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  1. #1
    Michaelosaur
    Guest
    Question Ask for your advice
    Dear all,

    I am the novice to the Mac powerbook G4 but I plan to buy one. Without experience and time, I would like to ask if anyone knew the following issues which actually are the questions I asked myself for shifting myself from my adroit experience in windows-based system to Mac OS X world. Honestly I do not want to heat up the debat on the use of Windows vs Mac OS X but as a practicable guy, I have to ask for more information from expertises like you:

    (1) Performance: How fast and responsive to a powerbook let say, alumbook M9422 with 128MB Vdram and 512MB memory in dealing with tasks, e.g. editing a hugh tiff image in photoshop; complex drawing in coreldraw; showing animated video in powerpoint? Will it be on par, over, or subpar with PC notebook like Sony Z1 with 1.7GHz centrino, or doran (2MB cache model for S170 sold in US), or equivalent models. Please be subjective and rational rather than biased in this point?

    (2) Versatility: How feasible and ease for Mac user to get freewares/sharewares to try like in Windows world? For examples, can we add-on stuffs like transparency menu, alter color and skin in the menu title, change icon look, write softwares such as DVD genie software to by-pass the firmware like region-code limited DVD drive...

    (3) Durablility and hardware upgradablitiy: How durable on average for a powerbook regardless of the upcoming "better" models? Do the users themselves can easily assess the memory slot, harddisk for DIY upgrade, esp. the latter one which we may get a harddisk with a more reasonable price from any computer accessary store? How frequent will the Apple to "update" the OS like Windows? If so, will it be charged or free in general/recall from past experience?

    Your information is really appreciated and I will seriously consider for making my decision on purchase of powerbook. Frankly speaking, I spent a while through in the internet to check and look for the actual model in apple authorized store. I like the design and am satisified with the reported performance (based on the general discussed reviews from internet), which really need the real experience revealed from users like you...

    Sincerely yours,
    Michael
    mchchau@hotmail.com
    PS: I came across the hot Alumbook (powerbook G4 made of aluminium) while using and do Apple make any offical response to resolute it?

  2. #2
    Ask for your advice
    citystar2k's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location
    North Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    178
    Specs:
    12" 1.33 GHz PowerBook w/SuperDrive, 60GB HDD, 1.25G RAM.
    Hi Michael, for your question on performance etc, here's a thread i posted copmparing my laptop and Powerbook.

    I've found that there is less software available for the mac for little applications, like Helix Producer,not available for OS X, but it's minor really. I'm using the iLife package that is part of any new apple computer, and it's brilliant, iMovie, iDvd, iPhoto, had fun with these and impressed work colleagues with the dvds i've been burning and the photo slideshows too. There are things i cant do on my powerbook like shrinking dvds to save on my external hard drive for back up purposes, there is software available, but it costs money, where with windoze xp, there is freeware available. Dont get me wrong, there's a lot of freeware available for OS X, it depends what you want from it. Eventually when i get my Powermac, i'll invest in a couple of software packages, like Premiere, Cubase, Final Cut Express just to name a few.

    I love my Powerbook, the design and aesthetics of it is absolutely brilliant, open it up and what it can do for you, a whole lot even better!

  3. #3
    Ask for your advice

    Member Since
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    173
    Specs:
    15" 2.2Ghz SR MBP
    well in my experience you can only copy dvds on to your hard drive with a mac without spending any money. Throw a DVD into your mac and then make a Disk Image of it. Its in Disk Utilities, i think. I find that most people don't buy macs unless: 1. You have a really good reason for owning one and 2. You acutally have the money to buy one. Like right now, Im running Windows XP with all patches and Im sitting behind 3 firewalls and one anti-virus scanner. That can as secure as a Mac. Its just that a Mac is more stable than a pc and it fits my needs. So unless you really want a mac and plan to use it fully, i would buy a pc. I owned a mac but I couldnt afford to keep them. So, what do you to plan to do with your PB(powerbook)? Video Editing, Graphics Design it seems like, so just think about what you are going to do with it and if it a economical deceision(sorry i cant spell).

