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How is OS X/macOS, vs Windows 7/10, in general/MacBooks vs PC these days? Considering a MacBook.

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dragontology    442

So, wife gave me permission to get a laptop for my birthday, and I'm looking at MacBooks. Sorry if the title was a little bait-y... I've always been a Windows guy, but I'm not a hater. I'm a gamer, so my desktop is Windows... far as I know, you can't play the new Fallout or Elder Scrolls games on a Mac. Though a lot of games are going over, Windows is the place to be for gaming. Is what it is. But I figure... do I want a gaming laptop? Because those exist. I could get a Windows laptop that could play those games. That is absolutely an option, especially given what Mac laptops cost. But, a big part of me says nah, I just want it for web, media, and writing (novels) on. Also, I could Google it and read, I'm sure there are some very good professional articles on "switching," but I'm looking for more of a... casual conversation about it. But maybe not so casual (and judgemental) as Reddit or the like.

 

I kinda got the Apple bug because I switched to iPhone after six years of using Android phones. And one thing I like is that you have the company making the hardware, also making the software. So you don't have, like, in 2012 we had this big clusterfrak with Motorola, Google had just bought them, and they weren't updating their phones, first it was because Google laid off their update team, then they said nVidia wouldn't give them newer drivers for the Tegra chipset they used... it was a ——show. So maybe I might be willing to admit that Android is the more mature OS, that it's a bit easier to use and whatnot, but crap like that I'd like to avoid. Plus, I get a computer, well I generally build them, but the last one I bought, I wiped it, reinstalled Windows. Didn't even bother trying to uninstall all the crap that came with it. And I don't believe Apple does that on their computers. I know they don't do it on their phones. So that's two big points for them.

 

I've never used OS X, except playing with it in the stores. So the bar's at the top and instead of a Start menu and Quick launch you have the dock. That's cool. I've actually used the copycat docks on Windows, back when that was a thing, I don't know, I guess about ten years ago. One was particularly egregious as Apple said it was just like theirs. I forget the name, but that's the one I used. So I can dig that.

 

I guess what I'm looking to ask is, for anyone who's used both or switched from Windows to OS X/macOS (is it macOS yet, or is that 'coming soon'?), what am I gonna miss? What's gonna take some getting used to? And what you like better is fine, but I think that's subjective to the individual. I'm thinking if Pages (Apple's word processor) syncs good with the iOS one, I might do a lot of writing in that. Not looking for hardware recommendations; even if they aren't out by my birthday in September, I'm waiting on the hardware refresh... don't want a 1-3 year old computer, I want a model that's just two years old in two years when hopefully it's still going strong... not a computer from 2013-2015. And I know I want USB 3.0 and HDMI out, and I know they all come with Wi-Fi, but do they have any that take a SIM card? If I want mobile use, is there a better way than just enabling the iPhone's hotspot? Yeah, that might be getting hardware specific, just kinda curious about that in general. Or, I know Verizon at least used to have personal hotspot devices... Mi-Fi or something. Also heard the name Jetpack, but that might be T-Mobile.

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+John.    1,396

You have absolutely no idea what you've just done, posting a topic like this to Neowin ;)

 

Grab some popcorn because you're in for a treat! 

 

 

Seriously though, I switched a while ago. You'll have a week of not knowing where anything is, but it comes naturally now. The trackpad on a MacBook is better and more intuitive than anything else I've ever used, and if you get the shortcuts right it's a massive boost to productivity. 

 

If you game a lot then check your games are compatible with macOS, else you'll miss that. However with Steam I think I've got about 120 games, and 100 of them work on the Mac, so it's nowhere near as sparse as it was before. 

 

Pages works seamlessly with the iPhone counterpart via iCloud. You can pick up where you left off no problem.

 

They don't come with SIM cards, but it's very easy to tether to your iPhone, literally 2 clicks.

 

Overall, there's less you need to do to keep a macOS system maintained compared to a Windows setup.

