Taking the plunge, hard.

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Sep 17, 2012
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So, a few months of what I'd planned to be just using an MBA as a learning tool has ended up with me using it as my daily driver at home, and saying "I can live with this" and buying the high end 15" MBPr. Quad core and potential for comparable battery life to my Thinkpad? Yeah, I want that...and I just switch from VMware Workstation to VMware Fusion without having to rebuild my virtual machines.

I'm not sure what all I'll be selling, definitely my MBA, and one of my laptops (still torn on whether I want more money out of the Thinkpad, or more resolution out of the Latitude for work).

In order to actually prepare for having this be my primary system, there's a few things I'd like some pointers on that right now are inadequacies I worked around, or features I didn't care to pursue.

1. NTFS write support. Any good tools for that? I'm not converting all my external drives (I will give up the USB 3.0 1TB drive for time machine backups), and I'm not sure I want to go with EXFAT on everything.

2. Snapping windows. I loved this in Windows, and I'm definitely wanting to find a way to snap things in OSX. I hate how window maximization is working right now; so dragging to a side and having windows side by side is something I'd hope they have an option out there for.

3. Boot Camp. I haven't run it since Mountain Lion on a white MacBook back in 2009. Is it Windows 8.1 friendly yet, or do I need to stick with 7? (Yeah, I'm one of those people that like 8.1 for the speed). I figure most of what I'll be doing will be handled via Fusion, but I will put that 750 to use every once in a while. Most of the games I play on Steam should be Mac-Friendly

4. Steam: If I have a game purchased for PC, does it work on Mac, or does it need to be repurchased?

5. Peripherals: I've had issues with my Logitech G5's side buttons; I'm guessing I'll need to upgrade to a newer mouse. I'm looking for default functionality equivalent to Windows (so, sensitivity, and recognizing thumb buttons). Any issue with the new G series mice? Should I look somewhere else? Not interested in wireless.

6. Software: There are a few software programs I'm not a big fan of.
Is there an equivalent of Winamp for OSX? Not a fan of iTunes.
Is there an equivalent of CDBurner XP for OSX that gives me different types of CDs/DVDs written? All I've done is burn a DMG/ISO, haven't created actual discs.
 

PsycoGeek

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1. Yes, but I'm not sure what the program is called. Someone here will chime in with it, I'm sure.

2. Yes, with a program called Cinch. You can snap windows to the left and right (half screen each as in windows). Price isn't too bad (forget how much...).

3. Yes, Bootcamp is windows 8.1 friendly. Some people have had problems with drivers (I think), but fixes will be forthcoming. The only reason I boot camped with Win7 was for Audio CD burning (see below) and to play Battlefield Play4Free. I quit and deleted it (not EVER going back either).

4. Not sure on re-purchasing, but it will only work if there is a Mac version of the game (obviously).

5. There may be an OS X version of their software for the mouse. Check their website for them. My MX Anywhere worked pretty good in OS X, but I had a small problem with the scroll wheel... because the wheels have a little play in them and the optical sensor is very sensitive pages in PDF's and web pages would jump vertically. I've since gone to their new Touch Mouse T631 and I love it. Big hands beware, though, as it IS tiny... even compared to the MX Anywhere. Oh, and a yes on default support without the Logitech software. All buttons and scrolling worked on the MX.

6. I looked for Winamp equivalents for a while, then gave up. I gave into iTunes and now love it. There is Songbird, but I'm not sure how far along it has come in development. One thing I missed with Winamp was the ability to burn FLAC to audio CD. Now I have Roxio Toast 11 which can do it in OS X. There is one program I know of and use for easy burning... called Burn. I think it is free.

Oh, on the battery life compared to your thinkpad... NO WAY! Battery life will probably turn out to be 5X+ that of your Thinkpad. When I was boot camped with Win7 it chewed up battery life. I would get about 20 minuets of game time with BF P4F, and about 45 to 50 minuets of web browsing and talking on Teamspeak.
 

timta2

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5. Try USB Overdrive or ControllerMate. I've been using USB Overdrive with my G9 for years, it works great, and the additional buttons are programmable as well with it.
 

UnknownSouljer

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1.) If you must have ntfs write support, you can look into "Paragon". However be warned, don't depend on it for sensitive data. Paragon themselves give this warning. In other words, it isn't 100% reliable. I used it and didn't have any problems so you can either take that warning with a grain of salt, or do the more wise thing and be paranoid. I've long since stopped using it though. I don't bother to keep Windows around really much anymore.

If you're planning on running VMware (like you noted in your OP) then you may not even need this.

2.) I guess check Psychogeeks suggestion. This isn't a feature I care about.

3.) Yeah, you should be fine. Drivers work across 7-8/8.1.