    PS: Doing Graphics design with the Mac is a MUST!

  4. #4
    Ask for your advice
    witeshark's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Miami FL
    Posts
    2,860
    Specs:
    G4 1Ghz OS X 10.4.7
    A good place to look for free apps is Versiontracker

  5. #5
    Ask for your advice
    Murlyn's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Posts
    4,915
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM OS 10.5.2

  6. #6
    Ask for your advice
    rman's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    12,584
    Specs:
    2 x 3.0GHz Quad-Core, 6GB OS X 10.6.8 | 15in MacBook Pro 2.2GHz OS X 10.6.8 | 64GB iPad 2 WiFi
    Cool
    I use both :p
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!

  7. #7
    chronogoof89
    Guest
    (1) Performance: I've never USED any of those computers you mentioned. I can say that many Mac users (...and unbiased people, not just people who are Mac-heads.) claim that their Macs run as fast or faster than PCs with comparable specs. The specs on the computers you posted are similar to the Powerbooks, so I would say AT THE WORST you will get equal performance and response.

    (2) Versatility: MacUpdate or Versiontracker. Not everything that is available for a PC will be around for a Mac for free, and visa-versa.

    (3) Durablility and hardware upgradablitiy: I think Apple's tend to last a long time. People on this board are using some pretty old G3s. They aren't the fastest but they get the job done and still work fine. I It is easy to upgraded the RAM on a Powerbook. There is a little trap-door thing. Changing the hard-drive is not as easy at all. In fact its pretty hard, but its not an easy job on any laptop, PC or Mac.

    PS: I came across the hot Alumbook (powerbook G4 made of aluminium) while using and do Apple make any offical response to resolute it?
    You mean the "hot Powerbook" thread where everybody downloaded Temperature Monitor and began posting their Processor Bottom-side temps? LOL. I really don't think the heat is an issue. I don't know if you've ever used a modern laptop of any kind for a while - they all get hot. My dad's Toshiba, and his ThinkPad both do. I think basically any new laptop will get pretty warm - which makes sense since more power (heat) is being stuffed into smaller and smaller packages. The PB gets a little warm on bare-legs in the summer if its charging. If you are running on battery power I don't find it gets very hot at all. Lukewarm at the most. Apple has not and will not address this because it is not a problem in reality.

  8. #8
    Michaelosaur
    Guest
    Question
    Hi all,

    Many thanks for all the information. Actually I am an academic researcher and I really have to work alots using computer like MS office, Prism, Photoshop, Coreldraw, Preimere, Bryce, Flash, Visual C++ as well as other scientific softwares, e.g. Spike. The free trial softwares to enhance my windows-based PC are also my favourite. Therefore the performance and hardware upgradability are the main concern. I now use portable HD and DVD to keep the files and data rather than CD or tiny memory cards. However I like the design and aesthetics of powerbook which the price is on a par with certain high-ended windows-based notebooks. I still don't know Alumbook performance on such softwares I usually used (I tested the photoshop, it's faster in Mac but eMac G4 (1.25GHz with 512MB) is abit slower in booting and switching between some softwares than my Pentium II notebook (300MHz, 340MB) with WinMe only). I totally realize the balance between the speed and the elegance of the notebook/powerbook. However, the performance I asked is for my Alumbook purchase decision other than any irrational speed chasing!! Pls don't mind about my blunt question on this issue... Again I am practable and the cost-effective consideration is always hanging my mind, sorry! What a dilemma in my mind....X(

    For the hot issue on Alumbook, I haven't had the PB G4 to confirm. Based on the experiment I tested in our University user, 95F is the temperature we measured from Sony Z1 or S170 model. The temp is measured using the thermistor-type thermometer at the metal surfaces or exhaust of the model. The temp I quoted for Alumbook (140-160F!!) was from PC magazine review and internet discussion board, which I need the true information from any Alumbook (1G, 1.25G, 1.33G or 1.5G?) users like you. If so in PB, I will hesitate and start wondering the durability of such Alumbook working in a such hot condition! Will the circuit inside really last long if it were made of aluminium outside?

