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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Should Bill Gates prevent me from getting a MacBook?

Should Bill Gates prevent me from getting a MacBook?
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Oct 17, 2006, 03:41 PM
 
I've been using a 17" Powerbook G4 1.33Mhz for about 3 years now and am thinking of upgrading to a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I was playing out with a Macbook at the Apple store yesterday and couldn't help notice the lag when typing on Microsoft Word. I even tried Word on a Mac Pro tower and it still had the lag. I don't know if this is something one eventually gets use to but I found it really bothersome. To make matters worst, Bill Gates and Company isn't going to release an universal version of Office until 3rd quarter 2007, which probably means early 2008. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions about this? Thanks!
     
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:08 PM
 
Gotta say i dont experience any lag in word or excel on my macbook 2.0!!

What have other people found?
     
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:10 PM
 
What do you need your computer to do? Is it an absolute requirement that you run MS Office?
     
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:15 PM
 
i gave up on word...i only use it as a word processor for some papers for school and letters i would eventually type later on. with that said, i made the transition to pages and its a world of difference...SOOOOO much better. i dont know if its because pages is more layout conscious and im a designer, but i just love pages sooo much more than word.

you could always go with neo office...im almost certain that its universal already.
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:20 PM
 
I primary use it for word, excel, firefox, and some other web apps. But I'm thinking about getting into photo editing with either Photoshop or Aperture. I was reading about the "photoshop test thread" at the PowerMac/Mac Pro forum and it seems that even a MacBook significantly outperforms a Powerbook in photoshop through Rosetta. I was pretty much sold (and even found a buyer for my PB) but when I tested Word at the Apple store, it really gave me second thoughts.

richardwigley, you don't notice a lag when you are typing? It just isn't smooth when I type a sentence, maybe the lag is like a quarter of a second for each letter, but I find it very noticable and bothersome.
     
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
i gave up on word...i only use it as a word processor for some papers for school and letters i would eventually type later on. with that said, i made the transition to pages and its a world of difference...SOOOOO much better. i dont know if its because pages is more layout conscious and im a designer, but i just love pages sooo much more than word.

you could always go with neo office...im almost certain that its universal already.
So you gave up on word because of the lag? I don't think I can switch to another software since word is the "universal" software for both the academic and business world. I would hate to have to email a Pages document only to find out that it doesn't open properly for the other person.
     
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Oct 17, 2006, 04:35 PM
 
I use Word on Mac Mini and a Macbook pro, it works fine, (2004). But if some machines do, you gotta give all the universal apps some time to gain speed. Thats where PowerPc has the edge..for now.

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Oct 17, 2006, 04:40 PM
 
hmm, I use word constantly for all my classes, papers and such, but I never have a problem with lag... maybe it was just htat computer or not enough ram?
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Oct 17, 2006, 11:52 PM
 
i didnt switch because of lag, just because pages is universal so why bother running something in rosetta when i dont have to. pages also saves under word format and i havent had any run ins with compatibility issues on the pc end...shrug. my word use, again im a student, is only for the weekly paper and occasional letter that i write.
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Oct 17, 2006, 11:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
i didnt switch because of lag, just because pages is universal so why bother running something in rosetta when i dont have to. pages also saves under word format and i havent had any run ins with compatibility issues on the pc end...shrug. my word use, again im a student, is only for the weekly paper and occasional letter that i write.
I'm going to look into Pages, it does look much better but then again, everything Apple makes is always better than Microsoft.
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 09:18 AM
 
Office 2004 is not instantaneous on my 2.0GHz MBP, but it's not "slow" either. Don't worry about it-get the new computer and let Bill dither as long as he wants. Someone-OpenOffice or NeoOffice probably-will light a fire under him and those Universal Binaries are going to come out fast and furious. But who cares? What we have now works just fine!

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Oct 18, 2006, 09:32 AM
 
Is booting into Boot Camp and using Windows Microsoft Word impractical idea? Is there lag in that case also?
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cottonsworth View Post
I've been using a 17" Powerbook G4 1.33Mhz for about 3 years now and am thinking of upgrading to a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I was playing out with a Macbook at the Apple store yesterday and couldn't help notice the lag when typing on Microsoft Word. I even tried Word on a Mac Pro tower and it still had the lag. I don't know if this is something one eventually gets use to but I found it really bothersome. To make matters worst, Bill Gates and Company isn't going to release an universal version of Office until 3rd quarter 2007, which probably means early 2008. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions about this? Thanks!
How much RAM did it have and how many apps were open?
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by buddy1065 View Post
Is booting into Boot Camp and using Windows Microsoft Word impractical idea? Is there lag in that case also?
Yeah. Booting up into Windows
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 11:38 AM
 
