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windows vs mac

Jeanne Boyarsky
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My current Dell Windows XP laptop is six years old. I'm starting to hit slowdowns due to RAM which is a signal to me that I should replace the laptop within the next year. (I could upgrade the RAM, but I try to buy extra RAM at the time I buy my computer so it is good long enough until the computer is old enough to make it to replacement time. The Dell Windows 98 desktop I had before that made it 6 years as well interestingly enough.

My current machine is a 14 inch monitor running 1.6GHz with 1GB RAM. I don't want a big monitor because I'm not that far away from the screen at home. I'm considering a 14 inch Dell 2.3GHz, 6GB RAM or a 13 inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz, 8GB RAM. The last two machines, I used the criteria of "the best machine I could buy for $1000. That doesn't look like a valid criterion anymore. Interestingly, on the PC side there are a lot of lower end options. On the Mac side, this is one of the lower end options that I see. That makes me a little antsy that the power isn't enough.

Pros of Dell in order of importance:
  • Windows 7 is closer to Windows XP and I support my mother on Windows XP.
  • Existing software will work making setup faster
  • Less learning curve
  • Cheaper box cost. The 4GB RAM version is $840 for Dell and $1200 for Mac. With 6GB RAM it is $900 for Dell and with 8GB RAM it is $1400 for Mac. I would get the upgraded RAM version, but I can't do a cost comparison for 6 or 8 GB.


  • Pros of Mac in order of imporance:
  • UNIX command line - I like UNIX
  • I had a Mac 12 years ago and liked it. Very stable and intuitive.
  • better usability, less viruses, etc
  • Windows 7 presumably moved a lot of things in the OS (like they did with the ribbon in Office) so there is a learning curve there too.
  • I've heard "less than good" things from some Dell users and not from Mac users. Making me wonder if Dell has gone downhill in the last 6 years.


  • On the support thing, I could keep my Windows XP laptop around for supporting my mother until it breaks and then see if I can convince her to let me buy a Mac for her. She needs *detailed* instructions and it is difficult to do this from a different OS or even a VM in another OS. I'm not sure I'll be successful on convincing her though. And she is on dialup so it isn't an option for me to view her screen remotely.

    Questions:
  • Does anyone know of anything on the horizon that points toward it being better to wait 6-12 months before getting a new laptop? I haven't read about any new hardware leaps, but wanted to ask.
  • Does 2.3 GHz, 6 GB RAM sound sufficient for development? I do run postgres, Eclipse, Tomcat and two browsers simultaneously at times. And the browsers in particular waste memory.
  • Any general advice?


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    Mark Spritzler
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        6

    " it is difficult to do this …. even a VM in another OS"

    Why so? It is just the exact same as running the OS natively. On my Mac it looks and feels the exact same, and I have Windows xp and 7 VMs and running them and Mac all at the same time, switching between the three with CTRL-1, CTRL-2, or CTRL-3. Very quick and simple.

    For a Mac, I have to recommend 8 GB. Personally I have never had any slow down on my Mac with 3 SpringToolSuites, 1 IntelliJ IDEA, Open Office all running at the exact same time.

    Cost analysis for me comparing PC vs Mac doesn't add up. A Mac to me is three machines in one, where a PC is one machine in one, so if a PC costs $800 and a Mac is $1400, to compare for me means tripling the PC cost to match the Mac, so it always comes out to $2400 for a PC and $1400 for a Mac, and the Mac wins. Not many people can see this subtlety, but makes perfect sense to me.

    I am also way more productive on a Mac, again that is just my experience. I just can never go back to a Windows PC. I can always run Windows if I have to.

    Mark


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    Joe Ess
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        9

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
  • Cheaper box cost. The 4GB RAM version is $840 for Dell and $1200 for Mac. With 6GB RAM it is $900 for Dell and with 8GB RAM it is $1400 for Mac. I would get the upgraded RAM version, but I can't do a cost comparison for 6 or 8 GB.

  • . . .
  • UNIX command line - I like UNIX


  • Buy a Dell and install Linux?

