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#1236010 - 07/23/09 03:06 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: galaxy4t]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
It's no different than dual booting Windows and Linux. You still have OS X. The Windows version of Office has more features than the Mac version (at least the last I've heard). Gamers generally still prefer Windows. There's tons of reasons. And did you miss the part about Macs running Windows faster?
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#1236020 - 07/23/09 03:24 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
I'm not sure I fully understand the whole dual operating systems thing on MAC. I'll read up on it, but since it's all one hard drive, I'm guessing you will be integrating the evil PC viral magnet stuff to your virginal Mac.

Hey, I've already got 2 pretty decent Dells (if there is such a thing), one 3 years old running XP, the other 1 year old running Vista. They're both laptops, so I think I'll just add a Mac to the equation. It's not really a substitute, although I suspect I'll end up using it much more.

I guess the complicating factor will be if I ever get tech savy enough to really use the computer/digital keyboard/whatever else goes there, fully...at this point I would use Garageband for music stuff since it comes with the Mac. By the time I get sophisticated on musical computer stuff, they'll probably be more options yet.

I am waiting to get a mac with snow leopard though.

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#1236031 - 07/23/09 03:34 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
True dual-boot utilizes hard drive partitions which are theoretically completely separate. You have to reboot each time you need a different OS. Or you can use software like VMware or Parallels Desktop that allows you to run Windows on a virtual machine in windowed form, which does not require a reboot which simplifies file-sharing between the OSs. Naturally this option is slower than running Windows natively. And yes you need to keep your antivirus and security stuff up-to-date. Additionally you have to buy Windows which is quite expensive.


Edited by Horowitzian (07/23/09 03:36 PM)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1236045 - 07/23/09 03:53 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 851
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Nikalette,
If you are interested in the Mac, I think you have the right idea in adding it to the mix. Although dual booting is popular and desireable for some users, it seems to defeat the purpose of owning a Mac in my opinion and adds additional expense beyond the purchase of the Mac alone.

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#1236051 - 07/23/09 04:01 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: galaxy4t]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8822
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: galaxy4t
If you are going to dual boot your Mac, what's the point of owning it in the first place? Most people who buy Macs, buy them for the advantages of the Mac OS. Dual Booting just makes them expensive PC clones with Apple logos on them. Doesn't seem worth spending the extra $$$ MacIs command.

Most Mac users who dual boot generally do so because they need to run one or two programs which are not written for the Mac platform... but they aren't buying a Mac for the primary purpose of running Windows software. For example, I only dual boot because I occasionally need to update several very important Access databases. Access has never been written for Mac and, IMO, it's a better program than FileMaker Pro (available on both platforms.)

That said, I know of two people who bought expensive MacBook Pros for the sole purpose of running Windows Vista. They simply prefer Apple hardware... and they didn't mind the extra expense. Oddly, one of those users told me that he thought Windows was more 'fluid' than the Mac OS, though what that means I have no idea.
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#1236175 - 07/23/09 07:11 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: argerichfan]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
I want to explain that I am really good at some tech stuff, but there are other things that I am at pre-K level. Those would be music applications (I can't even put a song on My Space) and wireless.

My new Dell (and for all I know) my old Dell are all set up for wireless, I purchased a router, I have a gateway, and everytime I've tried to figure it out with Windows, my eyes glaze over.

So here we are with both computers and everything else hooked up to our broadband things...same issue when I had cable internet.

HOWEVER, when I look at the Apple site it looks like it is really easy to set up wireless. Could it be true? A friend of mine had her learning disabled daughter set up a network in about 1/2 hour on Mac, yet I who have a graduate degree cannot even get through the Windows help and support page.

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#1236203 - 07/23/09 08:12 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Oh, yeah, wireless is super easy on Mac. I already had my home network, and all I had to do was turn off the security features so my Mac could find the network. The machine then remembers any network it has joined, so it will always connect if that network is available. Then turn on the security stuff once you are done. Also, use WPA 2 Personal encryption on your wireless if the router is capable. WEP keys can be cracked by any fool with the right program in minutes. WPA 2 offers defense grade 256 bit encryption.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1236217 - 07/23/09 08:50 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: argerichfan]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
[...]

That said, I know of two people who bought expensive MacBook Pros for the sole purpose of running Windows Vista. They simply prefer Apple hardware... and they didn't mind the extra expense. Oddly, one of those users told me that he thought Windows was more 'fluid' than the Mac OS, though what that means I have no idea.


