Need some help on getting a new iBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by skinnyneo, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. skinnyneo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    #1
    Hi! First post ever in these forums so good to meet you all! Anyway I am kind of in dilema. I'm in Tokyo Japan right now and am going to be returning to the states some time in August. I am currently running a 500mhz ibook (this is the very very very first of the current model from April 2001) and it is definatly showing it's age. A 66 mhz fsb isn't cutting it anymore. I know that Apple just released new iBooks back in April but when do you think the next update would be? I wouldn't mind taking advantage of the current 200$ back with a ibook+ipod purchase, but if between Sept and January they will update again I can wait (as long as the price stays around 1000$ with education discount for a combo 12") as I want to have the newest of the new! Any thoughts from anybody would be awsome. Thanks!
     
  2. Finiksa macrumors 6502a

    Finiksa

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    If Apple update them at the same rate they have in the past then you'll definitely see a new iBook by January, the current update cycle is about 5 months so they should be here around October/November.
     
  3. jbrjake macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    I concur, but for a different reason. Eyecandy like Dashboard and the other Core Graphics tricks help sell computers. When clueless consumers see tricks like those in the Apple Store, they will be more likely to purchase a Mac just for the "wow factor." If Tiger is released in January, and the iBook hasn't at least had a video card upgrade, it will be the only Mac which can't look sexy at the point of sale. While Apple is obsessed with product differentiation, I'm not familiar with any time when they've stratified their product line based on operating system features. Instead, they go for physical extras--screen size, hard drive space, backlit keyboards, the number of PCI slots, etc. So, I speculate that come January, every computer Apple sells will be able to run Tiger and take full advantage of its myriad new toys. This necessitates an upgraded iBook...hopefully to the specs of the current 12" Powerbook?
     
  4. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #4
    go for the ibook now
    most likely in october or november there will be a slightly updated ibook (not a G5) probably just a slight processor boost
    the 200 rebate for the ipod and portable and a free printer are nice promos

     
  5. tekno_geek911 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    I dont think there will be an update until the G5 PowerBook's are out...
     
  6. skinnyneo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2004
    #6
    Sorry I'm not very tech saavy on the new OS :confused:
    So the current iBook won't be able to take adavntage of certain Tiger features? If this is the case then of course I would wait as even though I am not concerned with having the fastest notebook on the block I would want it to be able to take davantage of the OS it is built for.
     
  7. Finiksa macrumors 6502a

    Finiksa

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    Correct, the Radeon 9200 in the iBook wont be able to utilize Core Image fully or perhaps at all.

    I expect Apple will try to get compatible video cards in all their product line ASAP so it's probably worth waiting till the next release.
     
  8. skinnyneo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2004
    #8
    Will this increase the cost of the ibook substantally? I'm looking basically at the 12" combo unit for 999$ with my educational discount.
     
  9. Finiksa macrumors 6502a

    Finiksa

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    I doubt it, I expect the graphics in the Powerbook will get bumped up in the next revision and the iBook will get the the low end Core Image compatible card perhaps the Go5200 or possibly the Radeon 9600.

    What ever happens the iBook always gets current but older technology which is very cheap so prices shouldn't rise, in fact they tend to fall a little with each release.
     
  10. skinnyneo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    #10
    Sorry to keep this dragging on but will these features effect my usability of the OS? I mean if it's just eye candy that I will be missing then I guess that I can live without it but if it's actual usability that's a different story. I guess I want to take advantage of this 200$ back plus Ipod deal as I can trim a lot of money off of a new iBook with apple care and the works. Thanks for all your help so far though!
     
  11. jbrjake macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    It won't affect basic usability. Websurfing, email, word processing--these things will still work. Apple is a responsible enough company that Core Image is designed to scale down gracefully--current iBooks will work seamlessly with Tiger, it's just all the special effects will be missing. But eventually, the new eyecandy is going to lead to a lot of new features. It's sort of like marketing a boring yet useful product--say, a toolbox--with a beautiful woman in skimpy clothing. Apple's inked a deal with all the web browser developers except Microsoft to revamp the standards for browser plugins. This is connected to the new Dashboard feature, which in turn is powered by Core Image.

