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Vanity: Should I buy a MacBook Pro?
4-25-2011 | Self

Posted on 04/25/2011 9:49:28 PM PDT by balch3

So, an older relative wants a laptop so he can surf the web from his recliner. His computer skills consist of being able to turn the computer on, open his browser, and do simple word processing/printing. He's tired of viruses and malware. I've been talking up the Macbook. He's decided on the Macbook pro with 17 inch monitor, Way more computer than he needs, but he likes the big monitor because it will be easier on his eyes.

All sounds good, right? That is, until I go online and look at the price. Yikes! Nearly $2500. He can afford it and doesn't seem phased by it, but...still, Yikes! My worst case scenario fantasy is he isn't satisfied and I'll feel guilty for giving him a bum steer. Or, something goes wrong and we have to send it back. Or, I have trouble setting up the wireless LAN--Seems simple enough, but I've never done it before. Or...well, you get the picture.

Somebody talk me into (or out of) this, please?

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computers; mac; macbook
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To: GladesGuru
The only reason “Microsoft Tax” is not still valid is competition. Apple has managed to stile any valid competition. Apple users therefore still pay the Apple Tax.

The "Microsoft tax" referred to Microsoft using its dominant position to force OEMs to sell a Windows license for every box that went out the door, or lose inexpensive licensing terms, which would render them unable to compete in the OEM market. Because of this, users of other operating systems such as OS/2 and Linux could not buy OEM hardware (which was the cheapest due to volume) without also buying a copy of Windows. This was especially bad in the notebook market where DIY is not an option. This practice basically killed OS/2, as even IBM's own PC division couldn't ship a PC with only OS/2 installed, instead having to sell Windows too, making OS/2 the more expensive option over Windows.

Apple has no equivalent. You can buy from Apple or not, your choice. You want a tablet? Go buy one from one of many mainstream manufacturers. It may be inferior to Apple's, but you don't have to put a dime in Apple's pocket to buy one. Same for phones, same for PC hardware.

The only thing Apple has done is produce superior, more highly desired products. Such products generally command higher prices, regardless of the manufacturer or the market. It is this price premium that the ill-informed refer to as the "Apple tax."

121 posted on 04/26/2011 2:20:43 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: sopwith

Don’t get a Mac. No one cares. I think you should get what makes you happy. You’re happy, I’m glad. :)

122 posted on 04/26/2011 2:21:28 PM PDT by brytlea (A tick stole my tagline....)
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To: tacticalogic
Apple is going to miss Vista.

It was too easy a target. Windows 7 is much harder to make fun of. But at least Apple still has Windows Phone 7 to beat up on.

123 posted on 04/26/2011 2:21:37 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: NVDave
The only thing that Macbook Pro’s lack (IMO) is a good old fashioned serial port and built-in modem. The USB dongle solution works, but it isn’t as good as having a built-in port.

The Mac drivers for those dongles are buggy. There are lots of dongles out there, but they all seem to use the same chip, from Prolific Technologies, of Taiwan.

A while ago, our company found itself with a bunch of old electronic signs that were driven through a serial port. They were not compatible with new software we were installing, but, because their modern replacements are quite expensive, we didn't want to get rid of the old signs all at once, even though they were clunky and totally obsolete.

We needed to drive them off a small diskless industrial computer which had real serial ports and ran Linux. I threw together a simulator for the electronic sign and wrote a program to drive it with data from the new software (both the simulator and the driver app were in Python and ran on the Mac, initially). I got that setup working on the Mac using pseudo-terminal pairs. Next, I bought a pair of dongles and a cross-over cable on Amazon, and hooked the driver up to the simulator in loop-back mode at 9600 baud. That mostly worked, but had problems due to different bugs in the Prolific driver and its open source equivalent. Next, I fired up a pair of Ubuntu virtual machines in Parallels, with the simulator in one and the driver in the other. They worked fine. Finally, I ran the simulator on a sample of the industrial computer, hooking its serial port up to one of the dongles, which was attached to the Ubuntu VM with the simulator. Worked fine. Last step, plugging a real sign into the industrial computer, worked the first time, with only a brightness adjustment needed.

124 posted on 04/26/2011 2:22:59 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: allmost
I’d prefer to leave this thread alone.

Then you should have done that.

Look at the entire history of Apple software development to answer your question.

The history shows Apple-created or properly licensed software. Compare to Microsoft illegally using Apple code in Windows. BTW, Microsoft uses BSD-licensed code in Windows too.

125 posted on 04/26/2011 2:23:20 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

You see something different than me...