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    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Mark Spritzler wrote:" it is difficult to do this …. even a VM in another OS"

    Why so? It is just the exact same as running the OS natively. On my Mac it looks and feels the exact same, and I have Windows xp and 7 VMs and running them and Mac all at the same time, switching between the three with CTRL-1, CTRL-2, or CTRL-3. Very quick and simple.

    Um. This is why one posts questions in a public forum. To find out new information and what assumptions are flawed. Launching a VM at work takes a few minutes and is a memory hog. (VM Ware player.) I was also thinking it would be a pain to keep the VM up to date. But I'd have to do that with keeping my old laptop too. I also might have to buy Windows XP again. The CD I have says to use the CD only for reinstalling on a Dell computer. And figure out how much this costs. If it is a couple hundred dollars, I might be better off buying a new machine for my mother. Even if it is Windows 7. Her computer is old too but she just uses it to surf the web so it will last longer. I think. But I hate to buy Windows XP again and hardly use it. Can cross that bridge later though.

    Mark Spritzler wrote:For a Mac, I have to recommend 8 GB. Personally I have never had any slow down on my Mac with 3 SpringToolSuites, 1 IntelliJ IDEA, Open Office all running at the exact same time.

    I would definitely go with the 8 GB. My philosophy has been that RAM always hits me first so I want to max that out so my computer lasts as long as possible.


    Mark Spritzler wrote:Cost analysis for me comparing PC vs Mac doesn't add up. A Mac to me is three machines in one, where a PC is one machine in one, so if a PC costs $800 and a Mac is $1400, to compare for me means tripling the PC cost to match the Mac, so it always comes out to $2400 for a PC and $1400 for a Mac, and the Mac wins. Not many people can see this subtlety, but makes perfect sense to me.Mark

    For you. I wouldn't be buying three computers though. I'd be buying one.
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Joe Ess wrote:
  • UNIX command line - I like UNIX


  • Buy a Dell and install Linux?

    You can actually get a Dell with Linux pre-installed. I don't want my primary drive to be Linux though. I like my computer to work without having to tinker with it. And I don't feel comfortable fixing a Linux box if it doesn't boot.

    I do have cglib now, not the same as real UNIX. Linux isn't common enough that I want to be doing all my work in Linux and it's of limited value in a VM/partition.
    Joe Ess
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        9

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote: I like my computer to work without having to tinker with it.




    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    I do have cglib now, not the same as real UNIX.


    Never heard of it. Have you tried Cygwin? Close enough to Unix for my purposes.

    My personal preference is for Ubuntu Linux. Never had problems with it. I have a MacBook Pro and love the hardware but OS X has some peculiarities that rub me the wrong way (itunes, finder, making DVD's).

    What are your work machine specs? I run VM's on various hardware and am pretty impressed with the performance.
    Jeanne Boyarsky
    author & internet detective
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    Joe Ess wrote:Never heard of it. Have you tried Cygwin? Close enough to Unix for my purposes.

    That's because I meant cygwin. Cglib is a java library for bytecode manipulation.

    Joe Ess wrote:What are your work machine specs? I run VM's on various hardware and am pretty impressed with the performance.

    Let's not go there. I'll say that it's a corporate machine with a lot of required processes that use resources.
    Bear Bibeault
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      67

    Mark Spritzler wrote:Not many people can see this subtlety, but makes perfect sense to me.

    For me, the cost "subtlety" is how much is my time and psyche worth? I never realized how much tinkering I had to do to keep Windows running until I didn't have to do it anymore.

    I am also way more productive on a Mac

    Exactly. On OS X, I'm getting stuff done instead of tinkering.

    For a Mac, I have to recommend 8 GB.

    Same. On my home laptop I have 4G and I occasionally bump my head. On my work laptop I have 8G and I never hit the ceiling.

    Buy a Dell and install Linux?

    I love Linux as a server. As a desktop, it just requires too much tinkering for me (a very different kind of tinkering than Windows requires, but still tinkering).


