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#1234821 - 07/21/09 01:45 PM Mac Revisited
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California


After having my 2nd Dell laptop crash and burn, I'm throwing up my hands and getting ready to shop for a Mac. I've managed to eventually fix both Dells (despite their tech support), but it takes hours, reinstalling windows and everything else etc....

On some older threads it says that Yamaha doesn't support Mac OS. Is that still true?

It looks like setting up a network and wireless is much easier on Mac and it comes with Garage Band. Everything on a PC is such a hassle.

Anyway, I'm checking in for recommendations. I currently don't have a desktop, I have a 15" Dell Inspiron and a 17" Dell Studio (warning: don't buy).

I'm going to post a list of questions here on another post. I'd appreciate any input.

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#1234825 - 07/21/09 01:48 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
1. Are there any problems with Mac and any of the digital pianos re compatability?

2. Is there any Mac model that would be particularly well suited for musical application...(I do use an online jazz piano course, so having a laptop I could set up close would be nice, but not critical)

3. What types of specs would be needed/best to do musical applications?

4. What type of equipment would be needed or recommended for musical applications such as recording, mixing, publishing?

Is there/are there threads here that address basic computer/tech applications for music for the novice? Most of them are a bit over my head.

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#1234836 - 07/21/09 02:05 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
A trick to keeping any pc healthy is to open it up.
The electronics in a pc generate tremendous heat, which
is dissipated by barely adequate vents and fans.
And all that heat-generating stuff is encased tightly
in metal box, which is the worst thing for cooling.
If you have a desktop, remove the metal cover, which
is just of decoration anyway, and then everything
will be open to the air and will cool easily.

I've never owned a laptop, but I see even a greater
problem with those, because everything is bundled up
in a compact case for ease in carrying, and the cooling
must be barely adequate. You might be able to remove the
bottom panel, or drill holes swiss cheese-like in
the case to help with cooling.

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#1234842 - 07/21/09 02:18 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Nikalette,

I am not a DP person, but I am a Mac user. I can't help you on compatibility, but I recommend getting at least 4 GB of RAM. I'm going to upgrade my MacBook Pro from 2 to 4 GB sometime. The newest MacBook Pros (15" and 17") can be had with up to 8 GB of RAM which is about ideal, so you have 4 GB per core. In fact, IIRC, you can't even get a MB Pro with less than 4 GB now.

I have had zero problems with my Mac. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1234847 - 07/21/09 02:20 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Gyro]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Gyro
A trick to keeping any pc healthy is to open it up.
The electronics in a pc generate tremendous heat, which
is dissipated by barely adequate vents and fans.
And all that heat-generating stuff is encased tightly
in metal box, which is the worst thing for cooling.
If you have a desktop, remove the metal cover, which
is just of decoration anyway, and then everything
will be open to the air and will cool easily.

I've never owned a laptop, but I see even a greater
problem with those, because everything is bundled up
in a compact case for ease in carrying, and the cooling
must be barely adequate. You might be able to remove the
bottom panel, or drill holes swiss cheese-like in
the case to help with cooling.


That's absurd and everyone knows it.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1234855 - 07/21/09 02:30 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Horowitzian, you're not any kind of piano person.
Get a piano and learn how to play.

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#1234863 - 07/21/09 02:52 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Gyro]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Laptops are, for the most part, specifically designed to handle the heat that they generate with ventilation and built in fans. The only time that you should have a heat problem with a laptop (aside from the rare design flaw, which shouldn't be happening in this day and age) is if your ventilation ports are clogged with dust.

With desktop PCs, it can be a little trickier, and in some cases, Gyro can be right. A desktop that's designed and constructed by an OEM like Apple or Dell will be designed just like a laptop is...with fans and ventilation designed to handle the heat that it generates. If you're dealing with something self-built, you may not have adequately provided for proper airflow to allow the cooling that the machine needs. Aside from that and (again) dust build up, you shouldn't have heat problems with desktop PCs either.

In my experience, though, there have been a few instances where opening the case improved my desktop's stability, but it was never a problem that a can of compressed air didn't fix.


