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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > I'm a windows user, and I bought a macbook

I'm a windows user, and I bought a macbook
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Feb 20, 2007, 05:37 PM
 
Just wanted to share my own thoughts on this. I'm a Windows user, have an MCSE, am an IT manager, and I bought a Macbook for my own curiosity. Also, was thinking about integrating it into our company. I am by no means a hater on either end - each has its own market.

1. It is definitely crashable. Not that anyone said it wasnt (though, by posts in other forums, you would think so), but in my normal internet use, I have managed to cause it to freeze.
2. I have had to once forcefully restart it (remove battery and power)
3. Realized that 512 MB ram is NOT enough, especially when using iPhoto.
4. A right-click button is sorely needed. When I use an external mouse (gasp - an MS bluetooth one), I can work so much quicker.

Questions:
1. What's with the 6GB of VM?
2. Why does the CPU fan sound like my book is going to take off? I wanted to clear my desk so it had a runway.


Overall, I am impressed. Gotta love how the thing wakes up from sleep almost immediately. Putting it to sleep is a viable option now. I will probably use it exclusively at home, only because my home desktop is getting old, and that I would probably use a laptop more anyways.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 05:42 PM
 
You sure yours isn’t lemon? I almost never hear my MacBook’s fan (unless I’m, say, converting a video), and I’ve never had to do a hard restart like that.

BTW, if you tap the trackpad with two fingers at the same time, that’ll do a right-click.

Anyway, welcome to the family!
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 05:47 PM
 
Tell all your PC friends about the Mac!!! [wink]
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 06:12 PM
 
I know about the two finger deal, but I'm not comfortable with it.

The fan has only come on when I imported a bunch of high res prof photos into iPhoto (I did not take the photos, so you dont even need to ask why I have a normal macbook and not the pro).

Macs wont work here at our site. Our CEO tried it for a few months, but was frustrated with Entourage. Nothing holds water to Outlook+Exchange.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 06:22 PM
 
I had a few initial problems with my Macbook (a freeze here or there, didn't want to wake up, heavy battery drain while sleeping, fan started howling during one freeze; though the freezes I'm pretty sure are more because I insist on using Virtue Desktops because I'm a Linux user as well) but an Apple tech had me reset the SMC and that seems to have cleared things up.

As far as integrating into a corp. network, it's pretty much plug it in to a drop, or set up the Airport to grab our company wireless (which I use the vast majority of the time.) I have Parallels on it with a winXP VM to do corporate apps for when I need to, like Lotus Notes, Sametime Connect, IE etc.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 07:54 PM
 
I'm not worried about running native windows apps - all our apps are web-based using Tomcat. We are very email reliant, which is why I brought up Outlook+Exchange.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 08:09 PM
 
Ah, well in that case very well then. I follow a philosophy that since this Macbook is mine, I do stuff on it which I want. Which is why I don't like to physically hook up at the office, instead using the wireless to do my own surfing, or iCal to keep my personal calendar. If I need to (like if the Macbook is the only computer I might happen to have at the time but still be in a Wifi hotspot) my corporate apps are kept in the Parallels sandbox available for me to get something done if something comes up.

My take on the whole PC/Mac thing is kind of just like the commercials: Windows works very well as a work computer, a Mac works very well as a personal computer. For that you will find it a very capable machine indeed. Especially that it can do both. I still use my Windows laptop (when working from home...Parallels does steal a few resources for the VM that I'd rather have, and since I have this employer supplied Dell, why not?) and my Linux desktop (in the office, where a lot of the apps are run through Codeweavers Crossover Office to run wintel on Linux) with the Mac being with me because, well the Mac is always with me wherever I think I might want to have it.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sage View Post

BTW, if you tap the trackpad with two fingers at the same time, that’ll do a right-click.

I tried that and it doesn't work. Is it a feature on the macbooks now?
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 08:21 PM
 
Think you have to have trackpad tapping enabled, which it isn't by default. I just tested my trackpad-tapping enabled trackpad and it indeed brings up a context menu. If it's not enabled, two fingers on the trackpad, and press the trackpad button should do the same thing.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 08:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by earthlings View Post
I tried that and it doesn't work. Is it a feature on the macbooks now?
Make sure you have this enabled:
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
I know about the two finger deal, but I'm not comfortable with it.

The fan has only come on when I imported a bunch of high res prof photos into iPhoto (I did not take the photos, so you dont even need to ask why I have a normal macbook and not the pro).

