aa915

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im gonna be starting med school this august at wayne state and i've started to look for a laptop and just want advice from med students (especially from wayne state ) about laptops.
im wondering what company to go with?
im thinking about hp, toshiba, dell, or apple. the school told me it doesn't matter what company you pick as long as it meet some simple specifications.
 

rock_climber

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get a macbook. they're light, sleek and can do everything a PC can (including load windows). i have had mine for six months and haven't had a complaint (or a crash) yet.
 

menaniac

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:D Macs rule! That's what I've got...and wouldn't have anything else unless there was a gun to my head. Even then i'd have to think pretty hard about it...
 
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hb2998

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(I'm pretty sure this post will get moved.... :rolleyes:)

nnnnyyway.. I'm in your shoes. Have looked around, priced tons of different manufacturers etc. Looking to buy first week of April. So, here are some of my thoughts:

Buy an HP dv2000t. I currently have a Sony Vaio C190G, great computer, but not really worth the extra money over the dv2000t.

Dell is going through a faze. They realized that their "cheap" computer isn't giving them the competitive edge anymore as many other manufacturers are offering super cheap computers but actually provide an image as well. I've bought tons of dell PC/laptops, but they have always been so damn boring in the style department. Even the XPS1210 is pretty boring when it comes down to styling (and so damn thick!). So Dell and Sony are out. If you don't mind waiting until end of summer Dell might come out with a new line (Dell replaced Rollins as CEO, and his new goal is to do just that).

Dell is boring, Sony is really expensive for their decent computers. Sony will give a very good looking solid computer, but don't expect it to be error free, all computers are bound to have issues. Sony also expects you to pay for all the junk software they put on their laptops (why else would the price be so high? why do I call the software junk? well buy a sony and you will find out. Most of the software that comes with your sony you will delete anyway).

Apple... hmm... big on the image, small on everything else. I am willing to risk of getting flamed (and to scorch in return) all Apple fanatics. I am a dissatisfied owner of many apple products, I don't think they are a decent company (Bill Gates said the company is filled with "liars and thieves" last week and I agree). I really wish they spent more time/money on their products, the people who actually write most of their code (*nix foundation) rather than spending so much on Ad campaigns. Apple and apple products are not as customizable as windows/secondary hardware provider. Plus, you would have to buy a PC anyway since certain software may not run well on Apple, although you could run Bootcamp even though from what I recall Vista's end user agreement specifically forbids such action (something about illegal to run parallels). Anyway, so in my opinion Apple is out.. (If you even decide to buy an Apple buy the Pro because at least its not made with cheap plastic).

Toshiba... Don't have much to say about them. Don't have any experience with them. They don't have a product I would buy. Their website isn't so great. I've tried many times to find a suitable laptop for me, but I get fed up with the disorganization, and just leave. I'm sure they make good (boring) laptops.

The true winner is HP in my opinion. They have really come back strong recently. They offer great features on their laptops (Lightscribe). If you don't mind getting a 17inch, they have a great looking dv9000t (lovely, lovely, lovely). But the 14.1inch dv2000t is a great buy. Only regret that I have is that the hard drive it comes with is only 5400 rpm... not fast enough I think, but still a great price.
 

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#4 for a macbook. great price, great computer. i have a powerbook G4 and i love it. it goes everywhere with me. with a mac you will actually get to use your computer and study with it in med school instead of wasting your time trying to fix it, as my friends do with their PC's. oh and iflash (flashcard program) is the BEST way to study histology and path images around.

oh, and i haven't had any compatibility issues with the mac (and anyway, you can run bootcamp and run windows if you really want to - but you won't). i don't know what the above poster is talking about when he says that there is software for medschool that you will need to run on a PC. my school has never asked me to run anything on my computer more complicated than a web browser.
 

hb2998

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I didn't notice there were so many apple fans on this board :oops:. This will be fun :D.

You can buy a decent HP for about $800. If you're conservative, maybe even $700.

(Why do I feel like I am about to become a contestant on 1vs100?)
 

hb2998

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i don't know what the above poster is talking about when he says that there is software for medschool that you will need to run on a PC.

I'm certain schools would not select a software that is solely designed for PCs, but I've seen many people dragging along two laptops simply because the software they want doesn't run on apple. Although, I want to stress that this is definitely not a reason why I don't like Apple products. Bootcamp can always be installed and works fine/is legal with windows xp. And if thats not the path you would like to take there is always Microsoft Virtual PC for MAC to run any windows based software on mac (minus performance). But still, I find people who drag around two laptops. On compatibility alone PC doesn't have Apple wrapped up.
 

