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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?" :)

Is a Mac really all that it is made up to be?


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tomacornottomac

 
Member Since: Jul 10, 2007
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Hi,

I'm in a huge dilemma. I'm starting university in 2 mths time and I have been thinking about getting a Macbook for school for about half a year now.

Problem is, I'm short of funds. I have enough funds to get a Macbook, iWork and AppleCare. But I do not have enough cash to get MS Office 2004 and I do not relish the prospect of using Open Office as I'm already using it on my PC and it's not user-friendly.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), my school has bundled software for every student, and in that bundle, MS Office 2003 and some VPN client is included. Does anyone have experience using MS Office 2003 with Intel Macs? Can I run it natively, without any parallels, emulators and whatnot? Also, do most VPN clients run with Macs? It would really suck to get a Mac and then not be able to connect with the school's network.

And, is the AppleCare really necessary? If a Mac is really crash-proof, virus-free, stable hardware to software configuration, what would we need a warranty for? Is Apple's marketing for real, or is a Mac not the wonder machine it is made out to be?

Pls help!!!
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kman445

 
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the apple care isnt for software related problems, it is for hardware defects. for instance, the thermal jell on the macbook pros causing them to over heat, and other stuff of that sorts.

the rest i don't know

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomacornottomac View Post
If a Mac is really crash-proof, virus-free, stable hardware to software configuration, what would we need a warranty for? Is Apple's marketing for real, or is a Mac not the wonder machine it is made out to be?

Pls help!!!
It is a computer. NO computer is "crash-proof" and no matter how "stable" the hardware or software is, things can and will sometimes go awry.
Whoever told you that Macs don't crash or ever have problems is sadly mistaken.
That being said, they are very good computers, but it would seem that your school would require you to use a Windows computer. Check into things a little deeper with your school to see what hardware is acceptable and then take it from there.

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mac: a waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric
MAC: a data communication protocol sub-layer, also known as the Media Access Control
Mac: a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc.

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visualpurple

 
Member Since: Feb 18, 2007
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I would leave out iWork and use the money towards Office for Mac. As a student, it's a much more useful program. Everyone uses Word, so you don't want to risk any compatibility issues with iWork.

Macs are computers just like PCs, with lots of tiny moving parts. They're just as prone to something breaking as PCs (though I think Apple's reliability is greater than most PC makers)
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mathogre

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomacornottomac View Post
Hi,

I'm in a huge dilemma. I'm starting university in 2 mths time and I have been thinking about getting a Macbook for school for about half a year now.

Problem is, I'm short of funds. I have enough funds to get a Macbook, iWork and AppleCare. But I do not have enough cash to get MS Office 2004 and I do not relish the prospect of using Open Office as I'm already using it on my PC and it's not user-friendly.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), my school has bundled software for every student, and in that bundle, MS Office 2003 and some VPN client is included. Does anyone have experience using MS Office 2003 with Intel Macs? Can I run it natively, without any parallels, emulators and whatnot? Also, do most VPN clients run with Macs? It would really suck to get a Mac and then not be able to connect with the school's network.

And, is the AppleCare really necessary? If a Mac is really crash-proof, virus-free, stable hardware to software configuration, what would we need a warranty for? Is Apple's marketing for real, or is a Mac not the wonder machine it is made out to be?

Pls help!!!
My bottom line view would be that you should go with a PC running Windows.

MS Office 2003 will NOT run on an Intel Mac w/o some other s/w. Additionally, MS Office 2003 and MS Office 2004 for Mac are not fully compatible. While differences are minor, if they affect you they're not likely to feel minor.

Regarding VPN clients, the native VPN client in OS X won't connect with my employer; I use Cisco's VPN client. You might connect fine with a Mac, but you'd really want to try it first.

I don't know much about AppleCare, but my guess is that it supports only the hardware. Macs aren't crash proof, though crashes are rare. They are not perfect; nothing is.

I'd love to say, "Get a MacBook!" but I can't. You have limited funds. You need something that works. You don't need to gamble your money on something that won't exactly meet your needs.