As for Yamaha's software, all that I can tell you for sure is that the accessory CD that came with my CLP370 (for downloading and sending songs to/from the piano) is windows only. But what exactly do you want to use your computer to do? For most tasks (especially recording), you'll get better results by attaching external hardware to your computer than you would with anything that a manufacturer gives you off the shelf. And almost all of that hardware will work for windows or mac.

I feel your pain with regard to Dell...I recently bought a new laptop and tried my best to go with another manufacturer (I didn't consider Apple though...their prices are a bit too high, and I can't use their operating system for my work anyway). But, I ended up going with a refurbished Dell Latitude because the price was so good. No problems so far, but I did switch from Windows to Linux as my primary operating system.

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#1234864 - 07/21/09 02:54 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Gyro]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Horowitzian, you're not any kind of piano person.
Get a piano and learn how to play.

Neither are you.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1234888 - 07/21/09 03:31 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13780
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I have a Motif Rack ES and hook it up to my MacBook all the time.

As for their digital pianos, I'm not sure, but even if a direct USB connection isn't possible, a fairly inexpensive MIDI interface could provide the same connection.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1235030 - 07/21/09 07:27 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Gyro]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Gyro
A trick to keeping any pc healthy is to open it up.
The electronics in a pc generate tremendous heat, which
is dissipated by barely adequate vents and fans.
And all that heat-generating stuff is encased tightly
in metal box, which is the worst thing for cooling.
If you have a desktop, remove the metal cover, which
is just of decoration anyway, and then everything
will be open to the air and will cool easily.

I've never owned a laptop, but I see even a greater
problem with those, because everything is bundled up
in a compact case for ease in carrying, and the cooling
must be barely adequate. You might be able to remove the
bottom panel, or drill holes swiss cheese-like in
the case to help with cooling.


It's true that the laptops get very hot. I purchased a cooling pad for my Dell. Its got 2 fans right on the top and the laptop stays much cooler sitting on it.

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#1235039 - 07/21/09 07:48 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Kreisler]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9088
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Nikalette, assuming you are shopping for a new computer (not second hand), I would suggest that purchasing even the most basic Mac would be absolutely fine for the kind of tasks that you hope to achieve.

The built-in audio is perfectly adequate for playing back audio, however if you wish to record the sound produced by your digital piano onto the Mac, it may be necessary to buy additional hardware (most laptops only have a microphone input, not a line level input).

As for compatibility, the Mac operating system, OS X, is extremely popular among casual users, designers, video producers, and musicians. I therefore fully expect all of the major digital piano manufacturers to offer support for both Windows and Mac systems.

Originally Posted By: Gyro
I've never owned a laptop...
...You might be able to remove the
bottom panel, or drill holes swiss cheese-like in
the case to help with cooling.


Well, I do own a laptop, yet I would never advise anyone to do something as absurd as drilling holes in the bottom of the machine.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1235118 - 07/21/09 11:04 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Chopin Liszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/09
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Horowitzian,
You're not any kind of piano person ??????????
Get a piano and learn how to play ?????????
Gyro, you've really outdone yourself this time! grin grin grin

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#1235126 - 07/21/09 11:37 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Chopin Liszt]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21450
Loc: Oakland
I think my current MacBook Pro is the coolest-running laptop I have ever owned.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1235173 - 07/22/09 01:55 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: BDB]
SoCalCC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/14/09
Posts: 6
Loc: United States
Nikalette...I have a Macbook Pro that is about 7 months old and I have to say that my satisfaction with this laptop is about 1000% higher than any PC I have owned.

Everything is simply much more intuitive. Setting up your wireless network, producing movies with iMovie, saving them to iTunes, and running them on your iPod is overly simple.

I have not had a lot of experience with GarageBand at this point but folks I know who have used it seem to enjoy it and talk about the ease of use allowing them to easily compose music, save it to their ipod / iphone, and listen to it on the go. I also don't have experience with any of the DP software in regards to their compatibility with Mac.

I have an IBM laptop for work and it is a drag to work on this everyday after becoming acquainted with the Mac. Do some more research regarding your specific requirements, but in regards to overall ease of use, compatibility with other devices such as wireless routers, wireless printers, iphone / ipod, Apple TV, etc. I would vote for the Mac. Hope this helps.

