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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New to Apple, new to PowerBook, new to forum!

New to Apple, new to PowerBook, new to forum!
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opti
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Jun 24, 2004, 09:55 PM
 
Hi all,

I have several questions that I'll soon be posting in separate forums, but before I do that I figured I better give a proper introduction.

I just got a 15" PowerBook yesterday. It's the lower end model, everything stock except I upgraded the hard drive to the 80GB/5400RPM drive. I also got another 512MB RAM from Crucial, but I haven't gotten around to installing it yet.

Anyway, the last Apple in our household was actually an Apple II that my father started his computing with; I was started out on PCs and I've been there my whole life. My curiosity and all the annoyances of Windows led me to try out Linux when it was in its infancy (back when Slackware was the dominant distro, and Red Hat was the only real alternative), and recently I've skipped around a bunch of distros and I've been using it as my main OS (with occasional excursions into BeOS).

So anyway, although I used to despise Macs, ever since OS X came out I've been rather intrigued by it, and their hardware designs post-iMac have become increasingly impressive. but the costs were prohibitive--their machines *are* rather pricey compared to what I can build a PC for (esp. if you don't want an all-in-one design). However, I'm going to be studying in Japan for a year, and though not strictly necessary, I really wanted to get a laptop to take with. I briefly considered the wintel side of things, but I really don't want to run Windows, I don't want to deal with the frustrations and configuration of Linux, and the hardware design pales in comparison. I need something that "just works" (and also works well), it will just be destructive to my ends if I spend too much time tweaking it and updating software. Add in some very fortunate circumstances in securing funds for the year, and the choice was easy: I went for an Apple.

I have to say, so far the experience is fantastic. I started going through "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" yesterday, which is helping out a lot; it was a snap to get the essentials configured, and from there it's just a matter of learning the differences between this and what I'm used to. The hardware itself is nearly perfect--it's probably the best-designed product I've ever purchases; everything is top-notch quality, with little innovations you just don't see with most laptops. All of the flaws w/ the first revision seem to be absent too -- the latch works fine, I haven't seen any dead pixels on the screen, and so on. The only slight downfalls are a very slight curvature in the screen (I wouldn't have likely noticed this if I wasn't looking for it, and I don't see it ever being a problem), and it gets rather warm on the bottom when I have it on the lap for a while (to the point of minor discomfort). Oh, and Apple needs to lay off the brushed metal... but that's a software thing.

Anyway, see my other posts for some of the questions I have so far, any input would be greatly appreciated!
     
rag on a muffin
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Jun 24, 2004, 10:12 PM
 
congrats for swittching, although id say that the computers were always good, although they surely started to look better after the imacs, as well as the OS becoming better. (after 8.1, things started to get unusable)

like linux, os x is pretty configurable. the main thing is to download the developers pack and doing it.

as for the heat issue, be glad you did not get the 12" if you do not like the heat on the 15.

i dont think you will be disappointed.
Superhero Of The Computer Rage
MacBook Pro 2.16 Ghz, PowerBook G4 12" 1 Ghz (DVI) Dell 24" monitor
Porsche 944, Mercedes 240D (running onWaste Vegetable Oil)
     
wei
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Jun 24, 2004, 10:21 PM
 
welcome! and congrats of your purchase!
this is a nice place, ppl in here are helpful & friendly, hope you'll enjoy
MacPro, MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacMini, iPad, iPhone, and much more...
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 24, 2004, 10:44 PM
 
Concerning the earlier hardware designs -- I guess they were always nicely designed; I just thought Macs were stupid in my early years (the same way I thought Sega Genesis was stupid at the time -- it was the competition with what I was using). But they've taken on an especially nice aesthetic (achieving very nice designs in both the "stylish" and "professional" classifications, depending on the product) since the iMac, and led the move away from beige designs. I've never really cared for their focus on all-in-one machines for the low end, though...

