Saturday, July 29, 2006

To Mac or Not to Mac

That is the question..

My trusty Sony Vaio laptop is 2.5 years old and has had its fair share of use and abuse even though I don't use it on a daily basis and I sometimes go for weeks without touching it. I'm not about to ditch it just yet, and I plan to give it one last round of heavy abuse when I take it with me on vacation.

But I walked into the new Mac shop at Marina Mall last week and instantly fell in love with the new 13" Apple MacBook, especially the white version that looks like an iPod on steroids. It just looked so cool!

I have to admit I've been a Windows/PC guy my whole (computer-using) life and moving to the Mac O/S leaves me a little unsettled.

The next question is.. MacBook or MacBook Pro? I'm not a graphic designer/architect/artist or anything. All I want is a reliable machine for surfing the net, email, photos and music. And blogging of course. But then maybe my limited scope of usage was only because a PC just isn't as versatile as a Mac, so I never felt inspired to do more. And now Apple says the new Intel-based Macs can run both Windows and Mac on the same machine!

What will I gain and what will I lose if I switch to a Mac? Of course I could research all this myself but posting queries here is more fun..

Take it away bloggers!


  1. I'm not an expert but I never liked MAC even though alot of people praise it, Apple designs are awesome without a doubt but I dont know about the line of applications it supports. I am sure windows has a wider range of applications to support just about anything you can think of.

    And Apple's major selling point lately is that it can run windows... doesnt that say something??

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  3. Go for it Mr. Z. If all you need is a 13?, get the MacBook. Both MacBook Pros (15? & 17?) have dedicated graphics cards (and more capable DVD writers), but if you are not dealing heavily in videos and hardcore photo editing, you?ll do fine with the MacBook which sells for roughly half the price of a 15? Pro.
    Intel capability is just the icing on the cake if you have a piece of software that runs only on the PC :-/

    I must say this: if you need Microsoft Office, then MS Office 2004 rocks PROVIDED you don?t need to use it for Arabic. I use Nisus Writer for my ? infrequent - Arabic word-processing needs

    It might be prudent to wait a little while: Apple on August 7th, and new machines might be announced ? MacPros and MacBook Pros with faster chips, maybe??

  4. Ooops! That is this years WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference). Apple showcases its upcoming technology ? and sometimes release new products ? on that occasion.

  5. زيدون

    المنحه ما نزلت وأنت قاعد تفسفسها

    الركاده زينه وأنا خوك

  6. i would push for the macbook also. i have the low end one cuz its more then enough for my needs but if you want more u can get the 2ghz one with dvd writer.

    i wouldnt go for the macbook pro because other then the fact it costs nearly double there are a lot of rumors about it getting fully redesigned. its like buying a car the year before the new model comes out, not a good thing.

    finally although the macbooks can boot up in either XP or OSX, after using OSX for 5 minutes you would never want to boot up in XP again :)

  7. oracle..

    أحلى تعليق، الله يغربلك... بعد تو الناس، ليلحين قلاعد أمخمخ السالفة

    About Arabic support: How good is it? Is MS Office for Mac any good?

  8. مادرى شنو اقول لك بس
    انت تبي تستخدم الجهاز ولا تسايق فية
    لان لايزال كل التعديل والتحديثات لمستخدمي الكممبيوتر لا تتطرق الي ال MAC
    فلاتتورط وبعدين تطير ال 200 دينار
    اقضب مينونك لاييك اين منة
    شوف ال
    Dell The XPS M2010
    والماية حدها دهنة
    بس البطل ممنوع من البحر بسب
    اصابة تسبب فيها الابن الصغير

  9. اترك عنك التجارب الي تعرفه احسن من الي ما تعرفه
    وبعدين شوف من ربعك من يستخدم ماك وجم واحد ؟

  10. elmayadehna
    خطاك السو

    أكيد ما تعرف ربعي

    My brother has an iMac that I will practice on before deciding

  11. WE JUST MACD AND WE LUUUUV IT. NO REGRETS! but you have to delete Word's fonts cuz they mess up mac's arabic fonts. it'll get you a week before you get the hang of it. (it took me a bit more than that and i had my MACwizz friend help me out)

  12. خطاك اللاش

  13. Zaydoun: M$ tests new Office features on the Mac version first. But like I said earlier, for whatever reason M$ does not wish to support right?to?left scripts on the Mac :-/

    Take it from me: Go Mac and don?t look back. Personally, I use 3 portables and all of them are Macs. The same is true for the desktops ? except for the dog I have at work :-<

    "Cry Macintosh, and unleash the dogs of Windoze!"

