Macbook for Windows only?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Did anyone here buy a Macbook or any Apple computer strictly to run Windows on it?



I've been following Apple for years and watching all the keynotes and seeing the demos done on stage and some of the things they show off look great. So I finally bought a mac. I love my macbook. Aside from the smaller harddrive and the lack of a decnt graphics card. I love the look of the machine, I love the keyboard, I love the integrated isight, I love the power cord with magsafe, I love the optical audio and the full size firewire jack and all the other little things.



But I don't care for MacOSX. I thought I might but I'm finding it totally counter productive for me.

I hate the fact that I can't make windows full screen without dragging every single window to my screen size (if they even allow me to). Although Expose looks fancy to the eye I don't like how I have to first zoom out to see all my windows so i can jump to another. It seems like such a waste of time and my mouse has to go down then up and down then up constantly. In XP my mouse can stay at the bottom and flip between windows like tabs.



I'm also finding the the mouse movement is really slow and sluggish when I have my external optical mouse hooked up. Even though I've got it set to full speed in the preferences. Overall I'm just kind of disappointed. Should I keep this machine to just run windows on or should I take it back to the Apple store, get hit with the 10% restocking fee and then go by a PC?



Is it economical to buy a mac and only run windows on it?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RedDel


    Is it economical to buy a mac and only run windows on it?



    Yes they're well built machines so even when running only Windows, the hardware is still competitively priced.



    However, the main advantage of the Mac for most people is Mac OS X. I know that some people prefer Windows and the more I use it in Parallels, the more I like the snappiness. I miss that sometimes when I use OS X, especially when I have to run Rosetta apps but I couldn't give up the unix side of OS X and Windows has no suitable equivalent for me. Not to mention Shake and Final Cut, which I can't do without.



    It's true that you can buy a slightly higher spec PC cheaper than a Mac, it's just unlikely that it will be designed as well. If I personally bought a PC and I have seriously thought about it (when I forgot I needed Shake etc), the only manufacturer that made anything near to what I wanted was Sony and they are more expensive than Apple a lot of the time for lower spec.



    So overall, I see no reason against using the Mac just for Windows. I even considered doing that myself until the likes of Adobe get their Intel native apps out but I don't have much drive space for two systems. Even Sony are trying to copy Apple so if you buy a PC, you might end up with a similar machine but without the ability to run OS X:



    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/09...eils_vaio_n10/



    Your Mac will hold its value longer than a PC would too because Apple release fewer models.



    What I'd suggest is that you install Windows using Bootcamp and then run some benchmarks to see how well your machine performs against online benchmarks and see what prices the machines are. Then you will see if it's economical to run Windows on the Mac.



    Btw, for switching between apps, you can do command-tab and for switching between windows in the current app, use command-tilde(~).
  • Reply 2 of 46
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    Ahh! If you use windows only then it is not a mac!



    Things are different on the mac side, not counter productive.



    1) Windows dont expand to the full window because the Mac philosophy is that the window need not take up more space than it needs to display the contents.



    2) My cursor is not slow at all....



    3) You can switch around windows using "apple ~" or use the window menu or just by clicking



    I swear to you. I didnt like how Macs did things over windows at first, but over time it really grew on me. I gaurantee you the more time you spend with Mac OS X, you'll realize the Windows way isnt the only way and certainly not the best way.



    You're just so use to windows. You can expect to break a decade of training in a day or two. I swear. If you have any questions, you are welcomed to IM me.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    You're just not used to OS X yet. You have habits that developed using Windows that will change using X. Most of the things you mentioned are classic examples of it - the accelerated mouse movement, the full windowing.



    It really doesn't make any sense to use a Mac for Windows only.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    Thanks Marvin for your suggestions. I do pretty much agree with you. I've been pricing out other laptops, both before and after I bought the macbook. What I've noticed is that it's really more of a trade off. For instance a PC laptop for the same price I paid for my mackbook ($1100) might come with a core duo 1.6Ghz processor and 1gig of ram and dedicated graphics, 100gig drive, as well as a DVD burner. Whereas the macbook will have a 1.86Ghz processor. 512 ram, combo drive, 60gig drive and and isight camera. The PC laptop will have a VGA output and the macbook will have a mini-DVI-I that can also do VGA and S-Video. The PC also won't have optical output or a fancy design.



