October 10th, 2002
This is my review of switching to a Apple Computer from a PC.
Why listen to me? Well, I think
I'm a great candidate to talk about switching due mostly to the
fact that I love all computers. I don't dislike Apple Computer
in anyway. I think a Apple Computer does just as good a job now
as any PC. It just does it differently. I could use this same
quotation about a PC.
plan to really use my Mac just as I would a PC. I run a computer
service and repair business, so my daily needs are accounting,
email, website maintenance, tech research, games, listening to
music, making music CDs, making utility CDs, and printing manuals.
Currently, I use a AMD Athlon
1800+ based PC. I switched (switching) to a Apple Power Mac G4
867 Dual CPU computer.
I think that these two systems
are a good comparison because based on Apple's suggestions in
all the marketing material, a Apple CPU run's twice that of a
PC. So, my 867MHz Dual Apple should perform better or at least
as good at a PC running at 1.6GHz right?
I purchased this puppy at MicroCenter
in Santa Clara. Steve Miller the manager there (great guy) helped
me with the sale. Actually, a lady (didn't get her name) helped
me mostly from the Apple mini-store inside MicroCenter. She was
very knowledgeable. We kicked around a few issues about the Apple/PC
thing and we even got into a debate about the Apple adopting
all mostly PC parts inside the G4. I said that Apple will completely
adopt the PC platform, going head to head with Microsoft one
day soon and she thinks I'm nuts. Well, let's see... My new Apple
sports everything that a PC does hardware wise, with only one
exception... the Motorola CPU. Yes, that's right kids. You're
bright shinny new Apple G4 is 90% PC hardware... The PCI bus,
the AGP graphics controller, the IDE hard drive interface and
memory, all PC hardware. Apple even has a USB port for your keyboard
and mouse. They offer these for convenience I'm told.
get email, surf the net, download stuff, make cool Quicktime
movies, listen to music, and copy music to my Mac.
Support from Symantec. MS Internet Explorer is somewhat slower
to respond than the Windows version. No uninstall for software
on OS X! No Defragment software.
04-16-03 ( towel toss )
I haven't updated this
page in a while and I think it's time to drop the bomb. Frankly,
my Apple G4 albeit the low end one was quite an expensive experiment.
I spent just over $4,000 dollars on this unit and I am not so
happy with it. Not only did I have to re-load my OSX again this
month because it started locking up, I had to restore all my
data from my server at my office because my second partition
on the Mac wasn't accessible after I re-loaded the OS for the
5 and last time.
I decided to either sell my G4
or give it to my wife. I figure if I'm gonna post a negative
review about something I better keep it around so I can experiment
of it if need be. Between the tech support calls, the reloading
of the OS multiple times and my data recovery which wasn't much
because I did have it backed up, I will chalk this up to inexperience
of the Mac. That being said, you would think that me being a
computer tech I could keep this thing running. I no longer have
the time nor the interest anymore to keep this expensive experiment
I'm sorry if this disappoints
many of you, and I am sure I'm gonna get a lot of flame mail,
but it is what it is.
Installed my Office X
tonight. I think I like the mail program better in OS X better
that entourage. Word and Excel are what you'd expect and the
transparent effects you can do with graphs and such in Word or
Excel are really cool. Can't do that on a PC yet.
While down at MicroCenter
(where I bought my PowerMac) the Apple Expert told me of a upgrade
program the Adobe has for people with PC versions of Adobe software.
Apparently, if you own any version of a PC software title from
Adobe, you can get the Mac version at the upgrade price for your
Apple! I have not confirmed this but Ill post here when I do.
Since all I can do really
until I get MS
Office for the Mac is surf the net and experiment, I found
myself in a quandary... I seemed to have messed up my installation
after I downloaded and installed OpenOffice
for OS X. Mind you it is a BETA release of software but it really
hosed up my little Mac. I had to re-install the Mac OS X operating
system... That was okay. Much the same as re-loading Windows
XP. You restart your machine and before it starts to boot up
you have to manage a way to open the CD-ROM door. On this Mac
G4 I have, Apple made it a little difficult because they didn't
put a button on the front of the CD-ROM (don't wanna mess with
that mirrored door theme you know). Right on the Mac Restore
CD it says to hold down the "C" key while the machine
boots. This should pop open the CD-ROM drive door so you can
boot up off the CD-ROM and reinstall the operating system. It
When the the OS reloader screen
came up, it ad a few options. 1) Reload and erase the whole puppy
for a really really clean install 2) Reinstall the OS over your
presetting setup, leaving all your files intact. I chose option
After the OS was reloaded, I
played around with a few shareware programs like Popup
Zapper for Mac and
When I arrived home this
evening, I noticed when I powered up the G4, the CDRW drive door
popped open... Interesting... Also, the fan noise is starting
to bug me. The G4 is sitting on my kitchen table and the internal
(5 inch monster) fan is really getting loud. The only time I've
heard this kind'a loudness was on a PC Server running 4 fans.