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#1235176 - 07/22/09 02:16 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: SoCalCC]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9088
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Yes, I installed OS X on my Dell Mini 9 and have been extremely impressed at how effortless most tasks are - the 'it just works' nature of Mac OS is most refreshing after several years of Windows.

Pianoteq runs surprisingly well on this little system too!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1235184 - 07/22/09 02:42 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Kawai James]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
I must say, as a longtime laptop/computer enthusiast, the Windows installation may have contributed less to the problem than the Dell laptops themselves. I never buy Dell because the quality is poor, IMO. I've used a couple of Dell laptops at home and at work, and they do run HOT, especially on the keyboard area which is the worst because it makes your hands ache after a while. Even elevating the bottom to increase airflow didn't help much. So it wasn't a surprise when the laptop's motherboard and hard drive conked out from all that heat. I had a Sony VAIO and presently a Compaq that don't generate the even half the heat those Dells did. Aside from that, our work PCs are all Dells, and our computer technician says they frequently break down.

So Gyro's comment actually made some sense, though I shudder at the thought of boring holes on a laptop!

Macs are sleek and stylish, but command too high of a premium for my tastes and budget. My only real issue with Windows is security, so if I need that I use Linux instead - a lot of things work suprisingly well out of the box, it's free, and relatively secure smile
_________________________
Alfred's AOI Course Bk 2
Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
--------------------------------------------

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#1235207 - 07/22/09 05:07 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
I finally finished fixing my Dell. It's so bizarre. It's as if I have to trick it to reinstall drivers and such. Run utilities, start, restart, get it to take one program, restart on and on until I tear my hair out.

I have spent at least 8 hours in the past 3 days fixing it and getting it to run, I'm just so grateful I was able to trick it enough before I reloaded VISTA, so that it would back up the hard drive, although I can't put the programs back on. I refuse to talk to their tech support anymore.

Dell used to be so highly rated, they really are horrible, and the customer service is terrible...outsourced to India of course. The tech guy was quite pleasant though, although of no use whatsoever. He basically encouraged me to get a MacBook Pro and we discussed Apple's superior qualities for several minutes.

Anyway, I'm going to start shopping over the next few months and I'm looking forward to switching to Mac.

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#1235212 - 07/22/09 05:51 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
The tech guy was quite pleasant though, although of no use whatsoever. He basically encouraged me to get a MacBook Pro and we discussed Apple's superior qualities for several minutes.


Wait a minute...the tech guy...from Dell itself telling you to get a Mac??? grin Not too surprising, though. I know Dell scrapped their in-house customer service staff and outsourced it to a large call center company...so the CSRs don't actually work for Dell.
_________________________
Alfred's AOI Course Bk 2
Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
--------------------------------------------

Top
#1235281 - 07/22/09 09:54 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: marimorimo]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Nikalette, all those problems are caused by heat. When
the electronics get hot, they no longer function properly.
Try opening up the case somehow. I've never owned
a laptop, so I'm not sure how the best way to do this
would be. If you can't remove the bottom panel, then
you might have to drill holes in it swiss cheese-like,
and then when using it, put it on two thin strips of
wood so the bottom is off the table and the internal
fans can blow the heat out of the holes.

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#1235302 - 07/22/09 10:30 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: marimorimo]
Gordy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 2
Loc: UK
Nikalette,

I'll try and answer your questions as best I can.

1. While I can't test this myself (as I have a Roland piano), a Mac should work fine with your Yamaha piano. If it supports midi over USB then you can download the drivers from Yamaha's website. If not then you can pick up USB to midi interfaces for not a lot these days.

2. Any Mac laptop would be fine, but I would agree with Horowitzian that a Macbook Pro is the route to go down if you want a laptop. It is worth having a look at the refurbished section on Apple's website store as you can make some good savings and still get the same warranty. I've bought my iMac from there and you wouldn't know it wasn't brand new. If you do look to go down this route I'd suggest making sure it has a firewire port as this gives you a bit more room for expansion (some of Apple's Macbooks and the Macbook Air only have USB).

3. Specs wise it really depends on what you want to do. I know a Logic Pro user who complains his 8 core Mac Pro isn't fast enough while another is quite happy with his Macbook. As Horowitzian says though I'd go with 4Gb. If you want more than it comes with then look at third party companies like Crucial and Kingston as they will charge a lot less than Apple.

