View Full Version : Must haves for Powerbooks

Jul 17, 2003, 08:39 AM
So, I decided to get a 15" TiBook. No more waiting, it'll be perfect for me. Now I'm looking for my list of "must haves" for my new laptop. I've never had a laptop before, so I figure there's a few things I'll need.

I'm already getting:

Extra Power Adapter (one to leave home, one to go with PB)
Lind Auto/Air DC adapter (for use on the road)
Kensington PocketMouse
Marware Sportfolio (I want a Waterfield RacerX, but they're not making any more until the new 15" PB comes out. Can anyone recommend something that's RacerX-like?).
Final Cut Express
iKlear Apple Polish Kit

I have read that I should get something to protect the screen when closed against the keyboard. Marware sells a little pad for like $7, will that do the trick, or is there something much nicer?

I don't suspect I'll need an extra battery just yet, as I don't think I'll be too far from a power plug for too long most days.

Anything else?



Jul 17, 2003, 09:07 AM
sounds good to me...

if you haven't, get the biggest ram you can afford.

if you'll be traveling a lot (flying), i recommend getting a kensington usb light. i don't use it much because i don't fly much now, but it works great in dark places.

Jul 17, 2003, 09:38 AM
Yup, 1 Gig memory already coming.

Don't fly that much, if at all, so I don' t think I'll need the USB light.



Jul 17, 2003, 10:06 AM
I would get an extra battery- it's nice to have.

Jul 17, 2003, 11:08 AM
I picked up a white swiveling base that I use at home.

I bought it as an impulse buy (it was by the register at TechServe, NYC, and I was already a little distracted because Sam Waterson was next in line), so I don't know who makes it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it does three things quite well:

1. it allows the PB to rest at an incline for more comfortable typing
2. it lets me turn my PB like a monitor to show someone the screen
3. it allows air to flow underneath the base, keeping it cooler -- my fan almost never comes on unless I'm Photoshoping+iTunes importing+....

Much more useful and effective than I had expected it to be.

And I'd also recommend the extra battery in the event that you ever deign to fly in steerage...er...coach. In general, you can't plug in when you fly with the herd.

Jul 17, 2003, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by idea_hamster
... I was already a little distracted because Sam Waterson was next in line...My wife is a big Law & Order junkie and she would be envious. Hmmm, maybe I can use this as leverage the next time we're visiting New York, for a reason to go to the TekServe store ("But honey, I've heard that Sam Waterson shops there...") ;)

Jul 17, 2003, 11:46 AM
<concedely OT>

It was a neat David Letterman brush-with-greatness type of moment...and for someone who's spent as much time in NYC as I have, it was (surprisingly) my first time really rubbing elbows with a celeb.

I've seen celebs in restaurants and accidentally wound up chewing the rag in a bar with the producer of the 10th Anniv. Les Miz., but this was the first time seeing a celeb. doing something every-day.

FYI, he's taller than I thought from watching L&O, maybe 6'-4"/5", and his features are _much_ more chisled -- if you think his face has character on screen, it has even more in person.

</concedely OT>

Jul 17, 2003, 12:00 PM
All looks good.
The 4 most important on my list are:
AppleCare, extra batteries, extra power adapter, and a good sleave.

A good neoprene sleave (but something like this (http://www.macyummies.com/macyummies/caslognle2ne.html)) and a water resistant bag.
I have a Timbuk2 (http://timbuk2.com/) bag and a Darth Megalopolis (http://www.boblbee.com/jsp/public/productus/area_hardshell.jsp) from Boblbee (http://www.boblbee.com/jsp/public/general/homepage.jsp). The Boblbee has traveled the world and is a perfect backpack for such. I have many of the modular add ons. It isnít very good if you have to toat a lot of books though. It does meet airline carry on restrictions. Timbuk2 bags just rock. They can also make a custom sleeve.

I would get a good USB floppy drive. There pretty inexpensive.

A USB flash media drive, for quickly exchanging files between non WiFi competitor. Also good for school, as you can plug it in at the labs and save your preferences. They work cross platform and USB is fairly universal. Most don't require drivers, so it's plug and play. I bought a Lexar 128MB for $39 dollars. I also store my digital keys, bookmarks, FTP and security software on it.

Jul 17, 2003, 04:46 PM
Can you guys tell me anything more about Timbuk2 bags? I've never used a messenger bag. I need a new backpack for college that can safely hold the new powerbook I will be getting. I think the El Ocho looks really cool, and it's not that expensive. Any comments or suggestions?

Jul 17, 2003, 04:48 PM
K2 Snowboards has a great bag- the Jiver- it has a suspended computer section, cd pockets, etc. I've had a couple models and they work very well.

Jul 17, 2003, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by plutnicki

I have read that I should get something to protect the screen when closed against the keyboard. Marware sells a little pad for like $7, will that do the trick, or is there something much nicer?


