A "switcher" in distress

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by pinto32, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    I'm preparing to "switch," but I my pc-centric mind has a few mac-centric questions that I would really appreciate some help with.

    1)As a rule, what is a good amount of RAM to have in OS X ? (internet, powerpoint, excel, digital photography, some DV)

    2) Is Applecare a good idea? How much do PB's and ibooks usually cost to repair, as far as common problems go? (I know a 3 year warrenty is the safest bet, but I'm on a budget)

    3) I am a student, and use powerpoint a lot. My college doesnt have Keynote on any of its Macs (2:1 mac: pc ratio :)), so I have never used it. Is Keynote equal to/better than Powerpoint?

    Thanks for your help!




    (I hate my 733mhz pc........I'm drooling over an 800mhz mac.........67mhz must really make a difference!!!):) :)
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    Re: A "switcher" in distress

    I'd say you want 512MB-1GB to get the best from your Mac & OS X.

    The other 2 questions I have no idea about, sorry.
     
  3. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #3
    1) edesignuk is right on the money. but don't buy apple from ram. get the least amount from apple you can and upgrade yourself. www.ramseeker.com does price comparisons of ram by apple model. Includes all the major seller (crucial, xmemory, 1884memory, and many more)

    2) People have good fights about whether applecare is a good value. Most will say it is and that they would never buy a mac without it. Repair costs (especially on laptops) can be very high. My opinion is that it is a ripoff. Like any insurance policy it is designed so that the company offering it always wins. They know failure rate and repair costs and price applecare so that they win. if you don't get applecare you still have a 1 year warranty. That is my opinion but it is not a popular one.

    3) i have heard good things about keynote but only have limited direct knowledge of it. Sounds like it is much better than powerpoint where it has feature parity. It is easier and faster to use, but it does not have feature parity with powerpoint so there might not be some features you have come to know. It can read and save as ppt so there are no compatability issues.
     
  4. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #4
    Re: A "switcher" in distress

    RAM - as much as you can afford, i used 320 under OS 9 for those tasks and it was Okay, now under OS 10, i have 832 and i would love to make it an even gig, or maybe 1.3 GIG (replace my 64 RAM chip with a 512)

    Hmm... i hear that apple care is a good idea for laptops because they get thrown around a lot, and are more likely to be damage... i got applecare on my Desktop System, and it was a terrible waste of money - didn't even install the CD.

    For powerpoint vs Keynote - that i have no idea about, because i don't use either. But if your comfortable with PP, and don't have Keynote anywhere to use - doesn't that kinda solve your problem?
     
  5. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #5
    Re: A "switcher" in distress

    1. 512MB+ really. Definately more than 256MB
    2. Apples cost A LOT to repair especially portables. One dead logic board can cost a lot more than Applecare. You may be able to pick up Applecare on ebay cheap. I got it for half price for my ibook. Keep a look out
    3. I've used both. Keynote is more fun to use and if you're going to present on a mac then go for it. It can really produce some excellent presentations. It can export to powerpoint though the conversion sometimes isn't perfect especially if you will be presenting on a PC. Text fields sometimes wrap on the PC powerpoint when they didn't on the Mac. It's because the font rendering is different on mac/pac. Personally I use keynote to write presentations because it's just nicer to use. I'm just careful to use stuff that powerpoint is compatible with so a lot of the snazzy Keynote transitions and effects are out for me. I usually present using a PC because I usually present at work and work is 100% PC.:(
     
  6. ckwm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I'd agree with this, but with one slight difference. I buy insurance if I cannot afford to get the repairs done (so I have comprehensive insurance on the car and house). I never take out warranties on TVs etc. Just think of the average insurance company with its offices, shareholders, cars, commissions. That's all paid for by you!
     
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #7
    I am in favor of AppleCare. I can rest assured that if something does go wrong with my Quicksilver that a free fix is just a phone call away (I have used it once already, dead logic board one morning!). If a part was to go (PSU/Logic board/CPU etc) AFAIK it would have to go to Apple as only they have the parts, and so it would cost a damn fortune to repair!!!
     
