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nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 12:10 AM
My 13-year old just got his report card for his first year in a new school and did really well - so I'm thinking about getting him a new computer. I could use your advice . . .

He now has a 1.33 GHz 14" iBook G4, with an 80 GB HD, 768 MB RAM, and superdrive. Running Tiger. It had extended applecare, which ended a year ago, and it was serviced just before it ended. The battery has 110 cycles.

Available for sale is the following: Intel Core Duo 2 GHz Macbook (mid-late '06?), with 250GB HDD, 2GB RAM, superdrive, and nearly new battery (4 cycles). Running Leopard (includes original restore discs). Still has a few months of extended Applecare left and was recently serviced. The price on Mac2Sell is $570, but I'm assuming that doesn't take into account either the extended warranty or Leopard. Actual asking price is $550.

He's happy with the iBook, could use a bit more memory perhaps, but has at least plenty of HD space left available. But the macbook would give him significantly more memory, built-in iSight - oh yeah, and a smaller screen. I'd have to sell the ibook to do it - the Mac2Sell value is $230, but I'm hoping I could do a bit better.

Any thoughts? Good idea, bad idea? Should we just stick with what we have? The ibook is pretty much "old faithful", so I don't want to go out of my way to buy trouble . . .

And, no, before anyone suggests it, I can't afford to go out and buy him anything much more expensive than around $500. (And, heck, I'm still using an ibook!)

Thanks!!!



MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 12:13 AM
I would recommend just keeping what you have at this point

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

SkyBell
Jun 28, 2009, 12:16 AM
Agreed with MacDawg, stay with the iBook. If he's happy with it, why change?

But maybe you could buy him a RAM upgrade. :)

gillboyswims96
Jun 28, 2009, 12:20 AM
personally i have to say upgrade... im probably the only one who ill say this, but im near his age, and being that age, i think that the things that the MacBooks have make it better. Maybe its just me...

MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 12:22 AM
personally i have to say upgrade... im probably the only one who ill say this, but im near his age, and being that age, i think that the things that the MacBooks have make it better. Maybe its just me...

What things would that be?
I can understand wanting something newer... but I doubt there is anything the he is doing or will do in the near future that the iBook won't handle.

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 12:29 AM
i think that the things that the MacBooks have make it better.

I'm with Macdawg on this . . please tell me what things make it better.

And for Macdawg and Cassie, can you tell me why you'd recommend staying with the ibook?

MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 12:34 AM
As I said, I think for the things he will be doing at this age, the iBook will handle it fine
Get as much out of this machine as you can before you upgrade
For word processing, iTunes, web surfing, chat, etc. the iBook will be fine
I don't think the gains you will get are worth the investment in time or money

If he is doing something the iBook can't do, but the MacBook can, then I would consider it
Otherwise, hold what you have

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

NewMacbookPlz
Jun 28, 2009, 12:45 AM
Keep the iBook.

I wouldn't consider giving a teenager a webcam a benefit either...heh

nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 12:48 AM
I'm guessing that having iSight is an asset . . . for videochatting, etc.

And having the fresher battery and built-in memory doesn't hurt. Figure I'd have to spend something to increase the memory, and we'd eventually have to replace the battery.

The other advantages to the Macbook are the more complete parental controls with Leopard (although he's getting to the point where he'll probably figure out how to bypass them anyway) and . . . okay, I know it's stupid . . . . the ability to stream movies from netflix.

Any thoughts on the prices for the two machines? Is $550 reasonable for the Macbook, and what do you think I'd actually be able to get for the ibook?

I'm guessing that having iSight is an asset . . .

I wouldn't consider giving a teenager a webcam a benefit either...heh

Point taken.

MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 12:51 AM
I'm guessing that having iSight is an asset . . . for videochatting, etc.

I am with NewMacbookPlz, I don't consider giving the iSight as an asset for a young teen

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 12:55 AM
Okay, so if I'm going to throw money away, maybe I should just go for the $300 LEGO chess set . . . .

Or, better yet, just not spend it at all.

