New to Mac - Need advice

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Magill, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. Magill macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2002
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    Toronto, Canada
    #1
    I work in an industry dominated by Mac users, and I am finally ready to make the leap from the PC world. I'm looking for a used iBook or Powerbook. Any suggestions as to what to look for or stay clearly away from? A colleague has what I understand to be a first generation iBook - 300mhz, 96MG, 2 Gig. Its cheap, but is it something I want? My needs are pretty basic - word processing, excel sreadsheets, ethernet access.
    Thanks to all who reply.
     
  2. ponyboy macrumors regular

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    #2
    Im afraid you might not get the most unbiased of opinions on that system here we all lust after the newest fastest things available whether we need them or not, thats or nature. But I would say that it might be dependent on which OS you plan on running, With OS9 and the use limited to what you said you "might" be ok, but if you are going to be acsessing a network and want to run the OS that is most acomodating, OSX I am afraid that system would be sorely lacking
     
  3. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #3
    Usually those revision A iBooks (the ol' 300mhz 32mb of ram 3 gb hard drives) go for 650-800 bucks. I think that you'd be better off getting a rev A iBook Dual USB which can be had for around 800-1000 bucks... you get a bigger hard drive and a much fast G3 as well as a brighter screen, firewire and a larger ram max (640mb versus 320 on the original iBook).

    If you buy a used iBook 500 from an online reseller, there are some pretty good deals to be had on refurb machines.... I've seen them anywhere from $799-$1049 with additional ram, case, etc.

    A nice mid way is to look at the 366 iBook which I have seen ranging from 800-850 and including 320 mb of RAM and 6gb hard drives.

    Feel free to email me if you want some links to deals....

    m
     
  4. Grokgod macrumors 6502a

    Grokgod

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    #4
    laptop or tower?

    I think that if cost is important that you should stick with a tower to get the most bang for your buck. Apples laptop hardware has only recently gotten up to par with the OS. I think that its a must to get a tower so that you have the best experience!
    So if you cant afford the newest laptops then go for an older tower.

    I think that you can get a decent tower or DP for a really good price.
     
  5. Magill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    Thanks for the posts. ponyboy, I think I do want to run OS X. The machine in question is currently on OS 9. I took a glance at the Apple site and it suggests I need a minimum of 128MG. Moxiemike, I should have mentioned I'm in Canada. The guy with the iBook I mentioned wants $750. CDN for it. I'm trying to get in for 1200 - 1400 tops. The local online ads I've looked at suggest I can get, at best, a Powerbook 300/128/8Gb for that. Any further comments re system requirements for OS X and/or reliability issues?
    Thanks.
     
  6. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

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    #6
    If you want to run OS X, and run it well, I would suggest one of the new low-end iBooks at the very least. The old clamshell iBooks don't have a powerful enough graphics card to take advantage of the up-and-coming OS X Jaguar. It'll be cheaper for sure, but you might want to think of the long-run here. Also, my Rev. A clamshell iBook (Tangerine) has been having keyboard issues lately. As in, some keys simply stop working. I dunno if this is inherent to just these models alone or if it is a common occurrence. But it ain't cheap to replace! My advice is, get a new low-end iBook with at least 256MB RAM. You'll be happy. :)
     
  7. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #7
    I don't really know too much about the canadian dollar and exchange rates... But I do have a friend who has the Powerbook 300 (a Wallstreet-- the nickname, which sounds like the one you have specc'd) and likes it...however, if you ever think of upgrading to OSX it's a bit quirky-- the adb (mouse connection) stops working, you have make sure you have a certain partition scheme, etc. etc. Also, it has no USB or firewire....

    At that point, you might be better off grabbing an iBook revision b. (366, 6 gb hard drive). You'll sacrifice a bit in screen real estate but you'll have USB, firewire, it's airport ready, etc. And they run about the same price from what I can see here (800 dollars US versus 830-850 US for the iBook) I don't know how that converts into canadian though. Hope that helps.

    Whenever it boils down to recommending systems that are pretty close in price, I would almost always go with the newer system (seems like a no brainer but some people would be sold on the screen size, that the 300 is a pro powerbook, etc) over the older one simply due to it's modern amenities. :)

    Hope that helps... ask away if it doesn't.
     
