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DaveNay
02-02-2006, 03:10 PM
OK....my laptop at home is dying a slow painful death. It is your average run of the mill Windows XP system. I have always admired the OS X interface (I condier it what Linux can only ever dream of being), and I am seriously considering the new Mac Book Pro.

Questions:

I currently run Quicken for my personal and small business accounting. Is there an equivalent package?
I use Tax Cut software for personal and small business taxes. Is there and equivalant package? Possibly not a big deal as I should be considering a professional for taxes anyway.
Web browser. Is Safari as good/better than Firefox? Is Firefox avilable for OS X? How do pages render in Safari? Banks? Credit cards? Yahoo!? ForumsForums?
Email. I currently use Thunderbird. It could be better. What are the alternatives in OS X?
DVD/CD for Data & Video. I think this is a no-brainer. The built in tools seem very good.
Image editing. See #5
ITunes/IPod. Duh!
Very Important I connect to my office with OpenVPN software. It looks to be available for OS X. Anyone have experience with it?
What else am I not thinking about that I should consider?
Also, I believe Bob has a Mac Book Pro on pre-order. What is the estimated shipping date for these?

Thanks guys! And if you could please attempt to keep any political bias out of this, I am really looking for rational, educated reasons.

Melensdad
02-02-2006, 03:22 PM
1. I don't know. But I suspect there are equivalents.
2. I don't know. But I suspect there are equivalents.
3. I use Firefox 1.5.0.1
4. I use MacMail. I've also used the Microsoft equivalent of Outlook called Enterage (sp?)
5. The built in tools are excellent for DVD/CD
6. No brainer, Mac's rule in this area.
7. As Homer Simpson would say, DOH!
8. I connect to my office with a different program, sorry, no actual experience.

I do have a Mac Book Pro on order. I was told mid-February. I did not check to see if there has been any revised shipping date.

I am NOT a computer power user. I consider myself a reasonably advanced, but still fairly basic user. I use both Windows and Macs. Mostly Macs. My wife teaches computer classes in her high school. We both have Mac computers at home. She teaches at school with all Windows computers. 95% of the computers at my office are Windows computers. I feel reasonably comfortable with Windows systems but find them slightly cumbersome and awkward compared to Macs. I believe Macs are far better integrated with their hardware.

I've switched from Windows to Mac. Then back to Windows. Then back to Mac. Then back to Windows. Now I've been with Mac the last 3 computers. But I still get on the Windows machines frequently. I simply prefer Mac. If you switch, I think you will find yourself frustrated with some things and amazed with other things. They do work differently despite their similarities and you will have to get used to some new things. But I've not found anything practical that can't be done on a Mac that can be done on a Windows machine.

Dargo
02-02-2006, 03:33 PM
Well Bob, f***** Dell has made a Mac man out of me. As soon as I figure out how bad my taxes are going to hurt me, I'm going to buy a new Intel powered Mac for my office! If I don't get killed too bad on taxes, I may even get me a Mac notebook as well.

Being that I'm doing my own installation of the hardwood floor in my master bedroom, I can reasonably justify buying both with the money I'm saving in labor there. However, I have to wait and see. I have to make sure that my medical expenses are not too high :o and I just had to have this http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/tool_detail.asp?productID=9793
to get the work done.

humor_me
02-02-2006, 03:35 PM
Companies that use Outlook, may as well be using MSN off the internet for an email client. Microsoft so far has not done much to support the "REAL" Office in OS X.

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 03:39 PM
Microsoft so far has not done much to support the "REAL" Office in OS X.

I asked that all political bias be left out of this but.....

It will be a cold day in hell when I find a Microsoft product running on my Mac (if I buy one).

Melensdad
02-02-2006, 03:45 PM
Companies that use Outlook, may as well be using MSN off the internet for an email client. Microsoft so far has not done much to support the "REAL" Office in OS X.

