Newbie Questions Needed! :)

you mentioned the hard drives, how does the file system layout compare to the windows style
C:\Windows <-- main system
C:\Program Files <-- etc

or the unix/linux style
*/bin <-- executables
/usr/home <-- similar to the Windows "Documents and Settings" and "My Documents" combined
 
1. Can Macs use the same parts? Like can I pop the hard drive out of my Windows machine and put it in my Mac?
I'm using the 120GB IBM Deskstar from my AMD machine right now. ;)
However, OS X does not use NTFS or FAT32 (as you probably know) so files would be lost if you formatted the drive, however the hardware does work.

2. If so, can a Mac read an NTFS partition?
Yes, natively. OSX Panther reads NTFS without problem. When I moved my 120GB drive from my AMD machine to the mac, I was able to copy all my old files before formatting it. I don't think that it can write to NTFS though.

3. What other parts are cross-compatible from PC to Mac, besides obvious ones like USB (e.g. monitors, RAM, sound cards, mice, keyboards, power supplies)?
Everything except items which require specific things such as the BIOS in a graphics card (Yes, these CAN be flashed, but ALL mac cards have dual-head ADC, Apple Display Connecter and DVI.. but if you're not using those, flashing is fine :)) and processors etc.
Everything else uses standard connectors such as IDE or SATA for the HDD's and PCI or PCI-X slots.

4. Can a Mac hard drived be wiped in favor of running an Applish Linux build, or will they run Mac OS only?
Yes, think of macs as OEM computers, they simply come with OSX installed. You are free to wipe it and install a PPC based Linux or BSD distro, or even BeOS if you feel like it.
There are even stores which will retail mac's with Linux pre-installed.

5. How often is OSX updated? Do they have a Windows Update type of feature that adds functionality/security to the OS?
Major updates used to be annually, however that is slowing down with the release of OSX 10.4
And yes, there's an update feature, I mentioned it a few posts back in answer to security concerns.

6. Are there PC emulators?
Yes, coincidentally I was running Windows XP just this morning.
The, now Microsoft owned, VirtualPC is available and does the same thing as it does on Windows. :)

7. If I get a Mac, it's definitely not going to be for gaming. Is there a vast array of business software? What about free ones like StarOffice?
---ed. I just found out StarOffice is no longer free, but I see Openoffice is!
Why not? I frequently use mine for gaming, and with new games seemingly being announced on a weekly basis almost, the mac gaming scene is certainly picking up pace.
As for office, there's Microsoft Office (Currently on version 2004.. not released for Windows incidentally) and Open Office, there's software for virtually everything, many business use mac's as their main work stations.

8. I was told by a Mac-owning friend that Mac renders effects in graphics programs (like Photoshop, Maya, and Lightwave) in fractions of the time of their PC counterparts. This guy knows graphics, but he doesn't know computers, so his knowledge is suspect in my mind. Does this still hold true, or is an Athlon 64/Pentium 4 going to render effects just about as well.
Have a read of the file attached to this post. :)
 

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Geffy said:
you mentioned the hard drives, how does the file system layout compare to the windows style
C:\Windows <-- main system
C:\Program Files <-- etc

or the unix/linux style
*/bin <-- executables
/usr/home <-- similar to the Windows "Documents and Settings" and "My Documents" combined

Like UNIX, keep in mind that OSX uses a BSD backend. :)

Code:
213:~ davidkerry$ cd /       
213:/ davidkerry$ ls -pl
total 19865
drwxrwxr-x  92 root      admin        3128 11 Jun 11:44 Applications/
-rw-r--r--   1 root      admin       51712  9 Jun 23:02 Desktop DB
-rw-r--r--   1 root      admin      248450  6 Jun 01:40 Desktop DF
drwxrwxr-x  13 root      admin         442 12 Apr 12:22 Developer/
drwxrwxr-x  43 root      admin        1462  9 Jun 22:58 Library/
drwxr-xr-x   1 root      wheel         512 14 Jun 00:16 Network/
drwxr-xr-x   4 root      wheel         136  2 Jun 20:19 System/
drwxrwxr-t   6 root      admin         204 18 Jan 23:10 Users/
drwxrwxrwt   6 root      admin         204 13 Jun 14:22 Volumes/
drwxr-xr-x   4 root      admin         136 18 Jan 20:18 automount/
drwxr-xr-x  35 root      wheel        1190 26 May 22:54 bin/
drwxrwxr-t   3 root      admin         102 22 May 15:21 cores/
dr-xr-xr-x   2 root      wheel         512  9 Jun 23:03 dev/
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root      admin          11 18 Jan 20:14 etc -> private/etc
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root      admin           9  9 Jun 23:03 mach -> /mach.sym
-r--r--r--   1 root      admin      569532  9 Jun 23:03 mach.sym
-rw-r--r--   1 root      wheel     3858620 13 May 00:58 mach_kernel
drwxr-xr-x   3 root      admin         102 11 Apr 19:24 opt/
-rw-r--r--   1 davidker  admin     5413616 13 Jun 14:12 out.mp3
drwxr-xr-x   5 root      wheel         170  9 Jun 23:03 private/
drwxr-xr-x  61 root      wheel        2074  9 Jun 23:00 sbin/
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root      admin          11 18 Jan 20:14 tmp -> private/tmp
drwxr-xr-x  11 davidker  davidker      374 31 May 10:57 usr/
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root      admin          11 18 Jan 20:14 var -> private/var
213:/ davidkerry$