Office does lag a bit on my Macbook, but for what I need and use office for I have little need to complain. Office is not one of apps that I use a lot.
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Oct 18, 2006, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by buddy1065 View Post
Is booting into Boot Camp and using Windows Microsoft Word impractical idea? Is there lag in that case also?
The "lag" is because Office 2004 for Mac is a PPC application, and your Intel Mac has to translate it using Rosetta. If you set up your Intel Mac to boot Windows, Windows applications will run natively on it at the full speed for that application. Of course that means you need to buy the Windows application, and boot into Windows, but Intel Macs seem to run Windows pretty darn fast, so that shouldn't be a concern.

And as I pointed out there shouldn't be much of a slowdown anyway. I've been running Office 2004 on my MBP for a couple of weeks now and it doesn't seem any slower than Office XP on my 2.0GHz Windows machine.

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Oct 18, 2006, 03:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
How much RAM did it have and how many apps were open?
The MacBook has 512mb of ram and the Mac Pro tower has 3gigs of ram. Both machines had the quarter second lag I was referring to, so extra ram isn't going to solve the lag issue. I understand that a quarter of a second might sound really minuscule but I'm sure it is very noticable for heavy MS Office users like me.

I think the only solution would be to **glup** donate some money to Bill and get XP along with Office XP and just run things in parallals. Hopefully, 2 gigs of ram in a MacBook would be enough to do that.
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The "lag" is because Office 2004 for Mac is a PPC application, and your Intel Mac has to translate it using Rosetta. If you set up your Intel Mac to boot Windows, Windows applications will run natively on it at the full speed for that application. Of course that means you need to buy the Windows application, and boot into Windows, but Intel Macs seem to run Windows pretty darn fast, so that shouldn't be a concern.

And as I pointed out there shouldn't be much of a slowdown anyway. I've been running Office 2004 on my MBP for a couple of weeks now and it doesn't seem any slower than Office XP on my 2.0GHz Windows machine.
Not only do they run Windows fast - my MBP runs Windows XP more responsively and just all around speedily than any Windows computer I've seen.

Oh, and you can try NeoOffice - which is a Universal Mac Port of OpenOffice. It's not too shabby actually and it's compatible with MS Office I believe. And it's free.
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 08:11 PM
 
I understand what you mean by lag. Its nearly imperceptible, but there IS a very short (like, a tenth of a second) gap between a key press and the letter's appearance on the screen. I'm gonna go ahead and put out another vote for NeoOffice, a native port of OpenOffice.org. It's very compatible with Office files, and is pretty speedy on Intel (IF you have enough memory: a difference between 5 and over 30 bounces for 2 GB and 512 MB of RAM, respectively).

Personally I use Pages primarily, but only because I rarely find myself needing to send files to other people. When I do, I usually end up exporting it as a PDF to preserve all the editing.

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Oct 18, 2006, 08:29 PM
 
Just in case.. check up on the options of the keyboard to see the speed and which the Mac is setup up to.. you know the speed on which it repeats the pressed key. I know.. is two different things, but maybe just maybe is a setup thing.

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Oct 18, 2006, 09:00 PM
 
You may also want to try AbiWord....

It can read and write Microsoft Word files, and instead of being run in a JVM like neoOffice it's native...
     
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Oct 18, 2006, 10:58 PM
 
So once again, the consensus is "don't wait for Microsoft to get going." Buy the MBP now!

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Oct 18, 2006, 11:46 PM
 
i get a slight lag too on my MBP, but not enough to really bother me. i still tpe papers just as well as i did on my PPC notebook.
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 12:06 AM
 
I use word daily for typing my notes on a macbook. If it lags I've never noticed it, then again I'm coming from a G4.
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Oct 19, 2006, 11:19 AM
 
Office 2004 gives me lots of lag on my 2.16 MBP with 2gigs. I guess I don't notice it as much with Word because rarely is more being done but typing. With Excel, however, guh. I've been working with several thousand values, lots of calculations, etc. It takes so long to recalculate that I turned off auto recalc. Drag-selecting is by far the worst result of Excel being non-Intel native - the action falls way behind your input. Dragging which causes the sheet to scroll keeps moving way after I've released the mouse button. I'm only using Excel for this job because you can't beat its PivotTable function. I would use NeoOffice, otherwise, but its Data Pilot just doesn't cut it.