 

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game_over    802

If you want to play games you might want to stay clear. You can install bootcamp but it'll never be powerful enough [GPU] to satisfy you, i'd imagine. I use my mac for gaming and it's a capable machine (the high end retina - very expensive).

 

Other than that, macs are the way to go in my opinion, especially if you like the idea of Apple's eco-system.. the integration between phone-table-mac-[and soon the watch] is amazing and can't be matched.. you can get similar functionality on other platforms, but not on this level, and it's only going to get better... macOS is just a nicer operating system, I use both (W10 for gaming and HTPC), and it's just my opinion, but it's far more enjoyable, much cleaner, Windows 8.1+ is still frustrating with the different control panel, loads of bloated software, metro still doesn't feel a part of the OS...

 

You could always go to the Apple store to try them out, but if you're a gamer I don't really see the point in switching at all. You could get an amazing gaming PC for the price of an awesome mac.

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IanHead    69

I bought a Mac Pro early this year for music production with the intention of keeping my Windows gaming rig around as an HTPC and high-powered Steam console, but after about six months my gaming rig ended up being my EVERYTHING rig again and my Mac Pro is now regulated to purely the occasional bit of Netflix in my bedroom (yes, I have a $4,000 Netflix machine). Also I discovered that OS X is not good for scaling on TV screens, so my Mac Pro runs Windows too.

 

That said, my overall impression is that OS X and Windows are both extremely good these days and work very well for most things, but have different priorities.

 

After having used all the mainstream OS choices for several years each at a time on and off, I honestly still keep coming back to Windows as the great all-rounder for entertainment and production. All the good Mac software I use, like Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Photoshop, After Effects, etc, is also available on PC, and switching to OS X for any desktop gaming cut the number of games available in my Steam library down by three quarters. If you care about gaming, Windows is still the only serious choice you have, despite the gains OS X and Linux have both been making in that area. My experience with the OS X software ecosystem is that generally developers of software on that platform inherit the philosophies of their OS environments - in music players for instance, the best I could find was Swinsian, which cost me $10 to buy, looked fantastic and worked pretty well but not oh-my-god-this-is-amazing. On Windows, I use Foobar2000 which (stock) looks awful, but it's free and works way better. Office 2016 on OS X is also better than it's ever been and is presented well, but doesn't work as well as it does at home on Windows where it's uglier but works better. In gaming, while more games are coming with Mac support than in the past, any game made in the past 5 years or so will likely run like crap on a Mac because the graphics hardware in almost all of them is bare-minimum, business-class stuff.

 

Mac hardware is built well too and looks good on your desk, but if you care about power, you will not get good value for money. The Mac Pro I have by itself cost more than my home-built PC and all its peripherals combined, and its performance on the whole is worse.

 

All the above said, I'm not invested the iOS ecosystem at all, so it may be that a large chunk of the appeal of the Mac platform simply passed me by.

Edited by IanHead

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zhangm    1,358

Having used both (forced to, by one of my previous jobs), regardless of which platform you pick, you will experience moments where you think to yourself: "Are you kidding me? This must have been designed by a vegetable."

 

I think Apple hardware is, in nearly all cases, great, so you'll be set no matter what you buy. I think you are able to choose great hardware - maybe even the latest-er, and bestest-er - outside what Apple provides, but beware that picking wonderful hardware is much more so on your own judgement.

 

If your software is primarily geared towards consumption (browsers, simple app games, chatting/messaging, etc), then you'll be absolutely fine on both. If there are software packages that are productivity based, then I'd advise that familiarity with a software package is worth at least 500$ (on top of licenses) either way (OSX to Windows and Windows to OSX). You're burning your own time while re-learning how to do something by pushing slightly different buttons.

 

I admit I haven't kept track of Mac Office in the last three years or so, but IMO if you use it heavily, keep it. No matter what side you're on, the cloud storage deal (with an Office sub) is quite good, even if the Onedrive team have made some vegetation-worthy decisions lately.

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Mockingbird    2,937

Haha!

 

Apple sells $2499 MacBook Pros with Haswell Processors.

