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August 18, 2008



You are right about AT&T. I wouldn't buy an Iphone until next year. There are some serious issues with the 3G version and the 2.0 OS (or 2.1) has bugs that will make you want to throw the thing. I'm still using the first gen iPhone and I have to say while there are some major improvements with 2.0, the bugs (like acting like it's frozen up when it hasn't and the keyboard going crazy when typing) tarnish the whole experience. The Apps that you download make the phone take forever when you sync it since it wants to back up your phone first. Plus there are a lot of upset developers who are getting nowhere with Apple when it comes to updating their Apps.
Plus the whole push thing blew up in Apple's face.

It's best to wait until March and see what SJ talks about at MW and then give him two months to deliver.


wow, you got a lot of stuff! i'd be hopelessly boggled trying to work with all those different systems and programs. props to you.

question: why didn't you choose to run Vista on a new mac laptop via BootCamp or Parallels instead? just the initial extra cost? but then you'd not have to buy anything else for a number of years, not even a desktop. you could just buy a big new monitor (if you don't have one) and wireless keyboard for desktop work via the laptop. would seem a lot simpler.

I really needed the 15" screen for visibility on real estate forms. I got the HP laptop with a very readable 15" screen, 2 gigs of ram, and 160 gigs hard drive for $849 or more than $1,100 less than a MacBook Pro would have cost me.

That $1,100 doesn't even take into consideration the cost of Windows for the Mac.

Adding a large monitor wouldn't work because I have to use the laptop in a variety of places where I don't have an assigned desk.

I actually don't mind two laptops since I don't do air travel anymore it is not a big deal. It's also nice to have a complete backup if something happens to the one of them.

It's hard to justify a $2K laptop these days.

John Davis

You mentioned the possibility of buying a new iMac. I bought the iMac I'm currently using last year. It was the top of the line then. 24", 2.8g/500gHD. It is easily the best COMPUTER I've ever used. The screen is bright, gorgeous and the viewing angle is very wide. Leopard is snappy and has some very nice features.

The iMac running Leopard is a very nice machine.

John Davis


FWIW, your MobileMe Gallery was a better experience for me than the RapidWeaver site. The pictures were bigger and because the RapidWeaver site uses the dissolve between slides, switching between pictures was quicker with the MobileMe gallery.
Thanks for the even handed analysis though.


as per another comment I wondered why you would not VMwares Fusion on the iMac ( best of both worlds ) also on a Macbook or Macbook pro.
I am running an older Dell with XP. WHere the XP is OK, I am en ex Mac SE user and miss the Apple experience. I am close to going with Apple's 20" iMac running Fusion with XP on it. For I have a one person executive recruiting firm and need to have access to MS IE..... your a perfect candidate to let us business users ( opposed to a creative Mac user) on how the iMac is for business.

Ian McD

Have you considered installing X11 and ie4osx?

This would fix the requirement of running IE without needing to run Windows using Boot Camp or create a virtual machine.



Turning the MacBook into a Windows machine just didn't make financial sense at the time.

Getting IE running without the real estate forms package would have only been half a solution.

Ideally I would have bought a MacBook Pro, but my recent experience with hardware problems on the 15" Aluminum MacBook provided some caution to spending $1999+ on a system that might only last a year.

Actually my inexpensive Windows laptop turns out to be not a bad solution. If I can get two years out of it, that's only $425 per year.

I have a lot of experience with dual boot systems and running Windows apps on Linux, I would just as soon have a second system and let it be dedicated to Windows.

I often have a lot of stuff going on my computers so I find multiple systems work well.

Tom E.


A few observations from a Windows-only shop.

I have a 1 year old HP dv2000 class laptop with 2 gigs ram and Vista SP1. Outlook is my email tool and it opens messages instantly. The hardware also works like a charm with my 22" desktop LCD, my 4 printers, and several USB device all connected via a 1-plug HP mini-docking station. When I plug in the dock I get a desktop machine in about 1 second. There have been no issues with the screen resolution switching from the 15" laptop screen over to the 22" LG screen.

Finally, this laptop wakes up from sleep mode faster than I can sit down after I touch a key.

Issues? Only one that is bothersome. Hibernation does not work 100% after I switch desktop/laptop modes. Sleep does work.

There have been no major hardware issues with this machine or my 2 Dells. My friends with Macs seem to have more failures than my experience with HP and Dell.

However, I don't use the software set that you need, so I don't share your issues with compatibility. I do run a number of Windows-only programs and have nothing that I need that is Mac-only. That makes my platform choice pretty easy. The vast majority of basic and mid-level computer users also likely find that is true.

I work with a small company that tried to make Macs work for about 5 years. Due to issues with interfacing with their Windows-based customer base they finally gave up and went back to Windows when it was time to upgrade the Macs. Thank goodness for that. Made my life much easier.


