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  1. #41  
    Originally posted by homer
    When did Circuit City start selling Macs? For a long time, they were vehemently against selling Macs.
    Well, they did the last time I was in one, but that was months ago. Even then, the only thing they had were iMacs & iBooks (the old style).

    Stopped by CompUSA today, and the iBook doesn't have a PCMCIA slot. Wasn't the reason you wanted this was for a CompactFlash adapter? There was a very cool USB-based SM/MMC, CompactFlash, and 1.44M floppy reader/writer thing. Cost $99 though.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  2.    #42  
    Thanks for checking up on that for me. I take it that the slot is proprietarily for the Airport card then. I really am not too worried about it, with built in firewire and USB there's not much I couldn't do anyway.

    Would you guys recommend getting a a separate keyboard and/or mouse for the dorm room or is that a moot cause? I really liked the spiffy look of the apple pro keyboard (I'd rather pass on the pro mouse though, I can just see the finger prints accumulating on that thing). Separate speakers would be nice too, then you start to have a lot of things to plug in. Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Power..unless the speakers, keyboard, and mouse were put on a hub and then it would be just two plugs. Maybe none of its neccesary anyway.

    Thanks!
    -Vincent
  3. #43  
    Originally posted by Vinny
    Would you guys recommend getting a a separate keyboard and/or mouse for the dorm room or is that a moot cause? I really liked the spiffy look of the apple pro keyboard (I'd rather pass on the pro mouse though, I can just see the finger prints accumulating on that thing). Separate speakers would be nice too, then you start to have a lot of things to plug in. Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Power..unless the speakers, keyboard, and mouse were put on a hub and then it would be just two plugs. Maybe none of its neccesary anyway.

    Thanks!
    If the iBook's keyboard is anything like the PowerBook's then you don't need an external keyboard. My PowerBook is the first laptop that I can type on for extended periods of time without my hands bothering me; on my desktops I use a natural keyboard. You could conceivably get a USB hub, plug in speakers, mouse, keyboard, memory reader, etc. into it, then have just one thing to plug into the iBook.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  4. #44  
    I liked the iBook's keyboard. I'm sure it's not the same spacing as the pro, but then again I find that the pro keyboard requires a bit of reach, even for my rather large hands. It depends entirely on your personal preferences, though. I've never had any problems with fingerprints on my pro mouse, and I haven't cleaned it in 10 months now (of course, I don't exactly pay attention to that sort of thing anyway). Depending on what you're doing, the built-in trackpad should be sufficient.

    Speakers, on the other hand, are a must. The iBook with iTunes and a set of Soundsticks would make a great soundsystem for a dorm room, or even an apartment for that matter.

    The hub is a great idea, and they're fairly cheap.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  5. #45  
    One thing that you SHOULD get (and maybe I've mentioned this already...) is a piece of felt or fabric to place between the keyboard and screen when you close it. The one fatal design flaw with the ibook is that the keyboard contacts the screen when it is closed, and that eventually scuffs the screen.

    As for an external keyboard, that's a personal choice, I guess. I always prefer external ones because I always end up touching the touchpad when I shouldn't be.

    As for a mouse, the Promouse is nice, but for $60, I think it should have two buttons. You can get a two-button optical mouse from logitech for somewhere around $30. A mouse is a necessity, IMHO for any laptop...those touchpads are nice for temporary use, bu nothing long-term.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  6. #46  
    Let's be realistic here guys. You should really check to see what your classes are going to be and what software you will need to run. I love my 600 MHz iBook, but an iBook with Virtual PC is no replacement for a "real" Windows 2000 PC if there is an absolute requirement for one. Virtual PC IS slow with 384 MB in my iBook, and I'm told that it's still slow but faster with 640 MB. And remember that many programs simply don't exist on the Mac, in any form, including some engineering type programs. G4 Titaniums will run VPC faster, but then I find them too expensive compared to PCs. Also there is NO release VPC for OS X. It's beta only and doesn't even support USB. For full-fledged VPC you must resort to OS 9, and OS 9 not a particularly advanced OS in terms of multitasking etc.