Our company uses Outlook on all the Windows machines, we also use Office on the Windows machines, with Word and Excel being the most used components. I use MS's Mac version of Office X on my Mac and have absolutely ZERO problems sharing data between platforms. I use iCal to send events and tasks to people using Outlook without any problems.

I have used the Mac consumer WP program, it worked well, but MS did everything they could do to make sure it was not compatible with Word documents everytime MS Word had an upgrade the Mac program would have fits reading the newest documents. In my business enviornment, I needed MS Office for Mac.

Don't misunderstand and think the Mac is perfect, but I do believe it is better in many ways. I've had a couple problems with my wife's iBook, they have all been fixed promptly, ususally over the phone. But I had to send it off once for repairs (we broke the power cord adapter off inside the socket).

I would recommed buying "Apple Care" 3 year warranty, especially for people new to Macs.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:09 PM
Dave,

1. Quicken - Bundled with new Mac
2. Last year was the last year of TaxCut for the Mac. Web only this year. TurboTax is available for Mac (actually when you buy TurboTax the CD works on both Mac and Windows).
3. Safari is great for that stuff. Firefox is available for Mac too.
4. The Mac Mail applicat in Mac OS X is fantastic. Thunderbird available if you wish.. but I would say you will be VERY happy with Mac OS X Mail program.
5. Built in tools for CD/DVD buring are ok. Third party "Toast" by Roxio is very useful addition.
6. iPhoto which comes with the OS for lite editing and excellent for photo management (the iTunes of photo management). Photoshop Elements or Photoshop for more complicated edits. If you want to go real cheap, as in free, I am sure you could get Gimp to run too.
7. iTunes Comes with Mac OS X. iPod sold seperately. ;-)
8. yep OpenVPN should work if you need it. Mac OS X also comes with its own VPN GUI config tools. By way.. I personally HATE SW VPN. I recommend you check out a HW VPN solution instead. D-Link makes a VPN router for $50 which acts both as a client and server. DI-804HV is the model number.
9. I don't think any of what you state above requires a MacBook Pro. A little over kill IMHO. I would recommend you look at iBooks instead and save yourself some coin. If you got unlimited budget, go for the MacBook Pro. but I think an iBook can easily do what you desire. If you start doing more complicated stuff like Video transcoding then go for the MacBook Pro.
If you need a more then 1024x768 screen resolution too. MacBook Pro or Powerbooks are the only laptops you want to consider from Apple. Hell I have a 400Mhz G4 and does most things very quickly. It will blow you mind how fast a 400Mhz machine is. Only time I see a difference is during video transcoding.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:17 PM
Companies that use Outlook, may as well be using MSN off the internet for an email client. Microsoft so far has not done much to support the "REAL" Office in OS X.

not done much to support for Real Office?? huh? Do you actually own MS Office for Mac? or is this speculation.

I have no idea what you mean. I have office on my company PC and on our Macs. Support is on par if not a little better on the Mac.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:20 PM
.
But I had to send it off once for repairs (we broke the power cord adapter off inside the socket).

This is a COMMON problem..it is a design issue. I recommend NOT getting another Apple brand power adapter when your next one does the same thing. MacAlly makes one for around $38.

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 04:26 PM
By way.. I personally HATE SW VPN. I recommend you check out a HW VPN solution instead.

Actually, we just switched to a hardware VPN from Netgear back in November. Last week we sh*t-canned it and went back to the OpenVPN software bucause of stability problems.

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 04:30 PM
This is a COMMON problem..it is a design issue. I recommend NOT getting another Apple brand power adapter when your next one does the same thing. MacAlly makes one for around $38.

Not going to be a problem on the MacBook. They have a magnetic power connector that sits in a shallow "plug" on the computer. Pull on the cord and it pops right off. The reviews I have read say the laptop will move less than an inch before disconnecting. To me this means the connection is tight enough to not be inconvenient, but loose enough to protect the laptop from being pulled down on the floor.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:30 PM
I would recommed buying "Apple Care" 3 year warranty, especially for people new to Macs.

