iBook - Is it any good? Is it worth waiting?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Matt01792, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on this forum and I'd just like some advice about the iBook.

    First of all, I'm thinking of buying an iBook around Christmas/New Year and so am wondering when the updates are expected to take place. Would it be worth waiting for upgrades before I bought them? And how long would I be likely to wait?

    Secondly, is it any good? I'm a student, and a 14-year-old one at that and so can't afford any nice powerbooks but only the lowest spec iBook (currently 800mhz G3). I would be using Macromedia aps (Dreamweaver etc.) on there and probably Photoshop, is the iBook fast enough to use these applications well?

    I know I will need to upgrade the RAM, but I may not be able to afford it at the time I buy my iBook so how easy is it to install it yourself?

    And one last general question, if I put an Airport card into my iBook (that I don't have yet :rolleyes:) and connected it to a WINDOWS wireless network (yep, I have never owned a Mac before :() would I be able to access the internet that's being shared on a Windows PC?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I really need help because I've looked on the net and couldn't find anything comprehensible that helped me, I'd appreciate your help if someone could be bothered to reply to me.

    Matt
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    #2
    Assuming your existing Windows network is using a 802.11b or 802.11.g compatible WAP (access point), then use you can connect using the appropriate Airport or Airport Extreme card.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #3
    The next updates to the iBook should happen in November - good timing. I can't speak for Macromedia, but Photoshop should reasonably well for most tasks. The iBook would benefit from the G4 using PS (dont count on it for the next iBook rev though), but i wouldn't say it is essential unless you are a professional needing better speed. I'd suggest you beef up the Ram as much as possible.

    No problems should arise from the wireless issue.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #4
    ok first of all look at photoshop elements not full photoshop....Also you may want to look at student prices for dreamweaver and the macromedia suite...those apps will set you back more than the iBook. I've used both the macromedia apps and photoshop elements a the same time with 384 mb of ram on an iBook 800 and it worked fine. I would go for the combo drive model at the very least so that you can burn CD's on the fly its very useful. they will probably be updated around november (the beginning of november)
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #5
    The only thing about the macromedia stuff is that it's real nice to have dual monitor capabilities cuz of all the pallets, so find that hack that lets you run 2 monotors instead of just mirror your desktop.
     
  6. Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #6
    Re: iBook - Is it any good? Is it worth waiting?

    Currently Crucial charge $140 for 512MB and $47 for 256MB. There's only one user accessible slot in the ibook. I have a 256MB stick and it makes a big difference over the base 128MB the ibook comes with (384MB total).
    It's really easy to install. The slot is under the keyboard and airport card.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    ok..

    Hi again,

    I'm in the UK so do Crucial ship to the UK? What's their URL?

    I was intending on getting Photoshop Elements 2 as it happens because there's no way it would be worth me buying Photoshop 7 when most of the things I can do are in Elements 2. Secondly I already have the Education Macrodmedia Studio (old version though). However I guess I'd have to buy another one because although I have serial numbers and stuff the CD's only have the software in the Windows version.

    Matt
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    Re: ok..

    Yes they do, here is the URL http://www.crucial.com/uk :)
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
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    United Kingdom
    #9
    Thanks! I'll check it out now.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    F/reW/re

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    Norway
    #10
    Macromedia-software is very messy on OSX. On XP you have fullscreen mode with all the pallets windows integrated in each other. This gives all possible space at all time. On OSX you have to rearrange pallets all the time, its a mess!

    Really hope Macromedia will have the integrated windowsfeature in the next Flash and Dreamweaver versions.

    Photoshop works fine as long as you don't use it for heavy printwork or 72 dpi work with 50 layers +. I guess the next Photoshop version will be faster.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    Funnily enough...

    Funnily enough I use Dreamweaver 4 , Fireworks 4 etc and they all use seperate windows for different tools etc... By default however you get the interface you just talked about in the new MX versions, I think however that you can change that in some Preferences menu or other, or atleast you can in the Windows version. It'd be pretty stupid if you couldn't in the Mac though...

    Matt
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    F/reW/re

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    Norway
    #12
    Re: Funnily enough...

    Jepp, the feature came in the MX versions for Windows. There is sadly enough still no such option on the Mac-versions.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    You have probably (hopefully) thought this through already, but how critical is portability? Granted I don't know you or how you use your computers, but I know a lot of high school students and their computing habits. If you are like them a laptop isn't necessary. If you want portability, you're giving up a lot to get it. An eMac costs $200 less and has a G4--as far as functions go it's more computer for less money. If you need portability you will pay.

    Not to knock the iBook. I have one (700 mhz) and it's great for what I use it for. I also have a dual 1ghz PowerMac which gets all the Photoshop and Final Cut type stuff. The iBook might do all that, but it would be painful.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    I know..