4. In terms of equipment it really does depend on what you want to do. At the simplest level you can use GarageBand to record your music. There are some tutorials on the Apple website which should give you an idea of what it can do. If you are looking to record your piano live then, as James has already said, you will probably need an external input, such as a mic pre-amp. The next step up is probably some sort of sequencing software, such as Logic or Cubase, which will allow you to put together multiple tracks and add effects (digital delay, reverb and compression). After that the limit is your budget

Finally I would say if you live near an Apple store pop in and have a play to see if you like the feel of it. If you down go for a Mac I'm sure you will like it as I have never regretted switching.

Gordon

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#1235363 - 07/22/09 12:08 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Gordy]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Just to be clear, since Gyro decided to re-paste part of his message...I'm not saying that laptops won't get uncomfortably warm in your lap. Just that they're designed to function with the amount of heat that they generate, and that drilling holes is unnecessary for stable operation.

As far as finding one that runs comfortably cool, notebookreview.com does some fairly detailed tests on a lot of models, including temperature readings of various areas of the unit under heavy load.

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#1235374 - 07/22/09 12:28 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Gordy]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Gordy, thank you so much for the details...that's really very helpful. I think I'll just be doing home recording for now. If that changes, I'll also need a more portable keyboard, but not for now.


Gyro, the issue that game up with the laptop running hot was that it just shut off. That stopped once I bought the cooling pad, the 2 fans keep it very cool.

I appreciate all the input on Macs from satisfied users. I will check out the refurbished store, but first I'll watch the tutorials on the web site and spend some time in the Mac store...maybe I'll get lucky and find a tech who's into music.

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#1235377 - 07/22/09 12:34 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Lycanthrope Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 8
Drilling holes in a laptop, or indeed in a well-designed desktop, will probably lead to overheating. Bear in mind, as said above, that these machines are designed to get hot and that they have very specific ventilation routes through the vents and casings. Disrupt that and you'll cause all sorts of problems.

The basic issue you have here is called 'Dell', they're just rubbish basically, I don't know why people get duped into buying them.

I was a long-time Windows sufferer before changing to Apple Mac's 4 years or so ago and my only complaint is that I didn't do it sooner. My computer time has shifted from constant maintenance and problem solving to using and pleasure.

And entry-level MacBook would be totally suitable - they are very expensive and it will be good for years.

If you must continue with PC's then be prepared to pay for a well designed machine that will cost about the same as the Macs anyway - you don't get something for nothing in this game...

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#1235378 - 07/22/09 12:35 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
One "heat" thing I forgot to mention about MacBook Pros that have dual Nvidia graphics cards (all the unibody models AFAIK) Is that the computer runs a good bit hotter on the faster discrete graphics card than it does on the slower graphics card that's on the motherboard( or "logic board" as Apple calls it). It gets too hot on the faster card to put on your lap, but the performance increase for programs like Finale 2009 that eat up graphics capacity is well worth it. i might consider one of those cooling pads for when I have it hooked up to my 24" LED Cinema Display (the BEST display I have ever used!) on my desk. BTW, the displays on MB Pros are great too.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1235447 - 07/22/09 03:05 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
7even Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 151
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
One "heat" thing I forgot to mention about MacBook Pros that have dual Nvidia graphics cards (all the unibody models AFAIK) Is that the computer runs a good bit hotter on the faster discrete graphics card than it does on the slower graphics card that's on the motherboard( or "logic board" as Apple calls it). It gets too hot on the faster card to put on your lap, but the performance increase for programs like Finale 2009 that eat up graphics capacity is well worth it. i might consider one of those cooling pads for when I have it hooked up to my 24" LED Cinema Display (the BEST display I have ever used!) on my desk. BTW, the displays on MB Pros are great too.


To be honest the Macbook Pro runs kinda hot on the integrated graphics as well. I got this program called smcfancontrol and most of the time I keep the fans boosted to about 3300 rpm (stock = 2000 rpm). The computer is a bit louder but it's a lot more lap-holdable. Still gets really warm, but nothing too uncomfortable.

