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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - Is it safe to buy a macbook?


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atheus

 
Member Since: Oct 23, 2007
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Hi folks,

I really want this machine. It would be my first ever mac, even though I've owned dozens of computers, so I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. I've heard bad things about random shutdowns, battery failures, even burns and fires caused by the charger...

Are these issues real and as common as they appear to be? Or does it just appear that way due to the amount of blog coverage? Anyone here actually had one fail in a serious way? Have the new hardware updates fixed anything?

The other downside is that I'm going to triple boot Windows and Linux on it, which may cause Steve Jobs to personally hunt me down and smash the laptop with a wooden mallet - is this covered by standard warranty?
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ki99

 
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i think it is perfectly safe to get a macbook. what you have to remember is that people only post to say they have a problem, not to say "everything is working fine." and such. it is only a very small percentage of macbooks having these problems as with any computer.
and running windows and linux on it should be fine.
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mathogre

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheus View Post
Hi folks,

I really want this machine. It would be my first ever mac, even though I've owned dozens of computers, so I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. I've heard bad things about random shutdowns, battery failures, even burns and fires caused by the charger...

Are these issues real and as common as they appear to be? Or does it just appear that way due to the amount of blog coverage? Anyone here actually had one fail in a serious way? Have the new hardware updates fixed anything?

The other downside is that I'm going to triple boot Windows and Linux on it, which may cause Steve Jobs to personally hunt me down and smash the laptop with a wooden mallet - is this covered by standard warranty?
Problems as you note do occur. I've had my MacBook since Jan. 20 of this year, and it has been a great little machine. Problems? It had the screen flicker, and the inverter was replaced under warranty at the local Apple store. It seems to be fine now. I've personally had two random shutdowns, but they occured under low battery charge situations. The more serious cases of random shutdowns were apparently mostly alleviated by a firmware upgrade. Battery faliures and burns are rare, but they have happened.

You can read here of folks' experiences with Apple service, which ranges from very good to not very good, though my guess is that overall it's good.

Triple booting is fine, but if Steve Jobs smashes your machine, you're probably out of luck warranty wise. -_^ Search the forum for folks who have dual and triple booted their machines. I used to run dual boot Linux/Windows machines, but never had the desire to multiboot my Mac. I'll attach to Linux and Windows machines via VNC (Chicken of the VNC is the app I use) and Remote Desktop Connection (a free MS tool), but I've kept my Mac an OS X machine exclusively.

Hope this helps! Good luck to you!

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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathogre View Post
Battery faliures and burns are rare, but they have happened.
Just wanted to add that Apple is not the only company that this has happened to. It is an industry-wide problem with a run of Sony-manufactured batteries. At this point, most (if not all) of the batteries have been recalled and replaced. But my primary point is that if you research other brands as well, you'll find similar incidents.

It's much easier to single out Apple because they are the only company that produces Macs. Dell, Toshiba, HP, etc have all had their share of these issues.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Ninapants

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheus View Post
I've heard bad things about random shutdowns, battery failures, even burns and fires caused by the charger...

Are these issues real and as common as they appear to be? Or does it just appear that way due to the amount of blog coverage?

I was wondering the same thing a few weeks ago before I bought my new Macbook. I even made a thread about it and got lots of good feedback that made me feel better about going ahead and buying the Macbook.

Faulty Macbooks vs. ones that work perfectly


Sure you will see a lot of posts about problems and bad machines, but just buy one...You can boot it up in the store before you take it home to make sure it works alright. That's what I did.

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atheus

 
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Well that's all pretty reassuring. The power connector is the only thing that still worries me a little but I can always take that apart and replace the wiring with a higher guage.

I think I'll go for it - 13.3/2.16/black

mathogre: The reason I want to milti-boot is I'm a developer and I like the idea of having all the platforms I need right there in front of me. Set up a new server from a native Unix command line, switch to windows and code up (e.g) a website, switch to osx to test the frontend on mac browsers, switch back to Linux to run security testing on the backend... sweeeeet...
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheus View Post
Well that's all pretty reassuring. The power connector is the only thing that still worries me a little but I can always take that apart and replace the wiring with a higher guage.

I think I'll go for it - 13.3/2.16/black

mathogre: The reason I want to milti-boot is I'm a developer and I like the idea of having all the platforms I need right there in front of me. Set up a new server from a native Unix command line, switch to windows and code up (e.g) a website, switch to osx to test the frontend on mac browsers, switch back to Linux to run security testing on the backend... sweeeeet...
The power connectors are not problematic. I think in the vast majority of cases, there is either residue on the magsafe connector that hasn't been cleaned and ends up shorting, or the jacket to the cable was unknowingly damaged, resulting in a short. As long as you take care of it, it should be fine.

As far as multi-boot goes, I would highly recommend you check into Parallels Desktop. With that product you can run all three environments simultaneously.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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atheus

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
As far as multi-boot goes, I would highly recommend you check into Parallels Desktop. With that product you can run all three environments simultaneously.
Quote:
you can run Mac OS X and Windows at the same time. You can even drag-and-drop files between desktops!
Sounds like it maintains at least part of all the environments in memory at all times. If it didn't then operations between them would require loading the kernel and drivers from disk. Is it slow? It sounds pretty slow to me, even if I got the 2GB memory option... definately a nice concept though.
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mathogre

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheus View Post
mathogre: The reason I want to milti-boot is I'm a developer and I like the idea of having all the platforms I need right there in front of me. Set up a new server from a native Unix command line, switch to windows and code up (e.g) a website, switch to osx to test the frontend on mac browsers, switch back to Linux to run security testing on the backend... sweeeeet...
I grok! Makes lots of sense to me. ^_^

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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atheus View Post
Sounds like it maintains at least part of all the environments in memory at all times. If it didn't then operations between them would require loading the kernel and drivers from disk. Is it slow? It sounds pretty slow to me, even if I got the 2GB memory option... definately a nice concept though.
It runs each OS in a virtual machine. And actually, since all 3 OSes are native Intel these days, there's very little to no emulation happening. So, it's quite fast, providing you have plenty of RAM (and 2GB should be fine to start with). You can run one or more VMs at a time, depending on your needs - even pause them, close the process and come back at a later time right where you left off. It's all very slick.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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