Macs wont work here at our site. Our CEO tried it for a few months, but was frustrated with Entourage. Nothing holds water to Outlook+Exchange.
But you can set up an Exchange account in Entourage. That's what I do and it works flawlessly. Also, if you really did get a hard crash, you don't need to remove the AC and battery. Either hold down the power button to turn it off then turn it back on or press apple (cmd) + ctrl + power button to hot reboot.

Steve
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 09:51 PM
 
Agreed that something is wrong with the MacBook. Call me a fanboy or whatever, but the only time I've managed to crash OS X is in World of Warcraft (a multithreaded OpenGL bug expected to be fixed in 10.4.9), and when there is bad hardware involved. Nothing else I've ever done has crashed it, and I'm a very demanding user.

If Mac OS X is crashing, it's hardware related. No third party hardware? You may have a lemon of a Mac then (or bad RAM, or whatnot).
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:08 PM
 
1. Of course a Mac can crash; it's a computer. But crashes are far from typical Mac experience; it usually requires a hardware problem. If you experience more than one or two crashes per year it's time for a trip to the Apple Store Genius Bar (after removing your third-party RAM, which can cause problems with the Mac OS as well as other OS's.) When you buy third-party RAM stay away from the bargain basement. macsales.com is a good place to start shopping.

2. In terms of RAM, all computers are the same: the more the better. My MacBook Pro hums along nicely with 3GB, which, I believe, is the most the Core 2 Duo can handle.

3. No question about the right-click button. It is scandalous that Apple hasn't added a right-click button after all these years. And it's very surprising to me that no third-party vendor has come up with a clever add-on that can do the job.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:08 PM
 
I have a Core Two Duo MacBook and I love it. I have had a couple issues with crashes. I'm a long time Apple user and I personally believe it will be resolved with 10.5. I know that's probably not "right" but I'm betting the OS will mature for the Intel Chips.

You shouldn't have to remove the battery, have you tried holding down the power button to get it to restart?

512MB isn't enough. 1GB is adequate, but I'd recommend 2GB. I only use 1GB in my MacBook, but have 2GB in my iMac C2D. Of course the 256MB that I get in my work computer isn't enough either (I enjoy the irony of paying someone to sit in front of a computer all day, and then being too cheap to spend the 100$ to make it run fast. Go DoD).

I use control click with the trackpad, but when I'm serious I connect up my Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. I keep it in my bag, and only break it out when I'm going to be doing alot of clicking. Two finger drag for up and down is nice, I wasn't aware of the two finger click equals right click. I generally don't like clicking with the trackpad, my palms screw me up too much.

I'd love my macbook as my work computer. Entourage for Exchange. CAC card services embedded. I of course can't, but I do find myself working on my laptop instead of POS on my desk. I find the applications to be far more user centric, and the overall experience much better.

All computers crash every now and again. My iMac hasn't crashed since I bought it in November. MacBook a couple times, but like I said I expect 10.5 to fix that.

Welcome to the community. There are still a few barriers to work place use of Macs, but those are dwindling, pretty rapidly.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:21 PM
 
What's wrong with 6GB of VM? Mine is currently at 14.77GB.. I have a tendency to leave lots of apps open though. That's one thing that you've probably noticed too, that you can close the document and leave the App open... I love that about my Mac. Use word, leave it open... the next doc opens way faster than re-launching word ala PC. Yeah if I'm doing some serious processor work, I close things, but for day to day stuff I leave most everything open.

Fan runs faster when the processor or HD or CD/DVD is working hard and producing heat. My experience has been that they are a bit predictive in nature too, ie they think the processor loading will be generating heat, so they run up. May only be a momentary spike in use, but the fans kick up anyway. Rather that than not running when you need it. The temps can be monitored via 3rd party apps, if you're really curious.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:56 PM
 
As a sidenote, I have noticed than sometimes the fans of my PowerBook (yeah, I'm so 2005) kick in when I connect some mass storage USB device. My wife has successfully used the PB in such cases as a hairdryer.

Y no entienden nada... ¡y cómo se divierten!...
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:56 PM
 
With my MacBook, I do the following and have no problems.

In the Energy Saver control panel, I set different settings for Power Cord and Battery. I crank up the power, the processing speed, and keep the disks spinning full time on Power Cord. On Battery, I use the default settings.

Of course, the fan was an issue with mine as well, but they fixed it with a firmware patch. Maybe you need to run the Software update and see if there are any patches. My MacBook used to sound like a jet, now it is whisper quiet, but It is running more consistently now instead of up and down.

Crashes? Well, they happen from time to time depending on what your doing. I've had issues with some web sites out there, and I can tell you that it is only in the last 3 months or so. Before, I used to go for weeks without a program crashing. Sometimes I have issues with email and IMAP accounts, but that is getting less and less.