Even with the heat and a couple other problems (will go to the Apple store soon), I'd recommend getting one if you're even considering it. I like it better than any of the Windows laptops I've owned and used - which include higher-end Thinkpads, Dells, and Sonys. It worked with my Yamaha DP great until recently, but I suspect the DP is at fault since it is the only USB device I'm having issues with.
_________________________
Now: RD-700NX
Someday: Steinway concert grand :|

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#1235497 - 07/22/09 05:19 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 853
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Nikalette:
Regarding the Mac and digital pianos, not all of them support drivers for Mac OS (in your case, I think Yamaha makes a Mac driver for the YPG 635). Also, there isn't as much software that will run on a Mac. In general, expect to pay more for Mac software vs PC, (expect to pay more for a Mac computer). Now having said all this, unless you are planning on hooking up your DP to record into your Mac via sequencing software like Pro Tools, there isn't anything to be concerned about. But just understand that if you do wind up composing, arranging or using your 635 to record MIDI files then the software thing comes into play and there is much more available for Windows than there is Mac and cost of software will also become a factor.

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#1235576 - 07/22/09 07:29 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: galaxy4t]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: galaxy4t
Nikalette:
Regarding the Mac and digital pianos, not all of them support drivers for Mac OS (in your case, I think Yamaha makes a Mac driver for the YPG 635). Also, there isn't as much software that will run on a Mac. In general, expect to pay more for Mac software vs PC, (expect to pay more for a Mac computer). Now having said all this, unless you are planning on hooking up your DP to record into your Mac via sequencing software like Pro Tools, there isn't anything to be concerned about. But just understand that if you do wind up composing, arranging or using your 635 to record MIDI files then the software thing comes into play and there is much more available for Windows than there is Mac and cost of software will also become a factor.

Since the switch to Intel processors there is a lot more available for Mac OS X, and I imagine more still will become available in the future.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1235741 - 07/23/09 03:01 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21450
Loc: Oakland
Not only does all Mac software run on Intel Macs, so does Windows and a lot of Unix software.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1235860 - 07/23/09 11:04 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: BDB]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Good point, BDB. In fact a lot of people who put Windows on their Macs say that Macs are the fastest Windows machines you can get. You do need to be careful of security, though, because Windows on a Mac is still Windows.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1236009 - 07/23/09 03:03 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 853
Loc: Lakewood, CA
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 $$$ Macs command.

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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?
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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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: 1081
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
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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)
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#1236045 - 07/23/09 03:53 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
galaxy4t Offline
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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#1236217 - 07/23/09 08:50 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: argerichfan]
Horowitzian Offline
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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)
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#1236320 - 07/24/09 02:36 AM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
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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
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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
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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.
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#1236503 - 07/24/09 12:21 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
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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.
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#1238133 - 07/27/09 12:20 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
bitWrangler Offline
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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
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Thanks for the good post, bitWrangler. That sums it up perfectly. smile
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#1238139 - 07/27/09 12:29 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
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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
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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
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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
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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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#1238177 - 07/27/09 01:12 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Horowitzian Offline
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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.
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#1238237 - 07/27/09 02:28 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
bitWrangler Offline
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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
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Isn't that some content copy protection garbage? I recall a large uproar over that.
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#1238368 - 07/27/09 06:05 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
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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
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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.
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#1238463 - 07/27/09 08:29 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
bitWrangler Offline
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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
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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.
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#1238479 - 07/27/09 08:51 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
bitWrangler Offline
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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
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And right now it doesn't carry sound — only video. They will need to remedy that to compete with HDMI.
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#1238518 - 07/27/09 09:47 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Chopin Liszt Offline
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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
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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.
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#1239272 - 07/28/09 10:27 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
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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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#1239293 - 07/28/09 10:49 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
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If you ask me, they got too big for their own good. Happens to a lot of companies, I'm sorry to say.
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#1240983 - 07/31/09 01:47 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: 7even]
Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted By: 7even
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
One "heat" thing I forgot to mention about MacBook Pros that have dual Nvidia graphics cards (all the unibody models AFAIK) Is that the computer runs a good bit hotter on the faster discrete graphics card than it does on the slower graphics card that's on the motherboard( or "logic board" as Apple calls it). It gets too hot on the faster card to put on your lap, but the performance increase for programs like Finale 2009 that eat up graphics capacity is well worth it. i might consider one of those cooling pads for when I have it hooked up to my 24" LED Cinema Display (the BEST display I have ever used!) on my desk. BTW, the displays on MB Pros are great too.


