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Apple MacBook Review: Part 2

Playing in the Apple Sandbox

Today’s Apple PCs work well with Windows PCs. Samba networking is built-in, allowing you to share files with Windows PCs. The aftermarket combo of MacFUSE and NTFS-3G also brings read and write access to NTFS drives (although there is no way to chkdsk an NTFS formatted drive in OS X).

One of the strengths of Linux and Windows over OS X is the wide variety of software that’s available. What makes the Apple sandbox so viable is that the internal set of software is robust enough to stand on its own. A lot has been said about the iLife suite, but one great example of Apple software is Time Machine.

Time Machine brings EMC/Dantz Retrospect-like functionality for single-user PCs. All you have to do is specify where you want your backups stored. With the current version of OS X, you can specify an external HFS+ formatted drive or an AFS shared store. If you’re using an AFS shared store, Time Machine will store the file in a single file (“sparsebundle”). If you’re using a local external drive, Time Machine will store the files individually.

For the initial backup, Time Machine makes a complete duplicate of your computer ignoring caches and temporary files. After the initial backup, Time Machine makes incremental backups updating only the changed files. Time Machine saves the hourly backups for a 24 hour period, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. This allows you to recover from a complete failure of your hard drive with, at worst, a one hour backup. More important, this protects users from user error. If I accidentally hit save instead of save as… and overwrite an important original file, it will be possible to skip back and restore a file from a specific point in time.

What’s nice about Time Machine is that it works well and encourages regular users to regularly backup their data. The integration into the operating system is seamless and it feels like a built-in-feature as opposed to “bundled 3rd party software.” In the current version of OS X, no compression is used. Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) will be adding HFS+ compression capabilities that will increase the number of files that can be stored. NTFS has had compression for ages.

  • pereira5375
    While I was wrighting the follwing on the Part 1 of this article Part 2 was posted. After reading part 2 I think what I wrote holds true. Here it is:

    I believe this is an advertisement. Whether the author knows that or not is debatable, but certainly the big whigs at Tom's HARDWARE know it.

    Apple seems to have a very good stealth advertising campaign. To expand their market they have developed a very good stealth campaign. They advertise on Rush and Fox both, but stealthily. They have to. Their very tolerant hippie base wouldn't tolerate otherwise.

    BTW this is Tom's HARDWARE. I build my own PC. If I want to read fan boy praises of Apple there are a million other sites I can go to and read that. Why am I reading it here? When I can build my own McIntosh I'll appreciate fan boy articles like this.
    Reply
  • pereira5375
    Whoops: writing.
    Reply
  • pereira5375
    Again I feel a need to point out I am a hardware enthusiast because I build my own computer. This is Tom's HARDWARE. There are three feature articles on the homepage. Usually there is a new one about each week day. Currently there are two Apple feature articles up there. Add one more and this site will officially be useless to me.
    Reply
  • Inneandar
    more or less the same sentiment here. The first article, although also heavily debated, at least tried to focus on the hardware and was informative to some extent. But this... I dont see any need to throw up endless fanboy discussions, and other than that, I fail to see anything this article will achieve. Frankly, who is interested in why os X is better because the hacked version runs the CPU slower - common.
    I extremely liked the part on 'MAC users are smarter' though. I one fell swoop you boost your ego, try to insult me, and put the amount of trustworthy information in this article on the same level as a london tabloid.
    Reply
  • BertrumPantyshield
    Myth 2 on page 2 seems completely stupid. Yes it only takes one hole for a system to be compromised, however, there are still 960 possible holes on one and 600 on the other. This reduces the chance of a hole being found, and thus, exploited. For example: a system has 1,000,000 holes the other has 1. Both are equally secure? Its far easier to find 1 hole in million, than the only hole in the system.
    Reply
  • bachok83
    @pereira5375
    OMG, you are right. I havent realized about this fact until i read your comment. Mac OS X accounts for less than 10% of users and yet 90% of the news these days are about Apple.

    I admit Apple has created so much technical advancements over the years, but they cant even display things right:
    http://www.scavey.com/index.php/should-i-migrate-to-mac-os-knowing-renderers/

    hmm.. so, let's all read about Windows 7 then.. i read it's working :)
    Reply
  • ravenware
    About 70% of Mac users have a college education whereas only 54% of Windows users have a college education according to a 2002 Nielsen study.

    A college education is only as useful as the person who obtains it.
    I work with several college educated people who don't appear to have enough intelligence or knowledge to be considered high school educated.

    Security wise, the computers operating system is only as secure as the person who uses it.

    My home machine had been uninfected for nearly 3 years, no crashes nothing. As soon as my sister starts using my machine on myspace BAM! Reformat city. :)

    Anyway, I would like to see a video review of the Mac OSX done by THG.
    There is just not enough information in this article or the one from Tuan Nguyen about the OS.

    If not I will have to hack one on to my machine, if it is even possible with an AMD CPU. I am not going to shell out an ass load of money for something that I may not even want.

    Hey apple there is an idea! You want more users to switch to your OS? Release some sort of PC capable demo OS for users to try.
    Reply
  • bachok83
    ravenwareHey apple there is an idea! You want more users to switch to your OS? Release some sort of PC capable demo OS for users to try.
    I dont think Apple cares as much as how many people are using their OS. Otherwise they wouldnt even care creating BootCamp software to run windows on Mac machines.

    The only major concern from Apple is how many people buying their hardware. Apple has been a hardware company and always has been. Little that they know that they could be a great software company.... wait...

    Nahh, they dont care about that either since they are moving pass that to a service oriented company. Does iTunes, MobileMe, Apps Store ring any bells, anyone?
    Reply
  • ravenware
    bachok83I dont think Apple cares as much as how many people are using their OS. Otherwise they wouldnt even care creating BootCamp software to run windows on Mac machines. The only major concern from Apple is how many people buying their hardware. Apple has been a hardware company and always has been. Little that they know that they could be a great software company.... wait...Nahh, they dont care about that either since they are moving pass that to a service oriented company. Does iTunes, MobileMe, Apps Store ring any bells, anyone?
    Hence the usage of the word "demo". Why would someone buy an apple computer if they didn't like their operating system?

    Release a demo on the PC to convince users to by their machine.
    Reply
  • justjc
    @Author Alan Dang: It's all good and well that you like you new toy, the Macbook, I had a simular feel when I got my ASUS notebook. Not that it was faster than my desktop, it just felt better because it was the new one. For me that feeling lasted more than two months, so perhaps it's the same thing that makes you say you'll by Apple again.

    That aside you mention the reason for switching to the Mac is that you'll be able to run Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office on it. Yet here at the software part, of your article, you fail to mention how that part of the switch went.
    It's no secret that there have been compatibility issues between PC and Mac versions of the same programs in the past, have you had any?
    How does it feel to work with the usual programs in their new enviroment?
    Do you still instinctively right click to get the right click menu, or do you use Ctrl + left key?
    A couple of benchmarks on those programs wouldn't be bad either.

    Thanks for the articles, hope to see one on the needed programs as well ;)
    Reply