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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    MacBook Pro with Retina
    Hi there! I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. I'm hoping I can find an answer to my question. I just ordered a MacBook Pro with Retina today and I've always been a PC gal. I have no idea what sort of peripherals are compatible with the MacBook Pro and I'm thinking of getting a mouse but before I do so, I'd like to know if anyone here has had issues with the track pad.

    On my IBM laptop which is my laptop for work, the track pad is silly sensitive to the point where I can't use it. Is the MacBook Pro's track pad something that will take some getting used to? Does it have quirks in behavior?

    I can't wait to receive my new toy! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyobie View Post
    have no idea what sort of peripherals are compatible with the MacBook Pro and I'm thinking of getting a mouse but before I do so, I'd like to know if anyone here has had issues with the track pad.

    On my IBM laptop which is my laptop for work, the track pad is silly sensitive to the point where I can't use it. Is the MacBook Pro's track pad something that will take some getting used to? Does it have quirks in behavior?
    Just about any USB mouse will work.

    You didn't say what your issues with the IBM laptop were...so hard to say if you will experience the same on a MacBook Pro. But there are software based adjustments you can make for the trackpad & external mouse to customize how they operate (tracking speed, scrolling speed, clicking speed, etc.).

    Apple also has a control panel called "Universal Access" that has additional adjustments that can be made for further customization for folks with hearing, sight, and dexterity challenges.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Many thanks for your response. When I mentioned that the IBM track pad is 'silly sensitive', I thought that might be descriptive enough but for someone who hasn't used an IBM track pad, it's probably not so obvious. What happens is that if you're using the built in cursor steering device which is a little red jujubee sized stub that sticks out from the center of the keyboard so you can move your mouse cursor around the screen, having your palm located over the top of the track pad sometimes causes the track pad to think you want to scroll quickly to the 10 thousandth line of an Excel spreadsheet. Suddenly, the screen looks like it's been taken over and wildly scrolls out of control.

    This issue happens a lot to people who use IBM track pads. The way around it is to disable the track pad and the problem goes away until the track pad is re-enabled.

    I've never heard of anyone complaining about the Mac track pad doing anything similar, but when I stop to think about it, I've never heard anyone who owns a Mac complain about any aspect of his or her computer. My friends who have made the plunge before me swear by the build quality and the UI experience and they've been coaxing me to go for it for a few years now. I just couldn't bring myself to get comfortable with the idea of using a Mac because it seems so different in UI experience, but now that I've had more time with Apple products (iPod Classic with and without video, iPad 2, then iPad Retina, iPhone 4S and now iPhone 5), I finally decided to just go for it. I have a feeling I won't regret doing so but I'm not looking forward to the learning curve or letting go of control of where things are stored on the computer.

    I'll take the advice of users who have posted here before me and just let the system do its thing for a while - not to fight it by removing files or trying to store things in places other than where Apple wants them to be. Once I started doing this on my home PC, I became a little more comfortable with it but with Windows PCs, a user pretty much has to know a bit about file navigation to do just about anything on the machine or files just up and disappear on ya. I don't know how many times I've had to rescue work colleagues who swore they saved their file before they exited Word or Excel, only to not be able to find the file moments later. Key word search almost always yields a recovered file in the OLK5 folder - whatever the heck that is. I created a shortcut in MyDocuments just so I wouldn't have to search for the folder if something like that happened to me again.

    Anyway, thanks for the info on the mouse. Apple's restrictive technology with things like the Thunderbolt connector made me wonder if just any old USB device would be compatible. I guess that would be why a lot of load discs used to and still do, come with Mac and Windows drivers. Just wanted confirmation and now I've got it.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyobie View Post
    Apple's restrictive technology with things like the Thunderbolt connector made me wonder if just any old USB device would be compatible.
    15+ years ago this used to be the situation. But since around 1998 when Apple started using USB...just about any USB keyboard or mouse could be used. And things have gotten even better/more compatible when Apple switched to Intel cpu's back in 2006.

