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Mac Thread, Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice in Technical; I'm considering sampling 'the dark side' and getting myself a refurbed iBook from the Apple store. Thing is, I haven't ...
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    Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    I'm considering sampling 'the dark side' and getting myself a refurbed iBook from the Apple store.

    Thing is, I haven't used Macs a great deal before, so don't really know where to start. Is there open-source software available for Macs (like Open Office)? Or does an Apple ship with a M$ Office equivalent?

    I'm fairly intuitive when it comes to operating systems so I don't anticipate any problems there, it's just running software, and sourcing it, that's the bigger concern for me - and is the main reason why I haven't bought an Apple before... (as well as cost!)

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by indiegirl
    Thing is, I haven't used Macs a great deal before, so don't really know where to start. Is there open-source software available for Macs (like Open Office)? Or does an Apple ship with a M$ Office equivalent?
    OpenOffice works fine on a Mac once you've installed X11 from the install DVD (been playing with OSX again today). Our iMacs came with a demo version of Office 2004 as well.

    Most major open-source software seems to be ported to (or can be compiled on) Macs, or there's a free mac equivalent. I've been playing with an iMac for 2 days now and I can't really fault it from an end-user perspective - there's a few annoyances but nothing major.

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    ...or there's a free mac equivalent.
    Thanks, those are the sort of words I was looking for!

    The Mac is just a consideration at the moment, especially when I know I can get a Centrino NEC laptop with 3yrs extended warranty for under £600, and the refurbed iBook comes in at £635. The portability of software and ease of use is quite important to me..

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    If you havebn't go that much money to spend then probably go for the PC so long as can get a good brand.

    As you're not a total newbie when it comes to computers, you donj't need the crutch of the MacOS GUI to hold you up while you find your way.

    It's amazing how things have changed that you can mention an Intel PC and still be talking about an Apple Macintosh :scratch:

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    <advocacy>
    'course the purist runs debian on a t23
    </advocacy>
    @indiegirl
    Regardless of what you buy, see if you can get the edu discount. I can get a lot of hardware (for me personally) cheaper simply because I work for a school (and even more because we have a 6th form).

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    pete's already answered your question, I was just going to add that if you can stretch another £200 ish you could get a new 2Ghz MacBook which has a normal Intel CPU inside, unlike the iBook which has PPC CPU.

    Having an Intel CPU inside means you could dual boot into Windows, it just gives you the added flexibility of being able to use both OS's. Also the MacBooks come standard with WiFi and Bluetooth which I always find useful!

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    She will need to buy a Windows license unless she can come to some arrangement with her employer.

    Also in IG's particular case she best get the educational discount beofre she starts work at the FCO.

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    Absolutely - I'm thinking about buying in my last month to get the edu discounts...

    I'm *not* bothered about dual booting into Windows. In fact, I'm looking at the iBook instead of the Macbook to avoid the Intel processor...

    However, I can't help but be lured by the pretty Mac (there's a female hormone or two in me after all). Not only that, I believe that being used to Mac life would be useful for me professionally as well as personally - the broader a set of OSs I can claim to use, the better in my book.

    TBH, £650 is my max budget for my laptop. I'd take an Apple with a year's warranty for that, or a PC with 3yrs warranty... I just wondered what the obvious benefits of a Mac were...

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    Look at the face!Look at the face!
    Not bovered.

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    I just wondered what the obvious benefits of a Mac were...
    It's running Mac OS X instead of Win XP?

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    The build quality is meant to be better but Apple prices it better be.
    Then again I think one of the reasons why Apple moved to Intel chips was for better battery performance.

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    And the heat. Those Power G5's melt holes in your legs.

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    G4's, G5's never made it into an Apple laptop.

    Mind you could balance a PowerMac on your legs, but it's not that portable :P

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    The good thing about unix based OSX is that there is much, much more open-source software for macs (or that can easily be ported), yeah, you'll need X11 and such.

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    Re: Complete Mac novice would like a spot of advice

    Take a look at Fink for a mac equiv of apt-get for packages ported to mac

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