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Portables (Apple) Businesses Hardware Apple

Apple Now Selling Better Than One Laptop In Six 767

Lucas123 writes "Apple's share of the laptop market has grown over the past few years and the company is now beating Gateway in sales, according research firm NPD Group Inc. in Port Washington, NY. 'Their sales are continuing to grow faster than the rest of the marketplace,' the firm stated. In June Apple was responsible for 17.6% of laptops sold (at retail) in the US and is now in third place behind HP and Toshiba."
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Apple Now Selling Better Than One Laptop In Six

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  • College kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PlusFiveInsightful ( 1148175 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:33PM (#20391807) Homepage
    Most college kids I see at coffee shops have a Mac notebook...
    I guess Apple's strategy of marketing to younger people is finally paying off. Also, does this prove the iPod's halo effect is Real?
  • More to Come (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mordors9 ( 665662 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:37PM (#20391847)
    Let me preface my comments by saying that I have not used in a Mac in 6 years or more. So I am not a zealot. From what I saw at Best Buy this weekend, I think the sales may go up even more. I hadn't realized that they were selling them now, but I saw a crowd ganged around a table where they had the laptops and iMacs sitting out for people to play around with. There was a steady stream of people and you could feel a sense of excitement about it. Unfortunately I was there to buy a washer and dryer...
  • by the.Ceph ( 863988 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @07:55PM (#20392069)
    I find it kinda amusing that either earlier today or yesterday there was an article about how Gateway got bought out for just over a dollar a share and most the comments were tashing the company's business model and how it was driven into the ground.
      Then this article triumphs being tied with Gateway as an achievement.
  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mycoupons ( 1148887 ) <> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:00PM (#20392121) Homepage
    My youngest son is a new freshman at Kent State. He wanted a Mac, I got him a Mac and well... one for myself too. When comparing my MacBook to my ThinkPad running Linux (or my office machine running Linux), I look forward to heading home not only for the beer but to use my Mac. Steve Jobs understands that things need to just work, period, they need to be straight forward and easy to use and great design is important. The Mac just works.

    As soon as my company moves from the red to the black, I'm investing in MacBooks for my entire staff. I'm no zealot, I'm a business man. I want my people to be productive and I want my people to enjoy their work. After spending a few weeks getting used to the interface, I honestly believe that my people will enjoy using their computers. The really amusing thing is that I really like MS Office on the Mac a hundred times better than on Windows. Entourage is actually pretty cool (when compared to Outlook or dEvolution) and after learning it I love it.

    When choosing whether to move the company from XP to Vista or just to a Mac, if I can pull it off financially, Mac it will be and Vista will never make it in the door.

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:04PM (#20392161) Homepage
    This will get modded flamebait, but I doubt that this bump in sales will be sustainable.

    I expect that lot of these new Apple buyers are people who, like me, just grew weary of Microsoft,their attitude, and the endless virus and other problems.

    The problem for Apple is that they, and the fanboys, are selling the product as perfection, as complete out of the box, as seamless and needing no attention beyond plugging in the power supply once a day.

    The reality of course is much different. Macs have some pretty serious deficiencies, even in the much vaunted user interface. Macs crash just like a Windows computer. Macs experience hardware issues. Macs, if you use them heavily, need regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly.

    After two years with a Mac I tell people that really it's no more or less easy to use than a Windows machine, and has just as many irritations and problems. They're just different irritations and problems.

    Because Apple sells their computers as the most perfect thing in the world, all of those day to day issues seem that much more disappointing.

    My guess is that a lot of these "switchers" will hang onto their MacBooks for one cycle, then revert back to Windows in order to avoid compatibility issues, cost issues, and in some situations the lack of specific software that isn't available on the Mac.

    At the end of the day there just isn't that much about the Mac that makes it a slam dunk for every user.
  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:04PM (#20392167) Journal

    No, it proves that people who would have bought an IBM ThinkPad want the best. Since the LeNovo ThinkPad is not the IBM ThinkPad, the best is now the MacBook Pro.

    This is as close to my case as could be expected.

    I wanted a T61p. With Linux. Or FreeDOS. Or empty. Whatever; I just didn't want to pay for Windows. I'm not using it, I'm not paying for it. Period.