Concerning the heat -- I had read that the current 12" was much improved over the Rev A in this regard. Actually I was leaning very strongly toward the 12" for the sake of portability; the main thing that steered me away was screen size, resolution and quality. Though honestly, in the store looking at them side-by-side, I was hard-pressed to notice much of a difference in screen quality between the 12" and 15", despite all the reports here.

I posted two other threads (one about a session manager, the other about supercal) in the appropriate forum categories. Those are my only major questions for now. There are a couple of issues I have w/ Safari, but as far as I can tell they're not solvable.
     
Lancer409
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Jun 25, 2004, 03:38 AM
 
WELCOME welcome.

ShapeShifter
Pixadex
Candybar ... that will fix up the interface / brushed metal just fine =P

the apple/sega sux syndrome .. i know it well. (gaming pc/super nintendo/gameboy advance sp) ..lol .. sega does suck .. but that's not the point .. mac's are great .. glad i switched and u will be too. btw, i own a 12, and while it does get hot .. grrr ... my previous fujitsu lifebook (with touchscreen ... one of it's few redeeming factors) the otherbeing it's 3.2lb weight. was made of magnesium .. and that sucker burned ... i would rest it on a FAT textbook and u could feel the heat on the table after an hour of use .. the head literally ate through the book (the book was fine .. just scorching hot .. .. if i ever get a textbook's pages wet .. i wont hesitate to pull that hting back out ... it was ultra stiff and ultra light .. making it great .. but the heat .. man .. u guys that complain about the 12 getting hot ... u guys dont know the pain i've been through .. hehe
     
d.fine
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Jun 25, 2004, 05:11 AM
 
Welcome, & congrats with your new (and first) Apple PB !!
I'm on my first Mac since 4 months, have thrown my Pc in the trash, and haven't regretted it even for half a second !! Enjoy !

stuffing feathers up your b*tt doesn't make you a chicken.
     
MilkmanDan
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Jun 25, 2004, 12:21 PM
 
I too bought a Powerbook for my studying in Japan this next semester. I ended up getting a 12in due to its size, and just it. (May my old 867 G4 Tower RIP)

I would highly recommend buying a Bluetooth mouse of some sort. My Logitech Mx900 works beautifully. Makes life on the road a heck of a lot easier, plus the extra buttons makes game-play worlds better.

Might I ask where you're going in Japan? If you'd like to talk Japan or Powerbooks IM me @ JZlives.
     
Altair
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Jun 25, 2004, 01:45 PM
 
I'm a sega fanboy. I have almost all of their systems. I have the genesis, 32x, cd, saturn, game gear, and dreamcast. I'm missing the master system, the nomad, and the cdx which is equivalent to my sega tower (genesis/32x/cd). That thing is massive . I never thought that I would see the day that I could get a sonic game on the gameboy.

P.S. I do like and own all the nintendo systems (minus a couple of gameboy revisions).
12" PB 867 *Retired :( *
2.2 Ghz 15" Macbook Pro
     
Lancer409
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Jun 25, 2004, 04:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Altair:
I'm a sega fanboy. I have almost all of their systems. I have the genesis, 32x, cd, saturn, game gear, and dreamcast. I'm missing the master system, the nomad, and the cdx which is equivalent to my sega tower (genesis/32x/cd). That thing is massive . I never thought that I would see the day that I could get a sonic game on the gameboy.

P.S. I do like and own all the nintendo systems (minus a couple of gameboy revisions).
only sega i owned was a dreamcast .. man .. that sucked .. but atleast i picked up loads of cheap games when it went.

the two things i liked about sega was a certain x-men game that wasnt avaliable on the super nintendo-the fact that their mortal kombat had blood and original fatalities (subzero's decap with the spine .. nice)- and i thought sonic was an interesting game (compared to loads of super mario)
     
Lateralus
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Jun 25, 2004, 05:53 PM
 
Originally posted by Lancer409:
only sega i owned was a dreamcast .. man .. that sucked ..
I like chicken
I like liver
Meow Mix, Meow Mix
Please de-liv-er
     
nagromme
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Jun 26, 2004, 12:37 AM
 
