PDA

View Full Version : A Used iBook as a holdover computer.




MNSUGrad07
Feb 18, 2006, 11:07 PM
Hey everyone:
First off I have been a lurker on this site for MANY months now but I just joined today. Everybody seems so helpful on here so I have a question.

I am a graduate student in urban planning. I currently have a POS Gateway Notebook. A close friend of mine is offering to sell me his iBook for 500 bucks. Here are the specs on it:
g3 900 Mhz
12 inch screen
640 MB Ram
OS 9.2 and OS 10.2
Combo Drive
40 GB HD
I don't need my computer for anything major. I use it mostly for word, powerpoint, iTunes, internet, the only "intensive" thing I use my laptop for is Adobe Illustrator. I use it for simple outlines of plats (drawing lines mostly ) :D My university has Office for 60 bucks.
I have wanted an iBook for a LONG time and I think this is a good way to enter the Mac world. How long would the iBook be useful for, further down the line (1-2 yrs.) I would like to upgrade to a MBP or a MacBook (or whatever Apple is calling them) :rolleyes: Is this a good deal? Thanks in advance for everyone's help.



mad jew
Feb 18, 2006, 11:10 PM
Well, I don't have much idea when it comes to foreign iBook values but it does seem a little inflated.

IMO, the iBook is the single best switcher machine. It's great in that it combines the experience of OSX with the experience of an Apple laptop, at a good price for people who don't want to leap straight into a PowerBook or Mac Book. :cool:

mkrishnan
Feb 18, 2006, 11:12 PM
This is a nice computer, but a first generation iBook G4/800 with otherwise similar specs can probably be had for $50-100 more, and would probably be better.

Also, does it have a wireless card? The Airport (not express) card that the G3 iBook uses is hard to find, and expensive. So if it doesn't have one, I'd say avoid it, personally.

mad jew
Feb 18, 2006, 11:16 PM
mkrishnan makes an excellent point (as usual). The G4 iBook was far superior to the G3 one. That was one of the more significant updates in Apple's recent history. :)

sw1tcher
Feb 18, 2006, 11:17 PM
$500 U.S.?

That's expensive for such an old computer.

As mkrishnan said, you can easily get a better machine for a little more.

Check eBay, Craigslist, Apple refurbs, etc.

$500 is a rip off, whether your "close friend" knows it or not.

mkrishnan
Feb 18, 2006, 11:36 PM
And then you will slowly, but surely, lust for an iMac. It's sadly unavoidable. :o But you will still love your iBook. I still love mine. :)

generik
Feb 18, 2006, 11:37 PM
500 is insane

You can get a NEW iBook G4 for only ~ $800 now with rebate off amazon IRRC

MNSUGrad07
Feb 18, 2006, 11:42 PM
Sorry I should have clarified that its coming with an Airport Card, an extra battery, and a copy of Illustrator. He just got a new iMac, lucky him. With the deal question secondary, how long would this computer remain useful? I am a poor student so as much as I want a blazing fast machine I also much be realistic.:(

mkrishnan
Feb 18, 2006, 11:45 PM
Sorry I should have clarified that its coming with an Airport Card, an extra battery, and a copy of Illustrator. He just got a new iMac, lucky him. With the deal question secondary, how long would this computer remain useful? I am a poor student so as much as I want a blazing fast machine I also much be realistic.:(

I think the simplest answer is that, if it runs the software you need now, and you're comfortable not upgrading it, then it'll run indefinitely using the software it has now. ;)

In terms of upgrading, it's on the very old side for current software. In particular, it runs on Jaguar (10.2), and in general, less and less software runs on this version of the OS anymore, since it's so out of date. It would probably run Panther fine, but then you're going to get into spiraling upgrade costs. If you can run Office and Adobe on it and be happy, then just don't upgrade anything.

sw1tcher
Feb 19, 2006, 12:54 AM
If you really don't need the portability, you might also want to consider getting a refurb Mac mini. Throw in a mouse, keyboard, and monitor for another $150-$200 and you'll be in much better shape.

You can pick up a decent refurb mini for about $430 and the specs will be a lot better.


For example,

Refurbished Mac mini 1.25GHz
1.25GHz PowerPC G4
512MB DDR333 SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW)
DVI or VGA video output
Built-in 56K Internal Modem

Save 15% off the original price
Original price: $499.00
Your price: $429.00




If you're looking for portability, Apple has this refurb iBook right now.


Refurbished iBook G4 1GHz/ 256MB/ 30GB/ Combo/ E/ 56K/ 12-inch TFT

Original price: $1,099.00
Your price: $699.00


The mini, of course, would offer much better bang for the buck IMO.

MNSUGrad07
Feb 19, 2006, 03:23 AM
I wish I had the 800-1000 to drop for a new computer. Sadly I need something, my Gateway which I have had since October is already giving me problems, what a shocker, haha. Anyway I feel that I am getting a good deal, but maybe I am just blinded by my desire to get my 1st Mac. How would this machine be for a first Mac, I am only planning on having it for 12-18 months. Will the computer remain useful for this period. I know many people can have use their Macs for 5 or 6 years, is this true? Sorry about all the questions and thank you to everybody who has responded and helped!