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    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    There's also new computer vs maintaining a computer tinkering. There's a ton of tinkering on a new computer. I'm hoping there is less than Windows on a Mac so I'd be spending "stupid tinkering" time on re-learning Mac (and what has changed in a decade which is probably similar to starting over.) The maintaining a computer is usually low with horrendous unexpected spikes. Like a virus I've had lying dormant for a long time that showed up when I installed Office and rendered my computer unusable. That was a busy week.
    Bear Bibeault
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      67

    And...

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:UNIX command line - I like UNIX


    This was one of the epiphany moments for me -- when I installed the OS X beta on a cranky old G3 desktop back in the ice ages and brought up Terminal running the bash shell, there was no turning back.

    Michael Ernest
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    FWIW, VirtualBox is cheaper than VMWare for hosting second environments. I have Windows XP/Dell Dimension 4600 with 2 GB RAM and I can run Solaris in VirtualBox, NetBeans, Chrome, OpenOffice, Skype; after that I'm wading through tar. I'd slap more RAM in this dinosaur if I could because it works well enough for all that.

    Also have a Dell laptop with 4 GB RAM running OpenSolaris (because I like Unix too). I run Windows XP/VirtualBox on top of that and pretty much anything else and life is good. Unfortunately this thing is maxed at 4 GB and I could use more to run a couple hosted OSes at once. Also I am thinking it would make more sense, when I run performance seminars, if I could demo with a quad core and at least get a mini-server appearance out of the box.

    I play with my wife's MacBook and my mom's MacAir from time to time to see what I am missing. Nothing I can appreciate. I am on the other hand fairly well offended by Mac OS X's primitive security features -- sudo for everything, that's your plan? -- and the DRM restrictions in some of the internal software that makes tracing the OS a hit-and-miss game. I saw several people at TSSJS whipping about on their Macs and loving it, which was cool to see, but I just don't get that kind of fun/productivity out of it.


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    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Michael Ernest wrote:I am on the other hand fairly well offended by Mac OS X's primitive security features -- sudo for everything, that's your plan?

    With only one user, aren't you an admin for everything anyway?
    Jack Iu
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jun 03, 2011
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    Definitely a Mac. Both machines are more than sufficient for development use.
    What you can do in PC can be done on Mac too, and learning curve would not be an issue because it's user friendly.
    On top of that, dell machine is really crappy. They prolly use some cheap material to build it, so it's easy to worn out.
    Mac uses led backlit screen. It's a much nicer display compare to dell.
    Michael Ernest
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    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    With only one user, aren't you an admin for everything anyway?

    So long as you imagine no one else will ever touch that computer, sure.
    Gregg Bolinger
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        6

    From a pure hardware perspective, craptop manufacturers like Dell can't compete with the elegance, style, and aesthetics of Apple Macbooks. And since OSX is designed only to run on Macbook hardware, it always runs great. So for me, Mac is a win-win. I even prefer running Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion over running it on a non-apple device. You could do what Eric P does and use Bootcamp to run Windows 7 more natively than through a VM, however, then you have to reboot to switch.

    VMWare Fusion is seamless and OSX's memory management is so much better than Windows (thanks to Unix, I'm sure). For more info on memory, read that thread Paul W had (I think in MO) when he was considering a mac.

    There actually is a difference between choosing a Dell or a Macbook and choosing Windows or OSX. First, you should decide on an OS. If you pic OSX, the hardware choice is easy. If you pick Windows, then you have some hardware decisions to make.

    Obviously, I prefer OSX over any other OS right now. And I could tell you 50 reasons why I do. 40 of those would be total opinion. I'm sure a Windows fan could do the same thing.


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    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Jack Iu wrote:What you can do in PC can be done on Mac too, and learning curve would not be an issue because it's user friendly.

    And I can ask people . Seriously though, I believe that. I didn't have usage problems on my old Mac. Not sure I can convince my mother to go with a Mac but that's a separate problem.

    Jack Iu wrote:On top of that, dell machine is really crappy. They prolly use some cheap material to build it, so it's easy to worn out.