    In the time it took me to collect the money, it was out of stock - mostly everywhere (in Croatia). Except for a more expensive version with Vista, and I'm not that stupid.

    Then someone told me I could buy a MacBook Pro for that kind of money anyway. Oh, really?
    Turned out, oh, yes, really. Comparable hardware, comparable price, available, polished, and with an OS I actually would and do use.

    I'm only having some trouble installing Linux on it, but I'll get there, too.

    And if I only found a way to stop my gf from trying to steal it... (I think it's because of the remote.)

  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by datapharmer ( 1099455 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:08PM (#20392203) Homepage
    I don't know about the ipod effect, but something is definitely working, and I think some of it is quality and ease of use.

    I looked around in a large lecture hall class of 100+ at University of Florida and 4/5 of the laptops were macs of some sort, and most of those were the new macbooks. They are at the price point parents can afford to get their kids (I mean seriously.... a crap dell of for a few hundred more something that won't burn down the dorm room), small enough to put in a backpack (there is a lot of wasted screen real-estate compared to the powerbook, but alas they still get the job done), and are powerful enough to do almost anything a college class could require (except maybe some 3d graphics work - FCP works fine).

    When I got my powerbook a few years back it was almost a grand more than many other laptops (sony vaios and some upper end thinkpads aside), but the difference is I am still using it, and despite having it get pulled off a desk by my dog twice and being dropped, bumped, and lugged around to 3 jobs, clients houses, and college classes it is still working great. The screen was starting to degrade so I replaced it for $210, but that was ENTIRELY my fault. If it were most other machines it would be in the garbage.
  • Re:Brand Synergy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gujo-odori ( 473191 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:12PM (#20392247)
    How cool is Apple's industrial design?

    When I started a new job in January, they issued me a MacBook Pro. The first time I brought it home and pulled it out of my bag, my four year old daughter - who is used to various desktops, LCD and CRT monitors, my and my wife's Thinkpads, and the Toshiba Tecra I had at my previous employer - immediately popped it with "Wow, that's a cool computer!" as soon as she saw it.

    She'd never seen a Mac before, has no clear idea about brands and stuff, yet immediately recognized that it looked cooler than the other computers she's seen. Couple that level of cool with OS X and you have a winner, so Apple's surging laptop market share doesn't surprise me.
  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jShort ( 1140435 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:13PM (#20392251)
    I work at the bookstore at my college, and I recomend Mac laptops to almost everybody who comes in here. We sell Dell laptops as well, but price/preformance is crap compared to Mac, and most of the students here are commuters, who will gladly pay $999 for a well-eqquiped computer that only weighs 5 pounds and fits into just about any backpack. Comporable Dells are thicker, wider, and heavier, and no fun to carry around at all. The only people who get a Dell recomendation are certian business and engineering studends who absolutely must have windows, or people who can only afford the cheapest laptop, which happens to be Dell.
  • Re:College kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:14PM (#20392267)
    No windows has suck for a long time. If anything I would say it would be the iPod halo effect... Why...
    First iPods are rather cheap and can be considered an impulse buy for Middle Middle class-Wealthy people for Poor- Lower Middle Class an iPod Shuffle would be at christmas gift.
    Being that they are in these price ranges a lot of people are using these and realize they like they way that Apple does things.
    Being happy with apple products using iTunes and checking the Apple Web site every once in a while to see what is new or going to the Apple store or to the Apple section of the stores they will see other Apples Product
    Seeing their products knowing you are happy with the brand you are more likely to get that brand.
    Now that you see and know the specs for say an Apple Notebook you go out and compare prices of PCs vs Apples based on Apples Specs and you find they are competitive price (If you Compare Apples to PC Specs they are Apples are expensive) So you go with Apple.

    Also Apple has good word of mouth advertising and a loyal fan base. Most people I known once they switch to Mac and allow themselves to get use to it are actually very happy with their Mac, and they repeat buy. Heck I am on my second Mac that is the first time I purchased the same brand after the old model went obsolete (and it is not about fear of switching OS's, I went From a TI-99 (1984-1988), DOS 2 Box (1988-1992), * Windows 3.1 (1992-1997), Linux (1997-2001), Solaris (2001-2002), Mac OS X (2002-2006), Mac OS X intel (2006 - Present) so I am use to swiching primary OS's)

    * I switched to Linux back in 1994
  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:19PM (#20392339) Homepage Journal

    Honestly only an idiot would buy a MacBook and run Windows instead of OS X.