Dr. McDreamy

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I'm certain schools would not select a software that is solely designed for PCs, but I've seen many people dragging along two laptops simply because the software they want doesn't run on apple. Although, I want to stress that this is definitely not a reason why I don't like Apple products. Bootcamp can always be installed and works fine/is legal with windows xp. And if thats not the path you would like to take there is always Microsoft Virtual PC for MAC to run any windows based software on mac (minus performance). But still, I find people who drag around two laptops. On compatibility alone PC doesn't have Apple wrapped up.

i've never seen anyone "dragging around two laptops" in my life, let alone in med school. i don't know anyone who's unhappy with their macs. and i know several people who threw away their PC's in med school to get macs b/c they were sick of their PC's being so unreliable.

at least 1/3 of my class has macs and i've never heard any complaints.
 

alwaysaangel

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Its really a personal choice. Go to best buy and play around on some computers and decide what you like. They are all going to do what you need for medical school so when push comes to shove - it doesn't matter THAT much.

I am getting a Mac, because I have had NOTHING but trouble with PCs, and everyone I know has had nothing but trouble with PCs. Reformatting every several months because despite updated (and expensive) Virus protection the damn thing just dies and takes all your data with it - this has happened since it was new. Overheating, random restarting, poor tech support, poor performance, etc. I mean my laptop is only 3 years old (granted not new but COME ONE!) and it overheats to the point that it has melted and destroyed the memory card. This was an HP - I would personally avoid them like the plague, but thats me.

I have friends with Dell's with very similar problems. One friend's Dell melted her video card and it had to be replaced.

Toshiba - same exact issues.

I don't have much experience with SonyViao but I am so fed up with PCs there is no way in hell I'm touching it.

So I'm getting a Mac, my bf's Mac is coming up to 6 years old and it doesn't overheat, doesn't randomly restart and has NEVER been reformatted.

So I'm choosing based on personal experience. Beyond that there isn't much for any of us to look at...
 

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I'm on my second Dell in 6 years, and it never fails: I have problems with them. I'm one of a couple people I know that think Dell sucks a big fat one.

I'd buy a cheap PC with just standard stuff for a couple hundred, then get a new one when you start 3rd year.
 
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hb2998

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Good luck with your macs people :). Obviously everybody is hung up on reliability aspect of PCs. I disagree. I think PCs are easier to upgrade, they last longer because they are easier to upgrade. I’m going to argue the issues to try to help the original poster decide what to get. Try dealing with the apple as a company once. I've personally received 2 free laptops from Dell because their systems weren't that great, but I still got my free laptops. I have never heard of such a thing happening with Apple. I have extensive background in computers, and was a system admin on OS X servers for over two years. Before wanting to go to medschool I spent years programming, working as a unix system admin and working for different companies (blah blah… my background doesn’t matter, I really but trust me its substantial). You want to undermine my advice please be my guest, but lets argue the issues. I have never had an issue with a spyware, virus or anything similar. But have had tons and I mean tons of issues working with apple. I don't like to company, and don't like their products because I believe they have a simplistic mentality in their products which leads for much to be desired. Their concept of having hardware and software bundled up is a gimmick to allow them to rip customers off, they provide little to no support for their products. Logically, who will have a product Dell, HP, Acer, Panasonic, Sony, LG, Gateway/Emachines, and Toshiba and Lenovo, etc all supporting and contributing to one product, or Apple which is straight out stealing code from the Unix/Linux community and NEVER contributing back. They take opensource code, build an interface on top of it and boom sell it for $2000. Where is to morality in that? At least contribute back to the open source foundation, something. In addition to their horrific support, I’m also fed up with how simple the system is. There is little room for customization. If you’re a techy, granted many of you guys aren’t, you’re stuck. They designed products for conformers by giving you limited operational flexibility while they try to put out a unique/hip image.

If I had a choice what to get, I would get an HP dv2000t, and I hope the original poster realizes that the cost of an HP is way less than a comparably equipped apple, and that the support he/she will be provided will be superior.
 

hb2998

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I'm on my second Dell in 6 years, and it never fails: I have problems with them. I'm one of a couple people I know that think Dell sucks a big fat one.

I'd buy a cheap PC with just standard stuff for a couple hundred, then get a new one when you start 3rd year.

Please call dell and complain. They will give you a free pc if you complain long enough. Trust me, it works like a charm :thumbup:. They have a decent support staff.
 

Sol Rosenberg

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Whatever laptop you buy, buy the extended warranty. Besides that, just get whichever one feels right and is affordable. Starting at $1099, Macs don't fit the latter, IMHO. Durability of a laptop is a joke. None are durable enough if you use them heavily (not yet being in medical school, I don't know if this is the case in medical school.) Nowadays, I buy a kicka$$, upgradable desktop, and the tiniest, cheapest laptop that I can get away with (and buy the extended warranty.)

I'm typing this on my cheapa$$ (but small and compact) Dell laptop that has already had the motherboard, screen, and keyboard (pretty much the entire thing) replaced under [extended] warranty. The thing is, most of the things broke because of use/wear and tear. The AC plug on the motherboard wore out because I plug/unplug the AC adaptor a lot, the screen was damaged because I dropped the laptop (shhh, that's usually not covered by the warranty, but Dell uses contractors to do the repairs who don't really care) -- only the keyboard was a true "failure."