That is normally a good idea for new designs like the MacBook Pro. Just like cars.. they might not have all the bugs worked out.

If you take my iBook recommendation, I think you can safely skip the Apple Care option because the newer iBook G4 designs seems to have most of the design issues resolved.

btw... my iBook G3 had that video card design issue. I did not get Apple Care. The stock laptop warrantee is good for one year. Well my video problem happen at year 2.5 (1.5 years after the warranty expired). Apple stepped up to the plate (because it was a design issue) and replaced my motherboard for free even though warrantee was expired. I went into the Apple retail store, turned in the laptop on a Monday. They shipped it for me back to Apple, to the other side of the country, and shipped it back to me. I received it on Wednesday. WOW!!!! basically 3 day turn around. 1 day to fix it. 2 days for shipping back and forth. All this was done for me free of charge... and I was past the warranty period by 1.5 years. Me and everyone else who had this design problem.

anyhow.. here is an interest article I saw about reliability of Apple laptops.
So you can see trends on their reliability records.

http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/laptops.html

as you can see I just happened to buy the most unreliable apple laptop to date (iBook G3 Dual USB). oops. The new iBooks G4s are one of the MOST reliable laptops to date.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:36 PM
Not going to be a problem on the MacBook. They have a magnetic power connector that sits in a shallow "plug" on the computer. Pull on the cord and it pops right off. The reviews I have read say the laptop will move less than an inch before disconnecting. To me this means the connection is tight enough to not be inconvenient, but loose enough to protect the laptop from being pulled down on the floor.

DaveNay,

the problem on the old iBook power adapter is not from people janking on it. It is from the cord being bent back and forth as it enters the hard plastic connector. The hard plastic molding effectively starts eating into the insulation of the cord.

-----cord-------==connector [ laptop power input jack here ]

breaks here ^

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:43 PM
DaveNay,

Although Apples sets the price of all Apple products... you can save some money via a rebate which is going on right now with Amazon.com

see here:
http://dealmac.com/

and here

I believe it is $150 on the MacBook Pro. Other rebates on other Macs like iBooks and Powerbooks in effect also.

Please consider the iBook G4 if the screen size works for you and you don't need the extra HP. I know the iBook G4 it will be a reliable machine for you. I am a little concerned about the first generation Intel Macs.

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 04:48 PM
Although Apples sets the price of all Apple products... you can save some money via a rebate which is going on right now with Amazon.com

Unfortunately, it might boil down to just plain economics. All of the Apple products are priced considerably higher than a comparable Win laptop. I can get a very nice laptop for half the price of the MacBook or Powerbook G4.

:mad:

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 04:57 PM
Unfortunately, it might boil down to just plain economics. All of the Apple products are priced considerably higher than a comparable Win laptop. I can get a very nice laptop for half the price of the MacBook or Powerbook G4.

:mad:
and that would the same price as an iBook? $999. Apples to Oranges?

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 05:02 PM
and that would the same price as an iBook? $999. Apples to Oranges?

iBook has a lower resolution. What I really want is another 1600x1200 display. I still have my 20/20 vision and I love the hi-res. 1280x1024 would be acceptable.

Also, I really REALLY hate the wide screen laptops. The extra blank space around the keyboard is ugly as sin. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone makes a "normal" laptop anymore. :puke1:

Melensdad
02-02-2006, 05:07 PM
Unfortunately, it might boil down to just plain economics. All of the Apple products are priced considerably higher than a comparable Win laptop. I can get a very nice laptop for half the price of the MacBook or Powerbook G4.

:mad:

Well what I found when I priced SIMILARLY equipped laptops is that MAC does cost a bit more up front, usually in the range of $200 to $400. But bear in mind that I was comparing equipment that was very comparable with features that were equivalent. Usually when I look at the lower priced units and compare them a high end MAC it seems obvious that the comparisions are not really valid. Bluetooth is mandatory for me, it is built into the MACs. WiFi is mandatory for me, also built in. Lots of other odds and ends. Each of them adds up. No question in my mind that Apple does come at a premium price of $200 to $400. But when the price difference is greater than that, then I would suggest you are not making an equivalent comparison.

