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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?" :)

Questions from a skeptic


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Quack_Blah
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Hello Mac-forum users,
I am in my last year of high school and am going off to university in the fall (a canadian university -- I'm not eligible for that education rebate, all you apple salesmen).
I'm looking for a laptop to bring with me. I must confess, I have been raised on PCs and windows all my life - and have thus been raised to hate computers and their problems. After encountering a major problem with my Toshiba just last week (it won't load windows anymore), I am doing some serious research into apple and have a few questions to ask. Right now, I am considering getting a souped up 15" G4 iBook.

Question 1:
On the crap Toshiba I have right now, the laptop fan is obscenely loud. I'm one of those people who return an appliance if it hums off pitch and out of tune. I'm not saying the my new laptop has to hum in tune...but I can't stand it if the fan hums too loud -- I can't concentrate. How loud is the fan on the iBook? Is it roughly as loud as normal desktop? How often does it turn on? (Also, I read that the iBook gets really hot ... I have had an experience where my Toshiba got so hot that it melted the motherboard (yes, laugh at me now, current mac users)... Does the heat adversely affect the iBook? Does it make the fan turn on very often?

Question 2:
Are there any P2P programs for mac? I know that years ago, when free Napster was still around, there was a program called Macster. Does this still exist? I'm a WinMX user and it works great for me, but is there a comparable program for Mac?

Question 3:
Why did Steve Jobs put all the ports on the left side of the iBook???? I understand that it may be easier to plug/unplug devices if the ports are on the side rather than the back...but why the hell would you place them all on ONE side??? especially the left side??? what if I want to plug in a right-handed mouse? ... I would have to wind the mouse cable all around the back of the iBook to use it!!! Does this make any sense at all???? What if, in my cramped dorm next year, I have to butt my laptop up against a left wall? (Don't tell me to just get a wireless mouse. Wireless mice on laptops don't really make sense to me at all ... given that I'm never going to be further than a foot from the machine when Im using it). Why did Jobs do that?

Question 4:
What are your thoughts onthe iBook keyboard? I've heard some bad things about it -- how it's awkward to type on, its loud and clunky ... etc.

Question 5:
The reason why I'm not asking about the better Powerbooks is that they're way too expensive...I need to save for university. Although I've read of users that go for the 12" powerbooks that are better than the 15" iBooks but cost roughly the same. I thought about doing this...but who the hell would want a 12" computer??? that seems far to small to me. It's not like I'm going to need a bigger screen for games (I don't play any), but I do use my computer for movie watching sometimes. 12" sounds uncomfortably small to me. Any thoughts from 12" laptop users?

That's all I can think of. I know it's a long post, but I'm still not totally convinced to by apple. Give me good reasons to make the switch. I'd like answers to my questions

Thanks
-Quack-Blah
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Quack_Blah
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yeah...its me again....I just remembered...forget that question about the P2P.
I would never use such a program anyways... Too ilegal....