    It really is a solid piece of hardware. The only thing I have a complaint with that can't be upgraded is the graphics chipset, but then there are alot of PC's in the same price range that have the same chipset. And as far as I know the intel 950 chip is Vista Aero compatible right?



    The only other thing I'm curious about is the vertical scroll on the trackpad. In OSX the vert scroll is done with two fingers, which works great. But does that carry over into windows XP or Vista? I know alot of PC laptops have a dedicated vert scroll on the side of the trackpad, and some have horizontal scroll.



    Is there a way I can uninstall OSX and just run Windows on it for now? Until I get a bigger 200gig hard drive for it. The hard drive is pretty small as it is (60gig) and I noticed that when I first turned it on I was only given 38gig of free space. So I guesss between the formating and the OS and iLife they must take up alot of space.

    Putting XP on would make it even smaller if I had to keep OSX as well.



    But you're right about it holding it's value and I did buy it because I want to learn final cut pro.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Hey guys,

    You must have responded while I was responding to Marvin.

    I understand what you're saying. I know that's probably the problem. Old habits die hard.



    I guess the big question is, is it worth changing your habits? And why?
  • Reply 6 of 46
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    I changed my habits and am so glad. I wouldnt take a free PC, well, maybe if I could sell it to get a Mac.



    Trust us!
  • Reply 7 of 46
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Window/application management in Mac OS X makes ten times the sense as Windows. It works hierarchically: each window "belongs" to a program. In Windows there's this kind of fuzzy concept of each window being a program, even when there are multiple windows of the same program, which isn't how any OS actually works.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    I find it's worth giving OS X a little time -- and learn some of the shortcuts and tricks -- before dismissing it.



    For example, re window management: command-tab plus hiding (command-H, or option-clicking) still remains the best way for me to manage my windows (though Exposé can be extremely useful at times). The great thing about OS X's command-tab is that it's gestural (you can hit command-tab and flick the mouse instead of, say, hitting command-tab 7 times) and drag-and-drop-savvy. You'll also notice that hitting it once quickly brings you to the previously used app w/o the apps list popping up. And pressing H or Q while command-tabbing will respectively hide or quit that app. Very nice.



    And you can use the green button on windows to "zoom", which maximizes your window to the window content. Option-clicking the Zoom button will, for some but not all apps, maximize the window to the screen. Unfortunately, this command is coded on a per-app basis and isn't consistent. (And actually, I agree with you that OS X needs a better full-screen command... "zoom" can be pretty flaky and is rarely useful.)



    There's also an enormous number of utilities out there, often free, that can get you to the place you want to be, if you find the OS lacking.



    For example, again re window management, Witch is worth checking out if you just plain don't like Exposé or work with a lot of text-heavy windows.



    USB Overdrive ($20) will allow you set mouse speed beyond Apple's limits. (There may be some free utility out there too.)



    In the end, you may find Windows is more your cup of tea, and the MacBook will work just fine running XP or Vista. But OS X -- though different -- is pretty great. Definitely give it a try for a little while before giving up. Old habits die hard.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    RedDel, I won't try and tell you you're wrong to want to go back to Windows, but I will try and explain the difference in philosophy behind the window management, if you're interested.



    1) Full-screen.

    Mac programs don't go full screen for two reasons: one, it's a waste of screen space if the content doesn't fill it completely, and two, because it obscures all other windows and apps. You may say to yourself, as I've heard other folks do, "But it's my screen-space to waste any way I want to!" Well, sure. But... why? "So I can see everything" is reason #1. The Zoom (not Maximize, as you've figured out) button on the window titlebar makes the window as large as necessary to see everything, but no larger. (In theory - app developers have to do a bit of work sometimes to support this, and some... don't. Lame.) So you *do* see everything, but don't waste space. "So I can concentrate on just one app at a time" is another reason I hear. Fair enough, but look under the application menu - see the 'Hide Others' item? It does exactly that - voila, you're only seeing one app on the screen at a time, but you get to see all windows of that app.



    So now the second reason - not obscuring other windows. Most Windows users don't get that this matters, because Windows is missing something critical: ubiquitous drag and drop. Sure, there is *some* drag and drop, but try it on the Mac. Anywhere. Any app. To any other app. 99% of the time, it just works like you'd want it to. Have an image in your web browser that you want to put into a Mail message to someone? Click on it in the web browser window, hold, then drag it to the Mail composition window, and drop. Done. No messing with save/find/attach crap. So here's the issue - how do you do that dragging and dropping between windows, apps, etc if there's only one window visible at any given time? Full screen neuters much of the power of the Mac UI, plain and simple. That's why you don't want to be using it. On Windows, it doesn't really matter, since that's not a primary method of interaction with the computer, but on the Mac, it eliminates much of the ease of use.