There are some non-tangibles that are also not factored in. I've noticed on our Windows machines with WiFi that it does not automatically grab the network and connect. The Mac does. I just open the lid of my PowerBook and I'm connected to the internet, my email downloads, etc. On the Windows machines I have to choose the network, click click waste time, wait a bit, click some more, then I'm connected.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 05:08 PM
one other aspect you might want to consider. Is resale value. I would normally say if price is an issue then look at used. But in the case of PowerBooks... I really can't say that. Have you seen what a used Powerbook goes for?? it is amazing. I little more money now might make the "upgrade" down the road less pricey. You can trade up for only a few hundred dollars because your old PowerBook is still worth quite a bit comparied to if you were to buy a PC laptp. Take a look. Mind blowing.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 05:13 PM
I just open the lid of my PowerBook and I'm connected to the internet, my email downloads, etc. On the Windows machines I have to choose the network, click click waste time, wait a bit, click some more, then I'm connected.
to add to this.. closing the lid makes the laptop go to sleep INSTANTLY.. and reopening it makes it come back INSTANTLY. It give me fits when I open up my PC laptop and have to wait. A good portion of the time it does not come back right at all and I have reboot it. Darn thing.

When you plug in an Wired Ethernet cable the TCP/IP switches INSTANTLY to the faster port port. Unplug it and it goes back to WiFi. Obvious right?

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 05:14 PM
one other aspect you might want to consider. Is resale value.

Hmmm...this opens up the option to get the MacBook, and if I don't like it, eBay it right away.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 05:14 PM
Did you read the article I referenced in a new thread about how much a new iMac cost to build?

plus... you are going to use this thing every day. If this was a tractor would you complain about $200-400 price difference between a Kubota and a Kioti?
Especially considering resale value and other factors?

You have heard the saying... "son, when I die I want you to remember one thing I have learned in life. Don't buy cheap shoes. You will wear them everyday."

and I garanteee you, that $200-400 difference is NOTHING! figure out how long you intend to keep your computer. Look at the relative resale value of the Mac and compare it to the PC. I think you will find a negative price difference at that point. Regardless, divide the overall difference by the number of months you intend to keep the computer. What do you get?
The numbers might surprise you. Btw, it is my belief and others that a Mac is useable for many more years after a PC has lost its ability to be so.
I own a number of Macs made in 1998 and 1999 and they are very peppy and usable.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 05:34 PM
DaveNay,

I recommend you look at this web page.

http://www.lowendmac.com/powerbooks.html

this way you can look up older PowerBook models to see when they were manufactured and how much they sold for brand new. Then use this data to do eBay look up to see how much they have depreciated. Find a Powerbook which was manufactured at the same time as your current PC laptop. Compare the cost of the Powerbook to the cost of your PC laptop when it was new and make a note of it. PRICE_DIF_NEW Then go onto ebay and compare resale values. Note the difference is depreciated value and note as PRICE_DIF_USED. Subtract the two.
What number do you get?

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 06:10 PM
Here is My comparision.

Dell D600 laptop bought new Apr 2004 for $1650.
reference http://www.epinions.com/content_149828767364

Apple Powerbook 1.33Ghz/Combo drive, 256MB Apr 2004 bought new $1999.
reference http://www.lowendmac.com/pb2/15-150.html



Dell D600 1.4Ghz/Combo,256MB, 30GB,wifi - New $1650 Currently $400 Diff $1250 loss
ref.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-Latitude-D600-Centrino-1-4GHz-256MB-Wifi-Notebook_W0QQitemZ6844956290QQcategoryZ31542QQrdZ1 QQcmdZViewItem


Powerbook 1.33Ghz/Combo 256MB, 60GB, wifi- New $1999 Currently $1100 Diff $900 loss

ref http://cgi.ebay.com/PowerBook-G4-15-inch-1-33-GHz-60-Gig-HD_W0QQitemZ5854252394QQcategoryZ14909QQssPageName ZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


As you say the PC was about $200-400 less money up front... but...when you go to sell it, 1.5 years later, you end up lossing $350 more on the Dell. That $350 you "saved" on the cheaper PC actually resulted in a $350 loss.

