Mac netbook on the cheap (nerdy fan boy content)

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  • Mac netbook on the cheap (nerdy fan boy content)
  • Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    I’ve just finished installing Mac OS X on my shiny new Samsung NC10.
    Just waiting for a replacement wifi card (£15 of evil bay) and it’ll be complete.
    Luvverly – and about £800 cheaper than a Macbook Air 🙂

    coffeeking
    Member

    but not quite as thin. Or fast?

    Not a fan of Macs and taking an already limited netbook and sticking an unpleasant OS on it seems mentuwl to me 😀

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Fast enough for writing, surfing and playing music / videos. May struggle with high res video or picture manipulation, but that’s not what its for – already got a MacBook and iMac for that sort of thing.

    Oh and 6 hours battery life

    tyger
    Member

    My wife is thinking about getting a NC10 Netbook for just emails and surfing etc. I’m a bit unsure myself, thinking a laptop might be better. I’d value any opinions – Cheers

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Tyger it would be perfect for that. It comes with XP on it – switch it on and off you go. It is the best of the Netbook bunch at the moment. I would definitely recommend it.

    retro83
    Member

    Nice one, can you update the OS or will it keel over?
    Also do you get niceties like quartz extreme?

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Nice one, can you update the OS or will it keel over?
    Also do you get niceties like quartz extreme?

    I’m pretty sure its stable although I wont be able to do an update until I’ve changed the wifi card.

    Not sure about quartz extreme, but I think so.

    Here is the guide / info: http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=137314&st=0

    RudeBoy
    Member

    I just want a Mac Book with a smaller screen, for doing my teaching. I use a projector, so I don’t need a massive screen. Nearly bought a 12″ Powerbook in the summer, but was a bit skint, and tbh it’s not powerful enough for my needs. Plus I need something that can run Windoze as well.

    Mac Book Air is beautiful, but far too spensive.

    An NC10 would be ok for the short term, I spose. Can you run a VGA projector off it?

    why bother – wouldn’t it have been easier to use linux?

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Right, so you can get things like Photoshop on Linux, can you?

    Why do geeks bang on about Linux? ‘Normal’ users will find it very limited indeed.

    OSX is the best OS, simple as that.

    coffeeking
    Member

    Right, so you can get things like Photoshop on Linux, can you?

    Yup.

    OSX – the best OS? Not entirely sure you can justify that really. I’m not saying Linux IS, but I for one find OSX backward, unintuitive and unhelpful at times.

    Oh and to the OP – I was only messing with you, not trying to put it down. I’d like one but cant justify the expense really.

    And as if on queue – IE just locked up and swallowed the whole 2gig of free ram, bringing the machine to its knees lol.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    why bother – wouldn’t it have been easier to use linux?

    Nope

    Fred – yup linky for info and of course its dual boot OS X & XP 🙂

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Right, so you can get things like Photoshop on Linux, can you?

    http://www.gimp.org/

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Linux has its place – just not on a machine I use for work.
    The GIMP is great, but until you can find me decent alternative to OmniFocus and a driver for my 3 mobile broadband dongle that I can use without having to touch a command line and I’ll consdier it AGAIN!

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Gimp??? Gimp????????

    FFS…

    Gimp is great, for a free basic image editor, but you simply can’t compare it to PS or even PS Elements. Simply nowhere near as sophisticated enough for my needs.

    I work with mainly PS, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, stuff like that. They are on OSX and Windoze, not Linux. Linux is virtually useless to me.

    I also occasionally use Final Cut Pro, and even Garageband once or twice. Mac is my weapon of choice, as it caters for my needs.

    I don’t mind XP that much, but it’s not as good as OSX, for me. A simple, tiny little portable would be perfect for me.

    brant
    Member

    Right, so you can get things like Photoshop on Linux, can you?

    Seen http://www.pixlr.com/app/

    My daughter’s got a linux netbook. not that she knows or cares. It has msn messenger and firefox, and it’s dandy.

    coffeeking
    Member

    While im no imaging authority, I’m informed that Gimp is able to do pretty much anything that PS etc can do, just with a little more faffing required – I have access to both and quite frankly I can switch seamlessly between the two without care, but then my use is only photo re-touching for my own ends, not commercial use. But then you’d not use a netbook for that anyway. For most normal computer users there’s simply no reason to use OSX or Windows over Linux, its only if you require a specific piece of software or compatibility with some particular other item not covered by linux packages.