 

Didn't anyone tell Apple that it isn't 2013 anymore? :laugh:

Edited by illegaloperation

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DevTech    1,518
20 minutes ago, illegaloperation said:

Haha!

 

Apple sells $2499 MacBook Pros with Haswell Processors.

 

Didn't anyone tell Apple that it isn't 2013 anymore? :laugh:

"even if they aren't out by my birthday in September, I'm waiting on the hardware refresh... don't want a 1-3 year old computer, I want a model that's just two years old in two years when hopefully it's still going strong... not a computer from 2013-2015."

 

Easy to miss. Very rambly OP.

 

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Circaflex    3,581
28 minutes ago, illegaloperation said:

Haha!

 

Apple sells $2499 MacBook Pros with Haswell Processors.

 

Didn't anyone tell Apple that it isn't 2013 anymore? :laugh:

While, I agree the price is somewhat absurd, no problem running a Haswell processor. Most wouldn't notice the difference between the two and Skylake has not been flawless and there have been countless issues OEMs have been fighting with Skylake.

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DevTech    1,518
16 hours ago, dragontology said:

So, wife gave me permission to get a laptop for my birthday, and I'm looking at MacBooks. Sorry if the title was a little bait-y... I've always been a Windows guy, but I'm not a hater. I'm a gamer, so my desktop is Windows... far as I know, you can't play the new Fallout or Elder Scrolls games on a Mac. Though a lot of games are going over, Windows is the place to be for gaming. Is what it is. But I figure... do I want a gaming laptop? Because those exist. I could get a Windows laptop that could play those games. That is absolutely an option, especially given what Mac laptops cost. But, a big part of me says nah, I just want it for web, media, and writing (novels) on. Also, I could Google it and read, I'm sure there are some very good professional articles on "switching," but I'm looking for more of a... casual conversation about it. But maybe not so casual (and judgemental) as Reddit or the like.

 

I kinda got the Apple bug because I switched to iPhone after six years of using Android phones. And one thing I like is that you have the company making the hardware, also making the software. So you don't have, like, in 2012 we had this big clusterfrak with Motorola, Google had just bought them, and they weren't updating their phones, first it was because Google laid off their update team, then they said nVidia wouldn't give them newer drivers for the Tegra chipset they used... it was a ——show. So maybe I might be willing to admit that Android is the more mature OS, that it's a bit easier to use and whatnot, but crap like that I'd like to avoid. Plus, I get a computer, well I generally build them, but the last one I bought, I wiped it, reinstalled Windows. Didn't even bother trying to uninstall all the crap that came with it. And I don't believe Apple does that on their computers. I know they don't do it on their phones. So that's two big points for them.

 

I've never used OS X, except playing with it in the stores. So the bar's at the top and instead of a Start menu and Quick launch you have the dock. That's cool. I've actually used the copycat docks on Windows, back when that was a thing, I don't know, I guess about ten years ago. One was particularly egregious as Apple said it was just like theirs. I forget the name, but that's the one I used. So I can dig that.

 

I guess what I'm looking to ask is, for anyone who's used both or switched from Windows to OS X/macOS (is it macOS yet, or is that 'coming soon'?), what am I gonna miss? What's gonna take some getting used to? And what you like better is fine, but I think that's subjective to the individual. I'm thinking if Pages (Apple's word processor) syncs good with the iOS one, I might do a lot of writing in that. Not looking for hardware recommendations; even if they aren't out by my birthday in September, I'm waiting on the hardware refresh... don't want a 1-3 year old computer, I want a model that's just two years old in two years when hopefully it's still going strong... not a computer from 2013-2015. And I know I want USB 3.0 and HDMI out, and I know they all come with Wi-Fi, but do they have any that take a SIM card? If I want mobile use, is there a better way than just enabling the iPhone's hotspot? Yeah, that might be getting hardware specific, just kinda curious about that in general. Or, I know Verizon at least used to have personal hotspot devices... Mi-Fi or something. Also heard the name Jetpack, but that might be T-Mobile.

You want to try new hardware for the fun of it. Not much can really be said.

