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Tomo Jul 18, 2000 06:57 AM
Mac Vs PC
Hi evereyone.
I am a "newbie" to Macs and the OS and currently only use a wintel machine. However, I am seriously considering buying an i Book(probably after Macworld).
I would like to know if the Mac OS is more stable and has fewer hangs, crashes and freezes than the frustrating windoze.Any info from anyone brave enough to admit to haveing used or still using the wintel combo would be appreciated.
I am not a power user and have little interest in games but would like to use virtual PC. Any comments about resoloution on an i Book?
Thanks for the help.
Cipher13 Jul 18, 2000 07:06 AM
The iBooks max resolution is either 832*624 or 800*600 (confirm anyone?).
This has been gone over many times, so you may want to check the forums for older posts pertaining to mac vs. pc.
I'll just say this - the MacOS is more stable and has fewer hangs etc., and if you're used to Wintels then you probably know how serious a minor problem can become - with the MacOS, just about any problem (software of course) can be fixed within half an hour by someone who knows what they're doing.
Personally, I will never use a Windoze machine for anything more than gaming (they have an advantage there simply because of the amount of games available - but that is changing).
Hope this helps!
Step away from the dark side, and you will never go back.

petek Jul 18, 2000 08:27 AM
I use Virtual PC on our G3/233 and iMac DV400 with okay results. Your satisfaction really depends on what you use it for. On the iMac, with 80 MB physical RAM allocated, VPC runs about like a 200 MHz Pentium. On the G3 it's slower than a 133 MHz Pentium. I would guess that it would be somewhere in between on the iBook.

Also, VPC wants lots of RAM, at least 50 MB for v3, though v2.13 works okay with 24 to 32 MB. I've had alot of problems with it with less than this, and virtual memory is too slow for VPC to work properly from it.

If you go with the iBook, I'd suggest getting at least 128 MB if you want to run VPC v3 (or v2.13 with Win98).

And as far as stability goes, I work with Macs and PCs (W95/98 & NT) continuously and would say that the Macs take less than half the support of the PCs. Of course if you are running a PC in your Mac (as with VPC) you can expect to have pretty much the same reliability with it as you would with a PC.

By the way, I have only Macs at home.
Bockie Jul 18, 2000 10:27 AM
With the exception of DOS I don't believe that Microsoft makes a stable OS. I have used Windows since 3.11, but as of early last year, I became a firm Macintosh user.I use a Dell @ work, but own a 233Mhz Rev B iMac (original, bondi blue color) with 160M ram. The OS is _much_ more stable and much more straight-forward than Windows. The Apple menu will be similar to the Start Menu(since M$ stole the idea! )

I also use Virtual PC 2.1.6(?) with Win98 and have Microsoft Office 97 Pro. I allot 96M to VPC and it works wonderfully. I sometimes connect via MSN from VPC, but it's kinda slow. I can transfer all of my work projects via email/zip and open them with ease.

I once emailed myself a PowerPoint presentation that I was working on, downloaded and finished it at home. The next day I took my iMac to work as a presentation device(using PPt 97 and VPC).

If you work with Word much, I do suggest that you buy Word 98 for the iMac/iBook; for about $100 it's worth the money! Just remember to that Macs don't support long file names (at least 8.6 doesn't). Also, if you work across platforms, you should always add the .doc extension when you save your documents. Hope this helps!
reader50 Jul 18, 2000 12:25 PM
The iBook currently has a 12-inch screen with max resolution of 800x600. I have been told the case would allow a 13 inch screen. By all means check again after MacWorld, the "current" specs are guaranteed only until tomorrow!

I have avoided PCs both real and virtual, so no comment on that. Regarding the Mac OS, you will get some hangs and crashes. Likely fewer of them than me, since you are not a power user and presumably will not fiddle around in the System Folder all the time the way I do. When Mac OS X comes out, the application crashes will go down further, and the hangs/system crashes will basically go away.

The real difference today is what happens after hangs/crashes. Generally, just reboot the Mac and all is well. Most problems that do come up are easily fixed by the user in just a few minutes - like deleting a bad preference file. Don't go by the problems posted in some of the Forums here, we hear the very few bad cases that need more help. The bad problems are few and far between (or even never) for the average Mac user.
wlonh Jul 18, 2000 05:07 PM
i hesitate to classify myself as a power user mainly because of the perspective i have gotten here on these fora, though i do tinker around inside the case from time to time and do ResEdit hacks ('documented' hacks, anyway) and_try_out all sorts of (beta) softwares that perhaps i shouldn't... my Mac crashes occasionally but not bloody often and it is always something of a surprise when it does...

i have quite a few friends who are former PC users/sysadmins and they all say (it should be said there's not a gamer in the bunch) that they abhor using a wintel machine now

somewhat conversely, i have several friends who are confirmed Mac users and have a PC for games, and i always wonder why they don't just get a gaming console or two instead