California
Feb 19, 2006, 03:26 AM
I wish I had the 800-1000 to drop for a new computer. Sadly I need something, my Gateway which I have had since October is already giving me problems, what a shocker, haha. Anyway I feel that I am getting a good deal, but maybe I am just blinded by my desire to get my 1st Mac. How would this machine be for a first Mac, I am only planning on having it for 12-18 months. Will the computer remain useful for this period. I know many people can have use their Macs for 5 or 6 years, is this true? Sorry about all the questions and thank you to everybody who has responded and helped!

I'd offer him $400. For $500 you can get a faster Titanium Powerbook G4 in decent shape. Plus I heard these 900mhz had bad logic boards.

MNSUGrad07
Feb 19, 2006, 03:59 AM
Thanks California:
He said he is willing to bargain with me so I will see what happens. Will this machine meet my basic needs for 12-18 months?

MacRumorUser
Feb 19, 2006, 08:52 AM
Thanks California:
He said he is willing to bargain with me so I will see what happens. Will this machine meet my basic needs for 12-18 months?

Yes.

450-500 for a machine which yourself will know if it's in good shape (no dent's major scratches) and comes with the software you need (otherwise a costly expense) seems pretty good value to me. Especially with the spare battery etc...

I'd go for it. Is there such a huge performace leap between G4 800 & G3 900mhz.. Surely the extra 100mhz would offset some of the extra core benefits of the G4 over G3.

California
Feb 19, 2006, 01:43 PM
Four hundred is what I'd offer and no more. No eBay fees, no shipping hassle for either party and no hard feelings if it isn't working in a year. At 500 bucks, you'd expect more from the seller.

Keep in mind you can get a refurbed G4 iBook for 620 from Apple so the 400 bucks would be my limit on an older machine.

corywoolf
Feb 19, 2006, 01:57 PM
This is a nice computer, but a first generation iBook G4/800 with otherwise similar specs can probably be had for $50-100 more, and would probably be better.

Also, does it have a wireless card? The Airport (not express) card that the G3 iBook uses is hard to find, and expensive. So if it doesn't have one, I'd say avoid it, personally.

you mean "(not extreme) card". right?

MNSUGrad07
Feb 19, 2006, 05:12 PM
Well I went over to my friend's this afternoon and messed around for a little bit on the computer. Its still a pretty snappy machine. I am used to my Gateway with a 1.4 GHz Cel. M Processor, so I am not sure how they compare. The machine is in good shape, just a few scuffs on the case, which I am assuming is par for the course with these cases. He is willing to come down to 450 fo the computer. So before I take the big leap with this machine, will it remain useful for one or two years? I wish I had the money for a new machine or even a refurb. but my 4 month old Gateway :mad: is already giving me problems, so I would like to dump this machine fairly soon. Any comments, like always, are greatly apperciated!

mkrishnan
Feb 19, 2006, 06:10 PM
you mean "(not extreme) card". right?

Yes, I do. Sorry. :(

munkees
Feb 19, 2006, 06:16 PM
don't do it, I logic board fault may hit you, it did me and my friend I had an iBook G3 700 and he had the iBook G3 800, we both had to get them repair.

I would hunt around for a G4, is worth it, and you could find something in that price range too.

rose red
Feb 19, 2006, 06:21 PM
Buying from friends is always awkward. The market price is what someone is willing to pay not what the seller thinks it is worth. It seems a little high compared to a refurbished from Apple with a warranty. What price are they selling for on ebay, take into account the expenses and hassle of a transaction, read the advice again here, and then make what you feel is a fair offer. There is no need for haste, there are plenty of iBooks around.

California
Feb 19, 2006, 06:21 PM
Okay tell him four thirty five. Remind him that for a little more than 200 bucks more you can get a refurbed G4 iBook. And check status of out of warranty logic board replacement -- has this board ever been replaced? You can call Apple with serial number but your pal should tell you.

Down the line, you may want to put a faster bigger hard drive in it, which is what I would do, because then when you sell it, you can always put the 40 gig back.

Good luck with it. Sounds like your friend took good care of it -- he already upgraded that oem hd.

coachingguy
Feb 19, 2006, 06:33 PM
I'd say go for it. I had that machine, gave it to my wife when I upgraded to a G4 1.33. The G3 still runs 10.4 well and will do all the things you want to do with it. If you go to some of the sites that sell used Macs $500 is about right. They are holding their value well. As far as the logic board issues, Apple is still covering those. I had one changed on my iBook G3 900, worked great after that. If you can get it for less, than do so. The $699 iBook, will most definitely need more Ram. Which will run you another $50 - $100. 640 Ram will operate 10.4 fine. Good Luck!