To be honest the Macbook Pro runs kinda hot on the integrated graphics as well. I got this program called smcfancontrol and most of the time I keep the fans boosted to about 3300 rpm (stock = 2000 rpm). The computer is a bit louder but it's a lot more lap-holdable. Still gets really warm, but nothing too uncomfortable.

Even with the heat and a couple other problems (will go to the Apple store soon), I'd recommend getting one if you're even considering it. I like it better than any of the Windows laptops I've owned and used - which include higher-end Thinkpads, Dells, and Sonys. It worked with my Yamaha DP great until recently, but I suspect the DP is at fault since it is the only USB device I'm having issues with.


I just got that smcfancontrol thing. I should have gotten it sooner, too. I run discrete graphics all the time unless on battery power, so it was getting HOT even when not doing much! Now with the fans set at 4400 rpm, the CPU temp dropped from nearly 150˚ to around 135˚. Definitely a must-have app for Mac users. thumb
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#1241028 - 07/31/09 02:50 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Rented Offline
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Wow, what a Mac love-fest smile Seriously, Apple really hit a home run with OS X. Prior Apple OSs where not that great, in my opinion, and I still think their hardware is nothing to write home about, price/performance wise.

Regarding Dell, I've had nothing but great experiences with them. No, they are not that high quality, but their service is top notch, and while everything can break, it's what is done when they break that counts. Seemingly, the service is no good in the US, but at least in Europe and the Middle East, the service was second to none.

At the various companies I've worked for we've had them all: Toshibas, HPs, Gateways, IBM/Lenovo, Dell, Apple (also Dec, HP, Sun, IBM but lets leave the servers out of it). While my favorite laptops where the Thinkpads, the best service was always Dell. The worst service by a huge margin was Apple.

As an example, before I moved from Dubai to Spain, I bought a Dell XPS laptop, privately. About a year after I bought it, it died completely. A fried motherboard, probably due to a huge spike in the unimaginably poor electrical grid here. Anyway, I called Dell support about it and they told me they'd send someone over. I called at 4 PM, the next morning at 9 AM the service tech was at my door. They had couriered a new board from Amsterdam to Valencia, then driven the two hour trip to my home in the morning. By 10 AM the laptop was up and running again. Didn't cost me a penny. This for a laptop bought in a consumer shop in another continent!

I would love to contrast that with examples of Apple's service, but I'd probably be drowned in hate mail.

But I can't deny the quality of OS X. I wish I could run it on non-Apple laptops.


Edited by Rented (07/31/09 02:53 PM)

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#1241048 - 07/31/09 03:10 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Rented]
Horowitzian Offline
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I guess service depends upon geographical location, as you rightly point out. For those of us in the US, Apple service is great because it is located in the US and is manned by knowledgeable people who speak English well. smile I've only had to call them once, but my question was answered perfectly.

I strongly disagree about Apple hardware...sure it's expensive but it's nicely made and it works just fine.
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1241057 - 07/31/09 03:26 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Rented]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Rented
Wow, what a Mac love-fest smile Seriously, Apple really hit a home run with OS X. Prior Apple OSs where not that great, in my opinion, and I still think their hardware is nothing to write home about, price/performance wise.

Regarding Dell, I've had nothing but great experiences with them. No, they are not that high quality, but their service is top notch, and while everything can break, it's what is done when they break that counts. Seemingly, the service is no good in the US, but at least in Europe and the Middle East, the service was second to none.

At the various companies I've worked for we've had them all: Toshibas, HPs, Gateways, IBM/Lenovo, Dell, Apple (also Dec, HP, Sun, IBM but lets leave the servers out of it). While my favorite laptops where the Thinkpads, the best service was always Dell. The worst service by a huge margin was Apple.

As an example, before I moved from Dubai to Spain, I bought a Dell XPS laptop, privately. About a year after I bought it, it died completely. A fried motherboard, probably due to a huge spike in the unimaginably poor electrical grid here. Anyway, I called Dell support about it and they told me they'd send someone over. I called at 4 PM, the next morning at 9 AM the service tech was at my door. They had couriered a new board from Amsterdam to Valencia, then driven the two hour trip to my home in the morning. By 10 AM the laptop was up and running again. Didn't cost me a penny. This for a laptop bought in a consumer shop in another continent!

