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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?" :)

My experiences with a MacBook and "switching"


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foxblu
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I recently purchased a macbook for 1099 (1.83 core duo) and my experiences I will share for any of those thinking of switching from PC to a mac. First I will say that I was looking for something sleek and simplistic in design. One of the first things I noticed on the new machine was the sharp edge where your palm rests when using the touchpad. What a horrible design flaw. Then after about 30 mins on the machine I notice it got extremely hot. Too hot to use as a "laptop" unless you're wearing asbestos pants. I then run across countless profesional reviews and forums noting these problems and a string of others including hardware reliablility. After only 2 days I noticed problems with the maching locking up and becoming unresponsive. I recall my college professors (a few years ago) having issues with their mac's locking up and having to hard reboot and go through a lengthy process (sometimes multiple reboots) to get back to a functional machine. I found OS X just as awkward to use as OS 9 that I was familiar with in college. It has improved but I think I was hoping for more. The two finger scrolling and right clicking is a bad choice IMO b/c at times the right click menu pops up when you want to scroll. Overall my experience left me realizing that this was a terribly designed piece of hardware with an even worse OS (although I bought it to run boot camp and windows as the primary OS so that wasn't as big of a problem). I have found apple and pro-mac forums to be extremely misleading. One example: an article written by a reviewer in response to the comment that a dell pc was less than a comparable mac. This is in fact true (I could have gotten the same machine through dell with a NEW core 2 chip vs. the yonah for the same price). He claimed his article was in response to a statement that PC's were cheaper and stated that that was not the case. He the proceded to compare a Macbook pro to a very different (and much nicer) Dell inspiron. Lets compare apples to apples. I will say I quickly packed the macbook up and returned it, less the 10% restocking fee (high yes, but I didn't hesitate to pay up to get rid of that machine). When I was in the apple store, I noticed a table full of returned computers which I found interesting. I'll be going with a Dell next time I upgrade and running Vista. I've been running Vista and so far it has been outstanding. Robust and very efficient. I have no idea how or why apple is still around as a computer/os company expect for the few mac fans. In addition, my experience with the apple store was less than stellar. I found the sales folks to be rude and unknowledgeable. There's a reason why mac users make up less than 10% of the computer using pop. Switch? Not me. Dell Inspiron with Vista for me folks!!
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eric

 
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i just switched a couple months ago and got 13" macbook as well (though the faster 2.0 chip). i haven't had any of the problems you're talking about except for the weird sharp case design. mine's never gotten so hot i couldn't use it on my lap (though i normally use a lapdesk). haven't had any sort of weird os locking issues. and i find osx easy to use once i got used to it - including the double finger scrolling and tapping.

sorry you had a bad experience.
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I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but just like Windows is for some, Macs aren't for everyone.
With regards to 'comparisons' between Mac OS and Windows, both operating systems have their good points as well as their not-so-good points, but neither one is a bad OS.
I always tell people to use the computer/OS that works best for them, not what another person thinks is best.

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taylorwilsdon

 
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I hope this doesn't degrade into a bunch of mac fanboys defending Steve Jobs to the grave.

The macbook does have its flaws, if its not for you; then its not for you. Good luck in whatever you end up choosing!
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coach_z

 
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okay so you dont like it, thats great!

now have you taken the time to consider that you are on a completely new operating system and that you are not going to have a handle on it from the very first second that you started using it. that you are going to have to learn a completely new operating system. you bought a mac and not a windows machine, please dont expect it to be a windows machine.

if you dont like the right click feature and the scrolling on the trackpad i do believe there is a way to turn it off. do that and it will no longer be a problem

now you called your macbook a "laptop" it is not a laptop, it is a notebook, it is not intended to be sitting on your lap. it says that all over apples website if you were to have researched your purchase thoroughly.

i too have found windows and pro-microsoft websites to be very misleading as well. no matter how many times i have fixed my Dell it never worked for longer than 20 hours, it BSOD'd every 20 minutes if i were lucky to get that far. so i decided i'd try something new and i have loved the switch since i have done it and have bought another mac since. i also did not run around to other windows forums saying that their machines are worthless

beyond this i wonder wether or not your professors in college ever told you what a paragraph was and that it is okay to create new ones on occasion.

if you are still within your 14 days from purchase feel free to return it back to apple and get your dell, if not head on over to ebay and get rid of it there.

Thanks for stopping bye!
-chris

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when?
i dont remember
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Alexis

 
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Personally I've had one OS X lockup in 8 months, so it's odd that you've had so many problems.

The primary/secondary buttons, expose etc can all be customised within the OS. It's seems strange you would brand the whole OS as awkward on this basis.

It doesn't take a genius to look at Apple specs and realise you could have a PC for much cheaper. Dell can shift hundreds of thousands of laptops at a low profit margin. Apple has a 6% market share and has to markup a lot to stay profitable. This is why they concentrate on design so much - to create a stylish brand with kudos that can justify their high prices. Think of Bang & Olufsen - you buy a JVC for a fraction of the price.