I've been partial to these 8.5 x 11 white protective sheets. iPaper. Or maybe it was just paper. Who can remember....

Jul 17, 2003, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Phatpat
Can you guys tell me anything more about Timbuk2 bags? I've never used a messenger bag. I need a new backpack for college that can safely hold the new powerbook I will be getting. I think the El Ocho looks really cool, and it's not that expensive. Any comments or suggestions?

A guy here at work uses one to tote around his 17. They seem sturdy enough if you've got the cash.

Jul 17, 2003, 06:09 PM
JR Hill do a really nice leather screen protector, look here:


It's designed for the 15, but it works well on the 17 too, it covers the entire working area and doesn't slip around like some other products.

Jul 17, 2003, 06:24 PM
Re: Timbuk2

Good sturdy construction.
I like the look of waxed canvas, so that's what I have, but the guts of the bag are synthetic. Heck, the company lets you make an ugly bag and return it if you don't like it.
I have yet to run into anybody that has warn a Timbuk2 bag out yet. I have the commuter, which was just discontinued. If you get a messenger bag, find some ditty bags to go into it or you'll loose stuff.

Worth the money. The Jand Esk is also very good. (http://www.jandd.com/) And Patagonia (http://www.patagonia.com/) also makes good rugged and ugly bags. www.Ebags.com often has savings on all of these company's products. I have used them all. The Jand Esk is a big bag with lots of pockets, Patagonia makes large and small bags that are absolutely ugly, and Timbuk2.

Jul 17, 2003, 07:54 PM
I have a timbuk2 bag and a case from spire usa. I love them both and they are both very durable...my tiumbuk2 bag is pretty small and my spire is pretty big.

Jul 17, 2003, 08:04 PM
I splurged and bought the Brenthaven backpack. I really like it and think it's well worth the money. It has a removable padded sleeve so you have more room for other stuff when you don't need the powerbook. (mine doubles as my camera gear bag) Yes it's pricey but when it fell out of my truck onto the pavement and didn't give my new 17" pb and digital camera even a scratch in my mind it's paid for itself already.

Jul 17, 2003, 08:13 PM
Anyone use one of the acmemade screen covers. Theirs is a pretty nice looking wrap around design. Seems like it might help protect the outside of the TiBook a bit as well (if the paint is as delicate as many people seem to think).

The case advice is cool. I have a bag fetish, so I'm sure I'll end up with more than one, but the Marware should cover my short term needs until I get something bigger...



Jul 17, 2003, 08:28 PM
The iKlear Apple Polish Kit comes with a dozen large cloths, polish and several individually wrapped sets of polish and smaller cloths. I make one cut on the large cloths and use the cloth as my screen cover. Throw it out when it gets dirty, 12 cloths should last a year. 15" TiPB screen stays nice.

Jul 17, 2003, 09:52 PM
i would check out radtech.us and iskinprotect.com they both have some cool products

Jul 18, 2003, 12:12 AM
I've been looking at Timbuk2 cases. I think the Commuter looks good; it's the one Apple sells on their website. I also checked out the El Ocho and Dee Dog. I need this for school and don't really have a sense of size. What's a good volume for a bag w/ a powerbook and college books and supplies? Thanks

Jul 18, 2003, 12:46 AM
a griffin powermate is a nice toy as well. i've got one for both my macs.

Jul 18, 2003, 05:12 AM
Applecare <- definately!
Airport <- ditto
Extra Power Adapter (one to leave home, one to go with PB) <- hmm, i'm not so sure. i just have the one and i can't see a 2nd one would help me that much

I have read that I should get something to protect the screen when closed against the keyboard. Marware sells a little pad for like $7, will that do the trick, or is there something much nicer?

Errr.... that sounds like a pretty stupid buy - i'm still using the foam-clothy thing that came between the screen+keyboard when i bought my iBook and mine's fine.

before you buy Office:mac (if you're thinking about it) i would seriously look at other alternatives, like OpenOffice (completely free and completely compatible). I really don't think its worth the money you pay for it; very slow, pretty buggy too. Entourage is a massive con. What can it do that Address Book/Mail/iCal can't? I used it for a while and then switched to the apple combo.

Jul 18, 2003, 07:08 AM
Got a great deal on it through a friend that works for Microsoft... I only use Excel and Word really tho'.

Sounds like there's all sorts of solutions to the screen cover/keyboard thing.



Jul 18, 2003, 08:10 AM
I bought the Timbuk 2 bag at the Apple store. It's the fourth messenger bag I've owned and will likely be my last.

After several years of longing for the Holy Grail of bags, this may finally be the one.

