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Help For a Soon to Be Switcher

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CALLING ALL MAC GEEKS!! My name is Connor and I am a soon to be switcher. I am 14. I will probably be getting a 15" Macbook Pro in October (hopefully) when Leopard comes out. I have some questions I want to know the answer to before I get my mac.

 

1. As I am going into high school as a freshman, should I get a Macbook or spend the extra money and get a 15" Macbook Pro with the better graphics card, CPU, and the Firewire 800 port etc?

 

2. If I go for the MB Pro (which I am leaning to btw) should I get the 160gb 7200rpm, 160gb 4500rpm, or 200gb 4500rpm harddrive?

 

3. IF I get the MB Pro, will the 2gb ram be enough, or should I get 4 gb?

 

4. Even though Macs have amazing security, I should get a virusprotection software and a spyware program. I am getting Ad-aware for the spyware (if it is mac-compatible) but what should I get for the virusprotection, keeping in mind the getamac commercial, so I want to avoid one that is always pestering me with declarations of finished scans... (I.E. McAfee)

 

5. As I am used to Windows crap, I think that I have to do regular maintenence on my computer. What do I have to do on my MAc, I amything, like defraging?

 

I hope you can help me answer these questions. If you have any tips to make switching easier (or reasons I can tell my parents to secure my getting a mac) I would really appriciate them.

 

Thanks

Connor

Edited by Connor

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CALLING ALL MAC GEEKS!! My name is Connor and I am a soon to be switcher. I am 14. I will probably be getting a 15" Macbook Pro in October (hopefully) when Leopard comes out. I have some questions I want to know the answer to before I get my mac.

 

1. As I am going into high school as a freshman, should I get a Macbook or spend the extra money and get a 15" Macbook Pro with the better graphics card, CPU, and the Firewire 800 port etc?

depends on what you need it for. most likely, the macbook will be good enough unless you do any serious video/photo/music creation and/or editing. and you wont need the firewire 800 unless you have a hard drive or something that uses it.

 

2. If I go for the MB Pro (which I am leaning to btw) should I get the 160gb 7200rpm, 160gb 4500rpm, or 200gb 4500rpm harddrive?

again i suggest the MB, but in general when selecting drives remember this: you probably wont notice the speed unless you do a lot of photo/video editing or anything that needs to move a lot of data fast. and another thing.. the capacity is a really personal decision. for a lot of people 60GB is plenty, for others, they need massive amounts. just look at how much you have now and then get a little more just for room to upgrade.

 

3. IF I get the MB Pro, will the 2gb ram be enough, or should I get 4 gb?

the 2GB is most likely just fine, but dang if you're gonna throw down the cash to get a MBP, you might as well just go all the way.. of course i should mention, if you do get the minimum amount of ram now, you can upgrade later if you find you need more.

 

4. Even though Macs have amazing security, I should get a virusprotection software and a spyware program. I am getting Ad-aware for the spyware (if it is mac-compatible) but what should I get for the virusprotection, keeping in mind the getamac commercial, so I want to avoid one that is always pestering me with declarations of finished scans... (I.E. McAfee)

dont bother. and dont be stupid. you'll be fine.

 

5. As I am used to Windows crap, I think that I have to do regular maintenence on my computer. What do I have to do on my MAc, I amything, like defraging?

there's no defrag. i believe osx does some disk maintenance and cleanup stuff automatically, but there are other apps you can get for cleaning cache files, preference files etc such as Maintenance.

 

I hope you can help me answer these questions. If you have any tips to make switching easier (or reasons I can tell my parents to secure my getting a mac) I would really appriciate them.

 

Thanks

Connor

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As this probably won't help but my 2pence worth, (sorry I'm British you know haw haw).

What worries me about being someone who hasn't yet switched is, when I see the power and the usefulness of the apps and if I find myself doing the stuff that I never thought I'd do with a PC, video podcasting making movies, look at youtube, and I under specked my machine I'll then be madly saving for an upgrade, and I always pushed my specs in the PC/Windows world as the techno world moved on, I know that a lot of Mac people always ask what do you want to do with it, as a bit of a geek, I'd want just that bit more. I have held back from getting a Macbook and waiting just to get that pro.

