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Tammy Lenski

Delaney, after using PCs for 20 years, I marched into an Apple store a year ago and bought my first Mac. I now also own one of the newest MacBook Pros. I'll never go back. I thought I might need the "safety" of being able to run Windows programs on my Mac, but never needed to. I can do everything on my Mac that my PC-oriented institution needs me to be able to do, and Microsoft's Mac versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the only Windows programs I've needed. The only thing I haven't tried is SPSS...not sure if there's a Mac version but don't really need it much.

The MacBook Pro is thin and fast, not light like a subnotebook but plenty portable, if you like notebooks.

If you have specific questions about my particular experiences, don't hesitate to email me.

I've turned into one of those Mac evangelists. My PC-using professor husband keeps rolling his eyes in mock disgust, but I think it's envy underneath!

Scott Phillips

If you get a new PC your choice of operating system is probably going to be either Microsoft Vista or... Vista. Beware. I have not heard one single solitary positive comment about it (and I talk about technology all day, every day). My next purchase is going to be a Mac, no questions asked. Have you seen the new Mac Air that was released last week? If I was in the market for a ultra-lightweight laptop I would have already purchased one by now!

Delaney Kirk

Thanks Tammy. All my colleagues in business snear at the Macs although I'm not sure why as I'm impressed with everything I hear about them!

Delaney Kirk

Hi Scott,
I've seen these advertised but they don't seem to be at the Apple stores yet. I'll check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

Trina

I'm in the process of making this switch, myself. After a few test-runs on my best friend's MacBook, I've got one on the way. If FedEx will ever actually deliver it, that is, but that's another post... Anyway, based on the test runs I anticipate having a lot more fun with this than I have with my son's Vista-powered machine.

As for the MacBook Air, it looks super cool but I'm not sure I'd do well with the lack of optical drive. Which of course is part of what makes it all thin and lightweight and supercool in the first place...

Trina

David McLean

Delaney,
I've been a Mac fan for many years but have used Windows OS (through XP, no experience with Vista) and Unix OS also. I have both an iMac 20" desktop and a 13" MacBook, both Intel-based. I may be the only faculty member at my campus using Mac, but I wouldn't have it any other way. The only special considerations that our IT dept helped me with was doing some of their magic to allow me to mount my server-based homeroom drive for file storage--once established, that service has worked flawlessly.
Being a creature of habit, I enjoy having a DVD drive in my laptop that allows me easy access to CD/DVD-based supplemental materials for lecture and presentation. The new MacBook Air has no such drive but apparently does come with new software to wirelessly access such a drive in another PC/Mac--useful for installing applications, but perhaps limiting for routine multimedia CD/DVD access. So, analyze both your existing and projected computing habits before deciding between a MacBook and the MacBook Air.
Both my iMac an MacBook have clean lines, easy access to ports, and minimal external wiring. With a charged battery and wireless access, I need only one external monitor wire to connect to a projector (order a mini-DVI to VGA adapter).
I regularly receive compliments on both my iMac an MacBook and highly recommend both.

All the best,
David McLean

Delaney Kirk

Hi Trina,
Let me know what you think after you get your MacBook. I'm leaning toward the Air just for the "cool" factor but am concerned about a couple items such as lack of USB ports.

Delaney Kirk

Thanks David for your insights. This makes 4 in favor of Mac out of 4 people commenting! Hope you're having a great semester!!

jpholbrook

Hope this comment isn't too late.. saw the reference to this thread from Liz Strauss's site.

The Macbook Air really isn't designed to be your only Mac. It's made for someone who travels enough that they are willing to give up things in order to get a sleeker (thinner and lighter) computer.

Points against the Air:
* Can't play movies unless you get the external DVD drive)
* Slowest Mac, slower even than the Mac Mini
* No ability to use Firewire external drives. (Why do you care? Because Firewire drives are noticeably faster than external USB drives.)
* No ability to hook up to Ethernet w/o connector that uses up your one USB slot

I'd recommend the Macbook. I bought a black Macbook in December and stuffed it with 4 gig of 3rd party RAM for about $100. So, for about $1600, I have a machine with a 160gb hard drive (Air - 80gb), 4 gig ram (Air - 2), DVD-RW drive which lets me burn DVDs if I want, 2.2Ghz processor (Air - 1.6), 2 USB slots, 1 firewire, ethernet ...

Yes, the Macbook is thicker than the Air, but - it's still just 5 pounds, and it's still the thinnest laptop I've ever had.

Just a general comment about PC verses Mac ..

I was a Mac user before I ever used PCs. In 1990 I switched to PCs because of work. Since then, I've tried Macs at various points - at work I had an early DV iMac (2000). When the Mac Mini was introduced, I tried that for a month or so. I really wanted to like the Mini, but it was just too slow compared to a reasonable PC.

In October I had a little extra money, and I decided to splurge and buy a Mac Mini. To my great pleasure, I found that even the Mac Mini - the low end Mac - was now good enough, fast enough that I could live with it. Since then I made the Mini my main machine. I have a PC that I built at the same time that is much faster .. but I like the Mac better. The Mini is virtually silent, and I love the Mac environment.

In fact, I liked the Mini so much, that I broke my own rule, and bought a laptop with my own money. (I much prefer to let my jobs buy my laptops). I bought the Macbook I mentioned above, and so far I've been quite happy.

Oh, and as for PC software - I run VMWare Fusion which lets me run Windows XP programs. It's not as good as having a separate PC, but for the few programs I still use on the PC, it's been great.

One more comment - if you do get a Mac, be sure to budget some money for software. One of the delightful things I've discovered about the Mac is that there are wonderfully innovative programs that have no counterpart on the Windows side.


Delaney Kirk

Thanks Paul. This really helps. I think I'm getting caught up in the looks of the Mac Air and not thinking of what I really need. Your comments helped me focus!

jpholbrook

Glad to help. If you do get your Mac, and if you have to write at all (hello? academia??), take a look at Scrivener. Wonderful writeup in the NYTimes at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/magazine/06wwln-medium-t.html

It's a wonderful example of a Mac app that "thinks different."

Seren Griwi

Flipping screens, moving screen... blah. When do they come up with a screen-only with a virtual keyboard. Just the screen...www.birmarket.com

ukoll

I liked new version of Windows OS. I prefer http://file.sh/Windows+7+Build+torrent.html , though I didn't try other.

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