  8. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #8
    I have to say I agree with Ambitious Lemon...don't get it. You are only buying two years additional warrenty, and generally most hardware problems happen within the first year or after three years, this is exactly why they offer the warranty for the additional two years. they make lots of money off these programs. I worked in retail for 15 years and know first hand this is an electronics store best money maker. There is a reason everyone from Best Buy to K-mart are offering these plans...it is not because they want better customer service. They want to make money! I am not saying you won't have hardware problems during years 2 or 3, but your chances of having them are very slim compared to the first, fourth and fifth years.

    Just my opinion, but I have first hand knowledge of electronics store practices with warranties and know they really push their sales people to sell these...they even give the salespeople extra cash incentives to sell them, even if they are not working on a commison basis.

    Good luck,

    John
     
  9. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #9
    You are lucky that you had it, but I am wondering at what point in the three year warranty did it go bad...first, second, or third year???

    Thanks,

    Johnny
     
  10. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #10
    Re: Re: A "switcher" in distress

    I would agree that it is expensive to repair portables, but i wonder if they will repair a portable if they deem it was dropped or something like that...usually warranties have clauses that say if it was damaged by the user they will not fix it. I would look into this for sure to be sure they cover every type of issue no matter the cause. Also, is Applecare transferrable...I would think it is not, have never read anything about this.


    Caveman...have you used the warranty you bought on your iBook yet??? I would be very interested to see if it is transferrable and Apple gives you no problems...they are usually so strict about resellers and stuff only selling apple stuff.

    Johnny
     
  11. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    RAM: Bare minimum 256. 512 will probably meet your needs. More than that might be overkill if you're not doing big work. If money is no object though, get as much as you can. Like others have said, don't buy it from Apple.

    AppleCare: I'd say it depends on what model Mac you're getting. I have it on my PowerMac and I'm not sure that was the smartest move. We'll know for sure in about 2 years. I didn't get it on my iBook because the cost of AppleCare compared to the cost of a new iBook is too high. If I had a PowerBook though, I would probably by it.

    Kenote vs. Power Point: I prefer Keynote and I've used both quite a bit. Like most Microsoft products, Power Point has a ton of features and you'll never use most of them. The ones that you will use are better and easier in Keynote. I've never converted my Keynotes to ppt or crossed platforms so I can't say how ugly that gets. I would suspect that if you keep your presentation simple you wouldn't have problems.
     
  12. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    It was actually within the first, but it could just have easily been the 2nd or 3rd, point is hardware faults do happen, and if you don't have AppleCare it will probably cost you a small fortune to repair.
     
  13. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #13
    Below is warranty information directly from the AppleCare page on Apple.com which gives all the warranty fine print. I just cut and pasted the stuff that stands out as important to deciding if it is worth it for you. Note that Powerbook AppleCare is quite a bit more than desktop machines.

    The things that stand out in the fine print for me are: Apple's ability to use used or refurbished parts to repair your computer with. The fact that they don't have to fix it the problem is caused by accident, abuse, neglect, misuse (including faulty installation, repair, or maintenance by anyone other than Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider),

    I think the part where if you transfer the Apple Care it has to be with the equipment that the Apple Care was sold with...in other words I don't think you can buy it off eBay and have them honor it unless you bought the computer off ebay.

    Where it stated that wear and tear on mechanical parts is not coverd would include the CD/DVD drive, hard drive, etc. It looks as if that stuff would not be covered unless they deem it was a defect in manufacturing and not just wear and tear.

    Just my thoughts though.

    Here is the informationdirectly from Apple.com on the AppleCare program

    For the period stated in your Plan’s Certificate/Confirmation or Proof of Coverage document, Apple (i) covers defects in materials and workmanship for the Apple-branded product(s) (“Covered Equipment”) listed on the Plan Certificate/Confirmation or Proof of Coverage document,

    During the Plan’s term:
    Apple, at its option, will repair or replace the Covered Equipment if necessary because of any existing defect in materials or workmanship, subject to the conditions in this section.
    Apple will provide both parts and labor, but may direct that you replace certain readily installable parts yourself, as described below.