I would love to contrast that with examples of Apple's service, but I'd probably be drowned in hate mail.

But I can't deny the quality of OS X. I wish I could run it on non-Apple laptops.


Wow! What a difference in the service. Here, when my first Dell crashed, I had to spend hours on the phone with customer service talking me through various diagnostics, taking apart the laptop, etc....Twice they sent a part that didn't fix the problem. Finally they sent a tech who told them what needed replacing but had to fight to get it. Then when he came back, installed the part, and reloaded the OS, he left before it was finished, and it still didn't work.

On my last crash - 2nd Dell, again they wanted me to fix it over the phone with them, reformat the hard drive, reinstall the OS....I just gave up and did it on my own, and it's still not working right.

How long ago was your experience? Dell used to be good here in the US, but at least for the past 4 years since I've dealt with them, that has changed.

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#1241058 - 07/31/09 03:27 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
I guess service depends upon geographical location, as you rightly point out. For those of us in the US, Apple service is great because it is located in the US and is manned by knowledgeable people who speak English well. smile I've only had to call them once, but my question was answered perfectly.

I strongly disagree about Apple hardware...sure it's expensive but it's nicely made and it works just fine.


The nice thing with Apple customer service (correct me if I'm wrong) is that you can go online and make an appointment with a genius at the store (you can also drop in). Our Apple store here is about 5 minutes from my home.

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#1241060 - 07/31/09 03:30 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Nikalette]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Yep! smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1241083 - 07/31/09 04:05 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Rented Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 174
Loc: Spain
Nikalette, the incident I wrote about happened Nov 08, so not long ago. One must also differentiate between the types of support. Is a feature not working or is a piece of hardware obviously broken? Application and driver problems really are a pain to troubleshoot on a PC, and I seriously doubt the poorly payed telephone support guys have the necessary skills to solve them. Apple has a huge advantage here, with their limited hardware support. With obvious hardware failure it is another matter, and that is mostly what I am referring to with my experience with e.g. Dell vs. Apple.

With regards to the Apple hardware, I wasn't referring to the build quality which, at least for the Pro models, it certainly very high. Although I think the Lenovo Thinkpads are equally well made (and similarly priced).

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#1241107 - 07/31/09 04:34 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Rented]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
FWIW, I think Apple prefers you bring your malfunctioning computer (as in hardware failure) into an Apple store.

As far as hardware quality, it is a myth that Macs are "more expensive" than PC's if you compare apples with apples (do pardon the pun!), such as the Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpads you mentioned. There's a good reason why Dell never advertises their Latitude series of professional laptops, because then everyone would see that. whistle


Edited by Horowitzian (07/31/09 04:35 PM)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1241127 - 07/31/09 05:15 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
Rented Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 174
Loc: Spain
Hmmm...don't know about that. Here a comparison between the Macbook and the a Lenovo ThinkPad T500 (copy-and-pasted right now):

MacBook:
2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM Memory
160GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA HDD
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
8x slot-loading SuperDrive
13.3" WS glossy TFT screen
$999

Lenovo ThinkPad T500:
2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1067MHz SODIMM Memory
160GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA HDD
ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 with 256MB
CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo 24X/24X/24X/8X Max
15.4" WXGA TFT, w/ CCFL Backlight
$959

So you get a faster processor, much faster memory and larger screen with the ThinkPad, for slightly less money. The ThinkPad also has higher build quality, on par with Macbook Pro.

You could certainly find much more expensive ThinkPads, but these two are at the same price point, and the specs are quite different. Not hugely so, but significantly so.

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#1241144 - 07/31/09 05:35 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Rented]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Excellent point. Seems kind of odd that Apple would give the white MacBook a 1066 MHz FSB while it only has 800 MHz memory...one reason why I wanted a Pro.

The difference becomes a lot fuzzier with the low end Mac vs. the competition. I think if one wants the advantages of UNIX here, you should buy the Lenovo and put Ubuntu on it. I should have clarified that I meant fully spec'd out professional models, e.g. the MacBook Pro vs. Dell Latitude and whatever Lenovo calls theirs. Sorry about that!