  8. ShaolinMiddleFinger macrumors 6502a

    ShaolinMiddleFinger

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    Oct 12, 2001
    #8
    iBook

    My suggestion is at least a dual usb iBook. Refurbed or new.
     
  9. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #9
    Unless you REALLY need to have a portable system, you can get more speed for your dollar with a tower. You can use any monitor on the towers, so you don't have to get one specific to the Mac.

    Hunt for a G4 tower, at least one of the AGP models (Sawtooth motherboard) or newer. You will have more expansion possibilites as well as more drive space (and room to add up to three more hard drives to boot).
     
  10. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #10
    Alpha makes some really good points... if yoou can find an old AGP 450 or 500 dual... you'd be in business. One of the resellers had dual 450's for 1199 or 1099.

    That machine will really cook for OSX (had one, was awesome) and allows you a lot of expansion.
     
  11. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #11
    Considering how you can have up to 1.5GB of RAM installed (and addressed) at a time. You can also install up to 120GB drives on the motherboard IDE chain, and 160GB drives if you get an ATA card. With that combination, you can have gobs of storage for a song (figure a pair of 120GB drives and a pair of 160GB drives would put you to 560GB total). If you wanted to get real creative, you could do all the same size drives, running of an ATA RAID card (they accept up to 160GB drives) and have a single volume of 640GB.

    All that in a tower... you can't touch it with any laptop on the market (at least at this time).
     
  12. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #12
    Good call... you surely wanna put as much ram and HD space as you can... i just recently bought a dual gig and when i played with it stock (80gb, 512) it was nice but I put a 120gb WD 7200rpm HD in it along with a gig of ram (maxxed out at 1.5) and you can really see the performance boost.

    It puts my 667 tibook (revb.) with 30 gb hd and 512 mb of ram to shame shame shame

    m
     
  13. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    Natick, MA
    #13
    I like my rev. c TiBook (800MHz) with the 1MB L3 cache... It ROCKS!!! I might even put the IBM drive in (when the replacement arrives from IBM), which is one of the 60GB 5400rpm Travelstar's. :D
     
  14. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #14
    I'd love to have one of those guys.... the 32mb vram is sooo killer (i am assuming) I won't even go to the compusa around for fear i'll get the credit card twitch.

    Ptrauber actually sold me my other ti a week after they came out... he probably doesn't remember, but i went on a SPREE.

    That HD sounds good... but they are expensive. Do you like your 5400?? It's TEMPTING.....

    Anything to get a lil' boost from the ti...especially in OSX.
     
  15. Magill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2002
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    Toronto, Canada
    #15
    Just to clarify, I definitely need to be portable.
    And to Moxiemike, one Canadian dollar is worth about 5 cents U.S.- just kidding, a U.S. dollar costs me about $1.50 CDN.
     
  16. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #16
    I had an issue with the IBM drive, which is why it had to go back. They will be shipping me a replacement, which I hope arrives soon.

    The video is more then just the memory amount, the GPU has a lot to do with it to. They went from the Rage 128, to the Mobile Radeon, to the Mobile Radeon 7500 (rev. a to c respectively).

    The hard drives are not as expensive as they were initially. I remember seeing them for over $500 when they first came out. Now you can get them for under $450 (internal model).

    I noticed a speed boost when I had it inside my rev. a TiBook, but not as much when I put it into the new one. Maybe something happened to the drive, and I will see a bigger boost when I get the new one... Who knows.
     
  17. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #17
    In that case, if you need to be around 1200-1400 ca $, then the best bet might be a dual USB iBook, g3 500 from smalldog.

    For 949 US (about 1425 ca) you get the ibook 500 G3, 384 mb of ram, 15 gb hard drive, cd-rom drive, and a case. You also get a one year warranty as well.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.smalldog.com/category/x/x/Powerbooks+Ibooks/iBooks/Powerbook+Acc/wag103/wag10003/

    I am sure they mail to Canada... just don't know how shipping and customs would work.... but I am sure you can find a similar deal in Canada. (I love toronto....) For your needs, this would be your best bet. www.powermax.com has some good deals too... have bought from both... stellar on all fronts.

    www.everymac.com should have some good info on the iBooks too.

    good luck!
    m
     
  18. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #18
    Since you say you must have a portable/laptop system, I would say go for a PowerBook G4 system. Don't f*ck around with a G3 chip. You will get more life from a G4 and OS X likes them much better. IF possible, get either a 500MHz rev. a, or 667MHz rev. b TiBook.

