Teach me about MacBooks

blackranger3dblackranger3d Registered User
edited September 2009 in Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern
Hello All

I need help. I want to know more about MB's and MBP's. I'm thinking of jumping ship and moving to a MAC. Mainly because i'll be able to run OSX and Win OSs (7, vista [i like vista]) for my essential PC software that doesn't have a mac alternative (Quickbooks, Quicken, Acid Pro). So here are some qestions


1. Is it easy to install a new HDD in a MBP.
2. Have the battery issues with the MBP been dealt with?
3. If you have a Windows installation can you access files from the windows installation from within the OSX environment by using parrellels?
4. Does Win7 work with the MBP yet?
5. Are there any major hardware problems with MBP?
6. What is the longgevity of MBPs?
7. Removed
8. Any other MAC vs PC pieces of info.


Cheers,

BOOM SHACK A LAKA
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Posts

  • DietarySupplementDietarySupplement Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hello All

    I need help. I want to know more about MB's and MBP's. I'm thinking of jumping ship and moving to a MAC. Mainly because i'll be able to run OSX and Win OSs (7, vista [i like vista]) for my essential PC software that doesn't have a mac alternative (Quickbooks, Quicken, Acid Pro). So here are some qestions


    1. Is it easy to install a new HDD in a MBP.
    2. Have the battery issues with the MBP been dealt with?
    3. If you have a Windows installation can you access files from the windows installation from within the OSX environment by using parrellels?
    4. Does Win7 work with the MBP yet?
    5. Are there any major hardware problems with MBP?
    6. What is the longgevity of MBPs?
    7. These are a few loaded question but,
    - for people who use both PC laptops and MBP why a MBP or why a PC
    - Besides the whole vista thing (i like vista) is one easier to use than the other.
    8. Another MAC vs PC pieces of info.


    Cheers,

    Quicken most certainly is made for the Mac, too. Pretty sure quickbooks is, too. As for Acid, there's plenty of alternatives.

    Before you read anything else, this will answer almost everything you asked: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/features.html

    As for your questions, here I'll take a stab:

    1. I think it can be done, but all the newer MB and MBP's are a unibody construction; they're etched from solid pieces of aluminum by a jet of motherfucking water. Ergo, not real easy to get into. In fact, a lot of people are turned off by this because you can't even upgrade/swap the battery. That's not to say that if you have an issue a certified tech can't get in there and do it, but they have the custom tools that a lot of us don't. So if space of the hard drive is an issue, then I'd pick the biggest when/if you buy it.

    2. Not sure what you mean by battery issues; older MBP's (like mine) lost their charges pretty quickly. But Apple's new batteries are supposed to be pretty nice, very eco friendly, and good for... 8 years, I think? I'm pretty sure if you go to the Mac page on Apple's site it's one of the big points of the new models; they'll do it more justice than I can.

    3. Depends on the Windows installation; do you mean if you have Bootcamp set up, can VM software see it? I don't think so, but then again I've never tried it. Your Mac can read it directly, if you mount the partition (but not always vice-versa). I've never used VM software.

    4. No clue

    5. There were some issues with the SATA drives in the MBP's at launch, but I think firmware and hardware revisions have since stamped those out.

    6. Apple refreshes their major product lines once a year, but even then, there have been major upgrades that have "fucked" previous owners since... circa 2005/2006 when they phased out the IBM/PowerPC chips in favor of Intel. it was a big deal for software makers, but just when we were all finally over it the new version of OS X is going to fuck some of those users again. That aside, your laptop will last as long as your battery, which, as I said, is supposed to be one of the best laptop batteries designed (see link above all this mess).

    7. Skipping this one, because if we get to into this, this thread will be locked. Happens every time.

    DietarySupplement on
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  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    1) the new MacBook Pro has a pretty easy method to replace the HDD. The shitty part is that you have to un screw 10 tiny screws, but once you get past that it's literally pulling the bottom cover off and the HDD is right there, un-plug and plug new one in.

    2) the batteries in the new MacBook Pro is rated for 1000 charge cycles, and rated for 7 hours of life. I can attest that I get around 6.25 hours if I'm just doing web browsing/IM over wifi, about 5 hours watching videos.

    3) OS X can read NTFS partitions, but needs third party tools to write to NTFS. Windows reading HFS+ gets a little more tricky, but can be done.

    4) 7 does work with the MBP, I have a 7 install in VMware fusion, and a boot camp partition.

    5) no real issues, the SATA controller thing was an issue at launch but was fixed

    6) Apple likes to do whatever they want with hardware refreshes. generally you're okay, although you may be left wishing you had the newer model. Generally, right now is a good time to buy a MBP since they just refreshed the line a coupl emonths ago.

