Did I Do OK?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by wannamac, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. wannamac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #1
    A couple weeks ago, I began a post about looking for an ibook for school, and with you help, decided to wait and buy an ibook direct from apple when I had saved a little more money. Yesterday, I went to help a friend of mine pack (he is moving to CA) and as we packed his 17" brand new Powerbook he mentioned he had an ibook he was maybe going to sell on ebay once he got settled out west. Long story short, I paid him $500 for the ibook (including canon printer). Here are the specs : 800 mhz, 384 ram, 30gb hard drive, combo drive, 12" screen, G3. The catch was he could not find any of the original discs, so I have no restore discs or anything to go with it.

    So, did I do OK? My budget only allowed me about $700 for a computer at this time, so I still have about $200 to upgrade ram, etc. I was curious what upgrades you think I need, considering my needs are just basic computing, papers, ipod tunes, etc. Also, is there any way to purchase restore discs? Penn State offers panther free to students, will that even work with this setup? Also, should I maybe sell this one on ebay now, maybe make a profit and apply that money to a new ibook?

    As if I do not have enough in this little post, we also have a wireless setup at my house, but the other 2 computers are hp, is there anyway I can connect with that, airport, etc? Sorry so long, and I understand some of this may have been better posted somewhere else, and I apologize.
     
  2. numark macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #2
    Sounds like a fair price, especially if you're on a tight budget. I used a quite similar system last year for college (except with 900Mhz). If you're tight on money, and using it for basic school tasks, I would say that the iBook you got will treat you well.

    Panther works fine on my iBook, so it should work fine on something only very slightly slower. I bought it right off the shelf, and it doesn't require restore disks or anything to install it.

    The wireless setup shouldn't be a problem at all. If it doesn't come with Airport already installed, just find on eBay or some place like Small Dog an original Airport card. It's quite easy to install, and you can find directions on Apple's site. As far as connecting to the network, Airport (more commonly known as 802.11b) is pretty much platform-neutral. I've been to tons of places and been able to connect wirelessly. Airport is just a brand name that Apple puts on their implementation of the wireless 802.11b standard.

    Hope the iBook works out well for you! :)
     
  3. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #3
    This seems like a pretty nice deal. If you buy a version of Panther or just wait until Tiger is out, you should get the restore disks if you buy it in store.
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    I'd recommend doing very little except trying to get an Airport card.

    Then, for under $600, you've got a nice little Mac. It's faster than the 400MHz G3 PowerBook I have (320MB RAM, 6GB HD), so it should run just fine.

    Also, if you want to avoid getting the Airport card (not saying you should - the Airports work great), you can use something like the D-Link DWL-122 Wireless USB Adapter, which plugs into a USB port. I bought it for my non-Airport-compatible PowerBook before I found a PCMCIA card that worked.

    Anyway, once you're up and running, see what you think. If the system seems too slow, sell it and upgrade. If not, decide on enhancements (RAM, most likely). However, you should be able to get away with no real improvements while you learn about your Mac.

    Just keep it away from your rat-bastard of an ex-fiancé. ;)
     
  5. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #5
    Do not upgrade the ram, you won't need more. In such case you could replace the hard drive for a faster one, a 7200rpm in case you want more speed. But your configuration is just fine. You got a deal.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    I think it is a good deal.

    On memory. Get the program Do I Need More Memory. You run it as you work. It will show you how much more memory you might need, and the performance increase you might expect by having more RAM.
     
  7. wannamac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #7
    Thank you all, you are so generous!! Spent last night trying to learn and use it. Think I may have to upgrade ram, seems a little slow to start up and open programs. Also, I HATE THAT TRACKPAD!!! Am going to have to get a mouse. Penn State has the original airport cards for $69, and those tucano covers everyone seems to love for $15, so I think I am going to get both of those. Other than that, I kind of love it already. Ease of use!!
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    Glad you like it! Just keep in mind that it's a somewhat older Mac, so don't be turned off of OS X by its performance on your iBook. A similarly aged PC would die running XP.

    More RAM would help, but I don't know if it would help a lot - the slow hard disk is probably most of your problem, and it probably isn't worth it to replace it. Your best bet is probably to use it until it's no longer sufficient for your needs, then sell it and replace it.
     
  9. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #9
    woah, hold up. My only Macintosh is an 800 MHz G3 iBook. Its slightly over 1 year and 3 months old. In fact, i have a full year of payments left on it. I find it quite amaizing that a computer that is just over a year old is considered a "somewhat older" laptop. I have upgraded it once, by adding 512MB of RAM to it. Best investment I've ever made, as it runs beautifully.

    Seriously, come on. Not everyone out there has money to throw around upgrading every year or even two. The iBook has been updated twice, once for G3 900 MHz, and once for G4 (maybe 3 total times, I dont know if the original G4 speeds were slower). I hardly consider this to be an older system. Running it on a Bondi Blue iMac from 2000. Yes, thats an older system. 1 year old laptop, I'd say thats pretty new, personally.

    Also, I beg to differ on recommending on upgrading the hard drive to get better performance. Your money will be much better spent on adding more ram to the system, I'd recommend 640MB as that is the maximum it could hold, and also shouldnt cost more than maybe $100 to buy.

    And, 1 year ago, they did sell laptops shipping wtih XP Professional. They run fine.

