new video
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

thinking of getting a mac  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22177
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple of months ago I bought a PC from costco. My primary reason was that when you return something within 90 days they say "do you want that in twenties?"

Quad core. 8 gigs of memory.

Lots of problems.

When I would start up my IBM thinkpad (purchased in 2004) with 2 gigs of memory, XP would use 160 megs and then it was ready for action. When I would started my Lenovo thinkpad (purchased in 200 with 2 gigs of memory, XP (plus lenovo bullshit) would use 650 megs. When I installed windows 7 it was the same story. With this new laptop, windws 7 starts with 1.6 gigs of memory in use.

When idle, two of the processors are running at 50% and the other two at 10%.

It loses mouse clicks. I find myself often waiting for the computer to catch up. Sometimes the mouse sticks.

I'm doing a lot with videos and podcasts and about 15% the computer decides that something else is more important so my playback is stuttered and screwed up.

Then somebody said something the other day that I found very persuasive, if it is true: when the time comes to write the video to disk (a very CPU/memory intensive thing), if you have a mac with 1 gig of memory and an old processor, it could take fifteen minutes to fill a DVD. And if you have a PC with 8 gigs and quad core super processors, it will take hours.

This PC has shut down to install stuff in the middle of me working on things - I suspect to update something. And lose 50 windows of saved firefox pages and documents. It pops up advertising crap in the middle of my work that it thinks is important. A power user friend stopped by, I complained - he spent ALL DAY trying to fix a lot of this crap and probably made a 10% dent.

I feel I am getting trained to tolerate this crap in order to get my stuff done. I hear that the 15 inch mac is $1800. My new PC is $1000. So I suppose I could return that and then the mac is $800 more.

If all of the headaches go away and are not replaced by a bunch of different headaches ... PLUS everything works faster and smoother even though there is less memory, then the extra cost is worth it.

Can anyone validate what I was told?
 
Al Loria
Posts: 395
Location: New York
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul, all I can say is unless you have had a Mac, you cannot appreciate how much trouble a PC is and how much less grief you will have.  For video editing, it can't be beat.

We got rid of our PCs about 4 years ago and have a desktop and a 13" Macbook.  Both have never had any problems like the PCs.  I know a guy who runs a site with about 16,00 members and he got rid of his PC because of the same issues you have.  He's been using it over 4 years and can't be more thrilled.  He was the primary reason we went Apple.

Plenty of PC people will tell you not to get a MAC, but for a computer illiterate like me, it saved my nerves.  I like things that work...

 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With a PC you have both the hardware makes proprietary programs and windows programs that need to update. Along with Java and all the Adobe programs I have on my computer it demands that I restart it every 8 hours for some update to take effect. Some of this can be fixed by reloading just windows and getting rid of all the stuff from dell or HP or whoever, but you give up the integrated DVD player and sometimes the functions of little buttons for pause and play and what not. Mac has its own set of problems, specifically that you are still pretty limited in the range of programs you can run. Most major software firms are compatible with both now because of the need to meet the now large mac market share with something worth while. Macs also have a pretty big pricetag and because you buy pretty much all of the accessories from them they are masterful at squeezing just a little more money out of you at every turn. I once made aquaintance with someone who did signal processing for the CIA on a mac, he bought the computers off the apple store online, 4 of them at 15,000 a piece.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am a mac fan from way back. But my last job I was (among other things) the network troubleshooter for a bunch of PCs.

You will like the software and interface better once you get used to it. Much less annoying than Windoze. But macs will run PC software. Also, you can run UNIX, if you're into that.

Less software variety (although this gap has narrowed in the last few years) but better-quality software.

If you like tinkering around with the innards of your operating system and software, you may have some adjusting to do. Plenty of people do tinker with the mac OS, but it isn't quite as open in that respect. On the other hand, it doesn't need as much tinkering!

Could you test drive one for a few months before you decide? Surely someone you know in Missoula has a not-too-old mac hanging around.

My sweetie recently bought a refurbished iMac with a 27-inch monitor for about $2300. He runs the full Adobe Creative Suite on it for his marketing consulting business. Very pleased. If you compare features and horsepower, rather than base price, the mac is competitive with PCs.

When a friend of mine was mulling over whether to make the switch to a mac, I asked him why he bought a new Volvo instead of a Hyundai. He bought the mac and never regretted it.


