Thread: An intorduction into the Mac world

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  1. #1 An intorduction into the Mac world 
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker urineanus's Avatar
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    This thread is to introduce the idea of the Mac, to those just learning or those who have no idea. I myself love a Macintosh of any age. When one considers purchasing a Mac, price is the main factor. I understand that a new Mac is quite expensive, on the other hand so is a state of the art PC gaming rig, which seems to be a favorite of users here. I am not going to make a stand saying that a Mac is better than your homebuilt gaming rig. It’s apples and oranges as far as I am concerned. Back to the price issue, you have many other options besides purchasing a new Mac.

    I myself run a g4 MDD with dual 1.5ghz processors from OWC. The computer was built in 2002. The processors are aftermarket from OWC. Now is a good time to point out a major difference in Mac hardware and PC hardware. What I have is a PPC (power PC) Mac that uses a ZIF (zero insertion force) card for the processor. The processors are soldered to a kind of circuit board, which has a socket on the bottom that plugs into the board. Keep in mind that this is all pre-Intel Mac. A picture explains better than words


    What I am really getting at is that my pre-Intel Mac from 2002 runs all the newest software available to a Mac, given I did make an upgrade. I was lucky to get the MDD and the upgrade for extremely cheap off of craigslist.

    Ah, now we are getting somewhere. The price of a new Mac has kept me from ever buying one brand new. The newest Mac I own is one of the very first Intel Macbooks, which I got broken through a friend of my Dad’s. It is still sitting on my workbench. It needs the DC in board replaced, I have the part but I have yet to make the swap. I love my MDD so much I forget that the Intel is there. If you could not tell I am a fan of the PPC. I won’t go on and on about what could have been if they would have stuck with PPC, because the truth is the Intel is a much more promising processor.

    If you are looking for a Mac you have two options used or new. New is the better of the two since you get the out of the box experience, however it is pricy. You more than likely will not be gaming on your Mac; so how much Mac do you need? Well that presents various answers. It depends on your computing habits. Do you use adobe suites? Do you frequently rip DVDs? Do you find the need to multi-task during processor intensive operations? I can run CS3, iDVD, iTunes, and Firefox all at the same time with no problems on my MDD. iDVD is a pretty demanding app, for the inexperienced it is not a DVD player. It is a app that allows you to encode custom DVDs, with custom menus, music, etc etc. It is part of the iLife 06 software suite. So 3ghz of PPC power @ 166mhz bus speed can do all of that yes, I also forgot to include I run 1.5GB of RAM. However if you were to come across an AGP G4 that has a 1.25ghz single and 512mb RAM, it is more than sufficient to do te same at a slightly slowerpace. In fact a 450mhz B&W runs ubuntu with no problems, I know I have one doing just that.

    So that idea here is that you do not have to have a brand new Mac to have an enjoyable experience. I suggest hunting on craigslist or Ebay until you find the right deal. However if you want to run tiger I do suggest that you get a g4 with at least 750mhz. As far as Panther goes, I dual boot it on my 450mhz G3 and have no problems. The Macs live forever. A main upgarde factor is videocards. Mac video card upgardes are always +$60-$100 more than their Pc counterparts. The trick is that the cheaper PC version can be flashed with a Mac ROM. I will post more on this process later. It is the best way to get the same results for less money. If you do go and buy new, you will get what you pay for. They are amazing, I work at microcenter and spend every spare moment playing with the Octo-core power Mac we have for demo. That’s two 3ghz quad core processors!!! Unbelievable is the word that comes to mind. The price however is unbelievable as well. Which is okay since this model is geared towards video editing, HD rendering in final cut pro specifically. I would never NEED that much Mac; but that does not stop me from wanting it.

    Imagine a company that makes both the Hardware and software for a computer. It would mean seamless integration and perfect compatibility. That’s what Apple does. Windows is windows, there is not a Dell version or Sony Version. It’s the same OS running on many different hardware setups, trying to be compatible with may different devices. The Macintosh provides an “always ready to go” state. My Macintosh knows me and I know it. We get along, we don’t have arguments about .dll files or system errors. I am not saying I do not have a computer problem every now and then, because that would be a lie. In the occasional instances I do have one, it is 90% of the time user error. It is also always very easily fixable. I don’t have a registry to edit, nor do I have spyware or viruses to fight a never-ending war with. Usually just zapping my P-RAM solves any problem. So if you are tired of spyware, system errors, service packs, and viruses consider Macintosh during your next computer purchase.

    So if you are Mac curious, don’t go throw $1500 at a Mac. Get a used one and test the waters first. Some people cannot make the transaction from Windows to OS X, they just expect it to work like Windows, and it won’t (thank you Steve). If you like it by all means convert and cast the MS demons aside. I myself have got accustomed to switching between both with no problems, and you can too with a little patience.

    I suggest going to

    http://www.lowendmac.com

    Search out on some Mac models and get a feel for what might fit you.

    Follow up LEM by visiting

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com

    to see what can be done with the model you have in mind.

    Now I something very badass to share, It is called Mactracker, and it is an App that will give you the specs on every Mac ever made. It is available for both Mac and Windows. So do your homework and come out of the closet its okay to love the Mac.

    http://www.mactracker.ca/

    I challenge any haters to go to the Apple store or anywhere else Macs are sold. Tell any store Rep to leave you alone. Just spend 30 minutes “playing” with OS X. I am pretty sure you will walk away thinking it is quite neat, as long as you are not the kind to be over biased to the point you will not keep an open mind. Understandably if you are a hardcore gamer you need windows, but hey Mac now runs that too. In fact the Macbook scored better than SOME PC laptops in Windows gaming benchmarks recently.