4.) It doesn't need to be repurchased. It's your same account. As was earlier noted, obviously a version of the game in OSX had to exist in order to DL it from Steam.

5.) I actually use Logitech's own Control Center software. I messed around with USB Overdrive for a while, but I stopped wanting to mess with it. Logitech's drivers work well enough for me. You can assign any of the buttons to do anything you want, including macros.

6.) I largely use iTunes as well. It's much better in OSX than in Windows. However I have used other players. My favorite of which is called "Cog". I used it primarily because it's very similar to Foobar2000. It is zombieware however, so there aren't frequent updates. But it is designed to be minimalistic, so there kinda/sorta doesn't need to be. Plays everything under the sun and is lightweight. The big con is that it doesn't have tabbed playlists. I know this might annoy you, but you may want to choose to just adopt iTunes. If you give it a real shot (with an open mind) you'll realize it's at the very least complete enough, and believe it or not I've never had it crash or freeze, ever, in 5 years.

If you need to burn stuff, the defacto program is Roxio Toast. At least that seems to be the defacto one. I've been using it for 5 years.
 
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In regards to Steam and Boot camp; does Steam have to be installed on the Windows side and Mac side? I would assume so, but doubling up on space used by games could suck. (Granted, it's not going to be my primary gaming system, but still...)
 

PsycoGeek

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In regards to Steam and Boot camp; does Steam have to be installed on the Windows side and Mac side? I would assume so, but doubling up on space used by games could suck. (Granted, it's not going to be my primary gaming system, but still...)

Not unless you want to play the same game in OS X and Windows... but I can't fathom why you would want to do that.

BTW, I found my rMBP (in my sig) to be quite a capable game machine.
 

lutjens

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Not unless you want to play the same game in OS X and Windows... but I can't fathom why you would want to do that.

BTW, I found my rMBP (in my sig) to be quite a capable game machine.

Selection of supported games in Steam is pretty slim the last time I checked...limited to HL2 and a few others...:(

It's too bad, because I agree, the MBPr is actually a decent gamer with a kickass screen (the screen is the sole reason I bought mine). I use my MBPr to play WoW (native OS X app) when I'm on the road...it plays fairly well too...:D
 

voklskier4452

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If you want to play games in both OSX and Win8, yes you will need steam installed on both OS's.
Bootcamp is 8.1 friendly. I am running that setup currently.
You can write to NTFS in osx with some add-on programs. i tried this years ago and it was a pain but I eventually got it working.
Winamp does exist in OSX, no need for another program. Winamp
You do not need to repurchase games if they have a mac compatibility within steam.
 

CEpeep

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#1. Only use NTFS write software for non-critical data. Paragon is the best, but it's not perfect. Use it at your own risk. If you want something free, there's a few NTFS mounters that work with FUSE. Paragon uses the same technology, they just package it better. If this is stuff you care about, put it on exFAT. It will work fine on Mac and Windows.

#2: BetterTouchTool. It's free and works very well. It also lets you set custom gestures on the touchpad or magic mouse, but you don't have to use that feature if you don't want to.

#3: Boot Camp works fine with 8.1, but if you have the latest version of Fusion, you may find that your games work well enough in there. Give it a shot first and use Boot Camp if playing in the VM is not to your liking.

#4: If the game is "SteamPlay" it will work on all supported platforms with one purchase.

#5: Logitech's software is ok. If you need more power or control, USB Overdrive does everything you could ever want, and probably more.

#6: VOX. It's basically Winamp for Mac. The Mac version of Winamp is balls, you don't want it. Use Burn if you need more control when burning discs.
 
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Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Another question...I know it's going to come with a bunch of stuff I don't care for, need, or want (Garage Band, iLife, whatever their pseudo-Office suite is). I'd like to get rid of those.

I do, however, want to be able to have the option of reinstalling it in the future. How is that handled; is it just listed as part of my Apple ID software, or what?
 

CEpeep

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Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Another question...I know it's going to come with a bunch of stuff I don't care for, need, or want (Garage Band, iLife, whatever their pseudo-Office suite is). I'd like to get rid of those.

I do, however, want to be able to have the option of reinstalling it in the future. How is that handled; is it just listed as part of my Apple ID software, or what?

They're in the App Store. You will be able to download them again anytime. You should launch App Store once and log in with your Apple ID before you remove them to be sure they have properly bound to your account (should show up under Purchases).
 

PsycoGeek

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Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Another question...I know it's going to come with a bunch of stuff I don't care for, need, or want (Garage Band, iLife, whatever their pseudo-Office suite is). I'd like to get rid of those.

I do, however, want to be able to have the option of reinstalling it in the future. How is that handled; is it just listed as part of my Apple ID software, or what?

