ibook for college help

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by coed2b, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #1
    I've always used pc's, but want to take an ibook to college, probably the 14". Any suggestions on upgrades to it? Also do you think I should wait until the end of the summer for a better price or a new model? Thank you. Any info will help!
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    #2
    Hi!

    (Writing this on my brand new iBook btw =P)

    1.) If you don't need it during the summer, wait.

    2.) Remember to check for education discounts, Apple usually have a lot of those.

    3.) Upgrade the RAM - preferably to the maximum 640 Megs.

    4.) Do NOT get the above RAM expansion (a 512 MB 100MHz SODIMM) from Apple - they charge more than twice as much as an independent dealer does. Cheap RAM is easy to find on the net, and installing it is pretty easy. (Hey, I managed it! =P)

    5.) Check if your College has a WiFi wireless LAN / internet. If they do, get an airport card for the iBook. Surfing / Checking email on the go is great.

    6. Keep in mind the 14" iBook is the same screen resolution as the 12" one. I.e - you don't get more screen real estate, only bigger ditto =P (You do get a bit more battery life w/ the 14" one)

    I really like my iBook - hope you will enjoy yours too.

    Regards / GulGnu

    -Stabil som fan!
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #3
    I don't recommend getting the 14" iBook. It costs more money but you don't get anything for it, as the resolution is still 1024 x 768. Furthermore, the 14" is a pound heavier, and that makes a big difference in your backpack. I've occasonally wished I had gotten a 14" iBook, but I know that I'd just be paying an extra $200 to get a heavier notebook with no advantages.

    Definitely upgrade the RAM to 640 MB, but do it yourself unless they'll do it for free. Don't let anybody else install it because it's so easy. If you order from Apple's online Store, don't order the iBook custom-built with the extra RAM.

    Consider upgrading the hard drive from 40 GB to 60 GB since it's only $50.

    Get AirPort if your campus has 802.11b or g wireless networking (most do, at least in some areas). Nothing like sitting in the student lounge watching Homestar Runner.

    Get a cheap USB mouse (the kind you get from OfficeMax for $10). Don't get an Apple Pro Mouse, on account of they suck. Definitely buy a set of decent speakers. I recommend the Altec Lansing AVS300 if you're on a budget, they're only $20 or $30 but put out phenomonal sound for the price.

    Get a printer if you like, and then you'll be set. If you can, you might wait until Apple has a deal where you can upgrade to Panther for $19 or so (that usually happens to people who buy new Macs after a new OS upgrade is announced but is not shipping yet).
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    #4
    I am a self proclaimed MacAddict. I have the desklamp iMac and now the 17" Powerbook. Yes, I also have a G3 white iBook as well. To make my wife a little more pleased with my addiction I would be willing to pry my digits from the iBook for a fair price.

    15Gig, 310RAM, Extra Battery, Airport card for WiFi access, MS Office installed-Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Keynote. Possibly even some warrenty remaining on it.

    zoikers@mn.rr.com
     
  5. macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #5
    for college it's gonna be easier if you have a 12" iBook or PowerBook. If you're going for the 14" iBook, just get the PowerBook. They're more durable and lightweight, so you won't have to ruin your back by carrying all those textbooks and god knows what and a heavier laptop :p
    bigger laptops are usually bigger pains in the neck.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #6
    Be willing to consider getting a slightly older iBook from eBay or Half.com. You definitely don't need a top-of-the-line computer to listen to MP3s and edit the occasional photo. But on the other hand, be aware that you certainly won't be able to get the latest-and-greatest software (for example, don't expect to get Panther to work well on a 500 MHz PowerBook, especially the older ones that only support 384 MB RAM).

    Whatever you do, avoid the fruit-colored iBooks like the plague. Get the newer white ones.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #7
    ok this is gonna be weird advice, but depend on your school you may want to wait untiil you enroll and goto the school computer shop if they have one. Sometimes these discounts are even bigger than the $50 from apple online
     
  8. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #8
    don't listen to all of these critics of the 14" ibook. I have one that I use at college, and I've also had a 12" ibook in the past. They are both excellent. The 1 lb. difference isn't really noticable, IMO. And the battery life is better on the 14" -- notably so. No, the resolution isn't higher, but if you're like me and will use your computer a lot, your eyes will get very tired of looking at that 12" screen. IMO, the 12" is the better choice if you also have a desktop, and the 14" is better if it's your only computer.