    7. Yea, not going to degnerate this thread. I run both a Windows PC and a MacBook Pro. I am happy with both. There are good things and bad with both, and I live within those boundries.

    wunderbar on
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  • Nimble CatNimble Cat Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    If you do end up deciding to get a Mac, wait a few weeks until Snow Leopard comes pre-installed on it.

    Nimble Cat on
  • ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    7. These are a few loaded question but,
    - for people who use both PC laptops and MBP why a MBP or why a PC
    - Besides the whole vista thing (i like vista) is one easier to use than the other.

    I'll touch this one because everything else has been adequately answered.

    I use both a Lenovo Thinkpad T400 and a Macbook Pro. I like using both machines.

    The Macbook Pro has an incredibly solid build and the ability to run Mac OS X and Mac OS X software, like Apple's iLife suite. iLife is a set of fantastic tools and I've yet to find anything that runs under Windows that even comes close, even for a few hundred dollars on top of the cost of the machine. The Macbook will run both Windows and Mac OS X brilliantly. Mac OS X is a fantastic open source development environment with lots and lots of excellent free software by virtue of easier porting from Linux. The XCode development environment is free and will let you, without paying a dime, create great apps for Mac OS X and even prototype applications for the iPhone. I know Microsoft also has free IDEs, but they're more limited in scope (one will only do C#, another will only do basic, etc). XCode will let you code in Python if you'd like.

    The Macbook hardware is light, thin, and has decent battery life (Lenovo's battry life is better). The keyboard has a very nice, crisp feel. The screen is unbelievably bright (though the Lenovo is not far behind). Lots of bells and whistles that you'll actually use, like a gigantic multi-touch-enabled trackpad, built-in light sensors and an automatic light-up keyboard.

    The Lenovo is also a sturdy machine with more USB ports, runs cooler, and was a whole lot cheaper. It's as fast as the Macbook Pro for just about all tasks and has a dedicated right click button (not really a big deal and will actually annoy you if you've used the Mac for a while).

    I don't know, they're both fine machines. I love them both for different reasons. For personal stuff like photos and fun programming projects, I use the Macbook Pro. For something to lug to school to take notes and sit in the lab, the Lenovo does the job (its heroic battery life helps quite a bit).
    If I only had two Macbook Pros, I wouldn't complain in the least. But that's neither here nor there. :P

    ZackSchilling on
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  • blackranger3dblackranger3d Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Sweet, thanks for all the info.

    Good to know that I can get at the HDD if I want.

    blackranger3d on
    BOOM SHACK A LAKA
  • commathecommathe Registered User
    edited August 2009
    While it's apparently a bad idea in general, I formatted my bootcamp windows xp partition as fat32, so I can read and write files from OSX.

    Also the 13 inch macbook pros are the rebranded macbook unibody laptops. I guess now they added the battery you cant take out and the sd card slot though, but for the price I would at least go for a 15 inch one.

    commathe on
  • DietarySupplementDietarySupplement Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Source: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/25/apple_to_retain_redesign_plastic_macbook_family.html
    "We [...] believe the MacBook line needs to be revamped (there is only one MacBook available now, an old white model) and that we could see a lower priced line soon, positioned below the new MacBook Pro models," he said.

    Reitzes' comments on price points echo expectations laid out by AppleInsider this past April in its report on more affordable Macs. More specifically, it's believed that Apple is well-positioned to begin offering a model at considerable discount to the $999 entry-level model that exists today, further narrowing the gap with its Windows-based competitors.

    Though details are few and far between, Apple is expected to achieve these markdowns through largely existing tactics, such as using lower-end components and previous-generation Core 2 Duo chips and architectures from Intel Corp. Battery life should receive a boost from cutting-edge technology that recently found its way into the company's other notebook offerings, while high-end legacy features like FireWire connectivity are likely to be sacrificed in the tradeoff.

    Interesting if it is true.

    DietarySupplement on
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    Basically, (PlayStation) Home is Second Life Ultra Light? Most of the cool stuff, none of the creepy blimp on blimp fucking.
  • blackranger3dblackranger3d Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Some more questions for you guys.

    1. What broswer can I use to view IE only webpages. My work web mail account requires IE to work properly. My web mail "sort" of works in MAC firefox.
    2. What is the mac equivlient of Vista's Snipping tool.

    blackranger3d on
    BOOM SHACK A LAKA
  • logic7logic7 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    you might be out of luck. IE 5.2.3 for OSX PPC was the last time I saw IE for OSX.

    Maybe try Opera 9.6.4 for OSX

    logic7 on
  • ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Some more questions for you guys.
    2. What is the mac equivlient of Vista's Snipping tool.