    I highly suggest Mactracker, it is very cool.

    Now how many reading this have only ever really used Windows? Could that possibly have something to do with your outlook on other OS?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker BLACKOUT's Avatar
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    i've done the opposite, i got a top of the line 20" iMac when the intel switch hit last year, it's still faster than most of my friends computers and i'm taking a computer programming course.

    i bought a macbook core 2 duo last xmas as well, given they're not cheep, but they are worth it, the build quality alone is reason enough for me to get one, i've spilled coffee on this and it still works like new.

    recently i bought a low end g4 powerbook, that's used around town to live blog gigs and events. it still runs tiger pretty well so everything's good.

    go to your favorite torrent tracker and have a look for the 10.4 disk if you've got an older mac, i had one lying around because i lost the disk i got with my iMac, sue me, it's software i owned already.

    if you want to find out what is good for software, ask around here, i'm sure we'd like to help.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member I Modded My PSP spicy's Avatar
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    i just got two ibooks, and im looking for some of the essential downloads and programs/widgets that are neccessary. im so not used to using a mac, but i do really like them.

    slowly growing on me, and i love the speed.

    tell me what i should go hunting for!



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  4. #4  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker DarkED's Avatar
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    I found a Mac laptop I think I'm gonna buy. It's at the local pawn shop, $350, it's cream white and has a 12" screen. It's kinda old, a little used and dirty (but no scratches!) it's running 256mb RAM, didn't check processor spec, but it is running 10.4 and decently smooth.

    I'm not going to be doing any video editing or anything on it. I just want to have it to play with. Do you think I should pick it up or can I find something better for the same price?
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker BLACKOUT's Avatar
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    http://adiumx.com <--adium for im for sure.
    skype is good for video

    depends what you really want to do, anything you need?
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker urineanus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkED
    I found a Mac laptop I think I'm gonna buy. It's at the local pawn shop, $350, it's cream white and has a 12" screen. It's kinda old, a little used and dirty (but no scratches!) it's running 256mb RAM, didn't check processor spec, but it is running 10.4 and decently smooth.

    I'm not going to be doing any video editing or anything on it. I just want to have it to play with. Do you think I should pick it up or can I find something better for the same price?

    I would take a look at about this Mac. If it is a g3, the maximum processing speed they made was 900mhz and 640Mb max RAM. I have doubts that it would be one of the rare 900mhz but if it is, that would not be a bad buy for $350. it would be able to run 10.4.9 no problem. If it is an older g3, 500mhz or less, i wouldn't pay $350 for it. Scope it out and report back. The ibooks can dual boot OS X and OS 9. There is an ubuntu distro for PPC Macs as well.

    once agin this is the Mac bible DL it.
    http://www.mactracker.ca/


    Killer Apps:

    Adium-- As mentioned earlier, this rocks. Great Multiple Messenger client. The new iChat for Leopard is taking hints from this app.

    CS3 Design suite-- a must, you dont have to have CS3; but CS2 is a must. Macs make things pretty.

    Garageband-- fun fun fun fun fun and easy to pick up

    Toast Titanium-- the best burning suite for the Mac, there is no competition
    Mac the ripper-- no DVD encryption is safe

    Tomatoe Torrent-- best client I have used so far for Mac, if anyone knows a better one hollar.

    Taco HTML-- free and easy HTML editor
    ilife 06-- what the commericals said, i love iDVD
    VLC-- plays anything
    main menu-- mac maintainence made easy
    cyberduck-- ftp client
    stuff it expander pro- our winrar counterpart, very needed

    As far as widgets, thats personal preference. There are a bunch to choose from all over the Web.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member I Modded My PSP 808psp's Avatar
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    macs are amazing...ive been a user since the 1st ones
    success comes one step at a time

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  8. #8  
    Retired Moderator PSP Elite Hacker Julie's Avatar
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    im viewing ibook G4's on ebay right now. im getting curious about macs and think i may buy one to play with
    R.I.P Zoidberg
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker urineanus's Avatar
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    @ julie

    dl mactracker, it will help with your mac decision.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker outsider's Avatar
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    damn this mac thing is on fire, everyone wants to try them out now, including me :P
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  11. #11  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker
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    if i ever want a laptop it will defiantly be a mac because urineanus had changed my preferneces....
    but my desktops ones can stay with windows i guess...
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  12. #12  
    Retired Moderator PSP Elite Hacker Julie's Avatar
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    id like to own a mac because its something different. who knows, i might like it more then my windows pc's
    R.I.P Zoidberg
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  13. #13  
    Senior Member PSP Elite Hacker urineanus's Avatar
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    Most people that test the water out, jump in.
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  14. #14  
    Senior Member I Modded My PSP Viktor Vaughn's Avatar
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    I just joined the darkside. I have a 700 MHz 12" G3 iBook with 640mb of RAM. It runs Tiger like a dream. Only paid $190 for it, used of course. Plan on getting me a Macbook at the end of the year so I can do the dual boot environment for Gaming. This thing is amazing. =) The size is so perfect that I set it Right next to my Monitor and Keyboard for my PC and use it for other tasks while I use my PC for gaming. (Which is now it's dedicated use. No Internet browsing, word processing or anything.)
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  15. #15  
    Senior Member I Modded My PSP whitelamp's Avatar
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    I'd love to have a mac.

    The build quality of the macbooks are freakin' amazing-seamless integration of software and hardware. A low end mac makes vista look like a piece of ****. The price for the new macbook pros may be steep, but I'd gladly slap down my hard earned money for a mac rather than vista.
    Being a linux user, the unix-based core is an instant plus for me. The only thing preventing me from getting a mac would be the issue of gaming.
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