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nubneck
Nov 5, 2001, 02:42 PM
Well, I'm a long-time windows/unix user who is has convinced himself to buy a mac. I'm actually a hardware engineer, and most of my computer time these days is spent under UNIX. I've played with OSX, and I like the idea that I can run some UNIX programs under that system! I've also read all of the technical specs for the iBook, and I feel fairly convinced that Apple makes a great product.

So, (as I'm reaching for my credit card), I'd like to hear some first-hand opinions of the new iBook. How well does OSX run on it? Are applications like Photoshop (which I only use casualy) fairly quick with the 600Mhz model? How about that 8Mb graphics card and the G3 processor? Do most of you find it sufficient for most popular games? If not, can it be upgraded in any way?

And (perhaps the reason I'm asking macRUMORS), what about the near-term future? Does anyone suspect that in the near future, Apple will put out a FAR superior iBook? Perhaps one with a G4, or a 16Mb graphics card? Is now a relatively good time to buy?

Aside from my specific questions, I hope you'll share your opinions on anything else related to the iBook. I'm just looking to get a sense of weather people are generally happy with the product or if there are some major problems that would make me reconsider.

I hope you'll tell me what you think!

Thanks.

akuma
Nov 5, 2001, 03:06 PM
I can't much speak for the ibook side.

But I have a 2 year old Blue and White G3 running at 400 mhz, and I have never had a problem at all with it. It has always been speedy and *seems* to be faster than the 900 mhz athlon I have running at work (using the same programs...bryce 5, photoshop, etc) The G3 is a very stable processor and I think most people will agree.

As far as the iBook, if I had the need to get a laptop, I would definately get an iBook. I think that they are a very good value.

OS X performance is on par with my 450 mhz Cube, but I also have 768 mb Ram in the G3. Using the window buffer hack in OS 10.1 makes it extremely usable in day to day activities.

nubneck
Nov 5, 2001, 03:58 PM
That's good to hear. Considering my purposes (websurfing, editing files in xemacs, using the terminal, burning CDs, watching movies, email, mp3s, and light gaming), it sounds like speed won't be an issue with the 600MHz iBook.
I'd like to know if the screen looks good, and also if there are any outstanding complaints that anyone has with the machine, or if anyone thinks that now is a particularly good or bad time to buy. (Is apple rumored to being updating the iBook like drasticly anytime soon? Should I buy a G4 TiBook instead???)

jefhatfield
Nov 5, 2001, 07:21 PM
also as casual users of photoshop, version 5.5 works fine on our two year old, 300 MHz/160 RAM iBook

natedavis
Nov 5, 2001, 07:42 PM
My iBook 500mhz has worked like a charm. I have been running Mac OS 10.1 since the day it came out. I really don't have all that much experience with UNIX, but I would like to learn. Everything under 10.1 has run smooth, and it is not that slow until I have tons of programs open. I believe that the iBook is one of the best purchases I have made. I have recommended Apple's iBook to everyone I know. Just make sure you have over 256mb of RAM and it should run great.

ShaolinMiddleFinger
Nov 5, 2001, 10:33 PM
I got the ibook 500mhz model and it works superb for me. i enjoy it alot. web surfing on it is great. photoshop works fast, too. the screen is really bright. i feel i've made a great investment on it. I strongly recommend it

DannyZR2
Nov 6, 2001, 12:01 AM
Can someone explain the hack that was mentioned above? I've heard of the memory paging tweak, but I am not sure exaclty what it involves and is it worth it.. is this was he is talking about?

thanks..

ThlayliTheFierce
Nov 6, 2001, 12:31 AM
I love hearing from converts :-). This isn't about the iBook per se, but you mentioned that you like OS X...I'm not sure if you've used it a whole lot, but if you haven't, let me assure you that you will LOVE it. Imagine a version of Linux with a killer UI (I don't care what people say, I like Aqua AND the Dock, dammit!) that works without too much tweaking and VI editing from a boot disk. In fact you never have to use the computer on that level. The great thing about it is that you actually can do that if you want to, and it's not that hard. You open up a terminal window and there Unix sits, waiting for your command. I think this is one thing that CNet's deathmatch is really missing: how easy is it to get to the nuts and bolts? It's simple in OS X, but very hard to do in Windows. Oh, and if you miss X-Windows, don't worry, you can run that too. Every time I use OS X I want to use Windows less.

Out of curiosity, what kind of hardware do you engineer?