 

Some minor points:

 

1. You want to try something new for no particular reason and you survived switching from Android to iPhone so why not an Apple laptop... People will of course render opinions but since the main thrust of this request is buried in subjectivity, hard to see what anyone would say that would be of any help. Until the actual refresh, it is just a big unknown anyways.

 

2. You are a gamer. Whenever they make the new refresh, given their recent trends, expect thinner, smaller, same or better battery life which means something has to give. This will end up frustrating you most likely.

 

3. In terms of hardware quality, you will almost always be able to find a better built PC at a better price point but it does take some effort since the bell curve and huge selection of PC's mean that most of them will be sub-par compared to the small lineup of Apple laptops. This effect impacts retail walk-in customers to a huge degree and leads to the perception that all PC's are lower quality than Apple but anyone at Neowin would know otherwise.

 

My thread here has a list of quality PC units:

The Dell XPS 15" 9550 shares a lot of similarities with the MacBook Pro and by the time of the Apple refresh, will most likely be on it's next revision. Hard to see how Apple will keep up really. I suspect they plan to dig into their Ecosystem and leverage IOS in some way which would be a smart move since their phone sales are hitting a wall. But either way, it will be quite interesting to see what they will reveal since it has been a very long time...

 

4. Microsoft sells some of the better hardware available from the major manufacturers and all their laptops are "Signature Edition" that are free of crapware.

 

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Mockingbird    2,937
58 minutes ago, Circaflex said:

While, I agree the price is somewhat absurd, no problem running a Haswell processor. Most wouldn't notice the difference between the two and Skylake has not been flawless and there have been countless issues OEMs have been fighting with Skylake.

^This.

 

For $2499, you would also think that it comes with 4K Ultra HD display and 1TB PCIe SSD, but no.

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dragontology    442

Well, I looked at some prices... I didn't realize the Macs were that much more. So I started looking at Windows 10 laptops and... I don't know. Amazon showed me a Dell 15.6" model for just under $800 that someone said they played Fallout 4 on at 40FPS. But no model name (e.g. Inspiron, XPS, Alienware). Just a Dell. On Dell's site, they have a ton of Inspiron and XPS 15 laptops, many with the same model number (e.g. 7000) and the same specs (e.g. i7, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Home, 256GB SSD) but varying in price by hundreds of dollars. Can't figure out the differences. It's a mess. And doesn't help that they offer a free 32" TV with some laptops, but never the base models, only the ones that are $200-300 more. So that seems to be one difference, the TV included. Maybe. And then there's the Alienware line.

 

So I guess I got to decide if I want to play games on it or not. The original idea was NO, since I have my desktop PC for that. But now it's kind of tempting. At the same time, a gaming laptop comes with a price premium and not so good battery life. Plus, most of them are ugly and have red or yellow highlights I don't want. (I want it black or grey or possibly silver, but as dark as possible and no colors. If any colors, I'd want earth tones, like green or blue... not hot colors like red and yellow.)

 

Was mainly looking at Apple, not only because I have an iPhone now, but because I like the idea of the company making the hardware, also making the software. That fits Surface Book as well, but those are pretty expensive compared with the Dells.

 

Well, I got two months to think about it. Thanks for the replies. Maybe I should be asking about the Windows laptops as well?

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TDT    289

I've always been a Windows user, yet I "played" with OSX for quite a while, on pc's and on real Macs. The only reason I would choose a Mac over a Windows pc/laptop would be for Logic Pro. So if you're into music making, go for a Mac. Or if the design is of great importance to you - Apple's hardware is beautiful, I'll give them that. But other than this I wouldn't choose an Apple product, the OS is so damn weird for me, with those window controls on the other side and other annoying things... There's also the gaming aspect, where Windows clearly wins. So it all depends on what you want out of your laptop.