And for RAM, I max it out, just because Im a memory hog. I wouldn't run anything, Win or OSX without a min of 1GB. My Macbook has 2GB.
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 10:57 PM
 
Oh, I forgot, I use a bluetooth Mighty Mouse with my Macbook as well
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
Just wanted to share my own thoughts on this. I'm a Windows user, have an MCSE, am an IT manager, and I bought a Macbook for my own curiosity. Also, was thinking about integrating it into our company. I am by no means a hater on either end - each has its own market.

1. It is definitely crashable. Not that anyone said it wasnt (though, by posts in other forums, you would think so), but in my normal internet use, I have managed to cause it to freeze.
2. I have had to once forcefully restart it (remove battery and power)
3. Realized that 512 MB ram is NOT enough, especially when using iPhoto.
4. A right-click button is sorely needed. When I use an external mouse (gasp - an MS bluetooth one), I can work so much quicker.

Questions:
1. What's with the 6GB of VM?
1) Mac OS X should not be "crashable" during regular usage if the hardware is good, it may get very slow, and a particular program may crash, but the system itself should not "freeze" (I keep a CPU load indicator and "Memory Monitor" running in the dock to show how busy the computer is, and when VM is in use to guage if I should be impatient or not) Outside of hardware failures (and some rare bad device drivers) I have only run into one or two unexplained GUI lockups in the past nearly 5 years (since 10.2 shipped, which was when things had gotten fairly set for device drivers as well)
2) (same as 1)
3) 1 GB should be the minimum (same as XP, it can work somewhat at 512 MB, but really most people should have 1 GB+)

4) most people are far more used to a mouse than a trackpad, and bluetooth really makes things easier to run a mouse with a laptop)

as for your Question 1)
get a "Swap" widget, like "Swap Usage" from http://www.apple.com/macosx/dashboard/
this will show actual VM in use, rather than what a program sets for possible use. (This is different from what you see in windows, although in Unix/Linux many people don't realize that the VM column in Top is not actively used VM)

for example currently in Activity Monitor, my computer is showing a VM size of just over 18 GB, yet in /var/vm/ the swap files only total 3 GB (which is exactly what Swap Usage widget shows) I only have 1 GB in this computer, one of my next upgrades will be to put another 1 GB in (I should go to 4 GB, but can't afford it currently)
     
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Feb 20, 2007, 11:38 PM
 
I definitely tried the power button trick. It was a no go. The only other problem I've had was that I had to restart because nothing on the left side showed up in Finder.

I've only had the book for 5 days now. Havent had the chance to really go at it.

The jet came on again when I was converting the high res images (10MB each). I dont mind it coming on at only that point. I mean, they are high res, and I had 200+ of them. It is the ONLY time I hear the jets.

My experience with Entourage+Exchange is that it does not perform as well as Outlook+Exchange when it comes to speed. I'm trying to get my company to sponsor a copy of Office 2k4 for me to test. Any idea when MS is releasing a new version? Is it 08?
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
My experience with Entourage+Exchange is that it does not perform as well as Outlook+Exchange when it comes to speed. I'm trying to get my company to sponsor a copy of Office 2k4 for me to test. Any idea when MS is releasing a new version? Is it 08?
Once there's an Intel chipset compiled version, and not a Rosetta middelware emulation version like what you're using, I'm sure it'll feel much more comfortable and zippy.

Apple's own Mail app connects to Exchange servers too. Have you tried it?
Macbook (white glossy) 2.16GHz | 4GB RAM | 7200RPM HD | 10.5.x
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:14 AM
 
MS office for the macintosh is expected late 2007.
Linkinus is king.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
I definitely tried the power button trick. It was a no go. The only other problem I've had was that I had to restart because nothing on the left side showed up in Finder.

I've only had the book for 5 days now. Havent had the chance to really go at it.

The jet came on again when I was converting the high res images (10MB each). I dont mind it coming on at only that point. I mean, they are high res, and I had 200+ of them. It is the ONLY time I hear the jets.

My experience with Entourage+Exchange is that it does not perform as well as Outlook+Exchange when it comes to speed. I'm trying to get my company to sponsor a copy of Office 2k4 for me to test. Any idea when MS is releasing a new version? Is it 08?
Did you hold the button down for 5-10 seconds? If so, and it didn't shut down, I'd say you definitely have a hardware problem. Also don't forget the control-command-power button key command to force a restart.

