Hardware

Does the updated MacBook have what it takes to win over PC users?


MacBook updateI'm a PC girl, but my expanding job responsibilities have recently placed me in front of a Macintosh. Despite the learning curve, I have to admit that I kind of like it! As of today, there's even more to like about Macintosh, because Apple released an update to its MacBook. Take a look at this news release from PR Newswire: "Apple Updates Popular MacBook."

Here's an excerpt from the news release:

"Apple(R) today updated its MacBook(R) consumer notebooks with faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 1GB of memory and larger hard drives in every model. ... Featuring a gorgeous 13-inch glossy widescreen display, the one-inch thin MacBook comes in three models: sleek white 2.0 GHz and 2.16 GHz MacBook models, and a stunning black 2.16 GHz MacBook model."

For more information about the updated MacBook, check out these stories from other news sources:

Are you a Macintosh faithful or PC person who enjoys a little Mac on the side? If so, is the updated MacBook on your list of must-haves? If not, what will it take -- including processors, memory, and hard drives -- for you to make the switch? Join the discussion.

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About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

49 comments
Fil0403
Fil0403

That technology you mention that only now arrived Macs exists for PC's for months already and that is what usually happens regarding technology arriving PCs and Macs so that's actually one more reason to prefer PCs to Macs.

jusovsky
jusovsky

"...faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 1GB of memory and larger hard drives...sleek white 2.0 GHz and 2.16 GHz MacBook models, and a stunning black 2.16 GHz MacBook model." Okay, big deal. Does it make news every time Gateway or Dell offers a faster processor or a larger hard disk? There's nothing new or interesting here. Where's the solid state hard drive? No LED backlit display? How about the new Santa Rosa Centrino? It's going to take a lot more to get non-Mac users excited about the MacBook.

Dan.Neunaber
Dan.Neunaber

A word of warning: Macs are cool, but their advertising implies they are trouble free and easier to use. Everyone has likely seen the recent cute Mac vs PC ads. I love my Macbook, but they are far from hassle free. 1. Consumer Reports rates Apple computer in the mediocre range for reliability. 2. There are many hassles in switching from PC to Apple in terms of software and hardware compatibility. 3. Consumer purchased Macs only come with limited tech support. You must buy an extended warranty if you even thinking about an Apple! 4. Apple makes it easy to connect its iPODs to Macs. If I had that capability at work, who knows if I'd get any real work done. I've actually thought of taking my Macbook to work and seeing how it works. I'l repost here if I do it.

rbarton
rbarton

The new Macs have issues just like anything else (I personally have had issue with wireless that won't connect to anything but a Airport). Macs are not any easier than Windows machines; it is all about what you are used to. Is it a killer of Windows, no. Is it a good OS and nice machine, yes. If you have a need, then buy this PC. If not, business as usual is fine.

Jonathan.G.Shilling
Jonathan.G.Shilling

I know this sounds trivial, but I wish that people would stop calling IBM-compatibles "PCs" and Macintosh computers "MACs". The truth of the matter is that they are BOTH PCs. PC=Personal Computer. I guess I still remember when it was Mainframes, Mini-computers, and Micro-computers (personal computers). Truthfully, the only real difference between Macintosh computers and IBM-compatibles, is the OS, the hardware is now virtually the same, and you can get Linux to run on either.

apotheon
apotheon

It would take the same thing it would have taken a couple years ago: better integrated pointing devices (three buttons, something better than a touchpad). I'd just replace the OS with something I actually like (such as FreeBSD) and be happy with the high-quality hardware if the input devices weren't so brain-dead.

Sysadmin/Babysitter
Sysadmin/Babysitter

For those that run on a perceived "Prestige" model, Mac appears to be "Cool". However, that "Cool" has an un-stated price lurking down the road. I had to replace the video card in my Mac G5 because a bad memory chip on the video card was crashing the computer. A non-Apple supplied replacement was not available ANYWHERE. I HAD to go to an Apple store to have the card replaced for $250.00 (when the PC equivalent was selling for $69.00). And, the Apple store KEPT the old video card, as quoted prices include the trade-in of the old card (which was never mentioned until after the repair was completed). In the long term, Apple is their own worst enemy. And, you won't even get a kiss when you get it............................

homer4598
homer4598

I've always been a PC guy, but I'm starting to look at new laptops. To be honest, I'm 90% sure that I'll buy a MacBook Pro. I fail to understand why a PC manufacturer cannot make a laptop as thin and elegant as Apple.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Apple released an update to its popular MacBook. The update includes faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 1GB of memory, and larger hard drives. Are you a Macintosh faithful or PC person who enjoys a little Mac on the side? If so, is the updated MacBook on your list of must-haves? If not, what will it take -- including processors, memory, and hard drives -- for you to make the switch?