My previous laptop (and current work -- not personal) laptop was a Dell. My previous work laptop was an IBM (which is now Lenovo, I believe?) and I have owned Toshiba and Compaq laptops. Pretty much the same deal (except I didn't buy the extended warranty for the Compaq -- my first laptop, and hated life when its motherboard died 3 months after the warranty ended) for every one -- jacks wear out after use, screen problems, and hard drive failures. My wife has only had Apple laptops, and their quality has only been slightly better (I spilled water on her keyboard, and after giving it some time to dry, it worked perfectly, so :thumbup: to Apple for that)

My point is that, in my experience, no laptop is truly reliable/durable, so arguing based upon that point is kind of pointless.
 

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I have a macbook that is now crashing pretty regularly. It started about a month ago, but I haven't gotten around to contacting apple about it yet. Apparently, it's not an entirely uncommon problem with people who bought the macbooks when they first came out. I'm just throwing that out there -- macs aren't always the super wonderful problem free computers that people make them out to be.

As for the compatibility issue, they only serious thing I've hit is that my school uses this histology cd that requires windows to run. I'm going to do the bootcamp thing, so I should be able to use it. It's sort of a hassle but not a huge deal. Also, some professors most broadcast files that mesh audio with powerpoints -- they require IE to be opened. This is really not a huge deal because they also release the powerpoints by themselves and our notegroups people record mp3s for every lecture, so you just sync them yourself.

For pcs, I have had two dells that were both pretty good. I also had a [email protected] toshiba where the monitor conked out on me 13 months after I bought it (it had a 12 month warranty :mad: ).
 

Biscuit799

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Please call dell and complain. They will give you a free pc if you complain long enough. Trust me, it works like a charm :thumbup:. They have a decent support staff.

I've never tried that, though I have called support several times for hours on end. I'll give it a try!:D
 

Bertelman

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Mac. Pro if you like the fun stuff, but the MacBook should be fine.

It's not for everyone, as you can tell by some of the posts here. It's clear that homer up there would be unsatisfied with a Mac based on his techie experiences. He's right. They aren't the easiest to customize. I think computer users can be lumped into a couple groups.

1) Like ultimate control over the circuitry, software, etc. Like to tinker, manipulate and upgrade routinely. See maintaining the computer as a hobby within itself.

2) Prefer a more friendly user environment at the expense of control. Want the computer to perform at a certain standard without the need for tinkering, upgrading, etc. Don't mind paying a few extra bucks for a warmer computing experience. Mac users have an emotional connection with their machines. You either get it or you don't.

Mock me if you want. I've already chalked up my Mac v PC tirade for the week elsewhere. I probably won't respond.
 

Dakota

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I like my current macbook.

I've had many PC's that I have liked.

If anything I went with the mac b/c I was tired of looking at the same old XP. A good reason? No. Any regrets? Nope.

Ultimately go with whatever you like best. Check your schools requirements. Beyond those any computer will do.
 

hb2998

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I think Bertelman summed up the issue best by describing the different personalities. I totally agree :thumbup:.

Lets see, a really good website for computer deals is dealnews. I check it almost everyday, but as expected there haven't been any decent deals on a laptop since most of the big manufacturers are still dealing with the holiday season's orders/returns etc. (Example: A base model Dell E1405 is priced "on sale" for $799 starting while my gf bought a customized/semi loaded model for $800 after taxes in august.)

Vista is supposed to allow manufacturers to include many cool features on laptops, so it would be smart to wait. Here are some of the technology we will eventually see:

1) An outside LCD display that you can use to access contacts, calendar, email, etc without even turning on or even opening up your laptop.

2) Instant Hibernate feature where the computer can be put in hibernate and taken out instantly.

3) Samsung's Solid State Disk (SSD) technology which Vista supports will be taking off the second quarter of this year. Imagine a hard drive that is as fast as your ram, but can store 32gb of permanent data. This allows your system to turn off its hard drive and save tons of power, also it will allow the system to copy programs to SSD and access it much much quicker. (also helps the hibernate feature). [Right now you can have vista use a large USB key instead of the SSD.]

4) Flash based laptops are going to come out this year (no harddrive at all). They will be super expensive but will probably cause a drop in traditional laptop harddrive prices.

These are all cool features that will hopefully come out by the end of summer. I'm set on buying a PC first week of April, but as always with buying a computer, if you snooze you definitely will not loose.

As mentioned before, tech support is a must, particularly if you have time to call and complain and something goes wrong with your system while its under warranty you will usually be able to get a brand new computer. Lets say you buy a computer now, and in 3 years something goes wrong... you will get a brand new 2010 model computer :D. Also considering that a 15.1" dell laptop monitor costs $400 minimum just for parts.

Anybody know good sites for laptop deals? Any particular PC laptop brand/model suggestions?
 

Sust

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I suggest fatwallet.
These guys are pros at milking the system and you even have to learn their lingo and abbreviations, but its worth it if you want a 300 dollar laptop.

Yeh, Bertelman summed it up best. It all comes down to what you expect.
I like comparing it to cars in fact. I just want the damn thing to run, work reliably, and not piss me off. I could care less about what color it is or whether theres room for a turbocharger.
On the other end, there are those who want to tweak the hell out of their car with mods and such where they find themselves tinkering with their engines just for jollies.
If you just want plain vanilla things to work and you dont stray, get a mac.
If you like to tinker, get a laptop and install redhat fedora or ubuntu.
If the pain turns you on, then install vista.
 