    Hmm. I haven't had materials problems with my Dell. Or my mother's Dell. Or the one I had before this. Anything I can point to if these problems have shown up recently?


    Michael Ernest wrote:
    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    With only one user, aren't you an admin for everything anyway?

    So long as you imagine no one else will ever touch that computer, sure.

    If I was worried about that, I'd password protect it. I don't have random people using my computer.

    Gregg Bolinger wrote:VMWare Fusion is seamless and OSX's memory management is so much better than Windows (thanks to Unix, I'm sure). For more info on memory, read that thread Paul W had (I think in MO) when he was considering a mac.

    I just re-read the private MO thread. Memory management being better is a good thing since memory is usually my limiting factor as the machine ages. The usage problems in that thread don't appear to be problems that would apply to me.

    Gregg Bolinger wrote: There actually is a difference between choosing a Dell or a Macbook and choosing Windows or OSX. First, you should decide on an OS. If you pic OSX, the hardware choice is easy. If you pick Windows, then you have some hardware decisions to make.

    Agreed. I lean towards picking OS X which is why I started this thread. (I also e-mailed it to a few people I know in the real world like Jack asking to help convince me I should get a Mac.) The VMWare solution for Windows 7 sounds like it will work if need be.

    Gregg Bolinger wrote: I even prefer running Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion over running it on a non-apple device. You could do what Eric P does and use Bootcamp to run Windows 7 more natively than through a VM, however, then you have to reboot to switch.

    This is good to know. I'm thinking I should offer my mother a computer for her birthday and see if I can convince her to have that computer be a Mac. She's very "list of instructions" driven so Windows 7 would be a learning curve too. Or take her to the Apple store when she visits and show her how easy it is. (Or mine if I have one by then.) Then I have to support either a Mac with the same OS or a Windows 7 device in a VM. Gets me away from supporting Windows XP at least. I'm not thrilled about installing that on a VM knowing it has a short lifespan.

    I was also wondering if I was looking at a Mac that wasn't powerful enough. Or if 13 inches will be too small. I have 14 inches now, but wonder if I should go to 15 rather than smaller. Or maybe I need to take a trip to the Apple store and try both out.
    Greg Charles
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    I was forced into Mac for a job a couple of years ago. I had the idea it was only for artists and children, and certainly not appropriate for development. There were a few hiccups getting used to differences, but really it was pretty smooth. Now, I'll never, ever go back to Windows. The best part of Mac is the terminal windows, which are so much better than Windows. Cygwin makes the Windows command line more usable, but there are still some serious gotchas there.

    Other advantages: no pre-installed crapware, no need for virus scanners, Finder much better than File Explorer, copy and paste works from terminal windows the same as anywhere else, QuickSilver, backslash doesn't have to do double-duty as a file separator, Force Quit really and immediately closes an errant program (which sadly still does occur from time to time).

    Also, though I'm worried about my male cred, I have to admit Macs are beautifully designed.
    Jesper de Jong
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      22


    I use Windows, Mac OS X and Ubuntu. On my home desktop computer I have Ubuntu and Windows 7, I have a MacBook Pro (a 15-inch model from 2009) and where I currently work I have a desktop with Windows Vista.

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:You can actually get a Dell with Linux pre-installed. I don't want my primary drive to be Linux though. I like my computer to work without having to tinker with it. And I don't feel comfortable fixing a Linux box if it doesn't boot.

    Ubuntu these days is so good that you do not need to tinker with it. If you buy a Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed, then you can be sure that it works, because Dell ofcourse wouldn't sell it if you'd had to tinker with it to make it actually work. I recently installed Ubuntu on my new desktop computer (with the lastest hardware), everything works out-of-the-box, including my webcam, scanner and printer.

    For software development, I like Ubuntu best. I like the organization or a Unix-like OS better than Windows. Many Apple users rave about how user-friendly the OS is, but frankly I don't find it any more user-friendly than Windows 7 or Ubuntu. There are some things in OS X that are not user-friendly at all (for example, what annoys me all the time is you can't right-click and "cut" a file, to paste it somewhere else - there's copy, but not cut). I also hate the fact that the keyboard doesn't have Home / End / Page Up / Page Down keys (you have to use Alt + arrows, or Option + arrows for that).

