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coed2b
Jun 17, 2003, 12:13 PM
I've always used pc's, but want to take an ibook to college, probably the 14". Any suggestions on upgrades to it? Also do you think I should wait until the end of the summer for a better price or a new model? Thank you. Any info will help!

GulGnu
Jun 17, 2003, 12:31 PM
Hi!

(Writing this on my brand new iBook btw =P)

1.) If you don't need it during the summer, wait.

2.) Remember to check for education discounts, Apple usually have a lot of those.

3.) Upgrade the RAM - preferably to the maximum 640 Megs.

4.) Do NOT get the above RAM expansion (a 512 MB 100MHz SODIMM) from Apple - they charge more than twice as much as an independent dealer does. Cheap RAM is easy to find on the net, and installing it is pretty easy. (Hey, I managed it! =P)

5.) Check if your College has a WiFi wireless LAN / internet. If they do, get an airport card for the iBook. Surfing / Checking email on the go is great.

6. Keep in mind the 14" iBook is the same screen resolution as the 12" one. I.e - you don't get more screen real estate, only bigger ditto =P (You do get a bit more battery life w/ the 14" one)

I really like my iBook - hope you will enjoy yours too.

Regards / GulGnu

-Stabil som fan!

Daveman Deluxe
Jun 17, 2003, 01:21 PM
I don't recommend getting the 14" iBook. It costs more money but you don't get anything for it, as the resolution is still 1024 x 768. Furthermore, the 14" is a pound heavier, and that makes a big difference in your backpack. I've occasonally wished I had gotten a 14" iBook, but I know that I'd just be paying an extra $200 to get a heavier notebook with no advantages.

Definitely upgrade the RAM to 640 MB, but do it yourself unless they'll do it for free. Don't let anybody else install it because it's so easy. If you order from Apple's online Store, don't order the iBook custom-built with the extra RAM.

Consider upgrading the hard drive from 40 GB to 60 GB since it's only $50.

Get AirPort if your campus has 802.11b or g wireless networking (most do, at least in some areas). Nothing like sitting in the student lounge watching Homestar Runner.

Get a cheap USB mouse (the kind you get from OfficeMax for $10). Don't get an Apple Pro Mouse, on account of they suck. Definitely buy a set of decent speakers. I recommend the Altec Lansing AVS300 if you're on a budget, they're only $20 or $30 but put out phenomonal sound for the price.

Get a printer if you like, and then you'll be set. If you can, you might wait until Apple has a deal where you can upgrade to Panther for $19 or so (that usually happens to people who buy new Macs after a new OS upgrade is announced but is not shipping yet).

zoikers
Jun 17, 2003, 05:14 PM
I am a self proclaimed MacAddict. I have the desklamp iMac and now the 17" Powerbook. Yes, I also have a G3 white iBook as well. To make my wife a little more pleased with my addiction I would be willing to pry my digits from the iBook for a fair price.

15Gig, 310RAM, Extra Battery, Airport card for WiFi access, MS Office installed-Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Keynote. Possibly even some warrenty remaining on it.

zoikers@mn.rr.com

janey
Jun 17, 2003, 06:31 PM
for college it's gonna be easier if you have a 12" iBook or PowerBook. If you're going for the 14" iBook, just get the PowerBook. They're more durable and lightweight, so you won't have to ruin your back by carrying all those textbooks and god knows what and a heavier laptop :p
bigger laptops are usually bigger pains in the neck.

Daveman Deluxe
Jun 17, 2003, 07:25 PM
Be willing to consider getting a slightly older iBook from eBay or Half.com. You definitely don't need a top-of-the-line computer to listen to MP3s and edit the occasional photo. But on the other hand, be aware that you certainly won't be able to get the latest-and-greatest software (for example, don't expect to get Panther to work well on a 500 MHz PowerBook, especially the older ones that only support 384 MB RAM).

Whatever you do, avoid the fruit-colored iBooks like the plague. Get the newer white ones.

Kwyjibo
Jun 17, 2003, 08:08 PM
ok this is gonna be weird advice, but depend on your school you may want to wait untiil you enroll and goto the school computer shop if they have one. Sometimes these discounts are even bigger than the $50 from apple online

QCassidy352
Jun 17, 2003, 09:43 PM
don't listen to all of these critics of the 14" ibook. I have one that I use at college, and I've also had a 12" ibook in the past. They are both excellent. The 1 lb. difference isn't really noticable, IMO. And the battery life is better on the 14" -- notably so. No, the resolution isn't higher, but if you're like me and will use your computer a lot, your eyes will get very tired of looking at that 12" screen. IMO, the 12" is the better choice if you also have a desktop, and the 14" is better if it's your only computer.

As for upgrades:
1) max the RAM.
2) max the RAM.
3) do yourself a favor and max the RAM.
:)

if you don't need it yet, wait to see what comes out. But ibook updates aren't exactly expected any day now, so there might not be new ones before you go to school.