 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
right here paul
http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download

I do still have xp installed on my machine because sometimes my on line classes demand I run word
it runs on  a virtual machine under Ubuntu
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How to fix any computer
 
Al Loria
Posts: 395
Location: New York
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's the link to Apple's refurbished units.  Might be something in there worth looking at.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
 
12much McCoy
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Buy an Imac with Intel proc.
and also an external 2,5" HD for Time Machine. (you will love it!)
Keep your windows seven.
Buy parallels (the best virtual machine I've ever seen.)
Download UbuntU for free.

Install everything in ONE evening only once, while enjoying the beauty en spaceprovider on your desk, and save lots, and I mean LOTS of time to do other things instead of solving problems you never asked for.

I'm forced to work with windows computers at work, and I'm an expert if I may say so. But everyone who's ever asked (repeatingly) for my help with their windows related problems over the years, are convinced Ubuntu or Mac users now. I hardly see them anymore

Succes.

 
Josh T-Hansen
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 5 Brimfield, MA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My $400 windows 7 laptop has been running very well for me.  It is using 1.1 out of 3 GBs of memory at the moment.  I think windows 7 is more logical and "green" (see price tag), however, my anti virus software also occasionally restarts the computer when I don't want it to (I think it asks me if I want to when I'm typing and I somehow choose yes)
 
Casey Halone
Posts: 192
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I say get the best of both worlds.
[size=10pt]
OSX86
[/size]

I have been rocking it for years on about $700 in "pc" hardware. Would have spent around $3000 for the same product from apple. Do your research before you buy, and you can find hardware that is pretty compatible. completely possible to have a 100% working machine.
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul, it all depends .

The new Mac OS uses more memory than the old one. Newer macs can take more memory. I regularly max out 2GB of ram and 4GB of ram all the time using the Mac. I am slowly moving to other unix/linux OSes. When you buy a computer, max out the ram. 8-16GB.

You seem to know windows, so I'm not going to tell you what to do there. Unix is always an option for you. Install Ubuntu etc and have fun with all the open source. You can do anything and everything, given time.

Video works well on mac or PC. What software are you using, what is your target, how much time do you want to spend learning the software and using the software?

If you want to do more video and push it to youtube and not spend your life doing it, look at the latest version of iLife. iMovie (included with new mac) allow you to edit and push your video to youtube easily. If you want to upgrade to better software, look at Final Cut Studio. It will set you back another $1K, but with a little training and practice, it will show in the quality of video/audio you put out. On the PC side, look at Adobe's or Pinnacle's offerings

Getting you up to speed. On a mac. If there were a store near you, then training in the store would work. But, did not see one right near you. So, here are a few solutions.

  • [li]screen sharing with me or another mac user (built into ichat)[/li]
    applecare with the product gets you 3 years of bugging them over the telephone (unless it has changed)[/li]
    [li]The On Store[/li]
    [li]Vanns Inc[/li]
    [li]Best Buy - yours may have an Apple employee (Apple Solutions Consultant)[/li]


  • My recommendation is to find someone that can make you a quick power user, if you are into that sort of thing. Less time wasted is more time to watch plants grow and mess with portable quantum rocket heat.

    I think you will be happy with a mac. There is some transition. You can run Virtual Machines on the mac and run windows, unix, linux at the same time. Mac OS is built over BSD unix with a mach kernel, if you were wondering. You can also dual boot.

    My best guess (without having a conversation with you) is that you'd be better off with a new mac or two.

    Cons, going with apple is going with the devil and darwin(ism). Kind of goes with some people's take on the forbidden fruit. But, that's what Apple likes to call the underpinnings of their OS. (for those wondering, darwin is the name of the open source unix under Mac OS X and the logo for it is a cute little devil.)
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 22177
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I tried to copy 175 gigs from my pc to an external drive. After two hours it was about 5% done. So I set the laptop to never turn off for inactivity and went to bed. I woke up to find that it got about 75% of the way through before windows decided to update the system and shut down. This is the third time windows had decided to do that even though I had already told windows to never do that.

    Once everything is on the external hard drive, I'll move it over to the mac and start stress testing the mac.

    With nothing running, the mac has 2 gigs in use and 2 gigs free. Not comforting me.

    I use pinnacle stuff for the PC now.  I like it a lot.  I'm looking forward to trying imovie.

    I bought this mac at best buy.  The local outfit (vanns) said there could be a 30% restocking fee. 