razz2
razz2

Since the Intel switch these HDD sizes, Memory specs and Processor Specs have existed in the Mac world too. Much of the innovative technology appears on the Mac side first such as Firewire. An there is a lot that appears on the PC side first. I concede that point. This technology existed in higher models in the Mac arena and that is the same on the PC side. Finding a Core Duo 2 2.0 in a $1000 notebook was not common in PC either. The question is not who had em first or even how much, but that based on market prices this stuff has dropped into lower cost Mac laptops that also run windows. I own both PC's and Mac's and each has a place but I love booting into windows using Parallels from using Mac OS. I get both with 1 machine for a very fair cost. And with Crossover Mac there is no Windows license needed if you are willing to use previous generation software. razz

TNT
TNT

I've worked on both OS X and XP Pro boxes frequently and have no major issues with either platform. I think the Mac OS is more stable than Windows (thanks to its UNIX core), and the OS is faster so you don't need as much processor power to get good performance. I'd have switched to a Mac years ago if I weren't tied to certain Windows programs, but a new product due out this fall may lessen my dependence on Windows. CrossOver is a product for the Mac that can run Windows programs like native OS X apps. Based on Open Source WINE (rather than a dual-boot or emulator process) you can run windows apps in an OS X window and even have it show up on your tool bar. If it works as well as critics claim, I may make that switch yet...

ZenMouse
ZenMouse

In my experience, it is usually the non-Mac users who make the reference of PC for their computers. Until Mac switched to the Intel processors, most Mac users I ran across defined the two camps as Mac and WIntel (even though, yes, not all non-Macs use the Intel processor). Just my 2? of observation.

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

Were The IBM Personal Computer And the Apple Macintosh Computer Also there was the Apple Home Computer Range To bad if you don?t like history that?s how it was

apotheon
apotheon

I was hoping you'd cover the way people use MAC when what they mean is Mac, too. That all-caps spelling like it's some kind of acronym just kinda gets on my nerves -- especially since I keep thinking "Media Access Control", like with network adpater MAC addresses.

brian.mills
brian.mills

I agree that Macs and IBM-compatible computers all fall under the heading of Personal Computer, and it is a bit annoying to hear the distinction everyone seems to put between them. Now if only I could train myself to not use the term PC when talking about Windows boxes...

marka
marka

I will keep it simple 1 - macs are too proprietary, heck Mac has actually improved greatly in this arena, but it still lacks imo 2 - imo, to pretty for their own good. I hate, actually despise fluff. 3 - pricepoint All that said, if my gf ever came to me and wanted her own computer, I would get her a mac in a heart beat. Personally I will stick with *nix for appliances and windows (not vista) for desktops.

tryten
tryten

I dont think i could bring myself to purchase a MacBook.My laptops run Windows for gaming purposes and Linux for school and work needs. There is nothing that Macs can offer me that i cant get elsewhere cheaper, more entertaining, more powerful, and more stable. Its not that I dont like Macs. I use to own a G4. It just that I have always managed to find a solution that better suits my needs elsewhere. Besides an Alienware m9700 Aurora Laptop with XP Pro and hardware comparable to the MacBook Pro 17" and is $700 cheaper. Thats $700 you can use to buy whatever software is missing you may need. Honestly, if the price was right I might consider another Mac.

iainwrig
iainwrig

Id rather get a thousand dollar HP thats .5" thicker and weights a bit more. But I think thats what apple is going for, they want users and people who are willing to pay alot more for a thinner, more sleek and user friendly product.

brian.mills
brian.mills

With a wife in the graphic arts industry, I've found myself spending more and more time around Macs and OS X, and I've found that I really like them. I feel like such a n00b when I use them, cause I don't know much about how to recover when something goes wrong, but otherwise using a Mac has been a really pleasant experience. As such, though I've decided that the MacBook is a little underpowered for my tastes, the MacBook Pro is on my list of must-haves. Unfortunately, my budget won't allow me to even think of spending that kind of money, especially since I'm still paying my employer back for the souped-up notebook I bought last year. If I could go back in time, I'd convince the past me to get a MBP instead of the Windows laptop I ended up buying, but I don't think I'll be doing any time travelling soon, so I'll just wait until it's time to replace this notebook, or I get a much better job. If money were no object, I'd own a 17" MBP and a 17" Alienware notebook, because that way I'd have pretty much the best in both PC and Mac, but I think if that happened, the MBP would get the most use.

wolfe60
wolfe60

I agree. The main reason i do not own a Mac is cost. I would love to have a Mac book with the dual OS (XP and Mac) that would Rock!! However I can't even begin to swallow the price. I can get a faster PC for less than half the money, and that is crazy to me.

ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898
ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898

MONEY! Lots of money! For the new hardware, for all the replacement software, and to compensate for lost job since my job requires ASP.NET and Microsoft product use. Seriously, the PC vs. Mac is just like any other so-and-so vs. such-and-such. In reality, people use what they need to use. Windows XP Pro SP2 with Visual Studio 2005 works great for me. I see no need to change. I also use Linux for some things. And have Virtual PC installed. I really see no need to "switch to Mac". If you like what you use, Mac, PC or whatever, then use it. If it ain't broke, what's there to fix?

mark
mark

What I'd REALLY like to see is a version of OS X that isn't tied to Apple hardware. Being limited to the few models of hardware that Apple chooses is very limiting. For example, if I want an under 5 pound notebook, too bad; Apple doesn't make one. OS X on a VAIO SZ, anyone? But back in the real world, the MacBook, even with the update, doesn't quite make it for me. I like the size and (almost) the weight; the MacBook Pro systems are too big and heavy. But I hate the lack of a real graphics chip; the MacBook is useless for the OpenGL programming tasks I'm currently working on. Finally, I'd like to see a keyboard option for all Macs: a keyboard that swaps the Alt and Option keys. I go back and forth between Mac, Windows, and Linux; when I'm on a Mac, I find it infuriating that the Alt key isn't where my muscle memory expects it to be.

gpfear
gpfear

Wine has been used in Linux for quite sometime. There will be compatibility issues with microsoft software in particular if you want to run office or games through wine. I'll stick to Linux over OSX. Now if Apple sold me OSX and I could use it on the hardware of my choice I might change my mind.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

was and is common usage even in the non Mac crowd. It describes a common platform for use in buisness and home. "I just deployed 15 wintel boxes today." I just got a job in a WIntell shop, looks like I will be busy." etc etc etc....

Freebird54
Freebird54

Sure the first IBM boxes were called the IBM Personal Computer - but that didn't last that long. Almost immediately that was replaced with IBM XT (eXtended Technology?) that actually included a hard drive! Then the 80286 became the AT (Advanced Tech) - and nothing from IBM was ever a Personal Computer again. The PC moniker is more from the usage of 'PC Compatible' to describe everybody else's machines - and that is what has (more or less correctly) stuck. The Apple Lisa, then the Apple Macintosh were not known as computers in the titles I ever saw for them. I guess we were supposed to think of them as a different class of work/creativity enhancing appliances! (Good grief - bit mapped screen! MacDraw! Fonts! 8-10 page limit in MacWrite!) Well - someone started on history... Eventually Mac got an OS, and became very good at what it does - but it wasn't really a computer, even in name, back then... :)

brian.mills
brian.mills

oh snap! Can't argue with history. Of course, that would also rule out calling every IBM-compatible a Personal Computer as well, wouldn't it? Of course, naming conventions do evolve over time, and not every name for a computer component is actually descriptive of what it does. DSL and cable modems neither one modulate, nor do they demodulate. They simply bridge one digital transmission medium to another. Okay, I'm done being obnoxiously irritating for now.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Now if only I could train myself to not use the term PC when talking about Windows boxes...[/i]" Yeah, that annoys the crap out of me.

homer4598
homer4598

I agree that there is nothing that Macs can offer that you can't get elsewhere cheaper (except maybe a nicer, more user friendly interface). And the Alienware m9700 is nice. But it's almost 1" thicker than the Apple. Wow. That's a big laptop. Not really what I'm after. Obviously if I felt it was easy decision I would have already made the purchase. As another poster stated, it's pretty easy to get the $1000 laptop from HP that's only .5" thicker. Even if I go the "PC" (aka non-Mac) route, I'd have to go with XP. I've been using Vista and while it is pretty, there are just things that don't work so well and annoy me.