If you like to save money, buy the Mac. Bet you never thought you would hear that?

Doc
02-02-2006, 06:33 PM
So thats what your supposed to do with your old ones, sell them!
I guess I'm a collector. I have many pc carcasses in my computer area.
Sell them, what a concept. :eek:

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 06:39 PM
If you want to save even more money, take my advice and try an iBook G4. You might like it.

iBook G4/1Ghz 256/Combo, WiFi new April 2004 for $1099
http://www.lowendmac.com/ibooks/12-100.html

New $1099 Current $730 $370 loss
ref
http://cgi.ebay.com/Mac-Apple-Ibook-G4-OS-X-1-07-GHz-PowerPC-G4-256-MB_W0QQitemZ8754871623QQcategoryZ4602QQrdZ1QQcmdZV iewItem

Compared to the Dell D600 ($1250 loss), you would have saved almost $900 buying the iBook over the PC Laptop!! over the course of 1.5 years. I garantee you buying a cheaper PC laptop would not make it look that much better. Cheaper PC laptop approach $0 even faster. That is why Doc and I have all the PC carcasses laying around. I don't have a single Mac caracass. All are running beautifully today.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 06:42 PM
So thats what your supposed to do with your old ones, sell them!
I guess I'm a collector. I have many pc carcasses in my computer area.
Sell them, what a concept. :eek:

Bet you never thought a used computer would be worth anything? Macs are a different world. All about demand. No one seems to want a used PC. Used Mac?? Most definately! People love these machines, and one which came out 7 years ago are still very useable. That is why the high resale.

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 07:16 PM
So thats what your supposed to do with your old ones, sell them!
I guess I'm a collector. I have many pc carcasses in my computer area.
Sell them, what a concept. :eek:

My problem is that by the time I get a new one, the old one is physically broken. I am not really motivated by the upgrade cycle, and therefore my old laptop is worth $0 and not re-saleable.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 07:23 PM
My problem is that by the time I get a new one, the old one is physically broken. I am not really motivated by the upgrade cycle, and therefore my old laptop is worth $0 and not re-saleable.

still doesn't invalidate my loss calculation. What is the loss on something you throw away and buy a newer machine vs. something you sell and upgrade to a newer machine?

not sure why you feel the calculations above are invalid.

How old is your laptop now?? What is it worth? Is it broken enough to not allow it to be sold? what is the loss calculation? Compare where you would be if you had bought a Mac laptop instead. That is all I am asking. Please don't invalidate my statement out of hand. Because selling a used computer is an unfamiliar concept.

Even if the computer is broken you can still sell it as "broken" or in pieces. Macs have a huge used parts demand market.. Look at ebay. The Powerbook logicboard/motherboard which is 1.5 years old is worth about ~$400 by itself. As much as the entire working Dell D600 laptop. It is like chopping cars.. the pieces are worth more then a the whole. People make a good living selling used Mac parts. Try that with a PC.


ref:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Powerbook-G4-Aluminum-15-1-33-GHz-logic-board_W0QQitemZ5857259085QQcategoryZ14909QQrdZ1QQc mdZViewItem

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 07:33 PM
still doesn't invalidate my loss calculation. What is the loss on something you throw away and buy a newer machine vs. something you sell and upgrade to a newer machine?

not sure why you feel the calculations above are invalid.