I have an old powerbook (667Mhz) that can handle converting multiple 40+MB images without breaking a sweat... if your computer is blowing like a jet turbine on 10MB images, there is a problem. Either you need to download and install the recent Apple updates (especially firmware) if they are available, or you need to take you laptop in for repair, since something isn't right.
"Bill Gates can't guarantee Windows... how can you guarantee my safety?"
-John Crichton
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 03:40 AM
 
If your mac’s crashing - get new ram (PERIOD)

CVB
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 06:02 AM
 
And pump it up to 2GB, maybe macbaby added some PC ram that isn't 100% compatible. We all know how sensitive a Mac can be regarding to its RAM.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 06:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by davoud View Post
3. No question about the right-click button. It is scandalous that Apple hasn't added a right-click button after all these years. And it's very surprising to me that no third-party vendor has come up with a clever add-on that can do the job.
Apple themselves have come up with an extremely clever solution IMO.

And, while this has been discussed hundreds of times on these forums, the reason for not having right-clicking enabled by default is eminently sensible:

It's to avoid the complete interface ****-up that having a default right-click has made Windows. Developers there started adding vital functionality to the context menu, while NOT putting it on regular menus. The result? Try putting PowerDVD, one of the most widespread DVD player apps on Windows, into fullscreen mode. The ONLY place you can do this is right-clicking on the window itself while it is playing. I found out AFTER searching through every available menu and option.

Small issue. But it took me a couple minutes to figure out. And some equivalent to this is in pretty much EVERY SINGLE Windows program. And while you're computer-savvy enough to be hanging around on a computer discussion forum, probably a full 90% of your computer-using brethren AREN'T. Not because they're stupid, but because they shouldn't have to be.

Apple's gift has been to reduce everything to the minimum possible complexity, while having complexity available for those who need it and are capable of explicitly seeking it.

So context menus are built-in, and they perform the sensible function: short-cuts. You can turn them on if you like. Hooking up a two-button mouse will enable them automatically, as will control-clicking.

The two-finger tap (or set down two fingers and click) is the most elegant solution I've seen on any laptop so far - as is the two-finger scrolling.

You'll get used to it.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 07:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by cvbcvb View Post
If your mac’s crashing - get new ram (PERIOD)

CVB
I have to agree with the RAM hypothesis.

I have owned four MacBook Pro's and two of those exhibited unpredictable behavior until I found good RAM modules... same goes for the only Mini I have owned. When the RAM was good, the machines run very, very reliably.

Some RAM modules worked very well until they reached a certain temperature. This lead to incredibly long diagnosis times... Reproducing the crashes seemed somewhat random (based on ambient temperature), but always occured when doing the same activities (transcoding a movie, importing photos, etc.).

I went to a local Mac retailer and tested multiple RAM modules before purchasing.

Surprising that Apple has not recognized this issue sooner. Apple Care tech support was entirely useless in the whole process.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 07:04 AM
 
Just to chime in on the trackpad button thing - I used a Windows Vista laptop at the weekend, and was getting confused why, when I clicked on things, I only got the contextual meny. It was because of the 2 button split trackpad button, my thumb naturally fell on the right click button. Incredibly frustrating !

With my Macbook, I can left easily (which is the most common use case), and also right click just as easily (just leave another finger touching the trackpad). It's ingenious, and much better than a 2 button pad IMO.

Anyway, this sort of crap is going the way of the dinosaurs when we get full multi-touch interfaces

It also amazes me when Windows switchers (or at least, sliders) are amazed that sleep and wake actually works as advertised. Well, er - yeah ! Apple has had this licked for - I dunno - years and years. Since I had a Powerbook 1200 at least That's the great thing about the Mac - it just works.

Actually, there's no 'just' about it. The 'just' actually translates to hundreds of man hours of hard work and Steve's drive for absolute perfection., squeezing out that last 10% that really makes the difference between 'insane' and 'insanely great' !
( Last edited by Gee4orce; Feb 21, 2007 at 07:07 AM. Reason: Roll on grammar checking in 10.5...)
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 08:58 AM
 
1. It is definitely crashable. Not that anyone said it wasnt (though, by posts in other forums, you would think so), but in my normal internet use, I have managed to cause it to freeze.
Like others said, it's a computer, so it can crash. In the years I had a Mac, I can count the real crash on a hand. You have to make the difference between computer crash, application crash and application lock-up. Are you certain the only solution was to shut down the computer?
3. Realized that 512 MB ram is NOT enough, especially when using iPhoto.
I've been doing iPhoto for years with a 400Mhz G4 and 320MB RAM. It worked great for what I made it do, but YMMV. I now have a CoreDuo 1.83Ghz iMac with 1.5Gb RAM and a 1.33Ghz PBG4 with 1GB RAM. More RAM = More speed, that's for shure

Questions:
1. What's with the 6GB of VM?
This is the amount of RAM your programs would take if everything was compiled static. MacOS X does a great job at optimizing RAM utilisation and object sharing, this is why this is not the amount of RAM used in the real life.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 09:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Drizzt View Post
You have to make the difference between computer crash, application crash and application lock-up. Are you certain the only solution was to shut down the computer?
It's possible he didn't know about how to force-quit a frozen app.