    As for upgrades:
    1) max the RAM.
    2) max the RAM.
    3) do yourself a favor and max the RAM.
    :)

    if you don't need it yet, wait to see what comes out. But ibook updates aren't exactly expected any day now, so there might not be new ones before you go to school.

    Whether you go 12" or 14", it's a great computer. You'll definitely be happy with it.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #9
    hey to me the one pound makes a big difference. it's pretty hard to get tired of the 12" screen, i use dual cinemas at home and the 12" iBook at school (or a 17" PowerBook for presentations, but rarely), i think it's fine. dude you're prolly more likely to get tired of the bad design of the 14" iBook than the small size of the 12" LCD. But you are right, the 12" is a better choice if you already have a desktop. :p :rolleyes: :D :p :( :)

    Re: Daveman Deluxe's post:: for some people, older and less up-to-date laptops are a pain in the neck, especially when you're taking CS classes and god knows what and the software doesn't run on the laptop because it doesn't meet the minimum requirements. :p
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #10
    I know. I was simply saying that if you are on a budget and you honestly think you can get away with it, to consider getting a used computer.

    As for the questions about the 14" screen... I've never had a problem with the 12" screen and I just think it's a waste of money to pay more for a screen with the same resolution and that even weighs more. Everybody's setup and eyes are different though. I'm just offering my personal experience.

    And I can't stress the RAM issue enough. My iBook started out life with 384 MB RAM when I first installed... I just upgraded to 640 MB a couple weeks ago and it really does make a huge difference.
     
  11. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    Ok, this will be my last reply because this is turning in to thread hijacking (which is pretty much par for the course around here, and yes I am partly to blame in this case :rolleyes: ).

    LOL! Do you know how little a pound is?? Of course, I saw someone on macrumors complain that the 20 gig ipod
    is a "heavy beast" so I guess I shouldn't be surprised...

    You use cinema displays and 17" PBs. Thanks for making my point. Will your eyes hurt after moderate use of a 12" screen? Of course not. But if you use a computer all the time (home, school, work, play, etc.) and it's got a 12" screen, that's when it begins to bother you. But hey, maybe you've got great eyes, good for you.

    "Bad design" of the 14"? It's the same design of as the 12" but bigger.

    See, I've owned both a 12" and a 14", and unless you can say the same, I don't think you're in a position to make a fair comparison.

    coed2be, don't even listen to us. Just go in to an apple store, look at them both, pick them both up, open some files or pictures, and see which one you like better. I know people with the 12" who love them, and I know people with the 14" who love those. The 14" got added to the line when consumers bombarded Apple with requests for a bigger ibook. It's a matter of personal preference, and frankly, I find it absurd when people act like one is inherently superior to the other.

    But you didn't even ask about the 12" vs. the 14". As to the questions you actually asked, :eek: max the RAM and wait to buy if you can, but updates are hardly guaranteed.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #12
    thanks everyone for all the advice. and even though i didn't ask about 12" vs. 14", it is something that i'm debating. the cost difference is really slight through my school, so now it's "weighing" the extra pound vs. the larger screen. I get a better deal on the 14", and I'm worried that the 12" will be more of an eye strain. I will definitely add the extra ram, but what about air port and the other things listed on the apple store site?
    also, what is panther and if i need it will i be able to add it?
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #13
    AirPort is great if your campus has 802.11b wireless networking or 802.11g. Check into it. Probably somebody at the campus computer store will know whether that's the case. It's really great to be able to go to the library and get online to do research or FTP. I know when I first found out our library had wireless networking, I thought it was really cool. You probably will have to sign up for it somewhere though.

    Panther is the next version of Mac OS X. There are supposed to be big improvements over Jaguar, the current version of Mac OS X. Like I said, if you can, wait until Jaguar is shipping on new computers to buy one. At the least, wait until Apple offers a cheap (about $20) Panther upgrade to those buying new computers. That usually happens when a new operating system is announced but not yet shipping.

