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pgulliver
Jan 15, 2003, 12:28 PM
Hey--

I'm about to switch. My only question is buy the new 12" now or wait until an updated Al15" appears. Tough call. I'm planning on having this system for about four years as I go through Grad School, starting next fall. It will be my primary system. I'm looking for something I can easily bring to classes, library, etc, as well as work from home doing research and writing.

My main concern is screen size and portability. Does anyone have experience with the 12" iBook? What did you all think of that screen size? Is it large enought to be useful, or wil the eye strain kill someone? What about portability? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Peter

ftaok
Jan 15, 2003, 12:35 PM
Personally, I think the iBook's 12" screen is perfect. The screen is bright and there's enough resolution for the screen to be useful.

In contrast, some of those 1600x1200, 15" screens on the PC side are too much. Sure, the resolution is great, but everything's too tiny to read.

The iBook hits the sweet spot in terms of pixel size.

pgulliver
Jan 15, 2003, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the reply. What sort of work do you use the iBook for? Is the screen big enough to display a full Word document or a good part of an excel document? What about Web?

I've used a desktop my whole life with at least 17" so I'm a little nervous about switching to something that small, but the portability seems amazing.

lmalave
Jan 15, 2003, 12:46 PM
If you're getting it for school definitely go with the 12" - portability is key. Keep in mind the screen resolutions are approximately the same (15.2" is just wider), so you're not getting that much more real estate. The 12" doesn't seem that small once you get used to it - since the fonts are so sharp with the antialiasing and all.

The app I use most by far is the web browser, but I have used Word, Excel, etc. The screen size definitely doesn't seem small - and I haven't used anything smaller than a 15" LCD at work for the last 5 years (other sizes I've used commonly are 17" CRT and 19" CRT). Go for the 12" - you'll like it.

pgulliver
Jan 15, 2003, 12:48 PM
Thanks!

ftaok
Jan 15, 2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by pgulliver
Thanks for the reply. What sort of work do you use the iBook for? Is the screen big enough to display a full Word document or a good part of an excel document? What about Web?

I've used a desktop my whole life with at least 17" so I'm a little nervous about switching to something that small, but the portability seems amazing. Just for the record, I have the iBook 500mhz Combo.

Anyways, the type of stuff that I do on my iBook is this. I use iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, Entourage, Address Book, etc. Basic stuff really. I burn CDs, watch videos and stuff like that. None of this stuff really taxes the system (although running the iTunes visualizer can really hit the system).

The screen is big enough for Word. I usually set the zoom to 125% and have it display about half of the page. The resolution is not a problem.

On Excel, you can have 47 rows and 13 columns show up at the 100% zoom. This is based on a standard spreadsheet with 10 point font.

Hope this helps.

Mr. MacPhisto
Jan 16, 2003, 02:33 PM
Well, I switched over back in September and purchased an iBook 700 with Combo drive. I'm a senior and will likely be attending grad school in the fall.

The 12.1" screen is perfect. It helps make the laptop an actual notebook, one that can fit in my backpack easily. It runs at 1024x768 and is very vivid, even when the brightness is reduced somewhat to conserve battery power.

I use MS Office on it, use wireless connectivity, IE, Safari (using that one now), and play games. It made me far more efficient last semester since it never crashed once (I'm running 10.2.3 now and have only ever had Jaguar, with the occasional boot to OS9).

So, the screen is great. I would probably recommend the 12" Powerbook if you can afford it because of the G4 (though the G3 is plenty fast, to be honest), but mainly because of the aluminum case. That thing will be very durable. However, if you want to save some $$$, the iBook is a great deal. Might be worth waiting for the next update, though. Honestly, this little iBook is the best computer I've ever owned or used, and I've used many over the years. OS X makes it all worthwhile. Let me know if you have any more questions.

pgulliver
Jan 16, 2003, 02:38 PM
MacPhisto--thanks for the response, sounds like you use your iBook for the same things I would. So games are ok with that resolution/screen size? Actually, I'm switching, so I'm not that familiar with gaming on the Mac. Are there lots of good titles out there? What about file sharing between Macs and PCs, have you done any of that? Is it as easy as it sounds?

Mr. MacPhisto
Jan 16, 2003, 08:19 PM
File sharing is a cinch. It's easy both ways - the only problems occur when you have to use a Windows machine to pull stuff off the Mac, but that's not due to the Mac. I actually do lots of filesharing over the wireless network at home because the printer attached to the PC is a couple years old, non-USB and has no Mac drivers, so I pull my Word files off the Mac via file sharing. You just have to turn it on, and it works seemlessly.

The coolest thing is that I only ever see drives I'm attached to. On Win2000 on my PC, this is not the case. It always shows the Mac whether it is attached or not. So, if I'm not sure, I'll click on it and get an error after a second.

A Windows directory mounts right on the desktop, and you disconnect by dragging the drive into the trash (which turns into an eject button the moment you drag something that is not deletable, like a CD-ROM).

As for games, there aren't as many on the Mac, and it depends what you like. They come later, although Warcraft 3 came at the same time as the PC. It also depends on what you like to play. There aren't as many shooters, but there are many strategy games. Civ3, Stronghold, etc. I also play Spiderman (not the movie one, the one before that). It seems that the gaming market on Mac will be increasing though, especially with OS X's success. I can't wait to see native Cocoa games (the native OS X API), and have been thinking about starting a company that develops games only for Mac and only in Cocoa.

Everything is easier on the Mac. You get used to shortcut keys and miss them when you use a PC. Most of the shortcuts are universal (such as Apple-Q) and wonderful.

While the system is certainly not crash proof, I've never managed to crash it, and I've tried to - mainly by clogging up the pipeline. The thing slowed to a crawl, but recovered when I forced the Terminal to quit.

I also am only running with 256MB on X, and have not experienced any slowdown. I also don't hear my HD constantly grinding - something that happens all the time on the Windows PC with 2000 Pro on it.

I will warn you, however, that if you use one of these things a lot, you will be very unhappy when you use a PC, especially when something goes wrong. A few days ago, I needed to scan things and my older scanner, once again, didn't have Mac drivers. I spent an hour getting it to work - and ended up getting Win2000 really ticked at me. If I had a scanner that was Mac friendly, it would have been literally plug'n'play.

It may take time to get a bunch of hardware for your Mac, especially if you've been a PC user for years, but it's worth it. OS X isn't perfect, but it holds a lot more promise than Windows and Apple's control over hardware and software helps maintain greater stability and quality. I've gone from a true blue Mac basher (hated them before X - but was really ignorant) to a Mac user and proponent. Nearly five months down the line, I'm still excited about my Mac. I can't remember being this excited about a machine for this long. I hadn't been excited about a computer for years, but this little iBook is so wonderful because it does what a computer should do - it works. It's literally saved me 2-3 hours a week in time spent trying to fix problems. Now, if I can get my friends to switch, it'll save more time - because I'm always fixing their computers for them. Many of them have seen my contentedness and decided that their next machine will be a Mac. Most everyone who sees me with the little notebook, after talking with me, also say that the now want a Mac. I really think that Apple's marketshare will increase when the market rebounds, and that means more games and more software.