ToR24
ToR24

I have a G4 and it stopped booting up after the 10.4.9 update. I wouldn't know if it would have been any better or worse with another hardware platform or operating system, because I've never been at a complete loss on how to diagnose or workaround a problem like this because of an inability to get something partially working to diagnose. I even have the Mac service professionals stumped. But this machine is probably one of the uncool ones to fix. I can't get it booted to Target Disk Mode to get the data off onto another dissimilar machine, because the Option key and its cohorts won't let me into Open Firmware to select an alternate boot device. I'll have to get another equivalent machine (expletive omitted), and monkey with disk drives to maybe get to the data, which I am inclined to abandon out of apathy and because it's cool to appear unconcerned about the loss of data, especially work-related data. I get the Grey Apple and the spinner going round and round for an abnormally long time (2 minutes 20 seconds), then it hangs at the Mac OS X grey square with the grey apple where one would normally get the blue wiggly thing that comes up except it is without the blue wiggly, just an empty grey non-wiggly. Stick the CD in and boot from it to repair? Buzz, recall the no Open Firmware access issue. I mean no offense, well, yes I do. How does one actually tell what is not working? And how does one explain to others what is happening or not happening without sounding like a complete moron? Point anticipated and acknowledged. Please accept that the question is now rhetorical. I don't care anymore. Would anyone believe me if I told them that I now miss the Blue Screen of Death, and the /SOS option in boot.ini, or even the gazillion of boot options like Safe Mode, Last Known Good Configuration, or some verbose Unix init deal, etc. I've worked with numerous and often irritating operating systems (e.g. Netware) (OK, loose qualification, but I had to get that one out), and I can safely say that easy to use, and pretty doesn't translate to also mean easy to fix and elegant. Head trauma is less painful than maintaining Mac-friendly applications, where something as simple as installation consistency should be mandatory when displaying the Mac logo on shrink-wrapped software. Oh, and lets all now add a virtual Windows machine on that Core 2 Duo running OSX. I'll be able to lose two machines at the same time when things go awry, albeit they are not both physical. I like all operating systems and hardware equally. With equal distrust, that is. End of the irritating rant. Power off.

achpostma
achpostma

Buying myself a MacBook Pro last year was the best thing I did in a long time. Finally I have a computer again that just is a pleasure to work with again. The laptop just looks good and I still find things in OS X that makes me wonder why Vista is such a hype since most of it is already in OS X for a while now. Makes me wonder how much I will like the upcoming Leopard OS. The only reason I still keep my pc for now is that I just paid to much money for it to get rid of it already. Another reason is that I need the MacBook's harddrive space for now until I buy myself an external harddrive soon so I can put all data that resides on my MacBook to it and have enough room to partition it for Windows too. At that point I will get rid of my pc. I have never been a pc lover (coming from an Amiga and Apple background) and only started working with them because of my work. But now that they are Intel-based I will return to Mac again.

razz2
razz2

Great thread here. This "an get a faster PC for less than half the money" is a myth. Long ago that was the case, but not since the Intel change. Yes, as mentioned OS X is tied to the Apple hardware, which by the way is very good hardware, but take into account this topic. You can get a MacBook with a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 80 GB HDD, Combo Drive, Excellent WebCam (iSight), Bluetooth, 802.11n, GB NIC and 1 GB Ram for $1099. It runs both Windows and OS X. That does not take into account that there is always apples great Education or corporate discounts. A Dell E1405 is $949 without WebCam, 10/ 100/1000 or bluetooth and does not run both OS's. Are there case where the sticker on differents configs will be higher? Yes, but no config is identical and in general they are very much the same and you get a PC for free. In the desktop world it is harder to compare. An iMac for $999 is comparable to many and includes all I mentioned before, a small footprint, and a screen. Can you get a PC for less? Yep, and a $500 Dell with the cost of a screen will not be equal specs. MacPros were Quad core Xeon's and now come as 8 Core. Match that is the PC world and it is also expensive. $5000 for a Dell XPS 710 H2C with dual core 2 Extreme. For those saying they need to rebuy all the software and that add expense, yes and no. Remember, It runs windows so someone who uses .net can bring up Parallels or CrossoverMac, or boot with Bootcamp. Speeds are great too as it is not 'Virtual PC' with the hardware being used real not virtual. I agree with the previos post that if you only need windows then use windows. If you need Mac use it and if you need or want Mac and Windows then Mac may be something to check out. This is not meant to be a 'Pro Mac" post, just a response on the $$$ thing. What might be a higher price tag might be more features or better hardware and the statement of half the cost is just plain false for equal configuration/part quality. razz

