another thinking of getting a 15" PB, but with a twist!

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

  1. wangagat macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2004
    hey everyone.

    first time poster, first time reader. I've finally had enough of the PC world and am definately going through with the switch.

    I'm thinking of getting a 15" PB, but my decision will depend on many things.

    here is what I plan to do with it:

    - probably take it to school for class notes and whatnot.
    - I'm a drummer and have a Yamaha DTXpress II electronic drum kit which sports midi IO. I'll want to plug this into the PB somehow and use garageband to do whatever.

    I do play games, but eum... how do I put this, I tend to "borrow" games, and so am wondering if I'll even be able to find "friends" from whom I may "download" any.

    if I can't, then that's ok, because I own an xbox and will want to plug this into the PB (since I don't have a seperate TV and use my current All-in-wonder to play on the PC monitor)

    however, as for the xbox, I want to be able to get 720p resolution, so that means using some sort of external capture card that'll let me plug the component input of the xbox into the powerbook using either usb 2.0 or firewire.

    as for sound, I'll need a box that'll have midi IO as well as spdif optical or coax ouput (for playing dvds and getting 5.1 on my external hifi receiver)

    if such a device doesn't exist, then I guess 2 seperates devices will have to do (1 for midi, the other for optical out).

    last question is regarding portability... is the 15" reasonable enough to be carried around? I ride a motorcycle so it'll have to go in a backpack.

    thanks alot.
  2. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    the only thing I can answer is that the 15" PB is very light and easily portable; you'll have no trouble at all putting it in a backpack and taking it wherever.

    Also just wanted to warn you that any discussion of "borrowing" games or other software is likely to get you in trouble with the mods. It's not like no one here does it, but macrumors can't afford to get in trouble with software makers for condoning that sort of discussion with means that any such talk is going to get shut down really fast.
  3. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2002
    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    Yea, what he said. So much for free speech!

    And I am not saying that macrumors is obligated to give us free speech. I am saying that it is a shame that they have to worry about getting in trouble for what their members simply discuss on their board.
  4. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    Incitement to riot is not free speech.
    Slander is not free speech.
    and germane to this,
    Conspiracy to commit a felony is not free speech.
  5. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    firstly, for oyu audio midi options, check out, they have lots of different products for different budgets. As for using it with an Xbox you can get firewire capture devices which would probably be best but I am unsure of the 720p thing.
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Oh they're still free speech, they just have legal consequences :p

    For getting the 5.1 audio out, I've been looking at the M-Audio Sonica Theater for a while, and the Formac Studio TVR, and this says its max res is 720x480
  7. Chilton macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2002
    Welcome to Coolsville, population: YOU

    I've owned two 15" PowerBooks and one 12".

    The 15 is definitely light enough to take to class. The 17 is too large, IMO, but the 15 is perfect.

    Check out and for info about Mac games and free downloads. Yeah, I know it's not what you're looking for, but consider that a game has to be really good in the first place for the manufacturer to be able to port it to the Mac in the first place, so the choice of games on the Mac is typically the same as the top tier games on the PC (someone will argue that point just for the hell of it, but anyway...)

    If you're after MIDI, you're in luck. There's a ton of MIDI hardware out there for the Mac, and GarageBand is wicked cool. That hardware will also address your MIDI output concerns.

    Many of the third party capture devices (USB and Firewire) support Composite In, so you're in luck w/regards to your XBox issue.

    I don't have any first hand experience with 5:1 on a PowerBook, though I'm sure it's done, as there are a lot of other audio solutions for the Mac. For example, I'm pretty sure there's a Bose system that works with the Mac. I think these run off the USB ports.

  8. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon

    I have a Mark of the Unicorn ( 828mkII audio interface, which does most of what you want , plus a lot more (and as a drummer you might be interested in some of that; it can for example work as a digital mixer with at least 8 analog inputs, and it has a couple mic pre's and MIDI I/O built-in). It's not a real cheap item, though. It connects via FireWire and has S/PDIF in/out. I hadn't looked to see whether it supports 5.1 output from the DVD Player program; it looks like the S/PDIF output is stereo only.

    I believe you could find a video digitizer to connect your Xbox to your PowerBook, but for the same price you could probably buy a much larger TV screen. Why would you want to play Xbox games on a 15" LCD?

    PowerBooks rock. If I had more cash or less fiscal responsibility, I'd have a 15" PowerBook in my own backpack.


  9. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Fiscal responsibility is highly overrated ;)

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