    Well, not exactly. Sort of. For instance, I run Windows XP sandboxed on my dual core MacBook Pro laptop, and that's the only place I run Windows at all. Windows isn't allowed to get to the net where it can get hurt, I just use it to host a few desktop applications that don't have Mac equivalents. With Parallels [] "coherence" mode, I'm in the OSX filesystem for the images and other files I use under Windows, but I have the Mac right there doing the right things for everything else.

    I also run a linux install pretty much the same way (though no coherence, unfortunately.) The linux install is allowed on the net because it considerably more secure "out there" than Windows is. I can run all three OS's at once without any problem and get realistic performance from all of them.

    Hence, no need for a Windows machine, and no need to be an "idiot", either. ;-)

    As for Vista... No need to go there. We won't be writing any applications using Vista specific capabilities, either. As far as I'm concerned, Vista was dead at the starting line.

  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) * <> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:36PM (#20392511) Homepage Journal

    The simple truth is that at least for IBM (now Levno) laptops and HP... and probably others... the build quality is just not there compared to Apple.

    I've bought a couple of HPs (most recent one was the "Lance Armstrong special") and I've not had any issues with either of them.

    That said, if I were in the market for a notebook today, it'd most likely be a Mac. HP still offers XP on its BTO notebooks, but there's less and less stuff for which I need Windows...both of my machines boot Linux (the older one only boots Linux; the newer one can boot Windows from a USB hard drive or inside VMware if I need it). For most of what I do, there's less difference between Linux and Mac OS X than between Linux and Windows. If HP were to stop selling XP and only offer Vista, that'd be yet another incentive to go with a MacBook the next time. (I already have a G4 Mac mini and a small collection of older Macs and Apple IIs, so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with Apple hardware.)

  • Re:More to Come (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dakkus ( 567781 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:37PM (#20392517) Homepage
    Confirmed here, too. It is also interesting, how big the "monkey see, monkey do" effect is. I myself bought my macbook because some friends had iBooks and I found them Nifty. Now that I'm always carrying my laptop in my backpack wherever my thumb takes me, I constantly hear people saying: "Ooh! You've got a mac! Maybe I should get one, too". People with Win-laptops often seem to be a bit ashamed of their decision.
    Quite funny, actually :)
    And, though I only got the machine in June, already one person has bought a macbook pro because of seeing my macbook in action while at a party. And he seems to be happy with his decision.
    It seems that once people get to see how OSX works, they have crossed the point of no return.

    To mention, it also seems that the more the person knows about computers, the more likely he is to get a mac. I find that very interesting, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @08:50PM (#20392635)
    Macbook Pro happens to sit at that fulcrum point balancing power and portability in a way that bests every other machine I've used. With an external FW800 drive it's a more powerful video production machine than the desktop G5 I was using two years ago, and that was plenty powerful enough for me to cut and do basic compositing for a DV feature. So if you can only afford one machine (most baseline videgraphers or aspiring filmmakers) and you want to be able to go wherever you need to with it (editing suites, pitches, editing on the commuter train etc), then there's really only one solution.

    Now, a smart filmmaker will shoot high def, digitize to DV footage to be edited on the macbook, and then uprez and render the high def version on a quad-core Power mac at the post production house where the real heavy lifting needs to be done: color correction, final compositing, sound mixing.

