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Never had a Mac, looking at Ibook... questions

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by 00bolt, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    Hi all. Im not new to computers by any means, but never even touched a Mac before. I know NOTHING about them. Im in market for a new laptop (well probably a slightly used one). The main purpose is really just a toy. Ill surf the internet, watch dvds, store mp3, pictures, etc... Nothing major. When I went to the local electronics store I was immediately drawn to the very small, thin, lightweight laptops. I know I might be in minority, most probably like the 15" - 17" screens, but I perfer the smaller ones. So I was looking at Sony Vaios, etc but all of them were $1200+ and I just dont want to pay that much for a toy right now. Im looking to spend about half that.

    So I was looking on ebay, craigslist and came across these Ibooks. If always heard about Macs being superior to windows computers, but never really thought twice about it. So it got me thinking, maybe Ill buy a Mac laptop for something new.

    But I have a few questions.

    1. Whats the main difference in a Mac vs. Windows other than the operating system is a little different look/feel?? Iv heard things like the processor speed in a Mac is double whats in a regular computer... IE: 500mhz = 1ghz... , any other myths/facts good to know??

    2. I have a buttload of programs on CDs that I might like to install on my laptop, can I do that if I buy a Mac? (Corel Draw, Frontpage, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office, etc)

    3. I own my own business and I keep up with and update my website. Im FAR from being a webmaster, in fact I know very little. Basically I just use Frontpage (not code, I use the design drag and drop)... Iv gotten website to where I basically just add new items, change prices, etc. I dont really do any more major renovations... So my question is... If I get a Mac laptop, will I be able to still work on my website with it? Im guessing I wont be able to install Frontpage but Im sure there is another similar program thats EASY to use??

    So since all my work/files have been done on Windows with Frontpage, can I now open those same files on a Mac, edit them and do whatever I need to do with new program?? Then upload them to server, etc like Iv done before? Then once I do all that, would I then be able to open them again on my regular PC with Windows and do the same thing? Sometimes when Im away and have spare time Id like to update do a few things, but majority of the time Ill be doing most of the updates with my computer at work...

    thanks for the help ahead of time, basically any advice/info you might have is greatly appreciated. Id like to jump the gun and buy a little ibook right now, but Id like a few questions answered first....

    thanks again
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    I think you'd enjoy an iBook, especially if you install either the current OS (Os X 10.4 Tiger) or the one coming out in about a month or so (OS X 10.5 Leopard).

    However... in your case, it's hard to recommend, given your constraints.

    First, the new Intel-based Macs can all run Windows, so all of your software issues could be resolved, at the very least, by booting into Windows or using something like CrossOver Mac or Parallels to run Windows apps - or Windows itself - in a window on the Mac.

    But... the older, non-Intel based Macs (iBooks, PowerBooks, etc.) cannot do these things, and you're stuck with using Microsoft's Virtual PC, which, although free for PCs, costs a fair bit for Macs and is wicked slow.

    So, I think, for you, you'd be best to do one of the following:
    1. Buy a Windows laptop to run your extensive collection of Windows software.
    2. Look for a 1st-gen Intel Mac laptop (MacBook or MacBook Pro from last year) which will run OS X and all of your Windows apps. They're coming down in cost.
    3. Buy an even older (and cheaper) Mac laptop just to play with OS X. I think you'll truly enjoy it, but your Windows apps won't run on it.
    4. Wait until Leopard comes out, buy a Mac mini (not a laptop, but a 6.5"x6.5"x2" desktop), play with all the goodness, and then, if you really love OS X, sell it and upgrade to an Intel laptop.

    And all that software you have has Mac equivalents, but none (or few) of those equivalents are free.
  3. macrumors member

    well that at least answers a few of my questions. I think getting a Macbook would be ideal. Then I could have the best of both worlds. But the cost is alot more. I really wanted to stay around $600, but looks like those would be $900 on the low side.