That's funny because I used Vista on a new Dell desktop a few weeks ago, and it came across as a cheap imitation of Mac OS X's look without any of the benefit of a UNIX foundation. In other words, the cursing thing froze 5 minutes into what I was doing!! That never happens on a Mac. When something crashes it does not take your whole computer down with it on a Mac. Truthfully, OS X Leopard is the fastest, smoothest OS I have ever used. Everything is seamless and sleek.


Edited by Horowitzian (07/23/09 08:52 PM)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1236320 - 07/24/09 02:36 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Oh, yeah, wireless is super easy on Mac. I already had my home network, and all I had to do was turn off the security features so my Mac could find the network. The machine then remembers any network it has joined, so it will always connect if that network is available. Then turn on the security stuff once you are done. Also, use WPA 2 Personal encryption on your wireless if the router is capable. WEP keys can be cracked by any fool with the right program in minutes. WPA 2 offers defense grade 256 bit encryption.


Would somebody please translate that for me?

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#1236323 - 07/24/09 02:45 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
[...]

That said, I know of two people who bought expensive MacBook Pros for the sole purpose of running Windows Vista. They simply prefer Apple hardware... and they didn't mind the extra expense. Oddly, one of those users told me that he thought Windows was more 'fluid' than the Mac OS, though what that means I have no idea.


That's funny because I used Vista on a new Dell desktop a few weeks ago, and it came across as a cheap imitation of Mac OS X's look without any of the benefit of a UNIX foundation. In other words, the cursing thing froze 5 minutes into what I was doing!! That never happens on a Mac. When something crashes it does not take your whole computer down with it on a Mac. Truthfully, OS X Leopard is the fastest, smoothest OS I have ever used. Everything is seamless and sleek.


The Dell is such garbage...My audio stops working periodically for no reason at all. I have to restart, then it comes back . Then sometimes it puts out static for fun and reverts to normal for no reason.

I have a 3 year warranty..why don't I call Dell and have it fixed?

Oh, I remember...I'll spend six hours on the phone struggling to understand the technician who is reading from some kind of protocal card which implies my computer isn't working because I'm an idiot and they can't send the PROMISED live technician because they don't fix software or OS problems, and the problems are NEVER with the hardware...but just in case they might be, they'll make me take apart the computer, snapping in and out fragile and toxic components the names of which I can't even imagine, based on instructions given to me in a language which seems to be a blend of Farsi and classical dutch, and then cheerfully thank me for choosing Dell, after encouraging me to buy a Mac, and telling me the computer is fixed, even though the screen is blinking ominously and high pitched screams are emanating from the speakers....

Oh, wait, the screams are coming from me, and the blinking screen is actually the precursor visual components of what we nurses like to call "THE WORST HEADACHE OF MY LIFE!"

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#1236500 - 07/24/09 12:19 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I feel your pain....the other great thing about Apple products is the tech support is right here in the US; they speak clear English and are knowledgeable. Buying the extra AppleCare plan on top of the included warranty is well worth it IMHO.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1236503 - 07/24/09 12:21 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Oh, yeah, wireless is super easy on Mac. I already had my home network, and all I had to do was turn off the security features so my Mac could find the network. The machine then remembers any network it has joined, so it will always connect if that network is available. Then turn on the security stuff once you are done. Also, use WPA 2 Personal encryption on your wireless if the router is capable. WEP keys can be cracked by any fool with the right program in minutes. WPA 2 offers defense grade 256 bit encryption.


Would somebody please translate that for me?


Wikipedia's article on the subject is a good place to start. It's correct as far as I can tell. Do some Google searches for "wireless encryption" or "wireless security" too.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238133 - 07/27/09 12:20 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Oh, yeah, wireless is super easy on Mac. I already had my home network, and all I had to do was turn off the security features so my Mac could find the network. The machine then remembers any network it has joined, so it will always connect if that network is available. Then turn on the security stuff once you are done. Also, use WPA 2 Personal encryption on your wireless if the router is capable. WEP keys can be cracked by any fool with the right program in minutes. WPA 2 offers defense grade 256 bit encryption.


Would somebody please translate that for me?


When you setup your wireless network, it is usually a good idea to configure it with some type of wireless encryption. There are generally three types of encryption that the average home user cares about, WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WEP is an older standard that has long since been cracked, but just like locking your doors at home, it's better than nothing (i.e. it'll guard against the casual user but not anyone who really wants to get access to your system). WPA is a newer technology that is superior to WEP and is really the minimum one would want to use if security is a concern. There are flaws in WPA however that someone could exploit, but the person has to be a bit more sophisticated than what's needed to crack WEP, and the nature of what they have access to is generally limited (i.e. if someone cracks your WEP password, they can see everything on your network, if someone "cracks" your WPA security, they are still limited in what they can see). WPA2, as you might imagine, is a follow on to WPA. The biggest enhancement to WPA2 (again, as far as the avg home user is concerned) is the addition of what is known as AES encryption. The advantage of AES is that it is a very strong form on encryption (used by the military, govt, etc) and there is no known practical way of cracking it (and you'd have to have some pretty good stuff sitting on your network for anyone to even want to attempt to crack it, it'd be easier to just break into your house and grab your computer).