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dragontology    442

The design... the only thing I really care about is how sturdy the keyboard is. Basically you can't replace the keyboard on a laptop, you can just get external ones... or at least that's my understanding. I mean it's the top of the laptop's chassis, maybe they can at the factory but it doesn't seem like a simple fix. So I want a good keyboard. Number one purpose is going to be for writing. That's the main justification for the laptop. I want to write my novel on it. Well, novels, plural. I have two mostly outlined. I could do it on my desktop, but I'm not always at my desktop. I could do it on my iPhone, but there really isn't a soft keyboard suitable. Android's Google Keyboard is the best for my style, but the Gboard on iOS is not the same and nowhere near as capable. A Bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone could work, but as far as I can tell, the iPhone doesn't support them, or at least the one I have. (Maybe it has to be made by Apple? Mine is made by Motorola.) But writing on a 4.7" screen would be a huge challenge.

 

I probably shouldn't have mentioned that I'm a gamer. I am, but it's not relevant to the laptop. In fact, I decided earlier that if a gaming laptop is more than $400 more than a regular laptop, I might as well just get a PS4. I wouldn't game on the laptop at work, it would just be for travel. And if I'm going to game on a laptop in a hotel room or something, a PS4 would be better suited for that. Or Xbox One, since they have the S model coming out next month, meaning it's smaller, and a little cheaper, I think. I prefer PlayStation, but I'm platform agnostic. I don't hate either of them, same with desktop operating systems, same with smartphones. It's just a more chill way to be. I'll use whatever. Like OS X — yeah, the window controls are on the 'wrong' side, but it's something I could get used to. (In fact, my first computer was an Amiga 1000, and it had the close window box/dot in the upper left, so I've already gotten used to a reversal once.)

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ViperAFK    797
On 7/21/2016 at 4:53 AM, John. said:

The trackpad on a MacBook is better and more intuitive than anything else I've ever used, and if you get the shortcuts right it's a massive boost to productivity. 

 

This is literally the only reason I have a macbook. Macbook trackpads (and osx's trackpad drivers/integration) beats the crap out of anything else. It's really difficult using any other laptop afterwards.

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Pam14160    319

Writing a novel on an iphone. . . :rofl:

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DevTech    1,518
20 hours ago, dragontology said:

Well, I looked at some prices... I didn't realize the Macs were that much more. So I started looking at Windows 10 laptops and... I don't know. Amazon showed me a Dell 15.6" model for just under $800 that someone said they played Fallout 4 on at 40FPS. But no model name (e.g. Inspiron, XPS, Alienware). Just a Dell. On Dell's site, they have a ton of Inspiron and XPS 15 laptops, many with the same model number (e.g. 7000) and the same specs (e.g. i7, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Home, 256GB SSD) but varying in price by hundreds of dollars. Can't figure out the differences. It's a mess. And doesn't help that they offer a free 32" TV with some laptops, but never the base models, only the ones that are $200-300 more. So that seems to be one difference, the TV included. Maybe. And then there's the Alienware line.

 

So I guess I got to decide if I want to play games on it or not. The original idea was NO, since I have my desktop PC for that. But now it's kind of tempting. At the same time, a gaming laptop comes with a price premium and not so good battery life. Plus, most of them are ugly and have red or yellow highlights I don't want. (I want it black or grey or possibly silver, but as dark as possible and no colors. If any colors, I'd want earth tones, like green or blue... not hot colors like red and yellow.)

 

Was mainly looking at Apple, not only because I have an iPhone now, but because I like the idea of the company making the hardware, also making the software. That fits Surface Book as well, but those are pretty expensive compared with the Dells.

 

Well, I got two months to think about it. Thanks for the replies. Maybe I should be asking about the Windows laptops as well?

When you are ready to buy something, post in the hardware forum and people will help to sort out the confusing details for you, much of the confusion is intentional I think by the manufacturers to steer you towards higher profit options and the cheaper high volume components are usually the highest profit items so it is actually relatively hard to get a high quality expensive PC.

 

Also, check the post in my thread where I summarize the top models.

 

Macs are more expensive but NOT very much more. When you do a detailed comparison component by component, a Macbook Pro at $2500 will be maybe $200 more than an equivalent PC.  There is a false polarization that is intentional by both Apple and the PC manufacturers which does no service or respect to the customer.

