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clancy
03-24-2010, 09:00 PM
I noticed yesterday on my payroll statement that deductions for a computer purchase had ended. My company offers interest free loans for computer purchases. Last year I bought a 24" iMac and I love using it but would also enjoy having a laptop. I'm looking at a 15" MacBook Pro. Can anyone offer pros and cons on this choice?

katey
03-24-2010, 09:02 PM
I've got one. I hate the shiny screen, but they're nearly ubiquitous these days. Otherwise I wouldn't be without it.

Tom Montgomery
03-24-2010, 09:06 PM
A MacBook Pro will be my next computer purchase.

If you don't like the shiny screen, you can always order an anti-glare screen MacBook Pro from the online Apple store. As well as increased RAM, increased HD capacity, extra installed software, discounts on printers, etc.

Breakaway
03-24-2010, 09:40 PM
Got one. Love it. I do wish the keyboard keys were "dished" like they are on my Dell notebook (PC). It took me awhile to adjust--I'm a sloppy typist and the flat-topped keys had me sliding off and mis-typing a lot.

elf
03-24-2010, 10:58 PM
Got one for Ian at the Apple store. A refurb.

Highly recommended.

George Ray
03-25-2010, 07:18 AM
Love our MacBook, There are still two windows XP laptops in the family but don't expect to buy another windows box, but do expect to have windows on all future macs for the foreseeable future. Not clear who needs the 'Pro' vs the plain macbook. For me the 'must have' item is the backlit keyboard.

cbcc
03-25-2010, 07:41 AM
Had one coming on two years and it's the best money I've ever spent. I run Parallels on one side for the Windows apps that I have to use. It has been bombproof.

willmarsh3
03-25-2010, 08:56 AM
I am really pleased with my MacBook. I got it over a year ago when the lineup consisted of MacBooks and the more expensive MacBook Pros. Like the above two posters I went for the back lit keyboard but didn't understand the need for a Pro vs a regular MacBook.

Dan McCosh
03-25-2010, 09:01 AM
this macBook is about three years old. The sales guy even talked me out of a big hard drive, pointed out that I would never need it, so its very basic. He talked me out of about $800 worth of upgrades as well, which made it very reasonable. Dunno much about what you get with the Pro, but I think its specs are useful for high-end graphics programs, which is what my daughter uses.

willmarsh3
03-25-2010, 09:06 AM
Depending on what you do you want the largest hard drive available. The tend to fill up rather quickly in my experience.

elf
03-25-2010, 09:12 AM
Depending on your usage, you may value the files you create. If so, you will want to purchase a small external Firewire connected drive to enable Time Machine, which will keep all your files backed up automatically.

Probably the safest and most reliable source for that external drive will be OtherWorld Computing (http://www.macsales.com/).

Dan McCosh
03-25-2010, 09:25 AM
Depending on what you do you want the largest hard drive available. The tend to fill up rather quickly in my experience.

The sales guy pointed out that if you wanted lots of hard drive capacity, an external drive might be a batter choice. It's cheaper, and has the advantage of staying home when you are traveling with your laptop--much more secure. Add a backup program, and its another advantage. I still have way too many photos on the drive, but don't do much with video--mainly lots of written files. i do a lot of traveling, and the MacBook is reasonably light and compact.

Henning 4148
03-25-2010, 02:55 PM
I've been a Mac user since 1989 starting with a SE30 which included 32 MB RAM and a 40 MB hard drive. Yes those figures are correct.


You are sure you had 32 MB Ram and not 32 KB? 32MB was a hell of a lot in those days.

Lew Barrett
03-25-2010, 03:00 PM
Good box. Happy with ours, and it has been a very reliable machine, which is MUCH more than I can say of our first gen iMac, which almost made me a PC user again.

elf
03-25-2010, 03:04 PM
Yeah. I remember the day in 1994 I brought my first Mac home. It had a 196M hard drive.

My husband at the time had just purchase a second 20M hard drive to supplement the 20M one we had in our 8088.

And it couldn't even choose a different point size of print without a 45 minute installation procedure from a Post Script font we'd purchased.

stevedwyer
03-25-2010, 03:19 PM
I got my daughter the 17" MacBook Pro last year. She loves the additional screen real estate. No problem with space so far...
She has Aperture,Adobe Master Suite and who knows what else.

I believe you have an option for a shiny or matte screen now, check it out.

Steve Paskey
03-25-2010, 03:52 PM
I correct it. It was 4MB and a 40MB hard drive.

Rookie. The first Mac I worked on was a Mac Plus with 1 meg of RAM and an external 20 meg hard drive, running Pagemaker 1.0A (among other things). And the first computer I owned was a Tandy (Radio Shack) Model 100 with 32K ... that's right, 32K ... of RAM.

My only computer now is a 13" MacBook Pro. Before that, I used a 12" Powerbook G4 for five years. I've been very happy with both computers.
.

BarnacleGrim
03-25-2010, 04:03 PM
Grew up in front of a Mac IIsi.

I have an old MacBook, and I wish I had a MacBook Pro. The latter has pretty decent speakers. I have been toying with the idea of installing MythTV backend on my G5 with a DTV tuner card and using MythTV frontend on a laptop to watch TV over WiFi anywhere in the house and yard and avoid nailing another piece of equipment to the wall. This is where the speakers would come in.

And I really miss the lit keyboard, especially on a dark bridge during the night watch.

katey
03-25-2010, 04:14 PM
Rookie. .... And the first computer I owned was a Tandy (Radio Shack) Model 100 with 32K ... that's right, 32K ... of RAM.

.

