aspose file tools*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes planning to buy MacBook Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Java 8 in Action this week in the Java 8 forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "planning to buy MacBook" Watch "planning to buy MacBook" New topic
Author

planning to buy MacBook

ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Hi,

I am planning to buy a MacBook.
However, one of my friends said, it has some issues with drivers - I think he meant that installing 3rd party drivers (mouse, external HDD, printer etc) are not as easy as in Windows. Also, I feel, not many free day to day tools (WordWeb, Google Desktop, any YouTube video downloader etc - they are just for examples) will not necessarily be available for Mac OS, that's just my perception - no sure how true it is. Also, I feel, it's very different than Windows so will involve some learning.

That's going to be my only laptop so I don't want to be in a situation where I can't do something on it, and feel need for PC.

Shall I go for it? And points mentioned by me are baseless (and useless)? Or I should settle for any Windows laptop (PC)?

Thanks.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

I've never had a driver issue -- what sort of devices have you concerned?

I've also never had an issue finding a program I've needed. What types of programs concern you?

Yes, it wil be different from Windows. Blissfully different.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9995
    
    7

Ankur,
You are on the right track to enlightenment

Recently I got a Mac Book and am absolutely happy with it (except the lack of mnemonics but you get used to it) We have a Mac forum where you will get all the answers to your questions. I got mine. Bear above, has been playing with the Mac since he was a kid and knows all cool trips and tricks. He helped me out a lot, especially in getting me adjust to the Mac thinking mode.

Three words. Go for it


[How to ask questions] [Donate a pint, save a life!] [Onff-turn it on!]
ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Bear Bibeault wrote:I've never had a driver issue -- what sort of devices have you concerned?

I've also never had an issue finding a program I've needed. What types of programs concern you?



I am actually not aware of, as I never used it.
Things like, connecting it with TV using VGA or HDMI cable, for example.
ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Maneesh Godbole wrote:Ankur,
You are on the right track to enlightenment

Recently I got a Mac Book and am absolutely happy with it (except the lack of mnemonics but you get used to it) We have a Mac forum where you will get all the answers to your questions. I got mine. Bear above, has been playing with the Mac since he was a kid and knows all cool trips and tricks. He helped me out a lot, especially in getting me adjust to the Mac thinking mode.

Three words. Go for it


Thanks Maneesh. That does help in making my decision easiar.
ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Which one would you guys suggest? MacBook or MacBook Pro?

Thankfully, not many options here.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9995
    
    7

I got the 13" Mac Book. Very happy with it. Thats the lowest in the range. I spent some more to upgrade to 4Gig RAM. Works smooth as silk.
Based on my experience the Mac Book is suitable for serious development.
However if you got deep enough pockets, you might want to consider the higher end models.

Check out the forums. If I remember correctly, fellow rancher Monu Tripathi had a thread where there was a discussion on different models. He finally got a Mac, and also managed to get a student discount.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13884
    
  10

ankur rathi wrote:I am actually not aware of, as I never used it.
Things like, connecting it with TV using VGA or HDMI cable, for example.

Oh, that's very easy with a Mac. Plug it in and it works.

I've been at many conferences and other gatherings where people with Windows (or Linux) laptops always have to fiddle around with display settings for a few minutes before they can get an image to appear on the beamer. I've never seen people with a Mac have that problem - plug it in and it works immediately.

The only downside is that you need an adapter cable, because Mac laptops don't have a standard HDMI or VGA port - they have a mini-DisplayPort.

I have a 15-inch MacBook Pro myself. The 13-inch MacBook (Pro) has a screen that is only 1280 x 800 pixels, which I find not enough for running an IDE on. My MacBook Pro has a 1440 x 900 screen, but the current 15-inch model is also available with a 1680 x 1050 high-res screen. I would get that if I were looking for a MacBook Pro now.


Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 7 API documentation
Scala Notes - My blog about Scala
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Just be forewarned, the OS-X and Macs are approaching end of life. At this week's WWDC (developers conference) Steve Job's never mentioned OS-X or Macs. Its all phones and iPads. The OS-X ain't getting no love.

On the direct question, my wife uses a Mac Book. To connect it to our 42" TV, all I needed was a $5 mini-DVI to HDMI cable, and a HDMI cable. Works perfectly with zero setup.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

Pat Farrell wrote:Just be forewarned, the OS-X and Macs are approaching end of life.