but that is just me, i have avoided giving Intel or MS any of my filthy lucre whatsoever and with any luck will continue to do so
Tomo Jul 18, 2000 09:19 PM
A BIG thanks to everyone.
A lot of sage advice. I will re-consider my nead for Virtual PC (at 110 no bad thing!)
It is very helpfull to hear the views of people who have used both systems and can give a balanced account.
I have heard that a Mac can read pc disks, but to what extent is this possible or useable?
Also, as I am doing an Open University (distance learning) course, would Appleworks sufice, or would the extra expence of ms Word98 be worth it. I have read of Mac specific WP programs which are freeware in the basic form. My neads in this respect are basic WP, inc tables, scientific formula/symbols and maybe the odd inserted sketch/drawing.
The only drawback is the CD ROMs for the course are windoze and will only run under VPC, right? No big deal though.
Any software worth considering would also be helpfull. eg I have Norton system works on my pc, the usual office apps etc.
I also have an LS 120mb floppy drive on pc and would consider the usb for mac version.
Please let me know if I have drifted somewhat off the original thread
Thanks for a helpful and informative forum.
Regards from south Wales, UK.
Steph Jul 18, 2000 11:04 PM
I've turned my back on 10 years of windoze, and converted to Mac. Due to work, I still have to interact with windoze from time to time, and I also use Linux a fair bit. I wouldn't call myself a 'power user' but I do a lot of fiddling and tinkering, both with the software and hardware. I'm trying to convince my family to cross over now.

A mac will be able to read any Dos floppy disk, zip disk, cd rom, etc etc that you put into it. By read, that is, the files will be there and you can copy them onto your Mac. To actually use them, you would need either a Mac version of the windows software that created them, or a way to convert the files.

For instance, if you had Word for Macintosh, then you could load and read word files created on a windows machine. Alternatively, if you don't have Word, then if you could use a conversion utility to change the Word files into, say, Appleworks files, and then access them.
This is no different of course in the windows to windows world, e.g. I can't read an Excel spreadsheet on my win-laptop because I don't have Excel. I use CD, Zip and floppy disks to transfer stuff between my toshiba laptop, linux server, and iMac all the time. Some files I'm using on both laptop and iMac; some things I just need to transfer. My laptop is a mini-one, with no CD, so I stick the CD with windows stuff into the iMac, transfer it all by network to my laptop, then run the programs. Or sometimes download Mac programs to my laptop, then send them over to the iMac. I archived all my files from my win-peecee onto cds, which my iMac reads without trouble.

You can get Norton Utilities for the mac, I've heard a lot of good things about it.
I haven't started using Appleworks very much yet so I can't say how suitable it might be for you. I've found it's more than adequate for my needs, which sound similar to yours.

Hope I've been able to be of some help.


yoyo52 Jul 19, 2000 01:58 AM
There are utilities for the Mac comparable to the Norton suite for Windows--in fact, Norton makes one. If you're regularly going to be receiving documents from PC users with MS Word, then by all means get MS Word--or Office '98 if you can afford it. One nice thing that MS hs done is make the Mac and the MS versions of the Office suite applications transparent to each other: you can open a Word '97 Windows document in the Word '98 for Macs application with no problem at all. AppleWorks will not open Word documents. Alternatively, you might consider buying a nifty utility called MacLinkPlus, which has translators for a lot of documents types.

What the others have said about the stability of the Mac OS is true in my experience as well, by the way. It's also true that you don't have to be a power user to have a much higher degree of control of your Mac than you do of your Windows machine.
P Jul 24, 2000 01:07 AM
Stability: MacOS is a lot better than Win 9x, but it's not quite as stable as NT/2000, I'm sad to say.

The Mac reads PC disks, CDs as well as floppies, and if the program you're using on the PC is available on the Mac, you can use the file without problems.
John_Engels Aug 1, 2000 08:24 AM
Appleworks 5 will open Word 5.1a and Word 6 files using the installed converter. Don't know about Word 98. There's never been a decent Word version for the Macintosh since 5.1a, unless you're enamored of tabs.
ReddyStupidity[G3] Aug 1, 2000 12:15 PM
P > So that's why Apple is making Mac OS X. The beta will come out in about a month from now, I still do not know if it will be downloadable or will come as a CD. I may, or not get it. Actually I won't get it because I know so many people will get it and take screenshots of it etc, I can just get info from them. I can't reinitialize my hard disk because I have no time or space to back up 5GB of storage space.

Too bad...

Mr.Fear Aug 1, 2000 04:09 PM
Reddy, you won't have to reinitialize your HD for OS X. If it's HFS+, it's ready to go. If not, take a look at PlusMaker (can't remember the developer's name). Converts HFS to HFS+ without reinitializing. Works like a charm.
pneumatic Aug 15, 2000 01:04 PM
Originally posted by ReddyStupidity[G3]:
P > I can't reinitialize my hard disk because I have no time or space to back up 5GB of storage space.
OS X will install on your HD right next to OS 9. At least it does in DP4. Then you get a choice of OS at boot time.

There is no need to reformat your HD to run OS X, as I believe it supports both HFS and HFS+.
pneumatic Aug 15, 2000 01:11 PM
Originally posted by Tomo:
I would like to know if the Mac OS is more stable and has fewer hangs, crashes and freezes than the frustrating windoze.Any info from anyone brave enough to admit to haveing used or still using the wintel combo would be appreciated.
I have both a B&W G3 and a Win 98 system at home. I wouldn't say one system is actually more stable than the other, as neither system crashes on me much (or at all).

But, just last night I was installing some stuff from M$ Office onto the PC, and after the machine restarted, Explorer kept giving me a general page fault and would quit. So I had to log into M$ tech support on the Mac to figure out how to fix it, otherwise the PC would be dead in the water. Never had to log in with the PC to fix the Mac though!

I will say that I've had tons less trouble with the G3 than the PC though. And I like to think I know my way around both OS's pretty good. But quality control on the software side seems to be alot worse on the PC.

One last thing. If my wife (who used nothing but Windows before we were married) ever needs to use one of the computer, she kicks me off the Mac!
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