  14. A3sab: turning off the Arial & Times New Roman fonts in the Font Book application usually solves the Arabic fonts problem - which is prevalent on Safari only and not Firefox for some reason, and it is not even a problem on some machines :-/

  15. Z
    I just got 1 I'm trying to get use to it.. it gets really frustrating .. so if get one you have to have someone to call anytime for support

  16. mosan... Didnt you buy your Mac over a year ago?

  17. Ok Apple makes Cool Laptops, but they've decided to have laptops with Dual O.S Tiger & Windows.

    i recommend to squeeze the last bit outta your Vaio, wait until next christmas, the New windows Vista will be released, you can then by a Mac with Tiger O.S & Win Vista Preloaded.

    Sony still makes the best user friendly Laptops, especially the Ultra-Portable ones with 11.1" screens with a battery life of 5 hours or more.

    you should first think or determine what you need out of your new laptop, if you want it for maximum Portability, and you stated that you dont want it for graphics, then aim for a laptop with light weight, long bettery life. currently, Sony laptops are the best, but Fujitsu Seimens makes a line that support 2 batteries, boasting the battery life to upto 11 hours. thats if you're planning to take a long flight :)

    just wait few months, many newer models coming out

  18. Zaydoun: La confusion wa la Confucius, just do it and you?ll thank us later. As for the quality and user experience of Mac vs PC portables, you said it yourself: how do you compare the iPod to brand ?X? MP3 player? Exactly!

    If you are worried about battery life, with iGo and Xantrex I stopped packing extra batteries with me on long flights - some airlines even provide a standard AC outlet.

    Yalla, twakkal 3ala Allah :-D

  19. Zaydoun,

    no confusion :)

    Macs are cool, given that you have a backup laptop, just wait a while :)

    ana weyak neshteri Macs from the states after christmas, much cheaper :)

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  21. ana knt m7tara mthlk.. 6ol 3mry windows tawny bs shahar 6 sharet ly MacBook glt law klsh twahagt agdar anazl 3leh xp w 5ala9.. bs allah wakelk 3gb ma esta5damtah 6a7 el xp mn 3eny,, 7adah WOW

    w thnx q80 3lshan glt en how to solve the font problem.. (Y)
    inzen momkn 5edma? el serial number mal el office etha momkn..

  22. 6ab3an To Mac!

    MS Office works beautifully on it but only for english. I called both Microsoft and Apple, and it turns out that the porblem is with Microsoft. I asked them when do you expect to solve it. They said our developers only act when there are enough complaints, and given that MAC is spreading around the world, that should speed it up. Actually, in Israel there's a pressure group of Mac users that's pressuring Microsoft to incorporate right-to-left script into it's MS Office for Mac.

    If you only need word for simple arabic documents, then you'll find alternatives for the time being.

    Overall, I switched to Mac last year, and hasn't regretted it at all!

    7asafa they stopped sellting the 12" powerbook. But those machines are beautiful.

    Go For it.

    One last thing .. My Mac was 200KD cheaper in the US than in Kuwait. If you want, I can buy you one from here and ship it to you.

  23. نصيحتي يود مينونك لا اييك اللي اين منه ..... ويندوز على طووووول .... و على طاري صورة البنك (بواق) نفس السؤال طرى على بالي يوم كنت رايح فيينا و سلملي على الكارتنر و سالزبورج :)

  24. I will not read the post or the comments but I will say if you take a Mac, I will personally come and smash it.

  25. jandeef... how's the Arabic? Do you face problems blogging in Arabic or viewing Arabic websites?

    Fuzzy... will it have Arabic support if I buy it in the States?

    purg.. so lovely to see you as always :-P

  26. I blog using it. I do everything now using it.

    Mac's arabic capability comes built-in with it.

  27. Zaydoun: Whenever possible, I purchase directly from the US Apple store. If you purchase the computer from the US, Arabic has nothing to do with the hardware but with a couple of exceptions.The first has to do with the Latin keyboard [Dah!], but that is easily fixed; you can take the computer to a number of printshop and they?ll Arabize it for you. Also, Apple hardware sold in Kuwait - and the middle east - is European rather than US. This means the keyboard will have a long left "shift" key (boy was that a mouthful!), and the return key will be long and straight rather than resemble an inverted "L". The OS installation fixes teh required language.
    Again, I use Nisus Express for Arabic word processing, and for what little DP and layout needs I use the ME version of InDesign. Blogging and web surfing in Arabic requires no special software other than the occasional text encoding (Arabic Windoze/ ISO 88xx vs Unicode, for example).