I looked on the Apple.com Discussions page for answers and it
seems that this is a common problem with the new Mirrored Doors
G4 like mine.
Posted some questions to the
Apple populous on the Apple.com discussions board asking how
to do things that the PC can do. Here are some answers to some:
Q. How to send a page to someone via email while in MS Internet
Explorer? On the PC, all you do is right-click and then Send
To > Then pick Mail Recipient. It's pretty easy and a very
cool feature in Windows.
A. There is no way to do this easily on the Mac. Here is a response
to my post from some Mac Netizens;
#1 - [ I have no experience w/X so if this can't be done I apologize
Hyperlink the webpage URL into the body of your email program
or drag the whole webpage onto your email program, or hold down
your mouse until you get a contextual menu. Click on "save
as". Save to desktop then drag to body of email program.
Baby Boomer ]
#2 - [ AH! Thanks for the help
Baby Boomer. I tried it in OS 10.2.1 and it seems to work there
as well. Just right click or control-click and select save as.
Then both an html file (link) to the page AND a local folder
of the page will get saved wherever you select. You can then
drag the .html file into an e-mail and send it to the person
When I tried this and sent it to myself it actually sent the
whole web-page in the e-mail NOT just the link.
So it IS possible, but not from
within IE directly which causes an extra step or two as opposed
to IE on a PC.
I should also add though that
it might be different depending on which browser and e-mail client
you use. It might not work in some. I used IE, Chimera and the
built in Mail program in OS 10.2.1
Shane Scot ]
Got a response back from
Symantec on the Norton System Works CD not booting and being
able to scan and fix the Power Mac G4 (OS X 10.2.1). I had to
call the paid support line (they didn't charge me after I explained
my situation) and they explained what happened.
Well it seems that Apple has the new OS X locked up so tight,
that they (Apple) won't even release the code for developers
to polish off their products in a timely manner. Sound familiar?
In this case it seems that Apple had some changes to the OS X
right in the 11th hour and Symantec had already produced and
shipped their NSW CDs to the stores. .
Called Adobe today to order Pagemill 3.0 for the Mac... Was flat
out denied a copy. Said for me to buy GoLive. I already own GoLive
for the PC. I bought it a while back after Adobe discontinued
Pagemill to upgrade. I haven't had enough time or the energy
to spent on it so I shelved it and continue to use Pagemill 3.0
for the PC. I like Pagemill. It suits my needs perfectly, for
doing MikesHardware.com and my other websites. Well to make a
long story short, the order taker told me that I couldn't have
it. Now Adobe is going to make me find a copy on the net somewhere.
They would rather loose a sale than to make a few dollars. Nice
business plan there Adobe. You get submitted to my HUTBA
Went down to a computer store in Palo Alto CA to get a copy of
Symantec's Norton SystemWorks 2.0 for the G4. I thought I needed
virus protection and it wouldn't hurt to have some utilities
to run when/if I ever need them. I also picked up two magazines
there too to subscribe to to keep myself informed as any Maccie
would. I got MacWorld & MacAddict. These two mags had some
util/shareware CDs with some cool goodies.
I loaded NSW 2.0 and thought I'd
do a Disk Doctor check to see if my hard drive was running allright.
Well, it found an error that it couldn't fix. Told me to boot
from the NSW CD and run Disk Doctor from there... Well, the NSW
2.0 CD boots with Mac OS 9.2 and it can't see the Mac OS X (10.2.1)
system disk! I attempted to call Symantec... no luck there. They
want $30 just to say hello so I went to the Symantec website
and found it... right there in their top 10 list in the Macintosh
section. If you read this tech-bulletin from Symantec, you will
see that they knowingly produced these CDs with this bug. Well
in my opinion, it's not a bug, but a major oversight by Symantec.
They produced a utility CD that can't repair a Mac OS X disk
even though the Symantec box clearly says right on the front,
"Built for Mac OS X"! This has made me so mad that
I have decided to submit Symantec to my Head Up The Butt Awards
section and report them to the California State Attorney Generals
office and to any other State and Local agencies that I can find.
Nice work Symantec bungholes!
Link - Hard
drive does not appear when booting from a Symantec Macintosh
Okay, after that I thought I would download a game for the Mac
that I love playing on the PC called Unreal. I almost bought
this in the store at the same time I bought the Symantec program
but I hesitated and thought I would download the demo version
first to see if it worked okay... I downloaded and installed.