MNSUGrad07
Feb 19, 2006, 10:25 PM
Good to hear from another Minnesotan. He is will to go as low as 425 for it. Ebay is going between 450-600 for the same iBook's, I am suprised they hold their value so well. He understands the logic board issue, he has never had to have it replaced. When was the 900 last manufactured, fall of 03? If thats right I have until Fall 06 to get it replaced if it becomes a problem right? Weren't a majority of the logic board failures on the 500-700's? Thanks guys!

Badandy
Feb 19, 2006, 10:36 PM
I know you don't want to hear it, but you ARE getting ripped off. Even for 425. Get a better computer for the same amount of money. I can't tell you more that it is too expensive...

MNSUGrad07
Feb 19, 2006, 10:46 PM
Badandy,
Could you please expound on why you think I am getting a bad deal. Most of the other sites are charging between 400-600 for the same computer, minus the Airport Card and the Extra Battery. This being my first Mac I am a lil leery of spending 700 or 800 on a computer with a system I am unfamilar with. I would be much less upset if I only spent 400 or 500 on switching if I decided it's not for me (not that its going to happen, but you never know) ;)

Macky-Mac
Feb 19, 2006, 10:53 PM
i dont think you are getting ripped off at $425.......the airport card and the extra batteries are problably worth somewhere around $200 if you bought them on ebay....the copy of illustrator (hopefully a legal copy) is worth something....even if the computer immediately died on you could probably resell the two batteries, the airport card, the power brick, RAM chip, the screen and the rest of the body as parts and probably come close to even at $425

California
Feb 20, 2006, 12:44 AM
Yeah, just get it!

Airport card
512mb chip
battery
hard drive
keyboard
lcd screen
logic board

... all equal a good deal.

Oh and get a good case for it. I like Zeroshock cases and Turano cases for my iBooks and 12" powerbook.

MNSUGrad07
Feb 20, 2006, 01:41 AM
Thanks for all of your help:
He's going to get it all ready for me, I hope to pick it up sometime this week. Now being new to the Mac world, does anybody have any general suggestions?

California
Feb 20, 2006, 01:37 PM
Thanks for all of your help:
He's going to get it all ready for me, I hope to pick it up sometime this week. Now being new to the Mac world, does anybody have any general suggestions?

1. if you are running Tiger, download Delocalizer and get all the language Tiger stuff off the hard drive

2. Keep it cool with a laptop stand that elevates it off the desk. I bought these iBook handles that screw into the bottom of my iBook and can be used for carrying but also for elevating the iBook so that they can cool off better.

Heat will age your iBook. Important to keep it running cool without the fans on, if possible.

in2themystik2
Feb 20, 2006, 03:27 PM
I don't know much about the older iBooks just what everyone hears about the logic boards, but I got a new iBook in December and it's my first Mac. So far I love my iBook and I am really enjoying the OS. It's elegant and easy to navigate, though I still have a lot to learn! I already want to replace my old gateway desk top with an iMac when I am finished with school. I got this computer for graduate school, which I was just accepted to today! :D

Have fun and I hope you enjoy it! :)

macstudent
Feb 20, 2006, 03:50 PM
I just sold my ibook 700mhz yesterday on craigslist for $375.

It was 700mhz g3
30 GB HD
airport card (original)
Combo Drive
10.4
640MB Ram.

I was asking $450, and I probably could have gotten it if I waited longer. There is a strong demand for used ibooks. Look at what happened at the sale of used ibooks for $50 at that school last year. I loved my ibook, but I wanted to sell it while it still had value since I am going to get a new intel ibook whenever they come out.

It really is amazing that I can sell a 4 year old laptop for almost half what I paid for it.

MNSUGrad07
Feb 20, 2006, 03:56 PM
Thanks for all the tips. I should pick the iBook up on Wed., I can't wait. Congrats to in2 for your acceptance to grad school, good luck and I am sure you will rock. :)

in2themystik2
Feb 20, 2006, 04:13 PM
Thanks for all the tips. I should pick the iBook up on Wed., I can't wait. Congrats to in2 for your acceptance to grad school, good luck and I am sure you will rock. :)


Haha, thanks! The whole idea is a little scary, but I think it's better if I go right upon finishing my undergrad rather than putting it off!

human657
Feb 20, 2006, 04:53 PM
not a horrible deal given your situation. I would go to crutial and buy more ram. I'm on a g3 700 and just upgraded the ram and its soooooo much better.

California
Feb 20, 2006, 05:34 PM
not a horrible deal given your situation. I would go to crutial and buy more ram. I'm on a g3 700 and just upgraded the ram and its soooooo much better.

I don't think you can upgrade the ram on G3 iBooks more than 640mb.

This is because they have one built in slot and only one open slot for ram and 512mb is the largest chip made for the G3 iBook.

MNSUGrad07
Feb 21, 2006, 10:54 PM
Haha, thanks! The whole idea is a little scary, but I think it's better if I go right upon finishing my undergrad rather than putting it off!

That's what I am doing, a lil strange being 21 and being the youngest in my program, but I love it. Plus I have seen too many of my friends working at Starbucks or someplace else with their degrees because they are waiting to go to grad. school.:D