  28. From the States, it will come with an English Keyboard, bs ma7loola, 3 K.d Laser Print Arabic Alphabets in Hawali Silicon Valley.

    Software Arabic Support can be Configured.

    the only problem you will face is if you're used to using certain programs, you might not find the Mac version. also, many parts you own already wouldnt be supported by Mac.

  29. To Mac :)

    and get the Macbook, I don't want to confuse you.. but Apple releases new updates on their produts everynow & then.

    you asked about office:
    I use MS office for mac

    but I don't use Arabic in it, instead I use an opensource prog called AbiWord
    but after all I only need MS Office progs in Arabic at work.

    Just think about it, I have a Mac desktop (iMac) and a Dell Laptop, and I prefer to use the desktop, coz mobility with a PC is nothing compared to using a mac.

    Go Mac
    و لا تنسانا بالدعاء

  30. Thanks everyone, and like I said.. I will give my Sony one last round of heavy duty abuse over the next 3 weeks and research the MacBook in person at any number of ultra-hip Apple stores!

  31. Zaydoun I?m gonna start a new campaign:
    "Nabeeha Macintosh for Zaydoun!"

    وعقبها راح نقوم بإنشاء المجلس التدويني لمستخدمي الماكينتوش. وفي الجلسة الأولى والتي سينتخب رئيسها من أقدم مستخدمي الماك في الكويت - أنا مرشح روحي من الآن بإعتباري من مستخدمي كمبيوترات الأبل منذ نعومة أناملي الرقيقة - سنقوم بالتصويت على مشروع قانون تعسفي يلزم المدونين والمدونات بالإلتزام بالسواك، وكذلك قانون يجرم إستخدام البلوتوث في الأعمال البريئة وقصر إستخدامه في أعمال الفندقة والزندقة، ها شقلت؟

  32. بالعكس يازيدون , لي كم يوم أفكر أجرب ماك .. أعتقد أنه مميز
    والتعامل معه أرقى .. وفيه خصائص أحسن من الويندوز , لكن المشكلة أغلبية الناس ما تعودت عليه
    يمكن ينفع للأخاص اللي يتعاملون مع الكمبيوتر كثير

    جرب وعلمنا وش إنطباعاتك

  33. zaydoun,

    mac is beautiful, light, great graphics, but sony vaio is just as good lately.

    Go for MAC coz it's different. 3aib u never had one! it's a great experience.

    Applications all run great on it, just make sure Arabic support is available.

  34. purg
    If you need help smashing it, call me.

  35. Zaydoun,

    If you're looking for interface then check out the new Windows Vista first. But if you're looking for how the pc actually looks like, nothing beats a MAC i think.

    I had the same questions ur raising last year before leaving the US. Walked into a MAC store and played around with them, asked some questions. They had a problem with Arabic, some Arabic websites couldnt be viewed (alqabas at the time) and writting was messed up.
    They told me that there's a patch that would solve all this. Didnt pursue the issue, got a Toshiba when I got back.

    I had a friend buy one 3ashan ajarib feeh. He likes it, has the Arabic problem and too lasy to fix it.

    Intel can run Windows and MAC on the same computer, but I dont think you want that. Ya3ny performance wont be as good as if you're running one OS only.

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  37. Z

    ya I did have 1 more than a year ago but it got stolen from my car infront of a fiends house in jabriya

  38. Rasheed: The messed up Arabic problem doesn?t need a patch, its due to the fonts installed by MS Office and disabling them solves the problem.

    As for running MS Windows ? or other Intel OS' ? applications, its nothing new. VirtualPC and SoftWindows emulators have been around for many years. Emulators *are* slow, but the thing nowadays is that the Macintosh runs on Intel, meaning that it indeed a PC and operating systems like Windoze, Linux or whatever will run *natively*. When hackers began to circulate methods for running Windoze Apple released BootCamp. There are other solutions that require no dual booting like Parallels and the announced CrossOver from CodeWeavers.

  39. May I suggest you follow me into FujitsuSiemens laptops especially the light-weight models.

    Check them out! light, sleek and Powerful without the Arabic problems of the MAC.

    One thing about the one I'm using: Speakers are not strong but nothing a head-phone would not solve.