Sigh, it's too bad, though. It seemed like a really good deal. (There's nothing like a "good deal" on something we don't need!)

MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 12:57 AM
Sigh, it's too bad, though. It seemed like a really good deal. (There's nothing like a "good deal" on something we don't need!)

I understand the feeling all too well

Since he did do so well in school, find another creative way to reward him :)

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

NewMacbookPlz
Jun 28, 2009, 12:59 AM
Okay, so if I'm going to throw money away, maybe I should just go for the $300 LEGO chess set . . . .

Or, better yet, just not spend it at all.

Sigh, it's too bad, though. It seemed like a really good deal. (There's nothing like a "good deal" on something we don't need!)

LEGOs are badass.

I was looking though, and they don't seem to have their Technic sets anymore that are like 1200 pieces except for one OffRoader set, which looks pretty cool for $120. http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=8297&cn=57&d=70

<3 my NASA Space Shuttle Technics set!! :D

dnguyen
Jun 28, 2009, 01:07 AM
I recently sold my ibook g4 1.33ghz/768mb ram/40gb hd/combo drive on craigslists for $375.

I don't know if that helps, but i went from the ibook to the unibody macbook 2008, and that was a big upgrade!

MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 01:09 AM
I recently sold my ibook g4 1.33ghz/768mb ram/40gb hd/combo drive on craigslists for $375.

I don't know if that helps, but i went from the ibook to the unibody macbook 2008, and that was a big upgrade!

Yes, now that would be a significant upgrade over what the OP was looking at
And more money too ;)

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

The Flashing Fi
Jun 28, 2009, 01:14 AM
My 13-year old just got his report card for his first year in a new school and did really well - so I'm thinking about getting him a new computer. I could use your advice . . .

You're a lot nicer than my parents ever were. All I got was a pat on the back and the satisfaction that I was contributing to my future. ;)

He now has a 1.33 GHz 14" iBook G4, with an 80 GB HD, 768 MB RAM, and superdrive. Running Tiger. It had extended applecare, which ended a year ago, and it was serviced just before it ended. The battery has 110 cycles.

That's really not bad if all he's doing it word processing, some instant messaging, e-mail and web browsing, which if he hasn't filled up the 80 Gig HDD, I have a hunch that's all he's doing. At which, anything newer really won't be of much benefit.

If his iBook uses DDR2 memory, you can upgrade at a relatively cheap price, but I'm not to familiar with the old iBooks.

Available for sale is the following: Intel Core Duo 2 GHz Macbook (mid-late '06?), with 250GB HDD, 2GB RAM, superdrive, and nearly new battery (4 cycles). Running Leopard (includes original restore discs). Still has a few months of extended Applecare left and was recently serviced. The price on Mac2Sell is $570, but I'm assuming that doesn't take into account either the extended warranty or Leopard. Actual asking price is $550.

I suppose that's not a bad price. I personally wouldn't buy a 3 year old laptop, even if it is an Apple. The biggest benefit to him would be the new battery. But how often does he really need to be on the move? I see the convenience, but would spending 550 bucks for a 3 year old laptop with a "fresh" battery really be of benefit for him?

He's happy with the iBook

That is what matters. If he's happy with what he has, I wouldn't bother.;)

But the macbook would give him significantly more memory,

For what he's doing, would it really be of much benefit? If not, I wouldn't use that as a reason for buying a new laptop. Having extra memory doesn't do much good if you don't use it.

built-in iSight

This right here would be a reason to not get it. I wouldn't want to risk my child posting pictures of themselves over the internet or using it to chat online. I'm sure you trust your kid, but I personally wouldn't trust the predators on the Internet.

oh yeah, and a smaller screen.

Would that be of much benefit to him? 110 cycles in 3 years isn't really much, so if it's sitting on his desk most of the time, I would view that as more of a downside than an upside.

Should we just stick with what we have?

This. What you have now obviously does what you son needs and wants it to do, and if he hasn't expressed much desire in a new laptop, I don't see the point.

Besides, you don't really know what you're getting into with the Macbook.

(And, heck, I'm still using an ibook!)