My system is a HP dv6000. I am a heavy email user. I just did some tests to provide some numbers for my observations.

I compared my MacBook with 1.5 gigs of ram to my HP laptop with 2 gigs of ram.

Both systems were hooked up to my network wirelessly. The MacBook was bought in July 2006, the HP in October 2007.

The Mac has ten different email accounts and the HP has six. Most of the mail accounts are IMAP hosted on various remote servers. There are some POP accounts on both systems. There are no exchange accounts.

The Mac shows 2561 unread messages in its inbox and the HP shows 2544. The Mac also tells me its inbox has 6060 messages which is well down from the 12,000+ that I had until I did some archiving recently. I couldn't figure out exactly how many were in the PC inbox but it would be substantially less than the Mac.

Both machines have been used several times today, but I did "Get Mail" on the Mac and a "Send & Receive" on Outlook on the HP.

Executing the get mail command on the Mac took two seconds, as far as I can tell no messages were retrieved.

Doing the send and receive on the PC took just over a minute. I also didn't see any messages retrieved.

I think the fundamental issue is how Outlook handles IMAP messages. Perhaps there is a setting where I can change this, but with everything working it is not worth the risk of something not working if I change a setting.

If I need a message quickly I just get it on the Mac.

My guess is the Mac caches the messages when getting them. Outlook on my machine obviously doesn't.

I had similar emails that had not been viewed by me on either system.

The message on the Mac opened faster than I could time it.

That was basically what I found on all the messages on the Mac.

On the HP laptop the first message took 8 seconds to open. I had one simple text one that took 40 seconds to open.

When I opened the messages a second time on the HP, they generally took about two seconds which was much faster but still slower than on a Mac.

I know that Thunderbird performs much better than Outlook on the XP system that I have. I tried it on Vista and there were some timing and networking issues. It wasn't worth solving since Outlook would sync with my Google calendar.

I am probably the ultimate email test for a computer, but I have multiple Macs and they have always been able to handle the heavy load.

I don't question your operating system choice. It is easier to have a single platform. I'm not sure it is better if there is a problem that hits all of your systems, but it makes supporting systems much simpler.

I have enough trouble keeping all my systems talking to each other to appreciate what an IT person must face.

I had about given up on Linux until I found the Zonbu which updates itself.

There has been a lot of talk about particular graphics chips causing problems on my HP. That could be, but I am just one user and pleased to have everything working even if it is slowly.

By the way my MacBook has probably worked better with more printers than I can count. I have two HP Inkjets, three Epson Ink jets including an Epson 4000 large format, my Cannon Pixma, and a Brother laser printer. It also worked well with Phaser and Dell printers in the last office where I worked.


I don't have any trouble printing to the strange copier printer that we have at the office.

I would agree that if you have customers using PCs, you are probably better off using PCs yourself. It's the wrong place for Mac missionary work.

Pecos Bill

MLS is the worst offender of writing to IE only as everything they have is ActiveX.

You complain about Apple pricing. Pretty obvious that Apple sets price points and adds in hardware until it makes sense. They do that for their gross revenue and perceived value. They also have this thing called profit unlike all the other hardware manufacturers operating on razor thin margins. Those companies have to make up the poor profits by dumping crapware onto their master install images. Yuk. Some are lucky enough to have penetration in the enterprise data center to make money. That said, yes, it would be nice if Apple trimmed prices a little wherever possible.

Maybe if you spent the same money on the Vista laptop you wouldn't complain about it....... ?


I am not exactly sure I understand your comment.

"Maybe if you spent the same money on the Vista laptop you wouldn't complain about it....... ?"

When I have problems it doesn't matter what I paid for the product. We had some terrible problems with a Volvo Cross Country Wagon and I complained about it and got rid of it.


Another thing not all MLS Systems are written to IE. Only one of the two that I use is written to IE. The other one, Carteret County, NC, my main one works fine on a Mac.

I worked at Apple and I know how they do their pricing. They charge what the market will bear.

To Apple you are a source of revenue and they depend on dedicated customers to pay premium prices.

If you don't think other PC makers can make money you might check the latest results on HP which are in today's Wall Street Journal.

To quote the alert that I got, "Hewlett-Packard's profit climbed 14% to $2.03 billion as the printer and computer giant saw strong demand for laptop computers and robust sales overseas. H-P said sales of personal computers rose 15% to $10.3 billion, with unit shipments up 20% from a year earlier. Revenue from notebook computers grew 26%, while desktop revenue increased 6%."

The hardware quality that I have seen recently from Apple isn't exactly what I would call sterling.

Maybe I am in the same boat as Michael Arrington.


The only complaint that I have about HP laptop is that it is limited to 2 gigs of ram and is running Vista otherwise it has done better that my MacBook which had to be sent back in the first six months.

Partners in Grime

Apple loves you for your money; the Windows hegemony loves you for your time. I'd rather give my money to Apple. :)

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