  40. زيدزن
    اختيار اكثر من موفق قو فور انت بعد استعمال الماك لفتره لن تستطيع الرجوع للوندوز
    اسرع و اكثر استقرار بالاضافه الى انك تستطيع عمل كل ما تعمله في نظام الوندوز ولكن بشكل اجمل
    قد تلاقي بعض الصعوبات في البداية بخصوص البرامج ولكن في النهايه ستجد ما تريد
    عن العربي في نظام الماكنتوش
    فهو يتعامل معه بشكل طبيعي مع اختلاف في الكيبرود فقط لا غير و هذي محلوله بانك تنزل كيبورد الويندوز على الماك
    وبخصوص البرامج المشابه للأوفس
    فهناك مايكروسوفت اوفس ولكنه لا يدعم العربي ولكن البرامج التي تدعم العربي كثيره و منها بيجز، ملل ، نيو اوفس
    وانصحب في البراوزر استخدام سفاري للتصفح العادي
    و فاير فوكس للتصفح العربي
    و لا استفسارات انا موجود ابن العم و بالخدمه

  41. mac software websites

  42. heheehhe Zaydoun after reading all the comments, the thing is, keep the Vaio and buy a MAC

    خل عندك خط رجعه اذا توهقت بالماك


    in my case, ill buy a MAC after a Christmas just " Dala3 " to try it. but nothing beats an IBM Compatible PC/Laptop, not even Apple :P

  43. zaydoun. I was seduced by the beautiful charming attractive mac 3 years ago (or was it 4!!). I loved how it looks. And I know that it's more reliable for the few softwares that it runs. But if you're used to your sony then it'd mean having to learn your way around the mac to get the hang of it. My guess is that's just too much unnecessary work. I know I am bound to come across little programs that I have installed here that won't work on the mac. I am also assuming that sharing files, programs, even simply a word document, would be problematic. Regardless of the great renown apple is now having, people still mostly use windows. So I'd second those who say:
    اقضب مينونك لاييك اين منة

  44. زيدون

    ماك ولا مو ماك
    الغاية تبرر الوسيلة

    لا .. انا ماني اخونجي


  45. :) get a BigMac meal meanwhile :)

  46. Zaydoun:
    No need to get confused, simply ask yourself: what do you want? If you are worried about the so called lack of software on the Mac: keep a sheet of paper handy and whenever you use a computer, make a note of the software you use. Lets say you keep on doing this until the end of the week. Go over the list and chances are all your computer needs are Mac-ready.

    I'm a hardcore Mac user for both business and pleasure. I've been using Apple computers from the days when RAM capacities were measured in kilobytes. The only person I know of who's been fanatic about Apple for a longer period is blogger Anti-Reason (who maintains that to this day he?s yet to even touch a PC).

    Don't let the luddites fool you. You can buy Dell, IBM, HP, Acer, ... etc. At the end it will run Windoze (or maybe Linux if you are the adventurous type). Big deal; boring - snoring - Zzzzzzz. Or, you can buy a MacBook which runs the MacOS, the operating system with the greatest user experience, EVER!

    "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?"- Steve Jobs to John Sculley

  47. Get a MacBook. Although I use a MacBookPro, I think the MacBook size gives better mobility. I started using Mac a month ago and now I HATE Microsoft for wasting my time all these years with viruses, bugs, stalls all kinds of stupid time-wasting nuisances.

  48. zaidoun

    Did you see q80_demon's comments??? do you see the un-neccessary question marks??

    are you telling me that's not a MAC defect??

    Think again before you make that change from windows to MAC.

  49. Hello Zaidoun,

    I would share and put in my 2 cents.

    As a MAC user I am obviously all for MAC.

    However, there are things you will be missing out if you were to switch to a MAC because not all programs that are compatible with MAC run EXACTLY the same as it would on Windows. For example, your MSN messenger will not have all options a window based version would have. Therefore, you will need to check your frequently used programs and make sure they function the same and that you wont be compromising.

    Net surfing will not be the same if you were to use Explorer on a MAC (they don?t have all those plugins that will allow you to view some WebPages). You will need to learn to adapt to other browsers like Safari or Firefox.

    Also, the 13? screen is considered small. However, once you get use to the keyboard shortcuts on the OSX you should be fine. Till you become use to keyboard short cuts, I would suggest that you use a mouse with left and right buttons as it works fine on a MAC and not a MAC mouse with one click, as I am sure it will frustrate you in the beginning.

    That?s all I can think off for now.. have fun on your vacation!

  50. Purg & Pepsi-Guy:
    Never thought there were Windows fans. You give me hope and encourage us all to keep believing.

    I think i'm getting sentimental here.

  51. Zaidoun, just got mine yesterday and I am REFUSING to sleep for 4 days while I continuously tinker with the blasted thing because it's so gorgeous!

    It's worth it. And your use profile looks very similar to mine, so a MacBook (or the black "DarthBook") should be more than enough.

    Goog luck!