Whether you go 12" or 14", it's a great computer. You'll definitely be happy with it.

janey
Jun 17, 2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
The 1 lb. difference isn't really noticable, IMO...
hey to me the one pound makes a big difference. it's pretty hard to get tired of the 12" screen, i use dual cinemas at home and the 12" iBook at school (or a 17" PowerBook for presentations, but rarely), i think it's fine. dude you're prolly more likely to get tired of the bad design of the 14" iBook than the small size of the 12" LCD. But you are right, the 12" is a better choice if you already have a desktop. :p :rolleyes: :D :p :( :)

Re: Daveman Deluxe's post:: for some people, older and less up-to-date laptops are a pain in the neck, especially when you're taking CS classes and god knows what and the software doesn't run on the laptop because it doesn't meet the minimum requirements. :p

Daveman Deluxe
Jun 17, 2003, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by übergeek
Re: Daveman Deluxe's post:: for some people, older and less up-to-date laptops are a pain in the neck, especially when you're taking CS classes and god knows what and the software doesn't run on the laptop because it doesn't meet the minimum requirements. :p [/B]

I know. I was simply saying that if you are on a budget and you honestly think you can get away with it, to consider getting a used computer.

As for the questions about the 14" screen... I've never had a problem with the 12" screen and I just think it's a waste of money to pay more for a screen with the same resolution and that even weighs more. Everybody's setup and eyes are different though. I'm just offering my personal experience.

And I can't stress the RAM issue enough. My iBook started out life with 384 MB RAM when I first installed... I just upgraded to 640 MB a couple weeks ago and it really does make a huge difference.

QCassidy352
Jun 18, 2003, 02:38 AM
Ok, this will be my last reply because this is turning in to thread hijacking (which is pretty much par for the course around here, and yes I am partly to blame in this case :rolleyes: ).

Originally posted by übergeek
hey to me the one pound makes a big difference. it's pretty hard to get tired of the 12" screen, i use dual cinemas at home and the 12" iBook at school (or a 17" PowerBook for presentations, but rarely), i think it's fine. dude you're prolly more likely to get tired of the bad design of the 14" iBook than the small size of the 12" LCD.


LOL! Do you know how little a pound is?? Of course, I saw someone on macrumors complain that the 20 gig ipod
is a "heavy beast" so I guess I shouldn't be surprised...

You use cinema displays and 17" PBs. Thanks for making my point. Will your eyes hurt after moderate use of a 12" screen? Of course not. But if you use a computer all the time (home, school, work, play, etc.) and it's got a 12" screen, that's when it begins to bother you. But hey, maybe you've got great eyes, good for you.

"Bad design" of the 14"? It's the same design of as the 12" but bigger.

See, I've owned both a 12" and a 14", and unless you can say the same, I don't think you're in a position to make a fair comparison.

coed2be, don't even listen to us. Just go in to an apple store, look at them both, pick them both up, open some files or pictures, and see which one you like better. I know people with the 12" who love them, and I know people with the 14" who love those. The 14" got added to the line when consumers bombarded Apple with requests for a bigger ibook. It's a matter of personal preference, and frankly, I find it absurd when people act like one is inherently superior to the other.

But you didn't even ask about the 12" vs. the 14". As to the questions you actually asked, :o max the RAM and wait to buy if you can, but updates are hardly guaranteed.

coed2b
Jun 18, 2003, 10:09 AM
thanks everyone for all the advice. and even though i didn't ask about 12" vs. 14", it is something that i'm debating. the cost difference is really slight through my school, so now it's "weighing" the extra pound vs. the larger screen. I get a better deal on the 14", and I'm worried that the 12" will be more of an eye strain. I will definitely add the extra ram, but what about air port and the other things listed on the apple store site?
also, what is panther and if i need it will i be able to add it?

Daveman Deluxe
Jun 18, 2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by coed2b
I will definitely add the extra ram, but what about air port and the other things listed on the apple store site?
also, what is panther and if i need it will i be able to add it?

AirPort is great if your campus has 802.11b wireless networking or 802.11g. Check into it. Probably somebody at the campus computer store will know whether that's the case. It's really great to be able to go to the library and get online to do research or FTP. I know when I first found out our library had wireless networking, I thought it was really cool. You probably will have to sign up for it somewhere though.

Panther is the next version of Mac OS X. There are supposed to be big improvements over Jaguar, the current version of Mac OS X. Like I said, if you can, wait until Jaguar is shipping on new computers to buy one. At the least, wait until Apple offers a cheap (about $20) Panther upgrade to those buying new computers. That usually happens when a new operating system is announced but not yet shipping.