I hope these answers are ok, I've just got in from a night out, and have an absolutely evil headache.
So I'm off to bed! :D
 
Wow, very thorough Dave... thanks for all the info!
 
whats the difference between the wheel and the admin groups?

is admin more of the OSX specific root group, and wheel is included due to it being based on that most superior of operating systems FreeBSD

sorry had to add that last bit ;)
 
wow great thread :cool:


does apple support file formatts such as .wmv and .mpeg?
what is the apple alternative to windows media player?
is there many virus/firewall programs that work on macs?
is it easy to pick up after using windows for years?
what has made you stick with a mac?
are backups easy to make?
 
does apple support file formatts such as .wmv and .mpeg?
Quicktime supports mpeg etc, and then you can add codecs to it to make it play DivX and XviD and other compressed formats (same as you would install DivX for windows etc.) as for WMV players like Windows Media or VideoLAN are required to play that.

what is the apple alternative to windows media player?
Windows Media Player :p
The actual apple application would be QuickTime though, although I don't know anyone who actually uses it as their main video player, most people use VideoLAN.

is there many virus/firewall programs that work on macs?
OSX Ships with an in-built FireWall, so there's no need for firewall apps (although I'm guessing there are some available) and there are available AV apps, lacking time atm so I'll find names/examples later.

is it easy to pick up after using windows for years?
I was doing everything I normally did on my Windows machine on the mac 30 minutes after it arrived (that includes getting it out the box and setting everything up ;)) OSX is designed with ease of use in mind.

what has made you stick with a mac?
The fact that it works, the stability argument doesn't work any more, Windows XP is amazing, I think it's something Microsoft have done right for once, it's solid as a rock. At the end of the day, it's a preference, exactly as some people like red more than green... but you'll never know if you'll like OSX more if you never try it :)

are backups easy to make?
Gotta run to work, will answer this and Geffy's question later (Will be home ~9:30pm)
 
:cool:

will a mac work with my adsl modem/router/56k modem ok ?
do macs have a "product activation" bit?
are there many user guides?
can i use msn/irc/icq etc ?


errrrrm cant think of many more questions :0
 
@Geffy: http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-1654.html

will a mac work with my adsl modem/router/56k modem ok ?
All macs ship wtih 56k modems (unless you specifically ask not to have one) and of course ethernet (either 10/100, or Gigabit on newer machines) and USB, so most modems will work unless they use n outdated method of connection.

do macs have a "product activation" bit?
No, there's not even a CD-Key.
Apple realise that at the end of the day, if someone is going to pirate something.. they're going to do it regardless of CD-Keys, so they simply removed this feature as it's basically seen as an annoyance by many users.

are there many user guides?
Just as with Microsoft, Apple has a knowledge base absolutely crammed with information, hints and more. Not to mention the help center which is again full of information.

can i use msn/irc/icq etc ?
ICQ: Yes
IRC: Same as Windows, many clients to chose from.
MSN: Bit of a let down from Microsoft on this one. The official Mac OSX version of MSN does not support neither avatars, or web-cams. However dMSN and aMSN both support user avatars and dMSN are aiming to include web-cam receiving in their next release.
 
I should venture into the Mac section more :)

That x86 Vs. PPC article was very cool.
 
(just ordered a 12 inch ibook, hasn't come in yet)

something I haven't seen anywhere since I started looking: Can I add regular notebook memory to my ibook, or do I have to buy some kind of "Mac DDR"

Can I buy an AirPort card and install it myself?

This is the thread that made me register, BTW. I've been lurking since Xperience days...

Adam
 
Mac's take standard memory (as long as it's rated at the right PCxxxx speed.) my PowerMac is full of 2GB of plain old PC2700 :)

The iBook does take smaller memory with it being a notebook, as I've never actually owned another notebook aside from my iBook, I honestly do not know if the memory is specifically sized for the iBook, will have to look into that though.

You can buy an AirPort and pop it in afterwards, extremely easy to do too. They're currently about the £60 mark, and installation is simply a case of lifting up the keyboard and slotting it in.

Other than that, congratulations on the purchase, and welcome to the boards, or rather posting on them :)


Edit Apparently the iBooks take standard PC2100 200-pin SO-DIMM modules.
A small outline dual inline memory module (SODIMM) consists of a number of memory components (usually black) that are attached to a printed circuit board (usually green). SODIMMs get their name because they are smaller and thinner than regular DIMMs. The gold or tin pins on the bottom of the SODIMM provide a connection between the module and a socket on a larger printed circuit board. The pins on the front and back of a SODIMM are not connected, providing two lines of communication paths between the module and the system.