    Ofcourse a MacBook is nice, but my MacBook Pro hasn't convinced me so much that if I'd be looking for a new laptop today, I'd get without a doubt get a new MacBook Pro. It works fine but I don't think there's anything special to it that makes it obviously better than something else.

    I'd certainly not get a 13-inch MacBook Pro; the screen resolution is only 1280 x 800 which is not enough to comfortably run an IDE on. My 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 1440 x 900 screen which I'd consider the absolute minimum, I think there's also an option for the current 15-inch models to get a 1680 x 1050 screen.

    Windows 7 is quite good, much better than Windows Vista or XP.

    Greg Charles wrote:I was forced into Mac for a job a couple of years ago. I had the idea it was only for artists and children, and certainly not appropriate for development. There were a few hiccups getting used to differences, but really it was pretty smooth. Now, I'll never, ever go back to Windows.

    That's what I meant by Apple users raving about Mac OS X...

    Greg Charles wrote:The best part of Mac is the terminal windows, which are so much better than Windows. Cygwin makes the Windows command line more usable, but there are still some serious gotchas there.

    Agree, Cygwin is a little like a Unix shell but it's not the real thing.

    Greg Charles wrote:Other advantages: no pre-installed crapware, no need for virus scanners, Finder much better than File Explorer, copy and paste works from terminal windows the same as anywhere else, QuickSilver, backslash doesn't have to do double-duty as a file separator, Force Quit really and immediately closes an errant program (which sadly still does occur from time to time).

    There's also malware for OS X (recently there was a problem with a fake malware removal program that many OS X users had installed), don't think it's impossible to get viruses or other malware on OS X. I disgree that Finder is much better than Windows Explorer, in fact I find it more cumbersome than Windows Explorer or Ubuntu's Nautilus. In Windows, you can make copy and paste work in command prompt windows in a better way as well (there's a setting called "quick copy and paste" or something like that).

    Greg Charles wrote:Also, though I'm worried about my male cred, I have to admit Macs are beautifully designed.

    Yes, with regards to design Apple is definitely the best. Other companies make laptops which obviously steal design traits from Apple, but none of them look as great as the original.
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Gregg Bolinger, (and all the posters on ubuntu)
    Your post was moved to a new topic.

    Before I split it to a new thread, I wrote: Get your own thread! Can we keep this about Windows vs Mac? I'm not considering Ubuntu as a choice. You guys were too fast and there were three posts by the time I did that.
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Jesper de Jong wrote:I'd certainly not get a 13-inch MacBook Pro; the screen resolution is only 1280 x 800

    My 14 inch current machine is running at 1024 x 768 which is it's maximum resolution. For professional development, I agree I need more real estate. (I have a dual monitor at work.) For tinkering and CodeRanch, I only have one thing on the screen at the time and it's just fine. Size matters, not just pixels though. I can try this at the Apple store if they have a small model out.
    Robert Glover
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    One big consideration for me at least, is that I know from experience that VMware Workstation (running on a Win host) is far, far superior to VMware Fusion (running on a Mac).

    The list of advantages that VMware Workstation has over VMware Fusion is VERY significant.

    Start with making a copy of a virtual machine. VMware Fusion does not have any support at all for this. What you have to do is go into "Finder" and make a copy of the .vmx file and then rename it. That has to suffice as a copy. By contrast, in VMware Fusion you have full GUI support to make either a "linked copy" or a "cloned copy". A linked copy only consumes a meg or two of storage. So for example, If I have a 40gig Win7 Pro guest I can make a "linked copy" that only costs me a couple of meg when I run under VMWare Workstation. By contrast, I know from experience that in Vmware Fusion when you make a copy (via Finder) of a 40gig Win7 Pro guest it eats up another 40gig.


    VMware Fusion is designed for the consumer market. It is dumbed down so that non-technical people can use it without being confused. VMware Workstation by contrast is a heavy duty, full featured product that is designed to provide a great deal of flexibility for developers.


