[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

RE: choosing the right laptop for live looping ,real time DSP processing and running Video


With all due respect:

I use a MacBook (non-pro, 2GHz, 2G ram) running XP for all my work, but I
use Boot Camp, not Parallels. Boot Camp, not Parallels, would be the
recommended configuration for anyone wishing to do music production under 
on a Mac, and I believe that the computer would be very well-suited for 
mode of use. (that said, what I actually do is to boot into OSX for all my
music, and keep all my work on the - sorry, PC fan-people - far less stable
PC side). I understand the hassles about using Parallels in a corporate
environment, with dual logins, but that's probably an unusual situation for
people's music computers.

I'd love to use Parallels (or the new VMWare Fusion) on the Mac for my
Windows development work, but I need to develop under VMware Workstation
because of the essential snapshot feature, and that only works under Boot
Camp. When VMware release Workstation for OSX, I'll be one of the first

Running XP with Boot Camp is almost exactly like running XP on any computer
built for XP (I've used quite a few of those). XP isn't running under an
emulator in this configuration; instead, the computer just boots natively
into the XP partition. The *only* difference that I've found so far, after 
months of intensive use, is that XP backup software can't back up the whole
disk partition as it can do on a non-partitioned disk - instead I have to
run an "all files" backup, which is not quite as good.

As far as cost goes: this is probably no longer true, but when I priced out
Acer and Dell laptops vs. MacBooks back in January, I was surprised to see
that the prices were quite comparable for comparable configurations. And,
when you get a MacBook, you get a computer (at least on the OSX side) where
all the hardware and software is integrated from the ground up, and there
are no nasty surprises with the way the Firewire or USB functions, as there
were on my last Dell Inspiron, making the "multimedia computer" completely
unsuitable for multitrack recording (for which I will never forgive Dell),
nor the overheating and spontaneous system shutdown that the piece-of-shit
Dell was subject to when you filled the memory out to capacity.

And with the Macbook, you get various bonuses that are just part of the way
Apple engineers hardware. I've dropped it onto asphalt from 3 feet with 
a scratch. The power cord easily just pulls out from the computer if you
trip over it (OK, so I'm a klutz). You can use two fingers on the trackpad
to scroll any window - in either OSX or XP - instead using the scroll bars
onscreen. It also goes into Standby and Hibernate well, something that is
frequently a problem with Windows computers.

I am *so* glad I got this computer - I can do my work, and my music system
is insulated from the vagaries of Windows, which (sorry again, Windows
fan-people) seems to trash my audio setup and various other things at 
intervals for no discernable reason. Plus, if you get a new Windows 
today, you're likely to be stuck with Vista, which, like every new 
OS, seems designed to soak up more and more CPU power with features I don't
give a crap about. Plus, the MacBook is really light and doesn't seem to
need it's fan very much, so it's pretty quiet.

BTW, I've been making my living from programming under Windows since 
3.1 in 1993, but that doesn't mean I don't notice its flaws (au contraire, 
am subjected to them constantly). I don't think the Mac OS is inherently
superior in features or even UI, and most of the newer features in either 
strike me as marketing fluff that only serves to waste computer power and
drive corporate profits. The early hype that Macs don't crash was nonsense
(though it's more true now), and most of the stuff in those Mac-vs-PC
commercials is distortion, if not outright lies. Nonetheless, I find Macs
(on the OSX side) to be significantly superior and more stable for music,
presumably because of the tight control of the hw platform by Apple and the
less-frequent OS security updates. Didn't Jobs recently quote Alan Kay as
saying "if you want to make great sw, you have to control the hw," or
something like that?

Sorry, I usually hate PC-vs-Mac flame stuff, but I had to cast my vote in
this discussion in support of MacBooks. Mine is the best Windows computer
I've ever had.


-----Original Message-----
From: Qua Veda [mailto:qua@oregon.com] 
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 10:13 AM
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Subject: RE: choosing the right laptop for live looping , real time DSP
processing and running Video

Hi Rick, et al

At work, the corp issued laptop is a Thinkpad (Lenovo, PC, WindowsXP).  As
Kris said, these are excellent computers. I recently participated in a
MacBookPro pilot, where I was issued a MacBookPro with WindowsXP running in
Parallels.  With think configuration, I had to boot each OS, logon to the
network twice, shut down both OS's  -  this was a pain.  Also Windows ,
running in Parallels on the Mac OS , does not allow Windows to take
advantage of all the MacBookPro ram or video ram.     At least twice in 5
weeks, Parallel's crashed - simply disappeared without any notice or
messages - resulting in lost work.      This week, I turned in the
MacBookPro to get my old Thinkpad back.    Based on my experience, I would
NOT recommend running Windows XP in Parallels on the MacBookPro.

The Mac has about 3% market share of the laptops, so that's partly why they
cost more.  But they are beautiful, and I especially liked the display and
the keybd backlighting and  the keypads which are large and easy to type 

For the price of the MacBookPro, there are companies that will custom
configure a PC laptop,  optimized for audio applications,  with multiple
SATA hard drives (separating programs and audio files on different drives
can speed performance),  and excellent support.    The PC laptops are more
likely to get the latest/greatest processors before the Macs.   If I was
buying a laptop for music/video today, I'd have to give these WindowsXP
laptops serious consideration.