    Basically, Apple's moving towards a vision of the Internet where little web-based programs can run independently on the desktop. I don't know how long you've been a Mac user, but back in the mid 90s, Apple invested a lot of money and time into researching object-based operating systems and applications. The next-gen Mac OS codenamed Copland (this was before Jobs returned and OS X dev started) was going to be based on this technology, called OpenDoc. Instead of applications that could do anything, developers would have built small application components that could be tied together to do anything you wanted. A quick google search actually turns up an OpenDoc developer, back in 1997, boasting about how "It's easy to build an information 'dashboard' with OpenDoc parts and Java applets and other elements." OpenDoc wasn't about eye candy. It was about letting ordinary users do extraordinary things with their computers, without having to learn a programming language. With the new Automator in Tiger, and Dashboard, it seems Apple's decided this is the time to implement those capabilities. Right now, Dashboard widgets are limited to revamped Desktop Accessories--clocks, sticky notes, puzzles, etc. However, since they're written in HTML using CSS and Javascript, there's going to be crazy interaction with the web. Apple's preview of Tiger (10.4) has a stock ticker/graph which hints at these possibilities. For more info, there's this blog entry that got highlighted by Slashdot this morning:http://homepage.mac.com/jhobbs/essays/

    Because these Dashboard widgets are so easy to write (compared to regular programs), it's likely developers and computer science students will go crazy with them. Because Core Image interfaces with OS X's innate video capabilities, it is also likely Apple will find ways to tie Dashboard in with QuickTime and iMovie/Final Cut. Here's what the page from the Tiger preview says:
    That's a lot of marketing talk, I know. I'm not quite sure what it means, either. It seems to indicate that Core Graphics will speed up Mac OS by offloading processing from the CPU to the GPU, at least for video. So it's possible that the current iBook won't be able to take advantage of a speed boost in Tiger--though it certainly shouldn't get any slower with the new OS.

    The bottom line is that the iBook is a great, reliable, rugged, efficient, portable computer. If you buy one now you will be happy with it. It can do everything your 500mhz iBook can do--and a hell of a lot more. The iBook G4 isn't just Apple's most affordable computer--it's also, arguably, the best deal Apple's ever had for consumers, especially students. If you buy one now, come January, you will just be missing out on some eye candy. Come the January after that, you might be missing out on a lot more, as developers figure out how to do Really Cool Stuff with these new system-level visual effects and modular programming. A new iBook that can do that stuff is probably coming in the next six months, though certainly not before the new iMac is on store shelves. But that's always true with computers. To answer your question about pricing, it is likely there will be no change, or if there is, only a minimal one. So do you really want to wait half a year? It is quite likely you will get more enjoyment out of a ridiculously cheap 3G iPod and a current iBook (both of which will be 'obsolete' in a few months) now than you will from a slightly better iBook and a ridiculously expensive 4G iPod in November.
     
  12. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #12
    i dont think that these features will effect the usability of the OS. its not like all of a sudden things wont work that used to work. its just that a few of the flashy cool things might not work. some of the core image things and core video might not work because they are run only through the gpu (graphics card), in the demo given at WWDC they showed off core image. They made changes to an image and it changed instantly. ie water effects contrast, the usual sort of photoshop filters. will this effect the usuability? well it depends, usng current apps no not at all because the new core image/video has yet to be implemented so any app that you can run now will be fine. But when tiger is released and companies such as adobe or macromedia start to use the new core image/video to its potential then you might experience some problems. but i dont see this happening for a while yet. i think it will be some smaller software companies that start to use it more, along with apples own software.

    if it were me and i had a mac so use for the time being, then i would be tempted to hold off, you could be getting a computer in a few months time that would be more productive for longer to come. (you've had your first ibook for a good length of time)

    but... the cram and jam offer is good and hard to resist! just way up the pros and cons! ;)
     
  13. skinnyneo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    #13
    Wow! Thanks for the awsome information you guys! You have definatly made my decision much clearer. I don't return to the states for about 5 weeks so I have plent of time to think all this over but you've definatly pointed out the good and bad of a purchase now and a purchase in a few months. Thanks sooooo much!
     

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