I prefer the CMD+OPTION+ESC solution over right clicking on the dock icon or whatever. It allows for frozen full-screen apps to quit without requiring the dialog. BUT, I DO prefer right clicking on a launching app's icon in the dock to force quit it into not launching at all when I've clicked on it by mistake.

1-Right click it's bouncing icon
2-click on 'force quit'

Windows has nothing convenient like that. You launch an app, and you're stuck until it's done unless you're fast enough to:

1-ctrl-alt-del
2-click on the task mananger
3-click on 'name' column header to sort
4-find your app in the alphabetical list
5-highlight your accident app
6-click on 'end process'
7-wait for it to complete (default wait + virtual memory clear)
(8)-it may pop up a dialog box asking you to click on 'end process' again if the act of you manually terminating the process triggers the 'program sat unresponsive too long' event, which makes windows think it had launched but froze. So you have to clear out that dialog first, and then your original attempt is allowed to proceed.
(9)-Wait for step (8) to complete (defaultt wait + viritual memory clear)

Of course by the time you're done all that, the time taken exceeds that of the app launch and you've wasted your time even trying.

It's just plain nonsense. Windows is such a chore.
Macbook (white glossy) 2.16GHz | 4GB RAM | 7200RPM HD | 10.5.x
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 10:18 AM
 
I won't say my PowerMac G5 or my MacBook Pro, or my Mac mini, NEVER crashes, but it happens so seldomly that I cannot tell you when the last issue I had was or even what it was.

Incidentally, I am a design professional and use some VERY intense applications, I run Revit and 3D Studio Max on Boot Camp and it runs flawlessly, 512 MB is not enough RAM, that is very clear, but 512 MB of RAM is not enough on Vista either.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 10:27 AM
 
Just so you guys know, I was a sys admin, and while I'm not trying to compare Windows to Mac, I would like to think of myself as pretty knowledgeable in diagnosing problems.

As for the RAM being the culprit, it's a good start. This happened right out of the box. I have yet to make any changes to the laptop. Maybe this is incentive to upgrade.

I am a semi-user of Ubuntu as well, so I'm definitely familiar with their force quits. As an IT manager, you cannot get married to any one system. Which is why I'm exploring Mac's in the office, and focusing in on the shortcomings.

As for Mail connecting to Exchange, it's not the same. I'm surprised to see how many people believe it is. Mail is a POP/IMAP client. Outlook is a MAPI client. Entourage is sort of a hybrid, as it runs off of OWA. (anyone - correct me if I'm wrong).
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 10:28 AM
 
My new MacBook Pro had some crashing issues when new... turned out to be the third party ram I had installed. got a replacement, problem disappeared.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
As for Mail connecting to Exchange, it's not the same. I'm surprised to see how many people believe it is. Mail is a POP/IMAP client. Outlook is a MAPI client. Entourage is sort of a hybrid, as it runs off of OWA. (anyone - correct me if I'm wrong).
Oh. I feel very silly now. I didn't know about MAPI.

In case anyone else doesn't know:
MAPI is the acronym for Message Application Program Interface. They are a set of Microsoft Windows functions that you can use to 'email enable' applications without having to write the code to handle these complex issues.
So Exchange uses a proprietary Microsoft API for mail handling?

Outlook Web Access is interesting. I didn't know about that one either. For everyone's enjoyment:
Features of Exchange Server 2007

Outlook Web Access, an AJAX application since its first release with Exchange Server 5.5, provides a rich, Outlook like experience in a browser. New features in Outlook Web Access 2007 enable users to:
• Schedule Out of Office messages and send to internal and/or external recipients
• Use the Scheduling Assistant to efficiently book meetings
• Access SharePoint documents without a VPN or tunnel using LinkAccess
• Use WebReady Document Viewing to read attachments in HTML even if the application that created the document is not installed locally
• Access RSS subscriptions
• View content in Managed E-mail Folders
• Retrieve voice mail or fax messages through Unified Messaging integration
• Search the Global Address List
More Mac/Exchange support info here:
Working with Exchange Server
Macbook (white glossy) 2.16GHz | 4GB RAM | 7200RPM HD | 10.5.x
     
macbaby  (op)
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Feb 21, 2007, 10:59 AM
 
Yes, MAPI is proprietary to Windows.