    I may be an anonymous coward, but I know a good bargain for hard-earned money when I see it.
  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguin's Advocate ( 126803 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:15PM (#20392847)
    When I went to college I got a Thinkpad, my brother got an iBook. My Thinkpad barely made it through 2 years, my brother still uses his iBook (this is now ~6 years later). A year ago I relented and bought myself a MacBook Pro, today's Lenovo Thinkpads don't even compare. A couple people at my office have the new Thinkpads, but far more now have MacBooks or MacBook Pros. It has nothing to do with PC vs. Mac, Apple simply makes excellent machines. For the record, my office is a Windows XP only shop, so all those Mac owners are running XP on their macs (at least at work).
  • Re:At retail... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:26PM (#20392977) Homepage
    I too, used to laugh at Apple Fanboys. I got fed up with XP, thought I'd try OS X, with the ability to fall back to XP on the same hardware, if I wasn't happy with OS X. Well, there was no looking back! (And Parallels lets me run any old legacy thing I need, which turns out only to be MSN webcam, and little else.)

    So crash free, virus free, and great performance, it's a dream come true for me. External displays work as expected. Everything just works, in general. (A few gotchas, but *very* few as compared to XP.)

    The funny thing is, I don't consider myself a Fanboy. But when I talk about the Mac, I get excited about how well it works, and people accuse me of it! Well dammit, I *am* excited about how well it works for me! And want to share it with others. At the end of the day, I don't care if people convert, as long as it's there for me. :) (But the more market share they get, the stronger they'll be, and the longer they'll be around for me :). The only reason I want people to convert, is I know it would be for *their* own good, not for validation of myself as a Fanboy.
  • by TibbonZero ( 571809 ) <> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:35PM (#20393059) Homepage Journal
    I live in Boston, Mass. and here it seems that most of the computers are Macs (as far as laptops go). Go into any coffeeshop, and well, it's all Macs. We hosted a Plone Sprint and training session here, and it was about 70% Macbook Pros (we converted one guy halfway though, and I bought a new MBP then as well). The office I worked in, which is a co-working suite called the Betahouse in Cambridge (it's all web developers) is 90% Mac.

    Maybe it's just the huge number of 'creatives' in the city, but it seems that around NYC and Boston, that Apple's pretty well taken over. Hell, my office has 70% of the people carrying iPhones (and that was true the first week they were out). I have yet to actually see anyone with a Zune. Period.

    What's odd is that I lived in North Carolina for about 8 months, and most of the computers there were Windows-based PCs. My 4 macs were seen as oddities down there. Here it's par for the course.
  • Re:College kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:40PM (#20393097)
    We have at least a thousand running Thinkpads and have had several thousand over the last 3 years. T41,43,60,61,62 and X30,31 and maybe a few oddballs in there. For those that are familiar with IBM and Lenovo, you will notice some of those laptops were pure IBM, some hybrids, and some are pure Lenovo. We have seen no difference in the quality of these laptops over the years. People can have their own opinions based on a neighbor or a relative but my experience is from a real data with a significant quantity that we support on a daily basis. I currently have three of them assigned to me that I use daily as well (A T60 at home, a X32 for utility work and testing in the server room, and a T43 at my desk which is about to go back on lease which I will replace with a T61)

    Overall, the quality on these laptops is outstanding and they are very durable and very stable. I'm not comparing them to any other current companies offerings because I can not (other then the HP/Compaq models we had years ago maybe).
    So overall, we have not seen any reduction in quality over the past few years, no increase in maintenance costs, and they are very reliable units.
  • A Little Perspective (Score:4, Interesting)

    by donnacha ( 161610 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:49PM (#20393175) Homepage
    I am no Apple fanboy, been around /. for enough years to be pretty cynical about all corporations and technology cheerleaders but I bought a MacBook Pro about two months ago and am surprised to have come to the conclusion that it's the best piece of hardware I've ever owned.

    I don't mean that in a fevered, evangelical way because, really, I don't care what the rest of the world uses but for me, personally, switching has made a big difference to my productivity and enjoyment of computers - I'd kind of forgotten the excitement I used to feel back in the day.

    Over the past couple of years, Apple seem to be have been slowly but steadily getting it right in a sustained manner that I suspect will come more clearly to fruition when Leopard is released in October. I was kind of slow to notice this build-up, kind of resistant to the idea of buying into the cult of Apple and probably should have made the switch sooner, could have used this productivity boost a year ago, but, whatever, I'm glad that I eventually cottoned on.

    Again, I don't much care what the rest of the world does as long as my experience and working environment keep improving. Some enjoy treating this as a spectator sport, like a never-ending baseball match between Apple and Microsoft, enjoying each play that seems to bring victory that little bit nearer. Bollox.

