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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 - A small review - the good, the bad and the ugly


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Starky

 
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Member Since: Dec 08, 2006
Location: Bonnie Scotland
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Mac Specs: Macbook: 2.00Ghz C2D, 2GB RAM, 120GB HD

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First of all I am a switcher. Although to be honest I am only 18 and even though I have been using Windows most of my life, the change in software isn't too dramatic.

My Macbook has the following specs:

White
2.00GHz C2D
2GB RAM
120GB HDD

also:
iCurve
Wireless Keyboard
Wireless Mouse
inCase sleeve


So as you can see I spent a little extra getting the specs up!

My delivery was bang on time which was nice, however I am impatient with things like this so two weeks was a long long time to wait =)

During this time the apple support were very helpful. I realised that I had missed out on the educational discount so one of their members of staff arranged this for me with no hassle and I was never put on hold at all. Great work there.

When it arrived... wow I was impressed. Beautiful package and laptop, all of the accessoriers I ordered were great too.

Creating my account, I was very impressed with how fast it connected to my home network and was ready to go! So I created my account and then did the automatic software update.

But then... the ugly... ugh... after rebooting, the laptop wouldn't open iTunes, Quicktime or PhotoBooth. So after about an hour on the phone to tech support I eventually reinstalled the OS and this fixed the problems.

However being a switcher... having to reinstall the OS on a £1000 laptop was very dissapointing to me, really wound me up.


So I played around with it for a while, having great fun and took it to University with me today. Went into the Union and found that it was very easy to connect to the University wireless. Great! Surfing away and having good fun. Out of my ignorance of Mac OS X though I couldn't manage to get Mac Messenger to work at University. It works at home though, so its probably proxy related.

Oh and that brings me to mac Messenger. I buy a laptop with an in-built webcam and mac Messenger doesn't support webcams? Is there any way around this?


Ok... so then I went into the computer science building at University which runs a seperate network based on NetGear wireless ports. For some reason I CANNOT connect to this network. Asked the tech support guys and they said the new C2D Macbooks are not compatible with the NetGear wireless ports installed. What is that all about? There must be some work-around... it is a very nice building for studying and hanging about in.

So last thing, if this rant is getting too long Sat in the Union and wrote up a lab report using Pages. I actually prefer it to Word, it is much simpler, faster and tidier and makes you less lazy. So I wrote up this report, took it to the computer labs and guess what... they couldn't open the Pages file and of course I can't connect to that network to use the printers!

So I used the export feature of Pages to quickly turn it into a Word file and then tried again. Man, what a bad export job. It totally screwed all my circuit diagrams, layouts and graphs.... And by this time I didn't have time to change everything because the report was due. =[


So to summarise (!): beautiful machine, great battery life, kinda quiet speakers, great wireless (WHEN IT IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE ROUTER), but (and leading on from the last point) poor portability.

I mean portability in the computing term, its easy to carry around

Anyone offer me any advice on anything? I don't see it as a very big switch if all the applications I am running are Windows ports....
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novicew

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2006
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Enjoy your new Macbook
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trpnmonkey41

 
Member Since: Jul 22, 2003
Location: Hamilton College
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starky View Post
Oh and that brings me to mac Messenger. I buy a laptop with an in-built webcam and mac Messenger doesn't support webcams? Is there any way around this?
Thats got nothing to do with apple. That is all Microsoft not providing support. Try out aMSN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starky View Post
Ok... so then I went into the computer science building at University which runs a seperate network based on NetGear wireless ports. For some reason I CANNOT connect to this network. Asked the tech support guys and they said the new C2D Macbooks are not compatible with the NetGear wireless ports installed. What is that all about? There must be some work-around... it is a very nice building for studying and hanging about in.
I don't know what wireless standards they are using in that building so I don't know how to help you. You shouldn't have any problems connecting to wireless networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starky View Post
So last thing, if this rant is getting too long Sat in the Union and wrote up a lab report using Pages. I actually prefer it to Word, it is much simpler, faster and tidier and makes you less lazy. So I wrote up this report, took it to the computer labs and guess what... they couldn't open the Pages file and of course I can't connect to that network to use the printers!