I personally wouldn't give my child something better than what I have. In fact, my son would most likely get the hand-me-downs that I used, unless he/she decides to spend the money to get something better than what I have.

nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 01:43 AM
I personally wouldn't give my child something better than what I have. In fact, my son would most likely get the hand-me-downs that I used, unless he/she decides to spend the money to get something better than what I have.

Actually, that's not a bad idea . . . to just let him get it when he can afford it himself.

As for me being a nice parent . . . not really. We had the conversation about rewards for grades early in the year, when he told me that his friend "A" was getting something huge and expensive 'cause he'd gotten good grades. I told my kid that if he thought he should get something also, then he should go talk to A's parents about it.

I just thought that upgrading his computer would be kind of a cool thing to do. But I'll go back to Plan A - which was to let him have a Facebook page. That and "Chuck" on DVD are the only things he really wants. Both of which are cheaper than getting the Macbook.

suekitch
Jun 28, 2009, 03:08 AM
If old faithful is still going strong, and he's happy with it, I'd stick with that too now in your shoes.

You could consider the RAM upgrade - it looks like it takes a maximum of 1GB in one slot which would cost $57 from crucial.com. I think I picked the right setup anyhoo :) It sounds like it has 256MB on board and that someone's put in the extra 512 along the way - but I'm not sure going to 1GB would really give you that much of a boost.

You could also consider some accessories or anything like that. I'd even suggest an iPod as it would be a smaller gift, but then you have to be wary of him filling his hard drive with music! :)

I had friends at school, and at the end of one of our big sets of exams, some got gifts. Now considering the exams I talk about that we take at around age 16, we did about 10-12 subjects - I had friends who were getting 100 for an A! Crazy! Then there was the A* grade above it...

Good job I didn't get anything like that since I completely aced those ones, I'd feel terrible for my parents! :P

Maserati7200
Jun 28, 2009, 07:37 AM
Hi there nhcowboy1, let me post my 2 cents, not abput the upgrade in general bit the webcam. Keep in mind this is coming from a 15 year old (ill be 16 next week).

Anyway, I doubt he would use a webcam for the things the above posters say he would. I (and he would most most likely) use the webcam for photo booth, and video chatting with friends. None of my friends video chat with strangers/weird online pedophiles. I'm sure your son is not an idiot, and I'm sure he would use the camera wisely. He would be able to tell when he is talking to online predators. All I do is video chat with friends and use photo booth. Maybe you could buy him an iSight camera for his iBook if you change your mind

pboy2k5
Jun 28, 2009, 08:40 AM
Dude,

I hope I don't sound like an anal here but I might suggest that you save more money to buy your son a brand new computer (desktop/laptop/etc.) in the future "IF" he could maintain those good grades. There is nothing more rewarding for a parent to buy something new to your son and he must also be so proud that all his hard work pays off.

Imagine that sense of pride when you accompany your son to the nearest computer shop in your town (or Apple Store if it is within driving distance), hand him that unopened card box while saying, "congratulations son. I am so proud of you. You deserve the best."

Let's hope he remember to say, "thank you dad/mom."

nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 02:24 PM
One piece of the puzzle I forgot to mention . . . He's learning to program and wants to work on a PC. So the possibility of dual environment on the Macbook might be interesting. But (and sorry I know nothing about programming!), would we have to install Windows? Is there any other OS we could use that might work for him?

I know when I needed a PC for work, I ended up just getting an old desktop. That was WAY easier than using Bootcamp or Parallels. But for programming I don't know .. . .

SkyBell
Jun 28, 2009, 02:33 PM
Decent PC's can easily be found for less then $100. I bought one off of eBay a year ago for $75 and it works great for all my needs. (2.4 GHz, 768 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD.)

I think it would be easier then trying to deal with bootcamp, but that's my opinion.

