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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacBook - Rapid Fire Q & A for new Mac owner (to be)


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ReleasedSubject

 
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Evening folks, as the name implies I am ready to drink the coolaide on the Mac lifestyle. I'm an IT professional and have a few pointed questions regarding the switch as I am a day or so away from clicking submit on my Apple Store shopping cart. Unfortunately the representatives at the Mac store nearest my location were unable to confidently answer these so I am seeking the advice and knowledge of the Mac community...

1) I wish to use my 46" HD TV as an external monitor to use the Macbook as a pseudo-media center. The question is... the MacBook has the mini-dvi port as a video out. Apple sells the Mini-dvi to dvi and the dvi to hdmi adapters. With the use of both of these cables, are there going to be any issues with using my television as my primary (or secondary) display? Will this support full HD video as well?

2) As I have Windows and Linux OS's in my home network I am always seeking the 'common ground' in regards to file system compatibility. Does Mac support reading / writing to NTFS and/or FAT32 and/or ext3? In regards to network shares, is Samba the protocol of choice?

3) From my understanding, bootcamp will allow for dual booting Windows / Mac OS's on a hard drive (dual HDD partition I am assuming). Am I able to use bootcamp to TRI-boot a system (Windows Server 2003 / Mac OS X / Linux (Ubuntu)?

4) Short and stupid: I will want to purchase a bluetooth keyword and mouse combo. Do I have to buy a Mac-branded keyword and mouse or can I assume ANY keyword and mouse combo will be supported n the MacBook?

I apologize for the barrage and I am SURE that all of these have been answered before, but wanted to lay the facts out there for my own edification.

Thank you for your assistance and I will be sure to post as more questions come to mind.

Take care.

In a world without boundaries, who needs Windows and Gates???
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skierbri10

 
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The only one I give any input on is #1, I believe that the Macbook will not run a screen larger than 30" I could be wrong, but that is what I think I have read. Apple's video adapters are pretty foolproof and seem to work well.

Also, on a side note, some people around here hate seeing Mac used in all caps. I believe it can be confused with a MAC Network address. Anyhow, welcome to the Mac world it is a great place to be.
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ReleasedSubject

 
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Noted and post edited. Thanks.

In a world without boundaries, who needs Windows and Gates???
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B&O

 
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1) I can not say for sure but I am 99% sure it can. The MacBook can power a lot it can only power up to 23" cinema display because of the dual DVI aspect. I think powering a screen at 1080p shouldn't be a problem at all. Playing smoothly is another matter. My MBP powers a 1080p TV running HD video no problem so did my old CD MBP with 1GB of RAM and 128VRAM. Someone with a mac book and a 1080p please confirm this.

2) OS X can write and read FAT but can only read NTFS. For me anyway.

3)I have never done it but I have seen OSX/XP, OSX/Linux and XP/Linux.I had a quick search and found this:

Triple Boot via BootCamp - OnMac.net Wiki

4)Apple use a standard bluetooth, 2.0 I believe, so anything will connect and run. I have used 4 headsets and 3 phones then a non-brand keyboard and mouse too.

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MacJuen

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReleasedSubject View Post
4) Short and stupid: I will want to purchase a bluetooth keyword and mouse combo. Do I have to buy a Mac-branded keyword and mouse or can I assume ANY keyword and mouse combo will be supported n the MacBook?
Welcome to the Mac world!

This is a question, I believe I can answer. I have a USB HP keyboard and a USB Dell mouse that I use for my MBP for the time being, and they work just fine. So, I would assume the bluetooth should work just the same. Hope this helps!


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NumberSix

 
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I believe the answers to #1 so far are wrong.

First, it has nothing to do with size of the TV, but the resolution. I think the max resolution on the macbook is 1920x1200, so if your TV has a larger resolution than this, it might be an issue.

As for size, I plug my 32" HDTV to my macbook using the Mini-DVI to VGA adapter and it works like a charm.

I do have an HDMI connector on my TV, but i've not tried it with the macbook

I see no difference when watching HD content from the iTunes store compared to watching HD DVDs from my xbox 360 (on the same TV), so i would say that you will get full HD yes
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B&O

 
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Edit. Sorry I am an iPhone and cant add this to the bottom. Is your 32" HDTV 720p or 1080p? I am interested to know if the MacBook can power 1080p. I want a blackmacbook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NumberSix View Post
I believe the answers to #1 so far are wrong.

First, it has nothing to do with size of the TV, but the resolution. I think the max resolution on the macbook is 1920x1200, so if your TV has a larger resolution than this, it might be an issue.

As for size, I plug my 32" HDTV to my macbook using the Mini-DVI to VGA adapter and it works like a charm.

I do have an HDMI connector on my TV, but i've not tried it with the macbook

I see no difference when watching HD content from the iTunes store compared to watching HD DVDs from my xbox 360 (on the same TV), so i would say that you will get full HD yes
So I was right? I said it can only power upto 23" apple display because of the connection. A MacBooks resolution is way over 1080p as I said.

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tkim

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierbri10 View Post
The only one I give any input on is #1, I believe that the Macbook will not run a screen larger than 30" I could be wrong, but that is what I think I have read. Apple's video adapters are pretty foolproof and seem to work well.

