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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > I feel like I'm not using my mac to its full potential

I feel like I'm not using my mac to its full potential
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urban
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Jun 11, 2004, 01:26 AM
 
I've had my 1GHZ 12" pb for about 9 months. What I usually do with it is surfing the net, checking email, writing lab reports and etc. I am a life sciences student so I don't get to program or anything like that. The most interesting thing I've done is making tunes with Garage band. I am not even a musician so GB usage is limited.

I can not justify spending $2000CDN on 12"PB while I could have spent half the money to get a used old pc laptop. What other creative things would u sugguest I do to make my pb more useful?
Powerbook 12" 1GHZ, 1.25GB of RAM
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V0ID
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Jun 11, 2004, 05:24 AM
 
PowerBooks have a higher resale value than PC laptops
     
rglenn
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Jun 11, 2004, 09:17 AM
 
Using iMovie, take the second two Matrix movies, and cut some of the BSier parts out. You should have a single 90-minute movie by the end.

And just think of all the frustration you saved by not having to deal with Windows randomly deciding that it's not your lucky day, and the hibernation file is now corrupted - and other such annoyances.
     
vinster
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Jun 11, 2004, 09:35 AM
 
Originally posted by urban:
I've had my 1GHZ 12" pb for about 9 months. What I usually do with it is surfing the net, checking email, writing lab reports and etc. I am a life sciences student so I don't get to program or anything like that. The most interesting thing I've done is making tunes with Garage band. I am not even a musician so GB usage is limited.

I can not justify spending $2000CDN on 12"PB while I could have spent half the money to get a used old pc laptop. What other creative things would u sugguest I do to make my pb more useful?
I think this is now becoming the case for a lot of people, now that computers are becoming faster. It's also why more people are purchasing laptops instead of desktops.

Perhaps part of the reason you feel that your PowerBook's more than you need is because OS X is actually getting snappier™ with each update (it's usually the other way round). And one of the benefits of owning a PowerBook is that for general use is you'll probably end up keeping your laptop for a number of years before you feel it's out of date. I think if you got a used Windows laptop you'd probably end up with the opposite effect and feel that the machine's too slow for everyday use before too long. I would look at your PowerBook as an more of a long-term investment as it should work well with new versions of OS X for quite some time.

Some things that will use up your processor cycles in the meantime are audio-video editing/encoding with iMovie/iDVD and final cut pro/express, still photography editing and printing with Photoshop/Photoshop Elements, 3D modeling with apps like Maya or Bryce, generating fractals for cool desktop backgrounds, playing 3D games, running the visualiser full-screen in iTunes and backing up your DVD movies and HD among other things.
     
jorgem4
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Jun 11, 2004, 10:39 AM
 
You know, I had that feeling for a while that I was not using the full potential of my PB.

But now the feeling is gone...I also started doing jus some write ups, internet and mail...but I have found out that a big part of my life revolves around my computer...it is like my right hand.

Keep your digital pics in there, all my music, and entretaiments...such as videos and movies. Play a bit with photoshop and make cool backgrounds, and now that my GF got a digital camcorder I am into non-pro video editing on iMovie and starting importing some VHS videos I had and editing them has been a lot of fun. I love also mantaingin my computer healthy (hes like my baby).

I would love to get apps like MatLab and Mathematica and even do I am a student the price for does apps is quite high.
Also I am planning on starting to now how to use the Terminal and reading a bit on UNIX this summer.

To an end...just find out what you like to do like hobbies you have and use your computer as a tool for those.

My $0.02
     
macx0r
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Jun 11, 2004, 11:32 AM
 
Originally posted by jorgem4:

To an end...just find out what you like to do like hobbies you have and use your computer as a tool for those.

My $0.02
I agree - while it may be an "expensive toy" - use it as a tool to enhance or make easier your every day activities/hobbies. Consider what it is you like to do

After my initial honeymoon with the powerbook where I was constantly playing with it - I've come to respect how little tweaking things really need, and started actually using it less - but being more productive with it (especially since I purchased a miniDV camera..which requires that I actually go out and film stuff instead of sitting on my laptop all day).
     
capuchin
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Jun 11, 2004, 11:47 AM
 
One word:

Halo
All opinions are entirely those of my employer. It's not my fault.
     