As for the other options on Apple's website:
Hard disk: upgrade to 60 GB if you like, it's only $50. I wish I had a much larger hard disk since I work with video a lot.

iPod: They're great, and you get a $200 rebate if you buy an iPod with any iBook except the CD-ROM model. For education, that's only $69 after rebate on a 10 GB iPod, and if you don't want it, you can sell it on eBay or something.

.Mac: You probably don't need it. Your university already probably provides e-mail and web space.

Extra AC adapter: don't bother.

Extra battery: You probably don't need it, but when you do need it, you REALLY need it. Buy one if you think you'll need an extra battery often enough to warrant the extra $120.

AppleCare Protection Plan: Buy it. It is a godsend. In general, if something breaks, Apple will repair it no questions asked--even if there's a chance it's your fault it broke. For example, if you send in your power cord because it's frayed and broken, Apple won't ask if it's because you were using it to tie your kid sister to a chair.

Printer: Apple also has a $100 rebate right now on any Canon printer bought with any Mac (again, except the iBook CD-ROM). Canon doesn't make amazing printers, but they're good enough and you can't argue with free. Consider it. If you don't get Canon, get a HP or Epson and don't spend more than $100 or so because you probably don't need anything better.

One last note: Office v.X for Mac is only $200 for students, but think before you buy. iBook comes with AppleWorks, which is pretty good. The fact you're getting an iBook probably means your files don't need to be used on the Wintel boxes in the lab very often, so you may not need Office. It's your call, really, but I used AppleWorks quite happily for a long time before I finally got Office.

Hope that long post helps you out with your buying decision.

5300cs
Jun 18, 2003, 07:38 PM
hmmm .. 12" or 14"- tough decision.
I have both, and they're both great. I can tell you though, I've had the 12" for 2 years and have never had any eye-strain at all. The 14" has caused me no eye-strain either. The iBooks have a really nice screen and with Quartz Extreme supporting it, things look really really nice.
I agree with QCassidy352, go to an Apple store and fool around with both, see which one you like better.

maradong
Jun 19, 2003, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by 5300cs
hmmm .. 12" or 14"- tough decision.
I have both, and they're both great. I can tell you though, I've had the 12" for 2 years and have never had any eye-strain at all. The 14" has caused me no eye-strain either. The iBooks have a really nice screen and with Quartz Extreme supporting it, things look really really nice.
I agree with QCassidy352, go to an Apple store and fool around with both, see which one you like better.
is n t quartz extreme a feature only g4 s can use ? I don t know but it seems me like if I heart that somewhere

Kwyjibo
Jun 19, 2003, 08:50 AM
Nope, g3s can have quartz extreme too, i have 32mb of vram on my ibook and all of the quartz extreme checks say its on .... it seems to render really well compared to older ibooks my friends have.

Daveman Deluxe
Jun 19, 2003, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by maradong
is n t quartz extreme a feature only g4 s can use ? I don t know but it seems me like if I heart that somewhere

Quartz Extreme requires 16 MB or more of VRAM and a video card that supports it. Every video card from the Radeon 7200 (on the ATI side) and the GeForce 2 (from the nVidia line) supports it if it has 16 MB VRAM for each monitor.

Velocity engine is the one that only G4s can use.

maradong
Jun 19, 2003, 09:12 AM
k thx ;-)
another question :
http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
is that dangerous for your ibook ?
I really want that feature, but if it is a real risk, i will not try it, nor if after some time the cards get s damages by this ( perhaps ) overuse.

kylos
Jun 19, 2003, 09:31 AM
"Bad design" of the 14"? It's the same design of as the 12" but bigger.



Yes, bad design. Those things are ugly. The ibook wasn't meant to be stretched to 14". It's proportions are all wrong.

yzedf
Jun 19, 2003, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by maradong
k thx ;-)
another question :
http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
is that dangerous for your ibook ?
I really want that feature, but if it is a real risk, i will not try it, nor if after some time the cards get s damages by this ( perhaps ) overuse.
VERY RISKY. DO NOT DO.

The 14" is a ugly beast too. Extra 1 hr of battery life though...

coed2b
Jun 19, 2003, 10:33 AM
Whoa! What is Quartz Extreme...what is Velocity? Does the newest ibook have QE? I knew I would be enlightened by posting here!

maradong
Jun 19, 2003, 10:38 AM
quartz extreme is a useful function, same as velocity engine. give me 5 minutes and i ll get ya the links



quartz extreme

http://www.apple.com/macosx/jaguar/quartzextreme.html





velocity engine infos on the g4 page

http://www.apple.com/powermac/processor.html

maradong
Jun 19, 2003, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by yzedf
VERY RISKY. DO NOT DO.