-Quack-Blah
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witeshark

 
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1: AFAIK not bad 2: I hear one exists, don't have personal knowledge. (Understanding that in Canada iTunes isn't yet available) Try google. 3:They had to go somewhere; but what a complete selection! 4:Keyboard is awesome and quiet and extremely usable -- use them often at the Apple store so I know I'll be happy when I get mine. 5:As in the previous, I use 12 always and am delighted with it, look how compact it is! Smaller display saves power to
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pcjabber
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A lot of good questions...let's get started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
Hello Mac-forum users,
I am in my last year of high school and am going off to university in the fall (a canadian university -- I'm not eligible for that education rebate, all you apple salesmen).
Actually, you are eligible for the education rebate from Apple. Go here to find out how!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
I'm looking for a laptop to bring with me. I must confess, I have been raised on PCs and windows all my life - and have thus been raised to hate computers and their problems.
Ain't that the truth --
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
...
Question 1:
On the crap Toshiba I have right now, the laptop fan is obscenely loud. I'm one of those people who return an appliance if it hums off pitch and out of tune. I'm not saying the my new laptop has to hum in tune...but I can't stand it if the fan hums too loud -- I can't concentrate. How loud is the fan on the iBook? Is it roughly as loud as normal desktop? How often does it turn on? (Also, I read that the iBook gets really hot ... I have had an experience where my Toshiba got so hot that it melted the motherboard (yes, laugh at me now, current mac users)... Does the heat adversely affect the iBook? Does it make the fan turn on very often?
OK, the fan question -- not sure about, sorry...My iBook G3 won't arrive till this week, and I assume you mean a G4? Sorry....Perhaps someone else can help?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
Question 2:
Are there any P2P programs for mac? I know that years ago, when free Napster was still around, there was a program called Macster. Does this still exist? I'm a WinMX user and it works great for me, but is there a comparable program for Mac?
Well, even though you said not to, I'll answer it (as long as you take responsibility for all actions you do, etc...). There are several P2P clients for Mac. You mentioned music, so I'll give you the main music one. It's called LimeWire. Get it at VersionTracker at this link. There are others, for software, movies, etc. Let me know (either thru PM or this thread) if you want more info on the others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
Question 3:
Why did Steve Jobs put all the ports on the left side of the iBook???? I understand that it may be easier to plug/unplug devices if the ports are on the side rather than the back...but why the hell would you place them all on ONE side??? especially the left side??? what if I want to plug in a right-handed mouse? ... I would have to wind the mouse cable all around the back of the iBook to use it!!! Does this make any sense at all???? What if, in my cramped dorm next year, I have to butt my laptop up against a left wall? (Don't tell me to just get a wireless mouse. Wireless mice on laptops don't really make sense to me at all ... given that I'm never going to be further than a foot from the machine when Im using it). Why did Jobs do that?
Good question, however Jobs did not -- Jonathan Ive did (Apple's designer). I agree, it is insanely stupid. I think at least one USB should have been on the right side....It is on the PowerBook. Anyway, I don't know their motives to do this. Your best bet? Live with it . And, get a mouse with a long mouse cable. Or, just become left-handed. :rolleyes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
Question 4:
What are your thoughts onthe iBook keyboard? I've heard some bad things about it -- how it's awkward to type on, its loud and clunky ... etc.
I have used the iBook Dual USB (500MHz), and I will be getting my 700 this week, but I haven't heard any complaints about them. Perhaps they changed the KB between the G3 and G4 series??? Sorry, no idea on this one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
Question 5:
The reason why I'm not asking about the better Powerbooks is that they're way too expensive...I need to save for university. Although I've read of users that go for the 12" powerbooks that are better than the 15" iBooks but cost roughly the same. I thought about doing this...but who the hell would want a 12" computer??? that seems far to small to me. It's not like I'm going to need a bigger screen for games (I don't play any), but I do use my computer for movie watching sometimes. 12" sounds uncomfortably small to me. Any thoughts from 12" laptop users?
Believe it or not, the 12" is very roomy. I worked on one a month back (which sealed my love for it -- I originally wanted a PB G4, but I can't afford one yet), and I thought it was at least a 14" screen -- it was that good. And I have a 13.3"-screened HP laptop at home (which I am typing on right now as I await the iBook -- it is running Linux). So, it's very nice. Dunno about DVDs though....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
That's all I can think of. I know it's a long post, but I'm still not totally convinced to by apple. Give me good reasons to make the switch. I'd like answers to my questions

Thanks
-Quack-Blah
No problem. Apple is excellent. If you have an Apple Store in your area (or a retailer that sells them) or a friend that has a Mac running OS X (preferably Panther), please try to use one! I did for about an hour or two, and that completely sealed my want/love for Apple!