Edited by Horowitzian (07/31/09 05:36 PM)
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1241199 - 07/31/09 07:27 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Rented]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Rented
Nikalette, the incident I wrote about happened Nov 08, so not long ago. One must also differentiate between the types of support. Is a feature not working or is a piece of hardware obviously broken? Application and driver problems really are a pain to troubleshoot on a PC, and I seriously doubt the poorly payed telephone support guys have the necessary skills to solve them. Apple has a huge advantage here, with their limited hardware support. With obvious hardware failure it is another matter, and that is mostly what I am referring to with my experience with e.g. Dell vs. Apple.

With regards to the Apple hardware, I wasn't referring to the build quality which, at least for the Pro models, it certainly very high. Although I think the Lenovo Thinkpads are equally well made (and similarly priced).


I've concluded that the main difference is this: Apple produces a limited number of models, with a limited number of configurations. AND, most important, they make the hardware and make the OS and all the other stuff that goes with the system.

With Windows, you have umpteen companies building umpteen hardware and putting the software into it.

Hence, Dell only makes the hardware that windows sits in. I think it's odd that Dell tried to tell me on both PCs that it was the OS and not the hardware. It turned out to be the hardware in the first case, and apart from the problems with the OS, on my new dell there's something wrong with the sound. I just really can't be bothered dealing with them anymore.

AND on my first dell, I had to have the keyboard replaced twice in 2 years...or I should say, have the keyboard shipped so I could install it.

And on both of them the keyboard, or something, is quirky in that when I type fast letters end up showing up in the wrong place on what I'm typing, and entire sentences disappear. I just think they make bad keyboards.

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#1241201 - 07/31/09 07:29 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Rented]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
I have heard rumors that you can't truly compare Mac specs to PC's for some mysterious reason. In other words, the same stuff runs faster on a Mac, I have no idea if that's true. Maybe it's the OS.

I know that Vista is a piece of doo-doo, and IE is nothing but trouble, I never use it....so ...

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#1241216 - 07/31/09 07:54 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: galaxy4t]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
Notebooks often use a system where processor speed is throttled back when the load is light. This helps with battery economy and incidentally with cooling. Office applications spend most of their time waiting for input, things work well.

Audio applications can b*** things up in two ways. Sometimes the speed stepping causes them to perform badly. Sometimes their demand for constant audio steaming means the cpu never gets to slow down. Laptops in particular may overheat.

My opinion is that Apple have done an amazingly good job in establishing the perception of Mac as a luxury brand. Owners defend them with an almost religious fervour. If considering one, just make sure it runs the software you need. Yes, I know you can install Windows alongside the Mac system. But that's a bit silly really, isn't it :-)

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#1241225 - 07/31/09 08:15 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Exalted Wombat]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
[...] Yes, I know you can install Windows alongside the Mac system. But that's a bit silly really, isn't it :-)


Not really. There's some software out there that has never been ported for OS X, such as Microsoft Access. There's the angle of gaming too. But gaming's not important to me. The only game I play much anymore (Call of Duty 4) incidentally is ported for OS X. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1241226 - 07/31/09 08:16 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Exalted Wombat]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
If considering one, just make sure it runs the software you need. Yes, I know you can install Windows alongside the Mac system. But that's a bit silly really, isn't it :-)


One man's silly is anothers saviour. It's still a Windows centric world out there and having the ability to run those one or two Windows only apps really opens the machine up to be quite versatile.

With laptops there's a struggle amongst three attributes: speed, battery life, and heat. If you want speed, you have to suffer with less battery life and more heat. If you want better battery life and a cooler laptop, you have to give up some performance. If you want a cooler laptop and don't want to give up as much performance then you are going to give up some battery life (those fans are required to keep running longer). If you're going to be pounding your lappie all day long and you don't mind losing a bit of battery life (and/or you are doing it with the unit plugged in), there are plenty of apps that will allow you to increase various fan parameters to keep the unit cooler and this can actually make a huge difference as manufs. tend to favor battery life.

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#1241273 - 07/31/09 10:03 PM Re: Mac Revisited [Re: Horowitzian]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21450
Loc: Oakland
Many Windows applications will run on Macs using Crossover.
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Semipro Tech

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