The 14" is a ugly beast too. Extra 1 hr of battery life though...

is only the "setup" risky, or do you think when running in dual monitor mode all day long it will eventually kill the card ?

yzedf
Jun 19, 2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by maradong
is only the "setup" risky, or do you think when running in dual monitor mode all day long it will eventually kill the card ?
From what I hear you can fry the card setting it up. If it works out, the reliability appears to be ok. Of course doing this renders your warranty useless (void).

Quarz Extreme is the rendering of the screen that OS X uses. Requires 16MB of VRAM (current iBooks have 32MB).

Velocity Engine = Altivec = G4 only (iBook is G3) http://www.apple.com/powermac/processor.html

If you want VE in a notebook, you need a PowerBook.

maradong
Jun 19, 2003, 10:55 AM
well i think i will leave it as it comes.
It s better anyway. thought the 1024 resolution on the external display sucks :( dunno if i shall buy a powerbook or an ibook. the old question.

janey
Jun 19, 2003, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
LOL! Do you know how little a pound is?? Of course, I saw someone on macrumors complain that the 20 gig ipod
is a "heavy beast" so I guess I shouldn't be surprised...
hmm let's see...three textbooks, one laptop, cell phone, iPod, more books...THAT REALLY ADDS UP! hey a pound can make a difference! it might be little but when you're carrying a whole bunch of other things, it can (and for me has) weighed 19+ pounds. That's like 20+% of my weight.
You use cinema displays and 17" PBs. Thanks for making my point. Will your eyes hurt after moderate use of a 12" screen? Of course not. But if you use a computer all the time (home, school, work, play, etc.) and it's got a 12" screen, that's when it begins to bother you. But hey, maybe you've got great eyes, good for you.
I use the iBook at school, on the way to school, on the way back from school, at friends houses, basically everywhere when i'm not at home. Plus I tend to do most of my homework on it. On average I spend 6-7 out of every 14 hours or so using the iBook. I use other computers for games, coding and just surfing the net in general. The iBook screen is just perfect, it's dual cinemas that can be a pain once in a whole. I don't have great eyes either :rolleyes:
"Bad design" of the 14"? It's the same design of as the 12" but bigger.
yeah...it's bigger...like Kyle said, the 12" iBook wasn't meant to be stretched. You gotta admit, it's not as pretty as the designs for all of Apple's other laptops. Jonathan Ive screwed up when he designed the 14".
See, I've owned both a 12" and a 14", and unless you can say the same, I don't think you're in a position to make a fair comparison.
the reason why a lot of people don't buy 14" iBooks is because of the design flaws and the additional weight (btw the battery life comes from a BIGGER and therefore MORE HEAVIER battery). A lot of people would rather stick with the 12" iBook or the 12", 15" or 17" PowerBooks.
coed2be, don't even listen to us. Just go in to an apple store, look at them both, pick them both up, open some files or pictures, and see which one you like better. I know people with the 12" who love them, and I know people with the 14" who love those. The 14" got added to the line when consumers bombarded Apple with requests for a bigger ibook. It's a matter of personal preference, and frankly, I find it absurd when people act like one is inherently superior to the other.
that is true...you should get one that you like...but you SHOULD listen to other people's experiences with both iBooks. IMHO, i think you should forget about the iBook and get yourself a PowerBook with an education or ADC student discount once you're in college unlesss you don't need all that power...your choice will depend on your major and your classes.
But you didn't even ask about the 12" vs. the 14". As to the questions you actually asked, :o max the RAM and wait to buy if you can, but updates are hardly guaranteed.
in a way he did, he didn't explicitly wonder about the 12" vs the 14" but when you don't specify size, it does come up. That's one thing i agree about...get more RAM, never use the bare minimum :)

I wish you good luck, it's kinda hard trying to decide which laptop to get. But no matter what happens, you HAVE to wait until after WWDC (next week) to get a new computer, since they might come out with newer computers (and therefore the current line will get price drops) and Panther (OS X version 10.3). After they announce a new OS upgrade that might cost money, they're usually gonna have a program that allows people with new Macs (with Jaguar, bought between certain dates) buy the upgrade for less money. :)

5300cs
Jun 19, 2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by coed2b
Whoa! What is Quartz Extreme...what is Velocity? Does the newest ibook have QE? I knew I would be enlightened by posting here!

OS X 10.2 uses the video cards memory to render graphics, therefore taking stress off the main processor. It makes a real difference.

coed2b
Jul 7, 2003, 10:23 AM
I bit the bullet and went to my local apple store and bought a 12"ibook, maxed the ram to 640, added airport, an ipod, a printer, and applecare...and was talked into .mac (it was like being at a car dealership - as soon as they see you're overwhelmed they add something new). All the extras equalled the price of the ibook, but I will get the $300 college bundle rebate. I'm very happy and wanted to thank all those who responded with useful info.

Daveman Deluxe
Jul 7, 2003, 12:36 PM
Glad to help. Let us know how things to with your new iBook, K? And that $300 rebate is pretty sweet.