I've got Pages, but I really don't like it for writing. NeoOffice's Writer is so Word-like, there's no reason to not use it. I haven't tried AbiWord yet.

I haven't seen anything better than NeoOffice's Calc as an alternative to Excel, but I'd love to try something else.

And, while I somewhat enjoy being able to smuggly state that I'm using no MS products, MS really should do the right thing and release a Universal patch for their current product and not make us wait until whenever Office 2007 comes out (and pay for it). You know, like Adobe...oh, wait.
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 12:49 PM
 
There're always trade-offs with being an early adopter. These things have happened every time Apple has done a dramatic system software change or architecture change. Remember the transition to the primitive first versions of OS X? Did anyone get caught in believing Apple's marketing blarney about the advantages? Nobody likes to be reminded that they knew about the drawbacks before they purchased the bright 'n shiny new "must-have", but this is the computer Gods' way of instilling patience and humility in geekdom.

MS used its platform dominance to beat-up Netscape, and to force the awful IE 5.0 down Mac users throats. Then, Apple comes out with Safari--and MS abandons development of IE for Mac. Apple has to tread a fine line in appeasing MS, because you can imagine what would happen to Apple's credibility is MS ever abandoned the Mac version of Office. There are, of course, rumors that Apple has its own Office Suite waiting in the wings--but, really, playing nice with the 900 pound gorilla is a fact of life.
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 02:17 PM
 
i experience the lag on my intel, but not on my g5 imac
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 04:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cottonsworth View Post
The MacBook has 512mb of ram and the Mac Pro tower has 3gigs of ram. Both machines had the quarter second lag I was referring to, so extra ram isn't going to solve the lag issue. I understand that a quarter of a second might sound really minuscule but I'm sure it is very noticable for heavy MS Office users like me.

I think the only solution would be to **glup** donate some money to Bill and get XP along with Office XP and just run things in parallals. Hopefully, 2 gigs of ram in a MacBook would be enough to do that.
It seems to me that word would still have a bit of lag inside of Parallels. You would still be emulating Word, except now you'd be emulating (virtualizing would probably be more proper, but I think you get the point) an entire operating system AND Word, instead of just Word. I use Word on a Macbook, and I know the lag you speak of. It is also waaay faster booting up Word on the iMac G5s at school. I am a heavy Word user as well. It bothers me a little bit, but I have gotten used to it, more or less. I just make a little effort to realize that even though I am typing a couple of characters ahead, they will still show up. Where it really starts to irritate me is when I have inline images that it has to move with text. But still, if you just take into accout that your fingers will be moveing faster than the cursor, you will be fine.
     
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Oct 19, 2006, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tuoder View Post
It seems to me that word would still have a bit of lag inside of Parallels. You would still be emulating Word, except now you'd be emulating (virtualizing would probably be more proper, but I think you get the point) an entire operating system AND Word, instead of just Word. I use Word on a Macbook, and I know the lag you speak of. It is also waaay faster booting up Word on the iMac G5s at school. I am a heavy Word user as well. It bothers me a little bit, but I have gotten used to it, more or less. I just make a little effort to realize that even though I am typing a couple of characters ahead, they will still show up. Where it really starts to irritate me is when I have inline images that it has to move with text. But still, if you just take into accout that your fingers will be moveing faster than the cursor, you will be fine.
I believe that Parallels would actually run it at a native speed so there would be no discernible lag. At least that's been my experience.
     
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Oct 22, 2006, 05:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
i made the transition to pages and its a world of difference...SOOOOO much better. i dont know if its because pages is more layout conscious and im a designer, but i just love pages sooo much more than word.

I heartily second that! I also am lobbying my university to have pages on the macs
     
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Oct 22, 2006, 04:25 PM
 
Word under Parallels would indeed mean running a Windows version of Word, so the lag we've been discussing wouldn't be an issue. It might not run at the same speed it would if it were running on Windows directly on the hardware, but those Rosetta-induced lags would not be there.

After doing a number of papers using Word through Rosetta on my MacBook Pro, I'm going to see if OpenOffice or NeoOffice is noticably better/faster/smoother. I'll report back once I get a chance to see.

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Oct 22, 2006, 08:58 PM
 
I noticed an actual improvement in Word performance from my PowerBook in the sig to my intel iMac, it's not quite as fast or responsive as some G5s that I've used but it is more than usable and a far cry from my G3 iMac.
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Oct 23, 2006, 12:17 AM
 
Most of the lag is from the spell check that word is doing.

Do try Pages like most have said it is soo much better on the Mac.
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Oct 23, 2006, 01:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Westfoto View Post
Most of the lag is from the spell check that word is doing.