Soooo, as a general rule, if your hardware supports it (and now days most do), you want to use WPA2. From a user perspective, it's pretty much as simple as setting up WPA or WEP. The only real downside is that it does take some more processing to encrypt those packets so you may see a bit of a performance hit depending on your hardware (typically not enough to make any difference).

Hope that clears things up?

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#1238136 - 07/27/09 12:27 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: bitWrangler]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Thanks for the good post, bitWrangler. That sums it up perfectly. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238139 - 07/27/09 12:29 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Yes bitWrangler, that clears it up. Thank you so much. Slowly the fog clear for me.

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#1238142 - 07/27/09 12:32 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Is there any reason to get a laptop vs. a desktop with Mac, given that I already have 2 laptops?

The 24" screen on the Mac is very appealing. I have always hated desktops, mainly because it's such a hassle to move them around the house when I rearrange my furniture, which I do at least once a month. But with the integrated Mac and wireless, perhaps it doesn't matter.

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#1238155 - 07/27/09 12:53 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Well an iMac with bluetooth kb/mouse and wifi is fairly luggable with only 1 cord to mess with (not including any usb/firewire peripherals). If you really like laptops you could always consider simply getting an external monitor so you can have the advantage of the larger screen but with the mobility of a laptop. You would have an additional cord though (from the lappy to the monitor), but then you have a lot of options for monitors (size and price). If you already have an lcd tv at home, then you could also probably use it (esp if it's a 1080p unit). I'm particularly fond of the laptop+monitor due to the flexibility and the fact that when connected, you end up with two displays (laptop lcd + external lcd) and the laptop effectively has a built-in UPS (it's battery).

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#1238171 - 07/27/09 01:06 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: bitWrangler]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I use my MacBook Pro with the Apple 24" LED cinema display. That display has power, USB, and Mini Display Port combined into one cord from the back of the display as well as 3 USB 2.0 slots on the back. I plug my Apple USB keyboard into the display. Then I plug my mouse (USB mighty mouse, FWIW) into the right USB on the keyboard and my flash drive that I use for Time Machine backups into the left slot on the keyboard. That way, I can take the computer and leave the rest all set up. Works great! Lots of screen real estate when working on the desk which is nice for Finale 2009.


Edited by Horowitzian (07/27/09 01:09 PM)
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238177 - 07/27/09 01:12 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Another thing is that current MacBooks and MacBook Pros only have Mini Display Port which means you have to buy a DVI adapter to use displays other than Apple displays so equipped. But I don't think it's that expensive.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238237 - 07/27/09 02:28 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Another thing is that current MacBooks and MacBook Pros only have Mini Display Port which means you have to buy a DVI adapter to use displays other than Apple displays so equipped. But I don't think it's that expensive.


Be very careful if you decide to go the route of MacBook Pro and an LCD > 24" (> 1920x1200), basically anything that requires a dual link DVI cable. The Mini DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI adapter that Apple sells has some serious issues (check the Apple forums or ping me) that, while not rendering it unusable per se, does make it a major PITA. Again, I can provide more details if anyone is considering going this route (e.g. Dell 30" LCD).

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#1238246 - 07/27/09 02:37 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: bitWrangler]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Isn't that some content copy protection garbage? I recall a large uproar over that.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238368 - 07/27/09 06:05 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
Great ideas.

I can see the value of using the laptop with the big desktop monitor/brain. I have always wanted a really small laptop to carry around (like 12-13") which is the smallest Macbook Pro now, but that would be kind of hard to look at for too long at home, where I do almost all of my computing.

Then again, the 17" Dell and even the 15" Dell are big clunky machines that weigh a ton, so maybe a 15 or 17" Mac woudn't be so bad. I do like to carry really big purses, it's the weight that's the issue.

How fun to have to make these decisions! I'll end up knowing what I want when I go to the Apple store, after 3 or 4 visits.