126 posted on 04/26/2011 2:28:09 PM PDT by allmost
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To: allmost
You see something different than me...

Vague, unsupported claims will be regarded as trolling. Make a specific, supported claim or do leave the thread.

127 posted on 04/26/2011 2:29:26 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

Been trying.

128 posted on 04/26/2011 2:32:42 PM PDT by allmost
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To: antiRepublicrat

For now. W7 Phone may be another Vista. W8 Phone may be another Windows 7. We’ll see how it goes.

129 posted on 04/26/2011 2:34:49 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: freekitty

Wireless induction charger for your keyboard. They also have an induction charging pad for your magic mouse, and the bar can charge your magic pad as well. Click the pic to learn more.

130 posted on 04/26/2011 2:36:13 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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CAVEAT: If he has vision problems, don't waste money on a maximum-resolution screen. The higher the resolution (pixels/inch), the smaller the fonts appear.

But do waste money on a large external monitor. I have an HP LP3065 (same size as Apple's 30-incher, but better quality at about two thirds the price). I leave the menu bar and the dock on the laptop's screen and position the external monitor logically to the right of the laptop display. That arrangement allows me to use the external monitor's full 1600-pixel height for application windows. E.g., I am now running Firefox 4 with only the Title Bar and the Add-on Bar showing. I have the location bar dragged into the Add-on Bar at the bottom of the screen. The whole rest of the window is devoted to the thread. And, with the 2560-pixel width of the HP monitor, plus the 1440x900 15-inch laptop screen, there is plenty of room to have additional browser windows and other apps open.

131 posted on 04/26/2011 2:36:38 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

Awesome, thank you! :)

132 posted on 04/26/2011 2:36:57 PM PDT by brytlea (A tick stole my tagline....)
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To: Swordmaker

I specifically said that I didn’t mean to say that Windows was BETTER, but that for someone USED TO Windows, there’s some difficulty in transitioning because its DIFFERENT.

133 posted on 04/26/2011 2:48:31 PM PDT by dangus
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To: brytlea
Do you really think it’s that difficult for someone used to Windows to get used to a Mac?

I had to get used to not being mad at my computer.

134 posted on 04/26/2011 3:44:06 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (Proud member of the Keepers Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK))
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To: Richard Kimball

LOL Yeah, and I had to get used to the idea that I didn’t need to go find something else to go do while it booted up...

135 posted on 04/26/2011 3:51:25 PM PDT by brytlea (A tick stole my tagline....)
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To: brytlea

I started with computers in the early to mid-eighties for ten years with Macs, then went over to PC’s and Microsoft for a decade, then four years ago came back to computer heaven with a MacBook Pro 15.5 along with a 23 inch Apple screen.

The MacBook Pro fully and completely fulfills desktop machine requirements plus allows me to travel whenever and wherever. Coupled with an iPod Touch 32g it provides almost constant email and internet news access and iTunes Apps. My decade experience (from ‘97 to 2007) with PCs was tiresome, frustrating, and labor intensive, with anti-virus software updates, constant scanning for problems, and weekly defragging — none of which is necessary with my Mac. The transition from PC and the new MacBook was simple, unlike the other way around.

Macs are intuitive, faster than blazes, cost effective because they don’t break down, but if the ever do, the Apple store has the best customer service around. There, that’s my testimonial, unsolicited and unpaid for...

136 posted on 04/26/2011 4:08:27 PM PDT by vox_freedom (America is being tested as never before in its history. May God help us.)
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To: vox_freedom

I have antivirus on my mac. Makes my son crazy, but I am so programmed from years of PCs... Eventually I guess I will feel safe.

137 posted on 04/26/2011 4:11:12 PM PDT by brytlea (A tick stole my tagline....)
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To: tacticalogic
Okay, let's compare.

I thought that was what I just did. 18 known malware for the Mac OSX system that can attempt to "trick you into installing it" only to have the System itself warn you about it without installing any anti-malware from a third party... Vs. Thousands of malware on Windows that requires you install a third party anti-malware coat of armor for protection.

138 posted on 04/26/2011 4:40:21 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft product "insult" free zone.)
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To: Swordmaker

That makes the ratio of malware to installed base roughly the same, lending credcence to the observation that there’s less of it written for the Macs because there are fewer of them.

139 posted on 04/26/2011 4:44:19 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: allmost
Been trying.

I get it. It appears you just intended to do a hit-and-run troll attack without being called on for your false and defamatory statements.

140 posted on 04/26/2011 4:54:33 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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