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MacBook on Windows Network?

Old 05-16-06, 07:39 PM
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MacBook on Windows Network?

I'm in need of a new laptop and Apple's new MacBooks are affordable, stylish, and capable of doing what I need to do. My question is how easy is it to get the MacBook connected to my wireless network? I've got a Siemens SpeedStream 6520 which supports 802.11b and 802.11g. Since the MacBook features a built-in 54-Mbps 802.11g AirPort Extreme wireless, should it just connect to the network automatically?

Thanks for any help. I'm new to the Apple world.
Old 05-16-06, 07:40 PM
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Yes it is just like a PC. You look for the network put in the password if needed and connect.
Old 05-16-06, 08:25 PM
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Depending on your network, you may need to add a $ sign before your password. I know I had to do that for my Macs on my 2Wire connection.
Old 05-16-06, 09:12 PM
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I have a new MacBook and it joined my home and work networks without a problem. You just set up the wireless connection like you would any other.
Old 05-16-06, 09:59 PM
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Awesome, thanks guys. palebluedot, which one did you get and how do you like it so far? How is it for watching movies/listening to music?
Old 05-16-06, 10:57 PM
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If the network is advertising itself, then it's four clicks to get a password dialog to join the network. Click in the menu bar to turn on the wireless card and click it again to see the list of networks to join.
Old 05-17-06, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Nosebleed
Awesome, thanks guys. palebluedot, which one did you get and how do you like it so far? How is it for watching movies/listening to music?
15" - 2GHz - 2GB RAM. I liked the 17" but it's just too big and heavy to be a portable.

I have used MACs in the past but have never owned one for personal or business use. Simple things like the built in Bluetooth just work right out of the box. I have another laptop running XP that has built in Bluetooth and still to this day can't get it to work, and neither can tech support (to which they admit that it doesnt really work...haha).

Things I like.
After using it for a while I can say this for MAC...things just work. As much as that is a cliche it's true in many respects. OSX is an awesome operating system and the applications integrate so well. I have been a UNIX person for many many years and OSX just gets it right.

The iLife suite totally rocks and is not just bullshit software, it's robust and completely useable.

iSight/iChat and video conferencing is amazing and works extremely well.

Watching DVDs and playing music is a dream and all the software you need to play and create movies, DVDs, and music is already loaded up and again it's not bullshit software. The built in speakers are not too bad either and it comes with a remote control that functions across all the software. Personally I think the Front Row media software that comes with it is awesome (which can also be controled with the remote).

I do a lot of photography and the iPhoto software is good but I also picked up Aperature which is really a great program and my photo productivity has gone up so much. Photoshop still has it's uses but Aperature has replaced it for the most part.

I have also put Microsoft Office for MAC and I use my MAC for almost everything at work now. There are still some legacy Windows programs that I need to use at work, however I have started using software called Parallels which is like VMWare or MS Virtual PC. So I have a virtual XP machine on my MAC that I can run those legacy apps in. I have read that VMWare is porting their software over to Intel MACs which would really be great.

The machine itself is built very well IMO. It's sturdy and stylish with great video and power consumption is good too. I am using it now and I have had it on battery now for 3.5 hours with my iPod plugged in listening to music and doing work and it says there is two hours left. I made it through the extended cut of Return of the King with battery to spare. Boot up and shut down is also very quick.

Most of the legacy Apple software still runs fine (meaning software that is not a universal binary). It runs in PowerPC emulation and I don't notice a huge performance impact unless it's a program that was already CPU intensive.


What I don't like.
This thing gets hot, and when I say hot, I mean HOT. Search the web and you will find many topics on it. There have been some that claim its due to the way Apple puts thermal grease inside. Some have opened theirs and cleaned the existing thermal grease out and put artic silver and claim it has cooled it down. I am waiting to see what Apple has to say because this is becoming a well known issue.

The screen sometimes has a high frequency sound that eminates from it. It's only noticable in certain situations. Also search and you will find info about it.

The 15" only has two USB ports and they are on each side. This is a pain as I sometimes carry a USB HDD that needs two USB ports. I can use a hub...but that's just one more thing to carry.

PCI Express card slot. Just stupid to adopt this card bus that no one else in the world is really doing yet on laptops and therefore not much hardware for it (i.e. I can't use my wireless internet card that comes with my mobile internet service).

No CF/SD card slot. For a portable PC, and company that positions itself (and rightly so) to be a multimedia friendly hardware and software company, it's ridiculous that this slot is not there.

The single mouse button. Come on...there is no need for this...what a pain in the ass to have to hit the Ctrl button and click to get the sub menu. Maybe this is just from years of primarly using a Windows PC but I have since had to start using a bluetooth mouse (yet another thing to carry).

Front Row does not see your connected iPod which is bogus...maybe they will fix that one day.


Overall I am extremely happy with the MacBook. It's a great piece of hardware with an excellent suite of software. I hope that Apple looks to the future and allow windows programs to run natively on the MAC. Or maybe now a lot of more companies will make universal binaries for their software since they don't have to compile for a different architecture. Anyway...that's my 2 cents.

Last edited by palebluedot; 05-17-06 at 12:49 AM.
Old 05-17-06, 07:23 AM
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Anyone see the new 13" Black MacBooks? Pretty cool looking. At a reasonable price too... for a mac at any rate.