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kerplunk112

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um...maybe its just me..but image isnt exactly at the top of my list when i buy a notebook...i really dont care how cool i look using my laptop..if its a pos that crashes everytime i open word....
 

noumenon

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ok, hb2998, gonna have to disagree with you.

First off, as far as the legality of running Windows Vista on a mac... the only thing you can't do (legally) at this time is virtualize windows Vista Home. That means that you can't use parallels or vmware to run Vista Home. However, you can legally virtualize other versions of Vista. You can also legally run all of them natively (bootcamp). So, really that's not a limiting factor at all.

Second, as far as being able to customize and tweak your operating system and applications.. you can't beat mac os x. As you stated earlier it has unix like underpinnings (the mach kernel actually) and if you want you can feel free to crack open a terminal (there is one included) and hack away all you want. Its vastly better for customization compared to windows as well (as is every *nix system)... your preferences aren't stored in a damn database (the registry? are you kidding me?), but rather nice and easy to edit text based files. As far as apple applications, well, they are what they are, but another advantage of the unix underpinnings are that you can run pretty much any *nix app you want (and with parallels I can run any windows app i want too).

Third, as far as Apple's hardware and customer service and support. In my experience its pretty good, or at least comparable to other major vendors. The best is if you live near an apple store, you can just visit the genius bar and they'll help you out for free. Also, I've found the apple community to be very knowledgeable and helpful (generally more so than the windows community - I'm talking official forums here).

Fourth, as far as upgradeability... well, laptops aren't that upgradeable anyway, but Apple's are more or less comparable to other small form factor manufacturers. It can be a bit trickier to replace an optical drive in an apple, but a RAM upgrade or even hdd upgrade isn't that difficult. The mac pro is as easily upgradeable as any beige box... more so really, because its been designed around the basic architecture of the system.

Fifth, apple gives back a great deal of source code to the open source community (they have to, it's required by the gpl). Yes, there have been some concerns that it isn't as usable as it might be (not fully commented, basically), but in my opinion thats *nix developers looking a gift horse in the mouth. Already kde has taken some significant suggestions from launchd and there has been some big give and take with safari/konquerer.


I think that's pretty much it. Suffice it to say I'm a pretty big apple/mac os x fan, and I'll tell you, I've used em all. I have windows, freebsd, and gentoo boxes sitting around (in addition to my mac which has mac os x, ubuntu and windows on it), and I'll just say that mac os x is easily the best operating system out there. It strikes an excellent medium between usability and configurability... if you want it. Not to mention it has something going for it that microsoft has never had... innovation (vista is what? a prettier version of XP? with search!)
 

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I am anti-mac. Everything about MAC's is anti-intuitive. I gre up using PC. At work, we have a MAC where we have this quantification software. MAC is full annoyances that bother the hell out of me:

1) not having an eject button on CD/DVD... throwing your CD in trash can is so non-intuitive.
2) One button mouse -- what a waste. You need at least two or three buttons on the mouse.
 

Dakota

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I am anti-mac. Everything about MAC's is anti-intuitive. I gre up using PC. At work, we have a MAC where we have this quantification software. MAC is full annoyances that bother the hell out of me:

1) not having an eject button on CD/DVD... throwing your CD in trash can is so non-intuitive.
2) One button mouse -- what a waste. You need at least two or three buttons on the mouse.

Many macs have eject buttons on the keyboards.

I agree about the mouse. The one button thing has got to go.

Eit: And when I mean mouse I mean the laptop click button. I want two buttons there darn it. Otherwise I've been happy.
 

noumenon

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well, that's hardly everything, now is it?

I've been using a multi-button mouse with macs for years... plus the laptops have a pretty good built in method for right clicking and scrolling with the trackpad (just use two fingers instead of one).

There's an eject button on the keyboard.

If all you've ever used is windows, then yes, you will have to retrain yourself slightly to learn a new interface. That's what happens when you try a different operating system, but if you are capable of adapting, then I think you'll find it to be worth the payoff.
 

Bertelman

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Yeah, I was using a four-button programmable Kensington like 10 years ago.

You want counter-intuitive? How about hitting the Start button to Shut Down. That's just silly. From my experience, once you are familiar with the Mac environment, everything becomes eerily similar in layout, such that it all becomes much easier to use.

p.s. I'd also like to note that, although I described the dichotomy of computer users above, aside from professionals that must use one or the other, that dichotomy only describes 10% of consumers. 5% on either side. The other 90% could accomplish anything their mind can devise with either machine.
 

fuddydoctor

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Yeah I love Acers. MAcs suck...i had 1 and it totally did not meet my expectations.
 

hb2998

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ok, hb2998, gonna have to disagree with you.

First off, as far as the legality of running Windows Vista on a mac... the only thing you can't do (legally) at this time is virtualize windows Vista Home. That means that you can't use parallels or vmware to run Vista Home. However, you can legally virtualize other versions of Vista. You can also legally run all of them natively (bootcamp). So, really that's not a limiting factor at all.