Remember, Outlook+Exchange is not simply mail, it's more collaboration and communication. Yes, Exchange also supports POP and IMAP clients as well. But its true bread and butter shows when you have Outlook connecting to it.

I just find it surprising that Entourage cannot replicate the experience, even though it comes from MS.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 11:04 AM
 
I have to agree with the folks who say more RAM will help, I'd go straight to 2GB. The major grouse I have with Macs these days is that Apple still ships them with half the RAM they really need to run their best, I think the default RAM has been increased recently. Ah, only on the more expensive models...

When converting photos with 512MB the system has no choice but spin the HD as fast as it will go (reading and writing the files and using it for virtual memory) and combining this with probably having to emulate a PowerPC chip in Rosetta (if you are using Photoshop or many other programs) you are creating a lot of processor overhead that the user who mentions no problems on an older PowerBook didn't have. The other thing to concider is that the older PowerBooks were bigger, and this made for more airflow in the case, between this and a processor that generated less heat with less transistors at a lower speed... Take a look for Graphic Converter at Lemkesoft - Startseite you will find a program that is much better suited to batch graphics conversion and is already in Universal Binary, so no Rosetta overhead.

I added 2GB of RAM from a sale at Staples and my MacBook has been working great. Technically the RAM is over spec. being PC5400. I've had good luck with 3rd party RAM, but sticking to the big makers like Kingston seems to help me get good RAM most of the time.
     
macbaby  (op)
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Feb 21, 2007, 11:09 AM
 
I'll hit up the RAM if I end up doing more photo converting, etc. At this point, I need to at least let the credit card get on to its next statement before adding another $200.

Thanks for all the help, fellas.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 11:15 AM
 
I'm a recent Mac convert, also. My two cents... I love Macs, and I've experience far fewer "issues" with my Mac Mini G4 than with my Dell laptop running XP. I'm a developer on the Windows platform and have been for 7 years, so I am pretty familiar with Windows , but I'm still learning Mac OS X. I have had some "freeze" issues of at least apparent lockups where I can't get Force Quit to come up with cmd-option-escape. In fairness, I can only recall one time when the entire GUI appeared to be hung entirely, with no Finder or any applications visible and just a mouse cursor, and in which I felt very forced to do a hardware-forced shutdown.

On the other hand, the delay between hitting cmd-option-escape and actually getting the Force Quit dialog is usually 2-3 seconds, a far cry from the near-instantaneous response I'm using to getting with CTRL-ALT-DEL in XP, and this is sometimes frustrating. Overall, the GUI sometimes just feels sluggish and I see the spinning rainbow circle-thingy. This isn't all the time, but occasional, especially if I have FireFox, iTunes, and other apps all running. I've definitely also noted that on my Mini that iPhoto feels kind of bloated and slow often. I attribute this somewhat to the fact that I have a 2005 G4 Mini with the 4200 rpm drive (bleh!) and that I only have 512MB RAM (but upgraded from 256MB that came with it orginally -- now that was really unbearable when loading apps, especially Office 2004 apps).

Also, I didn't find Entourage that great, either, for connecting to my Exchange server at work. In fact, I couldn't get it to work at all until macbaby's hint about it using OWA to access Exchange. I don't know if it *requires* OWA as opposed to just connecting directly to Exchange however Outlook does normally, but I do know that I couldn't get it to work just putting in my company's exchange server like I do in Outlook. However, when I put in the URL for OWA, which my company does support, voila, it worked. However, some things are not supported, according to this Wiki entry Microsoft Entourage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I confirmed that return receipts do not appear to work, by sending myself a message from another account using another client. I got the message slightly faster under Outlook 2003, and was asked about the return receipt. I got it just shortly thereafter on my Entourage 2004 client, but no query was made about whether I wanted to send a return receipt. So some shortcomings when compared with Outlook 2003.

Overall, I'm happy with the Mac, and I'm looking to replace splitting my primary computer duties between my Dell laptop and my Mac Mini G4 at home with a MacBook. Hopefully MS Office 2008 will address some of the shortcomings in Entourage, as well as offer the significant speed enhancements on Intel hardware that will come from being a Universal app.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 11:21 AM
 
Also, to macbaby, as I'm sure you aware from experience, Entourage is definitely not strictly speaking a Outlook Mac edition (they did use to have that) or even meant primarily as an Exchange client for the Mac. Here is an article that sort of explains this better:

Entourage is not Outlook
     
macbaby  (op)
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Feb 21, 2007, 11:31 AM
 
I entirely realize that it is not an Outlook Mac edition. Even MS isnt stupid enough to label it as such.