    2) Window selection

    As you already found out, Expose is great for random access to windows in any app at any time. But it also isn't the fastest. Windows has Alt-Tab for cycling through all windows in all apps as one big list, but that's just inefficient as hell. The Mac modified this so that Cmd-Tab cycles through the applications, and then within an application, Cmd-` cycles through windows. Nice shortcut - Cmd-Tab, if struck and released quickly, toggles between two apps, the current and the last used. If pressed and held, it pops up a pick list that you can traverse and see which app you're about to trigger - pressing Shift at any time reverses traversal direction. Or, you can use the mouse to click on the icon you want. Instead of one big soup of windows that you have to wade through, this lets you focus on the *task* by giving you an app/window hierarchy that is easy to *quickly* get through. You mentioned you prefer clicking on the taskbar window icons. Fair enough, I find that to be horrible if I have more than say 6 or 8 windows open across the entire OS, and god help me if I have a few windows open that are of the same type, but did you know that you can right-click on any app's icon in the Dock and get a pick list of the windows in that app? Two clicks, but zero ambiguity or wasted screen space.



    Hope this helps, I've got plenty more to toss out there if you're interested in learning why some things differ.



    Edit: Darn you Hobbes!
  • Reply 10 of 46
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    "in XP my mouse can stay at the bottom and flip between windows like tabs"



    Click and hold on the application icon in the dock ..... opens a list of open windows!
  • Reply 11 of 46
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kickaha


    Edit: Darn you Hobbes!



    Bwahaha! Just in the nick of time.



    Thanks for adding the bit about command-`, though, that's a critical companion to command-tabbing that I somehow forgot to note.



    Command-tab + command-` + hiding = window management nirvana.



    BTW, slightly OT, I think we're in agreement that Zoom isn't quite what it could be. Hopefully Leopard is ambitious enough to address this.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RedDel


    It really is a solid piece of hardware. The only thing I have a complaint with that can't be upgraded is the graphics chipset, but then there are alot of PC's in the same price range that have the same chipset. And as far as I know the intel 950 chip is Vista Aero compatible right?



    Here's a Macbook running Aero:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8GSS4Rf38A



    You can turn Aero off though so Vista should run fine on the Macbook. Overall, although the GMA sounds quite bad, it's not too bad performance-wise. It will play Quake 4 at lowest resolution and I played Half-Life 2 on medium with it using Crossover.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RedDel


    The only other thing I'm curious about is the vertical scroll on the trackpad. In OSX the vert scroll is done with two fingers, which works great. But does that carry over into windows XP or Vista? I know alot of PC laptops have a dedicated vert scroll on the side of the trackpad, and some have horizontal scroll.



    I believe the Bootcamp 1.1.2 has drivers that enable this so yeah it should work fine.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RedDel


    Is there a way I can uninstall OSX and just run Windows on it for now? Until I get a bigger 200gig hard drive for it. The hard drive is pretty small as it is (60gig) and I noticed that when I first turned it on I was only given 38gig of free space. So I guesss between the formating and the OS and iLife they must take up alot of space.

    Putting XP on would make it even smaller if I had to keep OSX as well.



    I wouldn't remove OS X given that you want to learn Final Cut. Plus if anything screws up with your Windows partition, you have another system to boot up. It is possible to get rid of most of the stuff that is installed by default. You should be able to get it down to under 10GB. Use this program to find the biggest space wasters:



    http://www.id-design.com/software/whatsize/



    I think you should be able to get OS X down to around 5-8GB. Then I would recommend making a 45GB Windows partition formatted as NTFS. One big reason for not getting rid of OS X is that Bootcamp burns the driver CD that allows things like two-finger scrolling and isight and it initiates the Windows installation.



    On a PC, the installation happens by the boot order in the bios. I don't know if you can get to a bios setup screen on the Mac - it uses the newer EFI firmware.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    RelDel:



    As far as scrolling speed, to speed it up to your liking, follow these steps:
    1. Open "System Preferences" (Apple Menu > System Preferences...)