    As for the other options on Apple's website:
    Hard disk: upgrade to 60 GB if you like, it's only $50. I wish I had a much larger hard disk since I work with video a lot.

    iPod: They're great, and you get a $200 rebate if you buy an iPod with any iBook except the CD-ROM model. For education, that's only $69 after rebate on a 10 GB iPod, and if you don't want it, you can sell it on eBay or something.

    .Mac: You probably don't need it. Your university already probably provides e-mail and web space.

    Extra AC adapter: don't bother.

    Extra battery: You probably don't need it, but when you do need it, you REALLY need it. Buy one if you think you'll need an extra battery often enough to warrant the extra $120.

    AppleCare Protection Plan: Buy it. It is a godsend. In general, if something breaks, Apple will repair it no questions asked--even if there's a chance it's your fault it broke. For example, if you send in your power cord because it's frayed and broken, Apple won't ask if it's because you were using it to tie your kid sister to a chair.

    Printer: Apple also has a $100 rebate right now on any Canon printer bought with any Mac (again, except the iBook CD-ROM). Canon doesn't make amazing printers, but they're good enough and you can't argue with free. Consider it. If you don't get Canon, get a HP or Epson and don't spend more than $100 or so because you probably don't need anything better.

    One last note: Office v.X for Mac is only $200 for students, but think before you buy. iBook comes with AppleWorks, which is pretty good. The fact you're getting an iBook probably means your files don't need to be used on the Wintel boxes in the lab very often, so you may not need Office. It's your call, really, but I used AppleWorks quite happily for a long time before I finally got Office.

    Hope that long post helps you out with your buying decision.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #14
    hmmm .. 12" or 14"- tough decision.
    I have both, and they're both great. I can tell you though, I've had the 12" for 2 years and have never had any eye-strain at all. The 14" has caused me no eye-strain either. The iBooks have a really nice screen and with Quartz Extreme supporting it, things look really really nice.
    I agree with QCassidy352, go to an Apple store and fool around with both, see which one you like better.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #15
    is n t quartz extreme a feature only g4 s can use ? I don t know but it seems me like if I heart that somewhere
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #16
    Nope, g3s can have quartz extreme too, i have 32mb of vram on my ibook and all of the quartz extreme checks say its on .... it seems to render really well compared to older ibooks my friends have.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #17
    Quartz Extreme requires 16 MB or more of VRAM and a video card that supports it. Every video card from the Radeon 7200 (on the ATI side) and the GeForce 2 (from the nVidia line) supports it if it has 16 MB VRAM for each monitor.

    Velocity engine is the one that only G4s can use.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #18
    k thx ;-)
    another question :
    http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
    is that dangerous for your ibook ?
    I really want that feature, but if it is a real risk, i will not try it, nor if after some time the cards get s damages by this ( perhaps ) overuse.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #19
    Yes, bad design. Those things are ugly. The ibook wasn't meant to be stretched to 14". It's proportions are all wrong.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #20
    VERY RISKY. DO NOT DO.

    The 14" is a ugly beast too. Extra 1 hr of battery life though...
     
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #21
    Whoa! What is Quartz Extreme...what is Velocity? Does the newest ibook have QE? I knew I would be enlightened by posting here!
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #22
  23. macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #23
    is only the "setup" risky, or do you think when running in dual monitor mode all day long it will eventually kill the card ?
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #24
    From what I hear you can fry the card setting it up. If it works out, the reliability appears to be ok. Of course doing this renders your warranty useless (void).

    Quarz Extreme is the rendering of the screen that OS X uses. Requires 16MB of VRAM (current iBooks have 32MB).

    Velocity Engine = Altivec = G4 only (iBook is G3) http://www.apple.com/powermac/processor.html

    If you want VE in a notebook, you need a PowerBook.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #25
    well i think i will leave it as it comes.
    It s better anyway. thought the 1024 resolution on the external display sucks :( dunno if i shall buy a powerbook or an ibook. the old question.
     

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