 

Also keep in mind that Apple is leading the trend to non-upgrade-able laptops so if there is anything at all that you might conceivably need over the lifetime of owning the unit you need to include it in the original purchase. Battery is glued in place. CPU is soldered in. RAM is soldered in. Video chip (if even available) is soldered in. This is a real problem and really in the case of RAM seems very artificial. If you look at the used market for Macs there are a ton of 4 gig and 8 gig models for sale, but not 16 gig.  Most PC manufacturers are starting to copy this ugly trend with the Surface Book also having soldered in RAM.

 

Dell has been a decent holdout and the XPS 9550 is a beautiful design that still has the engineering smarts to upgrade the RAM and the SSD drive. But the new Alienwares that used to be upgrade heaven, now have soldered in CPU and also a hard to swallow soldered in GPU chip.

 

-----------------------------

 

So if writing the next Great American Novel is your thing, (and it is a worthy goal hubris be dammed) you might want to consider configurations that encourage you to "write anywhere" assuming you have the ability to switch your brain into writing mode at an instant's notice. Tablets with keyboards come to mind. Surface Pro 4, Apple iPad Pro and major testing time with those keyboards is vital. Same testing laptop keyboards. Personally the Mac keyboard is crap for me, of all the laptops I tested the Acer Nitro had the most fantastic keyboard that was a fluid extension of my fingertips. The new Alienwares are a disappointment in the keyboard area (but great in every other respect including battery life)

 

For writing, the screen quality is important and the Dell XPS 15 9550 probably has the  best screen in existence. In general the new QHD/Retina type screens provide excellent readability and should be a required item on your spec list but keep in mind that gaming at that glorious resolution requires a much beefier GPU. There is no Apple ever made or is likely to be made that can game at QHD/Retina/4K.  Although games may not be considered essential, Apple has essentially abandoned their mainstay Graphics Design-Video Editing customers by removing real GPUs to save weight and battery.

 

-------------------------------

 

 

Also if you consider gaming or any other real world demanding usage, pay close attention to the Power Brick that comes with the laptop. There is yet another stupid trend to supply smaller power bricks and that really strains the laptop battery. Again, Apple is the Slime Leader in this area. It depends on the laptop not actually being used for much so that the battery can supply the current for peak power demands and then recharge in the gaps. This hugely increases the number of charge/discharge cycles to shorten the battery life which in turn qualifies the entire laptop as a garbage can item although sometimes the non-replaceable battery can be replaced by a repair shop.

 

 

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dragontology    442

DevTech, I meant to tell you before, but your embedded post thing doesn't work. All it ever does is spins. I can't tag people here, either. I don't know if Chrome has specific issues with Neowin or it's something in my security setup (which is somewhat strict, I'm kind of malware-paranoid). Can you just use a regular link to this thread?

 

I've almost certainly decided on a Windows laptop, so now I feel I've done this subforum a disservice... some might say a bait and switch or a sort of strawman, like I'm considering a Mac unit but swayed myself to PC. But mainly what happened is, I discovered that some laptops have number pads. I had no idea. I use extended symbols a lot, such as the em dash — this little guy — which is made with ALT+0151. For some reason, you can't use the number row, only the number pad. While I could configure MS Word or similar to convert double dashes to en dashes, which are shorter than em dashes but longer than hyphens, and triple dashes to em dashes, it would be tedious, and I really make a lot of use, system wide, out of those symbols. For example some in the Skyrim community have accepted § as the "$" (or £ if you're British) of the land, so instead of saying "500 gold," some of us say "§500." S for Septim, the emperor bloodline, and it kinda looks like a dragon, and the Septims were dragon-born, so it kind of works. Also love making the degrees symbol — "it's 95°F in the shade at 2 in the morning here!" for example. And there's probably a better way to make these symbols on laptops without number pads, and I know you can get external ones... but I'd kind of rather have it on the thing.

 

So I wonder if I might get this closed, make a new topic in the Windows forum, and link to that in this one... Guess I'd have to make the other topic first, since we don't have an edit feature, or at least that I've seen.