Nonsense. Macs and OS X are a rock solid foundation for everything else.
Pat Farrell wrote:The OS-X ain't getting no love.

Sure it is -- it just ain't getting much press. Regular seeds of 10.6.4 builds are being sent to developers in the development program.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Bear Bibeault wrote:Nonsense. Macs and OS X are a rock solid foundation for everything else.


You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But I see the handwriting on the wall. I'm not saying it will die tomorrow, but I seriously believe that its days are numbered.

Of course, this is Meaningful Drivel....
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

Everything's "days are numbered" if you want to look at it that way. But as long as desktops and laptops are still viable platforms, Macs and OS X will still be around. We can revisit this in about 15 years or so.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Bear Bibeault wrote: But as long as desktops and laptops are still viable platforms, Macs and OS X will still be around.

And that is exactly my point. While there are some people who will probably always need specialized equipment, i.e. software developers, movie editors, etc. that will have to have big honking desktops. I believe that for 95% of all current computer users, the desktop will become quaint. Laptops are a transition device, not powerful enough for power users and too much for the mainstream 90%. I expect them all to go away.

Its clear that the future is in the cloud. Lightweight pocket devices for human interaction, with Google, Amazon Web Services, etc having the massive datacenters with computer and storage at nearly unimaginable levels. The "Controller" for my Logitech music system is more computer, by several orders of magnitude than the PC that I bought in 1990 as a professional software developer. That one had a 33mHz processor and 5MB of memory. The newest iPhone 4 is an amazing computer, with more display than desktops of just a few years ago, and networking connectivity that was unthinkable just a few years ago.

Desktops and laptops are on the edge of no longer being viable for the mass market. Today.

In a few years, there will be wireless display technology (Intel is demo'ing today) so your cell phone can display on your 42" TV. Why do you still need a laptop?


Bear Bibeault wrote: We can revisit this in about 15 years or so.

I bet you a beer that OS-X will be a niche product well before that. Under 10 years, you buy the beer, over I buy.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

I agree with your point -- I just think that the transition will be a lot slower than you do, and perhaps not as profound.

Beer sounds good!
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8718
    
    6

Pat Farrell wrote:Its clear that the future is in the cloud.


Apple's future is in the App Store and iTunes. That is why they are pushing the iPhone and iPad and that will be the downfall of the MacBook (typing this on my MacBook Pro, which rocks, btw).


"blabbing like a narcissistic fool with a superiority complex" ~ N.A.
[How To Ask Questions On JavaRanch]
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Joe Ess wrote:Apple's future is in the App Store and iTunes. That is why they are pushing the iPhone and iPad and that will be the downfall of the MacBook (typing this on my MacBook Pro, which rocks, btw).


Note, I have not said anything bad about things like your MacBook Pro, I agree its a sweet piece of gear.

All of the profit these days for Apple is in software and services (iTunes, app store, kickback from AT&T). While the new iPhone 4 will "sell" for a modest price, I bet that the cost to make the first million units is staggering, all that engineering, design, factory setup. Once the line is working, yeah, they make money, but the first ones have to have insane prices. The hardware is the loss leader to sucker you into paying for their software and services.

For a lot of the iPhone/iTouch/iPad apps, they are just baby steps into the cloud. They provide a nicer UI than you can get with any web technology, but the backend is still serving up web services. I think Apple has this right, for now, the pure cloud stuff is too clunky for the mass market.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15292
    
    6

Thought this was relavent.

http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/09/the-mac-is-far-from-dead/


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

ankur rathi wrote:...one of my friends said, it has some issues with drivers - I think he meant that installing 3rd party drivers (mouse, external HDD, printer etc) are not as easy as in Windows...

I think your friend is misinformed. These things are far easier on a Mac.


"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
sscce.org
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Pat Farrell wrote:... Under 10 years...

Wait... So if I buy a new iMac this year, are you saying it will be obsolete in less than 10 years? Damn. Thanks for the tip.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15292
    
    6

marc weber wrote:
Pat Farrell wrote:... Under 10 years...

Wait... So if I buy a new iMac this year, are you saying it will be obsolete in less than 10 years? Damn. Thanks for the tip.


Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

marc weber wrote:Wait... So if I buy a new iMac this year, are you saying it will be obsolete in less than 10 years? Damn. Thanks for the tip.

Wise guy! I rarely get 3 years out of a computer before they are obsolete.

No I mean that the idea of an iMac, any iMac, child of iMac, grandchild of iMac is gone. Bear said 15, I think a lot sooner. I'm sure I will win the beer from Bear
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2774
    
  10

If I could predict the future, I wouldn't be working for a living, so I'll just stick to what's relevant today.

I've been working with a MacBook Pro as my development platform for about a year now. At first, I was very skeptical, but now I really like it. Certain tools don't have a Mac version, but the things I use regularly -- IntelliJ, Eclipse, JBoss, Apache, Firefox, SoapUI, SQL Developer, and MS Office all run fine. Also the command line interface blows away the one in Windows (and I don't even have to install Cygwin). I also have VMware for when I absolutely need to run things in Windows, but the only thing I use that for is running IE to make sure our web sites work for the poor shlubs that still use it. VirtualBox is a free product that does the same thing. I also haven't had any problem with drivers.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Greg Charles wrote: Also the command line interface blows away the one in Windows (and I don't even have to install Cygwin). .

Its a real Unix-like shell, not a semi-implementation. I use good old bash when OS-X needs a shell. Its wonderful to use real tools.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
Back to the main topic...

Study after study shows that more pixels == more productivity!

Get the most pixels you can for your budget - you can go back and add memory later, you can't really add (portable), pixels later.


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Bert Bates wrote:Back to the main topic...

Study after study shows that more pixels == more productivity!

Get the most pixels you can for your budget - you can go back and add memory later, you can't really add (portable), pixels later.


Thanks Bert but I am considering only 13'' size - not more than that.

The tough part is to decide MacBook or MacBook Pro 13''. Which one to take?

Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

ankur rathi wrote:The tough part is to decide MacBook or MacBook Pro 13''. Which one to take?

Do both fit in your budget?

I don't see anything in this thread on what you want, other than playing movies on a big screen TV. That specific requirement drives you to a better, or separate graphics card.

For development, I go for as much memory as you can fit in the budget, rather than CPU speed.

I believe that the MacBook Pro models have on the fly switching between normal and dedicated Graphics card. This is a huge winner for battery life, as you can stay on the integrated graphics for most stuff, saving battery life, and switch to high-res when you need it.
ankur rathi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 3830
Pat Farrell wrote:
ankur rathi wrote:The tough part is to decide MacBook or MacBook Pro 13''. Which one to take?

Do both fit in your budget?

I don't see anything in this thread on what you want, other than playing movies on a big screen TV. That specific requirement drives you to a better, or separate graphics card.

For development, I go for as much memory as you can fit in the budget, rather than CPU speed.

I believe that the MacBook Pro models have on the fly switching between normal and dedicated Graphics card. This is a huge winner for battery life, as you can stay on the integrated graphics for most stuff, saving battery life, and switch to high-res when you need it.



I have all general requirements like java development, movies, music, web browsing, chatting (voice, video as well) etc. Most laptops will provide that.
I just need to decide which one is good value for money, and I don't miss some very useful feature/capability if I wish to save few bucks.


Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
I think that not all 13" MacBooks have the same amount of pixels. I would double check also that the one you choose can do "extended desktop", and not just "mirroring".

Other than that I'll repeat myself and say - you can add memory later, use your budget now on the stuff you CAN'T upgrade later.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Bert Bates wrote:Other than that I'll repeat myself and say - you can add memory later, use your budget now on the stuff you CAN'T upgrade later.


One thing to be careful of, if you follow @bert's advice (which is generally sound) make sure that you can actually upgrade the memory by just adding in new memory modules. Sometimes laptops have hard limits, and you will want more memory eventually. I just upgraded my laptop to 4GB for only about $100, but the initial spec sheets from the laptop manufacturer only talked about "up to 2GB" which was a big concern.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

I guess all the Mac Book Pro's can eat up to 8 GB of RAM.


SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 - Hints for you, SCBCD Hints - Demnachst, SCDJWS - Auch Demnachst
Did a rm -R / to find out that I lost my entire Linux installation!
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

By the way, is the 1440*900 screen resolution available with the 13" Mac Book Pro?? I doubt!
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Jothi Shankar Kumar wrote:By the way, is the 1440*900 screen resolution available with the 13" Mac Book Pro?? I doubt!