    Being a power user is something i gave up about 25 years ago.  One of the most compelling things about a mac is when somebody said "rather than being forced to learn things about your computer that you never wanted to know, you spend your time focused on your art."  That is where I want to be.

    I've used linux as a workstation before (all my web sites run on linux servers) and it seems to be one of those things where I end up having to learn things I didn't want to learn.  I'm hopeful that the mac will live up to its reputation in that way: i can focus on my work.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 22177
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I like the idea of learning a lot of this with somebody who already knows how.  I might contact you to do that some.  Especially with imovie.  I already have the raw footage of a simple movie to work with.  And I have a raw podcast to process too.
     
    Burra Maluca
    Mother Tree
    Posts: 9893
    Location: Portugal
    891
    bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    My son says that TeraCopy speeds things up pretty good. 

    He says he transferred 17 gigs from a local harddrive to an external harddrive in under 20 mins.  I don't really know what all those words mean, but he thinks they're relevant and possibly of interest.

    http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php
     
                  
    Posts: 238
    Location: swampland virginia
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Burra Maluca wrote:
    My son says that TeraCopy speeds things up pretty good. 

    He says he transferred 17 gigs from a local harddrive to an external harddrive in under 20 mins.  I don't really know what all those words mean, but he thinks they're relevant and possibly of interest.

    http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php

    Looks like it is a Windows program. Not sure how it works, but there are several ways of copying data from one drive to the next, and some ways are much faster than others. Kind of like hand writing a copy vs photo copying a page vs using a high speed duplex scan feeder. On computers, you can copy files or copy blocks of data, the latter being quicker.
     
                  
    Posts: 238
    Location: swampland virginia
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    paul wheaton wrote:
    I like the idea of learning a lot of this with somebody who already knows how.   I might contact you to do that some.  Especially with imovie.  I already have the raw footage of a simple movie to work with.  And I have a raw podcast to process too.


    Paul, you might look at some more options. Depending on how much you plan on doing and how automated you want things to get. It's just money ... http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/features/podcast-producer.html

    Bug me. you should have my contact info.
     
    travis laduke
    Posts: 163
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I think looking at the memory usage is a red herring. In general, on modern OSes, if there is unused RAM sitting around, some program will claim it, but if the program is not actually using it (the ram), and another program needs it, the program will give it over.
    Not to defend windows... All those updates, to the os and adobe and java... it;'s like a full time job keeping up. And having automatic updates mysteriously turn on is annoying and unsettling.
    If you don't want to putz around with computer stuff, And you don't need some windows only program, And you don't mind spending a little extra, get the mac.
    Install Linux on your PC first though. I installed ubuntu on my sister in law's laptop after she got a million viruses and it all Just Worked and she hasn't called me back to fix anything since. Here's one I haven't tried, but is for video/audio editing...
    http://ubuntustudio.org/

    ps i'm on a different linux distro right now using 345MB out of 4gig =p
     
                  
    Posts: 238
    Location: swampland virginia
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    travis laduke wrote:
    I think looking at the memory usage is a red herring. In general, on modern OSes, if there is unused RAM sitting around, some program will claim it, but if the program is not actually using it (the ram), and another program needs it, the program will give it over.
    Not to defend windows... All those updates, to the os and adobe and java... it;'s like a full time job keeping up. And having automatic updates mysteriously turn on is annoying and unsettling.
    If you don't want to putz around with computer stuff, And you don't need some windows only program, And you don't mind spending a little extra, get the mac.
    Install Linux on your PC first though. I installed ubuntu on my sister in law's laptop after she got a million viruses and it all Just Worked and she hasn't called me back to fix anything since. Here's one I haven't tried, but is for video/audio editing...
    http://ubuntustudio.org/

    ps i'm on a different linux distro right now using 345MB out of 4gig =p

    The advent of cheap memory created an abundance of memory hog apps. Just the way the programers write these days. Then we add in the abundance of unused features to use more. Amazed that flash can hog half a gig of ram with nothing playing. 

    All those gigabytes of updates, is it adware, malware, bloatware or real fixes? and then having to read all the new end user licensing agreements, looking up every word in black law's dictionary and consulting a qualified legalese lawyer gets expensive in time and money. Open Source keeps the agreements easier.

    Amongst many things I like about macs is unix. There is a growing list of things I dislike. They are starting to feel more like microsoft every day.

    I see you are hurting GDP with linux. pure 

    I have tried some of the apps in that suite. If i master any of them, i will pass on the know how.
     
