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Accordance on Mac Mini, iMac and Macbook Air


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#1 luoar

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:54 PM

I have run Accordance for the last two years on a 27 inch iMac which I sold just the other day because I could no longer stand the big bulky behemoth on my desktop any longer. I am looking to get a new Mac mostly to run Accordance. I would like to know what other users recommend. Should I get a Mac Mini, iMac (21.5) or Macbook Air? As I said, the main purpose will be to run Accordance. 



#2 Mark Nigro

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:22 AM

Personally, I would go with the Air. I can't imagine having my primary study tool like Accordance, tied to a desktop. For me portability is essential, and the Air can't be beat in that arena. In addition, you have the best of both worlds because you can (and I recommend it) run it through an external monitor while at home. A desktop experience with large viewing area, plus the Air's own screen. This is what I have done for the last three years with my MBP (next machine will be an Air) and my productivity has increased exponentially as a result. I can have, for example, Accordance on my monitor and my word processor on the laptop screen beside it. Simultaneous viewing of both screens eliminates the need to switch between applications. Once you work like this, you'll have a hard time going back to a single-screen work environment.


Edited by Mark Nigro , 01 June 2013 - 02:16 AM.


#3 Andrew Mercer

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:55 AM

I'm a bit biased as I have a late 2011 11inch 1.6GHz i5 MBA with 4GB of RAM. It is still amazingly fast for searches, but I would agree with Mark that having some external monitor is necessary (with an 11 inch MBA at least). In saying that, if you have a couple of zones it's still functional to see and use, but for sermon prep I prefer to have it hooked up to an external monitor, in my case a 23 inch cinema display. For portability I love the air and I don't think I would ever have a MBP again with the Air as a great alternative.


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#4 Julie Falling

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 07:42 AM

I currently have a 15" MBP (late 2008) as my main machine and a Mac mini as a back-up and to do things by itself when I'm not home.  I am planning on replacing the 15" with a 13" MBP Retina with the next upgrade.  I, too, love connecting my laptop to an external monitor (24" Acer), and often use both screens.  Without an external monitor, I would not consider reducing the size of my laptop.  I agree with Mark and Andrew — portability is essential.  But since I run more than Accordance on my machine, and because my eyes are old, I do not want to go smaller than 13" with the laptop, I want the Retina display, and I want more power than an Air offers.

 

I would also recommend this stand for your laptop (http://www.raindesig...d_features.html) — it gets the screen up higher for better viewing when running open.  When running closed, it helps keep your laptop cool.  My external drive for TimeMachine rests on the base of the stand.  You can buy it from Amazon in the US.  I use an Apple bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad when connected to the monitor.  I love the arrangement.

 

P.S.  When buying from Amazon, remember to start at http://csntm.org so that you can support their work.


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#5 Alex H.

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

My iMac will need replacing soon and I plan to get a laptop. Just hold off for a couple of weeks. WWDC is June 10th and there could be some announcements about better processors, especially much better battery life.


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#6 Joe Laing

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 10:15 AM

At home I have mac mini (2011 and upgraded to 8gb) with an Acer monitor...and at the church office I have an older MacBook (2009 which I upgraded to 4gb).  I use Accordance on both, but wanted more screen space at the church office.  Before deciding, you may want to take a look at what Accordance looks like on a smaller MacBook Air screen.

 

However, you can always purchase a video adapter and run Accordance on a separate monitor (which I recently have done...run as extended desktop).  If you went this route, then you would have the portability and the option for more screen space (Accordance zones, etc.).

 

So, there are several ways to go about it...Andrew is right about his comments!



#7 Julie Falling

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 10:42 AM

My iMac will need replacing soon and I plan to get a laptop. Just hold off for a couple of weeks. WWDC is June 10th and there could be some announcements about better processors, especially much better battery life.

 

Alex — That is exactly what I'm waiting for.  The rumor is that we are going to see the new Haswell processor in the MBP which purportedly gives 50% more battery life.  I think they run at 7 watts instead of 10.  That will mean a cooler laptop, too.  That would be another welcome change for me — my 2008 MBP gets hot!

 

I money were no object, I'd get an Apple cinema display, too.  Just can't justify the expense for someone who doesn't make a dime with her computing.  


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#8 Matthew Burgess

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:11 PM

If the main purpose of the machine is to run Accordance, all of these machines will work well for you.  The best choice for you depends on your personal needs.  If you're planning to work in multiple locations and portability is a top priority, then the Air is the way to go.  (You could supplement this setup with an external monitor, as Mark, Andrew, and others have suggested.)  If you don't mind working in a single, fixed space, then a Mini or iMac with multiple monitors would allow you to view Accordance and your own work materials alongside one another, which can be a real advantage.  You could purchase a Mini and a pair of Acer or Asus monitors for roughly the same price as the Air. 

