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My Mac Adventure

Discussion in 'Software' started by simongrahamuk, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    As some of you may know acouple of weeks ago I decided to buy a MacBook, having never used one before I decided that the time was right to own my own computer and I opted for the Mac.

    Well, I've been hapilly using it now for almost a week, and so far I'm impressed! The whole thing seems to run a whole lot smoother than my work laptop with 1gb memory and Windows XP.

    Getting to grips with the OS was an easy task, the only difficult part was figuring out that to install software you simply drag and drop the app into the applications folder. I was also lost wehn it came to trying to right click as the mac only has a single button, but thankfully a quick google revealed that if I press the ctrl button then click it works like a right click. Overall the Mac has a very *nix feel to it, which is something that I'm keen to delve further into, even allowing me to open up a terminal should I feel the need.

    A great site that I've found for users that are new to Mac's is:
    http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/
    It is basically an idiots guide on how to use a Mac.

    The only issue that I discovered, and it's my own fault for not researching it first is that MS Virtual PC for Mac's doesn't run on the Intel based Mac's, which was a bit of problem since I wanted to run some VM's. Fear not though, I have found a Mac alternative called parallels. Which does the same job as Virtual PC.

    All of my hardware, Printer, USB Sticks, Digital Camera were picked up and installed straight away, and the builtin bluetooth is great for sending things to my mobile!

    I'll keep you all updated as my Mac Adventure progresses! :biggrin
     
  2. jackd

    jackd Megabyte Poster

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    Never Been that keen on Apple products but after youre adventure i like them a little bit more.
     
  3. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Ok, so prombted by Bluerinse's comments in this thread I've decided that I should update this thread with how I'm getting on with the MacBook.


    It's now almost December and I've had the Mac since July, and I have to admit that I'm still happy with it.

    Being predominently a Windows user before hand I still sometimes find it strange having to figure a way to do something that you can easilly take for granted with Windows, nothing comes to mind at present, but there are some things that you have to figure out how to do differently. It's all part of the learning process though isn't it?

    Out of the box the Mac performed brilliantly, with its default 512Mb RAM. I could easilly do everything that I needed to do. More recently though I bought an additional 1Gb (now running 1.25Gb) of memory for it so that I could run more VM's concurrently. Wow! I noticed a massive performance boost, and I thought it was good before!

    The key thing that I have noticed between Windows and Mac's is that PC's (running Windows) seem to have to work so hard to do something, where as a mac just looks as though it does it without any effort, a very smooth sort of feeling to the way it switches between applications.

    With the Mac there is a huge range of software bundled, this is prodominently targetted towards the Mac's traditional strong point, multimedia and graphics. Although I don't use these much I am starting to find them useful to a point. I have done numerous video captures and found a great WYSIWYG web design tool for basic pages, all of which were pre-bundled. As the need arrises I'm sure I'll find more usefull apps. One App that I am running is Office 2004 for Mac, something just didn't feel right about the OO version when I tried it.

    I have to say that one great thing I have found is that despite my Mac being the bottom of the range version now that I have installed extra memory into it I can run a Vista VM fantastically well. Ok, so its the Business version and hasn't got Aero, but it runs extremely smooth with its allocated 512 MB of memory, and in Full screen 1280 x something resolution looks awesome!

    From a general users perspective, who would use a computer for what? Word Processing and web browsing? I would highly recommend a Mac, that is if you can justify the extra cost over a 'basic' PC. If you can get out of the "Windows does it that way" mentality and appreciate the graphical computing experience then I think you'll like using a Mac.

    One last point - Although it looks great when new, go for the Black Mac's. My white one is really starting to look grubby and can I hell get it clean! :biggrin
     
  4. Nelix
    Honorary Member

    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    Try some t-cut
     
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  5. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Well, I thought it was about time that I gave you all an update as to whats been going on with my Mac experience. To be honest I've only just got it back!

    Before you start asking 'got it back'? Whats he on about? has it been broken? No I mean that my 'better half' has really taken a shine to it and tends to use it far to much for my liking. :dry You wouldn't think that she has a perfectly good laptop of her own!

    In recent months I have to admit that I have been rather lazy with my use of the Mac, I have pretty much only been using it for web browsing. My gf on the other hand has taken a real shine to iTunes and iDVD. Both of these are applications that are part of the iLife06 suite of programs which I purchased because I wanted to do some video editing using iMovie.

    I'm sure you all know what iTunes is, so I'll not go into that other than to say (this is for my gf) its available for windows. :dry iDVD is a great piece of software that allows you to create your own interactive DVD's and my gf has taken great pleasure in making some from our holidays snaps and movies. Not bad going for someone who has never done anything like that before.

    Now, I said before that I had been quite lazy with my computer use recently, but what I have managed to find the time to do is rebuild some of my VM's in Parallels. I've discovered one major problem with the Parallels software and that is that I can't assign more than one NIC. I've emailed Parallels support about this, but they never came back to me. :dry

    So, I've had my Mac for 9 months or so now and I'm still liking it one thing that I have notived though is that its hard disk is now starting to make a 'scratching' noise (the heads moving). Not something that and 'ordinary' user would notice, but when you work with computers all day you tend to notice things like that. Hopefully now that the gf is done making DVD's the Mac can have a rest and the problem will disapear. Did you know that you can't just defragment a Mac hard disk?

    For general use at home it definitely recommend a Mac over a PC, they are just so easy to use if you have basic needs and when combined with a package such as iLife06 make integrating your digital life an enjoyable and easy experience. For me though, an IT Professional using this as my only 'home' computer is at times challenging.

    I sometimes miss having a 'PC based architecture' on which I can simply install Windows or Linux and have a blast at different things or play with different software. I could (and do) do a lot of this in Parallels, but sometimes its just not the same. Still I noticed that I can now get a laptop from Dell delivered for just £329.......


    8)

    Oh, by the way I never did try the T-Cut so the white Mac is still looking rather grubby! :biggrin
     
  6. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    First time ive seen this, interesting read. What do you do about defragging a mac then?
     
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  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Thanks for the info and the link. I going to see if I can purchase a couple of Mac's in April (new fiscal) as we're part of a community project doing animation on Mac's and guess whose going to be ultimately responsible for it.

    If this joint project takes off, we may even consider the Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS). But that's far, far off. :biggrin

    -Ken
     
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  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    AFAIK the underlying system of a Mac is FreeBSD. Unless someone tells me I'm wrong it will be using the standard FreeBSD filesystems.

    Usualy known as UFS or FFS this doesn't *need* defragging!

    I have a FreeBSD box at work with an uptime of over 1100 days. Still performs well!

    Harry.
     
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  9. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Yup. 8)
     
  10. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Sorry Simon i missed the original posting, which i prompted you to do :oops: However, i have read all you have said and it's very enlightening. Thanks for posting mate!!
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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