    You can use Grab.app in the Applications/Utilities folder or these shortcuts:
    Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
    Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
    Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
    Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
    Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
    Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

    In Leopard, the following keys can be held down while selecting an area (via Command-Shift-4 or Command-Control-Shift-4):

    Space, to lock the size of the selected region and instead move it when the mouse moves
    Shift, to resize only one edge of the selected region
    Option, to resize the selected region with its center as the anchor point

    You can also change the default image format (png). See here:
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Taking_Screenshots_in_Mac_OS_X

    ZackSchilling on
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  • TrentusTrentus Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    2. What is the mac equivlient of Vista's Snipping tool.

    Grab, found in the Utilities folder. Alternatively, ⌘⇧3 will grab the whole screen and ⌘⇧4 will bring up a little cursor that lets you select an area. Pressing space after ⌘⇧4 will let you grab just a window.

    Edit: Beated and out infoed. Shouldn't have replied to that text message first...

    Trentus on
  • langfor6langfor6 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Nimble Cat wrote: »
    If you do end up deciding to get a Mac, wait a few weeks until Snow Leopard comes pre-installed on it.

    If you are a student you can get a free iPod Touch with a Mac before Sep 9th, plus a $100 rebate on a printer, and upgrading to Snow Leopard costs $10. One of the qualifying printers costs $100, so in essence it is free as well. You may not be a student, or those things may not matter to you, but I just thought you should know.

    Free iPod Touch offer also applies to faculty and staff members.

    langfor6 on
  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Some more questions for you guys.

    1. What broswer can I use to view IE only webpages. My work web mail account requires IE to work properly. My web mail "sort" of works in MAC firefox.

    Virtualization could work. Set up Windows/IE with VMware or Parallels (or Wine or VirtualBox if you're cheap).

    DeathPrawn on
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  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    DeathPrawn wrote: »
    Some more questions for you guys.

    1. What broswer can I use to view IE only webpages. My work web mail account requires IE to work properly. My web mail "sort" of works in MAC firefox.

    Virtualization could work. Set up Windows/IE with VMware or Parallels (or Wine or VirtualBox if you're cheap).

    This

    wunderbar on
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  • ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Virtualization is great for non-game windows-only software. And Boot Camp is great for games that are Windows only.

    Bonus: If you make a boot camp partition and install Windows, the virtualization tool (if it's Parallels or VMWare Fusion) can actually use that as a virtual machine. It save you the hassle of setting up and maintaining two Windows installs. It also makes sending files back and forth to the bootcamp partition as easy as drag and drop even if you format with NTFS. Overall a great setup.

    ZackSchilling on
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  • RuddurBallRuddurBall Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Some more questions for you guys.

    1. What broswer can I use to view IE only webpages. My work web mail account requires IE to work properly. My web mail "sort" of works in MAC firefox.

    I'm don't have any experience with MAC Firefox, but Windows Firefox has an IE rending engine add-on that I used to access my work's webmail account (it was IE only).

    RuddurBall on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Bonus: If you make a boot camp partition and install Windows, the virtualization tool (if it's Parallels or VMWare Fusion) can actually use that as a virtual machine. It save you the hassle of setting up and maintaining two Windows installs. It also makes sending files back and forth to the bootcamp partition as easy as drag and drop even if you format with NTFS. Overall a great setup.

    There are some caveats to this. At least with VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro, installing VMWare Tools in a boot camp partition resulted in substantially increased boot times using that partition natively, and there were some issues with the bells and whistles like application sharing. And having to reactivate Windows like five times. I can't remember how parallels faired for a Boot Camp partition.

    I'm much happier now that I'm not trying to run my Boot Camp partition as a VM and just use a, slim, dedicated XP VM when I'm in OS X. (Which I keep on an external hard drive.) It's faster, and I don't have to disable all the processes that don't make sense in a VM like ATI TrayTools, InputRemapper, etc.

    Edit: Also, iTunes and Qucktime install some services that cause VMWare's CPU use to hover at unacceptable levels when idle, and these are things you might want on a dedicated Boot Camp partition. (Those problems disappear when running native.)

    LoneIgadzra on
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    RuddurBall wrote: »
    Some more questions for you guys.

    1. What broswer can I use to view IE only webpages. My work web mail account requires IE to work properly. My web mail "sort" of works in MAC firefox.

    I'm don't have any experience with MAC Firefox, but Windows Firefox has an IE rending engine add-on that I used to access my work's webmail account (it was IE only).

    that doesn't work in OS X because the IE add-on for Firefox uses the IE rendering engine, which is built into windows.

    wunderbar on
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  • TzenTzen Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    They're overpriced and for gay people/artists.