4JNA
Jun 28, 2009, 03:09 PM
...it would be easier then trying to deal with bootcamp...

no doubt. and won't take up space on the macbook.

if you stay with the ibook, and want the dual/pc thing to work, you could get the cheap pc and just use remote desktop on the ibook to control the pc. it doesn't need a keyboard/mouse/monitor, just hook it to the network and stuff it in a closet. i use my ibook to control several servers this way every day and it works really well.

and since i still use an ibook, i guess i will also throw in a vote for 'keep the ibook'. quiet, fast enough for general use, and saving money is always a good thing! best of luck.

edit: i should have added that 'remote desktop' is microsoft software, it's free to download/use, and can be found HERE (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx). bottom of the page, older version for 10.2, newer version for 10.4.9 or higher.

nhcowboy1
Jun 28, 2009, 04:27 PM
i guess i will also throw in a vote for 'keep the ibook'. quiet, fast enough for general use, and saving money is always a good thing!

Okay, then, I guess I have to ask - why does any student need a macbook? If you're doing graphic design, lots of photo work, yeah, then I get it. But for the student who isn't doing that kind of stuff, wouldn't the ibook usually be enough?

MacDawg
Jun 28, 2009, 04:32 PM
Okay, then, I guess I have to ask - why does any student need a macbook? If you're doing graphic design, lots of photo work, yeah, then I get it. But for the student who isn't doing that kind of stuff, wouldn't the ibook usually be enough?

Pretty much! :)

Woof, Woof - Dawg http://homepage.mac.com/k.j.vinson/pawprint.gif

The Flashing Fi
Jun 28, 2009, 09:49 PM
One piece of the puzzle I forgot to mention . . . He's learning to program and wants to work on a PC. So the possibility of dual environment on the Macbook might be interesting. But (and sorry I know nothing about programming!), would we have to install Windows? Is there any other OS we could use that might work for him?

I know when I needed a PC for work, I ended up just getting an old desktop. That was WAY easier than using Bootcamp or Parallels. But for programming I don't know .. . .

Consider this. For about 500 bucks, he can get a brand new PC laptop, and you don't have to worry about having to buy a license to run Windows or even having to install windows yourself.

You could go to Dell and pick out the Inspiron 15 and get a 15.6" screen, a 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 gigs of RAM, Vista Home Premium, 160 gig hard drive, integrated graphics, all for under 500 dollars, and performance wise, it would be faster than the Macbook.

Of course, he may not even need a PC for his class, especially if he's doing Java. But before you do anything big or unnecessary, you should have your son find out first from his teacher as to what he would need.

gillboyswims96
Jun 28, 2009, 11:23 PM
I'm with Macdawg on this . . please tell me what things make it better.

And for Macdawg and Cassie, can you tell me why you'd recommend staying with the ibook?

mainly the iSight. Many 13 year olds that i know really like it, and they dont like it so they can "post inappropriate pictures" on the internet, or anything like that. If you dont trust your kid with a camera, then frankly how do you trust him with a computer all together?

just my 2 cents...

windywoo
Jun 28, 2009, 11:28 PM
If he wants a webcam he can pick a separate one up for peanuts and plug it in. Come to think of it, thats not a bad idea as a present.

I would say that if he's going to program then a desktop is probably a good idea. Sitting at a computer for long stretches isn't so great at a laptop when you have to hunch over a keyboard. You could get a Mac mini if you were really intent on getting a Mac and thats small enough to be quite portable.

jay1118
Jun 28, 2009, 11:29 PM
I say get him a macbook. Im 18 just a few years older than ur child and i would have loved to have a macbook at his age. Had to buy my first Macbook Pro myself a few weeks ago. But its ur call.

windywoo
Jun 28, 2009, 11:32 PM
I say get him a macbook. Im 18 just a few years younger than ur child and i would have loved to have a macbook at his age. Had to buy my first Macbook Pro myself a few weeks ago. But its ur call.

Hey if you're younger how would you have loved to have had a macbook when you were his age? Aren't you talking about the future? :p

jay1118
Jun 28, 2009, 11:34 PM
Hey if you're younger how would you have loved to have had a macbook when you were his age? Aren't you talking about the future? :p

lol im about to edit the post to older. nice catch

techfreak85
Jun 28, 2009, 11:38 PM
i agree with a lot of ^people.
if the iBook is working, just get him a nice ram upgrade. Max it out.

