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Author Topic: Macs for Computer Science
dunjamon
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 01:54      Profile for dunjamon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used a Mac until early 2001 when due to financial constraints (my dad buying the computer) I made the mistake of switching to windows. I'm looking at buying a 1.25Ghz iBook for university; I am studying a course, which is mainly based on UNIX, C, and Java. I have two major questions, these are:

Is the Mac any good for development and are the programming applications easy to obtain?

The build quality of the iBook as it will be spending the next 3 years in a backpack.

Thanks

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Posts: 77 | From: Manchester England | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 02:47      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mac OS X is Unix based, and comes with C and java as standard, along with all the usual Unix goodies - perl, python, c++, yacc, lex, etc etc. Spoiled for choice really. There's also a quite nice developers IDE (or so I'm told, haven't got around to trying it myself). All standard, not a penny more to pay.

Can't really comment on the laptops, I'll leave that to those with first-hand experience. (or should that be first-lap experience?)

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Allan
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 03:27      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a 2 yo ibook 14" only recently replaced with a powerbook which went to work with me most days, plus many, many trips on trains and aeroplanes. Other than the keyboard looking a bit manky, you'd hardly know how much abuse it's had.

A word of warning though, the ibook supports 1024 x 768 resolution max and only allows video mirroring. So if you have any plans to have it connected to a large monitor at home you'll be disappointed.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 03:27      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One issue with those ibooks - they sure do get grubby easily. Is there a way to clean them without rubbing the letters off the keys as well? (That choice of slightly abrasive white plastic used on the new iMac and ibooks may look cool in the store, but it seems like they attract muck and grease).

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 03:52      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Subscribe to ADC-online (free), and you get to have the latest ProjectBuilder (IDE) for free. I used it for one of my courses last winter (programming language was Java), and it works great. Or you could subscribe to ADC-student (last time I checked, it was a hundred US bucks or so), and you get to have developper's CDs and goodies sent to you each month.

Go see for yourself: ADC membership .

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Allan
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 04:00      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
One issue with those ibooks - they sure do get grubby easily. Is there a way to clean them without rubbing the letters off the keys as well? (That choice of slightly abrasive white plastic used on the new iMac and ibooks may look cool in the store, but it seems like they attract muck and grease).

I've only ever tried once without a lot of success, shutdown the system then i as good as bathed the keys with screen cleaning fluid, waited a couple of minutes and wiped. With my workstation keyboard, I just invest in a new one every year or so...
Posts: 1280 | From: Edinburgh, Scotland / Frankfurt, Germany | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Number 2608
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 04:09      Profile for Number 2608     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you are intending to carry your iBook around in your backpack find a large Jiffy bag to put the iBook in. This will prevent it from getting dirty/scratched and also gives the appearance of you just having a big Jiffy bag rather than a laptop, which would be less desirable for tea leaves.

If you are going to be carrying it around alot you may want to consider the 12" book - big laptops start to feel really heavy once you have been carrying them for more than a few minutes.

Posts: 82 | From: Leeds, UK | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 04:19      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good point. Knowing Manchester you'd want a bag that doesn't immediately say "please half-inch my expensive laptop for crack money". One of them rucksack jobbies would make sense.

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 04:21      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There was a funky rucksack in Staples last time I was in that had a built in padded bit at the back for your laptop. Think it was around 30. Was going to get one when I remembered that my old Travelmate was fecked [cry baby]
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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 04:31      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stibbons:
There was a funky rucksack in Staples last time I was in that had a built in padded bit at the back for your laptop. Think it was around 30. Was going to get one when I remembered that my old Travelmate was fecked [cry baby]

Mmm, Staples. Probably the most useless IT salespeople in the known universe. Every time I've gone in there to buy something it turns out the only model they have for sale is the one on display... feck that. And their idiot website doesn't list any the hardware they actually sell in their stores. Arseholes.

Btw - what's wrong with yer Travelmate? (He asks - hoping that whatever it is, it doesn't eventually afflict his own. [Wink] )

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
dunjamon
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 04:31      Profile for dunjamon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My home city is sure full of scallies. I'm getting a bag made by a company called Airtech, looks like a normal backpack. Thanks for the advice, I'll be rejoining the Mac community once again. I'll wait until the end of June though to see what Mr Jobs pulls out of the hat this year.

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Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973 but your average voter is as drunk and stupid as ever.

Posts: 77 | From: Manchester England | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 05:56      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
Mmm, Staples. Probably the most useless IT salespeople in the known universe. Every time I've gone in there to buy something it turns out the only model they have for sale is the one on display... feck that. And their idiot website doesn't list any the hardware they actually sell in their stores. Arseholes.

Btw - what's wrong with yer Travelmate? (He asks - hoping that whatever it is, it doesn't eventually afflict his own. [Wink] )

Oh, for IT they're terrible. There are occasionally brand new pieces of kit in stock, they're just the overpriced cack that no-one with any knowledge would buy. But for pens and stuff like that, Staples is pretty funky as they carry most things and do normally have stock. They're also one of the few places that have four ring binders, as opposed to two ring.