McFreggle
Nov 6, 2001, 04:16 AM
Well... I just got my brand new iBook 600 Combo yesterday, and I just luuuuuuuuuv it.

And OS X 10.1 runs so swell! Much better than on my 400 Mhz iMac...

Oh man I just can't wait 'till I get my iPod to connect it to my iBook...

akuma
Nov 6, 2001, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by DannyZR2
Can someone explain the hack that was mentioned above? I've heard of the memory paging tweak, but I am not sure exaclty what it involves and is it worth it.. is this was he is talking about?

thanks..

I don't remember where I first saw this but I found it here

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/webboard/Forum1/HTML/000659.html

make sure you back up the file first...(just in case) it seemed to speed things up on my 450mhz cube. And I haven't noticed any problems since I did it.

nubneck
Nov 6, 2001, 08:48 AM
It's great to hear all of these rave reviews of both OSX and the iBook (I think I'm sold). I would like to hear more about that frame buffer hack that was mentioned though...

To answer a question above, I'm a chip designer. Everyone I work with uses UNIX for work, so as a result LInux is really popular for home use among my coworkers. What I started realized a few months back though is that OSX offers the posibility of both UNIX-y stuff (running a shell, xemacs, etc..) combined with all of the cool stuff that you really can't do so easily in Linux (DVD's, burning CD's, games, etc...). That plus the attractive design of the iBook is what really drew me in. I still haven't heard any complaints from anyone, which I guess is a good sign.

I really appreciate everyone who has commented on this, and if anyone else has advise, warnings, or just good things to say, I'm very interested to hear.
Thanks.

nubneck
Nov 6, 2001, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the link, Akuma.

akuma
Nov 6, 2001, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by nubneck
Thanks for the link, Akuma.
no problem, glad I could help.

akuma
Nov 6, 2001, 09:26 AM
This hack puts a scroll arrow at both ends of the scroll bar on your open windows...

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20010927011840284

nubneck
Nov 6, 2001, 11:52 AM
Does anyone want to make the case for the powerbook instead of the iBook?

oldMac
Nov 6, 2001, 01:30 PM
I have an iBook 500Mhz and it's a really great machine. The newer model can only be better with its 100Mhz bus at 600Mhz.

The screen is *excellent*. It's probably one of the highest quality components on the machine. In fact, I almost feel bad for those Titanium users who have a huge screen that's not as crisp or bright as my iBook.

OS X rocks in general and it's only getting better. With regards to the window buffer hack, don't worry about it too much unless you've got lots of windows open and limited RAM. (Upgrade your machine to at least 384 MB after you get it, btw.)

Besides, the buffer hack will probably be in place when 10.1.1 rolls out. And, I suspect 10.1.1 will be out before the end of the month.

nubneck
Nov 6, 2001, 02:41 PM
Interesting. So although the screen is smaller, the quality seems better than that of the g4 (which has an already beautiful looking screen)? Wow. Are there any rumors out there regarding the NEXT version of the iBook? Better video cards, perhaps? Faster G3's? Longer battery life??? And when are the next models expected to roll out?

ThlayliTheFierce
Nov 7, 2001, 12:33 AM
The current iteration of the iBook is really a good value. Considering that Apple just updated it, it probably will be a little while before we see more updates. If you keep waiting for the next version, you'll never have one! And about the screen, I've seen them side by side, and I have to say that the LCD on the iBook is superior to the powerbook, although smaller. It's brighter, crisper, and has better color.

What kind of chips do you design? I'm asking because my major is computer engineering and I'm trying to get a feel for the different paths I could take with that: hardware, software, or some combo of the two. It seems like you're a little more on the hardware side.

nubneck
Nov 7, 2001, 06:48 AM
Well, you all have completely convinced me. I'm picking mine up this weekend.

Thlayli, I'm an ASIC chip designer. I actually just graduated from a computer engineering major last may, so I'm still just learning tons of stuff. What I can say about it is that if you enjoyed the parts of you major that had to do with logic design, then I reccomend looking at companies that need designers of verifiers. These are both interesting and important fields of work. If, on the other hand, you really enjoyed your programming classes more, then software design is never out of reach. At one point, I was looking into writing firmware and device code in an attempt to really merge both the hardware and software sides of my major. As for ASIC chip designing, I can tell you that it's a lot of work, but it's interesting and fun.
Goodluck!

ThlayliTheFierce
Nov 7, 2001, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the info! It always helps. And congrats on your decision, you won't be disappointed.