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Whiskers
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:? As most, I have a couple of PC's in my home. I've been toying with the idea of maybe getting an Apple desktop or laptop to replace my main PC. Why you may ask? I'm not sure...I think it's the thought that there may actually be something better than Windows XP...and perhaps I'm missing out.

 

Can anyone tell me or point me towards a breakdown as to what Apple machine would be best for a start? I don't want to bite in and find out later on that I should have bought bigger/faster when I was in the market.

 

Thoughts?

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What do you plan to use it for? I can probably help you narrow down the choices, but it starts with what kind of uses you put a computer to.

 

If you mostly do web browsing, text editing, and other tasks that aren't too demanding, then an iMac is ideal (or an iBook if you want a portable). I think the iMac is a nearly perfect computer design, it's ergonomic, space efficient and pretty damn cool looking. It's main downfall is limited expandability, no PCI slots, few RAM slots (2, I think), no extra internal drive bays.

 

If you plan to do more demanding tasks (video editing, DVD encoding, music production, etc) then you'll want a PowerMac or PowerBook. If you want a desktop, the G5 is really a monster machine. I have a dual 2Ghz G5 and I've never been so happy with a computer. It's quiet, it looks cool, it's easy to access the internals, and it's fast as hell. I've done a few video projects on it and it makes handling DV files effortless. I also do a good deal of audio production and it's the first machine I've owned where it's all but limitless, I have yet to bump up against a performance problem.

 

The PowerBook is necessarily slower. It's based (for now) on the G4, which is a significant drop in performance compared to the G5. but if you don't need top notch performance, and you want a sweet portable, the PowerBooks are very nice machines.

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I've been kicking around the same idea of getting a mac. I'm in school right now finishing up my degree and I've heard xcode is a good IDE for development. I've yet to get my hands on it to try it though. I think I'll probably end up going with an ibook first and then see where it takes me from there. Have any of you mac users used yours for development work?

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Ed pretty much has it covered. I made the plunge about 6 months before XP came out. I was still using Windows 98 at the time and was tired of all the problems. I purchased the G3 iBook sometime after OS X came out. One of the best purchases I've ever made. This past Christmas, I bought my kids an eMac and received a 20GB iPod as a Christmas gift myself. Now, all my family and friends kid me about me going "all Mac". I'll be replacing my iBook with an iMac once I get my income tax rebate.

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I'm thinking of taking the plunge into the Mac world sometime this year myself. My uses with desktop devices are very much focused on web browsing, e-mail, and my writing work. I've also call for a number of creative design packages which are all Mac friendly...etc... Whether I went for a Powerbook or PowerMac remains to be seen however.

 

Bottom line is, I just want one to be hip. :)

 

Daniel

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Originally posted by Darius@Jan 27 2004, 02:10 AM

I've been kicking around the same idea of getting a mac. I'm in school right now finishing up my degree and I've heard xcode is a good IDE for development. I've yet to get my hands on it to try it though. I think I'll probably end up going with an ibook first and then see where it takes me from there. Have any of you mac users used yours for development work?

From what little I've used Xcode its a fine IDE environment, and the new IBM compilers are only adding to make it even better!

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A friend of ours has a new Mac and he loves it. We have a TV show on cable ( some of the guys here have seen a little of it ) and the entire show, other than the actual filming is run through his mac from editing to burning the final version DVD. He and his wife are both in the graphics profession ( I am not sure exactly what they do, but they make some very good money at it ) and their businesses both use Macs for all their stuff.

 

I really enjoy ours, but as far as gaming on it goes ..... the poor Mac has been basically ignored by the developers of computer gaming. I do know also that our daughters school is teaching the children on Macs in the classroom.

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I use PC at work for development and a Mac at home. One thing you have to keep in mind is when it comes to software (expecially deveopment sofware) you will have much less choice on the Mac. Many times this means you are at the mercy of Apple and a select choice of third party companies. Some people may point out certain instances when Mac software is better or comparable to its PC counterpart, but in the overall picture, I feel limited by the software choices on my Mac. Just my two cents.