    Another point I want to make is that I know from experience that when you run Win7 as a guest in VMware Fusion (on a Mac) the "plus" icons in Windows File Explorer are rendered as green triangles (a MAC conventation). These green triangles need to be clicked on to expand them. By contrast, when you run Win7 as a guest under VMware Workstation (running on a Win host), the Windows File manager uses the true "plus signs", and when you mouse over them they expand without your needing to click on them the way you do when on a MAC using. Running a Win guest under VMware Workstation on a Win host is seamless and an absolute pleasure and joy. It is not anywhere near as pleasant when you run a Win guest on a MAC using VMware Fusion-- not least of all because of the need to simulate key combinations that do not translate well between Win and Mac.


    Incidentally, in the past I owned a DELL that came from the factory equipped with Ubuntu as the only installed OS. At the time this was a big deal to people because it was the first time DELL ever offered a Unix-provisioned PC, and I was very hopeful. But I learned from experience that support for peripherals and for drivers was awful. I eventually wiped the disk clean and installed WinXP. But before I did, I ran the Unix version of VMware Workstation on the Ubuntu DELL. I found that VMware Workstation running on a Unix host is a very "poor relation" to the flagship VMware Workstation running on Windows host.


    In summary, I agree that everybody needs to have the experience of using a MAC for a while at lest . But the thrill wears off quickly. It's great that MAC is Unix, but for a true Unix experience there is nothing that beats Ubuntu 10.4 (in my opinion). A powerful Win PC with 12gig or even 16gig is possible to buy these days for not all that much money. Add VMware Workstation, and you have an incredibly powerful machine that you can even use to simulate "teams" of computers participating in a virtual network.


    And meanwhile, we should all look into the new Google Chrome laptop that goes on sale to the public on June 15. It may be perfect for all our collective moms and dads out there: impossible to get a virus, impossible to break, impossible to corrupt, as simple to operate as a toaster.



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    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    If Google's laptop works as advertised, that would be awesome. That reminds me, for my mother I need to check the machines have a modem for dial up. Or get her an external one. This doesn't sound very easy to use for her computer. But that's a separate problem from what computer I should have if the VM is satisfactory.
    Greg Charles
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      11

    Jesper de Jong wrote:
    That's what I meant by Apple users raving about Mac OS X...


    Oh, I forgot about the major downside of Macs. You're likely to be labeled a "fanboi" just for using one, and you'll definitely be dismissed as "raving" if you say you like it.
    Bear Bibeault
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      67

    Yeah, that's annoying. As if, with over 30 years of experience under my belt, I'm going to choose a Mac just because "it's cool".

    Michael Ernest
    High Plains Drifter
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    It's fickle trend-followers like you that ruin computing for the rest of us, Bear.
    Bear Bibeault
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      67

    Yeah, sorry about that. I never really turn it on -- I just sit at coffee shops making sure everyone can see how cool I am.
    Bert Bates
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        5
    Jeanne, I'm sure you know I'm a big OS X fan, 'nuff said.

    I also want to really harp on the pixels. Regardless of the way you go make sure you can at least dual monitor (not mirror). I believe pixels are even more important than RAM, and I'd bet that most folks who are RAM fans would also concur that pixel count is a huge factor in productivity.

    In any case, have fun with your new machine!


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    Stephan van Hulst
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      17

    Bear Bibeault wrote:Yeah, sorry about that. I never really turn it on -- I just sit at coffee shops making sure everyone can see how cool I am.


    That's just because you can't find the power button
    Bear Bibeault
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      67

    Stephan van Hulst wrote:That's just because you can't find the power button

    Of course I can find the power button! I just can't find where to install new batteries.
    Mark Spritzler
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        6

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
    For you. I wouldn't be buying three computers though. I'd be buying one.


    That's my point. I am not buying three machines, I am buying one the MacBook. It is just that comparing a MacBook to a PC laptop is like comparing an Apple to an Orange, and yes pun intended. You really can't compare them directly.

