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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 few Q's


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ShiningKnight

 
Member Since: Sep 23, 2007
Posts: 1
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Hey guys,
First time on the forum and currently a PC user. Getting sick of Windows and looking to upgrade to a Macbook Pro 2.2Ghz Machine. Looking at using this for university. and my main concerns stem from this.

Q1. All the university PC's run XP. Lets say for example i type up my word document on the mac (which has a different extention file) and then try and open it up on the PC's at uni which run windows, because it has a different extention will it not be compatible?

Q2. Apple care protection plan, now that costs $400 ish dollars, is it worth it for the extra warrnenty and phone support or does that protection plan include more than just that?

Q3. I work in a phone shop so i know the prosess for how phones get repaired or replaced. What is apple like in terms of warrenty repairs and replacement gaurentee's? Do they take forever or are they quick? (Bear in mind im in Australia)

Q4. I heard iwork doiesnt come "out of the box" just like Mr Jobs says it does? does it mean i have to buy iwork on top of the already huge cost of my Macbook Pro?

Q5. Can i network my mac with my other 2 pc's in the house and file share? or is that hard and to complicated?

Q6. Currently have ADSL Wi-Fi running through a Billion router....should it be easy enough to pick up the signaal through the mac using the airport express that is built in?

Q7. Long term, is it worth it guys? im spending 3 grand on a machine, is it worth the investment? Do they last as long as people say they do.

Cheers

ShiningKnight!
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-Oy-

 
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Member Since: Jun 19, 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiningKnight View Post
Q1. All the university PC's run XP. Lets say for example i type up my word document on the mac (which has a different extention file) and then try and open it up on the PC's at uni which run windows, because it has a different extention will it not be compatible?
Why do your Word docs have a different extension? Mine don't. Using Office 2004 for Mac my Word docs are .doc Word docs just like on the PC. If you don;t have MS-Office for Mac then Open Office is compatible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiningKnight View Post
Q4. I heard iwork doiesnt come "out of the box" just like Mr Jobs says it does? does it mean i have to buy iwork on top of the already huge cost of my Macbook Pro?
Yes - iWork is extra - if you need it. If you have MS-Office or Open Office you may not need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiningKnight View Post
Q5. Can i network my mac with my other 2 pc's in the house and file share? or is that hard and to complicated?
Sure you can - this is a Mac!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiningKnight View Post
Q6. Currently have ADSL Wi-Fi running through a Billion router....should it be easy enough to pick up the signaal through the mac using the airport express that is built in?
Sure you can - this is a Mac!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiningKnight View Post
Q7. Long term, is it worth it guys? im spending 3 grand on a machine, is it worth the investment? Do they last as long as people say they do.
Absolutely!

Home - Macbook Pro 15" : 2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo : 2Gb RAM

Work - Mac Pro : 2.66 Ghz Quad core : 5Gb RAM : Twin 20" Cinema displays
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WakeCarver

 
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Member Since: Sep 04, 2007
Location: Brandon, MS, USA
Posts: 807
WakeCarver is a jewel in the roughWakeCarver is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: 24" iMac 3.06GHz 8GB of RAM 2TB HDD, 13" Aluminum MacBook 2.0GHz 4GB of RAM 500GB HDD

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Hey, and welcome to the forums! I will try to answer some of your questions.
All prices listed in U.S. Dollars from the Apple store with educational discount.

Q1. You can use iWork($71.00) and export your docs to .doc format, compatibility should not be a problem. You can use MS office for mac($149.95) and compatibility definitely won't be a problem. Or you can use neooffice(free) and compatibility should not be a problem.

Q2. I don't know about apple care I have never used it.

Q3. I have never needed to use my warranty on any of my Macs or iPods so I don't know.

Q4. iWork comes preinstalled with a 30 day trial but after that you have to buy a license key($71.00). It is worth it in my opinion.

Q5. Yes, it is very easy to do for the most part. Just a matter of enabling file sharing on each machine.

Q6. Yes, it should pick up the router right away. You do have to configure the pass key if you have one though.

Q7. It is definitely worth it. I love all of my macs and have not experienced any of the system slow downs associated with age that you get on windows. I have had my MacBook for a year and a half and it is still going strong with no system hangs or OS reinstalls. My MacPro has been just as reliable but I have not had it as long. Once you go Mac you won't go back.

