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Old 12-29-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
classicman
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MacBookPro or What?

Hello all, my daughter is a teacher and is looking to get a new "real computer"
She asked me and I realized that there is no better group to ask than those here....

Her situation in her own words:

As my dad said, I am a teacher. I'll be using this for creating Word documents, creating PowerPoint presentations, emailing, researching... a majority of this computer will help me complete my work tasks. In the rare free time I do have, I like watching videos online or playing the sims. The computer I have at work is a PC, if that means anything. I currently have a HP HDX series from 2008/9 and I have never owned a Mac but have been looking into one.

It must have an operating system that is NOT windows 8.
It must have i7 quad core processor (haswell).
I like the retina display (or equivalent).
I'd like the nvidia graphics but it's not a must have.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
Lamplighter
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Before you commit to a Mac, go into an Apple Store and ask to see a demonstration
of the Mac "mavericks" operating system, and in particular a demonstration
of the Mac software called "Pages" and "Numbers" and "Keynote"

"Pages" is now the Apple replacement for MS Word
"Numbers" is now the Apple replacement for MS Excel
"Keynote" is also new, but I have not looked into it yet
... it may be a replacement for PowerPoint (or something else)

I have only been working with this new system for a month or so,
and after having been a Macfanatic since the mid-80's,
I have to say I am truly disappointed in these new versions of software.



They are essentially "dumbed down" equivalents of what
used to be a completely cross-platform system.
For example, Pages does not even open an RTF file format.

I know Apple is heavy into the school systems, but it looks to me as though Apple is
on the road toward abandoning the lay-public's desk-top computers, in favor of iPhones and iPads
... or the heavy duty machines for professionals who have $4K-$6K for image- and/or music-editing software.

I feel quite traitorous in say all this, but I am truly unimpressed
by the Mac desk top offerings this year.

Last edited by Lamplighter; 12-29-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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I know that anything written on my iMac could not be viewed on a PC.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
mbpark
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Macs work well with Office 2011

Hello,

You get an educational discount and you can pick up Microsoft Office 2011 for free or a significant discount since you are a teacher. I know for a fact that Temple University students get a free copy of Office each year.

The only MacBook Pro that will meet your needs is the 15". With the new Mac OS, it's really stupendously fast. It will run real Microsoft Office 2011, which is also quite good (I run this program).

We have a lot of doctors at work with Macbook Airs and Macbook Pros. They run Office 2011. It handles any documents we can throw at it, and some Office 2010 cannot. They love Office on their machines and we have very few complaints from the Mac users.

I'm sorry, but the built-in iWork apps, iCal, and Mail are not good. I would not use them in a Windows and Mac shop. The only time I touch iWork apps is to use Keynote on my iPad for class notes. Otherwise, they're not good. Office 2011 on the Mac is actually more full featured than Office 2013 on the Surface RT tablets.

Any of the newer non-Apple laptops out there won't run Windows 7 well. They're optimized for Windows 8 and 8.1. Plus, the power-saving features of Haswell require the OS to support it. The only two OSes that support them well now are Windows 8.1 and OS X 10.9.

I would speak with your school IT people and get those discounts. They are not insignificant, esp. considering that the nVidia-equipped MacBook Pro runs about $2500. It would be a waste to run a Haswell laptop with Windows 7 in more ways than one.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:35 AM   #5
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Just as an aside: you mention using powerpoint, and it made me wonder if you've come across, or tried out the Prezi.com cloud based presenting system yet?

I started using it about a year ago for my classes and presentations. So much easier to use than powerpoint. And all stored on the cloud, so I don't have to carry pen drives about with me - I just log in on the class computer.

Bit of a bastard if the net goes down...but much smoother experience overall and much nicer looking presentations.

Completely free to use unless you want the premium service - I've never felt the need m'self
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
mbpark
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prezi

I have seen it in use at a conference.

I've never used it.

It does look really cool.

All you need is a modern browser.

I may actually try to format a few presentations on it to try it out. Now I have a reason.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
Christine
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I couldn't reply unless I registered, daughter of classicman here. I probably should have mentioned that I strongly dislike the tile system of windows 8. If there was a way to disable that, I probably wouldn't hate windows 8 as much. I went to a best buy store and experimented on the mac doesn't seem to be that much of a difference with a pc. Is MacBookPro the way to go?

mbpark: Can you still purchase 2011 office? If so, where do you look?

DanaC: I have used prezi for actual presentations. I use microsoft powerpoint to make some types of worksheets or packets for my students. Prezi, when used correctly, can make your presentations much more professional looking.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
mbpark
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Here's where to look

Christine,

You can get it at two places:

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/...ctID.253736200

http://www.journeyed.com/item/Micros...intosh/1534115

Office 365 is $100/year for a subscription to get Office 2011:Mac anyway, so I wouldn't go for it.

Talk with your school district's IT department. You may have a Home Use program where you get it for a lot less (potentially free) as an employee.

You can disable the Start Menu in Windows 8.1 and replace it with a third-party program, but the problem is you can't make it go completely away. One swipe of the touchpad or screen and you're right back at it.

In terms of Mac laptops, until they come out with a Retina MacBook Air, the Pro is the best choice. It's really fast, and will last a few years. Right now, it's the best portable they have.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
classicman
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"Open Office by Apache" is awesome, FWIW. Its basically microsoft office for free.

The only hassle is making sure I save docs properly so others can open them.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
mbpark
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The only issue I have with OpenOffice is that it munges my powerpoints worse than Keynote.

Otherwise, it's a good program IF you are willing to put up with the warts.

I still use it for document recovery as it beats Office or the tools hands down.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:02 AM   #11
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Yeah, I've had major problems with powerpoint files in OpenOffice. Unrecoverable problems that forced me to find a computer with real PowerPoint on it just so I could get the data I needed. Other than that, I've been happy.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:01 PM   #12
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I am so glad that I have not upgraded (downgraded?) to Maverics, I own a Macbook pro, 2009 and am very happy with it. I run MS Office as well as pages, keynote and the Excel look alike. I have been able to get them all to work together.

It sounds to me like a computer from a place like Tiger Dircect would be just what you need. I just bought my son a computer for 800.00 bucks, windows 7 NOT windows 8, 17" with a kickin video card lots of storage and 8Gig of ram, and a Core I7 chip. Can't beat it. I'd skip the mac for now unless they are going to fix their op system problems. I don't think they are going to quit the market for computers, but most of their desk tops and good puters are being used by graphics folks, movie makers and others who need lots of computing power, good graphics detail and the ability to put in 16 GIG of RAM.

What ever you buy, it is worth it to get the square trade full warranty just in case. It's as good as Apple's warranty. I've had just about every removable part changed on my Mac with no questions asked.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:02 PM   #13
classicman
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Thanks all. OK, so the discussion has progressed to what computer, if not a mac, would you recommend?
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
Thanks all. OK, so the discussion has progressed to what computer, if not a mac, would you recommend?
another Mac !
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
Thanks all. OK, so the discussion has progressed to what computer, if not a mac, would you recommend?
Requirements sound like a laptop might be too much. A tablet with a keyboard option may be sufficient.
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