Congrats--I have the 15" at 1.25 GHz... formerly the top-end, now slower than the low-end Great machine though, and if I had to recommend one add-on (besides getting that RAM in ASAP)... Unreal Tournament 2004! Looks great and runs in full native widescreen. And gaming on TV is fun too.
nagromme
     
xe0
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Jun 26, 2004, 01:26 AM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
Double
     
Lancer409
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Jun 26, 2004, 02:34 AM
 
Originally posted by xe0:
Double
sucked in terms of how fast sega went out of business afterwards, as i said in my post, the good thing about it is the abundance of cheap (discounted) games because the companies hardware side folded. i was hoping it would be supported longer
     
Lancer409
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Jun 26, 2004, 02:36 AM
 
btw, sorry for inadvertantly hi-jacking the thread .. hehe didnt mean to .. passionate sega fans out there ..
     
macaddict0001
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Jun 26, 2004, 02:52 AM
 
Originally posted by nagromme:
Congrats--I have the 15" at 1.25 GHz... formerly the top-end, now slower than the low-end Great machine though, and if I had to recommend one add-on (besides getting that RAM in ASAP)... Unreal Tournament 2004! Looks great and runs in full native widescreen. And gaming on TV is fun too.
yeah don't play ut2k4 without that ram your system responsiveness in osx wil probably double although doing processor stuff won't of course and on the tv you will get higher frames than the tv can display(which is 60 per second) but it won't be as many as you would on the built in screen though it might be because tv's only support 640x480 resolution but don't mirror span because you will probably get better frame rate also when using two monitors vram is split in half so don't expect awsome performance if mirroring
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 26, 2004, 03:33 AM
 
Originally posted by MilkmanDan:
I too bought a Powerbook for my studying in Japan this next semester. I ended up getting a 12in due to its size, and just it. (May my old 867 G4 Tower RIP)


Heh, what a coincidence! I was actually leaning strongly toward the 12" for its portability, but I was persuaded recently in favor of the 15" due to better screen size and quality. Though to be honest, I was hard-pressed to see a difference in quality at the store, despite reports here.

I would highly recommend buying a Bluetooth mouse of some sort. My Logitech Mx900 works beautifully. Makes life on the road a heck of a lot easier, plus the extra buttons makes game-play worlds better.
I was planning on getting the new Macally Bluetooth mouse; the store I ordered the PB from has had delays getting them in but they should finally be in Monday, and there'll be one with my name on it. I've heard good things about the Logitech, but it's twice as costly, and larger in size I believe. Unless you can convince me somehow last minute, I think I'll go w/ the Macally. I love the bluetooth option in general, it will make using the mouse a whole lot more convenient. A wireless laptop, wireless internet and a wireless mouse... it seems almost like magic after being accustomed to a desktop w/ wires going all over the place ;-)

Might I ask where you're going in Japan? If you'd like to talk Japan or Powerbooks IM me @ JZlives.
Yes, I'm studying in Hiroshima. My major is the Japanese language.
     
ctb
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Jun 26, 2004, 07:35 AM
 
For those studying in Japan: Gambatte!!! (or: Ganbare!)

Enjoy it... Japan is amazing, and so are its women! (I will marry a fantastic one in October, woo-hoo!) As an added bonus, they're pretty open-minded about people using Macs.
     
umijin
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Jun 26, 2004, 09:32 AM
 
Hey opti, welcome to the Mac and welcome to Japan. Macs are pretty trendy here, and you'll find lots of them at many universities, especially among science people.

I had the original 15"TiBook and just replaced it with a new 1.33GHz 12"G4PB. I'm quite happy with it, despite the smaller screen and overheating.

I was looking for a bluetooth mouse recently, and picked a small portable model up here in Tokyo for 7800 today. It's nice, and very small and seems to work well so far. It's made by a company called BlueTake (http://www.bluetake.com/Products/BT500.htm) and I wouldnt' be surprised if they are affiliated with MacAlly, as they are both Taiwan companies, last I checked.