    The fruit analogy works, While a Banana costs $14 and a Grape costs $4, which is the better deal? Well $4 is cheaper than $14, but overall is it truly the better bargain. You get more to eat in a Banana, whereas a single grape is gone in a single bite. This is very similar, not exactly, but very similar to a MacBook to a PC, in my opinion.

    As far as the VM, yeah, you are starting a VM image remotely in your scenario, which is why it could take a little while. With the Mac and VMWare Fusion or the other VM software, the vm image is on your local machine, so for me starting up Windows XP is the same length of time it takes Windows XP to boot up on my desktop PC with just Windows XP on it.

    Mark
    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
    Sheriff

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
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        6

    Greg Charles wrote:
    Jesper de Jong wrote:
    That's what I meant by Apple users raving about Mac OS X...


    Oh, I forgot about the major downside of Macs. You're likely to be labeled a "fanboi" just for using one, and you'll definitely be dismissed as "raving" if you say you like it.


    Yes, but the thing is, you actually do become a fanboi because of how great it is. I will always agree to that label. I don't care. I was a Mac fanboi in 1984 when I got the first Mac ever. But in 1994 I went back to Windows, and it wasn't until 3 years ago I went back to Mac, and as long as they are like they are now, I will never go back to Windows full time. I do think Windows 8 looks promising, but many times a short video can make anything look promising. More vaporware at this point.

    Mark
    Jeanne Boyarsky
    author & internet detective
    Marshal

    Joined: May 26, 2003
    Posts: 30938
        
    158

    Bert Bates wrote:I also want to really harp on the pixels. Regardless of the way you go make sure you can at least dual monitor (not mirror). I believe pixels are even more important than RAM, and I'd bet that most folks who are RAM fans would also concur that pixel count is a huge factor in productivity.

    Don't all computers let you dual monitor? (I don't at home, but I know I have the capability.) For the rare occasions I need a second screen, I've been using the iPad. At work, I do use a dual monitor all the time. I have more going on there though. Volunteer projects are simpler.

    Pixels are for day to day. RAM is for longevity.

    Mark Spritzler wrote:I am not buying three machines,I am buying one the MacBook.

    I get that. But you have the need for the three logical machines. Features you don't use aren't an extra value.

    Mark Spritzler wrote:The fruit analogy works, While a Banana costs $14 and a Grape costs $4, which is the better deal? Well $4 is cheaper than $14, but overall is it truly the better bargain. You get more to eat in a Banana, whereas a single grape is gone in a single bite. This is very similar, not exactly, but very similar to a MacBook to a PC, in my opinion.

    The analogy is better. For $14, it better be a five foot tall inflatable banana! And I get that comparing costs directly doesn't make sense. I'm not arguing on cost. Just on the analogy of the three computers.

    Mark Spritzler wrote:As far as the VM, yeah, you are starting a VM image remotely in your scenario, which is why it could take a little while. With the Mac and VMWare Fusion or the other VM software, the vm image is on your local machine, so for me starting up Windows XP is the same length of time it takes Windows XP to boot up on my desktop PC with just Windows XP on it.

    That makes sense and reduces my worry on that front.
    Pat Farrell
    Rancher

    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 4659
        
        5

    I've got a new Mac Book Pro, 15", because I need to develop for IOS. To do that, you gotta run OS-X.

    I've had it for about ten weeks. Its at best OK. I hate Finder, I don't like how you switch tasks, and I do *NOT* find it easier to use than Win 7 or Ubuntu. I do like that is has a real bash shell. I find the multi-touch pad impossible to use, I had to get another Logitech mouse. I hear folks who love the touch pad, but its not for me.

    This laptop was really, really expensive. Well over $2000. Its nice, but I would not have spent that much for a laptop if I did not have to run OS-X. I've been developing Java on Windows since 1997, and various Linux distros for nearly a decade. If I was still getting paid to write Java 50+ hours a week, I'd have a different laptop. Perhaps a new laptop and a new desktop and a couple of 23" monitors for the cost of this MBP.

    Its really not fair to compare Windows 7 with XP or Vista. Its really a lot better. The Mac tax is real and substantial. You can buy a very nice Win7 laptop and have money for lots of beer and pizza.
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11508
        
      95

    Robert Glover wrote: Incidentally, in the past I owned a DELL that came from the factory equipped with Ubuntu as the only installed OS. At the time this was a big deal to people because it was the first time DELL ever offered a Unix-provisioned PC, and I was very hopeful. But I learned from experience that support for peripherals and for drivers was awful.


    For what it's worth, I purchased a workstation from Dell back in 2001 with Red Hat Linux pre-installed on it. This was prior to the first release of Fedora or Ubuntu. I had some very specific requirements for the graphics card I wanted, and for the SCSI card, and for the Ethernet card. The entire system came pre-installed - I turned it on, and everything worked. It had two separate "OS" CDs - one for the exact image that was on my computer, and one that contained just the Linux drivers in case I wanted to upgrade the OS (which I did several times, and their drivers always worked perfectly).


    The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
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    Posts: 61653
        
      67

    Sure Pat, OS X isn't for everyone. Especially those who feel that they are forced to use it for one reason or another and aren't going to approach it with an open attitude. All the things you listed that you don't like are things that I love -- especially the multi-touch pad. It's amazing. So much so, in fact, that I've replaced all of my desktop pointing devices with the Magic Trackpad.

    I use Windows 7 rather often and I find it just as awful and annoying as the previous incarnations. It appears to be more stable, but still has the same unintuitive UI, the same nag screens, the same things popping up and getting in my way at the worst possible times.

    To each their tools. Glad that we have choices.
    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
    Sheriff

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
    Posts: 17259
        
        6

    Pat Farrell wrote:I don't like how you switch tasks


    It is exactly like it is in Windows. In Windows you hit CTRL-TAB, on Mac CMD-TAB. Have you also tried Spaces. Great for creating multiple desktops so you don't have one app screen on top of another.

    I agree with Bear, the multi-touch trackpad is amazing for me. I also bought the Magic Tackpad, when it came out, two weeks after I bought the Magic Mouse, because of the power I get from the trackpad multi-touch.

    Mark
    Pat Farrell
    Rancher

    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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        5

    Mark Spritzler wrote:It is exactly like it is in Windows. In Windows you hit CTRL-TAB, on Mac CMD-TAB.

    Of course, I use Command-Tab, but its not exactly like Winders or Ubuntu. It will show you all of the running programs, but it won't switch to those minimized. And worse, when you have multiple windows open for the same program (say multiple Terminal windows or the main Thunderbird window plus a compose window) it only switches to one, not all of that program.
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
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      67

    That's what Expose is for -- which you can activate with a simple swipe on the multi-touch trackpad. It will show every available window and you can select one with a single click.

    That's just one of the things I love about the multi-touch pad.

    To many "it's not just like Windows" will be a weakness. To many others of us, that's the beauty.

    Again, to each their tools. You pick the one that works best for you.
    Pat Farrell
    Rancher

    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 4659
        
        5

    Bear Bibeault wrote:Again, to each their tools. You pick the one that works best for you.

    Sadly, there is no picking here. To develop for the iPhone/iPad, its like Henry Ford said: you can pick any color you want as long as its black. Here, its you can pick any operating system as long as its OS-X. And a recent OS-X at that.

    Swiping my magic trackpad brings up the dock, not Expose. Perhaps there is some user-hostile enabling of options that I'm missing in this easy to use, obvious world.
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
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    Posts: 61653
        
      67

    4-finger swipe-down is the standard setting to reveal Expose. (4-finger swipe-up exposes the desktop).

    The gestures may take some a time to get used to, but once they become 2nd nature, they're incredibly useful.

    I can understand your frustration, Pat. You feel that you are forced into using an OS that you don't really want to use, and don't want to have to learn new ways of doing things. I'm sure I'd feel the same way if I were forced to use Ubuntu as a desktop.
     
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    subject: windows vs mac