    Apple may use either new or refurbished replacement parts to repair the Covered Equipment. At Apple’s sole discretion, Apple may replace the Covered Equipment with equipment that is functionally equivalent, which may have been manufactured from new, refurbished, or serviceable used parts. Any replaced parts or Covered Equipment will become Apple’s property.

    The Plan does not cover:

    Damage due to accident, abuse, neglect, misuse (including faulty installation, repair, or maintenance by anyone other than Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider), unauthorized modification, improper environment (including lack of proper temperature or humidity), unusual physical or electrical stress or interference, failure or fluctuation of electrical power, lightning, static electricity, fire, or acts of God;

    Problems caused by a device that is not the Covered Equipment, including equipment that is not Apple-branded, whether or not purchased at the same time as the Covered Equipment;

    Repair, replacement, or maintenance of items that have been subject to wear and tear, such as cases, key caps, knobs, handles, batteries or mechanical parts.

    Transfer of Plan
    You may transfer this Plan to a new owner of the Covered Equipment. If you purchased the Plan in the U.S. or Canada, transfer by sending written notice to AppleCare Administration, P.O. Box 149125, Austin, TX 78714-9125, U.S. You must provide the Plan’s enrollment or agreement number, the serial numbers of the Covered Equipment being transferred, proof of purchase of the Plan, and the name and address of the new owner.

    This Plan is not available for Florida consumers or where prohibited by law.
     
  14. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Historic Norcross
    #14
    KEYNOTE and other specs

    I've been using Keynote for about six months now for lectures and presentations. It was a pretty steep learning curve for me as I had used PowerPoint for about six years before switching. But, it wasn't really that Keynote is "harder" to use than PowerPoint, it's just all the stuff is in different places and the navigation is different. PowerPoint does supposedly have the edge for a few more "advanced" features (that I never used anyway). All that said, Keynote rocks, especially considering it is a 1.1 release! I have received a lot of positive feedback on it. I think MacSlash and Macworld have done comparisons but they were early on and not very, um, useful.

    Anyways, Keynote is very compatible with PowerPoint; you can export directly as a .ppt file and open .ppt files in Keynote without having to do anything "extra." Supposedly the transitions are lost but I'm not a big fan of transitions anyway. The overall look and animations are retained though. But it still just doesn't look as good as a .ppt. I've had to do this so my slides could be posted to WebCT and the overall effect is maintained, even if quality suffers a little bit. You can also export as a Quicktime movie, but I don't have any real use for that. So to answer your question, Keynote is at least comparable to PowerPoint for my needs.

    With regard to the machine you're aspiring for, 800mhz G4 with 512MB - 1GB should be plenty good to do what you want; my 600mhz G3 iBook with 340MB is sufficient to get everything I want done; and I routinely keep Safari, Mail, iCal, Acrobat Reader, Appleworks, Word, and yes, Keynote always open (mostly because it takes a while for them to load); that may explain why it takes SO LONG to fold a 400 frame protein, but hey, at least I'm contributing now. . .

    :)
     
  15. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #15
    Not true. That means that if you transfer the AppleCare plan, it must go with the computer it was initially purchased for.

    For example, if I want to sell my iBook with AppleCare, I cannot sell the AppleCare plan to somebody else separately from the iBook--I can only sell it with the iBook.

    That's only for AppleCare plans that have been registered, as far as I can tell--that's why you can buy retail boxes of AppleCare off of eBay and still be fine.
     
  16. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #16
    About AppleCare...

    I would just like to note that you can buy AppleCare for your Mac at any time during the 1-year warranty period -- so if you buy your Mac today and your 1-year basic warranty runs through 22-10-04, then you have until then to "extend" that coverage by purchasing AppleCare.

