am a switcher~!
  20. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm in the exact same boat. I'm going off to college next year, and I think I'm going to order my 15" Albook after Panther ships. Even though I've been researching this move for a couple months now, this thread really helped out. I need to get away from this Windoze ME crap as soon as I can.

    I was so pissed when I found out I couldn't get iTunes today...:(
  21. chomsky macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2003
    Look up the Marware Sportfolio on google.

    I'm a unix guy myself, so I can help you here. You should know that you can get a great deal of "linux" software which runs natively on macosX. Look at www.fink.org - it currently has a great deal of software which you can download and use. In fact, there is probably software which would allow you to not bother downloading "pirated" software. For instance, you can use The Gimp in lieu of Photoshop for most things.

    However, you *can* run linux on your powerbook, I would suggest Debian GNU/Linux as the distro with the most sofware ready for powerpc. You should realize though, that your airport card on the 1.25 ghz powerbook will not work under any linux distrobution, since the manufacturer of the card refuses to release information about how it works. The Titanium powerbook, however, has 'classic' Airport, which is fully supported under linux. Just some things which you might consider.

    By the way, linux *SCREAMS* on the powerbook. Much faster than OSX. (however, I have fallen in love with OSX since it fulfills my unix needs, and I rarely boot into linux anymore...)

  22. Makyz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2003
    one more question! hehe

    would www.apple.com be the best place to buy a 15 in powerbook?, there arent any other preferred vendors?
  23. Elenita macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Also check out Yellow Dog Linux by TerraSoft. It's a distro that works exclusively with the PPC architecture, and the recently released version 3.0 has been getting positive reviews.

    (If you're seriously interested in Linux and haven't checked out DistoWatch, you may want to take a look. It's a great resource.)

    That's where I got mine, mostly because of the educational discount--something most internet resellers don't offer. But see if your school sells Macs; if so, you should get an educational discount there as well.

    Hope this helps.
  24. rjrufo macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2002
    I thought I'd add my 2 cents, but since everyone else answered your questions, I'll pass on that part.

    You'll be happy with the switch. I'm glad I did.

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