    Yes, it will cost more then an iBook, but you will be able to go up to 1GB of RAM, and change the hard drive yourself. You cannot do the drive on the iBook (seriously voids any warranty) and the max. memory is less on the iBook.

    I almost feel for you on the monetary exchange differnce, but then again, I don't (the cruel American coming out in me :D).
     
  19. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #19
    Expanding on that, powermax.com has some decent deals on rev. a tibooks....

    g4 500 for $1868 (or 2802 ca)

    and Compusa has some good deals on the rev.b ti-- 667, 256 ram, 30gb hd, DVD, airport card for $1999 (2998 ca)

    Sure, you'll pay more for the ti but it will last you longer.... i guess you have to determine which method is more feasible for you-- a little more outlay now, a little more lifespan of the machine versus a little less outlay now, and more outlay sooner plus whatever you sell your machine for when you decide the iBook is too "outdated"

    i would guess, and this is just me, that the 667 ti would last you at least three to four years if you are a lite user who doesn't need the best of the best. the iBook? Maybe 2 years.....


    just my guess though
     
  20. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    Ottawa, ON
    #20
    I guess what ponyboy said was right, magill ISN'T gonna get an unbiased opinion here :). Here he is, trying to get advice for a laptop for wordprocessing, excel, and general lan/internet usage for under $1400CAN, and we're recommending dual 1gig towers with 320gb hds, GF4Ti500s or PB G4s that probably cost $3000-6000CAN. It's a good thing everything's all under budget! maybe we should think about working for the government ;).

    Seriously though, MoxieMike's suggestion about getting an ibook G3 500 from smalldog is probably the best idea for you Magill. It won't be the fastest system on the planet, but for what you're describing your needs as, it will be more than enough. I don't think it's gonna be worth it to spend twice as much just to get a speed boost when Jag. comes out. Since this is your first mac, get something affordable and learn to love it before you splurge and get a fully decked out system like these guys here. I hope u enjoy your new laptop
     
  21. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #21
    Topicolo, i think aplha and I were trying to overedcuate magill on what is out there-- whether he wants to lay down cash upfront and have a machine that would last a very long time, or a smaller amount of cash and get a machine he can grow with and then buy as you suggest.

    Alpha, who knows tons, was just illustrating the theoretical benefits of a tower-- saying that for the price mgill wants to pay, he might look into that avenue if expandability is an issue.
     
  22. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #22
    topicolo, I NEVER said to go with a dual GHz system, but rather an older G4 (AGP/Sawtooth mobo forward) which would be more upgradable/expanible AND give a longer time of use. The towers are by far the better bang for the dollar, IF you don't HAVE to have a portable system.

    My post about the drives and such was to show the POSSIBILITIES of the tower. NOT to tell him to get a dual GHz system and dump a ton of money into it.

    More often then not, I wonder what the hell you see when you read these posts, since it's NOT what I was typing. :rolleyes:
     
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #23
    If you really don't need a portable the eMac is a great bargain for what you get.

    Of course it is quite the opposite of a portable, and back into the movable brick class.

    Otherwise the new bottom of the line iBook should be worth consideration.
     
  24. Magill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #24
    So........I'm already starting to talk myself out of that old iBook and I've looked at pictures of the shiny new iBook 600Mhz, and its only $1749. CDN and I could always finance it and my friends at work would think its cool (even though its not a Titanium) and I really should be prepared for the future and...but "a penny saved..." then again "its better to look good than to feel good" but "all work and no play..." aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrgggggg!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the advice:D
     
  25. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    #25
    I hear and feel your pain magill. Just make sure you're not going to suffer buyer's regret in a week after you buy. :) :) :)

    But seriously, for your needs, any iBook would do you well... if you go tibook, you'll be VERY happy....really, you can't lose!

    good luck
     

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