Rookie yerself. The first computer I owned was a Sinclair ZX81 with 2K of memory, and I built it myself from a kit. I was barely 14. Before that, I'd been programming in BASIC on a mainframe, but the Sinclair gave me my first run at assembly language.

willmarsh3
03-25-2010, 04:22 PM
I remember the little black Sinclair. I was in college and got it from a friend for $41. I learned Z80 assembly which gave me a heads up on a couple of courses. I then got their "Color computer" which had 48k of ram. Both used cassette tapes to store programs.

clancy
03-25-2010, 05:43 PM
My iMac has a 320GB HD. The MacBook will have either a 320GB or 500GB HD. If I buy a 1TB external drive can I backup both systems to it?

Dan McCosh
03-25-2010, 05:57 PM
My iMac has a 320GB HD. The MacBook will have either a 320GB or 500GB HD. If I buy a 1TB external drive can I backup both systems to it?

Dunno if you can use two computers with one external drive.
FWIW, my MacBook has an 80 gig hard drive. After three years or so of daily use, it is about 1/3 full.

katey
03-25-2010, 06:10 PM
A lot of the backup drives these days are wireless, so it's easy to set them up to backup (or share between) two computers.

clancy
03-25-2010, 06:26 PM
FWIW, my MacBook has an 80 gig hard drive. After three years or so of daily use, it is about 1/3 full.

As a comparison of use my iMac is 14 months old and I have 129.22GB of available space on its 320GB hard drive.

elf
03-25-2010, 06:32 PM
My Powerbook has an 80 Gig drive and it's about 2/3rds full. My 500G external is about 3/4 full and my 320G Time Machine drive is working on it.

I've got 20Gig of music on the external. If that was on my computer, forget it!

Captain Intrepid
03-25-2010, 06:52 PM
My iMac has a 320GB HD. The MacBook will have either a 320GB or 500GB HD. If I buy a 1TB external drive can I backup both systems to it?

Hook it up to the iMac, and then you can wifi into it using the MacBook.

Thorne
03-25-2010, 07:04 PM
Two things worth considering as potential bottlenecks on the MacBk Pro -- HD speed and RAM.

If you will be doing any image processing, movie rendering, etc -- the speed of the HD can make a big difference. I'd say better to get a larger & faster HD if that is the case. Additonal cost only $50 for the 500g 7200rpm.

RAM is another essential factor and new programs and operating systems are using more and more memory - so best to max it out to 8g. Compare what Apple will charge ($600) with a good third-party vendor, as it may be cheaper to buy from http://www.ramjet.com/ ($360) and get a lifetime warranty -- Apple's is just 3 years even if you get the extended warranty.

That is another must-get purchase -- the extended warranty aka AppleCare. Most everything on the computer that may break is very integrated and will be close to replacement cost, but Apple's warranty won't cover it being dropped or soaked with coffee.

purri
03-26-2010, 05:18 AM
Macbook Pro all the way but I do DOS under pressure.

willmarsh3
03-26-2010, 08:57 AM
My iMac has a 320GB HD. The MacBook will have either a 320GB or 500GB HD. If I buy a 1TB external drive can I backup both systems to it?

One way is to set the external drive with two 500GB partitions. Assign each computer's time machine drive to one of the partitions. Each time you want a backup plug the drive into the usb port on the computer and it will automatically back it up.

Thorne
03-26-2010, 09:25 AM
Even better format it with 3 partitions, one being a 20g boot drive with something like Disk Warrior, Tech Tool Pro, or another $100 utility. This allows you to boot from the external drive and fix directory damage and/or software corruption.

Clif
03-27-2010, 11:41 AM
Any one have a recommendation for car/airline charger for the mac books? I have a new 13" mac book pro and I remember someone discussing after market power cords but I can't find the thread...

Lewisboats
03-28-2010, 05:26 AM
I just bought a 2 TB drive 7200 rpm 32 meg cache for $150...add an external case for $20 and you can back up a half dozen bitty little drives to it. Too bad I got stupid and dropped my 500G external and EFFED up the drive while installing the 2 TB. Lost all my music, some not so important videos and other sundry stuff. I just can't win for losing...almost always!:(
I call it the Charlie Brown syndrome...and I have it bad. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

John P Lebens
03-28-2010, 08:05 AM
All you Mac users out there - Have you tried MacENC navigation software? It's a bargain and works great.

Also, check out the Navionics chart plotter for the I-Phone and soon for the I-Pad. Although it is not adequate as your sole chart plotter, it is an amazing and cheap ($10) app.

(Mac users since the Apple 2e - ;-)

willmarsh3
03-29-2010, 09:08 AM
Any one have a recommendation for car/airline charger for the mac books? I have a new 13" mac book pro and I remember someone discussing after market power cords but I can't find the thread...

I investigated this issue. My conclusion - a 150W inverter (Kensington, sold in the Apple store).
I bought it in November 2008 and tried it out on my boat and it works well. The inverter has a small fan that runs quietly. Here's the power consumption results:

1. Inverter plugged into 12 volt socket but nothing plugged into it - 0.2A.
2. Mac "magsafe" adapter plugged in - 0.5A
3. Boot up the mac - 3-4A
4. Mac powered up but just sitting there - 1.6A
5. Sleep - 1.2A
6. Running an application with hard disk activity - 2-4A
7. Mac powered off but charging laptop battery (red light on magsafe plug) - 2A
8. Mac powered up but just sitting there and charging laptop battery - 2.8A
9. Apparently the mac has a bulk charging mode where if it is powered on but not running anything it draws 4.5A.
10. External hard drive attached - 0.5A additional.