Also, on a side note, some people around here hate seeing Mac used in all caps. I believe it can be confused with a MAC Network address. Anyhow, welcome to the Mac world it is a great place to be.
This is incorrect. I purchased a mini-dvi to vga and hooked it up to my 50" plasma TV. worked fine. Although it did leave 1/2 an inch black letter boxes on each side when I tried to mirror the macbook, probably because the macbook max resolution was reached. But for the most part it was fine. I was really surprised at how clear it was. I could surf the web and read the words with no problems. Not sure if it's because it is a plasma or what.

Use not abuse the rep system!
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NumberSix

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B&O View Post
Edit. Sorry I am an iPhone and cant add this to the bottom. Is your 32" HDTV 720p or 1080p? I am interested to know if the MacBook can power 1080p. I want a blackmacbook.



So I was right? I said it can only power upto 23" apple display because of the connection. A MacBooks resolution is way over 1080p as I said.
My TV is 720p

But most regular computer monitors are over that, i think. and I doubt the macbook is limited to 23", since the new 24" apple cinema display is shown to be compatible on the apple store
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NumberSix

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkim View Post
I was really surprised at how clear it was. I could surf the web and read the words with no problems. Not sure if it's because it is a plasma or what.
Mine's not a plasma (it's an LCD), and i was also surprised at how clear it was.

I had plugged the same TV in my PC last year, the video card in that PC was vastly superior to the macbook, and yet the picture and text is MUCH sharper on my macbook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReleasedSubject View Post
Evening folks, as the name implies I am ready to drink the coolaide on the Mac lifestyle. I'm an IT professional and have a few pointed questions regarding the switch as I am a day or so away from clicking submit on my Apple Store shopping cart. Unfortunately the representatives at the Mac store nearest my location were unable to confidently answer these so I am seeking the advice and knowledge of the Mac community...

1) I wish to use my 46" HD TV as an external monitor to use the Macbook as a pseudo-media center. The question is... the MacBook has the mini-dvi port as a video out. Apple sells the Mini-dvi to dvi and the dvi to hdmi adapters. With the use of both of these cables, are there going to be any issues with using my television as my primary (or secondary) display? Will this support full HD video as well?

2) As I have Windows and Linux OS's in my home network I am always seeking the 'common ground' in regards to file system compatibility. Does Mac support reading / writing to NTFS and/or FAT32 and/or ext3? In regards to network shares, is Samba the protocol of choice?

3) From my understanding, bootcamp will allow for dual booting Windows / Mac OS's on a hard drive (dual HDD partition I am assuming). Am I able to use bootcamp to TRI-boot a system (Windows Server 2003 / Mac OS X / Linux (Ubuntu)?

4) Short and stupid: I will want to purchase a bluetooth keyword and mouse combo. Do I have to buy a Mac-branded keyword and mouse or can I assume ANY keyword and mouse combo will be supported n the MacBook?

I apologize for the barrage and I am SURE that all of these have been answered before, but wanted to lay the facts out there for my own edification.

Thank you for your assistance and I will be sure to post as more questions come to mind.

Take care.
1) Your TV is definitely not higher than 1080p resolution, so yes the MacBook will work with it.

2) OS X can read/write both NTFS and FAT32, though writing to the former requires installing MacFUSE and the associated NTFS driver. It can read Ext3 but only write to Ext2, though I think if you use Samba, dropboxes will work anyway. Samba is perfectly usable as a protocol for sharing files between Mac, Windows and Linux.

3) You can triple-boot Windows, Linux and Mac quite easily, but not with Boot Camp alone. You'll want to look for the project called rEFIt. There's a very detailed explanation of how to triple-boot with Ubuntu that will pop up immediately if you do a simple Google search. The same process should apply to whatever distro you're using.

4) Strictly speaking, any keyboard and mouse will work, but whether you get the full functionality out of them (media buttons, etc.) depends on whether they have software written for Mac. Even if they don't, though, there are certain projects like USB Overdrive that get around that issue and make any USB/Bluetooth device work for your Mac with full button customisability anyway.
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THeBadMonkey

 
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1) I haven't got it to work, but I believe that is my tv at fault and not the mac.
2) As stated above use Macfuse
3) instead of dual booting have you thought about VMware fusion? I was sat there the other night with an xp desktop, server 2003 and vista desktops all running, it also gives you the ability to use unity, which punts the app down on to the dock for you - really helpful.

I'm a;lso a windows porofessional, but have just made the switch and after learning where everything is you will love it!
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shfle

 
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I think the confusion regarding (1) is that the old Macbook is not capable of running the 30" Apple Cinema Display (Or other similar specced displays) which has a resolution of 2560 x1600 pixels (or 1600P - The new Macbook can now support even this however). This is, as correctly stated above, due to the old Macbook not supporting resolutions over 1920 x 1200 pixels(1200P).

As all 1080P televisions are 1920 x 1080 pixels, then any Macbook is more than capable of using the display at it's maximum resolution. The screen size of the TV is totally irrelevant.

PS
Please note that using a DVI to HDMI convertor will not produce any sound, you will need a cheap audio jack (Or Phono jack depending on what you call it) cable for this.
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