Anyone know if the upcoming version will have a real Exchange client?
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 11:47 AM
 
I seriously doubt that MS will produce another Exchange client besides Entourage for Office 2008 or otherwise. As it is, they moved away from Outlook on the Mac to Entourage for a reason, and now with Outlook Web Access Light 2007 in fact targeted at non-IE browsers (Safari and FireFox among them) and/or non-Windows OSs, there is probably little business incentive to create a richer Exchange client for the Mac. I am sure they feel they have covered their bases Mac clients between OWA Light 2007 and Entourage.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by diamondsw View Post
... the only time I've managed to crash OS X is in World of Warcraft (a multithreaded OpenGL bug expected to be fixed in 10.4.9)...
diamondsw, can you give me any information you have about the OpenGL crashing bug in WoW? Literally the only crashes I get on my first gen MBP are when I'm running World of Warcraft. My symptoms are that I can see and move the mouse pointer, but the rest of the system is non-responsive, forcing a 5-second power button hold to restart.

Otherwise I agree with most people on the topic: 1GB RAM minimum; crashes do happen. 6GB VM probably corresponds to a lot of open apps. I hesitate to say you have a lemon of a machine, it sounds like you're getting the sporadic crashes that all machines get, but you wouldn't do any harm to stop by a genius bar for an opinion.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
Yes, MAPI is proprietary to Windows.



I just find it surprising that Entourage cannot replicate the experience, even though it comes from MS.
You think that is bad....to transfer mail on Entourage X to Outlook you first import the mail to Entourage 2004, export to .rge file, run a translator to convert it to an mbox file, import that into Outlook Express then from Express to Outlook. MS has no utility to do all of that in one easy step.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 12:59 PM
 
macbaby, I'm a fellow recent switcher and take it from me don't bother with the methedone (double finger clicking, ctrl clicking, using a mouse cristened with by a santaria priest with a chickens foot, etc), there is no substitute for a right button on your mouse. In this one area Apple has mistaken think different for think slow. Get yourself a good two button mouse that's mac compatible and just don't tell the hardcore mac users (there are some real fanatics around here if you know what I mean). I just got an MX Revolution by logitech, it is by far the best mouse I've ever had. One of the sweetest things about it is you can program each button to do something different in each program.

The fans: don't ask me, scarred the crap out of me the first time it did it too (I have a macbook pro 15" w/ 2GB Ram 2.16GHz CPU), my first reaction was "holy crap somehow I've started the self destruct sequence! look out she's gonna blow!" Seriously it's not funny at all when 2 grand worrh of computing equipment starts to sound like the final scene in a 007 movie.

Crashing: I crashed mine in less than a week. So bad I had to spin the damn thing and re-install the OS. Apparently Mac's don't like to have 3000+ fonts installed all at the same time. Other than that I've run everthing from firefox to Adobe CS2 and Final Cut Pro and have had no crashes. Then again I do have 2GB of RAM. A lot of programs for the Mac have to go through the Rosetta program (non-Universal Binary programs) in order to work which REALLY SS LL OO WW SS things down. Adobe CS2 in particular made me go get the 1GB upgrade.

On the notion of exchange, your right. And Apple has said they realize this is one of the main things keeping them out of the corporate world. A Mac version of Exchange is supposed to be in the works along with virtualization of Mac clients (which should be an available feature when leopard hits). I have heard of one corporation, a rather large one with well over 700 employees, who is absolutely fed up with MS and is looking for alternate solutions. I'm not sure how they are replacing Exchange with them, but they are "beta" testing Google's Gmail as a solution which is an internet solution accessible from any type of client with a web browser (win, Mac, linux, etc). I think that this is somewhat of a desperate hail mary solution but who know's, it might work. Personally, I'm just gonna sit back and watch everyone get frustrated with 8 different office versions, 12 different versions of Vista or what ever it is and who know's how many server versions on the way. I figure in 5-7 yrs Microsoft will split up without Gates to hold it together, cohesion will completely dissappear between the resulting organizations and at the point Mac will have at least 1/3 market share with an Exchange equivalent client, Windows will have a 1/3 Market Share, and 1/3 Market share will be had by other factions and splinters of Microsoft. Big Corporations will look to a stable company to provide them with computing clients and at the point who you gonna go with? Mac. The office corporation that splintered from MS will want to stay in the Game so they'll get their heads out of there a$$e$ and make a viable Mac outlook client and we'll all be using Macs so all the hackers will focus their time on Macs and we'll be right back where we started but the OS will have a different name and the company we hate will be the company we used to love and one day your grand son will come up to you ask "Grandpa, what's a 'windows'". Then you'll feel old and you'll say to your grandson "Windows, Mac, it's all the same crap".
Tins