The game runs a little jerky and the sound events are off. When
I jump or get shot at by another player, you hear the sound effect
a moment or so after the event occurred. I remember this problem
on the PC a long while back and it was fixed with a patch, but
even after I loaded the patch, the problem is still there. I
also want to note that the brightness levels of the game are
way to dark even thought I set the game controls to the brightest
levels. I'll work on this one...
Aside from all this, I did get
to know iPhoto very well over the weekend and even produced a
Quicktime slideshow. I emailed a copy to a friend (600k for 5
pics) with sound effects and fading. It was a very nice thing.
Making slideshow presentations is a breeze on the Mac using iPhoto
in this fashion.
I left the G4 at home today. The weekend is coming up and a few
friends wanna come over see it.
While surfing with Microsoft
Internet Explorer (v5.2), I can't help but be a bit annoyed at
the delay at switch the screen is presented to me. When I pull
up a website (any website) the graphics on that page, you know,
the bullets and things that appear commonly on webpages seem
to paint in somewhat slowly. In comparison, MS Internet Explorer
on my PC is extremely fast. There's no delay at all.
Before I get bash-mail from you
Maccie's out there, I would like to report that I run a DSL with
a upload/download speed of 384/1600. I'm gonna load (yuk) Netscape
and Opera to see if they offer any better performance.
Plug and what? Well, I'm a little
peeved because I couldn't get the G4 to recognize my BusLink
30gb USB external drive. Yes, I looked up the driver on BusLink's
website, but it seems that the driver only works with OS 9.x.
I messed around with the driver, the Extensions Folder and researched
the net for answers but I didn't get the unit and the G4 to like
each other. On my PC, it will detect and start asking for files,
but not on the Mac... Just to be fair. When I first purchased
the BusLink drive (see
my review), I didn't like it. The drivers that BusLink offered
worked, but crashed most of the time when I tried to copy more
than 300mb of files at a time. Months later, BusLink offered
new drivers and now the drive is very dependable. So I can only
surmise that BusLink hasn't got their act together on the Mac
drivers... That should be a warning to you guys. BusLink seems
to be a tad slow on the R&D for the drivers be it PC or Mac.
Anyway, I still can use my BusLink drive on my Mac.
Yahoo Messenger & MS Messenger;
while playing around I couldn't find out how to change the theme
of the two messenger programs like you can in Windows.
For the last 2 nights, I've been dragging my G4 back and forth
from my home to the computer store.
I opened a bottle of French wine
we got in France a few months ago to enjoy my credit card limit
popping Apple purchase. After a few sips, I thought I would rip
(copy) about 50 or 60 CDs to the iTunes music program. That was
very effortless I must say. I haven't made any CDs yet with iTunes,
but I'm sure it's pretty easy. One of the things I wanted to
do was share files/network with my wife's PC in the house. I
have a Linksys BEFSR41 router so linking I thought would be a
breeze but for the life of me, I couldn't get em looking at each
other. Must have been the wine... keep in mine kids that I haven't
looked at any Mac books or any help files on the G4 yet. I was
trying to see if it was one of those easier-to-use things.
Couple of notations; the internal fan is kind'a loud. It's
sitting on my kitchen table in our dining room (much to the dismay
of my wife. She's a tad disturbed about this new addition to
the family basically because I swore a long time ago that I would
keep business and home life separate) right next to the monitor.
I keep the keyboard in front of the monitor and the mouse is
on the right.
I'm basically going to be playing
around with it for the next week or so to see what I can discover
without any outside help or intervention.
Purchased my new G4 for $1,839.17 bucks. It's a Dual CPU based
867MHz powerhouse with 256MB of DDR PC2100 memory, a AGP graphics
video card (ATI I think), a 60GB EIDE hard drive, CDRW / DVD
player Combo. I looks really really cool, in a silver gray tower
After unpacking everything, I
don't even bother with the manual (like most of you) and I jump
right in. I plug in the power, hookup the keyboard and mouse
and flip the switch...
Okay, nice case! I really like
those designers over there at the orchard. I must say it's the
best looking technical thing I own.
The first thing I notice is the
text on the screen is a little fuzzy. Not unreadable mind you,
but just not quite as good as the image I get on my PC using
this same monitor. Hmmm... I've got my G4 plugged in to my Samsung
SyncMaster 750s monitor using the Apple DVI port. Apple provides
a converter cable to facilitate hooking up to a SVGA monitor.
I messed around with the display settings and that didn't help.
Okay, ill put that on the to-do list...
I spent the evening setting up
my email, and just simply playing around with the G4. I plugged
in to my DSL/Linksys home network and I was surfing in a flash
(answering a few questions in the networking settings) but that