Switch to Macbook

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'd like some objective advice. I'm looking for a small, lightweight, reasonably priced laptop to be used primarily for travel and work. (I have a larger, heavier pc laptop that I use for home use, such as gaming - I loathe being tied to a desk - but toting any further than across the house gets very uncomfortable.)



I have narrowed my choices down to Macbook and Sony SZ series. Although the Sony is a little lighter (about a pound less), I am very intrigued by the Macbook as it seems to be a very elegant machine and trying something new is appealing to me. The more I read about it the more intrigued I am.(I'd probably get the midrange white with a memory upgrade)



I am however, still a little concerned about compatibility issues. Like most offices, we are on Windows based pcs...but it is Windows 2000, Service Pack 4! (Yes, we are the bastion of near obsoletion and given our piss-poor IT department (ie person who knows less about computers than I do) I don't see a change coming anytime soon.



Would I have trouble taking files from the Macbook onto my office pc? Would I have trouble taking files from the office PC onto a Macbook? I also have a portable 20 gig hard drive formatted with NCFS (did I get that right?) or would I have to reformat using FAT? BTW, I only barely know what that means.



So I guess what I'm really asking is would I have more headaches than it's worth getting a Macbook or is it a plunge worth taking.



Thanks for your help!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Mac Books are great, easy to use, can run Final Cut, Avid Media Composer, Photoshop, etc... but if you say you do business-related programs, then you will not like it unless you switch over to Win st5art-up, but then why get the Mac if you always have to do that....
  • Reply 2 of 13
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,222moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poohlp View Post


    I'd like some objective advice. I'm looking for a small, lightweight, reasonably priced laptop to be used primarily for travel and work. (I have a larger, heavier pc laptop that I use for home use, such as gaming - I loathe being tied to a desk - but toting any further than across the house gets very uncomfortable.)



    I have narrowed my choices down to Macbook and Sony SZ series. Although the Sony is a little lighter (about a pound less), I am very intrigued by the Macbook as it seems to be a very elegant machine and trying something new is appealing to me. The more I read about it the more intrigued I am.(I'd probably get the midrange white with a memory upgrade)



    I am however, still a little concerned about compatibility issues. Like most offices, we are on Windows based pcs...but it is Windows 2000, Service Pack 4! (Yes, we are the bastion of near obsoletion and given our piss-poor IT department (ie person who knows less about computers than I do) I don't see a change coming anytime soon.



    Would I have trouble taking files from the Macbook onto my office pc? Would I have trouble taking files from the office PC onto a Macbook? I also have a portable 20 gig hard drive formatted with NCFS (did I get that right?) or would I have to reformat using FAT? BTW, I only barely know what that means.



    So I guess what I'm really asking is would I have more headaches than it's worth getting a Macbook or is it a plunge worth taking.



    Thanks for your help!



    Weighing up all that you've said, you might want to look at the Macbook pro. If they bring in a 12" version, that would be ideal but a refurb 15" should do. The MBP is 2.54 kg compared to the Macbook's 2.36 kg so not a big difference in weight.



    The X1600 GPU is fast enough for a good gaming experience using Windows (I've completed FEAR, Half-Life 2 + ep1 and Prey using an iMac with the same spec) and if you had Windows (which you need for those games), you wouldn't have to worry about incompatible documents from work. This would also work with your NTFS external drive. OS X would need FAT32 for write support but that would be limited to 4GB files.



    The build quality is also better on the MBP.



    Don't be bothered about getting a Mac if you mainly run Windows either. I know people feel you might as well buy a PC but that's not the case. People buy Macs because they are very well made, they are light, stylish, have cool features like the isight and magsafe and they are quiet yet powerful machines. Not to mention competitively priced given the spec.



    Don't think of buying a Mac in the sense of whether you should get a Mac or a PC, think of it in the sense of whether you should get a Mac+PC or just a PC.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    poohlppoohlp Posts: 16member
    Well,



    I'm primarily a writer so I mainly use word processing (unfortunately word because that is what the world uses), a little excel, some html (very basic) and powerpoint, So I don't use much of the power business applications or do much (if any photo-shopping). I just need to make sure what I do use will be compatible between machines.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Can understand your concerns - the world of Apple is very different from the world of PC bananas so it can be very bewildering making a switch.



    I use a Sony 15" laptop which I love - it's built from magnesium so it travels at warp speed on the back of my motorcycle very well. The Mac 17" which I love also, tends to stand more indoors. I can get them to talk to each other, but there are some programs which I've had to duplicate.



    Forget the backward office issues - you can take files from the Macbook onto the Office PC easily; there are lots of different algorithms for doing this.



    You would have to reformat your Hard Drive using FAT as you put it. You can do a websearch and find out ways to do this. Otherwise use a USB flashstick; internet based iDisk; CD-R or DVDs for other data transfer which are program based.