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  53. Zaidon:
    Go for it. I've been using macs since 1992. The only problem is MS Office. They just don't want to implement Arabic in their suite. There are very good - and free - alternatives: Open Office, Neo Ofiice.
    Apple's iWork (79$) is good but it's not very compatible with arabic and there are some rumors about a Spreadsheet application soon from Apple to complete the Apple iWork Suite.
    If you - or anybody else - need any help about using a Mac, feel free to call me:
    luai at mac dot com

    BTW Mac users: Why don't we all set up a Mac user group in Kuwait?

  54. I always felt Mac is "taqleed" windows.. people who go for Mac are Photoshop nerds and graphic designers.. But for everything else go for Windows all the way.

    Everything out there is compatiable with Windows ..and not Mac. So you will face a few problems if you Mac it. And if you are looking for a sleek cool design all companies are working on the outter designs. If I were you I would get the newest vaio TRX. It's an art piece.

    What could you possibly like about a computer company its logo is a .. bitten apple!! :P

  55. I was about to buy one until I read more than 100 reviews and several forums that changed my mind ppl complaining from it .. heat issues, random shutdowns, weird sounds and the list goes on .. so my advice to you is wait for revisions b

  56. Converted to Mac years ago and never regretted it. Got a Macbook 13" black few months ago. And simply love it, would have loved a pro but went for the size. At the beginning you will get frustrated but things will ease up once you get a hang of it. Currently the only problem I have is viewing some websites that only support explorer, which is no longer available for Mac. Other than that it has been a fun ride.
    A word of advice, if you plan to use windows on a Mac do not bother getting one because its no use just get a pc instead, and that is only my opinion.


  57. Mr.Z, go for MAC and never look back, believe me you will not regret it. By the way I always read your blog but this is the first time I post a comment. Don't listen to pepsi-guy :-)

  58. Hi everyone!

    Just found the page! Get a Mac is my advice, you get a great computer with the best OS around.

    By the way, we're just starting a User Group in the Emirates. Check us out at

    Perhaps we can keep in touch to share experience and ideas.

  59. I think you should follow your brother's lead.

    Use MAC for music and photos.
    Use the Vaio for everything else.

  60. Yeah well my brother's Mac just sits there looking pretty

  61. Sorry, I am going off at a tangent here but maybe it's because it's the holiday season: people act funny on holidays.
    I don't know what you did this summer and I still don't know what you did last summer but trust me, I know what you will want to do next summer.
    Take a virtual tour of the Osho International Meditation Resort @(
    Osho Calling,

  62. نصيحه لله مالي اي مصلحه??? بداياتي من زمان كانت مع ابل??? لما كان في بداياته لمدة اشهر فقط وكانت حلوه هذا الكلام في نهايه الثيمانينات ???وتوحلت الي "ًوندوز وصدقني من يوم عرفت "ويندوز" ماعرفت لاراحه ولا امان ???مره شدوان من غير سبسب والفيروسات اشكال والوان ??الحين رجعت من سنه تقديبا ماك الجديد ??راحه وامان وابديت للجهاز واصل لعندك عن طريق النت ??اخوي اتوكل واخد ماك وخلك متميز??? بس لاتنسي شوف احد يطيك فكرة عنه من الوكالة ومافي احلي منه تبي تكون متميز الماك هو الحل والله يوفقك

  63. I WAS a Windows guy before, i was surprised with a 13" MacBook. Believe me, transition is EASY !
    All u need is transfer ur files, & u r ready 2 go !


  64. I have been using PC for over 20 years now. However, last week I have decided to move over to Mac. I have bought a Macbook Pro 13" from US. My company has currently given me a Sony Vaio Z26 with Windows& but I plan to use this Mac in the office as well. My work revolves around using the MS Office. Lets see how it goes.

    The reason I have spend over $2,000 (Macbook, Softwares, Accessories,etc) is because I spend around 8 hours every working day infront of my computer. This means that the time I spend with my computer is more than everything else combined (barring sleeping). People say Mac brings out your creative soul. Lets see :)

  65. I have been using PC for over 20 years now. However, last week I have decided to move over to Mac. I have bought a Macbook Pro 13" from US. My company has currently given me a Sony Vaio Z26 with Windows& but I plan to use this Mac in the office as well. My work revolves around using the MS Office. Lets see how it goes.

    The reason I have spend over $2,000 (Macbook, Softwares, Accessories,etc) is because I spend around 8 hours every working day infront of my computer. This means that the time I spend with my computer is more than everything else combined (barring sleeping). People say Mac brings out your creative soul. Lets see :)


Keep it clean, people!