I'm Getting a Mac (welcome the newbie)

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by yzeater, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    Hey Guys-
    My name is Stephen and I'm new to this world. I've always used PC's except for Apple IIGS's in fifth grade. So...what do I need to know? Can you help me with the basics? Any information will do. I'm getting a Powerbook G4 500, should it be substantially faster than my Hewlett Packard 500mhz 64mb ram computer? What can / should I expect? I know I ask a lot of questions, but...I'm a newbie! Thanks a lot
  2. macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    before you purchase your Mac why don't you
    tell us what your going to use it for, what you
    think you'd like to dable in and what you expect
    it to do. that way everyone here can par you
    up with a nice system.

    also list the software that you need and want
    to run. that way we can tell you if there is a
    version that runs in osx.

    as far as what you need to know. well:
    • if your going to go osx then get jaguar.
    • you'll want ATLEAST 256mb of ram.
    • make sure the person your buying the
    computer from has all the CD's originaly
    shipped with the computer/if they say it has
    OSX jaguar on it it's not going to do yo any
    • a lot of people that don't need to use
    graphics applications find the ibook a wonderful laptop
    • dont buy from ebay unless you know what too expect (pictures from every angle and get
    in writing that its in perfect condition)
    • http://www.versiontracker.com for updates
    and freeware
    • http://www.macaddict.com for fun
    • reformat the harddrive once you get your
    computer ( Im assuming it's gonna be used?)
    and do a reinstall of jaguar.
    • the combo drives in laptops are slow just to
    let you know.
    • maybe since your knew to the mac you could
    get an easy to use reference book on the os
    and how it is organized.

    but most of all talk to everybody here about
    what you need your mac to do BEFORE you
    buy. your choice of hardware has me a little
    confused. the tibook 500mhz doesnt have
    a very good graphics card and Quartz Extreme
    wont be active with that video card. i almost
    think you'd be better putting that money into
    a PowerMac thats upgradable if you need some
    power. if not then maybe a fast ibook.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    Well I'll use the computer for normal Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, and I'll dabble in a little photo and video editing. It'll also function as more or less an MP3 player. I'm a high school student (motorcycle takes all my money) and I've found a really killer deal on this powerbook. That help you at all?
  4. macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    well just make sure this tibook is in good
    condition. are you purchasing this through
    the mail? if so make sure you know what your
    getting and if the seller says it's in mint condition
    you better get it in writing BEFORE you buy it.
    This will help to prove your "case" if you
    get the tibook and it has nasty scratches or

    have you seen the 700mhz ibooks?
  5. macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Austin, TX
    i agree with beatle888, you might want to think about an ibook. you can't go wrong with a brand new computer over an older one and it sounds like you will not need a lot of power. also, since you are in high school, i assume you will want to play games and the iBook should help with that.

    with that in mind, they are a lot of good reasons to get the TiBook. one is the G4 processor. OS X is great with the G4, (really just "good" with the G3), and a lot of software takes advantage of the G4 now. Plus, for the ladies, the TiBook looks great and makes you look like you have style. The iBook is just cute, the TiBook is sexy. So, either one should be good. If you want to be a casual gamer, you might think about the iBook. Also, if you are unsure of the seller, the iBook is good deal. If you trust the seller and the merchandise, than if the TiBook is at a good price, jump for it. It should be able to handle mild gaming anyway.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    First, welcome to the good side!

    Yes, a 500 MHz G4 will be faster than your current computer.

    If you want to run OS X and do video editing, the TiBook makes more sense than any G3. If you were only doing word processing, I'd say G3 vs. G4 thing doesn't matter much, and higher megahertz might be a better indicator of performance for "pedestrian" tasks. If you're doing video editing, though, having AltiVec seems to make a big difference.

    Look into setting up a wireless LAN. It is very very easy with Macs. The TiBook has worse reception than other Macs, but I love mine. I can surf the internet, edit photos and publish them on my web site, and print all from the comfort of my living room chair.

    Virtual PC will allow you to run PC applications. Windows 2000 or XP seem to run fastest. It is not a replacement for a PC, though, as it is slow.

    Remember that you don't have to hit return when you are typing in the forums. ;)

    Check MacNN and VersionTracker to keep up to date.

    Useful utilities are PTHClock, PTHPasteboard (multiple clipboards), and ClearDock (all free). Notes is a great, free notepad. You can find them all at VersionTracker.com.

    Chimera and Mozilla are the fastest browsers. Mozilla is more stable, Chimera more impressive (pretty & fast), but clearly a beta.

    Come to the forums if you have questions.

    Take all advice with a grain of salt.

  7. macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Win 2000 is slow? I've heard people say that windows 2000 on VPC is the most useable windows...XP is the slowest. But if you turn off all the eye-candy its faster.

    Anyway, welcome to the forums.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand

    Hey congratulations on your decision.
    I got my first mac(powerbook 667) three weeks ago and i have to say it really is a beautiful computer.As someone else here said,install Jaguar because its very fast and responsive.With regards to the RAM,256MB is the minimum but if your strapped for cash to buy more,it shouldn't cause any problems in terms of speed.Mine came with 256MB and only slowed down if i had about 4 internet windows open along with iTunes and Mail.I did however upgrade this to 512MB and it has much more room to breath so i would recommend it if you have the cash.
    Oh and here is a sample of what to expect from your powerbook apart from the gorgeous UI.For the past 5 years i've used my mum's pc and it used to crash frequently.So anyway i got my powerbook three weeks ago and have been using it constantly.Now normally i go to this internet cafe in town to play counterstrike on LAN but on every single visit i've made over the past two months the pc crashes at least once.Bear in mind that each visit lasts only 2 hours and yet the pc crashes at least once causing me to reboot.Now my powerbook on the other hand has yet to give me any problems and believe me when i say that it will bring a big smile to your face to see the dialogue box"this application has unexpectedly quit,no other applications have been affected".
    Now i finally get the whole "macs are easy to use and stable" thing which you guys talk about.I absolutely love my mac.
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    Man you all are good! Well as for the one I'm getting, it should be very nice. It's from somebody I know (a mac user with 3 powerbooks, an I-mac, powermac G4), so I trust it to be in very good condition. Also, I'm getting a very lucrative deal on this thing. More questions!! Angelus, do they make CS for mac? A few of my friends play it, and I was thinking about getting hooked like they are. chmorley we already have a wireless LAN at the house, the mac should work without problems on that, right? Can you guys explain more about the browsers? I thought they made IE for mac, is that no good? hesdeadjim, what does the ibook have on the powerbook I'm looking at? Just processor speed, and why is it better with gaming applications? Well thanks a lot guys (sorry I ask so many questions)
  10. macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    A lot of people here use Chimera, a stripped down Mozilla derivative that's fast and reliable. (for the most part.)
    It's still a beta (v0.5), but it comes highly recommended by MR members.[​IMG]

    You can still use Mozilla which is less buggy and a bit more site-compatible, but it's also slower and more bloated.

    MS still makes IE for the Mac (it comes with Jaguar), but most people use Chimera as their default and only use IE for sites not compatible with it.
    You can get Mozilla or Chimera @ Mozilla.org

    Enjoy your new toy![​IMG]
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Unfortunately, when it comes to VPC, even the fastest is slow. Win2k is the fastest I've used, but others are reporting that XP is a close second. I haven't used it. Regardless, none is a replacement for a real PC.

    IE for the Mac works, but on my TiBook 667 it is the slowest and most crash-prone browser. If you interested in speed, accuracy and reliability, Mozilla is probably the way to go. If you can tolerate some hiccups for a prettier interface and greater speed, try Chimera.

  12. macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    how long do you plan on using the computer?
    if you need a computer that's gonna last you
    4 years i don't think the 500mhz would suit
    you. however if you are ok with the fact that
    you will probably want a different computer
    in 2 years than go for it. :)
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    I'll probably have this for a year before I get the top of the line (mac or PC) for college
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2002
    Notre Dame
    as far as browsers go, chimera is great, but personally i like omniweb. i think it looks cooler, and even tho it has its bugs and crashes every now and then its still a nice browser
  15. macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    New to Mac Experience

    Sounds like you are getting yourself a good deal. As far as I know, CS is NOT currently available for the Mac OS. That's okay though, you don't want to get addicted - it's like crack for gamers. Trust me, I've been there. :) Spend more time in iMovie being creative instead, or riding that bike!

    Note: as sexy as the TiBooks are, the motorcycle is going to get you more dates.

    I fully agree with everyone when they talk about RAM. Promise yourself that whatever amount of RAM comes in your TiBook, double it. I'm currently testing out a 700mhz iBook with 128mb of RAM and in OS X it is MUCH SLOWER than a 400mhz Powerbook G3 with 192mb, just 64mb more. Every megabyte obviously counts. The market price for RAM is at its lowest point ever - this is a good time to buy.

    You'll definitely want Jaguar (OS X 10.2) for all the reasons outlined above, but also for its new Rendevous networking technology so you can transfer your old files from that PC to the Mac. I've had problems in earlier versions of OS X trying to properly connect to a PC environment.

    Most importantly: have fun!!
  16. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I'll keep it short...

    Attached Files:

  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    How does ram work in the powerbooks? Are there like four slots, as would be normal on a PC, or has apple created a different system? BTW, what is the price of ram these days?
  18. macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2002
    Chimera works really well for me.

    There is a big downside if you are getting an apple,mac.

    Everything is going to change soon!
    You will be in a corner spreading the good news and behold to all of those that don't convert.

    You will be lost inside a room loving and hugging your mac forever, did no one tell you that this is not a machine with a great os, but a cult,YES, A

    Welcome my friend and brother form now on!!!

    Long live the Mac!!!
  19. macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    holy hell! :D then by all means get it.:p
    you lucky dog. i guess i assumed you were
    scraping for pennies. well enjoy it should be
    incredible. oh and guess what? "dragthing" is
    soooo cool. it gives you multiple docs that
    or extremely configurable. I've actually
    changed the way i use the finder. and with
    cutom icons and "candybar" to managed them
    i've made my computer not only look something
    other than OSX (to the untrained eye), but i've
    also changed the way i Navigate with OSX. it's
    all done with over sized docs that sit on the side
    of the computer screen. then when i hover over
    one of the docs edge (or tab if you choose to use
    tabs) and a doc that actually looks like a folder
    window or panel, the way i have it set up.

    this is just me experimenting. i am close to
    a very interesting way of computing using
    these over sized docs that swish out from
    nowhere going from a semi transparent to
    a more opaque background.


  20. macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.



    Join us..................
    well, most of us. I don't have one yet.[​IMG]
  21. macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002

    The Powerbook G4 has two slots for RAM, not the usual three or four found in most PC desktop systems. Your model of Powerbook will use a 144-pin SO-DIMM, running at 100mhz or 133mhz. If that sounds like greek to you, go to a reputable site like Crucial.com and use their online configurator to find the proper memory for your 'Book.

    I'm Canadian (eh) so I'm not entirely sure about the U.S. price on RAM, but I know my local dealer was selling 512mb of laptop RAM (of the type I listed above) for about $150 Canadian, or I guess $3.50 U.S. :D

    As a sidenote: the same RAM that works in your HP laptop is *likely* the same type used in your Powerbook G4. I say likely because I don't know the exact model of HP that you have.

    In terms of RAM, I'd suggest buying as much as you can reasonably afford - but beware that this RAM will not be forward compatible with any new system you will buy in the future... this type of memory has already been superceded by faster types in the PC arena and by logical extension, Apple's next models will be upgraded too.
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    Duaaaa...I couldn't do that with my PC. How hard was that to set up?
  23. macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    simple, i just downloaded the "custom icons",
    the icon manager application and
    the doc application dragthing candybar

    after that, all you have to do is think of ways
    to use all the settings. it is a very simple
    application to use. i would say that the software
    is easy to learn as an email application....actually
    easier :p

    ok this is the last graphic i swear.
    I finaly decided to go with a look
    that does not incorporate the "OFFICE"
    type of iconalogy (does that make sense)?
    I decided to move away from the idea of
    tabs and go for something a little more subtle.
    If you look at the edges of these docs you can
    see that there is no trimed border...it looks
    like a sheet of thin colored glass over my
    desktop. very modern looking....very minimal.
    I wanted the docs to be sorta hidden. the
    picture below shows three docs that i will
    populate with sweet icons like the one click
    email buttons in the above pick for all my
    quick contacts.

    now just so you know i usually only have one
    doc open at a time but, just to show what im
    talking about I brought the main ones out.
    if you (like a conductor of an orchestra)
    gesture to the upper right of the screen with
    the mouse (without clicking) the top doc
    swooshes out. same thing with the upper left
    of the screen, swoosh.
    this is so cool....its almost like minority report

  24. macrumors 68000


    May 24, 2002
    'Toba, Canada
    yikes...HP makes cruddy pcs :(, i own a hp 466 mhz computer...y the heck would they only put 64 megs of ram on the puter...geesh...
    its just like putting only 128 megs in a g3 imac for osx...
    u'll probably be happy with the pb g4 500, it'dd be bout 1 ghz *approx* intel speed or so i think...
    im switching soon too...hopefully lol
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2002
    Man you're helping so much! Let me throw a couple more questions out there. What is juguar, is it different than OSX or OS 10.2? Will I ever go back to PC?

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