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DevTech    1,518
12 hours ago, dragontology said:

DevTech, I meant to tell you before, but your embedded post thing doesn't work. All it ever does is spins. I can't tag people here, either. I don't know if Chrome has specific issues with Neowin or it's something in my security setup (which is somewhat strict, I'm kind of malware-paranoid). Can you just use a regular link to this thread?.

 

I've almost certainly decided on a Windows laptop, so now I feel I've done this subforum a disservice... some might say a bait and switch or a sort of strawman, like I'm considering a Mac unit but swayed myself to PC. But mainly what happened is, I discovered that some laptops have number pads. I had no idea. I use extended symbols a lot, such as the em dash — this little guy — which is made with ALT+0151. For some reason, you can't use the number row, only the number pad. While I could configure MS Word or similar to convert double dashes to en dashes, which are shorter than em dashes but longer than hyphens, and triple dashes to em dashes, it would be tedious, and I really make a lot of use, system wide, out of those symbols. For example some in the Skyrim community have accepted § as the "$" (or £ if you're British) of the land, so instead of saying "500 gold," some of us say "§500." S for Septim, the emperor bloodline, and it kinda looks like a dragon, and the Septims were dragon-born, so it kind of works. Also love making the degrees symbol — "it's 95°F in the shade at 2 in the morning here!" for example. And there's probably a better way to make these symbols on laptops without number pads, and I know you can get external ones... but I'd kind of rather have it on the thing.

 

So I wonder if I might get this closed, make a new topic in the Windows forum, and link to that in this one... Guess I'd have to make the other topic first, since we don't have an edit feature, or at least that I've seen.

You are being too formal. Just ignore this thread and it will live or die on its own. Start another thread in the hardware forum.

 

Link:

 

http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1295020-some-ideas-for-best-laptop-for-development-and-graphics/

 

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DevTech    1,518
13 hours ago, dragontology said:

DevTech, I meant to tell you before, but your embedded post thing doesn't work. All it ever does is spins. I can't tag people here, either. I don't know if Chrome has specific issues with Neowin or it's something in my security setup (which is somewhat strict, I'm kind of malware-paranoid). Can you just use a regular link to this thread?

 

I've almost certainly decided on a Windows laptop, so now I feel I've done this subforum a disservice... some might say a bait and switch or a sort of strawman, like I'm considering a Mac unit but swayed myself to PC. But mainly what happened is, I discovered that some laptops have number pads. I had no idea. I use extended symbols a lot, such as the em dash — this little guy — which is made with ALT+0151. For some reason, you can't use the number row, only the number pad. While I could configure MS Word or similar to convert double dashes to en dashes, which are shorter than em dashes but longer than hyphens, and triple dashes to em dashes, it would be tedious, and I really make a lot of use, system wide, out of those symbols. For example some in the Skyrim community have accepted § as the "$" (or £ if you're British) of the land, so instead of saying "500 gold," some of us say "§500." S for Septim, the emperor bloodline, and it kinda looks like a dragon, and the Septims were dragon-born, so it kind of works. Also love making the degrees symbol — "it's 95°F in the shade at 2 in the morning here!" for example. And there's probably a better way to make these symbols on laptops without number pads, and I know you can get external ones... but I'd kind of rather have it on the thing.

 

So I wonder if I might get this closed, make a new topic in the Windows forum, and link to that in this one... Guess I'd have to make the other topic first, since we don't have an edit feature, or at least that I've seen.

Your character insertion thing is an interesting issue and perhaps worth posting as a new thread in software support.

 

There are a large variety of Hot Key utilities and Key Mappers which should work but finding the most optimal one sounds worthy.

 

I just found out that every Windows since XP has a right-click in text boxes for "Insert Unicode Control Character" which seems completely useless but the strange thing is that my eyeballs never noticed it before!

 

Windows Character Map in Control Panel would work, but mapping to an actual keystroke seems indicated to not disturb workflow.

 

For Mac, I found this:

 

https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201586

 

 

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