Thanks for the information. I knew there was something you couldn't do, but wasn't sure where they drew the lines.

Second, as far as being able to customize and tweak your operating system and applications.. you can't beat mac os x. As you stated earlier it has unix like underpinnings (the mach kernel actually) and if you want you can feel free to crack open a terminal (there is one included) and hack away all you want. Its vastly better for customization compared to windows as well (as is every *nix system)... your preferences aren't stored in a damn database (the registry? are you kidding me?), but rather nice and easy to edit text based files. As far as apple applications, well, they are what they are, but another advantage of the unix underpinnings are that you can run pretty much any *nix app you want (and with parallels I can run any windows app i want too).

Unix/Linux will always be more customizable and versatile than Windows if you were to make adjustments manually. OS X is based on FreeBSD, so naturally it inherited some of the many positive aspects of Unix. Databases are much more robust than simple text files, which is performance boost Windows has over any kernal based system. Mac OS X's XNU, although mach kernel based, has many BSD components (from FreeBSD). This mixture of kernels leads to incredible performance downfalls. If Apple lights up and switches to Linux Kernel I think many elite mac users will be very happy. I think it was a very smart move for apple to move to Intel, they should take the next step and ditch the out dated kernel.


Third, as far as Apple's hardware and customer service and support. In my experience its pretty good, or at least comparable to other major vendors. The best is if you live near an apple store, you can just visit the genius bar and they'll help you out for free. Also, I've found the apple community to be very knowledgeable and helpful (generally more so than the windows community - I'm talking official forums here).

Fortunately your experience has been good. I've personally been fed up with the forums myself (many many many times). Just recently I went on to see why do both my 30gb and 60gb ipod reboot when I play a video podcast distributed by Itunes. Well, that didn't go anywhere. (Please don't get me started on IPods!)

Lets say you have a problem with your Harddrive. Being techy in nature we know when the HDD is dead. You call Apple Care and ask them to send you a HDD, they say they can't because you live close to a Apple Store, hard drivers are not an end-user replaceable item as they claim and have to go there for it to get diagnosed. So you go there, wait in line, talk to the Apple Care dude (hopefully well trained/more knowledgeable than yourself). They diagnose the problem as being the harddrive... but they don't happen to have your harddrive in stock (the place is designed to look pretty, no room for storing essential replacement parts). Unfortunately there is a no communication between the Apple Store staff who diagnose and fix the issue and Apple Care. When they're out of parts they have no way of ordering it for you. You have to call Apple Care wait 7-10 days for the part to come into the store, then go in to have them install it. I actually prefer Dell's method of assessing everything over the phone and sending you a harddrive or technician. Sure they will send out some harddrives to replace functioning harddrives but the customer no longer feels that they have an obligation to prove themselves.


Fourth, as far as upgrade-ability... well, laptops aren't that upgradeable anyway, but Apple's are more or less comparable to other small form factor manufacturers. It can be a bit trickier to replace an optical drive in an apple, but a RAM upgrade or even hdd upgrade isn't that difficult. The mac pro is as easily upgradeable as any beige box... more so really, because its been designed around the basic architecture of the system.

I agree, laptops suck when it comes to upgrading. I'm going to argue cost. I went online and priced RAM 1gb for Mac Pro and for Dell Inspiron $179.99 ($269 retail) vs $114.99. Upgrading the dell wasn't really hard as you just unscrew and take out the part. I'm impressed by how thin the Mac Pros are (hats off to their ergonomic design), but then again maybe you should google mac pro overheating problems and excessive use of thermal grease :thumbup:.

Fifth, apple gives back a great deal of source code to the open source community (they have to, it's required by the gpl). Yes, there have been some concerns that it isn't as usable as it might be (not fully commented, basically), but in my opinion thats *nix developers looking a gift horse in the mouth. Already kde has taken some significant suggestions from launchd and there has been some big give and take with safari/konquerer.

Apple is not a team player.
Apple uses an incompatible version-control system to manage its code.
Apple links to its own proprietary APIs rather than open source ones.
Apple writes patches in Objective-C rather than C++.
Apple's coding style is inconsistent, and as you mentioned they don't comment their code right.
Open source community doesn't really have a right to be upset (most open source licenses basically say: take it, do whatever you want with it, if you'd like charge money for it.) But still, I don't blame them for wanting Apple, which puts out this image as the first corporation to really support open source work, to contribute more.



You have very valid points, and its always nice to have an intelligent conversation as after all we're comparing apples and oranges. They both have advantages and disadvantages. I personally LOVE the terminal! I really wish windows had something similar (please don't post a reply with cygwin). I wish apple had more keyboard shortcuts (i know they have plenty but I want more as their mouse sucks!). We put down microsoft, remember microsoft vs google last year? people need to remember that microsoft hires more staff each in a year than google has on payroll. I'm surprised you didn't argue apple's security, sure there have been many issues with security windows xp vs os x, apple wins hands down, but vista is different, and I'm sure it will make a significant statement for security. I must be very lucky since my computers never freeze (I don't overload the system when its thinking really hard by clicking repeatedly switching between windows, I just wait. I've seen unix freeze, don't tell me Macs never freeze.) and I've never had a virus or spyware problem, but I understand that many aren't so fortunate, or don't take evasive action such as updating their system/virus protection software, etc. If enough people use Macs, malware authors will take notice and target them sooner or later, but as the article points out there are many inherit benefits to os x over xp, but vista is supposed to be the ultimate in security.