5DollaFootlong
Jun 28, 2009, 11:50 PM
if you're gonna buy him a computer, wait till the end of high school. then, you could get him a NEW or refurb computer as a graduation gift. by then, computers will easily be able to accomodate any app your son wants to use. if his ibook works, no point of buying him an old and used computer

nhcowboy1
Jun 29, 2009, 11:41 AM
Well, so here's the update . . .

While I was trying to do decide whether or not to take advantage of the Macbook deal that was available, I pondered just a little bit too long, didn't call back in time, and it was sold to someone else . . . (problem solved!)

Then, just in case I had any lingering doubts about whether or not the kid deserved an upgrade, I discovered (while searching his room for a sleeping bag he couldn't find yesterday evening) that he'd found an innovative way to bypass the parental controls I'd put on his iBook . . . he'd "borrowed" my 1.42 ibook G4 (which I basically just have as a back up, and rarely use) and had that hidden in his room. Well, "hidden" is rather misstating things, since that suggests it was cached away securely - it was open and on the floor, although behind a table and well out of view!

So, no need to worry about an upgrade or anything else right now, since he's about to experience a computer-free summer! If he survives the two months of deprivation (and household chores), he'll get his ibook back when school starts, with increased memory, perhaps, and Open Office so he can read those @$$% .docx files the school keeps sending him. And if he ends up needing a PC to do programming on, I'll help him find something used and cheap - that he can buy himself!

Thanks, all, for your advice and suggestions . . . :)

NewMacbookPlz
Jun 29, 2009, 12:19 PM
Well, so here's the update . . .

While I was trying to do decide whether or not to take advantage of the Macbook deal that was available, I pondered just a little bit too long, didn't call back in time, and it was sold to someone else . . . (problem solved!)

Then, just in case I had any lingering doubts about whether or not the kid deserved an upgrade, I discovered (while searching his room for a sleeping bag he couldn't find yesterday evening) that he'd found an innovative way to bypass the parental controls I'd put on his iBook . . . he'd "borrowed" my 1.42 ibook G4 (which I basically just have as a back up, and rarely use) and had that hidden in his room. Well, "hidden" is rather misstating things, since that suggests it was cached away securely - it was open and on the floor, although behind a table and well out of view!

So, no need to worry about an upgrade or anything else right now, since he's about to experience a computer-free summer! If he survives the two months of deprivation (and household chores), he'll get his ibook back when school starts, with increased memory, perhaps, and Open Office so he can read those @$$% .docx files the school keeps sending him. And if he ends up needing a PC to do programming on, I'll help him find something used and cheap - that he can buy himself!

Thanks, all, for your advice and suggestions . . . :)

Guess that's that.

Time to start using a password for wake-from-sleep on your iBook I guess :p

jay1118
Jun 29, 2009, 12:36 PM
Well, so here's the update . . .

While I was trying to do decide whether or not to take advantage of the Macbook deal that was available, I pondered just a little bit too long, didn't call back in time, and it was sold to someone else . . . (problem solved!)

Then, just in case I had any lingering doubts about whether or not the kid deserved an upgrade, I discovered (while searching his room for a sleeping bag he couldn't find yesterday evening) that he'd found an innovative way to bypass the parental controls I'd put on his iBook . . . he'd "borrowed" my 1.42 ibook G4 (which I basically just have as a back up, and rarely use) and had that hidden in his room. Well, "hidden" is rather misstating things, since that suggests it was cached away securely - it was open and on the floor, although behind a table and well out of view!

So, no need to worry about an upgrade or anything else right now, since he's about to experience a computer-free summer! If he survives the two months of deprivation (and household chores), he'll get his ibook back when school starts, with increased memory, perhaps, and Open Office so he can read those @$$% .docx files the school keeps sending him. And if he ends up needing a PC to do programming on, I'll help him find something used and cheap - that he can buy himself!

Thanks, all, for your advice and suggestions . . . :)

Sucks for the kid. He didnt know how close he was to an upgrade. Too bad.

I was really pulling for him too.