 

I use Accordance on three devices: an iPad, a Mini, and a 2008 MacBook Pro.  I don't use the MacBook Pro very much now that I have an iPad.  The Mini is connected to three cheap Acer monitors that allow me to view my own work, secondary literature (in PDF format), and Accordance side-by-side.  When I need these viewing options, I work in my office.  When I don't, I use the iPad or MacBook Pro and can work outside the office.  

 

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with every device, and every setup of Accordance.  My advice is to weigh which advantages are most important to you (for example, size; weight; portability; processing power; viewing options), and buy the device that best fulfills them.   



#9 Daniel Semler

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:27 PM

The timing is perhaps a little unfortunate unless you are a dyed in the wool Mac Apple fan. Considerable options will open up later in the year (when I don't know) with the release of Acc for Windows. You'll getter a better price point very likely and there are some nice Asus laptops, or Dell's new 18" all in one desklet which I think is an interesting option. Not especially portable I'll grant you but 9" smaller than the iMammoth that I have and you just sold. For myself, I expect my next Accordance platform to be Windows based or a Hackintosh laptop, though that's only an option if you enjoy that sort of thing for its own sake.


Accordance Configurations :

 

Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop

      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge

      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM

      Accordance 10.4.2.1                     Accordance 10.4.2.2 and Aleph 10.4.3b1

      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1


#10 craigminah

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:53 PM

I'm excited for the Windows version and may buy the Surface Pro if it's updated with Haswell as that provides much better battery life.



#11 Joe Weaks

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:28 PM

One thing to note... you can get 27" external monitor and it has a way smaller height and size and general footprint than a 27" iMac on your desk.

 

I would so not get an 11"MBA if Accordance was your main activity. It's very frustrating on such a small screen... the 13" MB I use gets pretty bad once you add a third zone.

And if your answer is that you'll always be plugging it into an external, then get a Mini instead.

 

If your schedule/workflow means working away from your desk, get a MB or MBA, and if not, get a Mini where you can get a bigger screen that is smaller on your desk than a laptop.

 

(but, yes, wait til after any announcements next week).  I think it's gonna be a new Mac Pro. That $2300 machine will prolly run Accordance pretty tight. :)


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#12 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:28 PM

I'd recommend a 15" laptop for those who love zones (and I am one of those people). I get spoiled when my laptop is attached to a large, external monitor. I am not willing to settle for [much] less when I am working remotely.

 

I have used a laptop almost exclusively for many years. I moved from a 15" to a 17" a couple of years ago because I do so much video editing on the podcasts. The 17" is 1920x1200 (more than full HD, which is 1920x1080). I love it, but it is often awkward when I travel—and it is heavy. It is particularly troublesome on airlines, as those fold down tables just aren't large enough to accommodate this size computer. I may someday go back to a 15" display, but I can't imagine going any smaller.

 

Now, my dream is Accordance is at 1920x1080 on Google Glass ( or whatever Apple will call their equivalent)...


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#13 Julie Falling

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 06:23 PM

Dr. J — Would you please post a screen shot of a workspace you use that might not work on a 13" screen?  I really do want to go smaller, but not it I'm going to run into problems.  [Apple has stopped making the 17" semi-portable MBPs.]  I currently have a 15" (2008 unibody).

 

Thanks.


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#14 luoar

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:53 AM

Thank you all for your helpful replies. They have given me much room for thought. My unhappiness with all things Mac is at an all time high. As a minister in South Africa, where poverty is viewed as a virtue, it is considered improper for a minister to own a machine that is too expensive. This rules out most Apple products immediately. I also cannot afford one even if I were to convince the members of my congregation that I needed it.

 

Aside from this, Mac seems not to have come out with a solid budget friendly machine in the past few years.

 

My thoughts on the current machines:

Mac Pro: A huge bulky machine that one would love to own if one could ever afford it.

iMac: the New designs are in my view too "slick" and there have been no improvements on power. I bought my i5 Mac four years ago, and the new ones are at the same i5 level. 

Mac Air: Too small for my eyes! 

Mac Pro: Way overpriced, even with "Retina Display". 

Mac Mini: Great concept, not badly priced, but I have experienced the graphics as poor, regardless of the monitor I have used. I bought one and returned it soon after. 

 

All in all, it may be worth my while to wait until Accordance comes to Windows. My fear: will Accordance run as well on Windows as it does on Mac?


Edited by luoar, 06 June 2013 - 01:35 AM.