If you are also looking for help in Japan with general mac stuff, you might try the Ringo Users group - http://www.ringo.net/

Or you can send email to my hotmail acct: kaatosan

Anyway, welcome to new worlds... and I have to second the comments made by others about Japan here.

Cheers, - Curt
     
themotor
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Jun 28, 2004, 01:31 AM
 
Originally posted by umijin:
I was looking for a bluetooth mouse recently, and picked a small portable model up here in Tokyo for 7800 today. It's nice, and very small and seems to work well so far. It's made by a company called BlueTake (http://www.bluetake.com/Products/BT500.htm) and I wouldnt' be surprised if they are affiliated with MacAlly, as they are both Taiwan companies, last I checked.
Regarding the BlueTake and Macally BlueTooth mice - it appears from the info on these that they require a separate USB adapter. On the BlueTake site they even have a PDF with a photo of a 12" PowerBook with one of their adapters plugged in...

http://www.bluetake.com/Manuals/BT500/BT500_QIG-EN.pdf

AFAIK, Apple has always shipped these models with BlueTooth built in. It just seems silly to use a wireless mouse (not to mention batteries) if you're going to be using up a USB port with an addtitional BlueTooth adapter...

Could someone (anyone) experienced with these mice please enlighten those less informed (namely, me)? Thanks!!
     
Macpilot
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Jun 28, 2004, 02:48 AM
 
Welcome!

Enjoy that sweet new Powerbook!
MacBook Pro
Mac Mini
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 30, 2004, 02:06 AM
 
Originally posted by ctb:
For those studying in Japan: Gambatte!!! (or: Ganbare!)

Enjoy it... Japan is amazing, and so are its women! (I will marry a fantastic one in October, woo-hoo!)
Congratulations! What I find so strange and amusing is, Americans generally seem to prefer Asian women (a lot of them, anyway), and I hear about them getting married to Japanese all the time, yet so many Japanese, in turn, prefer Americans. Is this simply a case of "the grass is always greener..."? I don't know, but I have never run into girls with the same level of energy, charm and politeness as the Japanese.

btw, here's an article which highlights some very troubling trends in Japanese relations (I'm thinking more of the family issues in that article than sex). I dunno, Japanese girls have never seemed nearly as intimidating as Americans to me... but maybe I'm just treated differently as an American.
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 30, 2004, 02:13 AM
 
Originally posted by umijin:
I was looking for a bluetooth mouse recently, and picked a small portable model up here in Tokyo for 7800 today. It's nice, and very small and seems to work well so far. It's made by a company called BlueTake (http://www.bluetake.com/Products/BT500.htm) and I wouldnt' be surprised if they are affiliated with MacAlly, as they are both Taiwan companies, last I checked.
No, I don't believe they have any affiliaton, completely separate product lines -- just check macally.com and you'll see.

The BlueTake has been recommended elsewhere, I wouldn't mind checking it out. For now, I picked up an MX510; not the most ideal solution for portability but in all other regards it should be a top-notch mouse.

Re: the Mac support stuff: thanks for the tips, although the idea in getting an Apple was to remove the necessity of support every five minutes (as opposed to Linux).
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 30, 2004, 02:15 AM
 
Originally posted by themotor:
Regarding the BlueTake and Macally BlueTooth mice - it appears from the info on these that they require a separate USB adapter. On the BlueTake site they even have a PDF with a photo of a 12" PowerBook with one of their adapters plugged in...

http://www.bluetake.com/Manuals/BT500/BT500_QIG-EN.pdf

AFAIK, Apple has always shipped these models with BlueTooth built in. It just seems silly to use a wireless mouse (not to mention batteries) if you're going to be using up a USB port with an addtitional BlueTooth adapter...

Could someone (anyone) experienced with these mice please enlighten those less informed (namely, me)? Thanks!!
Well, until the current models just released in May (or was it late April?), AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth were not standard on all PowerBooks, so maybe that's why the adapter appears in the picture. Make no mistake, you absolutely do not need a separate BlueTooth adapter if you already have built-in BlueTooth.
     
   
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