    My other computer is a PC. Its over 2 years old. Must be a dinosaur by peoples standards here. 1.1GHz, 1024MB of RAM. Yeah, it runs Windows XP fast enough that I rarely wait for anything, and I do video editing and stuff on it (of course I have to wait for this, but I mean waiting for things during general use).

     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    My apologies. I was thinking it was a couple of years old... just wasn't thinking. Plus, due to going to bed late and sleeping in, I hadn't yet had time for coffee. I feel better now after my iced venti black-eye from Starbucks has had a chance to work into my system - the drip was just starting when I posted.

    I agree, RAM would help. I also think a faster HD would show more improvement over RAM for booting and those times only one or a few apps are running, but, given the cost and effort to upgrade RAM (minimal) vs upgrading the HD (pain in the butt), I agree with you.

    And, before you think I'm a new-computer snob, my laptop is a 1999 PB. My home iMac - which replaced a late-90's PC - is two years old. My work system, granted, is only a year old - but it's all going to have to last me for quite a while. As part of my pre-caffeine delusion, I was comparing running XP on a laptop similar in age to my PB, not wannamac's iBook.

    So, again, sorry, and yet more proof I need to be caffeinated before posting.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
    But unless the G3 iBooks are different, don't worry about booting every-time. Just put your Mac into sleep mode.
     
  12. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #12
    sorry for jumping to conclusions about yourself. sounds like we have more in common than i would have ever believed.

    apologies

    -shawn
     
  13. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #13
    You got a good deal. That iBook will handle Panther and general apps fine once you upgrade the RAM. That's a nice little laptop for $500.

    ps--I'm a PSU grad!!! Can you go have some Creamery Ice Cream for me?!

    We Are....Penn State!
     
  14. Cheese macrumors 6502

    Cheese

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    In the refrigerated section at your grocer
    #14
    Way to go! State College is where my Mom-In-Law is from. The more Mac's in use the better. Sounds like you got a deal? You better believe it. I'm jealous!
     
  15. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #15
    Take a look at my Sig. That is my first Mac, it's my only Mac, I bought it 2 weeks ago on eBay for 5 dollars more than yours and I do not have OS disks or an Airport card either (though a trip to CompUSA and 70 more dollars fixed that problem).

    It runs Panther great.

    I would say from my standpoint that your Mac is probably one of the best deals I have seen in a while.

    Mike

    Also, if your school offers Panther for free...GET IT! That is all the restore disks you will ever need.
     
  16. wannamac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #16
    I am so happy to have found this forum!! Without it I may have never even gone through with buying a mac, too scared!! It's nice to know that there are always people around to help and listen. And now am feeling GREAT about the deal I got!! Once I get panther up and running (probably won't get to campus until Monday), I will decide about the ram, although for a little over $100 it seems like it may be worth it just to take care of it now.

    SIGAMY- Have you checked penn state's site lately? You can actually buy creamery ice cream and have it shipped to your door!! They offer it through the alumni store and people pay like $30 a gallon or something!!
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
    No worries, mate. I was the one posting bad advice and opinion....
    I'm so happy for you - enjoy your Mac, enjoy school, and enjoy life!
     
  18. davefan6435 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #18
    spring for new HD and ram

    I don't know how much HD space you use, and how long you expect your ibook to last, but I would upgrade to at least a 7200 60-80gig drive and see how that runs and decide later to upgrade ram because HD can get expensive for notebooks. I recently upgraded my familys piece of s#@$ Dell thats 4 years old, I picked up an 80gig drive for $30 and added another 256 ram. It only supports up to 512, its ridiculous. I also put XP on there and it runs ok on 384MB of ram. I have to wait another 3 years for a new computer of my own, hopefully a nice 15 inch G5 powerbook. Good luck on your used iBook.
     
  19. windowsblowsass macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    pa
    #19

    man better off driving up to state college and have them pack it in dry ice for you
     
  20. wannamac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #20
    I was under the impression that it was pretty expensive and time consuming to replace the hard drive in an ibook. I was not really considering it, although, if it had a bigger hard drive, I may never outgrow it!! Is this something I could do myself? Keeping in mind this is my first mac and laptop both. I have ripped apart pc towers, and have done minor uprgrades there, replaced a few hard drives, installed cd burners and dvd burners, ram, etc. I just thought it was really a hard project, and not one I should try.

    How much to have someone else install it? What would one charge for something like that? I only have about 11gb left on the hard drive (my friend was kind enough to leave me his music collection and some other programs - photoshop and others - and I know that it's illegal, so please don't call the software police!!) and would love to have something bigger!!
     
  21. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #21
    If you search on this forum and on Google, you'll find a number of places showing you want to do. The drives themselves are ~$150 or so. You can get the drive replaced by an authorized Apple service center. I have no idea what that costs. However, unless you really need all that space all the time, it'd be a lot easier to buy an external hard drive, which you can find for anywhere from sub-$100 to $300 or more - but they will have a lot more space. A really quick search shows CompUSA with an 80GB Firewire/USB2.0 drive for $124. And that was a 20-second search.

    The main advantage to upgrading the internal drive is that, assuming you're bright enough to get one faster than the one you have - which I'm sure you are, boot times and application start-up times will be much faster. An external drive won't help with that. But an external drive plugs in and works and won't risk your iBook - plus, it serves as a nice backup for everything. The only real downsides are that it doesn't speed boots and that you likely can't carry it with you at all times.
     

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