They don't actually come installed, at least not when I bought my rMBP a little over a year ago. I had access to them for free. They were available in the App store.
 

CEpeep

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They don't actually come installed, at least not when I bought my rMBP a little over a year ago. I had access to them for free. They were available in the App store.

Oh, interesting. My iMac with Lion had them installed already, which is my last experience with a new Mac. Good to know for my next purchase though.
 

aikjo2

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1. Tuzera NTFS. I've used Paragon, Tuxera is more reliable IMO.

3. You're G2G w/ Win 8.1

4. No repurchase necessary.

5. Learn to use the Touchpad, no 2 ways about it. Mac is supposed to be used with a 4"x4" touchpad, and thankfully they built one right in.
 

MrCrispy

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I think even with a mouse, too many things on OSX depend on trackpad gestures, like Mission Control, swiping between workspaces etc. I think Magic Mouse might do some of these, I'm not sure if the touch mice from MS/Logitech can.

Personally I like mice better so this would be an issue for me as well.
 
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I generally use the touchpad for my day to day stuff. I'm thinking about those times when I actually have cause for using a mouse (gaming, or just sitting at the desk instead of on my couch).

It will likely only see 3% mouse usage vs. touchpad usage, which is why I'd prefer not to have to go out and buy another mouse if possible.
 

CEpeep

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I think even with a mouse, too many things on OSX depend on trackpad gestures, like Mission Control, swiping between workspaces etc. I think Magic Mouse might do some of these, I'm not sure if the touch mice from MS/Logitech can.

Personally I like mice better so this would be an issue for me as well.

You can map those features to the extra buttons on your mouse. Works well enough, if slightly less intuitive. Personally I use a Magic Trackpad about 90% of the time and then a high-precision mouse when I need it for design work.
 

PsycoGeek

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Oh, interesting. My iMac with Lion had them installed already, which is my last experience with a new Mac. Good to know for my next purchase though.

Yeah... When I got my rMBP I was looking all over for them so I could try them out and couldn't find them anywhere. Then I found them in the App Store and downloaded them without giving it a second thought... but while downloading I saw prices next to one and thought "Holy cow... the wife is going to kill me for dl'ing stuff without prior approval". Then I realized they weren't charging me for them.
 

uOpt

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FWIW, I found it impossible to make that stupid window manager in OSX do what I want I might give up on MacOS altogether mainly because of that. (only have a laptop with OSX).
 

PsycoGeek

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I think even with a mouse, too many things on OSX depend on trackpad gestures, like Mission Control, swiping between workspaces etc. I think Magic Mouse might do some of these, I'm not sure if the touch mice from MS/Logitech can.

Personally I like mice better so this would be an issue for me as well.

I'm using the Logitech Touch Mouse T631 and it does gestures pretty good. It seems to track pretty good for bluetooth. With the Logitech Preference Manager you can set up what gestures you use most often. Like I said above it's tiny, so big hands would do better with a Magic Mouse. Here is a screen cap of it.

CapturFiles-04-25-2013_042536_zps89b29f78.jpg
[/URL][/IMG]
 
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Looks like Logitech's software doesn't do anything with my G5...and for the price of buying USB overdrive, I'd be about halfway towards a mouse that could be supported.
 
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Maybe I should choose my words more carefully.

Something took the plunge, hard, and my brand new MBPr arrived today with a nice big dent in the lid.

I guess I get to RMA it. Didn't even get to peel the plastic off of it. Thanks, Fed Ex.
 

CEpeep

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That's unfortunate. If you have an Apple Store near you, I'd take it there rather than dealing with setting up the RMA yourself over the phone. The process tends to be a little faster if done through the store, in my experience.
 
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Unfortunately, the closest one is in St. Louis, which is a couple hours away.

Actually, the phone RMA took 15 minutes or so, and was painless. I already have my label, and will drop it off at Fed Ex on my way out to dinner tonight.
 

PsycoGeek

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Maybe I should choose my words more carefully.

Something took the plunge, hard, and my brand new MBPr arrived today with a nice big dent in the lid.

I guess I get to RMA it. Didn't even get to peel the plastic off of it. Thanks, Fed Ex.

Holy crap! :eek: That's the first time I've heard of that happening with an Apple shipment (not to say it hasn't ). Hope you get the replacement quickly.
 

lamboman

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Was the box damaged? If not, could have been damaged in manufacturing. Unfortunate but it happens.

Just thought I'd provide a suggestion, Moom is the best app that I've found for window management in OS X. HyperDock also offers some basic Windows management features in addition to the dock previews, though I wouldn't say that's a necessary feature, more just convenience.
 
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It was damaged in shipping, and the box had a dent that corresponded with the lid.


