I generally write this blog on an Apple iMac (the R2D2 looking one) at home. Love it, and hate my Gateway PC at work. Used to have a Dell desktop and hated that too.
As I've indicated, I am leaving my current job and taking a new one. As part of the transition, the new gig is buying me a laptop computer. Generally, they use Dell's but when I mentioned the possibility of an Apple they weren't opposed to it - especially since a Macbook
costs the same as a Dell and can now run Windows natively.
Tonight, i spent over an hour at the Apple store in Tyson's Corner talking with a couple of their different sales guys regarding the purchase of a Macbook
for my day to day office computer. What I learned was:
The young kids on their sales staff with bleach blonde hair encompass all the stereotypes of the historic Apple types - and have no clue how to sell a computer to someone who wants to do real work with it other than graphics and/or just listen to music. Seriously kid, I'm not dropping a couple of thousand for a Walkman. He was simply unable to understand my questions or nervousness concerning the purchase of a computer - at a new job - that might run into problems plugging into a windows network.
The other sales guys - all older - had no problem with this. If they didn't know the answer, they told me so, and tried to find the answer. I really appreciate it.
Here's what I've learned. IT Guy at new job says I need a computer that runs Windows XP Pro, can plug into the MS Exchange server, and can run MS Office/Outlook.
The new Macs can run Windows XP Pro - either natively in Boot Camp
mode (the computer partitions the drive into an Apple Side and a Windows Side - you choose at start up) or by running a program called Parallels
which costs $79 and runs any version of Windows as well as Linux or OS2 or anything else as an individual window on the Mac.
Using Boot Camp
, the Mac runs Windows real fast. Super fast. Maybe not high graphic game fast, but faster than any other business computer I've seen or used. However, its basically a Windows computer which sort of kills the benefits of having a Mac in the first place. Parallels
- in theory - should be a great alternative, but the Apple store doesn't have it and the sales staff there didn't know much about it. Also, Apple doesn't sell Windows XP so I would have to go and buy it separately.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. The Apple store staff told me that the Mac can simply plug right into a windows network and that if I use MS Office for Mac - Entourage is now MS Exchange compatible and will network right in (Entourage is Microsofts mac version of outlook - but historically it hasn't been able to share files - .psts - with Window computers) as well as support blackberry's and palms. Since it sounds like the only real reason I need XP on the computer - especially if I can network in no problem - is for email and blackberry support I think I might be able to do this with a Mac.
Here's the bleg
Does anyone have any actual experience networking the new Intel Core Duo
macs? Is it really plug and play easy? Are there other issues I need to be aware of? Is Entourage really seamlessly compatible? Are there other reasons I shouldn't use a Mac (don't give me the usual windows BS - I am pretty well versed in both - not a network engineer but probably more capable than 99% of the rest of the population)? Anyone have experience with Parallels
? Anyone have one of the new Intel Macs??
If I do this - especially at a new job - I certainly don't want to get a computer thats going to fuck things up or be incompatible. Not when I am the new guy on the block. I've got until about noon on Friday to figure this out.
Really appreciate any insight/thoughts/advice.
Oh yeah, if I don't get the Mac I'll be getting a Dell laptop.UPDATE (30 seconds later)
: Looks like the NY Times is on the same wavelength
with a great article on what is happening. Of course, it doesn't really address my question. The only programs I really need - that I know of - are Word, Excell, Power Point, Outlook, and a web browser. If Entourage will work in place of Outlook, then perhaps the decision is made and i don't even need to worry about running XP.
BTW, here is some more info.Walt Mossberg WSJ Articles
May 10: Apples New Core
June 8: MacBook Laptop Lacks a Few Features But Has Lots to Like, Low Price
June 15: New Product for Mac Operates Windows, OS X Simultaneously