    I know that... I could get an eMac with a 1Ghz G4 for the price of an iBook... I am still thinking this through, portability is very important... it's just deciding whether or not portability is worth sacrificing power. I think however, that IF the iBook can use Photoshop Elements 2 well (e.g. Not waiting half an hour for a filter to finish) then it should be fine. But I don't know if it does, this is the reason I created this thread in the first place. You said you owned an iBook yourself? How does it perform?

    In any case the system I'm using at the moment is a 1Ghz Duron with 256Mb RAM and Win XP Pro... Are you telling me that my current system is better at using Photoshop (etc.) than the iBook?

    Matt
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    RAM

    Just a quick question that'd I'd really appreicate an answer.

    Firstly, what is the difference between the Crucial RAM and the RAM off the Apple website? Is there any actual difference in performance etc...

    Secondly, how easy is it to install the RAM? Is there a website that tells you how? Or do instructions come with the iBook? Also if anyone has got an iBook themselves and has upgraded the RAM in it can you tell me how hard it was to do?

    Matt
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #16
    There is really no difference between Crucial RAM and Apple RAM. Apple charges (overcharges) to install the RAM for you--that's the only difference.

    It's REALLY easy to install RAM. Instructions come with the iBook, and there are also instructions on the AppleCare Knowledge Base.

    I have upgraded the RAM in my iBook twice and it was insanely easy. The hardest part is finding a #0 Phillips-head screwdriver (nothing else will work, period).
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Ok, thanks!

    Now the only problem is what to get...

    256Mb (CL=2)

    or 512Mb (CL=3) which is almost three times the price?

    Matt
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #18
    Hey Matt01792 a Emac at 1 gig is the best value purchase, a lot of machine for the money period. upgrade path well thats another story but a ibook with g3 in it is almost obsolete. dont do it. g4 minimum and now that the g5 is out this is so much more true. a 1 gig g4 in any mac will do whatever you need with enough memory. also they are giving away all kinds of stuff with a new purchase. if portability is that important then wait for the next ibook. just my 2 cents.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    fennario
    #19
    At my office we have 3 iBooks all at 700 mhz with 640 ram. They get the photoshop treatment every single day. They are only slightly slower than the emacs that we use.

    An iBook will suit you fine!

    As for the ram upgrade,

    Turn the screw in the keyboard,
    Lift out the keyboard,
    remove airport card(if applicable)
    remove ram guard (2screws I think)
    insert ram, put book' back togather.
    Takes all of three minutes.
     
  20. iPC
    macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #20
    refurb

    iBook 900MHz/128MB/40GB/Combo/E/56K/12"TFT - Refurbished $1,149.00

    This is at the Apple.com store right now. At bottom of page, click on the red colored tag "SAVE"

    I bought a refurb 10GB (2nd gen) iPod, and I could hardly tell it had been used. Now 3 months later, it is in same shape as any of my friends iPod that they bought new.

    Plus, you still get the warranty! :D

    The $150 you save will buy the 512MB of RAM to max you out at 640...

    --

    As a guess... iBook update in 4-6 weeks? (basing on what happened with refurb iPod)
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    #21
    I'm also curious if the iBook would withstand my usage.

    Typical tasks include:
    Java development
    Gaming
    iMovie for creating dvd's from home made movies.
    CAD
    surfing pr0n

    Obviously I looked at PB but this wait is taking too long.

    Would an iBook serve my needs?
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #22
    There are many threads on the topic, but this statement is simply not true. IBM is going to produce at least two more G3 chips, one of which will have AltiVec, all but making it a G4, but with a smaller die and lower power and heat dissipation.

    If any chip is obsolete now, it's the G4. But that's a different discussion.
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #23
    I didn't think that the iBooks could have an 802.11b (airport extreme) cards in them. So it would only work if you have an 802.11b network, right? Anyways, I am also your age, and I have been wanting a mac for a couple of years (and have been saving my money up as well). As much as I would love to get a mac, I just don't see myself buying a cheapo model. I would consider myself a demanding computer user, and if I am going to spend my life savings on a computer, it had better be a darn good one. Now I don't know your situation, but if it was possible to wait and get the one with a CDRW drive in a few months (mowing yards, etc.), then I would wait.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #24
    what ibm may or may not come out with will not be a g3. anyways g3's arent bad but g4's are better same goes for g4 isnt bad but g5's are better.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #25
    Yeah you're right. The iBook can only have the original airport card, that doesn't bother me though as I'd be using the card to access the internet which wouldn't need the extra speeds given by Airport Extreme.
     

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