“You know how it is when you go to be the subject of a psychology experiment, and nobody else shows up, and you think maybe that's part of the experiment? I'm like that all the time.”
-Steven Wright
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by trellusg View Post

On the other hand, the delay between hitting cmd-option-escape and actually getting the Force Quit dialog is usually 2-3 seconds, a far cry from the near-instantaneous response I'm using to getting with CTRL-ALT-DEL in XP, and this is sometimes frustrating.
Option click the application in the dock to get a Force Quit works nicely also. I see no delay on my 3 year old machine cmd-opt-esc, granted it is a Dual 2.0 GHz G5 with 8 GB of RAM. But for a 4 year old machine it is still much faster than any of our newer machines.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 01:23 PM
 
Just wanted to share my responses to your thoughts. I'm a Windows developer using C# for ASP.NET. I've also personally been a Mac user for over 10 years, and have never owned a Windows system.

1. My MacBook had crashed a lot. I did find out around a week ago, however, that one of the RAM chips I bought was bad. Just something to keep in mind.

2. In the time that I've been using Macs, I've never once had to reboot a Mac in this manner. This seems to show you are in fact having a serious Hardware malfunction...

3. My MacBook with 512MB RAM ran significantly faster than my iBook with 1GB RAM. That iBook was my primary machine until around 8 months ago. A MacBook will run significantly better with 2GB, so if are that concerned with speed get more. Of course, the RAM factor usually holds true to Windows systems as well. As I have 2 development machines, one with 2GB RAM, the other with 512MB. I generally avoid using the 512MB system, as it runs horribly slow...

4. Being a Mac user for over 10 years, and having spent the last 4 using only a laptop with 1 button, I can honestly say I work significantly faster on my Mac than I can on my Windows systems. The 1 button mouse/trackpad can be used just as efficiently if not more so than a 2 button mouse, with the right experience. Given a choice, I will choose to use the Mac version of PhotoShop any day over the Windows version, as I'm significantly more efficient with it. The thing is, when the computer is developed around a one button mouse, you tend to learn shortcuts that almost eliminate the need for the extra button. I rarely use the ctrl-click feature of my Mac, because there are alternate means to accomplish the same tasks... In the end, it's not the number of buttons its how you use them...
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by macbaby View Post
I entirely realize that it is not an Outlook Mac edition. Even MS isnt stupid enough to label it as such.

Anyone know if the upcoming version will have a real Exchange client?
Probably not. MS has no incentive to support Exchange on other than Windows platforms. You see, Exchange/Outlook is one of the few things that keep companies tied to Windows.

And I've never understood what the hubbubb about Exchange and Outlook is. It's a poor server app (I've admin'ed it.) and pretty much binds you to Windows and MS's upgrade treadmill. Outlook is a decent app, but I never got what was so great about it.

That being said, if you want true cross platform messaging, you have to get away from MS. Notes is a contender that's cross platform, but the UI takes some getting used to. On the server side, Notes is supported by lots of platforms (Mac, Linux, AS/400, AIX, etc) where Exchange is Windows only.

That's probably the only way to get tight integration - get away from Exchange. There are plenty of much better options out there....
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 02:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tins View Post
Crashing: I crashed mine in less than a week. So bad I had to spin the damn thing and re-install the OS. Apparently Mac's don't like to have 3000+ fonts installed all at the same time.

A Mac will handle 3000 fonts no problem, what they don't handle well is Corrupt Fonts.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 02:52 PM
 
I'm trying to understand what is so special about Outlook with Exchange that you can't do with Entourage and Exchange. I have Entourage and Outlook running (in Parallels) at the same time, but I never use Outlook because I can do everything it does in Entourage. Can you enlighten me? As for the speed, even with Rosetta, it runs perfectly well on my 2.33 C2D MBP.

Steve
     
macbaby  (op)
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Feb 21, 2007, 03:22 PM
 
We could go back and forth about this until the cows come home. I did not intend to create such a thread.

The link for Entourage vs Outlook is above.
( Last edited by macbaby; Feb 21, 2007 at 03:29 PM. Reason: typo)
     
 
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