    Anyway, what I need is the information and actual experience from users, other than arguments which model/system is superior.

    With thanks for your information,
    Michael

  9. #9
    chronogoof89
    Guest
    Well, that may be true in certain instances... However, the temperature of the outside of the case is nothing compared to the processor temperature, which is I think what you are worried about. The temperature of the outside of the case isn't going to change long-term reliability. My processor has never even gotten to 160F even doing heavy-duty work in PS, iMovie, etc, etc. Since the processor area is the hottest recorded in Temperature Monitor, I find it hard to believe the case would get to 160 during even heavy use (that would mean virtually zero heat-loss between the processor back-side and the case). What kind of work was the Sony doing when the case got to 95F? Processor temp is probably the same (even more so than the case temp, which is I still claim is the same between my PB and PCs I've tested). I would measure the temperature but I have no way of doing it?! Again, I wouldn't worry about it.

  10. #10
    Michaelosaur
    Guest
    Question
    Hi all,

    I would like to ask if anyone tried to plug the SCSI PCMCIA card (IFC-USCB; manufactured from melco or buffalo) in their Mac powerbook or ibook before. Did it work under Mac OS X opr earlier OS version? If not, anyway to solve it as I use my old MO drive which is SCSI in connection. By the way, anyone can tell me more how to snap the pointer back to any dialogue box like in Windows OS? Do I need to add-on software like Snap-it or tracker (?) in Mac OSX to achieve the snap-to function? Besides, can anyone know the exact version of Mac OS X in powerbook 15" (Alumbook)? 10.2.4 or 10.3/higher version? Can user upgrade the OS free or with charge for newer version like 10.3.5?

    With thanks for your advice,
    Michael

  11. #11
    Michaelosaur
    Guest
    Question
    Hi me again,

    i would like to ask more: Anyone have digged to study the resolution of Alumbook 15", i.e. pixel size=0.22mm, 0.249mm or 0.29mm or else? Will the Alumbook give poor resolution in low resoultion like PC notebook? Anyone have tried any alternative CD/DVD burner software rather than toaster in Mac OSX? DO Mac have similar burner softwares similar to function as Nero burn in PC? What's the name for such software? My DVD burner is pioneer SK-12D which is run well in my old windows-based notebook; I plan to buy the Alumbook 15" and then connected to my pioneer DVD writer...this is why I asked so many hardware compatility! sorry

    Do the new Alumbook right now on sale can support the SCSI device? I means I use my SCSI pcmcia card to connect with any SCSI devices. Will the Mac OS X 10.3.5 have build-in compatible driver to my SCSI pcmcia card, which I found it works at Mac OS8 or 9?

    I came across the discussion issue on virtural PC on Mac OSX. Did anyone try to run windowsme in virturalPC? What's the speed? feel slower than running Windows XP? As I am a layman, do we need to inrestall the hardware for installation of any windows OS using virtural PC, please specify?!

    Please give me some advice and information.

    with thanks,
    Michael

  12. #12
    Sir Al
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelosaur
    Will the Alumbook give poor resolution in low resoultion like PC notebook?
    Due to the nature of LCD screens, they usually only have 1 native mode. Therefore, only the high resolution mode of the powerbook looks the best and the same is true for most PC laptops as well.

    Anyone have tried any alternative CD/DVD burner software rather than toaster in Mac OSX? DO Mac have similar burner softwares similar to function as Nero burn in PC? What's the name for such software?
    The burning suites are fairly good, besides Toast, I've heard of dragon burn and various other ones.

    Did anyone try to run windowsme in virturalPC? What's the speed? feel slower than running Windows XP?
    Windows ME runs fairly well in VirtualPC. Running windows xp in VPC is rather slow, I recommend using Win98se for the best performance. You should be able to run most of your windows applications in VPC with Windows 98se.

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