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

I know my choice and finance Do not come together God the wish list What I have OMG what was I thinking O yeh that?s right money

razz2
razz2

Crossover Mac is fine but the inissues are vast with anything newer than Office 2000. Yes Office exists on the Mac platform but it will is and most likely will never be a full office. No Access, Visio, Sharepoint Designer etc. With that said people still look at 'emulation' in a bad light. Virualization is not what it was in the past. Virtual servers are now common in both test and production environments. Vitual PC on the mac or windows 'emulated' the core hardware components such as processor. With Parallels, the hardware such as the Intel processor and the like are used without 'virtualization' and as such the performance is very fast. With the new Parallels Coherence mode it seems like Crossover Mac. Check out the article: I am again not saying it is the end-all, but emulation is not the whole PC anymore and the speed is amazing. razz

TNT
TNT

Apple won't let you run OS X on other hardware because thenthey would have to write drivers for all that additional hardware. By forcing it to run only on approved hardware they control hardware conflict and driver issues. As for running Microsoft products in WINE, Office is available for the Mac already, so I don't need that. It's mostly specialized research software that I need to keep access to.

acracker
acracker

Yeah, if Apple made OSX like Windows or Linux in that it could be installed on most kinds of hardware then I'm sure more people would buy it. For me, I believe that Apple products are kind of trendy nowadays since they are the underdog to Windows. It's "cool" to own a Mac or whatever so people will pay outrageous prices just to have one. I still won't buy a Mac though since, as was mentioned in a previous post, they don't offer me anything I don't have already with Windows and Linux. Windows for gaming, Linux for software development. Anyhow, thats just my opinion.

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

Actually IBM Extended Technology Personal Computer And IBM Advanced Technology Personal Computer They just assumed the everybody got it Gosh apple home computer

GhostBrowser
GhostBrowser

The IBM Personal Computer was and open architecture machine IBM allowed other manufacturers to produce its parts Also not all of the parts in the original IBM Personal Computer were made by IBM The name is more of a category of computer hardware Macintosh was a model name The currant MAC PC?s (Just for you) is an evolution of that model We don?t see many apple II descendants do we The Correct names would be Apple computer So no MAC in that at all IBM Personal Computer compatible Still see PC in that History Tough if you don?t like it

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

I have to agree that the mac book is a good compromise in size and price. It is not "grossly overpriced", but it also is not cheep. One thing Apple has always had is good quality control in the hardware department, so to a certain degree, you can be asured that the hardware is good quality (there are lemons in ALL products, what matters is the percentage). But as for your statement.... "The cheaper non-Macs have a more limited life-span if you want them to keep using the latest OS for the hardware. Macs tend to cost 1.5x as much but tend to last 3 times as long as a viable machine." I agree that cheeper laptops do have a shorter life span. But this applies to cheeper macs as well, this is just a side-effect of less expensive hardware. And as for lasting 3x longer, I have no experience there, but I do know we still have old (9 years old)Dells running Win2k in production. So if I were to get another 18 years out of them then it would be equal to buying a Mac? We have 5 Mac workstations in pre-press, and they are 3 years old. They need to be replaced, they lack the cpu power needed to drive the larger files in Quark and Adobe. They were a good investment, and have payed for themselves, but 3 years was their limit, same as with the PC's from the same era. Their life in a production environment is not 3x longer, for us it has been identical.

tryten
tryten

I have never heard of a Mac lasting 3x longer than its counterparts. My machines are capable of viable use for up to 6 years. My oldest machine is 8 years old, runs Xubuntu and is keeping up with machines that are only 2 years old. It is only used for web based apps, email and documentation but it still holds its own in the workplace. Now if I can get a few Macs and set them up in this respect and can have the majority of them last 18 years that would be great, a strong case for coming to the Mac-side. I actually may get Mac system and compare its longevity to other systems. Even if the system were only viable for 2x as long as what I currently am able to do cheaply then its a reasonable switch. So long as there is minimum part replacement. I know that the Mac system parts are horribly over priced.

ZenMouse
ZenMouse

In one post, we've got a complaint that the MacBook is too BIG. A few posts later someone is complaining about it being too SMALL. All I can conclude is that the MacBook is probably a good compromise in size. As to the price-tag... the thing that is seldom taken into account is the ability to keep up with updates. The cheaper non-Macs have a more limited life-span if you want them to keep using the latest OS for the hardware. Macs tend to cost 1.5x as much but tend to last 3 times as long as a viable machine. All that said, most people are going to choose to switch, or not switch, based on just how prejudiced they are to one system or the other in the first place. There will always be die-hard anti-mac advocates. There will also continue to be die-hard mac advocates. Neither of those groups is likely to switch anytime soon. The target market is the people in between who use the machines casually. For that group (and they are by far the majority), there is likely to be, at least for a time, a migration toward the MacBook because 1) it is the trendy thing to do and 2) it is one computer than can run the three major OS while non-macs can only run two. In the long run, people will have to try it out and decide for themselves whether they actually like the MacBook more, less, or about the same.