    As far as Thunderbolt. According to this August 2012 article (almost a year ago)...the "Windows World" actually is/has been shipping computers with Thunderbolt:

    Windows Laptops With Thunderbolt Ports | PCWorld

    Good luck with that new Macintosh computer. I''m sure you will love it!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    While you are waiting for your MBP to arrive, if you happen to have an Apple Store nearby, you can visit and play with the MBPs they have on display to get a feel of the keyboard, trackpad and so on.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    He he, I've been to the local Apple store and lurked around for a period of time on more than one occasion. Seems the trackpad works ok but IBM's trackpad misbehaves sporadically so I wasn't sure if I had enough time on the device at the Apple store to gage it as well as users here might be able to.

    And... I have to work.

    I'd rather play with my new toy though. I have vacation coming up that starts Friday and I'm hoping I get a tracking number sent to me notifying me that the lappy has shipped and will arrive on Friday but we'll see.

    Like any other new computer, getting used to the keyboard might take me a little time but that's ok. I can type on the wireless bluetooth keyboard I bought for the iPad Retina and it didn't take too long to get used to that one. I didn't think I'd like it but it works quite well and it's magnetic so it sticks to the iPad leather case that I bought it with. Kinda pricey but it's worth it quality wise.

  7. #7

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Ahh good, as long as you aren't purchasing the rMBP sight unseen..

    I have an iMac and use a Magic Trackpad instead of the Magic Mouse and it works great. However, having the trackpad right around the area where you are tying is a different story. I've had the worst luck with all of my work Dell laptops that have the trackpad. The first thing I do is disable them since they do a REALLY bad job ignoring my palm or unintended touches..

    The few times I've use a Macbook (Pro/Air), I haven't had this problem..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    I don't know where you got this silly nonsense that Thunderbolt is a "restrictive technology," but I have to tell you that's the most amusing thing I've heard in quite some time.

    Thunderbolt, co-invented by Intel and Apple, available on Macs and PCs, with adapters that can convert it to almost any kind of previous connection standard ever made? Oh yeah, that's super "restrictive" ...

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    I also recently got a rMBP myself, and they're fantastic machines, you'll love it.

    In regards to your trackpad issue, it sounds like that came from you using both the mouse-nub and the trackpad, not that the trackpad itself was too sensitive. Conflicting inputs (two inputs to the mouse) can definitely cause some weird results. Macs do not have mouse nubs, so that won't be an issue here.

    However, if you're clumsy with a trackpad (some people are) you will need to either learn to use it correctly, or disable the additional "multi-touch" features. Without doing either of those you will find you touch the trackpad sometime and crazy things happen. There are a lot of different ways you can use it with 2, 3 and even 4 fingers to do other functions, and those are all in the system preferences -> trackpad menu. They have tutorial videos and can be disabled as well.

    Being used to PCs, I also suggest going into the previously referenced system preferences - trackpad menu and disable scrolling that tracks finger movement. Otherwise, scrolling down with your finger will result in the scrolling action on the computer to go up. Confusing for many PC users.

    Otherwise, the transition from PC to Mac isn't difficult, honestly. All of your files on your mac will be stored basically as such: "Macintosh HD/Users/User_folder (whatever your user name is) and broken down into multiple folders, like documents, downloads, pictures, etc. It's not difficult at all. It's very similar to what Windows does. Mac OS X is a bit less convoluted than Windows, honestly.

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    chas_m, I got the notion that there might be a proprietary aspect of the Thunderbolt design because of something I ran into many years ago with one of the iPod Classic devices I owned. Come to think of it, I might still have it lying around somewhere. Anyway, there was a special cable you had to purchase in order to display video to a TV using the TV_out setting on the device. The cable had a chip embedded within the connector that was necessary in order to enable the video feature. The newer style cables that had a short stubby cable versus the more square-ish looking cable wouldn't work and it took me a little while to figure out that I had the wrong cable. This was right about the time that technology was pushing toward video out on all sorts of devices including Motorola's experiment with DLNA which was too cumbersome for the average person to mess around with.

    I come from primarily android hand-held products but made the switch to the iPhone 4S when that model came out because of how much a couple of friends and family members raved about its stability. At the time, I was using an HTC Thunderbolt and it was pretty buggy.