If I was an Apple stock holder I would be concerned about Vista and would personally send a card to Steve Jobs wishing him good health as hes the genius behind company. If something happens to Steve boy that stock will crash as rapidly as it went up during their IPO (I think it still holds the record for best IPO performance).

If it comes down to it, I think I would take the advice of Biscuit799, buy a cheap computer now and replace it later. That always works.


Tristy - I have a friend that has a fujitsu, he loves it, its really light. How do you like the Tablet PC feature? do you use it often? is the pen quality any good? Could you write neatly on the screen or you can only make big rough remarks?
 
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I must be very lucky since my computers never freeze (I don't overload the system when its thinking really hard by clicking repeatedly switching between windows, I just wait. I've seen unix freeze, don't tell me Macs never freeze.) and I've never had a virus or spyware problem, but I understand that many aren't so fortunate, or don't take evasive action such as updating their system/virus protection software, etc.

You're not lucky, you just know what to do. Virus protection isn't hard. Update the software, run it routinely, know what you load/open. Sure, Mac users are lucky not really having to worry about any of this, but still, the average PC user really shouldn't suffer.
 

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Databases are much more robust than simple text files, which is performance boost Windows has over any kernal based system.
Until the database goes corrupt... I always backup my registry, because it seems like virtually every time I've had an unrecoverable windows install it's been because of the registry. Not to mention that HKEY_User_Machine_Rediculous_Registry_Addressing totally sucks.

Mac OS X's XNU, although mach kernel based, has many BSD components (from FreeBSD). This mixture of kernels leads to incredible performance downfalls.
We could argue micro/monolithic kernels all day. That being said... I tend to agree. I think the performance benefit of a monolithic kernel outweighs the *potential* security benefit of a micro kernel. I guess there was one guy at NeXT that was one of the biggest proponents of a micro kernel architecture, and that's why its part of mac os x.


I agree, laptops suck when it comes to upgrading. I'm going to argue cost. I went online and priced RAM 1gb for Mac Pro and for Dell Inspiron $179.99 ($269 retail) vs $114.99. Upgrading the dell wasn't really hard as you just unscrew and take out the part. I'm impressed by how thin the Mac Pros are (hats off to their ergonomic design), but then again maybe you should google mac pro overheating problems and excessive use of thermal grease :thumbup:.
I assume you mean macbook pro (the mac pro is the tower), and I also assume your talking about buying a RAM upgrade from the OEM. It's just SDRAM, and I, for one, wouldn't buy it from either of them. Thats what new egg and pricewatch are for. That being said, when I bought my macbook pro, apple actually offered it cheaper than any third party (new egg is now selling a 1g SO-DIMM for $106.99).

As far as the thermal grease fiasco... yeah that's why I waited. Never buy revision A products... especially from Apple it seems like. Rev. D is awesome however. I've got a C2D MBP that I've never had an issue with it... and it's nice and cool on my lap.


The forums are definitely only good up to a point... when you've got a hardware problem, you've got a hardware problem. I can't say I've had a real hardware problem since the apple stores started popping up everywhere... I have heard some horror stories, but I've heard just as many about dell or sony or lenovo or whoever (I have a friend that had to have his dell DVD-Rom replaced twice and then his entire computer replaced 3 times).

And yeah, I'm not going to defend iPods (don't get me wrong I loved my iPod... until it died... now I'm part of a class action lawsuit).


As far as the expectations concerning Apples return to the open source community... What do expect from a company out to make money? Apple writes code for *themselves* and then they release it to the public. Then they leave it up to everyone else to sort it out if their interested. They don't need to provide it on a silver platter for the linux community. Plus, they've certainly been much more embracing than microsoft (who else can you even compare them to?)... I think it was Balmer who described OSS/GPL as a virus. Plus, I don't think they've really played up the open source angle in their ads, other than to say its more secure. In fact the last ad I saw that really addressed it came out when 10.0 came out (about 6/7 years ago... something like "sends microsoft to /dev/null").

As far as security goes... Vista should be significantly more secure XP was at its release, after all XP is almost secure after 6 years. Microsoft seems to finally be getting their act together. I guess that Vista 64 is supposed to be nearly invincible because they broke all kinds of backwards compatibility that left open security holes (namely required signed drivers and locking third parties completely out of the kernel), unfortunately Vista 64 doesn't support hardly any hardware nor does it have a ton of compatible software (if you want to see how to do a 32 to 64 bit transition, go look at how apple's doing it).


