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  1. Sam I Am macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #1
    Hello

    I am thirteen years old and I am planning on buying a Mac soon. I have always used PCs, and I have a few questions.

    As of right now, I will be buying the middle of the line iBook. I will be waiting for the updates before I buy.

    I have gone back and forth between the low-end iMac, and the middle iBook for quite sometime now. I need help on deciding. I will be using it for pretty basic things like word processing, email, instant messaging, surfing the web, and doing things with iTunes. I'm also expecting to use other programs that come with the Mac, such as iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand. I would love to have a portable computer, but I don't exactly NEED to be portable. I think it would be so much have to have that ability though.

    I'm also planning on buying the MacCase Messenger (if I get the iBook, of course, which I think is more likely than the iMac). Also, I will probably buy the Apple Mouse.

    I have a Linksys 802.11b wireless networking router at home. Would this work with my iBook? Or would I need to purchase an AirPort Express? I know that 802.11g is faster than 802.11b, but what exactly is faster? Is the computer faster? I don't really understand this.

    Do you think the iBook is a good choice for me?

    Thanks in advance for the help
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Welcome (almost) to the fold, Sam! ;)

    Yes, the Linksys and the iBook or iMac will get along fine. The difference between 802.11b and g is in the speed of the wireless transmission from the base station / gateway / router to the computers. 802.11b supports a maximum transfer of speed of 11 Mbps, and 802.11g 54 Mbps. This is cumulative between all the PCs on the network -- if two computers are wirelessly connected, they "share" the bandwidth, and so if they are both demanding data at the same time in the same volume, each one will roughly get half of that speed. So, if you assume that the wireless router has a source of data that is infinitely fast, and you only hook up one computer to it, and it's really close, and there are no interfering devices, then the fastest possible communication between the two will be at the max transfer speed. All of these factors will reduce the actual speed if they are not "ideal."

    Notice I assumed the source of data was infinitely fast. If all you are using your router for is connecting to DSL or Cablemodem service, think about the speed of that in comparison to the 802.11 speed. At best you are probably getting 3-4Mbps from your internet connection. So even 802.11b is already faster, and it is the internet service, and not the router, that is the bottleneck. On the other hand, if you want to transfer large files wirelessly from one computer to another, then you will see real speed differences between b and g. For instance, I can stream video wirelessly at cable TV quality from my ReplayTV to my iBook with 802.11g. This is probably not feasible with 802.11b.

    Does that help?
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  4. Sam I Am thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #4
    Thanks, mkrishnan, for the reply, it definitely helped.
     
  5. buryyourbrideau macrumors 65816

    buryyourbrideau

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    get the ibook

    it will do everything you mentioned just fine
     
  6. dhracer88 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    #6
    If portability is more of a novelty (and you have the desk space), an emac's an affordable option. I'd go for th emac because it has a bigger screen, which is helpful for photos. You could buy software/peripherals with the money you save from not buying the ibook. I've always had problems with faster laptops, compared to desktops in the past, but that was with windows pcs awhile ago, so it may not be valid for macs (never used an ibook/powerbook).
     
  7. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #7
    Just keep in mind the biggest performance bottleneck in the iBook is the 4200 RPM Hard Drive. I will be upgrading mine soon. This is something you should consider as it will give you a huge performance boost. Also go for a MINIMUM of 512MB of RAM.
     
  8. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    I'd say go for the iBook. It's got a nice amount of power to run all the apps you want and you can move it around. It's also a little cheaper then the iMac I believe so you save some money and get everything you want.
     
  9. deebster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Olde Englande
    #9
    Another vote for the iBook.

    You mentioned the 'middle model', which is the 14" combo drive one. Bear in mind that the 12" and 14" iBooks have exactly the same screen resolution (1024 x 768), with the 14" just having bigger pixels.

    So since you don't consider the internal superdrive necessary maybe you could check out the 12". If screen real estate is an issue you could always add a cheap CRT monitor and use that in conjusntion with the iBook's screen.

    Out of the box it only supports screen mirroring (the same on both displays) but there is a simple (reversible, non warranty voiding) firmware hack that enables screen spanning, meaning you could have both screens displaying different stuff.

    The only difference then between the iBook and PowerBook as far as spanning is concerned is that you cannot run the iBook with its lid closed (in clamshell mode), since it vents heat from the keyboard area and may cause it to overheat.

    Worth thinking about maybe, but don't buy anything before Steve finishes his keynote address at Mondays WWDC conference.
     
  10. Sam I Am thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #10
    Thanks for the responses. I'm pretty sure I will be getting the 14" iBook with Combo Drive, as I like the larger screen and the slightly faster processor. I will also buy an Apple Mouse. For my laptop case, I will probably be buying a MacCase Messenger for the 14" iBook. I like that it's made especially for the 14", because most companies only make 12, 15, and 17. Do any of you know how good/reliable this company is, or how the Messenger is?? I also think I will be holding off on the Airport Express, but I possibly will buy one in the future.

    What do you guys think is the likelyhood of Apple updating the iBooks tomorrow?? I really hope they do!!!!!!!!! If they don't update them tomorrow, do you think they will update them in the near future? When? Thanks again for the responses, I really appreciate it.
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    LOL...have you not been reading the rest of MacRumors??? Do you not know what the major topic of discussion is? ;) :eek: :D

    Seriously, I expect there will be some minor bumps to the iBook line. Right now, the report is that the first Intel-based machines will drop in June/06, and although they could be notebooks, I would suspect that the notebooks will take more work than, say, the Mini or iMac. So for one thing, any idea of a *substantial* iBook update is probably dead in the water until late next year. But little updates? Yeah, probably....Apple'll need something to convince savvy users to buy PPC computers for the next year. ;)
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #12
    Here's a link to a thread where laptop cases are discussed. I don't know if the MacCase is there, but you might check it out.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=79073
     
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