I have to say I'm very surprised by how Apple has handled it. Sure, I expected them to RMA it and send me a label without any real issue. But, I had a notification of a new order being placed for me about 5 minutes before I made it to Fed Ex (and around 2 hours after the phone call for the RMA), and I received an email this morning that it had already shipped. They didn't even wait to receive the old one before sending a new one.
 
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Fed Ex didn't screw up this one! Configuring it now. Man, it's nice.

Just have to wait until Amazon drops off my Logitech G700S I got on sale yesterday.
 
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For the most part. Of course, there are things I prefer on the PC side, but it's got a gorgeous screen, and if the battery life lives up to its claims, I'll be happy.

I've got the VMs loaded, a couple games downloaded, found some apps that give me fan control and the ability to choose integrated, dedicated, or dynamic for video.

My mouse comes today (I hope), and once that's loaded and configured I'll start a Time Machine backup to a USB 3.0 drive.

Don't like that there's apps I get for free on the PC side that have to be paid for on the Mac side (inSSIDer, for example), but I'm used to Apple charging what can be got for free on the Android side, so I suppose it shouldn't surprise me.
 

jdi731

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yeah usually they just steal the stuff :eek:

I don't know if this is the same way Apple ships laptops but they allow FedEx to ship their iPhones and iPads in containers that are unable to keep the freight held in properly. The containers are not shut the right way then after being unloaded off the trucks and moved towards the inputs they fall out of the containers and get run over by the following dollies which pretty much destroys them. There is normally so little left of the product that it's hard to pick it up and they just get trashed.

I received one of the 5S's with a giant dent in the back but it still worked. I went up to Apple the next day and they replaced it no questions asked. Apple is generally very good about replacing items without question if it's damaged before it gets to you.

Anyways… How do you like the 15" MBPr? I have the last years 13" MBPr and I love it, rarely ever use my Windows desktop anymore.
 

mope54

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For the most part. Of course, there are things I prefer on the PC side, but it's got a gorgeous screen, and if the battery life lives up to its claims, I'll be happy.

I've got the VMs loaded, a couple games downloaded, found some apps that give me fan control and the ability to choose integrated, dedicated, or dynamic for video.

My mouse comes today (I hope), and once that's loaded and configured I'll start a Time Machine backup to a USB 3.0 drive.

Don't like that there's apps I get for free on the PC side that have to be paid for on the Mac side (inSSIDer, for example), but I'm used to Apple charging what can be got for free on the Android side, so I suppose it shouldn't surprise me.
hope you didn't pay much for that mouse not likely to use it once you get used to the magic trackpad

iStumbler does the same thing as inSSIDer
there are a few other options out there but that one is popular

take 99.9% of what you think you know about Apple and flush it down the drain. a lot of people around here get their ideas from other people around here and it's a huge cesspool echo chamber with minimal relation to reality. in fact, there are *more* free apps/add-ons/etc. for OS X (and iOS) than Windows and android, tremendous support for open-source projects, and they tend to be more polished, too.

whenever you find a paid app that you like look around or ask someone because there is almost always at least one to half a dozen free options for it instead.
 

mope54

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btw, you might get enough info from the built-in wi-fi scanner

hover your cursor over the wi-fi symbol up at the top-right of your screen and then hold down Option and click on the wi-fi symbol. click on open wireless diagnostics. then it'll ask for your administrator password. type that in and then when the app pops up don't click on anything. instead hold down Command + 2. and then poke around :)
 
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I'll try that out.

I don't really think I'll be using the laptop for WiFi diagnostics, I have my ThinkPad for that, but I'd at least like to have the same software loads on my different computers.

As for the mouse, it was on sale for $55 instead of $99, so I got it for the same price as the G500s I had planned on getting. I don't use a mouse that often on my laptops, and I know the touchpad on the Mac is far better than what PCs have offered. Still a fan of the Trackpoint though, but it's admittedly quite limited in capability. But, you can't play Bioshock or TF2 on a touchpad (or at least, you shouldn't).

How do you clear out Time Machine backups? I had to reformat my 1TB external to use for that, and was trying to push files back to it, and forgot to turn Time Machine off, so I have about 9 hours of incremental backups I could get rid of without concern.
 

mope54

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you can just delete the folder on the hard drive or leave it alone. they'll clear over time automatically
 
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you can just delete the folder on the hard drive or leave it alone. they'll clear over time automatically

I'd actually like to limit the space it uses, if possible. Say, 200GB of the 1TB. If I set my backup to skip the Steam folder and virtual machines, I'm only backing up about 18GB or so.

I could give my wife (who I gave the MacBook Air to) another 200GB of space, and still have about 500GB for other stuff.
 

mope54

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split the drive in half with two partitions and use one half for Time Machine and the other half for storage.
 
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