    Horses for courses, but I do find OSX as an OS (rather than comparing OSs by what packages people make for the OS) is a bitch to use.

    tyger
    Member

    Where’s the best deal on a NC10?

    I work with mainly PS, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, stuff like that. They are on OSX and Windoze, not Linux. Linux is virtually useless to me.

    ..and you use them on a 12″ netbook (see OP)? Isn’t that a bit overkill for such a poxy little screen?

    RudeBoy
    Member

    No no no no no… (Holds head in hands in despair)

    I was using a battered old PC lappy with a 15″ screen (very kindly given to me by HackneyRider off here), although I recently dropped the bastard, and now the screen don’t work. No problem, as I use a projector at work. Thus, I don’t need a screen at all, really. Sadly, I can’t get any monitor to work with it now, so will need to replace it. I’m currently using a 10 year old iMac G3 to do my class! Works perfectly, too! Bit of a bugger to move around with, though. Bastard thing weighs 40+ lbs!!

    So, I need something nice and small and light, to get about with. The little netbooks are just perfect for that; give me a big enough screen to see what I need to, as long as I can hook them up to a projector. (IE, I have a MAHOOOSIVE screen to work on!) NC10 is 10″ screen anyway, no?

    I may just get a plastic MacBook cheap, off someone who wants to upgrade to one of they new shiny alloy ones.

    jeez, talk about the worst of all worlds. If you’re doing graphics how do you see what an image looks like on a 10″ screen? If you’re using a projector, how can you accurately judge colour rendition? Take it this isn’t professional work you’re doing

    While im no imaging authority, I’m informed that Gimp is able to do pretty much anything that PS etc can do, just with a little more faffing required – I have access to both and quite frankly I can switch seamlessly between the two without care,

    For web graphics and things to be displayed on a screen, it is almost as good – although it is missing adjustment layers and actions.

    It can’t yet do 4 colour (for professional printing), or high dynamic range stuff. So it isn’t quite good enough for people using it for things that will be printed out.

    The interface is surprisingly usable now too, they’ve really improved things a lot.

    Joe

    CountZero
    Member

    I just can’t understand how anyone can say OS X is a bitch to use. That makes absolutely no sense to me. I started off using a 286 66 pc with a 40mb h/drive, redrawing logos in CorelDraw, then moved to Macs around ’95 when I was trained to use a Crosfield drum scanner and had to retouch scans in Photoshop, and do some Quark work and Illustrator a/w. I’ve used Macs ever since and I have a five year old Powerbook. There are occasions I need to use a Wintel box at work now, and I find Windows to be the most infuriating, irritating, counterintuitive OS it’s possible to imagine. I just could not face the thought of having to sit in front of one every day; I think I’d rather stack shelves. Windows was a poor attempt by Microsoft to match what Apple were doing with their GUI, and it fails on just about every level as a user-friendly interface. But then, Apple have always been about a pleasant working environment, while MS is about making money for Bill Gates. And when it comes to mobile OS, the differences are even greater, Windows Mobile is appallingly bad, just the most dreadful, frustrating piece of junk I have ever had the misfortune to spend money on. The iPhone I’m doing this on, on the other hand is an absolute joy, and stands as a clear lesson in how to make a user-friendly, intuitive OS, the Symbian/Nokia OS I had before it doesn’t come close, either. Back to the subject, I was kind of tempted by one of those Netbooks with OS X on it, but really, what’s the point when I can do most things on the ‘Phone. It’s only cut’n’paste, and Flash, that would score and ease of use and portability means the ‘Phone gets the nod, and I’ll continue saving for an uptodate replacement for the PowerBook that I’ll be able to run Snow Leopard on.

    IWH
    Member

    Won’t be much longer before Apple do bring their own Netbook out running full OSX 😀 I’ve been saying it for a while now but they really are nearly ready to go.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    If you’re doing graphics how do you see what an image looks like on a 10″ screen? If you’re using a projector, how can you accurately judge colour rendition? Take it this isn’t professional work you’re doing

    No, this is teaching a class. I have a Mac Pro at home, for the ‘proper’ stuff. All I need, is what I’ve explained above. Besides, I can always plug it into an external monitor if needs be.