    John Polk
    steward
    Posts: 8019
    Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
    289
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    When Bill Gates was once asked if newer versions of DOS would be able to address more than 1 MB  RAM, he replied "Nobody needs more than 1 Megabyte."

    Back in those days, programmers needed to write clean, tight code.  Now, it doesn't seem to matter...the more Bells & Whistles, the better!
     
    Lee Einer
    Posts: 169
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    OK, I have done tech support for a couple of businesses. Right now, I work for a school running a fleet of mostly obsolete Macs.

    Macs have downsides.

    Initial cost and cost of replacement parts being two of them.

    Their upside at this point is that they run a unix-like operating system that is somewhat more stable and malware-immune than Windows.

    PCs running windows are much less expensive both in initial cost and maintenance costs. Their only downside is that they come with various iterations of the Windows operating system.

    Best of both worlds? Get a PC and install a user-friendly Linux distro. If you're used to Windows, try a Linux distro with KDE, it will be more familiar to you than one with Gnome.

    At the minimum, before you blow a bunch of money, download a live linux distro like Mepis, burn it to cd, and run it on your PC to see how you like it. Even running off the CDROM, I bet you will find it much faster and less resource-intensive than XP, Vista, even Windoze 7.

    I've loaded Linux on plenty of boxes that people gave away because they ran so poorly with Windows, and had good, functional computers. It's not reasonable to replace your hardware because your software sucks.
     
                                          
    Posts: 11
    Location: Indiana
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I recently bought a 13' macbook pro and never had any problems with it. I did come from a windows background so it does take a little getting use to at first.

    But if you still want a windows computer the dell inspiron is pretty good, I have a dell insiron desktop and also never had a problem with that either. I just make sure I have a good virus scanner that I run once a week and never had any problems.

    So what you choose, just think about. Macs are great computers but they do tend to be on the pricy side upfront and for repairs. So make sure you get apple care if you decide to get the mac.
     
    Dave Bennett
    Posts: 686
    1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    paul wheaton wrote:
    A couple of months ago I bought a PC from costco. My primary reason was that when you return something within 90 days they say "do you want that in twenties?"

    Quad core. 8 gigs of memory.

    Lots of problems.

    When I would start up my IBM thinkpad (purchased in 2004) with 2 gigs of memory, XP would use 160 megs and then it was ready for action. When I would started my Lenovo thinkpad (purchased in 200 with 2 gigs of memory, XP (plus lenovo bullshit) would use 650 megs. When I installed windows 7 it was the same story. With this new laptop, windws 7 starts with 1.6 gigs of memory in use.

    When idle, two of the processors are running at 50% and the other two at 10%.

    It loses mouse clicks. I find myself often waiting for the computer to catch up. Sometimes the mouse sticks.

    I'm doing a lot with videos and podcasts and about 15% the computer decides that something else is more important so my playback is stuttered and screwed up.

    Then somebody said something the other day that I found very persuasive, if it is true: when the time comes to write the video to disk (a very CPU/memory intensive thing), if you have a mac with 1 gig of memory and an old processor, it could take fifteen minutes to fill a DVD. And if you have a PC with 8 gigs and quad core super processors, it will take hours.

    This PC has shut down to install stuff in the middle of me working on things - I suspect to update something. And lose 50 windows of saved firefox pages and documents. It pops up advertising crap in the middle of my work that it thinks is important. A power user friend stopped by, I complained - he spent ALL DAY trying to fix a lot of this crap and probably made a 10% dent.

    I feel I am getting trained to tolerate this crap in order to get my stuff done. I hear that the 15 inch mac is $1800. My new PC is $1000. So I suppose I could return that and then the mac is $800 more.

    If all of the headaches go away and are not replaced by a bunch of different headaches ... PLUS everything works faster and smoother even though there is less memory, then the extra cost is worth it.

    Can anyone validate what I was told?

    I have been running a Mac since 1999.  The same one that I bought back then is perfectly functional and sitting right over there------->.  I just found a somewhat newer one for free.....can't beat that price.  They are 1000 times more stable although browsers crash once or twice a year this one has only ever been shut down when I am out of town for a few days or the power goes out because of a storm.  Other than that it has been running continuously for 2 years.  If you do get a Mac forget about Safari.....Firefox is a much better browser.  macs cost more but you get what you pay for and in this case it is better quality hardware and the best OS.
     
    Permaculture isn't that hard to understand. Sometimes a little bump helps: richsoil.com/cards
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!