SO! My roommate recently purchased a mac book. With an intel Core Duo [not core duo 2…], 2gb memory, and the basic setup [ilife, i work…]. Hes ben toying with it a little but is not sure what else he should buy as far as hardware goes. So i am hoping maybe someone here can shed some light on the subject. Any specific hardware addons/toys he should get, even if it is just for convienence/fun. I have gone through the Apple page and other than a 2 button mouse and maybe some books, i could not think of anything else. And i am not just trying to narrow ideas down to like “whats cool”, but maybe something which is good for new mac owners [books], but also ideas for mac users in general. [i.e. All mac users should have/need to have a _____, because of ______]
I also already mentioned that the monitor is kinda small, but he says he already plans on buying a larger monitor. I guess he wants to use it for school and work, so i was thinking the mac’s MS office software… But i guess mac has their own version which is free to use and from what i have heard just as good, if not better- Any opinions/ideas? Please!
Thanks in advance for any ideas and must haves. I am a windows user, so the mac is still only eye candy for me. >D
He’ll want one of the mini-dvi to PC monitor dongles - $19. Also, PLEASE get the mini-dvi to composite dongle so you can hook it up to any TV you’ve got. This is quite the bomb for sitting in the living room, streaming movies off a server elsewhere or whatever. You just have to install xvid and divx codecs, wmv codec, and reboot and front-row will play everything you throw at it. Kicking back with the remote and using it as a media center is the business, sir.
For a second monitor, have a look at the Samsung or Acer 20"+ widescreen displays. 1680x1050 is what I’ve got. The macbook does external monitors RIGHT, and windows PCs haven’t figured it out yet in my experience. Basically, if you open the lid it goes “Aha! Dual screen!” and if you close the lid, it shifts everything to the external screen - without having to hit some fn-F4 keystroke bullshit or telling the laptop not to sleep when the lid is shut. My boss has a macbook poser HP laptop and it’s just a retard about this sort of thing. Boo. He’s not super computer swift, so the need to hit fn-F4 2 or 3 times to get the mirror/dual/single screen config he wants eludes him and makes my phone ring every time. Mac wins that war.
One of these:
is sort of nice. 320 gig of external firewire storage - because that 60 gig drive in the macbook is going to fill up FAST.
I’ve been considering bumping mine up to a 100 gig 7200 rpm internal drive as well, just for extra zing. Those are around $150 at the moment. You can do 160 gig for that price if you stick to 5400 rpm drives.
Also, this website is handy for learning what cool software is out there: http://osx.iusethis.com/
And he’ll want to check maczot.com daily to see what they’re giving away or selling super cheap. It’s like w00t.com for macware.
Apple does not have an Office-type suite. There is iWork, which features Pages and Keynote. Pages is more like Microsoft Publisher, though. It is a very rudimentary word processor at best. But if you want to design a brochure with lots of photos, go for it. Keynote is a slick Powerpoint killer, but that’s about it. There is no Word Processor. There is no Email/PIM client like Outlook. And there’s no Spreadsheet app. There are rumors that Apple is working on these, but there’s always rumors Apple is working on these. And iWork is not free. It’s $80. There’s a 30-day free trial that comes on all new Macs, which you can upgrade them to the full version by typing in your credit card number.
Get the Microsoft Office for Mac 2004 Student and Teacher version if he’s a student. He counts. It’s like $100 with the latest deals, and it has three licenese in it. It’s got everything the full version has. In fact, it doesn’t even say it’s “Student and Teacher version” when you load it up.
I use a Samsung widescreen monitor, can’t recall the model number but it has a 9 in it and BW somewhere <g>. Works like a champ. A Blutetooth mouse is nice too, as is a Firewire external harddrive–that’s my work setup, though much of the time I just use the MacBook as is in meetings and at home.
Microsoft Office for the Mac is great, though it’s not Universal Binary yet. I got mine free from my college, though, so the price was right.
A logitech Bluetooth mouse
One of the Indesign sleeves
As mentioned, MS Office
Andy Ihnatko’s “OSX Tiger Book” It’s a great reference (Full Disclosure: I know the author, but it really is a good book).
My Macbook does exactly this and it annoys me. If I have the external monitor hooked up (DVI) and the lid open, and close the lid… It goes to sleep. I have to hit something on my external keyboard to turn it back no. Similarly, when I open the closed lid, it doesn’t always kick into dual monitor display. Sometimes I have to hit the “Detect Displays.” Maybe they fixed this in later Macbook models? Mine’s from the very first batch.
Nice, some interestnig ideas. Hes been a PC user for longer than me so he knows all about external drives an monitors and such. I was thinking more along the line of something, like the USB power mate scrollnig thingy. Now that seems more mac specific! Like a book about switching from PC to mac. Thats useful and not so obvious to the regular machine user. Not everyone would think about a book like that!
Anyways, i was hoping maybe some guys here would be mac users who could help? Anyone?? I am also going to use [if i can find some good replies], a suggestion as an Xmas present for him- But buying a 1,000 dollar monitor or another external drive is kinda like yeah whatever for a seasoned PC user. Id like to get something mac specific. I own a razor copperhead mouse and saw the white Razor USB mouse for macs, sounds like a good idea. But i am not sure if the mouse is kind of a thing one has to buy for themselves… Ay other mac ideas? Any buisness/work ideas? [i.e. Every buisness user tends to use app: X, because its the standard badass buisness application for blah blah blah…] I have never used my laptop for work, i have taken it to work and um… found mp3’s, lying on, the, ground… yeah… but uum, never “used” it at work so i have no idea. shrug
Next item on the list is Growl. This program really has no Windows equivalent. It’s a notification system, which sounds uncool until you’ve lived with it for a while. You start getting hungry for Growl-aware apps, so all the notices come in a consistent and pleasing form.
For chat programs, when you want more than what iChat provides, go to Adium. It’s a lovely piece of software; handles all the major networks; and integrates sharply with the address book.
The two top text editors on the platform are TextMate and BBEdit. Both have trial versions. Which is crucial for such a sensitive process as editing plain text files.
Apple’s monitors are worth a bit of extra scratch; they compliment the hardware nicely and are very high quality displays. Pro tip: walk into an Apple Store and ask if they have any open-box displays. You can get perfect fully-warrantied Apple displays at huge discounts this way (just run a pixel checker before you make the purchase). I didn’t pay retail for my 23" Apple Cinema HD, and I don’t think I would have, but for $700 it was an easy decision.
I second the Versiontracker mention. Great way to find new Mac apps.
I’d suggest iWork as well; it’s cheap, it’ll handle most Word and Powerpoint docs just fine, and it’s a better match for the Intel hardware than the PPC-native Office we’re still stuck with. Until they offer free upgrades to the next (Intel-native) revision, Office is off of my purchase list. Admittedly, it possibly is permanently off my list already, but we’ll see.
Yeah, I agree; it’s best for infrequent or less-demanding Word file use. But there’s some percentage of Office users that buy the full Office just for that level of use, not really knowing they have options.