    PS v GIMP: Gimp is very good, speshly for a free program. Excellent. But as I work with other Adobe programs, PS is ideal for me. Plus it has LOADS of features missing in Gimp. Batch adjustments/automation for one, plus a lot more flexibility with layers etc. And I do work with stuff that will be output to print, so it’s PS, for me.

    I’m sure Linux is fine for some people. Not for me.

    BTW; some of my students use machines that belong to the centre where I teach. They have about 3 or 4 Windoze machines, and one Mac. Guess which one is more popular, as it’s ‘a lot nicer to use’??

    coffeeking
    Member

    just can’t understand how anyone can say OS X is a bitch to use. That makes absolutely no sense to me. I started off using a 286 66 pc with a 40mb h/drive,

    286’s didnt come in 66 form (highest was 25 IIRC, then they went to 386 SXs?

    I dont understand how anyone can use OSX, it makes absolutely no sense to me – bla bla, match your spiel about windows (which isnt great, I know) – I just never got used to the conversion and find the whole workflow process in it slightly errrr odd. Nothing seems easier, just different, and the lack of RMB frustrates. Presumably its just what you’re used to to some extent, but to go with the dozens of people who switch from windows to macs and claim they love it, theres a similar number who soon sell it and go back to a PC.

    and the lack of RMB frustrates.

    There is a right mouse button equivalent. For ‘ease of use’, they changed it so you do ‘command + left mouse button’ when you want a right button click. To make things even more user friendly, the ‘command key’ as everyone calls it, is the key in the bottom left of the special mac keyboard which has a funny squiggle on it, that there is no way of writing in normal text.

    But if you stick in a 2 button mouse the right button works fine (although you still need someone to explain what the ‘command’ key is for other things).

    Joe

    coffeeking
    Member

    Only helps if you’re using a mouse though, on a ‘book you’re likely to be using the pad etc.

    PikeBN14
    Member

    This is like a SS v Gears debate, except it’s about computers! 😕

    IWH
    Member

    If you’re on a laptop / notebook CTRL & TAP brings up a contextual menu. It’s not rocket science.

    It’s surprising how many people I’ve seen switch over to Macs and get straight down to working on them who had serious issues with Windows systems. The reason the Windows work(around)flow is so accepted is a long and drawn out story I won’t bother to get into now but the only time I’ve ever seen someone have a problem working on a Mac was when they decided from the start they weren’t going to get on with it.

    But long may the Mac Vs PC debate rage on. I think it’s hilarious.

    retro83
    Member

    Only helps if you’re using a mouse though, on a ‘book you’re likely to be using the pad etc.

    a tickbox (note lack of having to edit xorg.conf! 😉 ) in the trackpad control panel solves this, right clicking is then just tapping with two fingers onto the trackpad.

    If you’re on a laptop / notebook CTRL & TAP brings up a contextual menu. It’s not rocket science.

    Isn’t it Command and tap? Not to be confused with the button marked ‘Control’ on macs, despite being used for the same things as Control always has been on most non mac computers? Or am I confused?

    Joe

    But long may the Mac Vs PC debate rage on

    That’s funny, I thought the Mac had wiped the floor with the pc years ago…are there still people out there who think a pc is easier to use? Really? No, never, you’re kidding surely…

    RudeBoy
    Member

    but to go with the dozens of people who switch from windows to macs and claim they love it, theres a similar number who soon sell it and go back to a PC.

    Can we have some evidence of this please? None of the people I’ve known, who’ve switched from PC to Mac have done that. And all have agreed, OSX is easier to use.

    OSX is easier for non-techy people to use My Mac using students seem to struggle less with saving and finding files, and simple tasks. And every lesson, at least one of the PC users will have problems with their wireless, or getting files from a memory stick, or something. I asked my mum, a comlete technophobe, to try my PC, and a Mac. The Mac, she got to grips with eventually, the PC, she gave up with after only a few minutes. Children definitely seem much more comfortable with Macs. A friend has to be careful what her four year-old is up to, on her iMac, but he refuses to use his Dad’s PC laptop.

    Windoze is a rubbish OS; unintuitive, bloated and finicky. You certainly need to be a little more tech-savvy to get a PC to work smoothly.

    Linux is very nice and simple, and is very quick and efficient, but lacks the software compatibility.

    For what I do, Macs rule. I know people who work with PCs, doing stuff that Macs can’t. Horses for courses.

    Apple came up with things like the iPod. Microsoft came up with that paperclip.

    My case rests, M’Lud.

    bigrich
    Member

    mac has better marketing.

    IWH
    Member

    Joe – Nope. CTRL & click works. Does on all mine anyway.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    On new macbooks you just tap with 2 fingers for right click.

    Premier Icon theginjaninja
    Subscriber

    A friend got one of the Dell Mini 9’s or whatever they’re called. Maxed out the RAM, put a faster SSD in there and got 10.5 running. Runs incredibly fast. Only problem is that it doesn’t sleep and kernel panics. Great machine though.

    GIMP? Wake me up when it does CMYK.

    andym
    Member

    Apple came up with things like the iPod. Microsoft came up with that paperclip.

    Apple came up with OSX. Microsoft came up with Vista. I rest my case.

    bigrich
    Member

    hmmm making cheap computers work like macs. does this mean macs are overpriced, or is it a sign of fading consumer confidence?

    catshoe
    Member

    Bigrich – I agree – Macs are twice the price. Horses for courses, I helped my parents pick out a nice £400 laptop. On the other hand, I’m personally on my third mac which cost me more than twice that. My last one, a G4 laptop, I flogged 3+ years old for £350, so my upgrade “only” cost me £500, which is comparable
    Coffeeking – I would also like to see evidence of these people that buy a Mac and then go back – I don’t know of anyone who has done that, out of maybe 10-12 I know that have gone over to Mac over the last couple of years

    For heaven’s sake though, we have this argument every few months. What is the point? Buy whichever one you like. I’ll just keep typing on this expensive piece of white plastic that never breaks down or crashes. OK, I’m tempting fate there, but …..whatever……

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Coffeeking – I would also like to see evidence of these people that buy a Mac and then go back – I don’t know of anyone who has done that, out of maybe 10-12 I know that have gone over to Mac over the last couple of years

    Agreed, I too know several that have converted to Macs in the last couple of years, and none would go back out of choice (including myself). Can still use a PC (with XP, Vista sucks arse!) happily as required though, but OSX is by far the better OS by a country mile.

    Yes Mac’s are overpriced, something that they were addressing comparatively well with the last range of MacBooks it seemed, but then the new range they hiked the price by about 25% again for some reason, as if to fuel fire to the PC enthusiast’s arguments. My MacBookPro is just over 2 years old though, OK it cost me £1300, but I could still sell it for £800 now, which of course you couldn’t do with a PC laptop.

    Regarding the NC10 running OSX, I can’t remember the guy’s user name on here, but I spoke to someone a couple of months ago in detail over email about it as he had done it first hand. He gave me a very detailed account of how to do it too and was very helpful. Just waiting for a new job before I go out and buy one really.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    does this mean macs are overpriced

    I paid about £2200 for a custom specced Mac Pro 2 years ago. Got an Ed. discount, so it was more like £2700 full price. The nearest specced Dell was over £3500. And wasn’t available, as Dell couldn’t get the processors in.

    I had 2 PC ‘fanbois’ looking inside the Mac Pro; they couldn’t believe how well put together it is. The design is near-perfect. Swapping HDs, installing RAM, etc, is easy-squeezy-cheesy-peasy. Got all me in and outputs; USB, Firewire 400 and 800, dijical optical, 2xEthernet. Built in Wi-Fi + BlueTooth. Etc etc.

    Switch on- go.

    In over 2 years, not one crash, no hardware failure, never a peep. And it’s on for 16 hours a day. So about 13,000 hours of use so far, without any issue.

    My previous iMac G3 served me well, for 6 years prior to buying that, and is still going strong.

    Overpriced?

    No way. No **** way. Worth every penny.

    For heaven’s sake though, we have this argument every few months.

    More like, every few days!

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Overpriced?

    No way. No **** way. Worth every penny.

    At the lower end of the market they are a bit, when you compare the specs of a base model MacBook with the equivalent Dell Laptop for instance.

    But totally agree with you at the top end, they’re worth every penny. The thing is though, there’s probably only 0.01% of computer users out there that need the computing power that you obviously do RudeBoy, your “average” computer user is doing not much more than surfing the net and checking emails, with a bit of basic Word or Excel thrown in too. Hence the perception is that they’re all overpriced.

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