    It's hardly a headache going to a Mac from a PC - I found it liberating; not having a hopeless OS system clogging up the available RAM when Norton Systemsworks is running; not having multiple computer crashes when I use Photoshop; having a computer that boots up twice as fast as a PC. There's no reason why you can't continue to use your old PC and add a Mac, and switch over to the Mac when you're completely confident. I'm still not Mac confident completely so I still rely on my Windows laptop, although its slowness is tiresome after being so happy with the Mac...
  • Reply 5 of 13
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Quote:

    I'm primarily a writer so I mainly use word processing (unfortunately word because that is what the world uses), a little excel, some html (very basic) and powerpoint, So I don't use much of the power business applications or do much (if any photo-shopping). I just need to make sure what I do use will be compatible between machines.



    In that case, you'll love Apple's InDesign and its built in .pdf editor.



    Anytime I've done editing work on Microsoft Word, my publishers and printing press always complain about my pagination errors. They ALL use Macs as industry standards for typesetting. You won't have much compatibility problems at all if that's all you're using it for.



    Btw - if you get an iPod, you can save your word documents on that and use your iPod like a portable hard drive. That's even better than your external hard drive
  • Reply 6 of 13
    poohlppoohlp Posts: 16member
    Wow, I didn't know about the ipod thing. I have a 2 gig that I just use for music but that would definaltly be a cool incentive to get one with higher capacity. That's pretty cool.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    15" 1440x900 MacBook!!! Intel GMA X300!!!!
  • Reply 8 of 13
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    GMA X3000

    The GMA X3000 represents a dramatic architectural change from previous GMA iterations. The X3000 adds hardware T&L units, pixel shaders, vertex shaders and WMV9 (VC-1) video acceleration. Intel claims the X3000 is Shader Model 3 compliant, and meets Microsoft's GUI requirements for Vista Aero Premium. Intel has released production version drivers for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista that enable the Aero style.



    CORE IMAGE. CORE ANIMATION. LEOPARD. Cooome onnnnnnnnnn!!.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
  • Reply 10 of 13
    poohlppoohlp Posts: 16member
    This is very useful information. Thanks for all your help! I'm getting more and more interested....I'll be interested to see if they announce a 12 inch pro.



    Thanks!!
  • Reply 11 of 13
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Justin View Post


    Btw - if you get an iPod, you can save your word documents on that and use your iPod like a portable hard drive. That's even better than your external hard drive



    The only downside to this is that it only works between to Macs. Also, you have to enable it in setup, so don't forget to do that.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wirc View Post


    The only downside to this is that it only works between to Macs. Also, you have to enable it in setup, so don't forget to do that.



    ??



    I've enabled mine for both Windows and Mac at the set-up stage.



    But then I've been on a Mac for over a year before migrating onto an iPod....
  • Reply 13 of 13
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poohlp View Post


    This is very useful information. Thanks for all your help! I'm getting more and more interested....I'll be interested to see if they announce a 12 inch pro.



    Thanks!!



    The only difference, really, between the Macbook and Macbook Pro is that the latter has a dedicated graphics card. As you say you'll use it mainly for writing and the like, you wouldn't actually need one. It'd really be important only if you plan to do graphics intensive stuff -- editing HD videos or playing games or something like that.



    Also, as to your original question: I've been using an Apple laptop for the last 3.5 years here at college and only very rarely come across compatibility issues. Granted, I haven't been working in a Windows office so I don't know the full range of what you'd need to do, but I don't think you'd have a main problem for basic stuff. Microsoft Office is available for OS X and I haven't had any problems typing stuff up, saving it as a .doc and e-mailing it to someone or them doing the same for me. I don't know how actually plugging into your office LAN would work, though.



    Furthermore, for those rare occasions when you'd really need to use a Windows PC, that's possible, too. New with the Intel-based macs (all of them now, introduced in the last year or two), you can install Windows on them as well. So if you must, you can restart your computer into Windows for a while, and it would work just as if you'd gotten the Sony. Then, when that's done you could go back to OS X for a nice, stable experience chatting, browsing the web, keeping track of your pictures, and all that.



    Lastly, the iPod *should* work between both computers as an external hard drive, though with some qualifications. If you want to use it the traditional way where you listen to music on it, you can only sync it with *one* music library, so if you put songs on it at home, you won't be able to download it to your office computer. (There are 3rd-party programs to get around this, but it's not a built in feature). If you want to use the iPod as a hard drive, it *may* lose its music-playing ability (someone check me on this?), but then you can put stuff on it at home, and then take it off at work and vice versa. You'd just have to make sure to format the iPod to the Windows computer, since I think the Mac can read that just fine, whereas if you format it with the Mac then the Windows computer may have problems.



    Hope this helps. This laptop I'm typing from was my first foray into the Mac world some 4 years ago, and I've been very happy with it. I think I'm even going to be picking up a new one tomorrow. :-D That said, my experience and environment is different from yours so I can't say for sure how it'd work for you.
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