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Buying a MacBook

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
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  30

OK, kids, time for a new Mac, and this time it's going to come out of my own nasssty pocketses. I'm looking at MacBooks. There are a lot of choices: there's a glossy vs. matte screen, the Hi resolution 17" vs. the regular 17", there's black and silver, there's faster or slower HDD RPMs, there's a couple of barely-different processor speeds... money is an issue only to the extent that I want to get my money's worth; I don't want to spend extra for something that doesn't really help.

This is going to be my workhorse machine; I'll use it for everything from coding to video editing to photoshop to gaming. Performance matters. It should be luggable (hence the MacBook) but airplane portability isn't an issue (I have this old G4 powerbook for that.)

OK, so: let's hear those opinions, folks!


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60057
    
  65

The only thing I wouldn't do is pay extra for black. White rocks!


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Bill Shirley
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Joined: Nov 08, 2007
Posts: 457
If you want to use it for video editing and photoshop, then you want to get a MacBook Pro.

Up the hard drive as much as possible.

Up the RAM - aftermarket if you're not afraid.


Bill Shirley - bshirley - frazerbilt.com
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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

With regards to matte/glossy that's pretty much a matter of taste. The glossy looks great and the colors really pop, but depending upon your lighting conditions you could get reflections and glare.

Max the memory (buy from Crucial not Apple), cpu and disk size.

Get AppleCare.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

What's your timeframe?

Apple Insider - Apple notebook lines to see major design changes, sources say.

(Yeah, I know. Trying to stay on top of Apple's marketing -- never mind the rumors -- is a dubious proposition. But you might find the above article interesting anyway.)

As others have already said:
  • Max the RAM and processor (especially for video and gaming).
  • White is cool. Black is expensive.
  • Matte/glossy is very much a personal preference.


  • "We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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    Bert Bates
    author
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    Joined: Oct 14, 2002
    Posts: 8764
        
        5
    for me:

    #1 - pixels, pixels, pixels - at home I have 1650x1080 (Macbook Pro) AND an extended desktop with another 1440 x 900. And frankly I'd like more! I think there's a newer Pro with even more pixels

    #2 - Not glossy - it's great when the lighting is PERFECT otherwise too much glare.


    Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
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    Bert Bates
    author
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    Joined: Oct 14, 2002
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        5
    oh, and one more thing...

    A few months back we were preparing for our 6 week, 30,000 mile, winter, road trip odyssey. I was agonizing over whether I could safely lug my 17" Pro thru all those airports. I almost got a low-end Macbook. In the end I got a top of the line Brenthaven backpack, and it was FANTASTIC! Everything about it made traveling with the 17" easy, and I felt really confident that my machine was safe - it made the traveling much less stressful.
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
    author and iconoclast
    Marshal

    Joined: Jul 08, 2003
    Posts: 24166
        
      30

    Originally posted by Bert Bates:
    for me:

    #1 - pixels, pixels, pixels - at home I have 1650x1080 (Macbook Pro) AND an extended desktop with another 1440 x 900. And frankly I'd like more! I think there's a newer Pro with even more pixels

    #2 - Not glossy - it's great when the lighting is PERFECT otherwise too much glare.


    There's a 1920x1200; that's the "Hi-Res" option. Yeah, I love my pixels too, so that's going to rock. Thanks for the input about the glossy screen; I'll steer clear.
    Maris Orbidans
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 08, 2004
    Posts: 149
    coding ? AFAIK there is no java 6 in Macs.
    Otherwise I would have bought my Macbook a long time ago.
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

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    Java 6 is available as Developer Preview minus the Rhino engine. It does, however, only work on more recent 64-bit machines.
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
    author and iconoclast
    Marshal

    Joined: Jul 08, 2003
    Posts: 24166
        
      30

    Ordered a 2.6GHz Macbook Pro 17" Hi-Res Matte, with the 7200 RPM disk, and 2GB of RAM; I'll upgrade it myself.
    Bert Bates
    author
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    Joined: Oct 14, 2002
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        5
    count me officially green!
    marc weber
    Sheriff

    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 11343

    Gosh, darn! That sounds like one heck of a spiffy contraption!
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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      65

    Originally posted by Bert Bates:
    count me officially green!

    Kermit impression here too!
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
    author and iconoclast
    Marshal

    Joined: Jul 08, 2003
    Posts: 24166
        
      30

    Order status now "Prepared for shipment"...
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

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      65

    Taunt us, why don't you?
    Lasse Koskela
    author
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 23, 2002
    Posts: 11962
        
        5
    I'm really liking my new, week-old, thin-and-light-as-a-balloon Airbook...


    Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

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    Sweet! Pics?
    Lasse Koskela
    author
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 23, 2002
    Posts: 11962
        
        5
    Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
    Sweet! Pics?

    You want pics?



    I'm happy with it
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
    Posts: 60057
        
      65

    Great smile!
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
    author and iconoclast
    Marshal

    Joined: Jul 08, 2003
    Posts: 24166
        
      30

    And... I'm posting from the new MacBook! I need to adjust some preferences here; the pixels are so tiny I can barely see what I'm typing! Other than that: it feels considerably lighter than my G4 17". The screen won't tilt as far back and I'm going to have to get used to that. The Airport seems to work better than on my G4, too; I get better reception in my kitchen than I used to. The keyboard feels nice, the screen is very bright and the whole thing feels very speedy.

    Thank for all the input, folks!
    marc weber
    Sheriff

    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 11343

    Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
    ... The screen won't tilt as far back and I'm going to have to get used to that...

    Well, the communicator props in the original Star Trek had a pin inside the right hinge to hold the lids open at about 135 degrees. But vigorous flipping soon dislodged these, after which the lids opened as far as 210 degrees. I expect this is the same deal.
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
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    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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    Man, do I love geeks!
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Buying a MacBook
     
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