    Just kidding. I would totally buy one if I had lots of money.

    I'd be a little leary after the whole issue with the G3/G4 iBooks basically RRODing (they had some issue similar to the 360s needing reflows). And also my friend (he's a gay arist living in NY - no shit) bought a MacBook a couple years ago and it had the whole problem with the thermal crap on the chips being put on Chinese-style (aka shittily - no that's not a word but you get it). When he took it to get it repaired, they scratched the fuck out of it and just gave it back to him like it was no big deal. He went postal in the store to try to get them to replace it, and eventually went to another Apple store where they agreed to do so. It's just annoying because if they're so expensive they really shouldn't have those kinds of problems - and when they do, Apple need to not be such dicks about owning up to it and making things right.

    But they sure look sexy and OSX is pretty hot. What the fuck else is there to know, really?

    Tzen on
  • lilBlilB Registered User
    edited August 2009
    wunderbar wrote: »
    RuddurBall wrote: »
    Some more questions for you guys.

    1. What broswer can I use to view IE only webpages. My work web mail account requires IE to work properly. My web mail "sort" of works in MAC firefox.

    I'm don't have any experience with MAC Firefox, but Windows Firefox has an IE rending engine add-on that I used to access my work's webmail account (it was IE only).

    that doesn't work in OS X because the IE add-on for Firefox uses the IE rendering engine, which is built into windows.

    I was in the Apple store recently when I was upgrading my iPhone (getting the 3GS) and they had to use parallels to boot up Windows, because website for my wireless company (Rogers) only works with IE :P Should have seen the look on that "Genius" guys face when I teased him about it...

    You can also use virtual box which is free. And I believe both parallels and vbox have a feature where you can have VM windows show up on your desktop just like native applications, which makes things very easy.

    lilB on
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    commathe wrote: »
    While it's apparently a bad idea in general, I formatted my bootcamp windows xp partition as fat32, so I can read and write files from OSX.

    Also the 13 inch macbook pros are the rebranded macbook unibody laptops. I guess now they added the battery you cant take out and the sd card slot though, but for the price I would at least go for a 15 inch one.

    This is false. They aren't just rebranded. They made a few other highly useful changes like reintroducing the firewire.

    stigweard on
  • AoiAoi Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I thought I might ask the question in here since I'm not seeing a Macbook thread otherwise. Have the opportunity to pick one of this except the white version. It's 600, but unfortunately doesn't come with the install disks. I was just wondering, if it's mostly for school, with some minor gaming maybe what people thought of this particular model, especially for the price.

    Edit: URL fixed. Thanks Peregrine. I've always been extremely adept at butchering bbcode.

    Aoi on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fix'd

    Any warranty left on that? Apple refurb?

    Forget about gaming since it's got the Intel GMA X3100 but for everything else it'll be fine.

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  • psychotixpsychotix __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2009
    As an FYI the SATA issues are still ongoing http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=16233

    Beyond that I'm personally leery of anything using the 9400m chipset, given the problems inherent with them. This isn't specific to just apple, but given that Apple uses them in the pro models you can expect problems.

    psychotix on
  • AoiAoi Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fix'd

    Any warranty left on that? Apple refurb?

    Forget about gaming since it's got the Intel GMA X3100 but for everything else it'll be fine.

    Well I'm not talking about Crysis or anything, but even the old 12 inch Power PC Powerbook I had back in the day could handle WoW decently :) Just generally curious about performance on simpler things. I mean it has to be better than your average netbook or shitty $400 behemoth of a PC laptop, no?

    It's an Apple refurb purchased about 4 months ago, so it does still have some Applecare left. The one concern I have is they misplaced the damned install disks. I'm completely hosed in that respect, aren't I? Not going to be able to install from the cheap Snow Leopard disks if something goes wrong, right?

    Aoi on
  • RuddurBallRuddurBall Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Actually, you can do an clean install with the cheap snow leopard disks. The upgrade disks are the same disks as the new disks, I just think that the new disks include iLife (or some other software).

    RuddurBall on
  • AoiAoi Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Oh hell, I forgot about the iLife suite. Damn, that would really suck to lose.

    Aoi on
  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    When I had a white macbook, I only had two problems with the machine, one was that there were cracks appearing around some what looked like important screws on the casing (later turned out to be cosmetic), it was a common problem and Apple replaced the case. The other was that from heavy use the slot drive had bent due to the plastic around the case holding the slot drive was so weak and just the weight on the macbook closed would bend it. Apple repaired it but it was a concern when looking at getting an upgrade.

    Ziggymon on
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