Arkham_c
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Jun 11, 2004, 11:48 AM
 
You could always go into programming. I make enough money working on the side (outside my regular job) each year to buy a new laptop several times over. I use my iBook for programming Java, PHP, Realbasic, and Python mostly, with quite a bit of HTML too. I use it to surf the web, read email, chat on iChat, and download movie trailers. I compile/port open source software, manage my music (12,000+ songs) and pictures (4000+ pictures), and I keep all my documents on there too 1.1+ GB of docs dating back several years).

Could I get by on a PC? Sure. Would I? Heck no. My time is too important to spend it frustrated with a poor interface, poor coding tools, and an overall poor interface.
Mac Pro 2x 2.66 GHz Dual core, Apple TV 160GB, two Windows XP PCs
     
KidKit
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Jun 11, 2004, 09:39 PM
 
Originally posted by urban:
What I usually do with it is surfing the net, checking email, writing lab reports and etc. I am a life sciences student so I don't get to program or anything like that.
Most of the basic science people at the institution where I am use Macs. While your work may not have really stretched your powerbook yet, the good thing is that it has the potential to actually grow with your needs.

Whether you get into bioinformatics type stuff, do image processing with your micrographs, write papers, listen to music, make home movies, or simply surf and email, its nice to be able to do all that (possibly even all at the same time!) and not have to worry about crashing due to some unstable wintel environment or new worm exploit taking you down.

I've never looked back at the wintel world with any regrets. welcome to the light side :-)

As for creative outlets, go explore stuff you have available. Try out music composition, explore digital photography and image editing (especially if your institution offers education discounts on good software like Adobe CS). How about 3-d art and stuff?
mavafyipdq
     
Milo Waye
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Jun 11, 2004, 09:44 PM
 
Originally posted by urban:
I've had my 1GHZ 12" pb for about 9 months. What I usually do with it is surfing the net, checking email, writing lab reports and etc. I am a life sciences student so I don't get to program or anything like that. The most interesting thing I've done is making tunes with Garage band. I am not even a musician so GB usage is limited.

I can not justify spending $2000CDN on 12"PB while I could have spent half the money to get a used old pc laptop. What other creative things would u sugguest I do to make my pb more useful?
Download SetiDockling, & setiathome-3.03.powerpc-apple-darwin1.2, join Team MacNN [email protected] and leave it on 24/7 & let 'er rip.
     
Bruck
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Jun 11, 2004, 11:33 PM
 
Some may not agree with this... but. A few weeks ago I discovered a program called DVD backup and another called dvd2onex Since then, my dvd collection has grown from 183 to 250. A have never got thru a spindle of blank media so fast before . Now that I make dvds, hold my digital picture archive, my 365 album music library and my email, internet and chat programs, i feel my mac is definately getting more use for it's cost. The one thing i'd like to get it to do is photoshop editing, i have photoshop for the mac and I have launched it but I still like the pc version better. Once i get over that and converted to mac I think i'll shut off my pc for good.
| MBA Student | MacAddict | CarAddict | PhotoNut | Dork | PhishHead |
     
riverfreak
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Jun 12, 2004, 02:25 AM
 
Originally posted by Arkham_c:
You could always go into programming. I make enough money working on the side (outside my regular job) each year to buy a new laptop several times over. I use my iBook for programming Java, PHP, Realbasic, and Python mostly, with quite a bit of HTML too. I use it to surf the web, read email, chat on iChat, and download movie trailers. I compile/port open source software, manage my music (12,000+ songs) and pictures (4000+ pictures), and I keep all my documents on there too 1.1+ GB of docs dating back several years).
Programming, of course, is probably the LEAST taxing thing you can do on your mac. And, by the way, writing HTML is not programming.

Still, as a life sciences major, assuming you're on the right side of life sciences and not in something silly like sociobiology, you're apt to be exposed to computational biology. You might even become interested in more applied things like bioinformatics. If that's the case, your PB will serve you well - provided that you've maxed it out for RAM. Even so, you'll probably spend most of your time working on remote machines anyways...

As far as creative things go, preparing figures and manuscripts on the mac is a joy. If you take the time to learn the tools, you'll have the best looking figures, the best presentations, the fastest time to PhD (hehe)
     
mikeini
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Jun 12, 2004, 07:08 AM
 
i went ot version tracke r.. but im still confused about what setidockling does ..

in leyhmans terms i guess ... (and its late)

mike
     
chris v
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Jun 12, 2004, 08:58 AM
 
Originally posted by mikeini:
i went ot version tracke r.. but im still confused about what setidockling does ..

in leyhmans terms i guess ... (and its late)

mike
It's a graphic interface for the command-line version of the [email protected] distributed computing project.

http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/

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When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
   
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