#15 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:46 AM

I understand the dilemma of working on a Mac in SA. Even were culture and poverty not an issue there, it has often been impossible to get support for Apple products in some of these countries. Inexpensive Windows machines rule there, as they do in much of the emerging world. Accordance on Windows will help address this need, just one of the big positives of becoming platform independent (or at least "multi-platform").

 

I know that every member of the Windows programming team is determined that Accordance WILL work every bit as good as on a Mac.


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#16 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:04 AM

Julie,

 

Joe Weaks is right, anything more than three columns gets pretty tight on a 13" Mac. Now, you can (with care) use two rows, but that still limits you to six rather small zones. Accordance 10's "Magnify zone" feature was specifically designed to help owners with these smaller displays overcome some of these limitations.

 

Any workspace you see in the podcasts will work on a 13" Mac. That's because I record the podcasts at 1280x720, so the menu text is clear enough to be visible on iDevices. For comparison's sake, the 11" MacBook Air's native display size is 1366 x 768; the 13" has a display of 1440 x 900.

 

There are a number of apps on the Mac app store that will let you see these for yourself: Display Mode, Display Menu, etc. These programs allow you to change the resolution of your display. Retina Mac 13" owners take note, the first app includes the ability to display at 2880x1800! [I imagine the text would be very small at that size though.]

 

I regularly use more zones in my own research—or even when grading papers. I'll attach one such workspace here. Remember though, any Mac can be attached to an external monitor, so what you are really limiting is only your ability to work when away from your desk.

Attached Files


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#17 Joe Weaks

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:58 AM

...Mac seems not to have come out with a solid budget friendly machine in the past few years ... Mac Mini: Great concept, not badly priced, but the graphics are poor, regardless of the monitor one uses. I bought one and returned it soon after...

 

luar,

I disagree with your summary, dismissive statement. I think Apple has brilliantly provided machines in just the right niches. There are always outliers who will not find a good fit, of course.

However, your budget-friendly statement is just wrong. The MacMini is a perfect low cost machine. I'm really curious graphics could you not run on a new MacMini? Or was this years ago?

If you are doing professional 3D modeling, or playing fancy shoot-em-ups, then yes, it is more limited. How long ago was this that you ran into a limitation and what were you trying to run? My 2012 Mini even runs the MMO games I've played with it, integrated graphics and all.


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#18 luoar

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:11 AM

I bought a Mac Mini with a Dell Monitor. The graphics were fine except for text which had a fuzzy look to it. I tried to tweak the settings but could never get the kind of clarity I needed and which I took for granted in the iMac. For someone who spends a lot of hours reading text off the screen I personally found the Mac Mini lacking. However, I am very pleased to hear that your experience is different. I think it goes back to what Timothy spoke about, and that is that the support for such products in your country is likely superior to the kind of support we get here. 


Edited by luoar, 03 June 2013 - 10:12 AM.


#19 Julie Falling

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:51 PM

Joe — I have also been very happy with my Mac mini.  I got the "better" model.  I run my TV tuner on it (EyeTV from Elgato) and have played DVDs.  I've also ripped DVDs so that I can get the content on my iPad for the treadmill.  It has done everything I want it to do.  Accordance runs just fine.  It is connected to a 6-year old but good quality 20" Dell monitor (can't remember the specs and I'm away from home so I can't check).  

 

Raoul — One thing that is true is that Apple does not make any cheap computers.  But Apple does not sell any crummy computers, either.  You just can't get Apple quality at a PC price.  I have a Sunday school student starting college this fall who just doesn't have the $$$ in her budget for a Mac, though she wants one because of the quality.  She will be be buying a Windows laptop on TN tax-free day in August.  (Her parents have enough money to buy her a computer but are wisely not giving their kids whatever they want.)

 

Dr J — Thanks for posting the window.  My laptop is my main machine for running Accordance.  I think I need to just take a bunch of the workspaces I use all the time and see if I can do what I need to do on my husband's 13" MacBook Pro.  I've spent some time doing that, but not enough.  I frequently amplify to a new zone (map or lexicon especially).  If I run into problems I'll just have to spend the extra money.  I'd get it back in resale, right?  Please say, "Yes!"

 

We'll see what Apple has to offer next week.  And thanks for the discussion.  


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#20 luoar

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:42 AM

I am keen to use Accordance on Windows because I have always enjoyed Windows operating systems. In the meantime I am going to be using Accordance on my 7 year old iMac which still works as well as it did when I bought it. Hence, I agree wholly with Julie that Apple makes quality computers. I may also reinvestigate the Mac Mini based on what Joe has said. I would like to know if other users have had  problems with the graphic display on the Mac Mini? How would users rate the clarity of display on the Mac Mini when compared with the iMac?






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