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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?" :)

potential switcher - powerbook vs macbook pro?


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-e-
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wow, first post!
righto, so i'm a second year media and communications student, and have been a pc user all my life. trouble is of course, macs are the industry standard so all we use at uni is macs, and i'm getting tired of differences in software, having to reformat files so they're compatible etc. so i've been thinking of investing in a mac laptop, was looking specifically at the powerbooks. i had a quick chat with a friendly employee at the apple store, who strongly recommended the macbook pro. now i don't know a whole lot about it, but from what i've heard, it's ridiculously fast and has the intel duo core, but as such, there's not much software for it - everything's either for pcs or macs, and there's very little for both ie. macbook pro. is that right?
i also heard there are new powerbooks coming out. anyone know anything about that? what would they have over the g4s?

being a good for nothing student, i'm trying to get value for money... so what makes the macbook pros so good?

cheers guys, sorry for being an ignorant newbie!
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CEN7272

 
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disclaimer: I'm new to Macs too so take my opinions for what they're worth and I'm sure that someone else here will have alot more to say and possibly correct me...that being said...

I had been thinking about getting a Mac for years but everytime I came around to getting a new computer I always opted for a PC because I wasn't ready to switch and I had already invested money into Windows software (mostly because of MS Office). Another thing I had to think about was the fact that I live in an apt. so I didn't have a lot of space. Why am I saying this? Well, once Apple released boot camp, they made up my mind for me. Now I only needed one computer and I could have the best of both worlds...but only macs with the intel chips can do this. So I would say that you should opt for the Macbook so that you can run all the Mac software you need for school, but then boot to windows when you need to.
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ezhangin

 
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As far as I know, Apple is phasing out the PowerPC line of computers. That means no new PowerBooks. Also, Office is Mac OS X native if you didn't know.

Some things, such as Photoshop are currently only native to PowerPCs so that means Intel based Macs, such as the MacBook Pro will have to emulate the CPU instructions. Adobe apps are emulated and from what I understand run at a respectable pace, but the speed isn't amazing by any means.

As far as price goes you may want to wait for the smaller MacBooks and MacBook Pros (if they are indeed seperate) because they will definitely be more affordable.
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If you look at the Apple store, you will find only the 12inch PowerBook, unless you consider a refurbished PowerBook. Most the software will run on the Mac Book Pro, just some will run a little slower due emulation.

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so if i got a macbook pro, i could use all the same software i've got on my pc plus all the mac stuff? as in, could i just transfer things like photoshop straight across? i have an external hard drive, so would it work if i copied everything from my pc onto that and then uploaded it onto a mac?
ta in advance
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Sadly no, jumping over to Mac would force you to buy, or find some way, to get your programs all over again. However the files you have will most likely work, I would say they will work but just to cover my butt here I say "most likely", with both versions. So if you have Microsoft Office on Windows and you have a word document you could transfer it over to Mac and if you have Microsoft office for Mac it'll be able to read it. However due to the difference in the script of the systems, and that Mac is a Unix based system (ok that's pretty much the same reason), a Windows program will not be able to install on a Mac simply because programs "install" differently on each system.


So generally the files, not the programs, would be fully transportable. The programs you'll have to find or buy again. However with the Intel Macs it is possible to dual boot Windows using Boot Camp but that takes all the fun out of a Mac. It's useful if you MUST have it, but sorta worthless other wise.


Edit:
Just to tag this on, I've pretty much heard of free things for Macs that will let you watch/listen/read any type of file you'd usually do the same with on a PC. Like .mpg/.mp3/.pdf for example. However I do not personally, sadly, own a Mac myself... -yet-.


Also, if rumors are true (possible...) the last Powerbook may just be discontinued THIS WEEK along with the iBooks.
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hmmm ok thanks
but if i uploaded everything properly, like with the original cds or whatever, would a macbook pro work with all pc and mac software, or does it need special duel platform stuff?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -e-
hmmm ok thanks
but if i uploaded everything properly, like with the original cds or whatever, would a macbook pro work with all pc and mac software, or does it need special duel platform stuff?
I guess to make this short and sweet... if it installs 99% chance you need another version of it for Mac. So PC software will run on a PC, and Mac software will run on a Mac. Hardware is generally interchangable, if there are Mac drivers made for it (like printers/cameras/scanners) but any program you bought for Windows you'll not be able to pop in that same exact disk and install it on your Mac.

The program is not scritped for Macs, it's scripted for Windows. Two totally different languages. You'll be surprised how easy it is to install something on a Mac. You don't have to go through near as much crap as you do with a PC.

As I said, you can get Boot Camp and dual-boot (select which OS you want to use at start up) Windows on an IntelMac. However, you'll have to buy Windows because it's not coming with the Mac. Otherwise, maybe call up some people and see if you can sacrafice your Windows copy and keep the license just transfer it over to a Mac version. I have heard of it being done before.
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so if i had bootcamp, so windows and osx both, would whatever's on my external hard drive be compatible, seeing as i'd have windows?
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Yeah... because Boot Camp would allow you to either boot OS X or Windows XP. However if you wished to change between operating systems you'd have to restart, as a Dual-Boot program basicly just gives you the option of booting either OS.

However, when running Windows you would be RUNNING windows. So it will still all of it's flaws and bugs. You'd just have part of your HDD partitioned, split into two HDD (in the computers mind but not literally) one with Windows system files on it and one with OS X system files on it. The Dual-Booter will just ask you which partition you want to boot, and when you selection ti'll boot from that partition running whatever system is on that partition.


So, yeah it'd be compatable because you'd be running windows. However you'd have to be in Windows to use the programs. It's like having two computers in one... because you basicly have two OS using the same computer but you can only use one at a time.
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So just to sum up what other have said:

1.The G4/G5 macs are being phased out, the intel based macs are the replacement.
2.Nearly all software for the G4/G5 macs will run on the intel based ones, just a bit slower.
3. No windows software will run on any mac, unless you add emulation software or install windows as a second operating system. (G4/G5 macs can only run emulation software for windows, which is slower; intel macs can boot windows normally, so things run very fast and you can use all your normal windows software there)
4. In time, all mac software will be able to run on the intel macs at full speed.

So, considering your situation now, I'd definitely go for a Macbook Pro. It's inheritently faster than the Powerbook G4 and is also more flexible.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aptmunich
4. In time, all mac software will be able to run on the intel macs at full speed.
why can't mac software run at normal speed on an intel mac?
sorry for asking so many questions, but thanks for answering them all. i really appreciate it!
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call me stupid, but i just noticed that there's macbooks and then there's macbook pros! other than size, what's the difference? what makes the pros ever so much more expensive?
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The MacBooks only just came out today, they are meant to replace the iBooks. The MacBook is supposed to be for the general consumer (especially students) whereas the Pro is mean for, well, more "professional" people. The only marked difference between the two is that the Pros have proper graphics card, the macbooks only have integrated graphics. The pros do have extra things like a blacklit keyboard and the expresscard/34 slot though.

It will depend what applications you will be using most of the time which will dictate which will be better to get I think.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -e-
why can't mac software run at normal speed on an intel mac?
sorry for asking so many questions, but thanks for answering them all. i really appreciate it!
Most software will run at full speed, but certain applications haven't be optimized for the intel chips yet...

Notably: MS Office (though there's almost no difference here), Adobe Creative Suite 2...
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