Apple.com
Old 05-17-06, 11:37 AM
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That's the one I was thinking of buying, Michael. However, I recently discovered the new Sony Vaio S660. It's only $150 more than the black MacBook and it has better features as well, such as 100 GB hard drive compared to the MacBook's 80 GB, 1 GB of RAM instead of 512 MB, and it's nearly a full pound lighter as well (4.3 lbs. vs. 5.2 lbs.) I think I may have to place an order soon.
Old 05-17-06, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Nosebleed
That's the one I was thinking of buying, Michael. However, I recently discovered the new Sony Vaio S660. It's only $150 more than the black MacBook and it has better features as well, such as 100 GB hard drive compared to the MacBook's 80 GB, 1 GB of RAM instead of 512 MB, and it's nearly a full pound lighter as well (4.3 lbs. vs. 5.2 lbs.) I think I may have to place an order soon.
The MacBook has an Intel Core Duo processor. The Sony has a Pentium M. That Sony is listed at $1799 where the MacBook is $1099 - $1499. The MacBook will run MacOS X or Windows XP.

You can order the highest end MacBook and add the 100GB HDD and the extra RAM for $200.
Old 05-17-06, 02:59 PM
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That's just it. The Sony only runs XP/Windows. My PC laptop just died this weekend so I'm in the market for a new one.

There is only 1 program that runs in Windows that I want to run, so I'm not going to drop $1500 to just run that one app, when I can get a Mac with OSX and other apps I know and love(then boot into XP for that one program). I also know I would boot it up/use it a helluva lot more than a Windows laptop.
Old 05-17-06, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
The MacBook has an Intel Core Duo processor. The Sony has a Pentium M. That Sony is listed at $1799 where the MacBook is $1099 - $1499. The MacBook will run MacOS X or Windows XP.

You can order the highest end MacBook and add the 100GB HDD and the extra RAM for $200.
The $1,799 Sony price is in Canadian dollars, and I think you're listing American MacBook prices. If I were to configure the black MacBook with 1 GB of RAM and a 100 GB hard drive, it would cost $1,889 Canadian.

I forgot about the 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor in the MacBook compared to the 1.8 GHz Pentium M in the Sony. There are tradeoffs, though. Like the MacBook only has an Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory, while the Sony has a NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 6400 with Turbocache™ supporting 128MB Dynamically Allocated Shared (RAM/Video) Memory.
Old 05-17-06, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
That's just it. The Sony only runs XP/Windows. My PC laptop just died this weekend so I'm in the market for a new one.

There is only 1 program that runs in Windows that I want to run, so I'm not going to drop $1500 to just run that one app, when I can get a Mac with OSX and other apps I know and love(then boot into XP for that one program). I also know I would boot it up/use it a helluva lot more than a Windows laptop.
And chances are you won't even have to reboot. An Apple rep showed me Parallels which ran XP in a Window in OS X. It may be enough to run your one program. Also, I have to believe Apple is working on their own virtualization implementation for 10.5.

People often say that Apple's prices are too high but in the laptop market, they are right there with everyone else and build a superior product. I have Apple and PC laptops out the ass and nothing I've seen compares with the Apple laptops. On paper maybe...
Old 05-17-06, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Nosebleed
The $1,799 Sony price is in Canadian dollars, and I think you're listing American MacBook prices. If I were to configure the black MacBook with 1 GB of RAM and a 100 GB hard drive, it would cost $1,889 Canadian.

I forgot about the 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor in the MacBook compared to the 1.8 GHz Pentium M in the Sony. There are tradeoffs, though. Like the MacBook only has an Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory, while the Sony has a NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 6400 with Turbocache™ supporting 128MB Dynamically Allocated Shared (RAM/Video) Memory.
Yep. The graphics in the MacBook suck. But then again you get the built in camera, Front Row, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband, etc.

Personally, I would get the Macbook Pro. But if someone is just using it as a word processor and to surf the web, the graphics would be fine.
Old 05-17-06, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Yep. The graphics in the MacBook suck. But then again you get the built in camera, Front Row, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband, etc.

Personally, I would get the Macbook Pro. But if someone is just using it as a word processor and to surf the web, the graphics would be fine.
Umm...I never said the graphics in the MacBook suck, nor was I implying that.

I guess it just comes down to needs. I'm leaning towards the Sony now because I really don't think I'll use an integrated webcam that often, and I can't see myself wanting to create music in GarageBand or edit movies in iMovie. On the other hand, I've always wanted a Mac and I've already got two other Windows XP-based PCs. Decisions, decisions.
Old 05-17-06, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Nosebleed
Umm...I never said the graphics in the MacBook suck, nor was I implying that.
I know. I said it.
Old 05-17-06, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
I know. I said it.
Oh, I thought you were being sarcastic. I guess I'm not used to Mac users actually saying bad things about Apple's products
Old 05-17-06, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
People often say that Apple's prices are too high but in the laptop market, they are right there with everyone else and build a superior product. I have Apple and PC laptops out the ass and nothing I've seen compares with the Apple laptops. On paper maybe...
I've noticed that. Spec-wise they come pretty close, the big difference is screen size. 12"-13" sucks. 15" should be the absolute smallest and still be in the $1000 range.
Old 05-18-06, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by palebluedot
What I don't like.
This thing gets hot, and when I say hot, I mean HOT. Search the web and you will find many topics on it. There have been some that claim its due to the way Apple puts thermal grease inside. Some have opened theirs and cleaned the existing thermal grease out and put artic silver and claim it has cooled it down. I am waiting to see what Apple has to say because this is becoming a well known issue.


The single mouse button. Come on...there is no need for this...what a pain in the ass to have to hit the Ctrl button and click to get the sub menu. Maybe this is just from years of primarly using a Windows PC but I have since had to start using a bluetooth mouse (yet another thing to carry).
I have a Macbook Pro and Apple recently released a new patch and it seems to have fixed the heat issue. It still gets hot just no where near as hot as before. Maybe they'll do this for the Macbook too.

To do a right click using the trackpad, put two fingers on the scroll pad and click the button and it does the right click.

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