And I'm not been biased here - I use a PC with WinXP during evenings and weekends, and an IMac at work. OS X is much nicer in my opinion. Not perfect, but better than XP. The exception is with games, which is why I have a PC.

OS X isn't for everybody, but I'm just curious what the real reasons for you not liking it are, as you haven't been that specific.
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Adam

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach_z View Post
beyond this i wonder wether or not your professors in college ever told you what a paragraph was and that it is okay to create new ones on occasion.
Did yours tell you about capital letters at the beginning of sentences?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
Did yours tell you about capital letters at the beginning of sentances?
What is a sentance? (Way to put your foot in your mouth)

Now that we are all gramatically correct/spelling B qualified in this forum, because that is the goal of sharing information, move along in discussion.

In response to the original poster, I have experienced most of what you are speaking of with my Powerbook G4 in the year and a half I have had it.

Some things to consider:

1.) I have experienced some heating problems when running more than 6 programs, most of which were serious programs, (iMovie, iWeb, iTunes, Photoshop CS, Maya, Entourage, Dreamweaver, Adobe Premier). First I would like you to get your Dell laptop and run several of these programs just like you did on your macbook and see if it doesn't freeze up/heat up. If it doesn't, you are a very lucky Dell user.

2.) A very clear cut indication for me that Macs can handle a lot of abuse (running programs without negative feedback such as freezing) is the ability to run a batch render in maya using maximum processor speed, web browse on youtube.com, listen to music through iTunes, and connect and download bittorent files, all simultaneously without having significant issues.

Most of my friends can't do this on their Dell laptops. They are stuck listening to music from my speakers during a group project because we are all batch rendering and they can only web browse if they want their computer to keep from freezing during the render. I say this because I use the **** out of my laptop, and I hardly ever experience the problems you speak of unless I am at the brink of my computer's abilities.

So you must be real hardcore user if you experienced these problems in the first few days you had your notebook.

Then again, none of my friends are running the "robust" windows vista you are speaking of...so I guess this isn't a fair comparison.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorwilsdon View Post
I hope this doesn't degrade into a bunch of mac fanboys defending Steve Jobs to the grave.

The macbook does have its flaws, if its not for you; then its not for you. Good luck in whatever you end up choosing!

No, but the grammar police did show up though.

Quote:
now you called your macbook a "laptop" it is not a laptop, it is a notebook, it is not intended to be sitting on your lap. it says that all over apples website if you were to have researched your purchase thoroughly.
Please tell me you are joking. It is a laptop, despite Apple's market department opinions. The web site was changed because of the heat issues. No amount of research would lead a rational person to believe that a "notebook" shouldn't be used on you're lap.

bone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxblu View Post
I recently purchased a macbook for 1099 (1.83 core duo) and my experiences I will share for any of those thinking of switching from PC to a mac. First I will say that I was looking for something sleek and simplistic in design. One of the first things I noticed on the new machine was the sharp edge where your palm rests when using the touchpad. What a horrible design flaw.
I agree with this, it is a little annoying, but I have just shifted my posture and now it's not such an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxblu View Post

Then after about 30 mins on the machine I notice it got extremely hot. Too hot to use as a "laptop" unless you're wearing asbestos pants. I then run across countless profesional reviews and forums noting these problems and a string of others including hardware reliablility.
Any Windows laptop running the same specs and anywhere near as sleek has the same issue, or simply has very loud fans. Having said that, I have never had mine get uncomfortably hot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxblu View Post

After only 2 days I noticed problems with the maching locking up and becoming unresponsive. I recall my college professors (a few years ago) having issues with their mac's locking up and having to hard reboot and go through a lengthy process (sometimes multiple reboots) to get back to a functional machine.
You must be unlucky. My MacBook has yet to lock up at all. I have had one crash (Firefox) in 5 weeks. Apple, Ctrl, Esc allows a force quit of any hanging programme BTW.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxblu View Post

I found OS X just as awkward to use as OS 9 that I was familiar with in college. It has improved but I think I was hoping for more. The two finger scrolling and right clicking is a bad choice IMO b/c at times the right click menu pops up when you want to scroll. Overall my experience left me realizing that this was a terribly designed piece of hardware with an even worse OS (although I bought it to run boot camp and windows as the primary OS so that wasn't as big of a problem).
I have to wonder about your honesty here. You're complaining about the right click on OS X and then say it's fine via Bootcamp... which it isn't. In fact running Windows on a MacBook without a Windows style mouse can be frustrating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxblu View Post
I have found apple and pro-mac forums to be extremely misleading. One example: an article written by a reviewer in response to the comment that a dell pc was less than a comparable mac. This is in fact true (I could have gotten the same machine through dell with a NEW core 2 chip vs. the yonah for the same price). <snip...> There's a reason why mac users make up less than 10% of the computer using pop. Switch? Not me. Dell Inspiron with Vista for me folks!!
Sorry, but equivalent Dells are not cheaper than Macs, like for like. You have to take into account the performance/specs as well as what the design.