PCjabber
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witeshark

 
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I think having all the ports on one part of the motherboard makes good engineering sense for compact iBooks/Powerbooks
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Nightblade
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File-sharing programs? Try Poisoned. I don't want to post anything else about this (since I might get in trouble) but if you have any questions about Poisoned feel free to PM (or even e-mail!)l me.
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technologist

 
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1. I've only worked with older (G3) iBooks, but with those, and with my PowerBook, the fan rarely came on. Only when heavy processing was going on. It didn't seem at all intrusive to me, but that's just my opinion. I never noticed it getting more than slightly warm. (I have a first-generation 12" PowerBook...now that's heat. I've heard that they've fixed that in the current ones.)

2. LimeWire, for one...others probably know more about this than I.

3. Well, the CD/DVD drive and battery are on the right side. (They could have put both of those on the left, though, and had all the ports on the right...) I've never had a problem with the ports on the left... I usually have a printer, PDA cradle, mouse, keyboard, and network cable plugged in. I can't imagine a desk so small that there's no room for a laptop and its cables...what would all the people with huge desktops do?

As for wireless mice...that's exactly why you'd want a wireless mouse. Wireless mice are perfect for laptops...no cable to wrap up every time you pack up. *sigh...*

4. I didn't much care for the keyboard on the old (G3) iBook I used. It was kind of...mushy. Size was okay, not too noisy, but a little soft to the touch. The keyboard on my 12" PowerBook, though, is wonderful. I like it better than most desktop keyboards.

5. I absolutely, positively love the size (and weight) of my 12" PowerBook. It's so light, you can't help but carry it with you. It's perfect for the small, fold-out tables in lecture halls, and for airplane tray-tables. The screen doesn't bother me for web browsing or typing. Only when programming--with multiple files open--does it feel cramped. (Connecting a second display solves this, if there's one handy.) I sometimes watch movies on mine, but of course, bigger screens are always better here.
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joshua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
Question 1:
On the crap Toshiba I have right now, the laptop fan is obscenely loud. I'm one of those people who return an appliance if it hums off pitch and out of tune. I'm not saying the my new laptop has to hum in tune...but I can't stand it if the fan hums too loud -- I can't concentrate. How loud is the fan on the iBook? Is it roughly as loud as normal desktop? How often does it turn on? (Also, I read that the iBook gets really hot ... I have had an experience where my Toshiba got so hot that it melted the motherboard (yes, laugh at me now, current mac users)... Does the heat adversely affect the iBook? Does it make the fan turn on very often?
I'm with you when it comes to noise being distracting and I'm *extremely* pleased with the quietness of my new iBook G4 I have to put my ear down on the keyboard to hear anything which is a great relief after using the IBM laptop I have which not only has a load fan but makes some other perculuar noises.

I only switched to Mac a couple of weeks ago and will *never* switch back!
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack_Blah
..... I know it's a long post, but I'm still not totally convinced to by apple. Give me good reasons to make the switch. I'd like answers to my questions

Thanks
-Quack-Blah
Reason 1:
One of the biggest pains in the rear of using a Windoze based PC has got to be the damned viruses. Whether its a Trojan or a Worm on the loose, you always have to 'watch your back'. And even if you have the latest and greatest anti-virus app you are still able to be unfortunate enough to encounter one, then kiss your machine goodbye...its reformat time!...isn't loading Windoze fun!!! Wahoo!

Three words why it is an extremely smart thing to use a Mac....

NO MORE VIRUSES

Yes, it is true...if you switch to a Mac you will never again have to worry about the paranoia or pain of getting a virus on your machine.

Reason 2:
Windows Plug and Pray...you plug in your new device and instead of automatically working like it should, you have to spend your afternoon searching for a driver. Then if you find it, you still have to try to install it.
No fun.

With a Mac, I have never, I repeat never had a problem with a device not being recognized by the system.

Reason 3:
If you hit a wrong key, a Windoze PC can crash.
If you decide to update a driver, a Windoze PC can crash
If you open an application, a Windoze PC can crash
If you so much as sneeze, a Windoze PC can crash.


