A Used iBook as a holdover computer.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MNSUGrad07, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #1
    Hey everyone:
    First off I have been a lurker on this site for MANY months now but I just joined today. Everybody seems so helpful on here so I have a question.

    I am a graduate student in urban planning. I currently have a POS Gateway Notebook. A close friend of mine is offering to sell me his iBook for 500 bucks. Here are the specs on it:
    g3 900 Mhz
    12 inch screen
    640 MB Ram
    OS 9.2 and OS 10.2
    Combo Drive
    40 GB HD
    I don't need my computer for anything major. I use it mostly for word, powerpoint, iTunes, internet, the only "intensive" thing I use my laptop for is Adobe Illustrator. I use it for simple outlines of plats (drawing lines mostly ) :D My university has Office for 60 bucks.
    I have wanted an iBook for a LONG time and I think this is a good way to enter the Mac world. How long would the iBook be useful for, further down the line (1-2 yrs.) I would like to upgrade to a MBP or a MacBook (or whatever Apple is calling them) :rolleyes: Is this a good deal? Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Well, I don't have much idea when it comes to foreign iBook values but it does seem a little inflated.

    IMO, the iBook is the single best switcher machine. It's great in that it combines the experience of OSX with the experience of an Apple laptop, at a good price for people who don't want to leap straight into a PowerBook or Mac Book. :cool:
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    This is a nice computer, but a first generation iBook G4/800 with otherwise similar specs can probably be had for $50-100 more, and would probably be better.

    Also, does it have a wireless card? The Airport (not express) card that the G3 iBook uses is hard to find, and expensive. So if it doesn't have one, I'd say avoid it, personally.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    mkrishnan makes an excellent point (as usual). The G4 iBook was far superior to the G3 one. That was one of the more significant updates in Apple's recent history. :)
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    $500 U.S.?

    That's expensive for such an old computer.

    As mkrishnan said, you can easily get a better machine for a little more.

    Check eBay, Craigslist, Apple refurbs, etc.

    $500 is a rip off, whether your "close friend" knows it or not.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    And then you will slowly, but surely, lust for an iMac. It's sadly unavoidable. :eek: But you will still love your iBook. I still love mine. :)
     
  7. macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #7
    500 is insane

    You can get a NEW iBook G4 for only ~ $800 now with rebate off amazon IRRC
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #8
    Sorry I should have clarified that its coming with an Airport Card, an extra battery, and a copy of Illustrator. He just got a new iMac, lucky him. With the deal question secondary, how long would this computer remain useful? I am a poor student so as much as I want a blazing fast machine I also much be realistic.:(
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    I think the simplest answer is that, if it runs the software you need now, and you're comfortable not upgrading it, then it'll run indefinitely using the software it has now. ;)

    In terms of upgrading, it's on the very old side for current software. In particular, it runs on Jaguar (10.2), and in general, less and less software runs on this version of the OS anymore, since it's so out of date. It would probably run Panther fine, but then you're going to get into spiraling upgrade costs. If you can run Office and Adobe on it and be happy, then just don't upgrade anything.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #10
    If you really don't need the portability, you might also want to consider getting a refurb Mac mini. Throw in a mouse, keyboard, and monitor for another $150-$200 and you'll be in much better shape.

    You can pick up a decent refurb mini for about $430 and the specs will be a lot better.


    For example,

    Refurbished Mac mini 1.25GHz
    1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory
    40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD/CD-RW)
    DVI or VGA video output
    Built-in 56K Internal Modem

    • Save 15% off the original price
    Original price: $499.00
    Your price: $429.00




    If you're looking for portability, Apple has this refurb iBook right now.


    Refurbished iBook G4 1GHz/ 256MB/ 30GB/ Combo/ E/ 56K/ 12-inch TFT

    Original price: $1,099.00
    Your price: $699.00


    The mini, of course, would offer much better bang for the buck IMO.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #11
    I wish I had the 800-1000 to drop for a new computer. Sadly I need something, my Gateway which I have had since October is already giving me problems, what a shocker, haha. Anyway I feel that I am getting a good deal, but maybe I am just blinded by my desire to get my 1st Mac. How would this machine be for a first Mac, I am only planning on having it for 12-18 months. Will the computer remain useful for this period. I know many people can have use their Macs for 5 or 6 years, is this true? Sorry about all the questions and thank you to everybody who has responded and helped!
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #12
    I'd offer him $400. For $500 you can get a faster Titanium Powerbook G4 in decent shape. Plus I heard these 900mhz had bad logic boards.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #13
    Thanks California:
    He said he is willing to bargain with me so I will see what happens. Will this machine meet my basic needs for 12-18 months?
     
