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 Post subject: Standardisation
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:30 pm 
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Should a Macbook thread be in the Books Section?
Mac seem to have spent some time ensuring the MacBook Air fits in a standard office envelope but European A4 is just that bit longer than US Letter so will Europe get a special model at a much higher price?
Solves any 'regional' problems I suppose.

Apple boss Steve Jobs has unveiled what he says is the world's thinnest laptop - the MacBook Air.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:18 pm 
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Of course, being an Apple branded laptop it will be un-upgradable (except with branded parts), and capable of only running a limited range of branded software.

There was, I will confess, a time when Apple computers could perform tasks that generic PC equivalents could not. Given that they all use the same underlying architecture now, and that open source equivalents of all but the very best and most cutting edge applications are not just available but robust and user-friendly, can someone explain to me why people will still pay twice the going rate for a model of computer with a fancy name?

If you own an Apple, and you've ever laughed at a friend for owning a car or item of clothing with a designer label, you're a hypocrite.

Let battle commence. :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:16 am 
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Paul Raven wrote:
If you own an Apple, and you've ever laughed at a friend for owning a car or item of clothing with a designer label, you're a hypocrite.

...unless you want to type foreign words without having to go to a Character Map every time you want an accent - or remember dozens of 4-digit alt-codes - as opposed to one or two intuitive keystrokes on a mac for just about any accented character you want - maybe that's why printers/designers/typesetters still prefer them? :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:44 am 
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In which case, AllChars is your friend.

I used a Mac in the Middle East because I needed to type in Arabic. Unfortunately, this meant swapping between Systems - a soft reboot, in other words - because the kerning for the Latin alphabet was appalling in the Arabic System. And then Microsoft brought out Arabic Windows 3.1... and you could type in English and Arabic, without rebooting. A lot of people immediately ditched their Macs (expensive) for x86 PCs (much cheaper).[/url]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:45 am 
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Mac OS X is a gorgeous OS, and quite intuitive in many ways. Of course it's mind-bogglingly obtuse in others, but such is the way of these things. Oh, and the Mac Mighty Mouse is awesome. Why haven't PCs adopted the scroll nipple yet?

Apple's prices are ludicrous, though, particularly when you're adding items on when ordering a system. $9000 to max out my RAM? Why thank you Mr. Jobs, how very reasonable and fair. Plus there's an unpleasant whiff of techfetish about them. Distrust stylish electronics. Although to be fair there are plenty of ludicrous cases and neon lights in PC stores these days.

Macs are also fairly useless for modular upgrades and limited in terms of gaming (both mainstream and to a large extent indie). But at the end of the day they're machines that are very useful to some computer users and less so to others.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:47 am 
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Mike A wrote:
...unless you want to type foreign words without having to go to a Character Map every time you want an accent - or remember dozens of 4-digit alt-codes - as opposed to one or two intuitive keystrokes on a mac for just about any accented character you want - maybe that's why printers/designers/typesetters still prefer them? :roll:


You have a point. However, in my defence, the percentage of Mac owners I know who are designers or typesetters is very low. The percentage who have them because they're more hip is very high - which is fair enough, it's a free world. I just wish I had that much money to spend on being trendy (as does anyone who's seen my dress-sense, I imagine).

PS - you do realise I started a cliché Mac v. PC argument for the joke value, right?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:52 am 
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Paul Raven wrote:
PS - you do realise I started a cliché Mac v. PC argument for the joke value, right?


Good time to debate the relative merits of the current crop of games consoles then, right?

Or Sonic versus Mario...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:04 am 
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friendlygun wrote:
Good time to debate the relative merits of the current crop of games consoles then, right?


The only good console is one that someone else paid for. Even back in the Megadrive days, I could never see the point, even while all my friends were squeeing over them. This, of course, is more to do with my lack of interest in the types of game that are console staples than the consoles themselves.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:39 am 
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Paul Raven wrote:
PS - you do realise I started a cliché Mac v. PC argument for the joke value, right?


I'd better get Godwin's Law invoked then... All Mac users are Nazis.

:-)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:00 pm 
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I don't know anyone rich enough to use a Mac purely as a fashion statement. Everyone I know with a Mac is either a designer or a musician.

