Newbie Questions - 1st time mac owner

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jbusse, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. jbusse macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    #1
    This is what I bought.... and I have a few questions... please see below.

    15.2-inch TFT Display
    1280x854 resolution
    1.5GHz PowerPC G4
    512K L2 cache
    512MB DDR333 SDRAM
    80GB Ultra ATA/100
    ATI Mobility Radeon
    9700 (64MB DDR)
    Backlit keyboard
    Gigabit Ethernet
    FireWire 400 & 800
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    DVI & S-Video out

    It comes with 512meg mem, do I just have one slot left for another chip? What sizes can I get and where are the cheapest places to buy the memory?
    My understanding is that memory is even more important on the mac than the PC, is that true? - why?

    I bought Applecare - was that wise? If my powerbook breaks will they give me the BS, or fix my laptop?

    I bought a keyboard and mouse - using a tracpad at home makes me cringe and I like a full size keyboard... is there a dock I could have bought? (Not that I had the money) but Im curious.

    I spent 4k on a laptop with 512meg of memory, in the PC world I could have bought a 3ghz with 1.5gigmem blah blah blah - a super high end PC.... BUT... I am so sick of bull**** spyware and low quality PC hardware that ends up being **** after 18 months, I thought I'd try a mac... I really hope I did the right thing....

    Oh, and Im a republican - am I even allowed to own a mac? RAWR! :)
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    I don't think Apple makes one but there is this:

    http://www.photo-control.com/bookendz/be03g412.htm

    I'm not aware of any port replicators that use a single connection, which would have to be PC Card or FW or somesuch, since there's no port replicator port either....

    EDIT: Oh, and I'll politely ignore your political leanings, although judging from how heavy the argument traffic in political discussions is here, I don't think all of us can be tree huggers on Macrumors. :p
     
  3. jbusse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    #3
    neat

    Thanks for the link to the replicator... if I have to have a giant ear hanging off my piece of art (the laptop) then I'll just plug stuff in!

    Oh, and what about Virus software, do I need it? if I just use common sense, will I be ok with a mac, I understand there are fewer sinister ways to clog up a system ...
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    LOL at the giant ear...I thought it was ugly too but decided to link it anyway. ;) Your other option would be a BT keyboard and mouse, although it sounds like you've already bought something. If you have a latest gen PB 15" it should have Bluetooth....

    As far as virus software, look at this thread -- lots of conflicting opinions.... I use Norton AV, FWIW, but haven't really gotten any virus bites....
     
  5. jbusse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    #5
    Thanks. I will probably buy norton too.

    Im looking at crucial for memory and Im guessing I will have one slot left after apple ships to me with a 512meg simm - so I think I can add 1gig for about 500bucks and bring the pbook to 1.5gig of memory - does that sound correct?

    I'm stoked about getting this thing in my hands tomoorow - I paid extra for fedex... and my order status says "open" on the notebook itself and it seems to be indicating the mouse, keyboard and applcare will all ship later for some reason...
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    If you bought it with 2x256MB sticks, then, no, there's no room left until you sacrifice one of them. If you bought it with one 512MB stick, you have room for one more.

    Edit: posted this after your post above. 1.5GB is a very nice amount.

    Crucial and Kingston (www.___.com for both) are two reputable places. Crucial seems to get the most votes here. You want to save money, but it's important to not get shoddy RAM either. Both sites will let you know exactly what memory to get for your PB.

    Edit: I see you're going with Crucial. Good choice.

    I don't think it's more important. It is, however, important. 512MB is a minimum, 768 is better, 1GB or more is best. Many Mac apps tend to be graphical or audio in nature, typically requiring more RAM. Plus, OS X does such a great job of handling multiple apps and switching between them that you tend to run quite a few at once, which uses more RAM.

    Very wise decision, but note that it's just a warranty extension with free phone help. It does not cover accidental damage. However, your homeowner's/renter's insurance should cover damage with a minor premium hike.