How old is your laptop now?? What is it worth? Is it broken enough to not allow it to be sold? what is the loss calculation? Compare where you would be if you had bought a Mac laptop instead. That is all I am asking. Please don't invalidate my statement out of hand. Because selling a used computer is an unfamiliar concept.

Current laptop is two years old. Last two laptops prior to this one each only lasted two years also. Current one is random crashing and reporting bad files and folders on the HD. Current laptop is also experiencing problems with temperature, and will occasionally shutdown due to overheating. Replacement parts are approx $600 + labor. Estimated resale value is $0. Previous laptop failed because of a bad connection between MB and LCD. Replacement parts $800 + labor. Estimated resale value is $0.

Basically, when I am odne with them they are worthless. If I spend $1200 on a new one, and reduce it to nothing, I have lost $1200. If I spend $2000 on an Apple, then reeduce it to $0, then I have lost $2000.

I am not dismissing you ideas out of hand. I am still looking at the Apple in the hopes it may be better constructed, and therefore not break so easily.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 07:34 PM
My problem is that by the time I get a new one, the old one is physically broken. I am not really motivated by the upgrade cycle, and therefore my old laptop is worth $0 and not re-saleable.

I will tell you what.. buy a Mac laptop.. after you consider it "physically broken" and worth $0, I will pay you $50 for a $50 profit since it is worth $0 to you. I garantee you I can turn around and sell the pieces for over $500 when I get done parting it out. People on ebay know this.. That is why they will pay good money for a broken Mac. It is a deal for them.

Not so with broken PC laptops??

Here is a "broken" Powerbook 1.0 Ghz which sold for $550. 8 bids on it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Powerbook-G4-1gig-BROKEN_W0QQitemZ5858876397QQcategoryZ14909QQssPage NameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 07:44 PM
Basically, when I am odne with them they are worthless. If I spend $1200 on a new one, and reduce it to nothing, I have lost $1200. If I spend $2000 on an Apple, then reeduce it to $0, then I have lost $2000..
In that case, get the AppleCare option.. this garantees that the computer will NOT be broken over the course of 3 years. If anything breaks Apple will fix it. This garantees that you won't lose $2000. As year 3 is approaching, sell it on ebay before the AppleCare expires.

Judging from your previous computer experience above I would say 3 years is more then you had with the PC laptops.


What do you say to that one?

ps. even if you don't get the AppleCare option a broken Mac laptop is hardly worth nothing as I have shown. A broken PC laptop.. you probably have a case for the $0 argument.

Delll D600 motherboard. $19.99
ref:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Mother-Board-for-Dell-D600-Possible-Broken_W0QQitemZ6841303133QQcategoryZ60267QQssPage NameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 07:54 PM
What do you say to that one?

I say "Hmmmmmm....."

This is exactly why I am asking for opinions. :thumb:

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 07:57 PM
I say "Hmmmmmm....."

This is exactly why I am asking for opinions. :thumb:

yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can see the wheels a turning now.
send me pictures when you buy your new Mac laptop! You will LOVE it and soon people will be referring to YOU as a Mac head (see your thread subject line).

:yum:

just be prepared with people calling you a stuck up freak with more dollars then sense. ha ha ... good one. Not sure who are the ones who have more dollars then cents however. As you can see from above, trying to save a few dollars up front only to lose more dollars later.

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 07:58 PM
why don't you ebay off your broken PC laptop and apply the money towards the more expensive Mac laptop. Just rip out the HDDs if you are worried about people looking at your old data. Between all the broken PC laptops you are bound to make up a good portion of the difference in the cost of entry between a PC laptop and a Mac laptop.

DaveNay
02-02-2006, 08:10 PM
send me pictures when you buy your new Mac laptop!


I have one already!

http://www.vidanay.com/images/mad.gif

OregonAlex
02-02-2006, 08:16 PM
This is exactly why the logo below is significant and understood by Mac heads. A picture is worth a thousand words. No one who has ever used a Mac for an extended period of time has to ask why Apple picked this logo. Yes.. that is strong statement and I stand behind it.