200-pin SODIMMs are used to provide DDR SDRAM memory for laptop computers. Each 200-pin SODIMM provides a 64-bit data path, so they are installed singly in 64-bit systems. 200-pin SODIMMs are available in PC2100 DDR SDRAM. To use DDR memory, your system motherboard must have 200-pin SODIMM slots and a DDR-enabled chipset. A DDR SODIMM will not fit into a standard SDRAM SODIMM socket. (Information on which memory technology is used by your system is included in the Memory Selector.)

The number of black components on a 200-pin SODIMM may vary, but they always have 100 pins on the front and 100 pins on the back for a total of 200. 200-pin SODIMMs are approximately 2.625" long and 1" high, though the heights may vary. Like 144-pin SODIMMs, 200-pin SODIMMs have one small notch within the row of pins; however, the notch on the 200-pin SODIMMs is closer to the left side of the module.
Hope that helps :)
 
SPeedY_B said:
Yes, perfectly true. But would you rather have thousands of average apps, or one hundred really good ones?
There is some amazing software for windows, but let's face it there's a LOT of crap too, most large developers see the potential of the macintosh and develop applications for it, some even primarily (Adobe, Macromedia, even Microsoft) however due to the Windows market being larger (and therefore meaning more profit) the majority of companies will develop for that platform.
This does in no way mean that software for the mac does not exist for job-X, software is also not hard to find, with sites like versiontracker and macupdate all you need to do is search.


There are varying factors, the main on is money, people don't realise that Mac's last a LONG time and that the MHz mean nothing, I know someone who until a few weeks ago was running a 500MHz G4 (He gave into temptation and treated himself to a dual 2.0 G5 though :D) and had no problems with it, and the great thing is, that he will be able to sell that 500MHz, second hand, for nearly as much as he paid for it. As a matter of fact, my PowerMac is currently re-sellable for more than I paid for it, and probably will be for a while. At the end of the day, you DO get what you pay for.
Most people aren't educated that PPC even exists, and therefore think that a 3.0GHz P4 is faster than a 2.5GHz G5 which isn't the case, so they think that the mac isn't worth the money being asked for.


Wouldn't you say though that the reason you are able to sell the MAC for close to or above the value is because of the small market for them? There is, by the very nature of the fact that few people own MAC's the fact that there will be a small resell market. So anyone who wants/needs to buy an older MAC or a used one will have a harder time finding a seller. (less supply -equal or slightly more demand.)

I am just curious if that is the reason or if they really "last longer" then a generic PC or if they are better made then dell/gateway/etc.
 
It's Mac or mac, MAC is a hardware address.

I really can't think of a valid reason as to why the re-sale value is so high, other than people are willing to pay that for a mac, and the demand is always there.
 
OOh, I just thought of a couple Qs.

How big is OSX, as in how much hard drive space is used on the standard install with all the standard packages and modules and whatnot (appleworks, Garageband, etc.)?

and

Is there a way to show specific file attributes (date created, size in bytes, security attributes) without using the terminal or something? Is the Finder the best analouge to Windows Explorer?

My Mac left Taiwan yesterday and is prolly very close to me in Dallas by now, hopefully I'll have it before I go to school.

-----
Hmm, my sig is somewhere around here.
 
Panther takes around 2.0GB, I think my iBook had about 3GB used when it arrived, can't really remember though :)

File info can be displayed via right click->Get Info, or click a file then hit Command+I, it brings up the following dialog:

Picture40.jpg
 
sto110 said:
I am just curious if that is the reason or if they really "last longer" then a generic PC or if they are better made then dell/gateway/etc.
The hardware used is generally of much higher quality, apple return millions of hard-drives back to Hitachi every year (cant remember exact figure but if i find it i'l post it) they go through intense testing to make sure they aren't going to fail after the Mac has been sold. Alot more thought goes into the design process regarding cooling, system performance etc. Im sure some of you have bought a PC and when you want to look at the guts of it, its full of wires, cable-ties and dust.

So, in general yes they are better made. whether they last longer well i can personally say yes. I still have a usable Apple Macintosh 128k Classic from the 80's it runs perfectly. All you can really do is use 'ClarisWorks' Script in Applescript and paint in the native graphics app. The display is roughly 9" only has a floppy drive, but it works. Not that many PC's (x86) would work after that long ;)
 
SPeedY_B said:
Panther takes around 2.0GB, I think my iBook had about 3GB used when it arrived, can't really remember though :)

File info can be displayed via right click->Get Info, or click a file then hit Command+I, it brings up the following dialog:

Picture40.jpg

Standard usage is 5 - 6 GB used.
 
thekore said:
it wasnt as much as that when i got my iBook X :confused:

That is what it was when i got my iBook. I got Tony Hawk Pro Skater and Garagaband, worldbook, quicken and all those goods as well. THPS is 1.5 Gb allready. So that could be why.

Just speaking from my experience.
 

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