Do try Pages like most have said it is soo much better on the Mac.


I agree, Pages is a great app. Although I use MS Word, well, because it's there I also have Pages and it's very underrated. The best part about Pages is after you create your app it can be exported as a Word document, a PDF or HTML. iWork is perfect if you just need a full featured Word processor and presentation app. The problem is that the majority of us get so stuck on one app from the major companies such MS and Adobe that we ignore other perfectly suitable alternatives for less money.
( Last edited by hldan; Oct 23, 2006 at 01:43 AM. )
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Oct 23, 2006, 10:47 PM
 
For the time being, I decided to go with a used Black MacBook purchased from another board member. I also picked up 2gigs of Muskin ram, which arrived today (hooray). I'll see how smoothly everything runs and my thoughts about making the switch from a Powerbook G4 to the MacBook line when the key software I use (MS Office) isn't on the universal platform yet.
     
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Oct 24, 2006, 03:27 PM
 
My own experience of Office apps (Speedy to laggy):

MS Office & Open Office in a Parallels VM -> NeoOffice UB OS-X ----- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - -------> Offfice 2004 PPC OS-X

Sorry but it really is that bad - for doing some proper work that is.
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Nov 29, 2006, 11:05 PM
 
I wanted to update this thread I started with my experience of using MS Office on an Intel Mac. Originally, I mentioned that I felt a lag when using MS Office programs on an Intel Mac at the Apple Store (pre-C2D). While the lag was only about a quarter of a second, it was noticeable enough to bother me and made me reconsider getting a MacBook. I eventually decided to bite the bullet and get a 1st gen Black MacBook with 2gigs of ram. Unfortunately, my Black MacBook kept on having problems and I was never able to run MS Office on it. Instead, I decided to get a C2D MacBook Pro 2.33. After using MS Office for a few days, I can report that the C2D seems to have made a big difference as I no longer feel the lag I experienced. I think this also coincides with the 10.4.8 update as reported by MacWorld. So if anyone is on the fence about any lag with MS Office, they can rest assured that there is no lag on a MacBook Pro C2D 2.33. Life can go on now.
     
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Nov 29, 2006, 11:54 PM
 
I don't notice any lag time, and I use Word constantly.
     
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Nov 30, 2006, 12:08 AM
 
Well, it isn't noticeable to a lot of people but to some super anal people like myself, I can definitely notice it. I'm not posting this as a debate as to whether or not there is any lag. Some people, like myself and especially fast typists, notice a lag and with our anal personalities, we would probably be consumed into craziness by it. So I just wanted to post this thread to people that are worried about any potential lag and how I noticed that it went away with the C2D MacBook Pro 2.33 and 10.4.8 update.
     
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Nov 30, 2006, 11:34 AM
 
I just checked on my G4 PB and my MBP. M$ Word has serious lag on the G4 but not on my MBP.
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Nov 30, 2006, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by bloodline View Post
I just checked on my G4 PB and my MBP. M$ Word has serious lag on the G4 but not on my MBP.
Tonalities often get misinterpreted over the net but I almost feel that you are mocking me with your comment. There is no lag with MS Office on any PowerPC Mac. The lag is noticeable when one is typing on Word. The letters come out instantaneously on a PowerPC Mac but not so on the Intel Macs running the Core Duos and before the 10.4.8 update. There was a very minor but noticeable quarter-second lag and it was bothersome to me.
     
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Nov 30, 2006, 03:03 PM
 
Ah. I only switched to Mac recently, so my sole experience is my MBP C2D with 10.4.8.

No lag whatsoever.

So in answer to the OP, no reason not to get a MacBook or a MacBook Pro.

By the way--I would get that lag running Office 2003 on an older PC, too.
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cottonsworth View Post
Tonalities often get misinterpreted over the net but I almost feel that you are mocking me with your comment. There is no lag with MS Office on any PowerPC Mac. The lag is noticeable when one is typing on Word. The letters come out instantaneously on a PowerPC Mac but not so on the Intel Macs running the Core Duos and before the 10.4.8 update. There was a very minor but noticeable quarter-second lag and it was bothersome to me.
My 1.5Ghz G4 suffers the lag you mention.

My 2.33Ghz C2D does not.

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Dec 1, 2006, 01:13 PM
 
my bros 1.83 macbook has no lag at all wile using office 2004
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Dec 2, 2006, 10:12 PM
 
One thing that I have noticed is that when using Word or any other Office item that has to use Rosetta is very taxing on the battery. This is such a power sucker...
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