There's a page for that. MacBook Pro 13" - Tech Specs...
Supported resolutions: 1280 by 800 (native), 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched


Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Pat Farrell wrote:No I mean that the idea of an iMac, any iMac, child of iMac, grandchild of iMac is gone. Bear said 15, I think a lot sooner. I'm sure I will win the beer from Bear

Seems other folks also think that the mac line is dead.
R_I_P, Macintosh
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15292
    
    6

Pat Farrell wrote:
Pat Farrell wrote:No I mean that the idea of an iMac, any iMac, child of iMac, grandchild of iMac is gone. Bear said 15, I think a lot sooner. I'm sure I will win the beer from Bear

Seems other folks also think that the mac line is dead.
R_I_P, Macintosh


I think there is a difference between something being dead and something not at the center of attention. Computers aren't cool anymore. Devices and gadgets are. They are priced so the above average Joe can go grab one as soon as they get on the shelves. But the world still needs computers. It could be that there isn't much left to innovate. And that's what Apple thinks they are good at.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Gregg Bolinger wrote: But the world still needs computers. It could be that there isn't much left to innovate. And that's what Apple thinks they are good at.

Hey, I'm just the messenger, don't shoot me. I agree that some folks will always need computers. I am just reporting the handwriting on the wall.

On topic, since no laptop is useful for more than a few years, I don't expect that the death of the Macintosh will have any impact on the Original Poster.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15292
    
    6

Pat Farrell wrote:
Gregg Bolinger wrote: But the world still needs computers. It could be that there isn't much left to innovate. And that's what Apple thinks they are good at.

Hey, I'm just the messenger, don't shoot me. I agree that some folks will always need computers. I am just reporting the handwriting on the wall.

On topic, since no laptop is useful for more than a few years, I don't expect that the death of the Macintosh will have any impact on the Original Poster.


But you're spreading FUD, really. There's no verifiable hard data that points to it's death. It's just rumors and opinions. BTW, the automobile line of transportation is dead. Writings on the wall. Running is the in thing now. It's all the rage.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

Gregg Bolinger wrote:But you're spreading FUD, really. There's no verifiable hard data that points to it's death. It's just rumors and opinions.

You are entitled to your opinion, but you can't deny me mine. I'm not saying its dead today. I am saying that from what I see, and what others see, the line is getting at best "benign neglect". How slippery the slope is from neglect to depraved indifference is, of course, a judgement call.

I agree with you, @Gregg, that there is little room to innovate in the Mac space, the Mac AIR was the last big thing, and it was cool but did not sell well.

As a tactical decision, buy one today. As a strategic decision, long term I don't think that's a wise decision.

Your argument that its got a long and fruitful life ahead is also "just rumors and opinions.".
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Obviously, Mac computers aren't in the spotlight right now, but during their fiscal 2010 second quarter, Apple sold 2.94 million Mac computers, which is an increase of 33% over the prior year. According to a Kaufman Bros. analyst, "the Mac business is tracking to its third consecutive quarter of 20%+ Y/Y unit growth." He's raised "projected Mac sales for the quarter to 3.2 million," based on strong Mac momenteum "helped by a recent significant refresh of the MacBook Pro to new Intel Arrandale processors, offering much better price-performance and an industry best 8-10 hours of battery life..."

Ref: Digital Daily - Apple's mac business headed for another big quarter

Regardless... In ten years or so, I expect "mobile" devices like the iPad to be worlds ahead of what they are now. And if these end up replacing the "computer" as we know it today, is that necessarily a bad thing? Personally, I would be excited to see it!
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60082
    
  65

This is all healthy speculation, but as Pat himself pointed out is has no bearing whatsoever on decisions to buy a computer of any kind today.

If this weren't in Meaningless Drivel, I"d purge the topic of all such speculation as off-topic to the original post. But being as this is MD, I'm surprised that there aren't any images of pie by now.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Bear Bibeault wrote:...I'm surprised that there aren't any images of pie by now.

 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: planning to buy MacBook
 
Similar Threads
Java on Mac
Can I deploy all my ears into Mac book
Mac Book Pro - Suggestions needed
windows vs mac
External hard drive and usd cable