Overall I have been very happy with mac. This is coming from a windows power user, I never thought I would like a mac. Once I tried it though I could have kicked myself for not trying it sooner. They are great machines and if you make the switch you will be very happy. Good luck and welcome once again.

Also you should buy any RAM or hard drive upgrades from a third party vendor because Apple charges way too much for these.

"I call this the Greatest Zooks Album." -CEREAL KILLER
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Geeky1

 
Member Since: Jul 14, 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 589
Geeky1 is a jewel in the roughGeeky1 is a jewel in the rough
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A1. IF you use Office on the Mac, it will be compatible, yes. Open Office ought to let you save documents as a Word file. I don't know about iWork.

A2. You're getting a notebook; you need the extended warranty, imo. It doesn't matter if you get an Apple or a Dell, notebooks are not as reliable as desktops, they have to take more of a beating and it's more likely that something will fail. I'd recommend the extended warranty on any notebook. Just bear in mind that Apple does not offer any kind of accidental damage protection. Also remember that you can buy the Apple Care warranty at any point during the 1st year you have the machine-until the factory warranty expires.

A3. I've heard good and bad; it seems to be quite variable. I have a friend in Australia with a MBP and it took 2 weeks to fix that (needed a logic board and a hard drive). I have very limited experience with it though.

A4. No, you do NOT get a full copy of iWork as standard. If you check this page, scroll to the bottom on the right hand side where it says "included software" and hit the "applications" tab, you'll see that it says "iWork '08 30 day trial. So yes, if you want to use iWork, you will have to cough up the money for it on top of the money for the MBP.

A5. Yes, you can. I've only set it up probably twice, and I didn't find it quite as easy as setting up file sharing between two Windows machines. But then, that may be because I've done it on Windows more times than I can count and something like twice on a Mac.

A6. You will be able to connect to the router, assuming that the router supports 802.11b, g or n wireless protocols... which it ought to. .11a is old, was very expensive, and never took off in the consumer market. If you have a wireless router there's probably a 99.999% chance it's .11b/g/n.

Whether you will be able to connect where you want to connect, I don't know; wireless has a limited range that is affected by a number of environmental factors (distance from the computer to the router, the number of walls between the two, the elevation of the two, etc.). Nobody will be able to tell you for sure... if you have a wireless-enabled computer now, and you can connect in the rooms you'll be using the MBP in, chances are very good that you'll be able to connect with the MBP as well.

A7. Whether it's worth it or not really depends on what you want. What are you expecting of the machine, exactly? The MBP is very nice, though it has a couple of glaring engineering flaws and a decent list of smaller issues (see here for a list: http://appledefects.com/wiki/index.p...le=MacBook_Pro ). But, on the other hand, ANY notebook you buy-be it an Apple, a Dell, a Toshiba (ugh), a Sony, an IBM (err, Lenovo... excuse me) or something else-will likely have its own flaws and idiosyncrasies. I have yet to encounter a laptop that I consider "perfect".

The MBP is expensive for what you get, and you can certainly get a PC laptop that is quite significantly faster than the MBP. You can also get PC laptops with more internal storage and with other toys that the MBP is simply not available with (built in TV tuners, for example). The tradeoff is that, with the MBP, you get one of the thinnest and lightest notebooks in its class, and you get good battery life; any PC notebook that's going to have enough 'horsepower' to smoke the MBP is going to be a great deal thicker and heavier, and won't be able to match it for battery life-though some similarly-spec'd PCs would probably about equal it, I'd expect.

I would expect a current MBP to have a useable life of 4-5 years before it gets "too slow" to be really useable any more. Your mileage may vary on this though, depending on your standards and how much you can tolerate. There are a lot of people that still run G4s that are the better part of 7 or 8 years old and are perfectly happy with them. There are a lot of other people that upgrade every year or two. As far as how long the computer will actually last before something fails... It's hard to say. Get the extended warranty and you'll be covered for 3 years.

------

In short, the MBP is a good machine; it is NOT perfect any more than any other computer is. If you want a notebook that can deal with almost everything that one can ask of it while staying portable and retaining a usable battery runtime, the MBP is a good choice.

MCCCXXXVII
Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA
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