  14. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #14
    Yes.

    450-500 for a machine which yourself will know if it's in good shape (no dent's major scratches) and comes with the software you need (otherwise a costly expense) seems pretty good value to me. Especially with the spare battery etc...

    I'd go for it. Is there such a huge performace leap between G4 800 & G3 900mhz.. Surely the extra 100mhz would offset some of the extra core benefits of the G4 over G3.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #15
    Four hundred is what I'd offer and no more. No eBay fees, no shipping hassle for either party and no hard feelings if it isn't working in a year. At 500 bucks, you'd expect more from the seller.

    Keep in mind you can get a refurbed G4 iBook for 620 from Apple so the 400 bucks would be my limit on an older machine.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    corywoolf

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    #16
    you mean "(not extreme) card". right?
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #17
    Well I went over to my friend's this afternoon and messed around for a little bit on the computer. Its still a pretty snappy machine. I am used to my Gateway with a 1.4 GHz Cel. M Processor, so I am not sure how they compare. The machine is in good shape, just a few scuffs on the case, which I am assuming is par for the course with these cases. He is willing to come down to 450 fo the computer. So before I take the big leap with this machine, will it remain useful for one or two years? I wish I had the money for a new machine or even a refurb. but my 4 month old Gateway :mad: is already giving me problems, so I would like to dump this machine fairly soon. Any comments, like always, are greatly apperciated!
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #18
    Yes, I do. Sorry. :(
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    munkees

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #19
    don't do it, I logic board fault may hit you, it did me and my friend I had an iBook G3 700 and he had the iBook G3 800, we both had to get them repair.

    I would hunt around for a G4, is worth it, and you could find something in that price range too.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    nw england
    #20
    Buying from friends is always awkward. The market price is what someone is willing to pay not what the seller thinks it is worth. It seems a little high compared to a refurbished from Apple with a warranty. What price are they selling for on ebay, take into account the expenses and hassle of a transaction, read the advice again here, and then make what you feel is a fair offer. There is no need for haste, there are plenty of iBooks around.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #21
    Okay tell him four thirty five. Remind him that for a little more than 200 bucks more you can get a refurbed G4 iBook. And check status of out of warranty logic board replacement -- has this board ever been replaced? You can call Apple with serial number but your pal should tell you.

    Down the line, you may want to put a faster bigger hard drive in it, which is what I would do, because then when you sell it, you can always put the 40 gig back.

    Good luck with it. Sounds like your friend took good care of it -- he already upgraded that oem hd.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    coachingguy

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #22
    Good machine...

    I'd say go for it. I had that machine, gave it to my wife when I upgraded to a G4 1.33. The G3 still runs 10.4 well and will do all the things you want to do with it. If you go to some of the sites that sell used Macs $500 is about right. They are holding their value well. As far as the logic board issues, Apple is still covering those. I had one changed on my iBook G3 900, worked great after that. If you can get it for less, than do so. The $699 iBook, will most definitely need more Ram. Which will run you another $50 - $100. 640 Ram will operate 10.4 fine. Good Luck!
     
  23. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #23
    Good to hear from another Minnesotan. He is will to go as low as 425 for it. Ebay is going between 450-600 for the same iBook's, I am suprised they hold their value so well. He understands the logic board issue, he has never had to have it replaced. When was the 900 last manufactured, fall of 03? If thats right I have until Fall 06 to get it replaced if it becomes a problem right? Weren't a majority of the logic board failures on the 500-700's? Thanks guys!
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    Badandy

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Terminus
    #24
    I know you don't want to hear it, but you ARE getting ripped off. Even for 425. Get a better computer for the same amount of money. I can't tell you more that it is too expensive...
     
  25. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Mankato, MN
    #25
    Badandy,
    Could you please expound on why you think I am getting a bad deal. Most of the other sites are charging between 400-600 for the same computer, minus the Airport Card and the Extra Battery. This being my first Mac I am a lil leery of spending 700 or 800 on a computer with a system I am unfamilar with. I would be much less upset if I only spent 400 or 500 on switching if I decided it's not for me (not that its going to happen, but you never know) ;)
     

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