    Sure, Apple probably will see quite a jump by the holiday season but Microsoft have simply dominated the market for too long to be pushed aside - the vast majority of people don't know and don't care to know much about computers and will happily "upgrade" to Vista when their existing machines die. What we will see, however, is a fairly fast and comprehensive migration towards Mac by programmers and other people who need to be creative and productive with computers. That probably represents just 15% of the market but it's an important 15% and giving those people better tools to do what they do is going to be beneficial for everyone.

    In the meantime, I certainly recommend giving the whole Mac proposition a closer look, you might find yourself as surprised as I have been.
  • Re:Brand Synergy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:52PM (#20393189)
    That same three year old thinks its cool when the doggie drinks out of the toilet and drags his ass across the carpet as well.
  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Penguin's Advocate ( 126803 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:59PM (#20393255)
    Haha, well, if you actually like the nipple I guess you're stuck. I can't understand why people like them, is it like a cult or something? I had a T-23 for 2 years and a T-40 for 2 years, both had their hard drives replaced multiple times, the T-40 had it's entirety replaced separately. Both died completely after their respective warranties expired. To be fair I used them pretty much every waking moment of every day and brought them everywhere with me. But to be even more fair, so did my brother, and he still has that iBook.
  • Quality and Intel (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jwiegley ( 520444 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:06PM (#20393291)

    I just bought my first Mac. A Santa Rosa macbook pro. And I use it almost exclusively now.

    Here's what I don't like.

    • The OS/X user interface is crap.
      1. The application menu constrained to the top of the screen hides information present in other applications and forces the user to either learn all the shortcut keys or suffer rediculous amounts of additional mouse travel.
      2. A single mouse button was NEVER a good idea. It's a terrible idea actually. It was terrible when the macintosh was launched and never got better. If you're too stupid to figure out the different functions of two to five mouse buttons then you shouldn't be allowed to have a computer and you should stick with pencil and paper. I've got ten fingers and I can move them independently. Why should I have to be limited to operating a computer like I have mittens on one hand? At least the mighty mouse fixes a lot of this. But Apple certainly could have put two buttons under the mouse bar, one under each end. Just program OS/X to do the same thing should either button be pressed to make the mac zealots happy and then for other operating system bred people you could send the normal left/right/middle events.
      3. Finder is a joke. Why does Apple hype this "application" up so much?? It's a frickin' directory browser people!
      4. Glitz wise they just aren't keeping up. Compviz/Beryl for instance is way better than the eye-candy offered by either OS/X or Vista these days.
    • Hot!! Oh my god! don't set it on your lap if you have shorts. And this is the newer model without the battery problems.

    Ok, so why do I LIKE it (a lot)?

    • Design: The design is sleek and simple. It's the fastest laptop I've ever owned and yet it is also the thinnest. It's no thicker than my fujitsu P7010 is but it's about five times faster. (Though its footprint is much bigger too.)
    • backlit keyboard keys
    • Ambient light sensitive backlight (both lcd and keyboard)
    • USB AND Firewire ports!
    • Neodynium Magnetic power jack. (Yes, I've tripped over, and destroyed, power cables before. This solution is just tits!)
    • Great sound, even from the speakers
    • Solid feel. Nothing seems to bend where it shouldn't. Hinges operate crisply and smoothly.
    • Absence of any stickers plastered all over it to provide useless FCC crap.
    • Incredibly bright LED backlit screen.
    • Built in 802.11N AND Bluetooth
    • 2.4 Core 2 duo processors. That's as fast as any of my workstations save one. This makes it a workstation replacement by far. A better docking interface (such as power on the same side as DVI/USB) would have been a good idea.)
    • Intel based. I hate windows but my CAD program is only available for Windows. Windows needs an x86 CPU. Yes, you could use fusion or parallels to run windows, I know. Have you ever actually tried to work on a multi-dozen part 3D CAD assembly and compared your productivity of a native OS versus a virtual machine? Big difference! So I get to run windows natively and work remotely and do it fast..
    • Fast Nvidia GPU. I'm not an ATI fan but either way, great graphics

    There's nothing not to like about this hardware.