Probably not much help but an opinion from someone else who has yet moved!

But as Yoda 'nearly' said "I will be, I will be"

 

Yes I know it was "you will be" LOLz

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Joe is right on in his response.

 

Your primary issue is deciding what purpose you have in mind for the machine; that dictates the answers to many of your questions. If video production, you need space and speed. Have a large music library? Space but not speed. Photos and photo manipulation. Space and speed. Surfing the web, watch dvds, listen to music, email, chat, etc. Neither space nor speed it needed in abundance.

 

I'd say get the best you can afford; it gives you more options in the long run.

 

You might also look at the refurbished models at the Apple store online. Often you can get more machine for the money there.

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Joe is right on in his response.

 

Your primary issue is deciding what purpose you have in mind for the machine; that dictates the answers to many of your questions. If video production, you need space and speed. Have a large music library? Space but not speed. Photos and photo manipulation. Space and speed. Surfing the web, watch dvds, listen to music, email, chat, etc. Neither space nor speed it needed in abundance.

 

I'd say get the best you can afford; it gives you more options in the long run.

 

You might also look at the refurbished models at the Apple store online. Often you can get more machine for the money there.

Get refurbished or you can also take advantage of the education discount. You don't need a macbook pro and besides you will appreciate the portability of the macbook. You don't need any virus software for your mac since there are no mac viruses. There is also no mac spyware so any mac virus/spyware software will just be a waste of money and resources. As far as hard drive and RAM it's very easily upgradeable on the macbook so get the minumum RAM, the smallest hard drive, and a superdrive. Then buy yourself 2GB of RAM from crucial, a nice big hard drive [probably 100GB is good], and an external SATA to firewire enclosure. Put the hard drive that comes with your mac in the external and use it for backup and sell the RAM that it comes with.

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Joshr and the others have a lot of good ideas.

 

I will add I do run ClamXav as a virus scan (its free and lightweight). It is set to automatically scan emails. Not because the Mac can get them, but because the Mac can act as a vector sending them onto others (i.e. I get an infected email from a Windows box which I forward to a Windows box and suddenly they are infected). To me it is being curtious. As well I scan my system ever few months and have pulled a few infected files out (primarily stuff hidden in Word docs and such). The other place ClamXav has helped is scanning my Parallels VM. It has found viruses in there. So on occasion I have dumped and reverted to prior saved VM versions.

 

On the Mac side, if you are working behind a router, and running Firefox with the adblocking plugins you don't need additional 3rd party software firewalls (you can configure the built in ones in OS very easily), or spyware stuff.

 

As a note, if you are planning on running Windows I would suggest setting up Bootcamp first thing on you Mac and installing Windows and then linking Parallels to that. It is much easier than trying to get the VM on afterwards (if you want to use Bootcamp for games and such - and if you are into any serious gaming then the Pro is the preferred route). This way you will only need to active Windows once, whereas if you try it the other way (get the Parallels VM working then try Bootcamp) there can sometimes be multiple activation issues with the Windows OS. Before you ask <g> if you do run Windows on your Mac you will need to put on all the virus scan, etc.. stuff in your Windows partition or VM. I use Nod32 (low cost, lightweight) but there are many options (AVG is free and very highly rated). Running Windows on a Mac does not protect the Windows side from internet nasties <g>.

Edited by karinlord

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Seeing that you are going into high school, I am thinking that you are using this computer for school work where in this case you should save money and get a macbook with the minimum package, no extra RAM and stuff. However, if you plan to use it at heavy capacity: intense games, photos, videos, tv shows, large projects, then I suggest MacBook Pro. If you do get the pro, none of the upgrades seem necessary. Your updates and security are taken care of with software update. If you plan to bring it to school, I suggest you get a hard plastic casing for your computer.

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