tryten
tryten

I can see where you may like the smallishness of the MacBook. However, I feel like its a little flimsy and one good WHACK !! will end the life of a MacBook. I prefer the power and functionality over the form. If i can get something that will perform twice as good as another, but be 1" thicker and a pound or two heaver so be it. Besides its not like the difference between a 3 and a 5 pound laptop will make much differance. I usually have 2 laptops on me at any given time. I have 3 Latitudes and a m9700. The interface is not even a question for me. I use Kubuntu with Beryl on my D620 and I have found it more user friendly (and nicer looking) to me than my old G4 with OSX. Maybe i am use to it. I wish i still had the G4 sometime to play with. I gave it to my niece so she could use it before we got her a PC....she broke it.

ToR24
ToR24

I obtained another old machine with an 8GB disk drive, installed Mac OS X, and played musical disk drives, moving disk images around so that I could reuse the relatively new disk drives that were in the machine that went awry. I mounted the old drives and pulled as much data off that I could. The Mac OS update around March/Arpil 2007 damaged the Open Firmware and corrupted the OS. There was no way to get into the machine. I am reusing the old drives in the new machine and all appears to be fine. The old machine is no longer collecting dust, that is, not running and vacuuming dust from the air.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

can you boot off of a cd? If this was a PC I would suspect ram and or HD problems, or even bad pci cables. Was just curious if you had determined it was indeed software only.

galley
galley

Since you know about the other boot options, I presume you've tried booting with the shift key held down, to force a "safe boot". This inhibits third-party and non-critical processes from starting during the boot process, possibly bypassing the problem. There's a free program called Applejack that might be useful, but I'm not sure you can install it if you can't get to the Finder. It's meant to be installed in good times, so that it is already in place when you need it. Applejack is run from Single User mode (boot while holding CMD-S, I think) at a shell prompt. It puts up a text menu that provides all sorts of diagnostic and repair functions, like fsck, cache-clearing, permissions-fixing, etc.

ToR24
ToR24

Galley, thanks for the tip. The Command (aka Open Apple) V boot deal does gives up some comforting boot diags, but it essentially tells me that all is well, even if I can't access Open Firmware variants with Option (aka Alt) key and other combinations. For everyone, a nice, albeit old, list of them from Bob O'Connor is available at http://www.afp548.com/articles/Jaguar/bootkeys.html and includes nearly all of the boot deals with the exception of the Command+Option+O+F to access the Open Firmware. Since my last post, the machine has degraded to boot to the blank blue screen (not the blue swirly wallpaper) that would have normally only briefly appeared on startup, no grey square Mac OS X with the grey apple, and hence no blue wiggly nor grey progress bar. Even though it appears to be running, given its current state, neither restoration of any sort of backup nor reinstallation of the OS is possible. Maybe I'll try part substitutions on someone else's working machine. Any speculation on how well that going to go over?

galley
galley

IIRC, you can hold down CTRL-V while booting to have it use Verbose mode. You'll see the classic UNIX style display of obscure messages scrolling up the screen as it boots up. Looking at what's happening when it stops might give you a clue as to what's wrong.

tryten
tryten

I read an article in PC Gamer a couple months back where they took the MacPro for gaming and compared it to 2 different PC setups. System 1. A PC equivalant of the MacPro, same amount of RAM , processor, and video card with the rest being as similar as possible. System 2. The PC was either the same system with the NVidia 8800 PCIe or a PC that was built using the same amount of funds you would have spent on the MacPro. All systems ran Windows XP and were tested using the same benchmarks and in game tests. When all was said and done the MacPro scored just under the PC equivalent (System 1). The other system however was WAAAAY above and beyond both the other PC and the MacBook. The results were there, MacPro CAN run PC games under a Windows XP OS, and do it well. But, for equivalant performance you could be paying a lot less. What this is telling me is that Apple is almost there when it comes to performance, however they are still WAY over priced.

mark
mark

Sure, on a desktop system you can just connect another keyboard. Doesn't help with a notebook though -- the only solution would be a factory option. Yes, I know you could run a program to swap the keys -- but the labels will still be wrong. And you can't just swap the keycaps -- the sizes of the Alt and Option keys on a MacBook or MacBook pro are different.

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