    Anyway, not to digress from the point of my response to your post but honestly, your tone came across as condescending and it really wasn't necessary to throw your smarts out there with your amusement. Forgive me if I don't know as much as you do about Apple products. I thought there might be something proprietary about the Thunderbolt connector design itself - something wacky like a patented connector shape or because it was designed so you could install it right-side up or up-side down and it was compatible either way. Sometimes, small things lock in a technology to one provider. Take the touch-dial feature for instance. If you receive an email that has a phone number in it, you can tap on the phone number and a dialer would pop up giving you an option to call that number. Apparently, there was a big court squabble over the idea and I don't recall if it was between Apple and Samsung but a couple of large companies were arm-wrestling over it in court. There are many reasons why I thought perhaps Thunderbolt might have been proprietary so I was just hoping I could get some friendly information regarding the technical aspect of whether or not Thunderbolt would add any restrictions to what I could or couldn't do with the machine and peripherals.

    Now that I have the MBP in my possession and I've spent a good 18 hours with it so far, I can see how stupid of a comment that might seem to someone who actually owned one of these but coming from a Windows PC all my life, I honestly didn't know. Isn't that what this forum is for? For people to learn about things they don't know and to share what they do know? Cut me some slack.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Ravenant - great suggestions on the track pad. I've found a combination of settings I like.

    I've plugged in an Anywhere MX Logitech wireless mouse and I've only changed the trackpad scrolling feature to be the reverse of what's intuitive to me. I've found the settings for the mouse scroll to be similarly reversed and from talking with a couple friends, they seem to be 50/50 on which way they like it. I like that it's configurable so you can set it the way you want without having to think about training yourself to go the opposite. It's like the MSA mode on a manually shifting automatic transmission. In some cars, you push the lever forward to engage a down-shift. In other cars, you push it forward to up-shift. It's just a design feature one has to get used to in cars, but on computers, we can thankfully swap the direction and off we go.

    You're right about the transition. After about 18 hours of itl Library xfer, email setup, personalization with some of the settings and figuring my way around the OS, I have most of the ins and outs figured out. I did find it a bit quirky to get iTunes set up the way it was on my PC but part of the awkwardness was probably the way I used iTunes on my PC. I didn't know the file structure or settings like I do now, so I had all sorts of file management issues in the beginning which I cleaned up over time. Well, turns out the clean-up only fixed the issues on the PC. When I transferred the entire itl to the new machine, I had to figure out how to import the bits into iTunes. I must have done something wrong to not have everything import all at once when I was at the top level folder, but thankfully I only had to do this once. Two devices are able to sync without problems now and I absolutely love Outlook for Mac. It's so much of a better UI experience imo.

    There's still some more ground to cover with further customizations but I'll have plenty of time to work on these things in the coming week. I'm on VACATION!

    Thanks for your help!

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    Ahh good, as long as you aren't purchasing the rMBP sight unseen..

    I have an iMac and use a Magic Trackpad instead of the Magic Mouse and it works great. However, having the trackpad right around the area where you are tying is a different story. I've had the worst luck with all of my work Dell laptops that have the trackpad. The first thing I do is disable them since they do a REALLY bad job ignoring my palm or unintended touches..

    The few times I've use a Macbook (Pro/Air), I haven't had this problem..
    Razor - you know exactly what I'm talking about with the weird behavior of the trackpad on the Windows based machines. I know a lot of people at my office who refuse to use the trackpad. It's handy when it behaves itself but on my IBM, it misbehaves a lot. More so than the several other IBMs I've had in the past for my work laptops.

    I like the trackpad on the MBP so far. I need to learn more of the gestures which I'll do over time but so far, so good. And the hot corner concept is nice too. I don't know why Windows 7 only has 1 hot corner (lower right) to display desktop. Seems there's a use for the other 3 corners if they made this a setting. I haven't decided what I want the other corners to do yet but I'll find something!

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    15+ years ago this used to be the situation. But since around 1998 when Apple started using USB...just about any USB keyboard or mouse could be used. And things have gotten even better/more compatible when Apple switched to Intel cpu's back in 2006.