As far as stability... well I haven't had any operating system *freeze* on me in a long long time. My windows box gives me a BSOD at least a couple/few times per month however. And, yeah, I've kernel panicked my mac a few times (certainly my fault... I did it within an hour of starting it up for the first time). When mac os x fscks up, it's usually just limited to an app, which can then be killed. When windows craps itself... who knows. God forbid explorer should go down.


As far as the future of OS wars goes... Vista's got nothing on OS X (microsoft recently started providing some vaporware advertising for the NEXT version of windows... unbelievable). Vista is literally a prettier XP with search. Everything that was going to be cool about longhorn got tossed out (monad and winfs anybody?). I think the OS wars are over... however, its a draw. The future is virtualization. You'll be able to run whatever os you want on whatever hardware you have available.... 10 years from now. Near future: Bet on Apples stock to keep going up. Just look at this thread and see how many people are loving macs and switching over and not looking back.
 

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oh, almost forgot...

I wish apple had more keyboard shortcuts (i know they have plenty but I want more as their mouse sucks!).

Addressed the mouse already. There is no reason to use a one button mouse this day in age.

Apple's keyboard shortcuts are better than windows in my opinion. Plus I run a little app called quicksilver that allows me to pretty much never take my hands off the keyboard. It'll launch applications, give me full access to any menu I want, execute commands (terminal commands or otherwise). It's pretty much an indispensable mac app.... all you mac users: http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/
 

alwaysaangel

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oh, almost forgot...



Addressed the mouse already. There is no reason to use a one button mouse this day in age.

Apple's keyboard shortcuts are better than windows in my opinion. Plus I run a little app called quicksilver that allows me to pretty much never take my hands off the keyboard. It'll launch applications, give me full access to any menu I want, execute commands (terminal commands or otherwise). It's pretty much an indispensable mac app.... all you mac users: http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/

Yeah quicksilver is pretty much the best application ever!
 

ANCAdoc

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If you are going to spend lots of $$$ on a Mac (esp a macbook pro) then I recommend you look at laptops from high end PC vendors, such as Falcon Northwest (or Alienware if you want to have a 'different' laptop). I never recommend buying Dell, HP, etc, because it is hard to upgrade their parts due to space limitations in the case and about 100 other reasons. You might as well buy from a high end vendor who can build the PC you want (at not much more than what the nice macbook pros cost).
 

alwaysaangel

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If you are going to spend lots of $$$ on a Mac (esp a macbook pro) then I recommend you look at laptops from high end PC vendors, such as Falcon Northwest (or Alienware if you want to have a 'different' laptop). I never recommend buying Dell, HP, etc, because it is hard to upgrade their parts due to space limitations in the case and about 100 other reasons. You might as well buy from a high end vendor who can build the PC you want (at not much more than what the nice macbook pros cost).

But why? The whole point is that most of us have had terrible experiences with a variety of PC brands, and we like the quality and format of the Mac OS better.

At least for me I don't see buying a high end Piece of Crap solving any of my computer problems. But buying a Mac will solve most of them.
 

noumenon

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Well there's no doubt about it Falcon Northwest makes some bad ass hardware.

But the problem isn't the hardware, rather its the software that runs on top of it. Which is why if you're gonna fork over a bunch of cash, spend it on a mac... then you can load both windows and mac os x. Once you see that you can do everything you wanted and more with os x, windows will become moot.

As far as space goes... huh? A macbook is a laptop... I want it small and without a lot of extra space.



I really feel like one of the Apple Faithful lately.... eh, screw it: All praise Steve Jobs!
 

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In response to noumenon:
I think your comments are right on and fair.

About the ram, yeah I priced OEM to see the difference if one were to upgrade a macbook pro vs dell inspiron 6400, and yes it would make sense for the manufacturer to offer better price. Obviously mac is not going anywhere, and neither is windows. Unfortunately, linux for a while looked like it would be the 3rd OS on the two hardwares, but it seems like the future as you said will be 2 OSs (Mac/Windows) and 1 hardware for most users (I was a big fan of Ubuntu for a while, but why deal with it when you can buy vista OEM for cheap.. cheaper than upgrade even.) I agree about the mouse thing you did mention it before :thumbup:.

I remember the time that people who used IE3 thought they were so cool because everybody else used Netscape. Where is Nescape now? When firefox came out (called Phoenix way back when) people who used it thought they were so cool. Its just a cycle, and I think ultimately we/the consumers are the winners. Remember apple ripping off windows 3.1? now microsoft did it with os x. OS X ideas were originally put out there by microsoft (some people claim this), but microsoft sucked at implementing them and even to this day vista is not intended for mission critical applications (SP1 is supposed to finish up the code). Apple has a niche, while microsoft is the industry. Microsoft has trouble being cool because they have to make sure they can support all kinds of hardware. Why doesn't apple offer OS X to be installed on any hardware? I'm seriously not satisfied with any computer out there right now. Apple has some great styling. Why can't the main manufacturers learn from Apple and make such a sleek hardware (I love Macbook pro's thinness... can't stand Macbook. I would totally buy a Macbook pro if it cost me $1400.. unfortunately thats a dream.) Unfortunately when you're held up with high esteem like apple is at the moment, a few major security attacks could really damage their image. They have a lot to loose as a company. To expand as a company they need to introduce more products, some products that you can't simplify and cutify (ie. business software/products).

