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mac again
hoping not to bore you too much, it must seem to take forever, this...

I am determined to save up enough money (mind you I make about 450 Euro a month) to go to Hongkong and buy the

Macbook pro, 15" in may.
I would like to change the HD to a 7200rpm, and use 4GB ram.

Now, there are several questions concerning this purchase:

How many ram slots are there, do I have to replace the default sticks or can I add 2gigs?

What OS will it come with, or should I insist on having a particular one installed? leopard, tiger, I really don't know these things...

What is the default software on there, is there a browser e.g?
does a mac need a firewall, antivirus software? or are there just no viruses around?

open office says it works "Mac OS X (under X11)"... so should I not get x11???

What else do I have to pay attention to when I go to the shop?

(I will try to find someone in Hongkong to do some research for me in advance)

Thanks for any advice, I feel a little bit stupid, but also getting very excited Big Grin

I've only got a imac, so I'll be able to answer only some of your questions.. Big Grin

All new macs should come with Leopard. Mine came with Tiger pre-installed but also a Leopard upgrade CD in the box. I upgraded straight away, and it's well worth it for the new features.

Default software (ones I can think of)
- Safari browser
- Simple mail, calendar, address book app
- iChat (AIM compatibility)
- iLife (iphoto - photos, imovie - video, garageband - record music)
- Text editor (txt and rtf files)
- iTunes and Quicktime player
- Other utilities such as Time machine, built in firewall. I don't run a virus scanner as it really isn't a problem. Just surf smartly and you should be ok.

For other free software which you can add on, see here:
The most apparent gaps would probably be some image editing software and a office suite.
If you're interested in running OpenOffice, get NeoOffice instead (, which is based on OpenOffice but is more suited to the mac and doesn't require X11. X11 is free by the way.

If you're on a budget, have you tried looking at the refurbished section of the apple store online? They really have some great bargains sometimes, and they're practically brand new.

Have fun!
thanks Jules, great stuff!

Sorry not to give any advice here, but I don't know anything about all this.


I am happy you will have your new computer... Wink
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
You will have to replace both sticks as the RAM slots are only 2 and they both come filled with 1GB sticks in each slot. Don't buy the RAM from Apple - it is much cheaper elsewhere and a snap to install.

Mac OS X is the latest OS - the is no 11. It's current version is Leopard and that will be pre-installed on the computer. If you are going to get the HD upgraded to a 7200 version you might want to order in advance as they may not have that in stock.

Apple also have their own Office Suite that is compatable with the MS one. It is only about $100 Australian and there is a free trial that comes with your Mac so you can check it out.

Feel free to e-mail me any specific questions - I have about 6 Macs and am fairly familiar with the computer you want to buy as I also want to buy the same model soon.
Canon stuff.
Hi Uli, isn't buying a new computer fun? The good news is that Macs are quite simple and come with almost everything you'll need.

x11 is an environment to support linux-derived programs, and comes installed on Mac OS10.5 "Leopard". I haven't tried it on my computer -- too much like work -- and just spent the extra for the full version of iWork, which includes a word processor and page layout program. It can open .doc files, but can't re-save them in the same format. I don't know if Word can read the resulting files, but I have mixed expectations about it.

The only software I've added to my mac(s) are iWork, Lightroom, Photoshop, and "Spaceward Ho!". (a very addictive game.) With those additions, the computer does everything I want it to. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
Chris, Mat, thank you!

Yes, I am enjoying it, I really can't wait now.
Chris, I had been thinking to get both, the RAM and the HD somewhere else. I heard there is a hitachi (was it hitachi now...?) 7200rpm that works well in the macbook pro. I will ask if i can get one in Hongkong, if it is too much hassle, I will wait until I get back to Germany.

thanks for the hint on the office suite. I think I might look into the NeoOffice Jules mentioned.
Then I also wouldn't have to bother with the x11 or not x11 or whatever .... Tongue

I'll let you know how things go!

Hey Matthew, with iWork, it doesn't save in the original format by default (which is kinda annoying) but if you do a "save as..." it will let you choose what format you want, including MS office formats.

I tried iWork, and I really like it, but ended up going with Office 2008 as it's more familiar (and also little niggly things like above).
Uli - with the hard drive just be aware that changing them is not as easy as the RAM.
Canon stuff.
Hey I just came across a very useful checklist for securing leopard...
Pondering again.... I saw that there are 800Mh buzz memory modules instead of the standard 667mhz.

who thinks that makes a difference? Should I make an effort to get 800Mhz modules when I exchange them?

Hey Uli,

If you plug 800Mhz RAM into a macbook then it will probably (but not definately) work just fine... BUT... the RAM will slow down to run at 667Mhz (the speed of the motherboard), so there is no benefit doing this. It will not speed up your computer unless the computer is designed to handle 800Mhz RAM. Apple list 800Mhz RAM as unsupported apparently, and there may be compatibility issues.

The RAM can only run as fast as the motherboard can handle (and vice-versa), and the motherboard is rated to run memory at 667Mhz.

So unless you can get the 800Mhz RAM cheaper than the 667Mhz RAM and you think it's worth a bit of a risk, I'd stick with the 667Mhz for the same performance and a bit more peace of mind.
Adrian Broughton
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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
aaaaaah!!! thanks Adrian!! hadn't thought that far at all.

counting down, 6 more days and one exam to pass before I get it..... Big Grin

remains just one question,

how am I going to organise my workflow with a new computer?

Currently I can go shopping while downloading pics from cards, make lunch or coffee while it is saving a file,
shuttertalk while I flatten an image, go to the washroom while it opens another raw file.....

Big Grin
Maybe you won't have to go to the washroom as often. Big Grin
Best of luck with it.Smile
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.

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