    Also, OS X.1.1 is still essentially a (very late) beta. Even the Finder (like Windows Explorer) is not a native OS X program, and neither is AppleWorks 6. They're carbonized, which means they're built on the old style programs but made to work natively under OS X without running Classic (which is OS 9 in a window). However, it's the best beta I've ever seen, and it's very stable. Both my Windows 2000 box and my iBook never get rebooted unless I'm installing software or running VPC in OS 9 or something.

    OTOH, the only common Unix laptops in existence are OS X Macs. This may prove very useful for the electrical engineering types. I'm told much Unix software can simply be recompiled for the Mac's Darwin - not really an option for PCs unless you can run Linux or something.

    As for samba, I use the Finder's GUI connection utility. It requires you to put the FULL address of the share, but will remember the shares in a favourites section. I connect to my Windows 2000 desktop all the time. The thing it doesn't do is search a Windows network - you have to know the address in advance. If you need that kind of functionality you can use Dave 3.1 for OS X. Works beautifully. You can supposedly print off shared printers as well, although not ones directly connected to a PC.

    The keyboard on the iBook is fine. Not the best, but still quite good. The form factor of the iBook is unparalleled. Actually, the reason I am selling my Windows 2000 laptop now is because it weighs 7.5 lbs, compared to my 5 lb iBook. Dell Inspiron 8100s weigh over 8 lbs. Big difference for your arms.

    There is no external PCMCIA slot. USB is a reasonable subtitute, especially since you don't it for Ethernet (built-in) or wireless (internal slot). It's awesome not having to deal with Ethernet dongles or wireless cards sticking out the side of my laptop any more.

    You would need a new two-button mouse though. OS X handles contextual menus OK, and having a single button mouse just doesn't cut it. You can ctrl-click, but it's irritating.

    Internet Explorer for OS X is very nice, but not as fast as the Windows version.

    Microsoft Office for OS X is the BEST OFFICE SUITE EVER CREATED. However, no Microsoft Access is included if that matters.

    Anyways, I hope this helps.
  7. #47  
    Oh yeah. One drawback for us VC types. No synching with Office in OS X.
  8. #48  
    Originally posted by Eug
    Also, OS X.1.1 is still essentially a (very late) beta. Even the Finder (like Windows Explorer) is not a native OS X program, and neither is AppleWorks 6. They're carbonized, which means they're built on the old style programs but made to work natively under OS X without running Classic (which is OS 9 in a window). However, it's the best beta I've ever seen, and it's very stable. Both my Windows 2000 box and my iBook never get rebooted unless I'm installing software or running VPC in OS 9 or something.
    I disagree with the assertion that carbon != native. The Finder was written in Classic for the specific reason of proving that major apps could be written that way. Not that Finder couldn't be better/faster. AW6 could be better, but that's another discussion.[/B][/QUOTE]

    As for 10.1.1, it is not a beta in any way shape or form. It is very fast on my PBG4 400. There are things like Samba that I wish were better, but it sure is ready for prime time. If only Palm was ready for it.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  9.    #49  
    Eug

    Wow, thank you for your extremely thorough post. If I would not be able to run programs like MatLab on it and other things than perhaps this isn't the best choice. Also, I thought the networked interoperability was better but from your description it's not as seamless as I thought. Sigh. Why can't a PC manufacturer make such a beautiful laptop. I was really getting to like the look of the OS too.
    -Vincent
  10. #50  
    How is what Eug said any different than what homer said? You already knew VPC didn't run as fast as Windows would natively. That's the nature of the beast. And are you buying the laptop today? 'Cause if not, VPC may well be out of beta by the time you do. And unless your buying the laptop only to run VPC, I still believe it to be the best value for the money by far, esp. considering the included software. And from the sound of it (clarify if I misread, Eug), you only need to set the network up once.

    And X.1.1 could hardly be considered beta compared to XP. So the apps aren't there yet. That's been the story of Apple since day 1.

    Personally, I only agree with homer's comment to decide what you need to use the computer for before deciding which OS will serve you better to a limited degree. The OS is where a large part of your time will be spent, and, personally, I'd rather sacrifice an app or two for sake of ease of use and intuitiveness, but that's just me.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  11.    #51  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    How is what Eug said any different than what homer said? You already knew VPC didn't run as fast as Windows would natively. That's the nature of the beast. And are you buying the laptop today?
    Actually the networking factor that I thought conflicted was that you said (page 3, first post) that it would be just like clicking through Network Neighborhood after I configured it. I very well could have misinterpreted your words as you may not have been replying to that exact sentence.

    Eug said:
    As for samba, I use the Finder's GUI connection utility. It requires you to put the FULL address of the share, but will remember the shares in a favourites section. I connect to my Windows 2000 desktop all the time. The thing it doesn't do is search a Windows network - you have to know the address in advance.
    I guess theoretidcally I could manually add all the addresses (although I wonder how many of those there will be...) by looking them up on a windows machine and it will remember it? I'm mainly worried about getting a cost-effective network-handicapped machine. The networking factors are very important.

    Did I misunderstand some things here? By the way, what's samba?

    Vin
    -Vincent
  12. #52  
    If you're networking VPC to the school's network, it is as easy as configuring Network Neighborhood (aka My Network Places) because it is configuring Network Neighborhood (aka My Network Places).

    Native OS networking has never been possible "out-of-the-box" between Mac and Windows. You either needed VPC (mentioned above), or Dave (a separate, 3rd party program). Now with OS X being Unix, you get Unix's legendary networking finesse - if you know what you're doing. The GUI that is OS X apparantly also has some interoperability between OS's, if I read Eug's post correctly.

    IOW, you have 4 choices:

    VPC: very easy, but only connected to the network when running windows - which, depending on when you purchase it, may only be when running OS 9.

    Dave: Not too sure about this one. I'm assuming it only works in OS 9 at this point. What do you know, homer?

    Samba: Difficult to set up, but system wide all the time. And free.

    Whatever-Eug-was-talking-about: Seems to be a little less of a pain in the *** compared to Samba, but only active when the GUI is running?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  13. #53  
    I just checked the Finder in OSX and it looks as though it will automatically search out addresses if you select the network on the left side of the screen (not a great description, but it's pretty self explanatory once you see it). I'm not sure if it will search out samba shares or not, but I can find out when I go back to work on Monday.

    Remember that shares work in 2 directions: You can always just set the share up on your box to give others access to your machine (limited to only certain directories, obviously). Then you don't have to search out other machines like Eug said, they can just connect to you.

    As far as MatLab goes: I haven't seen this or something like it for the Mac, but then again I've never really looked as I've never had a whole lot of use for it. You might be able to check at MacMall and see if there's anything like it.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  14.    #54  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    Native OS networking has never been possible "out-of-the-box" between Mac and Windows. You either needed VPC (mentioned above), or Dave (a separate, 3rd party program). Now with OS X being Unix, you get Unix's legendary networking finesse - if you know what you're doing. The GUI that is OS X apparantly also has some interoperability between OS's, if I read Eug's post correctly.

    IOW, you have 4 choices:

    VPC: very easy, but only connected to the network when running windows - which, depending on when you purchase it, may only be when running OS 9.

    Dave: Not too sure about this one. I'm assuming it only works in OS 9 at this point. What do you know, homer?

    Samba: Difficult to set up, but system wide all the time. And free.

    Whatever-Eug-was-talking-about: Seems to be a little less of a pain in the *** compared to Samba, but only active when the GUI is running?
    Ahh. I was under the impression there was out of-the-box interoperability. But from what Sowens said it does automatically search addresses out? What exactly are "Samba Shares?" I would feel kind of silly buying a windows emulator just so I could get on the network.
    -Vincent
  15. #55  
    I disagree with the assertion that carbon != native. The Finder was written in Classic for the specific reason of proving that major apps could be written that way. Not that Finder couldn't be better/faster. AW6 could be better, but that's another discussion.
    I guess I should have been more clear. I didn't mean to say that carbon = native, but it does mean that a carbon program can be made to look as if it runs natively. Unfortunately, the Finder was not written to make full use of all of the carbon potential. A big drawback of this program is that it doesn't even support Services, even though this program is one of the core programs of OS X. A true Cocoa program should support Services by default, but a carbon program can be made to support them too. One other big limitation of some carbon programs (like Office v.X and AppleWorks 6) is a <32 character filename limit. Very irritating.

    As for 10.1.1, it is not a beta in any way shape or form. It is very fast on my PBG4 400. There are things like Samba that I wish were better, but it sure is ready for prime time. If only Palm was ready for it.
    Well, it's at best a very early release. There are still some significant speed issues with my G3 600. eg. windows resizing, program load speed, etc. Re: Windows resizing - I suspect the reason that Office v.X doesn't use real time windows resizing is because of this speed issue. It chose to use just outlines instead. Plus some niggling bugs persist. See my Finder directory display bug.

    (Note that I dunno how long this URL will be good since my ISP is making us switch servers very on the 22nd.)

    Whatever-Eug-was-talking-about : Seems to be a little less of a pain in the *** compared to Samba, but only active when the GUI is running?
    I dunno about that, since I don't know really anything about Unix. Everything I run is within the GUI (except my distributed.net OGR client). The way to set samba up in the GUI is:

    Finder --> Go --> Connect To Server --> SMB://computername/sharename

    The latter command can have the password and username embedded, and can be included in a favourites drop down list.

    I guess theoretidcally I could manually add all the addresses (although I wonder how many of those there will be...) by looking them up on a windows machine and it will remember it? I'm mainly worried about getting a cost-effective network-handicapped machine. The networking factors are very important.
    Yes you can manually add all the addresses and they will remember it. However, I've noticed that it only remembers administrative shares (like C$) instead of the alternate names I've given the shares (like C-Win2000).

    Interestingly, some programs will auto-mount drives. I played an MP3 file in iTunes 2 off my Windows desktop just to see how well it would stream over 802.11b wireless. Worked great. What surprised me is that when I clicked on the MP3 again in iTunes 2 several days later, the desktop drive auto-mounted for song playback. Cool.

    Dave: Not too sure about this one. I'm assuming it only works in OS 9 at this point.
    Dave for OS X is already out, and it works great. It finds shares on its own, and lets you mount shares multiple shares all at the same time. Just click on the ones you want from the list. It also very quickly found all the shares on the NT 4 network at work, although of course I couldn't mount them since I didn't have the passwords. (I ran the beta, until my licence expired.)

    As for VPC, I'm not saying it just runs Windows slower than a dedicated Windows machine. I'm saying it runs Windows slowly by any measure. Although Sandra claims I'm running something like a Pentium 400, it feels more like a Pentium 150 in real usage, at least with my 384 RAM in OS 9 (with 192 to 256 MB allocated to the virtual Windows machine). In OS X it's almost unbearable at any setting. I may end up upgrading to 640 MB if I decide to get VPC when it comes out in OS X, because I'm told it runs much better with > 512 MB RAM in OS X. Remember I'm using a G3. VPC 4 was optimized for Altivec, so really something like a G4 Titanium 667 (with 640 RAM) would be much better suited for it.

    After rereading this it sounds like I'm pretty down on the OS. Don't get me wrong. OS X.1 is my favourite OS of all time. It's cool, intuitive, and stable. What I can say about Windows 2000 is only that it's stable.
  16. #56  
    Originally posted by Vinny


    Ahh. I was under the impression there was out of-the-box interoperability. But from what Sowens said it does automatically search addresses out? What exactly are "Samba Shares?" I would feel kind of silly buying a windows emulator just so I could get on the network.
    Samba shares are just Windows file shares. They use the same underlying network protocols as Windows.

    Samba is a program that allows *nix boxes to see and be seen on a Windows network (Windows uses a slightly different network protocol for it's native networking environment than *nix boxes do). The name was derived from SMB, or System Messaging Block (I think. That's close anyway). How this became "samba", I really don't know (unless it's a reference to them dancing around BillG and Co. ).

    You can always go to samba.org to find out more. This may be more in depth than you want to get, but it is the main site for samba development, distribution, and documentation.

    Hope this helps.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  17.    #57  
    Thanks for the info. OSX comes standard with Samba so I wouldn't need Dave/VPC to fully utilize the network then?
    -Vincent
  18. #58  
    Originally posted by Eug
    I guess I should have been more clear. I didn't mean to say that carbon = native, but it does mean that a carbon program can be made to look as if it runs natively. Unfortunately, the Finder was not written to make full use of all of the carbon potential. A big drawback of this program is that it doesn't even support Services, even though this program is one of the core programs of OS X. A true Cocoa program should support Services by default, but a carbon program can be made to support them too. One other big limitation of some carbon programs (like Office v.X and AppleWorks 6) is a <32 character filename limit. Very irritating.
    Um, explain "natively". All programs that run on the Mac are native PPC binaries. Whether they run under OS9 or OSX, they use the same basic instruction set (obviously G4's have the Altivec extensions, among other architectural differences). The reason programs won't run under OSX is because the API's have changed.

    Now, I'll admit that my development experience in OSX is limited (but growing), but it was always my understanding that Carbon was a C++ API that allowed developers with OS9 programs to recompile with very few changes to their code. The API was supported under both OS9 and OSX via the Carbon dynamically loadable library so that the programs could work in either environment. This, to me, points to the fact that a Carbon program is, by definition, native to either environment.

    To be considered a true Cocoa app, a program needs to be rewritten in Objective C, as this is the language used to write the Cocoa API. That's the only requirement that I'm aware of. Services don't even factor into it.



    Well, it's at best a very early release. There are still some significant speed issues with my G3 600. eg. windows resizing, program load speed, etc. Re: Windows resizing - I suspect the reason that Office v.X doesn't use real time windows resizing is because of this speed issue. It chose to use just outlines instead. Plus some niggling bugs persist. See my Finder directory display bug.
    G3's were always considered the low end of the spectrum in terms of running OSX. The G4's Altivec instructions give it a considerable advantage when it comes to certain operations, and I'm sure OSX takes advantage of that where it can. Given that, though, for the length of time I played with the iBook at CompUSA yesterday, I never noticed any of these issues when compared to my 450Mhz G4 Cube with 896Mb of memory. In fact, given it's size and weight, I was quite impressed with the performance of OSX on the iBook.


    After rereading this it sounds like I'm pretty down on the OS. Don't get me wrong. OS X.1 is my favourite OS of all time. It's cool, intuitive, and stable. What I can say about Windows 2000 is only that it's stable.
    Agreed. Coming from both a Windows and a Unix background, OSX is probably the best OS I've dealt with yet in terms of user experience (Oh man, I'm starting to spout Apple-speak ). Now that I've switched, I don't ever want to look back.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  19. #59  
    sowens, I will defer to your understanding of carbon and cocoa, since obviously I am not well versed in this topic. Suffice it to say however, I am not completely satisified with the way carbonized programs have been written/modified up to now, including ones such as the Finder or AppleWorks. As for services, I don't think any carbonized program (including Apple's) in existence supports them, but cocoa apps do.
    G3's were always considered the low end of the spectrum in terms of running OSX. The G4's Altivec instructions give it a considerable advantage when it comes to certain operations, and I'm sure OSX takes advantage of that where it can. Given that, though, for the length of time I played with the iBook at CompUSA yesterday, I never noticed any of these issues when compared to my 450Mhz G4 Cube with 896Mb of memory. In fact, given it's size and weight, I was quite impressed with the performance of OSX on the iBook.
    I guess your threshold for speed is different than mine. Windows resizing speed, etc, are common complaints on iBooks with OS X, but it's not unusable of course or else I wouldn't own an iBook. However, a tweaked Windows 2000 PIII 600 laptop will feel MUCH faster, despite the fact that it can be argued that a PIII 600 is a lower end chip than a G3 600. (One of the limitations of OS X I'm told is the fact that 100% of the 2D is done via the CPU and not the GPU, because of the OS design. Correct me if I'm wrong.) However, the speed of OS X will only improve with time I'm sure.

    Anyways, here's hoping for a G5 1 GB iBook by 2003...
  20.    #60  
    Another problem. The MSCA the college I'll attend doesn't have as much mac selection really. (http://www.purdue.edu/MSCA/faq.html#Products)They have office 2001 and office v.X and that's about it. For windows they have Visual Studio which I would need for programing I assume? This one Compaq I found is pretty nice too. 6.5 pounds isn't too bad at $1500 w/ 1 1GHZ PIII-M 384MBRAM 30GB HD DVD/CDRW/14"LCD.
    -Vincent
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