About to buy a pbook and need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by vsp, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. vsp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    #1
    I'm about to purchase a 15.2 Powerbook, my first Mac in a good eight years or so. I'm thrilled to get away from Windows, but have a few questions for you all.

    1. Wireless keyboards and mice: I'll likely get a traditional keyboard and mouse but am curious about the wireless. Are they reliable? Any problems with deadspot positions in relation to the computer?

    2. I've been reading about display problems with the 15.2. I'll likely purchase the 1.25 Ghz. Does anyone know if the problems have been ironed out or might it be worth waiting until Apple has stable displays for this model? Or is it not really a common problem?

    3. What's the sound like from the powerbooks and what options do I have for external speakers? I've noticed the Pro speakers don't seem to be compatible with the powerbooks. Are there any third-party speakers to work with?

    4. I can't find anything useful about a .mac subscription except the virex software. I've got web space and generally won't be working on shared files at two different locations. Is there any other reason to consider .mac? Is the virex software the best anti-virsu software out there?

    5. And finally (for the moment; I'm sure I'll have more later), if I want to relive my youth and play Marathon again can Panther run those OK? I believe the current machines can't have a dual-boot system?

    Thanks for any help. I've already picked up a lot of good information scrolling through these forums.

    Vince
     
  2. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    Most will work

    1.I have both the wireless keyboard and mouse and they work fine. Easy to set up, absolutly no maintance.
    2.Apple had an internal recal to fix the spacer problem that was causing this. It isn't an issue with any new pbook anymore.
    3.Sound isn't great. Use any regular computer speakers through the line out jack. I reccoment the creature IIs, good sound, small, cool, not expensive.
    4.I use my (free) .mac for e-mail and thats about it.
    5.I don't know what marathon is, I was born in '87 (no offence)
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    I still have Marathon - not sure if the new PB dual boot - probably not.
    If uyo are going to buy, you might want to wait till after the superbowl - there's strong rumors of impending PB upgrades or price drops.
     
  4. DarkSonicYouth5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #4
    1. It all depends on what you're using the keyboard and mouse for. If you're gonna connect it to an external monitor then i say go for it. I like the Apple set a lot.(I don't own them but I used them a bit at an Apple Store) If you aren't going to use an external monitor then maybe just consider the mouse because the keyboard on the PB is pretty good.

    2. The display problem has been resolved as far as I know. But just to be safe, buy Applecare.

    3. You can get the Pro Speakers to work with the Powerbooks. I think it's Griffin that makes an addon called the iFire. It's a firewire thingy that you plug into your firewire port and the other end of it has a port for the pro speaker jack.

    4. I don't know about Virex being the best. I've never used it personally. If you already have hosting space then its not really an essential. If you really think that you need an anti virus get Norton Internet Security. It comes with the anti virus, firewall, and a few other things.

    5. I'm not too sure. But if it runs OS 9 you can just run it on the classic emulator.

    Hope this helps
    Enjoy your powerbook you lucky schmuck
     
  5. Coca-Cola macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    #5
    The powerbook screen thing is fixed. .Mac is cool, you can get a free 90 day trial and see if you like it.
     
  6. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    Honestly, I haven't used a moment of my free .mac account, don't bother.

    As for the keyboard and mouse, I like to use my PB with a second monitor. An adaptor is included, allowing you to plug in any VGA screen. I have my PB next to the old screen, and I use a bluetooth mouse and old USB keyboard when I'm home. Even if you don't use the other monitor, it's nice to have the PB closer to eye-level and be typing and mousing at a more natural position.

    The bluetooth mouse is a great buy, the PB comes with built in BT, so why not? As long as you don't mind the one button thing, it's very nice to travel with and use at home.
     
  7. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #7
    I have norton antivirus on my powerbook and I think it is a very good program. I'v never gotten a virus so I guess that means it works.
     
  8. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #8
    i dont think marthon will run, i remember marthon 2 on os 6 or 7, it might not run on 9, i dont think the new pb can run 9 unless in classic, but dont quote me

    ooo i love marathon ha
     
  9. DarkSonicYouth5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #9
    Do any of your friends own macs? If they do try running marathon on their computer. If it works or doesn't work you'll have your answer.
     
  10. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    #10
    Thanks for the responses. I'll not bother with .mac and pick up Norton anti-virus instead.

    I'm a bit confused reagarding BT. I thought that BT only came with the 12-inch and 17-inch and I would need to buy a $50 adapter for the 15-inch. Does the 15-inch come with BT? Or do I need to buy an adapter reagardless?