    2. Type in "track" in the search box. Press Enter. (Track is for tracking speed)

    3. Adjust your tracking speed to your liking

    On Apple laptops you cannot uninstall Mac OS X to only have Windows installed without a hack, and I do not know if any such hack exists. You will come to find that Mac OS X is actually MORE efficient at managing workflow, windows, and applications.



    "Spaces" in Leopard (the next Operating System release) should help additionally in managing applications, etc. For instance, if you are working in word, and want to have everything else invisible, just put word in its own virtual desktop space.



    For now, if you want to find applications from view except the one you are working on, press Apple+H on your keyboard and the program and it's windows will hide until the program is reactivated (i.e. through the dock, spotlight, opening another document that opens in that program, etc.)



    About your complaint that most Applications aren't full screen by default -- that is not true necessarily. Windows works with a Max (Full screen), and intermediate (used defined), and minimum (minimized). Macs work in much the same way with one change: Their full screen mode is also user defined -- it is just the larger of the two user defined modes. Once you have defined the window size once, that window size will be defined permanently until you resize the window again.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    OMFG (can't believe this thread exists.) I guess this is just an attack to my

    intelligence.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by piot


    "in XP my mouse can stay at the bottom and flip between windows like tabs"



    Click and hold on the application icon in the dock ..... opens a list of open windows!



    Or for more speed, right click.



    I had Windows for over ten years, and was quite good at maintaining it - did very little work towards keeping it running, did not do periodic reinstalls, had no firewall, had no virus scanner, and still didn't get viruses or get rooted because I was careful.

    In just one month after getting a Powerbook, I was significantly happier and more productive than on Windows.

    That despite me still having a lot of ingrained bad habits at that point.

    The one I remember most clearly is that I was trying to use OS X like it was Windows, down to emulating Taskbar behavior. I was obsessed about hiding all windows, because on Windows you're screwed when you let enough visible windows pile up. OS X has far more powerful tools to pick windows, so it's a waste of time to hide anything. Just go where you want to go and leave other stuff open in the background.

    I found what actually works best for me is a combination of Expose with screen corner activation, hiding (cmd-h), app switching (cmd-tab), window switching (cmd-`), and just a little Dock. They are not perfect, but they work a lot better than Taskbar ever did. For a person not familiar with either system, the OS X way is somewhat easier.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    Wow guys, thanks for your responses.



    I think I will stick with OS ten. I'm starting to gt used to it a little bit more. I'm only on my third day so every hour I play with it counts.



    I didn't know about any of that command stuff. That doesn't excite me though. As little keyboard as I can use the better. Having to do crazy keyboard martial arts is not something I'm into. Bu I guess it's good to have.



    Thanks for posting that Vista on a Macbook video. I'm not sure if it was saying it was good or bad though. Hopefully it's good. Is there a point to using Vista without Aero?



    To answer a windows question, yes you can drag and drop in full screen. Windows is very drag and drop. Just drag something to the taskbar icon and that window will pop up, then just drop it. No need to leave full screen mode on any app.



    My complaint with full screen in OSX is that while I can size a window to full screen with the + button and it will remain that way. The minute I hook up my 19" LCD monitor to my macbook I have to resize every window to be full screen on that, since it's higher resolution. Then back down to my macbooks resolution when I go portable again. There needs to be a snap to full screen button or function like windows has with it's maximize.



    Thank you all for your responses. I'm sure I'll have a million more questions to come as I stick with learning OSX.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    Why do you want windows full screen?
  • Reply 18 of 46
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RedDel


    I didn't know about any of that command stuff. That doesn't excite me though. As little keyboard as I can use the better. Having to do crazy keyboard martial arts is not something I'm into. Bu I guess it's good to have.



    If you don't like using the keyboard, set up Expose hot corners from System Preferences. If you don't know what this is, just check out the settings panel. You'll love it.



    I have All Windows in upper right corner, Application Windows in lower right, Desktop in lower left, Activate Screensaver in upper left.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    RedDel, press F9 or F11. Probably two of the best features of Mac OS X. Just try it.
  • Reply 20 of 46
    Yeah I know all about expose. That's one of the reasons I bought a mac. I don't think I would have liked navigating the system at all without it.



    In fact I was at my sisters last night and she is a teacher, so they gave her an ibook a while back. She doesn't like it because of the lack of right click and the navigation. So I told her about CTRL+click and was going to show her expose until we realized she didn't have it. I didn't realize it wasn't something that was part of OSX from the start. She has 10.2.



    Is this a way to add command+H or command+tab or anything like that to the expose corners?
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