You really, really, really, really have to do some work to make a Mac crash that often. I am not saying that Macs don't crash, what I am saying is that it happens nowhere near as often as a PC. And even if a Mac does 'crash' it is usually just a single app that crashes...the most you would have to do is just force quit and restart that app, not reboot the entire machine.

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Brown Study

 
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The Canadian court ruling says sharing music is legal. The RIAA in the States and it's Canadian puppet, the CRIA, went ape****. Until Parliament gets around to changing the law, go crazy (if you are going to school in Canada). One link among zillions:

http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet...31/gtcriamar31

Kazaa is Windblows only but so is its spyware and viruses. Download Limewire, chew chocolate-covered coffee beans and stay awake for six months straight as you download all the music on the planet -- legally.
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Quack_Blah
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Thanks, you guys have been a big help! This forum website is really awesome -- I've learned much to help me decide what computer to buy.

I still have not 100% made up my mind on whether I want to switch or not...the iBook seems great except for that wierd left-hand port issue. Would it not have made sense to put ports on either side and place the CD drive in front like the PB? It wouldn;t have been that more expensive of difficult to do would it?

Anyways, I'm thinking maybe the 12" Powerbook now. I think that the Macs are really great and that I won't have too much trouble switching. I kinda want to get a Mac for university now, but really, the only thing holding me back is the price. I know I'll be paying for a better machine and all...but even after my education rebate it's still pretty expensive.

oh, by the way...One of my friends (who is also thinking of switching) mentioned that he read somewhere that iBooks and PBs that are 12" tend to get much hotter than their larger counterparts. Is this correct?

Thanks for all your help,

-Quack-Blah
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Aptmunich

 
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Well I suppose they get a bit hotter, as there is less room for the heat to disperse, but I doubt it will be much of a difference...

I think all the ports on one side makes perfect sense, ports & clutter on the left, tidy on the right.
The cd in front would bother me, as I often use the ibook on my lap, and the mental image of a cd being shot into one's crotch doesn't appeal

Seriously though, I find it more convenient on the right, esp. when using it on my lap.

I was in the same situation as you (powerbook is better, why buy the bum machine now and regret it later etc.) but so far I must say I don't regret the iBook one bit...

Yes the powerbook is faster, lighter, better overall.
Yes the powerbook won't be obsolete as soon as the ibook.
But you won't regret the iBook. Mac OSX working so perfectly with the hardware and software is what makes switching special, and regardless of which mac you get, you'll just be soooo glad it's not a pc laptop that you won't notice the speed difference dissadvantage of the ibook anyway.

Get the iBook now, it's unbeatable value and fine for what you want to do with it.

When you have the cash and need a new machine, you'll be a pro on the mac and can then splurge for the powerbook...

But seriously, it's like coming from a bike and driving a car. You don't care which car it is at first - you just enjoy the ride.

(unless you're riding my vw beetle, the snow is hitting you in the face cause your ventilation system is broken and it's -9 centigrade outside - but there's no mac that's like that )
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Joeytpg
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i don't know why people make such a huge deal out or P2P clients.........................i have limewire and i use it a lot to download live concerts, live mp3's, pictures, and such...................and any of those have "illegal" branded on them.

Now, if you're using it to download the new Green Day album that just came out....then that's illegal. But not every use of the p2p clients is wrong.
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Downloading live concerts is against just about every bands trading policy. There are a lot of bands who allow the taping of their shows but require that their be a certain level of fan interaction by way of trading and b&p (Blanks and Postage - you send somebody blank discs and packaging and postage for them to send it back).

There are also official live releases from bands such as pearl jam and phish that are copywrited just like the studio albums...so before you go and say that just because its live its not illegal take a look into what the artists rules behind it are

Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System
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mig.gentry

 
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My iBook G4 is almost silent, the only thing that makes any serious noise is the cd and if i get a bit heavy on the keyboard.
I was as unsure as you about making the switch but it's gone great and all my fears were unfounded. Go for it
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