So I used the export feature of Pages to quickly turn it into a Word file and then tried again. Man, what a ****ty export job. It totally screwed all my circuit diagrams, layouts and graphs.... And by this time I didn't have time to change everything because the report was due. =[
Best thing to do when you need to export things is go File -> Print -> Save As PDF. You don't have to worry about losing file content in PDF's

Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System
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Starky

 
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Member Since: Dec 08, 2006
Location: Bonnie Scotland
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I am trying out aMSN just now, saw it while browsing here. Can't get the webcam still but it's a proxy thing this time so I should have it sorted soon.

I'll try the PDF thing thanks, I was just kinda in a hurry (spent so much time trying to get my mac running that i somewhat neglected the report lol)

As for the wireless network, the guys knew what they were talking about. I'll check the model number when im in on monday and search for a solution but if the tech support guys dont know how then i doubt there is a solution (one of them owns a c2d macbook)

Sorry for the profanity thing btw, I got bored reading every set of forum rules after signing up to my 100th forum I like these boards so Ill express my self in alternative ways
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trpnmonkey41

 
Member Since: Jul 22, 2003
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The wireless should work without any problems. Even if they were actually using wireless N that is backwards compatible with b/g (macbooks can do a/b/g). I have used my MB on networks using linksys, belkin, netgear, intel, microsoft, smb, buffalo and hawking and have yet to find a network I couldn't connect to

Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System
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Starky

 
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The only reason that I went to tech support in the first place was because access to that network is for computer science students only. Luckily I am counted as both a Computer Science and a Electronic and Electrical Engineering student so I get access to both networks as well as the main one.

They PAT-test your machine first and then give you an authentication key to gain access to the network. The guys said though that the c2d macbooks wont work, he said it was something to do with the c2d chipset. what the chipset has to do with the wireless connection i dont know however.

regardless i will go in again on monday but i think it is a problem with the specific netgear model, so i can understand if you have been connected with another model and not had any problems.

the thing is there is little i can do without the authentication key anyway so my first step would have to be convincing the technicians that it can be done. i dont think a first year student walking in and telling them that they are wrong will go down very well if i dont have much idea about what to do.

ah well ill take an ethernet cable with me :l


Hmmm another thing. I have iStat pro and it won't give me temperature readings, it says there is no sensor.
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Aubie16

 
Member Since: Dec 06, 2006
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Mac Specs: 2.4 Ghz Macbook Pro, 4GB Ram, 250 GB HD

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Use NeoOffice for word processing if you are worried about compatability. It is free and you can save documents in nearly any form, including Word and I haven't seen anything converted weird.
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kgeier82

 
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yea, they heard mac, and probably dont know squat about them.

freakin guys! it should work as any other laptop does!

2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt
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Starky

 
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kgeier don't sound like such a martyr just cos you use a mac.

If you read the thread you would know that one of them owns the c2d macbook, these guys aren't just messing with me, everytime I see someone on using a macbook in uni i ask them but they cant connect either.
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kgeier82

 
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doesnt sound like any IT's i wanna be involved with. somehow they have it set up to block something inside a mac? probably unintentional, but done none the less.

not trying to sound foolish.

2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt
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xstep

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starky View Post
They PAT-test your machine first ...
What do you mean by PAT-test?
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xstep

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starky View Post
I have iStat pro and it won't give me temperature readings, it says there is no sensor.
Read the install notes for iStat. I thought it required a special KEXT (think driver) install of another program.
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Starky

 
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The PAT-test is a UK thing. It's just a test they run on the power supply of the machine to make sure that it meets certain standards.

I don't see much of a point when it's a laptop but I guess I sometimes use the adapter when a socket is available.
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