The HP dv2000t is a compromise for me, I don't "love it." I don't know another manufacturer that has a similar looking laptop. I'm seriously waiting for something worth my $$.

Falcon Northwest seems like the have great products, (if I was considering it I would go for Ailenware..) I don't think their laptops are so practical (17 inch).

Its hard to argue that Steve Jobs isn't a genius... Pixar, largest Disney stock holder, hes pretty smart. I wish I bought some Apple stock in 2003 :D.
 

noumenon

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hb2998, It rare that these kind of discussions are so agreeable. I suppose people in medicine are a bit less binary in their thinking than those in the IT world.

I like Ubuntu quite a bit... in fact if all the hdds is my media server weren't ntfs formatted, it'd be running ubuntu instead of windows right now (too much to back-up... yes I know, disaster waiting to happen).

I think you're right that with the competitiveness in the industry ultimately its the consumers who come out on top. However, with the whole who stole what from whom stuff... I do think that is all largely b.s.. I have a feeling that most of these innovative ideas are coming from weird research OS's at various university CS departments (or most famously the xerox PARC lab)... but lately Apple has been first to bring them to market in a usable form (and please... lets not even talk about apple without Steve Jobs as CEO... the Windows 3.1 era doesn't count. Sculley? Amelio? I don't think so.:))

I don't know if you've ever used any of apple's pro software, but its pretty slick looking (and working). Final Cut Pro, Logic, Aperture... nice stuff... but all graphic design/film design type software. I'm curious what's going to happen with iWork. They need their own office suite... but it also has to work with MS Office... which only spells trouble (MS is likely to embrace and extend something). iWork is still pretty immature, but word is there are some pretty big updates on the way.

As far as Apple selling their OS for other hardware; It just doesn't make sense financially. Apple is a hardware company, that's where they make their money. They don't make diddley squat on mac os x, but they sell the hardware that mac os x runs on. Then they sell software that runs on that (same thing for MS really... Redmond's cash cow is office... and now xbox). But now parallels and vmware say they can virtualize os x on windows machines, but they won't do it without apple's say so. I doubt apple will give the go ahead, but it will be interesting to see where things lead in the near future, now that hardware is less of an issue than it ever has been before.


As far as the price goes... hey this is med school we're talking about... that's what loans are for: Free money! :D
 

indo

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Buy a mac, otherwise you won't fit in with the rest of the med students. Well, to really fit in, have you mom and dad buy you a mac.
 

alwaysaangel

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Remember apple ripping off windows 3.1? now microsoft did it with os x. OS X ideas were originally put out there by microsoft (some people claim this), but microsoft sucked at implementing them and even to this day vista is not intended for mission critical applications (SP1 is supposed to finish up the code).

Actually as I understand it its mostly been Windows ripping off Apple. Windows 3.1 (early 90s) is based on Mac System 6 (late 80s), 95 (1995) is a ripoff of system 7 (1991), XP (early 2000s) is a ripoff of OS 8 (1997), and Vista is a ripoff of OS X.
 
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OS X ideas were originally put out there by microsoft (some people claim this), but microsoft sucked at implementing them and even to this day vista is not intended for mission critical applications (SP1 is supposed to finish up the code). Apple has a niche, while microsoft is the industry.

Geez, dude...listen to yourself.

I'm honestly glad that you like Windows more than the Mac. It sounds like you deserve each other. ;)
 

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As much as I admire OS X panther, cougar, or whatever feline they name each release, I dont like the way Steve Jobs handles his bizness.

Granted, he's pissed off that someone in his company broke the news, but that doesnt mean you litigate some of your own apple geeks to death. That's just poor form, and they love you enough to even give free hype and their free time. The appropriate thing to do was to accept your own laziness, and keep a tighter leash on your employees. But to release the legal hounds on those poor nerds... Oh for shame.
Of course MS isnt innocent either with their whole mikerowesoft debacle

Most people are pragmatists who probably dont care about this as long as their computer works, but I dont like companies that would litigate me as means of intimidation. It doesnt speak much to how they REALLY feel about me as their customer. I just hope that when things do go wrong, I dont have to hire a lawyer and a class action lawsuit to get things to happen.

/My2cents
 

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Actually as I understand it its mostly been Windows ripping off Apple. Windows 3.1 (early 90s) is based on Mac System 6 (late 80s), 95 (1995) is a ripoff of system 7 (1991), XP (early 2000s) is a ripoff of OS 8 (1997), and Vista is a ripoff of OS X.
And MacOS was ripped off from Xerox, so what's your point? These Mac. vs. PC debates are so pointless.

What's worse, they always arise out of people asking about advice about laptops. Someone posts a question, and the poor bastard gets 10 earfulls of Mac. vs. PC drivel.

Like I said before, my advice is that regardless of which laptop you get, get the extended warranty. That way if you have any problems (Macs have problems too) you can have someone else fix it for you and you don't have to waste your time.
 
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