I use a PC at home and both Macs and PCs at work, so I'm probably only a crypto-Nazi.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:40 am 
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Paul Raven wrote:
friendlygun wrote:
Good time to debate the relative merits of the current crop of games consoles then, right?


The only good console is one that someone else paid for. Even back in the Megadrive days, I could never see the point, even while all my friends were squeeing over them. This, of course, is more to do with my lack of interest in the types of game that are console staples than the consoles themselves.


Well, I think I grok your implication, but consoles shouldn't be written off on the basis of the big sellers. After all, the current and previous gen of consoles brought us killer7, Okami, Forbidden Siren, Silent Hill, Katamari Damacy, Beyond Good & Evil, Phoenix Wright, Advance Wars, Canis Canem Edit, Crackdown, Dead Rising, Earth Defense Force 2017, Endless Ocean, Gitaroo Man, Guitar Hero, Grand Theft Auto III, Metal Gear Solid (perhaps my first encounter with a sort of metagame or metafiction in a videogame), Viva Pinata... whether or not you rate any of these games, they all did something undeniably new, imaginative, or simply well. And of course let's not forget that the Wii represents a more innovative step (or, if you're cynical about it, at least a potentially innovative step) - insofar as the act of playing is concerned - than anything else for years. It wasn't and isn't possible for a vibrant indie games scene to grow up around these consoles (although Microsoft are making steps in that direction with their XNA toolkit, and Sony might try the same as the PS3 supports Linux), and you won't see games like Planescape Torment, Dwarf Fortress or Civilization IV on them, but they do have their own unique strengths and an interesting history.

Innovation is rarer (compared with PC games) due to the differences in the platforms - it's a much bigger deal to develop for proprietary hardware than it is to develop for the PC. And then, of course, there's the inevitable stifling effect that the bigger monies in the console business will have...

Well, looks like my slapfight provocation failed, but I did at least get to mention some interesting games. Huh, I should write about games more really. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:07 am 
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You should indeed write about games more often - your passion for them is always apparent when you do.

But I think you missed my point - I weasn't dissing console games in general, just saying that there's rarely anything on them I'm interested in playing. I've always been a bit of a simulators and RTS geek, I'm afraid - I got the platforms-and-FPS stuff out of my system in the glory days of the BBC Micro.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Paul Raven wrote:
You should indeed write about games more often - your passion for them is always apparent when you do.

But I think you missed my point - I weasn't dissing console games in general, just saying that there's rarely anything on them I'm interested in playing. I've always been a bit of a simulators and RTS geek, I'm afraid - I got the platforms-and-FPS stuff out of my system in the glory days of the BBC Micro.


Fair play - to each their own. I'm not much of a simulator fan myself, but I used to play a lot of RTS games. Not so much any more as they take up so much time - although that argument doesn't hold much water considering I still play 4X and god games!

Incidentally, I've not played the series myself, but strategy/RPG enthusiasts have sung the praises of the Disgaea games to me on a few separate occasions. PS2 exclusive as far as I know (though there may also be one on the PSP).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:17 pm 
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I used to play simulators and RTS games when I was younger. Populace (yes, the original one), Frontier: Elite 2 and F1117a Stealth Fighter stand out. Now I'm older and have less time to dedicate, I like games where the main object is to run around, kill things, get different weapons, kill bigger things ... (I'm currently slaughtering my way though God of War on the PS2). I've always found consoles far too limited to play simulator and RTS (the control systems are, generally, horrid), and PC's far too clunky to play slash games (the control systems are, generally, horrid).

As for Mac, lots of professional artists swear by them--I know the lag time on PC CPU's makes recording music on them a giant pain in the backside, and lots of graphic artists say they simply couldn't live without their Macs. I've always assumed that if you wanted a machine for a very specific purpose--recording and music, for example--you'd buy a Mac, but if you wanted a multi-task machine (for surfing, wordprocessing, media playback et al) you'd get a PC.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Tangentially, Foxie, you've made me wonder: is there's a Linux distro specifically designed for recording music? There's nothing particularly unique about the hardware inside a Mac so the CPU lag time you mention must be down to the OS. Which, since we're talking about Windows, wouldn't be much of a surprise. ;)

Mac's are good for recording music - I was genuinely surprised with what our other guitarist was able to do with just a MacBook, a microphone and a copy of GarageBand.

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