    As far as Thunderbolt. According to this August 2012 article (almost a year ago)...the "Windows World" actually is/has been shipping computers with Thunderbolt:

    Windows Laptops With Thunderbolt Ports | PCWorld

    Good luck with that new Macintosh computer. I''m sure you will love it!

    - Nick

    Thanks for your response Nick. I knew I wasn't dreaming up that this was an issue once upon a time. Clearly I haven't read all the latest on what Mac has to offer nowadays. I guess I have a little more catching up to do on the matter. I spent most of my last year and a half rooting and tinkering with Android devices.

    I appreciate the link too!

    Sue

  14. #14


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyobie View Post
    chas_m, I got the notion that there might be a proprietary aspect of the Thunderbolt design because of something I ran into many years ago with one of the iPod Classic devices I owned. Come to think of it, I might still have it lying around somewhere. Anyway, there was a special cable you had to purchase in order to display video to a TV using the TV_out setting on the device.
    Not relevant to Thunderbolt, so I'm glad I was able to disabuse you of that notion.

    I come from primarily android hand-held products but made the switch to the iPhone 4S when that model came out because of how much a couple of friends and family members raved about its stability. At the time, I was using an HTC Thunderbolt and it was pretty buggy.
    I've never had good luck with HTC stuff, not surprised they aren't doing well these days. I hope you are enjoying the iPhone 4S.

    Anyway, not to digress from the point of my response to your post but honestly, your tone came across as condescending and it really wasn't necessary to throw your smarts out there with your amusement. Forgive me if I don't know as much as you do about Apple products.
    You don't have to know "as much as I do" about Apple products, but starting off the conversation by making a condescending remark yourself (that turned out to be wrong as I pointed out) is likely to get the same back.

    I thought there might be something proprietary about the Thunderbolt connector design itself
    Had you said that we'd have started off on the right foot.

    The big problem here is the difference between the word "restrictive" (your term) and "proprietary," which doesn't mean the same thing at all. There's loads of proprietary technology in Thunderbolt -- but it's all owned by Intel, and licensed to whoever wants to use it. This is the same as USB, just more advanced technology.

    I was just hoping I could get some friendly information regarding the technical aspect of whether or not Thunderbolt would add any restrictions to what I could or couldn't do with the machine and peripherals.
    I think the "if" factor was missing from your last post, but on the assumption I misinterpreted you and in the spirit of Mac-Forums friendliness I offer an apology to you. We get a lot of people who make pronouncements that are ill-informed or intended to "flame" Apple or Apple users and saying some technology must be restrictive because it came from Apple is just such a statement. I'm sorry if I overreacted.

    Cut me some slack.
    Slack cut. I'm glad you're enjoying your machine and I hope you'll feel free to ask anything you want here. May I add that while I sometimes "cut to the chase" on some of my answers, I also sometimes don't -- so please assume I mean what I say in the friendliest possible manner, because that is what is intended.

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Good morning chas_m,

    I appreciate your points. I've seen a lot of flaming posts against the Apple brand - the Android forums are riddled with them but after using the MBP for a couple days now, I don't mind someone calling me an Apple Fan Girl which nobody has yet but I have a couple of friends who are prone to throwing friendly jabs.

    Ifs and buts aside, I really am enjoying this machine. The build quality is phenomenal and the sleek design has me wanting to get out of bed early (and I'm not a morning person!).

    So I bought Apple's 3TB AirPort Time Capsule backup device / router and I'm heading out to the Apple store to pick it up later today. I'm not thrilled about having to run a day long backup but I think the unit will be a nice addition to my slowly growing collection.

    I don't have the 4S any more. I sold it to a lady in Florida who was super excited to become the proud new owner of a mint condition 4S. Then I bought the 5.

    Well, I have a couple of things I need to go out and research. Thanks again for your response. I guess I ought to be a bit more careful with my word selection in my future posts. Restrictive and proprietary... Got me thinking.

    Have a good one!
    Sue
    15-inch MacBook Pro Retina
    768GB SDD, 16GB RAM, 2.8GHz Intel i7 Quad Core
    AirPort Time Capsule 3TB
    iPad Retina, 64GB & iPhone 5, 64GB

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