    About Marathon--I don't know any Mac gamers so that option is out. I'm pretty sure I played 1 and 2 on system 7. I've seen all three games bundled on the net for fairly cheap so I think I'll give it a try.

    Thanks again.
    Vince
     
  11. DarkSonicYouth5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #11
    I just checked the Apple web site and looked up the PB spec sheet. It turns out that all the powerbooks have built in Bluetooth. Powerbook Specs
    Enjoy
     
  12. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    #12
    So BlueTooth is built in and I don't need the adapter? I'm pretty sure that the first time I checked on this the 15-inch ones were without. That's what I get for doing research and then waiting.

    Thanks for the link.
     
  13. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #13
    the old 15 titaniums did not have the bluetooth built inoption, but the new ones that were released in september do
     
  14. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #14

    What virus does it protect you from? As far as I know the only virus on Mac OSX is word macro viruses and well they don't affect the system. Other than that the anti-virus programs probably only help you prevent PC viruses.

    I've had anti-virus programs off an on over the 10 years I've been using Macs and in all that time I've only received one virus and it was non-malicious. That was with OS 9. I have not heard of any OS X viruses and if there is I'm certainly not worried enough about them to pay any amount of money to protect against them. I think the best use of that money is to get yourself and external drive to backup your data to. Your much more likely to have a hardware failure then get a virus and that's not very likely in its self.
     
  15. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    #15
    I'm curious now about the virus software. I'm moving over from a PC where my virus software was updated every few days or so. Do people use virus software at all on their macs? I tend to go for safety first but there were very real reasons for that on the PC.

    That's great news about Bluetooth. I'm shaving dollars off here and there but since I don't need the adapter I can afford to buy a wireless keyboard and mouse, either from Apple or logitech.
     
  16. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #16
    Okay well it just so happened that I have the Bungie Mac Action Sack. It includes all the Marathon games. So I copied Marathon Infinity the last version of the venerable and fantastic series to the hard drive and tried playing it. The answer is yes you can run it BUT! The problem is it will only run in 640x480 and unless you change the setting 256 colors, thousands max but only after changing the settings. The problem with this is that LCD screens do not scale resolution nicely like a CRT. What will happen is you will have large blocks of pixels on the screen because LCDs have fixed number of dots on the screen unlike a CRT. So if you want to play Marathon your best bet will either be to connect your laptop to a TV or get an older external monitor.


    [update]I just ran the original Marathon and Marathon 2. Neither of them have the problem where you absolutely have to run in 640x480. If you aren't in the correct resolution they just run in a small box in the middle of your screen. They both seem to play fine though.[/update]
     
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #17
    Speaking of shaving dollars off, do you know any college students or any teachers? You can get a edu discount if you do.
     
  18. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    #18
    Yup. Me. College student, that is. I quit my job a year ago to try and finish an abandoned degree. My main reason for using Windows was my work (database design and VBA coding for a 100% Windows company). After a short time away from work I realized I no longer needed to stick with Windows.

    The edu discount isn't great, but it's enough to bring me up to the 1.25 powerbook. I'm looking forward to retiring this HP machine.
     
  19. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #19
    So the next question is do you need a DVD burner? My wife bought her 1.25 with the combo drive which shaves off a couple large bills. Also the combo drive is faster at read/write/burn and still reads DVDs.
     
  20. vsp thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Ca
    #20
    Yeah, I'm dropping the DVD burner. I think that drops off close to $180. I'm also moving down to the slower 60 gig hard drive.

    I'm looking for the machine to last me a good three years or so. I can always add on externals or swap things out later when I have a better cash flow.

    I'm planning on sticking with the 512 mb memory. I won't be doing any video editing. There will be a small amount of photo work and some page layout stuff. Mainly I want to keep multiple file types open and work between them. I figure 512 should be enough for that.
    I might muck around with some music files but that's not really important.
     
  21. spook macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    #21
    sorry to bump in, but

    I am from today the proud owner of a 12" powerbook.

    Its still on charge for the first time, but I have one question

    Is it right that it comes with only one CD?

    Oh, by the way I'm from the UK
     
  22. jasonM macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    #22
    I haven't played Marathon in a long while, but there is a version of Marathon 2 for OS X called Aleph One .
     
  23. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #23
    Congratulations on your Powerbook purchase. The PowerBook does only come with one disk, but it is a DVD not CD.
     

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