Jul 18, 2003, 10:39 AM
you bought a timbuk2 at the apple store? Why didn't yo0u customize your own on thier website...Thats oen of the coolest features

Daveman Deluxe
Jul 18, 2003, 02:41 PM
Must-haves for any laptop user:

-Two-button mouse. Add a scroll wheel for $1.49 when you super-size that value meal.
-iPod. Those things are SLICK.
-Griffin PowerMate, especially if you'll be doing any video editing. I've edited video with a mouse and I've edited video with the jog wheel, and there's no comparison. It is WAY easier with the wheel.
-I highly recommend getting an external keyboard, especially if you'll use your laptop on an actual computer desk like I do.
-Decent speakers.

Jul 18, 2003, 05:25 PM
iGo Power Adapters (base model available at Apple Store) will combine your Air/Car/Wall power adapters into one unit rather than two/three separate units. Also VERY HANDY for getting your PDA and/or Cell phone cord to combine with it and charge both in your car or on the plane or at the hotel with just one set of wiring.

Gotta get .Mac in my opinion. This is not the area for a long reasoning but I use mine IMMENSELY (you may not) and I can tell you the reasons why if you are interested (PM me).

Jul 20, 2003, 11:50 PM
Does anyone know the size differences between the Timbuk2 Commute and the El Ocho. I've seen the stats on the web page, but I don't know what that means practically. The Commute seems a lot more functional, but the El Ocho might be the size I need. Thanks.

Jul 21, 2003, 11:41 AM
Re: Timbuk2
1.) The reason one would order a Comuter via Apple's website is that Timebuk2 no longer offers that bag through their website.

2.) Resize-> The Commuter is a type of bag, and El Ocho is a size of the Messenger Bag. I have the Commuter bag listed (http://a248.e.akamai.net/7/248/2041/361/store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/t6880lla.pdf), except I had it made in waxed canvas. It's a good size, not to big. The El Ocho is also a good size, but it is a messenger bag. It has no divisions or inserts. If your wondering about size, the big bags are big.
A small soft breif case is usualy about 13 to 14 inches across. Larger than this and the bag is noticebly bigger than most peoples backs. The larger it is the more stuff you can put in it, but also, the more the stuff can shift around.

The Commuter has lots of pockets (see link above or Apple's Timbuk2 PDF). The Messenger bag has one big space. I like the Commuter, but most people like the El Ocho size of the Messenger bag, and add a laptop sleave. Get some mesh ditty bags to keep stuff orgnized if you do go with the El Ocho Messenger.

Remeber you back. There is no reason to do damage to it if you can prevent it.

Edit: The no longer offer the Commuter, but rather have a Comute size of their Transit bag. The Transit bag is the same as the Commuter with out any BTO options.

Go to this page (http://timbuk2.com/products/products.html) to see the entire line up. There are more choices here for the Comute size of the Transit as well as other Timbuk2 products.

Oh -> Add a ditty bag or two the strap.

Jul 21, 2003, 04:11 PM
I'm leaning heavily towards the El Ocho, maybe with the center divider. The timbuk2 sleeves are kind of expensive, but I haven't seen anything else that offers the same level of protection in a sleeve. Does anything compare to the timbuk2 sleeves?

Jul 21, 2003, 04:46 PM
You might think about getting insurance instead that also covers accidential damage, damage done to the LCD etc. Some resellers have good deals on these.

Jul 21, 2003, 04:52 PM
I got to say they rock....great bags ...I have two...el ocho is great....I put my 17 in there and it fits fine...I would deffinatlly order from the timbuk2 web stie...here's why....choice of material....I like the waxed canvas...choice of colors...dividers...I like the center divider very useful...there is also bottom straps...the apple one doesn't seem to have it....if your bag is fairly empty...you can give your bag a slimmer profile with these....accesories...they have cool little strap bags...that I use to put keys...small mouse....wallet.. anything...takes the bulk out of the bag itself.

re: screen saver...

I like the Radtec.us screen saver....the reason is that it is made out of a material that you can clean the out side and the screen safely you can wash it...is fitted very exactly... I have the slip case also....might seem a little expensive....but well worth it if you consider other uses....you can't clean the screen safely with foam...

re: sleeve
I like the Waterfield Sleevecase....I got mine with a flap....very durable....neoprene inside soft inside...won't scratch the alum casing..protects very well....I've had the waterfield case in the timbuk2 bag...moving through crouds of people getting banged up against the wall ...in and out of my truck...hit the corner against the door a couple of times when I was carrying a lot of stuff...and still not a scratch....I'm very happy with all the products that I talk about here ....and no they haven't paid me for my testimonial....but they should....but I say...."if you make a good product, they will come." check out these products you'll be happy you did.

Radtech (http://www.radtech.us)

Waterfield (http://www.sfbags.com)

timbuk2 (el ocho) (http://www.timbuk2.com)