    Personally, I'm a big proponent of buying AppleCare -- just NOT right away. If your Mac is a lemon or has some type of manufacturing defect, it (IMHO) is likely to show up in that first year. Just get it fixed under warranty.

    As the warranty runs down, think about (1) how much work your Mac needed -- does it seem like it was it built on a Friday afternoon? by some hung-over dude? and (2) how you feel about the risk of going warranty-less -- could you afford to fix your Mac? or would that mean getting the electricity turned off? or your leg broken by your loan shark?

    I think that AppleCare is good, but you're not in the best place to judge your own level of risk-aversion until you can look over the edge of the no-more-warranty cliff.

    Oh, and welcome to the wonderful world of the Mac! Good to have you aboard
     
  17. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #17
    Re: Re: Re: A "switcher" in distress

    I registered with Apple Europe no worries. It was actually an old Applecare pack as it was apparently for a clamshell ibook (though it didn't say so on the box). I told them I'd bought it (unopened) from ebay and they registered it. I've got the certificate from them to prove it.
     
  18. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #18
    The word switche3r sounds rather dirty.. makes you sound like some sort of tranny... :p



    1. 512 isnt bad for games.. specially on the mac since tetris only needs about 1mb.. for movie and photoediting id go for 4gb but since you said studnet.. you can live with 1gb and not be bad off :-D

    2. I didnt buy it.. the last time I owned a mac the Motherboard fried like 1 week before my 1 year warenty expired... Lucky for me really.. But either way.. I just bought a new mac and didnt buy the apple care thing...

    3. You yourself said you had a 2 to 1 pc to mac ratio... Use powerpoint.
     
  19. MIADolFan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, Florida
    #19
    Applecare was an easy decision for me... I am not allowed to have it :mad:
     
  20. G5trinity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #20
    Ram: everybody has covered the numbers 256 minimum 512 is good.

    Applecare: I buy it. On my first power mac I had to replace the processor and the motherboard, Apple repaired it for Free (except the cost of the applecare)
    It was into my 2.5 yr mark, the failure was dicovered after Installing OS X.01.
    Although wait the year to pick it up is a good Idea if you don't have the upfront cash.

    Keynote is killer dude. I use it to teach class. School doesn't have it on their Macs. So I just burn my presentation to cd with the app on the same cd. The app runs the presentation right off the CD. works great. If I have to presnt on a pc I just out put the slide show in PP or PDF. I you want to keep the transitiond just export as a .mov.
    I can't say enough good thing about Keynote.
     
  21. logicat2001 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #21
    Applecare is NOT insurance.

    Even without Applecare, if your logic board gets fried, for example, you can get it replaced for free because of the 1 year hardware warranty.

    Electrical components that are faulty tend to show up pretty quickly. More than a year and I'd start assuming the owner did something to cause the failure.

    Just my opinion.
     
  22. jamesatzones macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #22
    Re: A "switcher" in distress

     
  23. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #23
    Good point about Apple Care and that is exactly what I meant to say, but didn't say it right...what I was saying was that if you buy apple care from someone who got it with a comuter, then you need to buy that computer to use it, unless...as you said...it hasn't been registered.

    Thanks for the good point about registration affecting resale of applecare.
     
  24. Mac til death macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Location:
    Memphis
    #24
    He said 2 to 1 mac to pc ratio.... i.e.-more macs.

    Anyway...

    I personally like Keynote's ease of use and the Quartz Compositing of OS X makes your presentation look stunning.

    I would say go with Keynote since you have the option to export .ppt (Powerpoint) files, Quicktime video, or pdf files... It's very flexible.
     
  25. encro macrumors 6502

    encro

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    bendigo.victoria.au
    #25
    1. 512Mb is the realistic minimus in OS X if you dont want a sluggish system. That said, you can never have enough memory so buy as much as you can afford.

    2. Apple care is a great idea and if you are a Student, you should get AppleCare included free with your computer purchase (Well that is how it is in Australia anyway).

    3. I own Powerpoint but have never used it nor Keynote. I'm of no help with this question sorry.
     

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