As for the Travelmate, the screen just died abruptly, and it'll cost about 150 to repair which just isn't worth it for what is essentially old technology (sorry, thats the best pic I could find). It's sat running Slackware with an old CRT attached at the moment, though I guess it'll be scraped eventually

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dunjamon
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 05:58      Profile for dunjamon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My dad got a 508T a few years ago from the uni where he works and the hinges cracked within 6 weeks.

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Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973 but your average voter is as drunk and stupid as ever.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 06:08      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh dear. Had mine for a couple of years, now. So far so good. Don't they sponsor Ferrari? (And have that ridiculous red notebook.) Oh well.

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 06:22      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
Oh dear. Had mine for a couple of years, now. So far so good. Don't they sponsor Ferrari? (And have that ridiculous red notebook.) Oh well.

Nah, it had run everyday for several years (3-4 years I think, can't exactly remember. Was back when I was a Compu$erver) without a single problem, so I guess it served its time. Bit of a shame that its stopped, it wasn't overly high powered compared to modern laptops but it was small and very light, though it does mean I'm now forced to buy myself a new one at some point [Smile]
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dunjamon
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 06:26      Profile for dunjamon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm just buying mine to take into uni to work on in lectures as I have a learning disability. The uni supplied with some mad little thing called an Alphasmart which isn't much use. So the iBook should do me for programming and word processing as I have a monster PC at home for gaming and well gaming.

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Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973 but your average voter is as drunk and stupid as ever.

Posts: 77 | From: Manchester England | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Allan
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 07:32      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Even though it's my one of my pet hates, don't forget to get your student discount via the Apple Education Store.
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Number 2608
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 07:54      Profile for Number 2608     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This thread, passim:

As for the Travelmate, the screen just died abruptly,
:
:
My dad got a 508T a few years ago from the uni where he works and the hinges cracked within 6 weeks.

Is it broken Travelmate day today or something? I've just been looking at a 202tev with a knackered mouse button, the result, I think, of it being used for excessive gaming.
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nekomatic
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Icon 3 posted June 10, 2004 09:11      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Number 2608:
If you are intending to carry your iBook around in your backpack find a large Jiffy bag to put the iBook in.

I used to carry my Powerbook 165 (when are they bringing out the G4 upgrade for THAT then??) around in a large Jiffy bag. I stopped when I realised that every time I slid it out (the laptop out of the jiffy bag), it built up enough static charge to give me a noticeable shock. I guessed this might not be great for the Powerbook.

My sister carries her iBook in what looks like a very cheap nylon music case type thing, and it seems to be holding up OK so far.

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hey-U
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2004 11:30      Profile for hey-U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nekomatic:
quote:
Originally posted by Number 2608:
If you are intending to carry your iBook around in your backpack find a large Jiffy bag to put the iBook in.

I used to carry my Powerbook 165 (when are they bringing out the G4 upgrade for THAT then??) around in a large Jiffy bag. I stopped when I realised that every time I slid it out (the laptop out of the jiffy bag), it built up enough static charge to give me a noticeable shock. I guessed this might not be great for the Powerbook.

My sister carries her iBook in what looks like a very cheap nylon music case type thing, and it seems to be holding up OK so far.

http://www.muji.co.uk/catalogue/gallery.asp?Sec=4&Sub=25&PID=622
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nekomatic
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Icon 1 posted June 11, 2004 01:34      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, no, much cheaper than that...
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dunjamon
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Icon 1 posted June 11, 2004 03:21      Profile for dunjamon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I might try the jiffy bag as I already have a funky backpack. If it doesn't work then I can buy a full laptop bag.

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Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973 but your average voter is as drunk and stupid as ever.

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Allan
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Icon 1 posted June 11, 2004 05:16      Profile for Allan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nekomatic:
No, no, much cheaper than that...

Yes, but he's from fancy London isn't he?
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Icon 1 posted June 11, 2004 10:05      Profile for Orpheus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For an overabundance of bags, luggage, etc. including laptop bags try www.ebags.com I got mine from there. I'm really quite happy with my bag it has a padded sleeve separate from the main compartment and internal supports. Two other friends of mine also picked bags from that site and are happy with them as well.

I need to get a new laptop soon and am considering going for a G4. I also need it for programming, graphic design, and web development stuff... and "network testing" Seems like it'll be perfect, just need to convince my PI to get one for me [Razz] Though if I get this fellowship I applied for I can probably get it on my own which would be nicer.

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Icon 1 posted June 11, 2004 10:39      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
I have a 2 yo ibook 14" only recently replaced with a powerbook which went to work with me most days, plus many, many trips on trains and aeroplanes. Other than the keyboard looking a bit manky, you'd hardly know how much abuse it's had.

A word of warning though, the ibook supports 1024 x 768 resolution max and only allows video mirroring. So if you have any plans to have it connected to a large monitor at home you'll be disappointed.

http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
The monitor thing on the iBook can be fixed with this third party patch. The screen spanning doctor works great as I have been using it for the past few months (6). I must warn however that enabling clam mode is extremely dangerous for heat problems. It allows you to use your laptop with an external monitor but with you laptop closed. I strongly advise against it.

As for the backpack thing. I have used my 12" iBook out of a small "man bag" for the last 6 months and that thing gets beat. I will admit. Though I am not proud of the shoddy care I take with my laptop, I am extremely surprised with the outstanding durability of the iBook.

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