    Pair that up with the fact that their design team is solid and is producing exceptional quality designs such as the iPod line and the iPhone. (I don't own one and won't based on cost and that I have a good PDA phone but my colleague has one and I've tried it out and it's a good design.)

    Apple made three pivotal moves:

    1. The move to adopt OPENSTEP/FreeBSD/Unix as the foundation for their operating system. It made their OS flexible, scalable and more open to community involvement. This saved them. (It is also what is going to allow them to significantly penetrate the server and high-performance computing markets over then next five years.)
    2. The iPod. A product that outclassed the competition by a mile. This made them profitable and restored people's trust in apple producing a relia
  • Re:College kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kestasjk ( 933987 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:49PM (#20393615) Homepage
    Most of us manage to run Windows on the net confidently. If you prefer OS X or Linux that's fine, but don't act like security is the reason you're not on Windows and that you have to keep it separate from the net; I've had the same Windows XP install running for over a year and it runs as well as when I installed it, and there's no spyware.

    As for writing code for Vista. Well I'd say give it time; people didn't write for XP the moment it came out either, it took a while for apps to stop supporting Win98, but as people update their computers and get Vista by default there'll be a transition, whether it's worthwhile or not.
  • Re:More to Come (Score:3, Interesting)

    by G-funk ( 22712 ) <> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:01PM (#20393729) Homepage Journal
    And you're dreaming if you think that $600 difference didn't go into cheaper internal components and / or an ugly plastic case.

    A co-worker and I recently both purchased laptops of almost identical performance. His is a Dell XPS of some sort, mine's a Macbook Pro. His was about $500 more, but it's a 17", and the price difference would be neligable had I bought a 17". They're almost identically specced, although mine's a slightly less powerful DX10 video card, his has slightly more balls but is DX9. Mine's also about half as heavy (and would still be signifigantly lighter if it were a 17"), much thinner, and looks good, where the Dell is a horrible mishmash of lights and coloured plastic bits. It's like a riced out Honda Prelude with neons next to a BMW 318. Similar performance, one just looks tacky.
  • Re:College kids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @12:26AM (#20394301)
    T41,43,60,61,62 ...

    Wow! can I borrow your time machine to get a T62 as well? Us mere mortals only live at the current time, when the T61 has just barely come out this summer.

    Back on topic -- one thing that I don't regret in getting a T61 over a MBP is ... coolness, actually. I'm constantly amazed at seeing how hot the MBPs around here get (this is a .edu place, so many of the people that want to do research instead of nursing their laptops and get Macs; and since it's all grant money, PowerBooks/MacBook Pros are the choice). I mean, CPU temperature of 70 degrees Celsius when idle? WTF??? My T61 idles with the CPU at 39-40 deg. Celsius with the fan running in low mode (and pretty much all sensors showing below 45 degrees) I must say, I wonder how much of the recent hardware problems of Apple owners come simply from thermal stress.
  • Re:At retail... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frumious Wombat ( 845680 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @12:36AM (#20394385)
    Keynote. Keynote alone might force an upgrade from my iBook to a MacBook for lecturing/conferences.

    Photoshop. Fortran. Run simulations while on the road without having to perform yoga contortions to get the machine to act like a proper UNIX box.

    Just get work done quietly and unobtrusively, without the computer/OS having to announce its presence every minute, lest I forget the blessings that Redmond hath bestowed upon me.

    My dream laptop would be an IBM X31 running OS-X, but since those were never made, MacTops it is.
  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by debest ( 471937 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @01:01AM (#20394557)

    Haha, well, if you actually like the nipple I guess you're stuck. I can't understand why people like them, is it like a cult or something?

    I admit that it is an acquired taste, rather than a cult. It takes practice and some getting used to (perhaps even building a small callous on your index finger), but the efficiency of the TrackPoint is just orders of magnitude better than a touchpad. You can get the cursor to anywhere on the screen in a fraction of a second, and you don't have to move your hands from the "asdfjkl;" position on the keyboard. You owned a T23 for 2 years and used it non-stop, and you haven't become a convert to the TrackPoint? How could you have not appreciated it? Everyone I've ever met that "doesn't like" it simply has never tried using it much and can't be bothered learning how.