    When exactly is the new OS coming out? How much will that cost to upgrade? Maybe I should wait it out another month and get one with it already in it? What are the changes from Tiger to the new one? Is a all new look/feel like XP is to Vista or just some new features? What are the new features?
  4. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    If you're going to get one, I'd definitely wait the month and get the new OS.

    Why? A few reasons.

    First, the current version is almost two years old, and why get one at the tail end of that (when you'd need to pay an expected $129 to upgrades, or $179 if the rumors are true and it included iLife) when you can wait a short time and get it included?

    Second, in Leopard (the next version, coming soon), Boot Camp (which allows booting into Windows) is included as an official part of the OS, as opposed to the bet version it is now.

    Third, backup is much, much easier in Leopard, and that feature alone is worth the wait.

    Fourth, Leopard has resolution independence, meaning you can effectively make your laptop screen hold a lot more items. Niceness, and also worth waiting for.

    Fifth, there are a ton of new underlying features that developers will use to provide apps which won't run (at all or as well) on Tiger.

    See here for more. :)
  5. macrumors member

    well again, even if I step up to Macbook, id still be looking for a used one to save a few bucks. Not sure if many used ones on ebay are going to come with Leopard???

    btw, what is ilife?
  6. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Good point, used ones won't come with Leopard. They will all come with Tiger, though, since all MacBooks were released post-Tiger. They should also all come with iLife '06. Do NOT buy one that doesn't come with the restore disks, which contain the OS and all included apps, including iLife.

    Still, I'd wait a month and either see if a low-end MacBook is affordable or if prices on Tiger laptops drop even further.
  7. macrumors member

  8. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Sadly, we don't know, but from what we've heard, it'll be a month or so. "Spring '07" is what we've been told, and signs point to it being released before mid-April, but, again, we're not certain.
    If I recall correctly, yes, they should. As a separate disk you'd need to install, possibly.
  9. macrumors newbie

    I have a small question to add.

    When leopard comes out will the new and refurb laptops cost any extra they do now with tiger?
  10. macrumors 68020

    My philosophy is if your going to spend in excess of $100 on anything, DO IT RIGHT. Either Get a new Macbook or a refurb MacBook from Apple. You spend $500+ on an iBook (overpriced anyway) and then your going to love it but wish it was faster. The MacBooks are SIGNIFICANTLY faster. Do yourself a favor and find the extra money and make it worth it.
  11. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    I'd find this to be highly unlikely. Odds are they'll cost the same.
  12. macrumors 68040


    00bolt: I would buy the $899 Macbook from Apple's refurb section. 1 yr. warranty plus the backup cds. You can run windows/osx on it. Plus you can always upgrade to Leopard at any time...

    Stay away from the iBooks. They are slow, old, and way to expensive for that technology.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Dont. I know this is a mac forum, and mac is better than windows, but Dont.

    For the best of your buisness, you should get a windows computer that you will be able to use the best. Otherwise, things will be harder for your windows-based buisness
  14. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


  15. macrumors 6502

    Well I think, considering the budget is half of a $1200 Vaio, the only options are getting something like a Dell-laptop, which sells new for around that price. Or an iBook G4, 2nd hand.

    If you can find the latter, and it comes from a reliable source, it'll fit your requirements as a "toy," but there will be a learning + price-curve as far as running your business-page is concerned. Applications, while ultimately perhaps easier, do run differently on a Mac, and the selection of things is somewhat more limited than on the Windows-platform.

    Also a lot of apps cost money. Not that this is different on the PC, but expect to spend a couple hundred bucks to get apps, like Office, you might want.

    And to learn how to use the Mac, while it is ultimately easier and—for some—more productive than it's windows-equivalent, I would still add anything from 2 weeks to 2 months. This could harm your business, as someone already warned.

    Not that I'm saying don't get a Mac, but all that should be included in your price-calculations, I think.

    And as far as Leopard is concerned. Sure, it will be a nice upgrade, but again you will have to raise your budget + still hand over cash for other apps your might need. Everything else I said above still applies.

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