New to PowerBook...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Lunja, May 15, 2005.

  1. Lunja macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #1
    Hi all-

    First of all, this is my first post on MacRumors ( :D ) and I'm fairly new to Macs, so sorry if some of my questions seem a bit simple...

    Basically, I've switched to Macs since I was getting annoyed at my infected, diseased and dying PC, so I bought an eMac for £200, the best thing I ever did... :)

    I recently bought a G4 PowerBook 1.25ghz from eBay and was wondering what programs are essential, the 'must haves' when using a Mac. I hope to be editing video and doing some graphic design, but I've already got FC and PS... I was wondering if there are any drivers or media players which I won't be able to do without, ie Windows Media Player, Real etc, or whether I will need anything to help compatibility between my Mac and other websites, peripherals etc...

    Also, the PowerBook will come with 512mb RAM, but I was wondering if this is worth upgrading, and how much I can fit into it? I hope to buy Tiger soon, as well as more RAM if recommended, and I've heard that there is an Apple store in the Orlando Millenia mall, so my question is whether it will be cheaper to purchase Tiger and any RAM or other upgrades at the store when I'm in Florida in 6 weeks, or to use my English educational discount (University) at the online store?

    Sorry again if any of these questions seem blindingly obvious, but hey: I'm a newbie :cool:

    Thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #2
    Upgrade the RAM.

    About the software, there are so many threads on "essential software for Macs" that I'm just going to suggest that you do a search for it. ;) I think if you go back a few pages, you'll see at least one thread about software.
     
  3. Lunja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #3
    ahh - sorry... Forgot my forum etiqutte - search for topics before posting... (slap on wrist) :)

    How much RAM will my PowerBook take, and would you suggest Apple-branded RAM or is there a cheaper/better alternative?
     
  4. Lunja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    Hehe, no worries, mate.

    Just go to OWC/MacMall. There's a new feature at MacRumours. Go to the top of the page. See where it lists what forum you're in? (ie: Buying Tips and Advice > New To Powerbook...) Well, below that there are 5 links. One is to MacMall. You can get RAM from there. OWC sells decent RAM with a lifetime warranty. You can even get Samsung RAM, which is the type of RAM used by 12" Powerbooks anyway. :) You need 768 MB of RAM, but if you don't mind spending some quid, get a 1GB stick. :)

    Crucial is another RAM company, but their business practices/pricing "scheme" are dodgy, and so many people wouldn't recommend them anymore. OWC is good. Newegg.com is another good place. I don't know where you'd go in England. Try John Lewis....they sell Macs. Dunno if there's any other stores on Suffolk that sell Mac stuff. I lived in London for a year, but that and Durham are all I know. :eek:

    Don't know what they mention in the other thread, but listen to me.

    - get VLC at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html before it disappears forever. :( It plays all sorts of video formats.
    - get Mac OSX Tiger. Widgets are awesome, and better than Konfabulator. Don't download Konfabulator even though people recommend it in that thread. It was awhile ago.

    -SuperCal to calibrate your LCD. It'll make everything look much much better and less washed out. http://www.bergdesign.com/supercal/

    -http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/mac This is the basic audio editing software that Macs DON'T come with. Garageband is nice, but you'll need this if you want to do anything with actual song files.

    Everything else in the previous thread is probably a good suggestion, except Konfabulator. :)
     
  6. Aeronautical macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #6
    HI, you can buy RAM at any PcWorld branch in the UK. Check first what kind of memory the powerbook takes (i looked in 'Imacs for dummies' when I was upgrading my old Imac, and there must be similar books that you can go to for information on powerbooks- or search online for info). If you are lucky then the powerbook compatible RAM will be stocked.
     
  7. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    I have the exact same computer, and I can safely say you don't need the ram.

    You obviously don't plan on doing any pro editing. You do not need 1 (2 max, btw) gig of ram in the powerbook. I've recently decided to upgrade myself to a gig, but that is because I'm an editor running final cut pro, photoshop and soundtrack simultaneously.. quite often.

    Compared to PC's, Macs are amazing at multitasking and managing RAM. Unless you start noticing things getting choked up, you really don't need to worry about it.

    As for apps, go out and get Tiger. Once you're up to tiger, search versiontracker.com for sidetrack (turns the side of your trackpad to a "scroll wheel", VLC, Adium (if you're into instant messanging), Synergy, and gmail status. Transmit is a good program if you use FTPs, and TextWrangler is great for writing html and saving it directly to an ftp.

    You don't need anything that I listed... but I suggest you at least take a look at those apps. Have fun.
     
  8. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Little grey, chilly island.
    #8
    Well, you may not need the ram, but the increase in performance is certainly noteworthy. The thing is, the more ram you can throw at a system, the better it performs so I would base this, your financial requirements and whether or not you have a partner to say "nope" to you.

    Couple of propgrams I find useful, expecially from having a similar windows counterpart when I switched:

    Office '04
    OnyX (Cleaning & system utilities program)
    Adium(If was using MSN)
    Limewire (P2P File sharing)
    Transparent Dock (Just plain, nice visual effects for your pbook)
    MPlayer (it's not going to be in development for long because of protocol so get it now!

    Hope that helps!
     
  9. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #9
    It seems that noone has mentioned but you will definately need techtools pro 4 (they also have download for tiger update) and maybe diskwarrior as well. These will help keep ur HD healthy and functioning, remember to back up as well because Audio, Video puts some strain on ur HD, its best to keep them optimized.
     
  10. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    On a jet plane
    #10
    Whilst it might be useful, you definitely don't NEED it. Most users get along fine without those apps, me included.

    Here's a good thread on recommended shareware/freeware. Search for them over at MacUpdate :)
     
  11. oriol macrumors member

    oriol

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Location:
    right behind ya!
    #11
    get RAM, if u do design the memory makes miracles, best software for that Photoshop. No Doubt
    -Media player???? come one wut can u miss about it :confused: iTunes :D
    and everything else just do a search. don't forget to get TIGER.


    my two cents
     
  12. Lunja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #12
    Cheers for the responses guys!

    Kingsnapped- I take Media Production BA Hons at University, so I'll be using the PowerBook for editing home projects (We use Avid on the course). What would you describe 'Pro editing' as? I hope to make a 10minute film using DV, which will hopefully include a number of effects, so do you think 512mb will cope with this well? Out of interest, what kind of stuff do you edit professionaly? Wouldn't mind another contact in the industry... :)

    I think Onyx will be a cert, and I particularly like the idea of Sidetrack... Is there a program which will allow me to click using the trackpad, ie. tapping it = left click?

    Thanks for your help so far!

    (PowerBook arrives in 19hrs... :D)
     
  13. Lunja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #13
    I've been looking at MacMall, and I think a RAM upgrade will have to be done :)

    I just wonder if I'd be better off buying a 1gb stick, or 2 512mb sticks? Although I'm unsure how many slots a PowerBook has...

    EDIT: Sorry - forgot to ask what brands people recommend. Cheers!
     
  14. oriol macrumors member

    oriol

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Location:
    right behind ya!
    #14
    The PBs only have one slot to upgrade , so get the 1GB stick. check in newegg or crusial they got good stuff there.


    my two cents
     
  15. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    Medford
    #15
     

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