A MacBook $1499

Core 2 Duo @ 2ghz
1 gig DDR 2 RAM
120GB HDD
13" Screen
Dual Layer DVD Combo
OS X including iLife
Remote
Intel GMA GFX

Equivalent Dell

Well... I tried to put one together but got the below error (Microsoft Site you see... even in IE I got the error...) Anyway, if you select an equivalent machine (almost impossible because Dell don't do high end specs in their smallest machines...)

If you include Vista upgrade, Core 2 Duo at 2.0ghz, all the software you get with OS X, 120GB HDD and 1 GIG of RAM, you're looking at around $1500

Error message at the dell site

Quote:
Originally Posted by dell
The file '/dellstore/config.aspx' has not been pre-compiled, and cannot be requested.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.Web.HttpException: The file '/dellstore/config.aspx' has not been pre-compiled, and cannot be requested.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:


[HttpException (0x80004005): The file '/dellstore/config.aspx' has not been pre-compiled, and cannot be requested.]
System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.GetVPathBuildR esultInternal(VirtualPath virtualPath, Boolean noBuild, Boolean allowCrossApp, Boolean allowBuildInPrecompile) +3369654
System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.GetVPathBuildR esultWithNoAssert(HttpContext context, VirtualPath virtualPath, Boolean noBuild, Boolean allowCrossApp, Boolean allowBuildInPrecompile) +93
System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.GetVirtualPath ObjectFactory(VirtualPath virtualPath, HttpContext context, Boolean allowCrossApp, Boolean noAssert) +111
System.Web.Compilation.BuildManager.CreateInstance FromVirtualPath(VirtualPath virtualPath, Type requiredBaseType, HttpContext context, Boolean allowCrossApp, Boolean noAssert) +54
System.Web.UI.PageHandlerFactory.GetHandlerHelper( HttpContext context, String requestType, VirtualPath virtualPath, String physicalPath) +31
System.Web.UI.PageHandlerFactory.System.Web.IHttpH andlerFactory2.GetHandler(HttpContext context, String requestType, VirtualPath virtualPath, String physicalPath) +40
System.Web.HttpApplication.MapHttpHandler(HttpCont ext context, String requestType, VirtualPath path, String pathTranslated, Boolean useAppConfig) +139
System.Web.MapHandlerExecutionStep.System.Web.Http Application.IExecutionStep.Execute() +120
System.Web.HttpApplication.ExecuteStep(IExecutionS tep step, Boolean& completedSynchronously) +155




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.42; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxblu View Post
There's a reason why mac users make up less than 10% of the computer using pop.
I'm going to have to say that is a rather ignorant comment considering apples market share was 6% a short time ago and now its at 10%.


It's a shame that you werent happy with your macbook and it had some problems, but I don't think you can say that all the good reviews you read were misleading just because your machine had problems. Theres a few bad apples in every bunch (no pun intended). It doesn't matter what company it is; sony, dell, gateway, hp etc... **** is going to go wrong.

Enjoy your Dell. They are great machines.

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the wrist rest will get less sharp over time because your putting your wrists on them thus wearing them down
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My two cents... I have had my imac for about a month now best computer I ever purchased and I have has far too many only issues with the imac are; my HP6 does not always work the way it should (keeping the imac from sleeping) and the slow down of safari at times.

I currently have about 18 dells at work and watching the repairs that happen almost daily will prevent me from ever buying one for myself. The best pcs that I have had have been a Sony Vaio and a toshiba laptop.
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Originally Posted by Guardian View Post
The best pcs that I have had have been a Sony Vaio and a toshiba laptop.

Amen to that... and Sony is one of the few PC manufacturers out there who actually care about design.
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Mostly all good replies. I appreciate the time that everyone took to read and respond and found it interesting to learn about both similar and different experiences. I agree that nothing is perfect and that both OS's are pretty good. And yes both Microsoft and Apple borrow (or some say steal) ideas from each other. My problem is that Apple (or the big fans) seems to propagate some misinformation in addition to being very snide about its competition. This doesn't seem to be the case ("as much") with the other co. I admit, my problem was that I probably had unrealistically high expectations of the MacBook. I was ready to change only for the sake of something new and fresh, not because I was dissatisfied with MS XP. And yes its true (and a point that I overlooked) that any PC as slim as the MacBook would get just as hot (my Dell laptop for work is the same way though my Gateway at home isn't as bad, due of course to its thicker case). As far as the "ignorant" comment about less than 10% using Mac's, my apologies I don't keep up with the stats on a daily basis. At any rate its nice to see that Mac's will run Windows natively. One last point. One responder said that a comp. Dell will cost about the same as a MacBook. Not true. In addition they state that Dell doesn't put high-end features into their smaller notebooks. Again, not true. Dell Inspiron's (e1405) offer higher resolution screens (WSXGA+) which are nicer looking IMO. I wish this had been an option on the MacBook. My hopes are that there will be some design improvements on the MacBook in the coming months. If there are, I will likely reconsider. I enjoyed it some things about it very much. Finally I'd like to see Apple not take advantage of its customers as it does by charging $150 more for a black vs white MacBook. This also includes the unreasonable cost to add more RAM and HDD space. 512MB with a 60GB HDD is very outdated for todays needs. Thanks again to all for taking the time to discuss these issues!!
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