Get a PC that will serve you well through university. Get one with a LARGE hard drive and learn how to run it dual boot with Linux. When the day comes that you can afford a Mac, you'll be a step ahead on the X11 side of things.

Good luck to you in school!

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Aptmunich

 
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Most schools I know of use Cisco's VPN devices, so you can probably just download their free client.

If they use someone else, there are other solutions available as well.
The built-in OS X VPN client will not work with most setups, as it only support a few VPN features.
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yogi

 
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Office 2004 for Mac is what you need. Soon, Office 2008 will come out as well, but you'll be running fine with 2004. Office for Mac also has a compatibility check so you can make sure your documents will work with other versions of Office.

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professorjay

 
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In most college environments they rarely consider Mac users. I've had to use numerous statistical, scientific, and IT software that are Windows only throughout college (usually provided for free by the school) and there's no way I could have gotten away w/ just using a Mac. Depends on your major of course, if you're a journalism major you'll probably won't encounter the need to use as much specialized software.
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tomacornottomac

 
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Hi everyone, thanks for the replies. I'll be doing business and accountancy in college. I guess a Mac is definitely unsuitable for a budding accountant eh? I'll definitely check with my school, yet the thing that continues to puzzle me is that the Mac interest group in my college is formed by students who are doing info-systems management. That's definitely food for thought!!
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mongoloido

 
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To add a little to the discussion:

I'd call your school's bookstore (or whatever they have that sells computer supplies) and talk to them about software. At the Apple store, you can get hardware and software at a student discount. It tends to be a nice discount, but not the absolute best you can do. It's entirely possible your school has a better deal going on software.

At my school (University of Cincinnati), they have a separate agreement going where the student essentially just pays for the license of the software. The University winds up paying some additional money, but that never winds up in my lap.

Examples:

Windows XP cost me $5.87 at my campus computer shop.
Vista will cost me $10-12 when I choose to buy it.
Adobe CS2 retailed for over $1100, and could be had at "student discount" for about $500. It cost me $197 at my campus computer shop.


Call your campus computer shop (if you have one) and talk to them about your software needs. For me, the choice to go with the Macbook Pro was a no brainer. I bought the computer, and then went to the campus computer store and bought a copy of XP Pro for under $6. Bootcamp is free.
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ki99

 
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macs and pcs have their advantages and disadvantages, but from what you have said, it seems like a pc would benefit you better than a mac would, i would just go for a pc if i were you. also if you get a macbook, office for mac will run slower than it should as it is not made for intel macs, which the macbook is.
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hariseldon1958

 
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If you buy a Mac thro the education store you get a discount and if you look at the small print you get three year Applecare as a complimentary.

My daughter bought a Macbook a few months ago and got an e mail about the Applecare a few months later, if you check the education site out , you will find that extended Applecare comes with purchases thro the education store.
They don't advertise it widely.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hariseldon1958 View Post
If you buy a Mac thro the education store you get a discount and if you look at the small print you get three year Applecare as a complimentary.

My daughter bought a Macbook a few months ago and got an e mail about the Applecare a few months later, if you check the education site out , you will find that extended Applecare comes with purchases thro the education store.
They don't advertise it widely.
This is not true. AppleCare Extension is sold at a slight discount, but it is never free from the Education Store.
All Apple computers come with one year of AppleCare, but the extension is a paid service, no matter where you purchase it from.
I have purchased a few systems while I was a student and I have never seen nor heard of anything like that.

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mac: a waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric
MAC: a data communication protocol sub-layer, also known as the Media Access Control
Mac: a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc.

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Aptmunich

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
This is not true. AppleCare Extension is sold at a slight discount, but it is never free from the Education Store.
All Apple computers come with one year of AppleCare, but the extension is a paid service, no matter where you purchase it from.
I have purchased a few systems while I was a student and I have never seen nor heard of anything like that.
They had it as an offer over here for a while, but it was a one off promotion...
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