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-Funny timing of this thread, in that I've also been contemplating my next computer purchase to be an apple. I've always been a dual platformer, proficient and happy working in both PC and Apple environments. Of course a dual G5 running OS X would make a wonderful new toy :D,... but I'm leaning toward a Powerbook as I should really be getting a laptop and not another desktop at this point.

 

Here's a question for those in a platform dual environment, how difficult is setting up a PC/Mac network (wireless)? I ask because I imagine it is a whole lot easier now that we are at OS X / XP levels now. ?

 

EDIT: Upon further review, the Apple laptops are not what I'd consider a good value in proportion to thier specs. The G5 desktops on the other hand seem more in line price point wise.

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One thing you have to keep in mind is when it comes to software (expecially deveopment sofware) you will have much less choice on the Mac. Many times this means you are at the mercy of Apple and a select choice of third party companies.

That's what Virtual PC is for. It let's you run any Windows software on your Mac. So you get the best of both worlds. I myself don't have it since I'm content with the programs available to the Mac but I've read where some users that do have it, have no complaints.

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Here's a question for those in a platform dual environment, how difficult is setting up a PC/Mac network (wireless)? I ask because I imagine it is a whole lot easier now that we are at OS X / XP levels now. ?

 

Its as easy as can be, especially when sharing files between the two with OS X having native Samba support built into the OS.

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Virtual PC is great as long as you don't need to run high performance software. For example, I wouldn't try to run Photoshop in VPC, but Excel, sure.

 

I find that with the advent of MacOSX, there is a flourishing shareware market on the Mac. Part of this is UNIX utilities coming over to the Mac (OSX is UNIX for anyone who doesn't know), and part of it is the friendlier development environment of MacOSX (compared to the classic mac OS).

 

I haven't used a PC for years, and I don't feel any particular constraints on software, but I supposed if I had been using a PC, I might.

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Thanks to all for your insight into my question.

 

Ed, I will primarily be doing internet, simple office chores, digital photography, and burning the odd DVD/CD. I don't think that I need much for horsepower. The PowerMac looks to be a beast, but at my price point, it's out of my family budget. I think the iMac is a good fix...the decision now rests upon getting the 17" or the 20". Go big or go home, isn't that our mantra?

 

 

Thanks,

Stacey

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Originally posted by Whiskers@Jan 28 2004, 06:14 AM

Ed, I will primarily be doing internet, simple office chores, digital photography, and burning the odd DVD/CD. I don't think that I need much for horsepower. The PowerMac looks to be a beast, but at my price point, it's out of my family budget. I think the iMac is a good fix...the decision now rests upon getting the 17" or the 20". Go big or go home, isn't that our mantra?

The 20" iMac is really gorgeous. One thing I didn't mention that that while the iMac isn't very expandable internally, it does have FireWire ports which enable high-speed external hard drives and all kinds of other peripherals should you need them.

 

Luckily there is a Photoshop program available for the Mac.

 

Indeed!

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I'm currently trying to decide if the powerbook is worth the difference in price over the ibook. I get both with student discount. Tell me what you think.

 

? 256MB DDR266 SDRAM (128MB built-in & 128MB SO-DIMM)

? 40GB Ultra ATA drive

? Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)

? AirPort Extreme Card

? Keyboard/Mac OS X - U.S. English

? 12-inch TFT XGA display

? 800MHz PowerPC G4

? ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 w/ 32MB DDR video memory

Subtotal $1,110.00

 

or

 

? 1GHz PowerPC G4

? 256MB DDR266 (256MB built-in)

? 40GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200rpm

? Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)

? AirPort Extreme Card

? Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English

? 12.1-inch TFT Display

Subtotal $1,488.00

 

I'm going to use it mostly for coding and general usage.

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Originally posted by Darius@Jan 28 2004, 07:24 PM

I'm currently trying to decide if the powerbook is worth the difference in price over the ibook. I get both with student discount. Tell me what you think.

One of the main differences between the PBs and IBs is that the PowerBooks have L3 cache, which makes the machine noticeably faster (on top of that you have +200Mhz on the PB).

 

I would try to get the PowerBook if possible. I think it will have a longer useable lifetime.

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