    The fact that you don't have to deal with the frustrating "accidentally brush the touchpad" phenomenon (when all of a sudden you're typing text wherever the cursor happened to be sitting) is just a bonus. I had a ThinkPad as part of going to school last year, it had a touchpad as well as the Trackpoint. Thank heavens the touchpad could be disabled via a config menu. Annoyed the heck out of any classmate or teacher of mine that wanted to use my machine, though!

    (BTW, I worked at IBM in the mid-90's when ThinkPads were just starting to be rolled out to employees. Someone in my department came up the name "clitty stick" for the TrackPoint. Much more amusing than "nipple" :-)
  • Re:College kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by troll ( 593289 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @02:01AM (#20394901) Journal
    I like my ipod for the most part, but iTunes is probably the worst part. It's only mildly better than the previous (and related) apple PC software I used, quicktime, which in addition to having arbitrary annoying restrictions and nag screens also came up with one of the worst UI elements ever: the volume dial in software.

    However as horrible as it is, I'm still looking into buying a MacBook Pro, simply because it seems like a well made piece of hardware that will run what I want on it, in addition to letting me run OS X which I'm willing to give a fair try even if iTunes is horrible. Worst case I can just install linux or XP.

    For the record, my favorite media player so far is foobar2000 on windows, but even that lacks in its database searching interface.
  • by Shag ( 3737 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @03:18AM (#20395309)
    I'm (non-teaching) graduate-level support staff in astronomy at a state university known for its graduate-level astronomy program, and from what I see among the post-docs, professors and staff I work with, both at the university and elsewhere through collaborations, I think Apple's market share in some of the sciences is significantly better than one-in-six laptops, and has been for the last few years. A friend who did database work for an observatory told me of going to an ADASS conference a couple years ago, and getting looks of pity because he had the only non-Mac laptop in the room.

    Why is this the case? It's not about iPods and it's not about Vista. It's about UNIX, X, and Boot Camp/Parallels/VMWare. The professor who used to have a Sparc, a PC and a PPC Mac in his office now just does his number-crunching and scientific visualization on an 8-core Mac Pro with dual 30" displays, and takes a MacBook Pro places with him. (I'm low on the totem pole, so I have a plain black MacBook.)

    What's really amazed me lately is that this isn't just a US thing. I work near a major Japanese facility, so there are always Japanese scientists around. For years, they've always had these cute little Panasonic/Toshiba/Sony/Sanrio/whoever laptops that we never see at stores in the US (except at Shirokiya in Honolulu, I guess). Earlier this month, I actually worked with three of them one night, and they brought 2 laptops with them - both Macs. I never thought I'd ever see any "American" brand become that popular with the Japanese scientists.
  • Re:College kids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rmav ( 1149097 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @05:02AM (#20395683)

    Most college kids I see at coffee shops have a Mac notebook...
    I guess Apple's strategy of marketing to younger people is finally paying off. Also, does this prove the iPod's halo effect is Real?

    It is not only that. If you go to academic conferences in sciences, you see now sometimes that nearly a half of the laptops open at a given time are Apples.

    Some of the reasons for their widespread adoption in academia are that they are no longer significantly more expensive than non-apple laptops, they are the closest thing to a Turing machine you can get (you can basically run ANYTHING on them, natively or via emulation/virtualization), they also are robust and - why not - nice looking.

    People going to conferences around the world (this year I have been to Polynesia, Western Canada, then I will go to Chile... all flights from central Europe, not counting flights within the E.U.) also favor light laptops. In their size categories, Apple laptops tend to be among the lightest ones that also provide an optical drive.

    There are similarly equipped PC laptops around the same size and weight, but often they tend to cost more -to offer the same functionality and look ugly. This is also a bonus, esp. if you have to fly through legalised torture institutions like british airports. Apart from Apple laptops you still see nice Sony Vaio subnotebooks, and a few other random laptops, evenly shared by the other manifacturers. Most participants from the Far East have tiny laptops. Sometimes I think Apple is not producing a subnotebook right now because they would simply unable to cope up with the demand.

