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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

laptop replacement
John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 8:52 AM on 07.10.12
->> so, it's time to replace an aging Dell laptop. I'm not too concerned with ultra small - a midsize laptop works fine. Here's the quandary - I prefer a 15" screen for doing photo editing on. Everyone seems to rave about Apple but new MBP with 8MB ram and 7200 rpm HDD costs around 2100 - about $700 more than a comparably spec'd laptop from Dell or Toshiba. I'm having a difficulty justifying that extra money. I don't care about the "cool" factor. So, for those who have switched from laptop to MBP - assuming similar spec'd machines what is the business case for an almost 50% up-charge to switch to Apple?
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 9:15 AM on 07.10.12
->> You can get an 8mb/ 1tb notebook PC for $700-900, check dealnews.com. Buy two for the price of one MBP
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Lance King, Photographer, Photo Editor
Raleigh | NC | USA | Posted: 9:16 AM on 07.10.12
->> Last December I switched from a Dell to a MBP. I will never go back. The Mac is much faster and more stable. The battery lasts much longer and I like the smaller size for travel. It did take a week or two to get used to the different operating system, but it was not too bad. I know you mentioned a 15" - I went from a 17" Dell laptop to the 13" MBP. I wanted a 15" MBP, but didn't want to spend the extra $700. After using the 13" for several months now, I'm very pleased with my decision.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 9:25 AM on 07.10.12
->> Thanks Lance. The other thing that I don't like about the 13" MBP is you can't get a 7200 rpm drive on it - only the 5400. That's a noticeable performance difference - especially at the prices we're talking about. And especially as file sizes keep getting larger.
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Josh Merwin, Photographer
New York | NY | | Posted: 9:44 AM on 07.10.12
->> you can change it out yourself. Pretty easy to do. You could even put an sad in it.
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Eric Francis, Photographer
Omaha | NE | United States | Posted: 10:22 AM on 07.10.12
->> LOVE my MBA!!
I'll never own a laptop with a RPM hard drive ever again.
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John Perkins, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 11:48 AM on 07.10.12
->> For what it's worth, no-matter the OS you choose to run, it's hard to beat the sheer build quality of the MBP line. The unibody aluminum case is the most solid of any laptop I've ever used.

If you want to do any ram or HD/SSD upgrades yourself (very easy - so the 13" may still be an option for you) stay away from the Retina though.

I have a 13" 2011 MBP and recently upgraded it with a Crucial M4 SSD (~$180 for 256GB) and it's screaming fast now.
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Stephen Brashear, Photographer, Assistant
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 1:13 PM on 07.10.12
->> John - I switched to Mac a few years back for primarily so I could use FCP. I was pretty happy with my Dell laptop. Cool factor aside, my MBP is considerably lighter and smaller than an equivalent Dell. I prefer Mac OS to Windows 7 (I really liked XP).

When I was pricing out Dells and MBPs with similar specs it seemed that they were similar in price. Aside from processors, RAM, video RAM and HDs, also check to see if they have the same amount of cache memory. That is where the similarly specced Dell and MBP differed the most in my research. Though things could be different now and you may have accounted for that.

To save some money and pick up some speed (if you don't want to upgrade to an SSD) you can pick up RAM and and HD on your own. OWC has great prices on RAM. You can look at getting a Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive which, includes 8GB of SSD. I would have to agree with the others: Once you go SSD you won't go back. A little more money, but, way faster and more efficient. You can pick up a decent 480GB drive for under $400. The same size drives that can read and write incompressable data faster are about $200 more.

Also, Applecare is definitely also worth the investment. When I've had issues with my MBP, it is great to be able to take my laptop to local Apple Store. Though Dell's service program was pretty nice too.
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Dustin Bradford, Photographer, Photo Editor
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 07.10.12
->> You are not paying $700 for the "cool" factor, you are paying for a machine that is simply better than a comparably spec'd Dell or other Windows-running laptop. You are paying for additional quality in everything from the power adapter to the screen, the keyboard, the OS, and the ease of use (home networking, automatic backups, printer sharing). Macbooks are now truly ubiquitous, you don't "stand out" by owning one but rather you "blend in". Once you own your first Mac you will never question this again.

I am far from a "power user" but I use Macbook/iMac for all of my photography work and an increasing portion of my other work.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 2:06 PM on 07.10.12
->> John, check out the Apple Refurb Store .... go to the Apple Store site, scroll down to the bottom ... on the left column, select Refurb Mac ... the selection of available units varies from day to day ...

All the refurb units are indistinguishable from new, have a full warranty and are eligible for Apple Care coverage ... and you'll save at least a couple of hundred bucks on a laptop ...
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 2:29 PM on 07.10.12
->> John, Discounting any fanboy aspect, notice how many people are telling you about switching FROM an Apple product and saying how they'll never go back.

--Mark
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 2:37 PM on 07.10.12
->> Butch beat me to it but I would also suggest a refurb from the Apple Store. Here are the 15" models: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/15

That Apple Store link will only show models in stock in real time. Not only does it change daily, but hourly or even minute to minute.

I would recommend a quad-core i7 model.
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Stephen Brashear, Photographer, Assistant
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 3:09 PM on 07.10.12
->> I hope I didn't come across as a fan boy. For the record I have a Android phone.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington/Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 3:30 PM on 07.10.12
->> John, be sure to figure in the cost of switching all your software if you are going from pc to apple or the other way. It can become significant.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 4:00 PM on 07.10.12
->> Alan ... don't overlook the fact ... you can run the Windows OS on a Mac computer ... for some folks, it's the best of both worlds ...

Though I haven't done it myself ... (I've never owned a computer that wasn't made by Apple) ... when my brother-in-law switched over, he found he didn't need a lot of the software apps he depended on with Windows as what comes already installed on the Macs was more than sufficient for his many of his needs. Except of course Ps and Lightroom ... which the former is only a nominal fee if you switch over to OS X to cover Adobe shipping him a new disk ... and Lr has always been a dual platform licensing option ... While there may be some expense in this regard, it may not be as steep as you would think.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 6:09 PM on 07.10.12
->> Photo Mechanic also allows you to switch between Windows and OS X for no additional cost.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 8:16 PM on 07.10.12
->> Adobe used to just have you sign something forfeiting your rights to the Windows version of the products you owned and gave you serials for Mac versions. I think it's still the case.
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 10:01 PM on 07.10.12
->> Well, the Apple fan-boys are, as expected, out in force. It really comes down to who you ask...you will ask many who will insist Apple. Many others will insist something Windows based.

Sorry, but this will probably begin to sound like a rant very soon. :)

As someone who spent considerably more than a decade at one of the big three PC mfgs, I think I speak with a bit of real-world perspective and experience selling literally millions of dollars worth of product.

I've often boiled this down to a couple of key positions; Windows is a better system for most business environments, a Mac could arguably be considered better for one-off, consumer systems. Apple...for what its worth, has no desire to be the corporate PC provider. Next, I'd tell you for the most part a PC is a PC is a PC. Forget what Tim Cook touts when he says the PC is dead; Macbooks -are- PCs...personal computers. In fact, my running joke was that it only took them 20 years to become a PC company. One and uses the SAME Intel i-core processors, the SAME hard drives, the SAME memory, etc as the WinTel machines.

Durability? Hmm...I would argue that all day long. I've seen a lot of dented MBP machines with the aluminum case. I've seen a lot of broken screens, I've seen a lot of failures. Speaking specifically to the Dell machines, if you stick with the business line (Latitude) you'll find magnesium alloys that are much tougher. Weather sealing and other components that are much better. The Dell (and other) machines also fail. Nothing is perfect.

Comparing 15" models, the MBP is approximately 1.25 pounds heavier in similar configurations than a Latitude E6520.

MBP faster? Well, there is not enough information to really comment to that but what I will say is this. Generally speaking, -any- new system will be faster than the same sized older system. This is due to several factors and many should be obvious.

I currently have both systems. I have a late 2010 MBP 15", and I have a couple Windows machines. There are things I like about both. I admittedly know Windows better than I know OS 10 so I find it easier to get around in. There are somethings like about the MBP better...love the big trackpad and the functionality of it. I like the virtual desktops and how easy it is to move between those windows. That said, it is worth noting that the glossy screen of the MBP (or any other system or tablet...IE iPad) simply sucks. Performance wise, I think the MBP and equivalent era machines are pretty close for most things. Battery life? Give me the Dell system any day. Battery life on my MPB stinks, and it generally runs pretty hot. In fact, it's often too hot on the bottom to be comfortable.

I will add another thing; I hear the Apple guys complaining about Microsoft all the time. they suck, they control everything, blah blah blah. My experience is that Apple is just as bad...if not worse. The more I work with apple the more I see that and really hate the way they control things. That control can be viewed as a positive or a negative thing depending on your usage. Most end users probably don't care and are simply on the current "bash fill-in-the-blanks" bandwagon.

If you are invested in Windows software think about that as well. You will have to purchase Mac licenses for most. This equates to more $$. Someone mentioned using the MBP to run windows. You can certainly do that with Parallels or Boot camp but my argument would be why pay the premium for a MBP to run Windows? I don't get that logic.

In the end, I could live with either one. Were I shopping for a new system today I would probably wait a month or two to see what comes out with the new generation of Ultrabook Windows machines. The new Dell XPS 13 is a killer system with great performance. If a 13" system is on your list, its worth a look. I would expect to see similar styled products from several vendors in larger sizes as well. Could I ever justify a $700 price increase for the Apple? No. Not by any stretch.

From a momentum point of view, Apple has that right now. No question. Will is sustain itself? Who knows. They are the shiny object right now. Looking on the Windows side of things, Windows 8 is the big question mark. It has the potential of being a game changer. The entire industry is in a transition mode right now...where it goes is really anyones guess right now.

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions I can assist with. Email is probably easiest. I hope this isn't too rambling. Typing in this small window can get confusing with large rants like this, and frankly I'm being too lazy to put it into another editor to do a better review.

Rant over.

-mike
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 11:15 PM on 07.10.12
->> Lets take some polls. 1.PC users have you ever had a computer virus? Nearly every PC user I have ever know has. 2.Mac users? I know very few that have had a virus. 3.How many Mac users used to be PC users? 4. How many PC users used to be Mac users?

Likely results:

1. 100
2. 5
3. 100
4. 10
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 12:33 AM on 07.11.12
->> Good points Mark, but obviously subjective.

For my answers...again based on my industry experience;
...where's that pesky soapbox...

1) 10% at most. And I honestly think this is a stretch. There is a lot of paranoia, little real-world impact. Practice safe computing regardless of platform and you'll be fine.

2) 5% and growing rapidly based on 2 things; growing marketshare in the consumer space, and attitudes like this that incorrectly tout that Mac's don't get viruses. Think about it, if you are taking the time to create and spread a virus/trojan/whatever you want maximum impact. Are you going to go after the guy who had (until recently) a less than 5% marketshare or the one with 95%? Check this fairly recent example:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/widespread-computer-virus-indicate.../

Then look at the last line in the story: “Mac users have been led to believe they’re safe and turned off their paranoia filter. There is a lot of easy prey out there.”

3) 60
4) 40

Nothing personal here. I rarely comment on these things. Not sure why I jumped in tonight to tell you the truth.

I just think it's important to look at all sides...not just the hype. give it a fair an objective review then make a decision.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 1:10 AM on 07.11.12
->> Mike-
Speaking of someone who has spent too much time in IT, your numbers are pretty jacked up. First, the numbers are made up. I'm sure Mark's are too, but his are closer to reality. Second, in the article you cited there are several issues you're not understanding: First, every platform has security vulnerabilities from time to time, that's simply how it goes. Citing a single vulnerability does not constitute one system being more or less secure than others. Second, the user had to have full knowledge that they were installing third-party software. Third, the software required a password to install. Fourth, once installed it was pretty limited in the damage it could do since it did not have root privileges. Fifth, Apple released a fix for it in several days and it popped up on everybody's desktops and kindly offered to update without taking forever.

Let's take a look at Microsoft's update for an IE hole which has been in the wild for a month now:
http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-drops-surprise-ie-patch-fixes-under-attack-w.../

First, Microsoft took a month to release a simple patch. That's absolutely ridiculous. It probably took one guy five minutes to patch it and then a few minutes to build a fixed copy. Second, a month??? You have to be kidding. Third, the MS update process is a pain. It's just the unfortunate reality of the situation. It actually works now, which is a plus, but it's a pain and that means you probably don't have your computer up to date most of the time. It will be months before most users have their computers updated, and all it requires is a single malicious ad to hack them.

Here's a blog that keeps up with Microsoft's security "advances":
http://blogs.technet.com/b/msrc/

An excerpt: "This month’s release includes 7 bulletins addressing 25 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Visual Basic for Applications, Dynamics AX, and the .NET Framework. All seven bulletins will be released on Tuesday at approximately 10 a.m. PDT."

That's 25 new security vulnerabilities in the default installation of their flagship product in a month, many of them exploitable remotely and without the knowledge of the user. That doesn't happen on OS X because they don't have the organizational nightmares that Microsoft has regarding their software authoring. It also helps that OS X is built on top of FreeBSD.

You're welcome to look up real numbers, they're readily available in many places on the internet. My point is, there's a huge difference between Apple and Microsoft regarding how well their software is written, their responses to vulnerabilities when they come up, and how simple and quick it is to update.

This is one of hundreds of thousands of articles about Window's security:
http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs-archive/daveyw/2009/11/03/80-percent-of-viruse.../

I haven't met anyone who has switched back with the exception of changing jobs to a company which requires them to use Windows.
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 1:55 AM on 07.11.12
->> At the fear of hijacking this thread even more than it has been already...

Israel, I completely agree with you. My numbers above are indeed 100% made up. Purely subjective, but based in some reality, some just tossed out there. I probably should have done a better job with my tounge-in-cheek response to the made up note I replied to.

Windows o/s and applications are a security mess. Apple does have a big advantage in this area. My only point is that this is shifting. Apple products are not immune to security issues and I feel very strongly that attacks to this system will continue to increase.

Regarding the shift from Mac to windows or vice versa, I do know many people who have gone both ways. Both business and personal. I did give that edge to apple above, and would go so far as 70 / 30 from my original 60/40.

As a user of both (current typos courtesy of my iPad), I see positive and negative with each. My only wish is that people look objectively at both sides. I don't have a dog in this hunt...for clarity, I am no longer with the mfg i mentioned above.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 2:00 AM on 07.11.12
->> I hate that I'm doing this, but here we go...

I just configured a system and by my math the Apple is only $143 more expensive, not $700. The problem is that so many of the things that come standard on the Mac need to be added/upgraded on the Dell. These are things you might not even think of like the WiFi card. The MBP comes standard with a 3x3 speed card while the Dell has a 1x1 single band card by default. It costs an extra $40 to make the WiFi comparable. This continues on down the list. Bluetooth standard on the Mac, extra $ on the Dell, etc. etc.

Now I admit the Dell comes with a better standard warranty; and after upgrading the battery of the Dell it is better than the Apple (the standard Dell battery is worse hence the upgrade to be comparable).

+Dell Latitude E6530 - $2,018
Intel® Core™ i7-3720QM Processor (2.6GHz, 6M cache)
Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate, 64-bit
8.0GB, DDR3-1600MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
750GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
97WH Primary Lithium Ion Battery
8X DVD+/-RW
Intel® Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300 802.11n 3x3 Half Mini Card
Dell Wireless™ 380 Bluetooth 4.0 LE Module
Light Sensitive Webcam
Backlit Dual Pointing Keyboard
15.6" FHD (1920x1080) Wide View Anti-Glare WLED-backlit
NVIDIA® NVS™ 5200M (GDDR5 1GB) Discrete Graphic
5.4 lbs (before upgraded battery)

+MacBook Pro - $2,161
2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz (3720QM, 6 MB on-chip L3 cache)
OS X Lion (free upgrade to Mountain Lion), 64-bit
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
77.5 Wh Lithium Polymer Battery
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking; 3x3 IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
720p FaceTime HD camera
Backlit Keyboard
15.4 inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display (1,680 × 1,050)
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
5.6 lbs

Both have USB 3, the Mac has Firewire 800 and Thunderbolt, the Dell has an eSATA port.

Dell does have several lines of laptops but I went with Latitude since Mike mentioned it as their business line above. These two machines are as close as I could get in the short amount of time I spent, but they are almost identical!

This is really a Canon/Nikon argument. Which feels better in your hand and is easier for you to use? The cost difference isn't near as wide as most people make it out to be.

For the longest time I had a Windows desktop at home and a Mac laptop. I finally got tired of dealing w/ all the Windows hassles and made the switch completely. For example I booted up WinXP virtual machine for the first time in about two weeks the other day. It took me about 45 minutes and three reboots to get all the security patches installed!

I personally feel like I'm more productive in OS X. I spend less time "messing with" the computer and more time just getting my stuff done. I used to enjoy "tinkering" with Windows and building my own PCs but I'm at the point now where that isn't fun anymore. I want to do my work and then spend time with my family.

If you like Windows and feel very comfortable using it, a switch might not be the best decision for you. But I really think it comes down to usability and user preference much more so than the minor cost difference.
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 2:42 AM on 07.11.12
->> Interesting comparison Kevin. Certainly closer than I would have expected. I think it also highlights one of the confusing problems with Dell and others. Trying to figure out the right system, how to get the best price, and hoping for the best. Apple options and prices are pretty clear and consistent. They also rarely discount so what you see is what you get. I suspect the 6530 you showed will be lower priced soon. Its a fairly new model and prices will be kept high on the website. Volume corporate buyers...the target for that line...will likely not pay these prices.

All of that means nothing here. :)

I also made a mistake in the weight above...the 1 pound plus weight difference is with the 14 inch dell, not the 15.

Like you said, Canon verses Nikon. I would personally be satisfied with either.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 4:50 AM on 07.11.12
->> One thing I noticed years ago that still seems to hold true is that if you go to an event and look around you'll likely find that the folks using Windows machines are using machines supplied by their employer's IT department. The people that have spent their own hard earned money on a computer seem to overwhelmingly choose a Mac.
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 8:55 AM on 07.11.12
->> Mike-
Nearly 100% of all PC users I have known have had one or MORE(many more) business altering viruses. Microsoft failures just as responsible as operator failures.

I agree that Mac users are becoming more prone to viruses.

Again, I know of very few Mac users that have switched to PC, and many PC users who have switched to Mac.

I started out with a Dell PC in 1991(286 with 2 meg ram, 20 gig hd $1999 w/employee discount), and quickly switched to Mac when the NY Times said they wanted all their photo stringers to send photos via Mac and not PC. I never understood why, but back then it made a difference.
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 11:26 AM on 07.11.12
->> Choice is good. It's good for the industry, and its good for consumers. I believe strong cases can be made for either camp, and as I mentioned above I could easily live with one or the other.Heck, I very well may end up in the Mac only camp eventually. Hard to predict.

Regarding who buys what with their own money, we could also argue that all day. As I also said above, Apple has momentum right now. that's a great thing for them. I think the growth will continue at least for a while. Apple stores are always busy, but look around other retailers and you'll see the majority of their costly floor space dedicated to Windows based machines.

From a Q4 2011 report that Gartner has publicly posted, Apple products are showing a United States -consumer- market share of 11.6%. Windows based machines from HP, Dell, Toshiba, Acer and others make up the remaining 88.4%. This is for a total reported number of 17.9 million units. Windows lead this Gartner report approximately 8:1. This report also highlights the momentum that Apple has in this space. Also worth noting is that if you look at their worldwide numbers, Apple falls into the "other" category. I only put this out there to counter the idea that hard-earned money only goes to Apple.
http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1893523

Yes, this is only one report but you can find similar results from IDC, Forrester and others.

I will also add that in the graphics/arts/creative communities Apple has a much stronger user bias. It has been that way for a long time and probably always will be. I'd say this applies to both business and consumer buyers. I'm certain that contributes to the preference of many in this forum.

I've clearly spewed enough here. I'm truly sorry if this has turned into the proverbial pissing contest...that is not the intent. I hope there is at least some value in these comments.

Look at both. Evaluate your needs and make a choice. Either should serve your needs well.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 12:17 PM on 07.11.12
->> I really loath the term "fanboy" ... up until someone stated they were out in force in this thread, I didn't see any mention of Windows, or Windows based computers in a negative fashion ... at least not to the point where someone should find the need to march in and level the playing field due to unfairness ... I don't understand how sharing positive experiences about products you purchase and use must be construed as blind loyalty ... it only seems to pop up whenever someone makes a reference to that five letter dirty word A-P-P-L-E ...

Apparently John is already very well acquainted with the Windows platform ... but was seeking insight as to why anyone would be willing to invest more in another platform ... I don't see where any of us who use Apple products were attempting to harm John or his livelihood by sharing our thoughts and opinions.

I've never sold millions of dollars worth of computers on any platform ... I only know I have been very satisfied with the computer hardware I have purchased and used for nearly 25 years ... Yes, I too wish it was less expensive, though, when that same hardware finally reached it's end of life for daily use, I have no regrets about paying a little more because the performance and ease of use more than made up for the investment ... not to mention the fair market value for resale over time ... Heck, I have a six year-old iMac that currently sells on the used market for about 50% what I paid for it ... (is that even possible with Dell or HP equipment? ... I don't know because I don't track their used pricing) ... I'm sure if I would have adopted a Windows platform I could have accomplished the same results with my daily tasks ... though, I do have doubts I would have been as pleased at the end of the day.

If that makes me a "fanboy" ... so be it ... applying that label will not change my experience with the equipment I choose use.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 5:22 PM on 07.11.12
->> Interesting piece on the Huffington Post about the "10 Free Windows Programs Every PC Owner Should Install Immediately"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/10-free-windows-programs-everyone-...

Notice the picture...
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 9:53 AM on 07.12.12
->> Even though I'm a long time Windows user I would seriously look at a refurbished MBP if price is a factor. For a relatively closed system like a laptop I think they are better made. The real advantage to a PC is at the desktop level where you can order totally customized specs for whatever you want to do (ex. multiple video cards with massive power supplies).
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 3:32 PM on 07.12.12
->> I've found many things on my Mac save me time and frustration. Back in 2003 when I was contemplating switching from windows to OSX my friend who worked in IT said that the average life of their windows machines was two years and the mac's was three. I don't know if that still holds true today but if an Apple does last longer, or operates close to optimal performance for a longer period of time then it is worth the extra money hands down. I upgrade my MBP every three years. Consider how often you upgrade machines and the amount of time you spend on every upgrade. How much is that time worth? Also, how much was your used machine worth? The last MBP I sold went for nearly half of what I paid for it three years prior.

Every time I switch to a new mac it prompts me and asks if I'm upgrading from an old one. I plug in my old one to it and walk away for a few hours. When I come back my new machine works and acts identically to my old one. That is a killer app in my opinion :)

There is a reason that Apple continues to take market share from the other windows players. Apple is the only PC seller of the big five to have year over year growth in the pc industry in Q2 of this year. If you switch, you'll never look back.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 3:56 PM on 07.12.12
->> The app Gregory is referring to is called "Migration Assistant" (it's found in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder) ... it opens automatically upon first use of the new computer and can move all your installed applications, plugins, preferences, mail, movies, pictures, music and chat accounts and all other personal documents, data, etc. form your old unit ... that is if you installed everything in the default locations and didn't stray from the norm when installing third party apps ...

Migration Assistant can also handle the task of moving data over from a Windows machine as well, though I have no personal experience as to how smooth that effort is or how complete the transfer is compared to updating from another Mac ...
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 6:33 PM on 07.12.12
->> FWIW, I was visiting the Education Office at NASA Ames and every computer on every desk was a Mac.

--Mark
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Angel Valentin, Photographer
Miami/San Juan | PR | | Posted: 6:36 PM on 07.14.12
->> Get whatever gets your work done that you can afford.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 07.20.12
->> Thanks everyone. Right now, I'm going to try some disk cleaners and such to see if I can't improve performance. I use freeware anti-virus software and have never had a virus in 10 years. So, I don't need to escape virus situations. Really, my biggest frustration is all the processes that accumulate over time. In the "old days" you could simply wipe the hard drive and re-install to help clean things up. Unfortunately with so much downloaded software now and no disks to use for install, that's not easy.

I appreciate respondents who are happy Apple users. But, still too difficult to justify the price difference. Hopefully with the next crop of laptops that will push the prices down a bit on MBPs in a year. Right now, I'm replacing a machine about every 4 years. Doesn't sound like a mac gets me there any longer. Of course - if those of you who switched in the last 3 years can say macs avoid the accumulation of all those processes that eat up memory (and sometimes CPU)then I'm all in favor. Haven't seen that yet though.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 11:55 PM on 07.25.12
->> John and others reading this string:

I understand and can easily see the price difference. I thought the same way for so many years.

When the PC laptop went blue screen (only 6 months old) and I spent the better part of two weeks trying to get everything back in order, my wife pointed out how much time I spend working on my PC.

I had bought her a Mac and even helped people with their Macs. Everyone was spending less time than I maintaining their Mac as compared to my time defragging, cleaning and general repairs every so often when the regustry got screwed up.

Since switching to Mac two years ago, I can honestly say I am spending so much less time doing any computer maintenance.

My wife pointed out that my time was money and just seeing price difference between the computers wasn't really the full picture. I was loosing time with my family and friends massaging the PCs to keep them operational.

My time is worth a lot more.

The closed system of the Mac does have some drawbacks, but the down time due to problems with open source issues is no comparison.

The reason Apple was so profitable and Steve Jobs is such an icon, is frankly they produced a far superior machine. It would not have sold as well being priced all these years significantly higher in price unless the machines delivered some significant performance difference.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 9:01 AM on 07.26.12
->> Thanks Stanley. I'm not sure why I seem to be luckier than others - I don't get virus', I've never had a blue screen. The only real issue I've ever encountered with using PCs is the build up of processes that occurs as you load various software over the years. I could imagine it would be frustrating for those that have consistently encountered virus or crash issues. I'm not sure what I do differently to avoid those issues (other than have anti-virus software, run the occasional spyware scrubber and occasional clean-up utility). I do suspect that little bit of maintenance might be part of it. For the record for other people - since I got rid of McAfee and Norton and went to free AVG software that seems to have cut down on the footprint, memory and cpu requirement of the anti-virus and I've still never had a virus.
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