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#1238400 - 07/27/09 06:53 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I believe the 17" MB Pro is rather light for it's size — but you may find the price a bit staggering even from third party resellers like Mac Connection. Which is incidentally where I got my system. smile The 15" Pro is great for using by itself when you are on the go. The screen is big enough to be usable (not mention all these glossy glass screens look incredible) and the computer is a convenient size and weight (4.5 lbs) for portability's sake. I believe the 17" weights 5.5 lbs.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238463 - 07/27/09 08:29 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Isn't that some content copy protection garbage? I recall a large uproar over that.


Alas no, just outright "bugs". Some rumblings of various monitors not exactly matching the DVI spec, who knows, either way it sucks.

Originally Posted By: Nikalette
Great ideas.

I can see the value of using the laptop with the big desktop monitor/brain. I have always wanted a really small laptop to carry around (like 12-13") which is the smallest Macbook Pro now, but that would be kind of hard to look at for too long at home, where I do almost all of my computing.

Then again, the 17" Dell and even the 15" Dell are big clunky machines that weigh a ton, so maybe a 15 or 17" Mac woudn't be so bad. I do like to carry really big purses, it's the weight that's the issue.

How fun to have to make these decisions! I'll end up knowing what I want when I go to the Apple store, after 3 or 4 visits.


The 15" MBP isn't so bad, esp the new unibody models. If you'll be using it with a monitor frequently, I highly recommend the MacBook Air. Even though it's not as teeny as some of the netbooks, there is something about the form factor that really works well as a ultra portable solution. IMHO Apple really hit the ergonomic nail on the head for many folks who are looking for that type of solution. Yes there are compromises, but there have been many times I wish I had my wife's Air. I don't have any personal long term experience with the 17" to have a feel for what it's like to actually live with it on a day to day basis. It always seemed a bit unwieldy to me, but perhaps like the Air, maybe once you start using it, then you realize that it really makes sense?

Fun decisions indeed.

BTW, if you go with the Air, be sure to go ahead and purchase the optical drive (or really any external optical, but you might as well go ahead and get the Apple model). Not an absolute necessity (unless you have no other Mac around) but definitely worth it from a minimal hassle standpoint.

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#1238473 - 07/27/09 08:40 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: bitWrangler]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Isn't that some content copy protection garbage? I recall a large uproar over that.


Alas no, just outright "bugs". Some rumblings of various monitors not exactly matching the DVI spec, who knows, either way it sucks.

[...]


I see. I've heard that the Mini Display Port spec is going to be licensed to other companies which could mean more widespread usage. It's sort of competing with HDMI which is what Dells have right now.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238479 - 07/27/09 08:51 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Isn't that some content copy protection garbage? I recall a large uproar over that.


Alas no, just outright "bugs". Some rumblings of various monitors not exactly matching the DVI spec, who knows, either way it sucks.

[...]


I see. I've heard that the Mini Display Port spec is going to be licensed to other companies which could mean more widespread usage. It's sort of competing with HDMI which is what Dells have right now.


Yup, DisplayPort is supposed to be the "next big thing" and right now is being positioned to compete more with DVI (i.e. computer monitors) and they hope to eventually take over the HDMI market (consumer). While DVI and HDMI are compatible technologies, DisplayPort is completely different and promises to support much higher overall bandwidth in the future. But the tech is still relatively new and as such still needs to go through it's teething pains.

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#1238492 - 07/27/09 09:12 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: bitWrangler]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
And right now it doesn't carry sound — only video. They will need to remedy that to compete with HDMI.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1238518 - 07/27/09 09:47 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Chopin Liszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/09
Posts: 37
I your earlier post, you seemed disturbed by the Dell's quality. We've seen two Dell laptops get into trouble within their first three years .. mechanical problems, charger problems, battery problems ... I'm convinced that HP is a better choice.

My "work" laptop is an HP. But it's the commercial series, not the home series ... more money. But still much cheaper than a Mac book.

I've had it for almost two years. No troubles.

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#1238555 - 07/27/09 11:18 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Chopin Liszt]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I know someone who has lost three hard drives in a relatively new Dell desktop. The first one let go not two weeks after he got the thing.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1239272 - 07/28/09 10:27 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1079
Loc: California
So what happened to Dell? Dell was the wunderkid and Dells were so highly thought of about 15 years ago. Now they're selling tens of thousands on QVC and outsourcing their customer service.

I had a Toshiba and an HP before this, and although they eventually died, it took a really long time, and there were NO issues until their deaths...I think each of them lasted about 5 years and then it's time to move on anyway.

Oh, my very first computer was an Atari that didn't even have a hard drive!

Each of my Dells has had a complete breakdown about one year after purchase, and neither was a lower end model....about $1700 each and that's a lot for PCs these days.

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