    Add to this that a lot of people in the academia have been scorched by Dell dumping on them second choice laptops with faulty screens (maybe in the U.S. it is different, but most Dell laptops bought by my university came with white blotches on the LCD screen, and the repair program almost "required" you to stay without a computer for one month, of course to discourage you), and now you see it coming.

    Our administration in theory forces us to buy laptops that they have chosen and for which they agreed on a special price (in practice, we get older models for a price that is better than their original list price, but that could be bought now for much less...). But they will allow you to buy anything if you need to run a specific operating system. There are professors here that bought Macbooks because they "need" to run OS X, then the first thing they do is to install Vista on them (some kept an OS X partition just for fun and ended up switching, but this is rare among german professors. OTOH the students, including mine, are starting to play with OS X a lot).

  • Re:Don't forget. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @07:36AM (#20396379)
    Nobody's forcing you to upgrade, but you'd think a company with no other leg to stand on, would be a little nicer about the software that drives the sales of their overpriced hardware.
    Also you should realize after a new version of the OS is released of OS X they still support the old ones and you still get upgrades and update to the OS. Every dot release is actually a major upgrade Like from Windows 3.1 - 95, 95 - 98, 98 - ME (That may not be a good example), ME - XP, XP - Vista (perhaps an other bad example) From 95-XP there were new version of Windows every couple of years, much like OS X. OS X Gets minor Update like 10.4.1, 10.4.2, 10.4.3... These are equivalent to service pack releases, where sometimes you may get some minor features, and increased stability in the OS. The 10 Dot releases offer a lot of new features and the OS looks and Feels different.

    Apple has a faster software development cycle then Microsoft, it is not a bad thing, it means you have the option to use the most current technologies and fully utilize modern hardware.

    Mac Hardware is not overpriced it is competitively priced., the problem is that Apple offers little in options they have sub class groups
    Dells Website...
    Intel® Core(TM) 2 Duo T7700 (2.40GHz) 4M L2 Cache, 800MHz Dual Core
    NVIDIA Quadro FX 360M, 512MB Turbo Cache memory (256 dedicated)
    15.4 inch Wide Screen WXGA Anti-Glare LCD Panel
    4.0GB, DDR2-667MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
    * 160GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 7200RPM
    8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio Creator(TM)/Cyberlink PDVD(TM)
    Dell Wireless® 360 Bluetooth Module for Windows XP
    Intel® 4965 802.11a/g/n Dual-Band Mini Card
    Standard Touchpad


    Apples WebSite...
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    MacBook Pro 15-inch Widescreen Display
    * Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    Accessory Kit
    *iSight Built in Camera,


    *Better then the competitors.

    Granted that the Dell has a couple of features that are slightly higher performance then the Mac such as a faster drive and perhaps a better video card. But I would expect those difference in spec would be about would account to about $150 difference in the price. But the apple has a built in video camera light sensor and glowing keyboard, motion detection, and the magnetic power adapter (don't mock it until you tried it) which would account for about $150 different in the prices as well. Then dell depending where you go on your website and coupons and such... You may be able to get an other $100 or $150 off but still after all this extra hassle you are not really paying much more for the Mac compared to Dell similarly spec are actually about the same price.
  • Re:Dell laptop? hah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Just because I'm an ( 847583 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @09:04AM (#20397091)
    Let's say you got a really special machine inside a case designed by Fisher Price. You take your presentation to new-important-client and deliver a sterling presentation.

    Now... everything you said and showed was fine, the machine worked without a hitch... the question is what did you wear?

    It shouldn't matter what things look like but it does. You can have a functional laptop that an industrial designer hit viciously with the ugly stick, or you can have a functional laptop that looks good too. You can wear the suit you bought at Target or the one you bought at Armani. You can buy a solid, reliable Toyota or you can buy a solid, reliable Mercedes.

    The choice is yours, and people will judge you accordingly. Branding is not something marketers alone do, you do it also, consciously or not all your actions and choices indicate who you are. Again, it's not ideal but it is human.

    As for the screwdriver thing... I know a few tradesmen and they definitely have opinions on which brands make a good screwdriver and which ones are shit. They may not laugh at you, but they'll see which one you have and it becomes a part of the opinion they form of you.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken