iMac/eMac purchase question (for my parents)

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jxyama, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #1
    i'm looking around for a Mac for my parents, mostly my mom.

    she'll only use it for web surfing and emailing. she might use some iphoto (but no serious pic editing) and some itunes (no iTMS) but not much more than that.

    since my parents are mostly concerned about the price (needless to say, for my mom, $500 dell would pretty much suffice out of the box.), i'm considering three things:

    1) "new" crt iMac
    2) used crt imac
    3) bare min. emac

    i'd like them to have seamless japanese integration, so i'm NOT considering PCs. (i know windows can also handle japanese, but i find os x handling much better...)

    requirements:
    1) os x - my mom would be the type to appreciate the eye candies. UI responsiveness won't be an issue for her, so i'd like her to have os x.
    2) modem
    3) at least 15" screen (no ibooks...) their eyes aren't as sharp as mine... :p

    i guess my question is, what do you consider to be the bare min. imac/g3/ram you need to "comfortably" run OS X? where could i find good (both quality and reputation) new/refurb/used crt imacs? or should they go for broke and get an emac that will probably last them good five years?

    oh, i also forgot to mention... printers. my dad has an old printer (canon bubble jet) with a parallel port connection. even though new usb printers cost like $50 now, he's kinda stuck on the old printer. is there any option (inexpensive) to connect a parallel port device to a mac? it will probably need a driver software too, no..??
     
  2. anneleonard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Reading, UK (a.k.a. Strongbadia)
    #2
    Even though I have an iMac, I reckon the spec your mum should go for is the eMac, they're a good buy for the amount of money, and if she would like quite a big screen, you can't really go for the 15" iMac, it would have to be the 17", which gets on to a lot more money. the emac has a really good spec now anyway, and has all the things you want in it.
     
  3. ZeeOwl macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
    #3
    Re: Computer for my parents.

    The CRT iMac was discontinued about a month ago. Though you might be able to find one in stores. Look into the refurbished departments at Apple and PowerMax. Lot's of good deals there.

    A bit more expensive, but a very good buy, as far as consumer computers go, the base model eMac, 800$. 17" built-in monitor is quite good, and it takes up the space of a PC monitor. Comes with everything your parents could ever want, and more. Except for maybe a CD-burner. If they really want one, externals (USB or FireWire) cost about 100$ to 130$. If they don't care for burning their own CDs, and just need to back up small files, there's the USB floppy drive (50$), or a USB flash-drive (50$ to 100$). Or they could go with the next model which is 1000$, and has a DVD-ROM/CD-RW, faster processor and bigger hard-drive.

    As for the printer, there are USB to Centronics adapters that exist. No additional drivers are needed, but it's probably not worth it, unless your dad really loves his printer. They go for around 100$. At that price, you could buy a decent printer.
     
  4. jxyama thread starter macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #4
    thanks for the info...

    zeeowl: you confirmed the printer suspicion for me... i figured it's cheaper to get a new one.

    i still find crt imacs at some places, brand new ones at compusa, etc. and refurbished/used ones online. but they are quite exensive, esp. compared to the emac. i was kind of hoping someone found a place which would sell snow crt imac for ~$500 to ~$600, but i don't think there's such a deal. snow imac runs around $700+ and at that price, emac makes much more sense...

    emacs it is then! anyone know of a place i can get free shipping and avoid taxes? :p
     
  5. evil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    chicago ex-toronto
    #5
    are you a student? student discount?
    or adc discount?
     
  6. jxyama thread starter macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #6
    yeah... i'm a staff at a univ. so i could get discount... the problem is, it would be a blatantly obvious breach of the contract terms because i'd be getting a computer here (michigan) but have it shipped to my parents (new jersey).

    i think i'll just order online with free shipping and no (up front :D) taxes... i saw one for about $800 total...
     
  7. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Don't forget that you can get a discount through the Apple Store for Education, so you can still save money by being in education.

    The emac will make quite a decent machine for your parents, particularly well-suited to OS X because the OS is G4-optimised.

    I hope they enjoy it!
    :D
     
  8. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    I managed to get a refirbished 500Mhz iMac for £350 (about $500). If you must get a Mac for as little money as posible get a old iMac, although you would have to spend $1500 on a Mac to get the same kind of speed and features as that $500 dell.

    Of cource you could wait until WWDC to see what Apple brings out. Even if thet dont bring out something you want, the new Macs will make the prices of the old ones go down even more.
     
  9. gopher macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #9
    The above isn't true. Even the $799 eMac is faster than the $500 Dell:

    http://forgetcomputers.com/~jdroz/09.html

    Plus you get the iApps which you won't find on any Dell.
    The Flat Panel iMac is also a good deal at $1199 for students from the Apple Store for Education or $1245 from Amazon.com
    It weighs half as much as the eMac, and has a much more ergonomic screen.
     
  10. djtet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #10
    refurbished?

    jxyama, you might want to consider a refurbished emac, if money is an issue. smalldog electronics has the bottom line emac, refurbished, for $649... i personally have never bought from them, but i'm sure other people on these boards have...
     
  11. jxyama thread starter macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #11
    thanks for various suggestions...

    my dad is pretty tight with money (for computers...) and he is constantly bombarded with PC deals (he works at IBM) so lower the price, the better.

    i just want my mom to use a mac because i think it's a better platform for her. plus the way she uses it, the mac will last her 10 years. (for her use, technology wise, PCs will also last 10 years... but two PCs have already bailed on us in the last 2 years so...)

    of course, i discussed computers with him back in april and he still hasn't gotten one. i should probably just order one for them and have it ship there... mac is easy, right? even my mom can set it up, right? :)

    i think i will go look at the refurb emac. if it's $700 shipped/taxed, then i'm there.
     
  12. gopher macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #12
    If getting the bottom of the line eMac or iMac, be sure to upgrade it to at least 256 MB of RAM. They'll need that to make sure it doesn't feel slow. RAM is quite cheap, at less than $50 for 256 MB and less than $100 for 512 MB

    http://www.macmaps.com/Macosxspeed.html#RAM gives you links to good quality RAM vendors with low prices.
    And yes, setting up the Mac is quite easy. I recommend the books by Robin Williams and David Pogue to help them.
     
  13. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    #13
    I think for basic wordprocessing, email, internet, and simple photo processing any Mac with a 400+Mhz G3 works fine with 512MB of RAM installed for OSX. I also don't think you need to pay $1,500 for a Mac that will keep up with a $500 Dell. Most PC's at that price are running Celeron's and an 800Mhz or 1Ghz G4 eMac will kick a 1.7 or even 2.0Ghz Celeron all to pieces in performance.
     
  14. mislabeledstar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    I've bought things from apple as a student, i go to school in san francisco, but i've had them ship it out to new jersey where my parents live. it's not a problem with them, i just told apple i was on break from school, so you could definetly do that.
     
  15. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    What is on that web site may be true, but it does not relate into real world performance. For example, the fastest Mac money can buy is not as fast as a $1000 dell machine in games (I have done some testing). I am not saying get a PC, but dont think a $1500 Mac will be much better than that PC.
     
  16. gopher macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #16
    The game developer is the one that doesn't know how to program Altivec. If they did and just read http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2002/04/05/altivec.html they'd be able to code their software correctly. Obviously the Mac users wanting faster games are not requesting them enough from the developers, or know how to request them. If they gave developers the ability to code faster games that would be one thing. If games were really that slow, you'd think the developers would actually fix the games. Next time you run a slow Mac game, contact the developer with the above link and tell them Mac users want to buy from them, but won't unless their games are optimized for the Mac.
     
  17. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eindhoven
    #17
    I had about the same situation with my dad. He had some ads from the newspaper that were dirt cheap. I had him go to the local shop to have a look at all the computers. And I printed out all the papers I could find about switching and technical stuff about the differences. The description of the eMac right off the apple.com page was also very convincing that it is a nice computer!

    Show them about the iApps. Show them about virusses (forward one and double click it in Mail.app - nothing happens). Show them the colorful user interface but leave all the magnification tricks for younger people (it's frightening for 50+ people). Try to find an ad with people they know that also have an apple (showbizz or musicians).

    About those ads: I always told my dad that a Fiat Panda is also a car, but why isn't he driving one? Because he doesn't buy the cheapest car, but a car that fits his needs. That's an analogy that he understood.

    He now has an eMac and is very happy with it. He likes learning how to use it. The iApps are wonderfull, but one at a time! He just learned red eye correction this week, all by himself practiced on a photograph from his grandchildren. It's nice that such tools are Apple easy.

    About the printer: he sold his old one for about $20 second hand and is more happy with the cheap new one - better prints, the print technology has so much advanced the last three years that you can see the difference even in the cheapest gear.
     

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