    You did the right thing. Value retention is much better on Apple products, and I think you'll find that you actually enjoy using the Mac more. Plus, no spyware, no viruses, etc. - as you said. Please feel free to post any questions here, and 95% of the time you'll get an answer within the hour.

    Democrats can't afford them. ;)

    Just kidding. But while there's a political section of this forum, people here tend to care more that you're using a Mac than what your political allegiance might be.
     
  7. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    #7
    nooooo.

    *tosses holy water on jbusse* don't you dare say norton again (its the devil).
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    True that. Do not buy Norton for OS X. Just say no. OS 9, yeah. Windows? Yeah. OS X? NO!!! It'll mess up your system.

    If you spring for .Mac, you'll get Virex 7 to protect you from non-existent viruses.

    If you want disk utilities, buy Disk Warrior.
     
  9. jbusse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    #9
    wow, great feedback - thanks for being to welcoming...

    If apple let me order a brand new powerbook with 512meg in used 2x 256 simms, that would be a total PC vendor noob move and I'd be dissapointed - Im thinking they dont pull that kind of stupidity on people...

    I monitored the when to buy section to make sure I was ok on the lifecycle, I hope they dont change the look of it in the next year or so, I'll feel like I bought the really expensive "old" model omgz!
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    Sadly, if you didn't pay more for one RAM stick, you likely got 2x256MB. Still, you'll get to 1.25GB with a 1 GB stick, which will be more than enough.
     
  11. jbusse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    I thought it was the Norton disk utility package (Norton Commander? dunno) that was largely accused of screwing up the system. I have not had issues with Norton AV. But I don't think its terribly valuable. I just use it to protect my PC and my associates' PCs from PC virii..... But most people can probably do without it, and the dearth of virii it ever finds in anything seems a pretty good reason for me to get around to uninstalling it. ;)
     
  13. bodyquake macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    melbourne Victoria, Australia
    #13
    another newbie

     
  14. bodyquake macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    melbourne Victoria, Australia
    #14
    another newbie

    re your original cry . . I too have ordered identical unit with single 512 chip and none of the extra salad, thinking that if i come to a problem there will be resources to fix it. Under pressure; Pb arrives in a few days, conference in Nov, have to learn Mac lore and crank out a video showpiece before then.Considering that my current unit is a pentium 266, does that show blind faith in Mac or what? Anyway, its all you guys on these forums that helped me decide, so hopefully thanks for that. By the way, deleted the iDVD thinking that 3rd party option in a few months would offer heaps more capability.
     
  15. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #15
    You mean you didn't get the SuperDrive option, right? Speaking of iDVD, there's a hack to let you use it with external DVD burners - so, assuming you want to use it, you can. A quick search for "iDVD hack" on this site or via Google should help you out there once you get the external, should you have any use whatsoever for iDVD.
     
  16. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #16
    Skip the port replicator (docking station). I had gotten one when I got my TiBook last year (that was my first Mac BTW). Recently I got an Al PB, pretty much the same as yours but with more RAM. The cost of getting a docking station is more than the inconvenience of plugging in a few a cables. I take my PB to work and back every day and have no problems. So every day I plug in the power adapter, an external display and an ethernet cable. I have a USB printer that is routed through my display. I do have a wireless keyboard and mouse.

    For the keyboard and mouse I would highly recommend Apple's BT options. You can always sell the ones you got on eBay or elsewhere. The BT mouse makes great for travel too. Your PB should have BT built-in.

    Have fun - you have made a great choice and have an amazing system. Very, very close to a good desktop replacement. Just get more RAM and it will fly.

    Edit - I should mention that at home I have wireless internet and am planning to put in an Airport Express at work - so that will get rid of another cable!
     
  17. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #17

    Well for all computer you get a good boost is speed uping you ram up to 512. After 512 Apples tend to see more of a boost in profince than the PC and this is due to the fact that the OS has a much larger foot print that XP does and Apples computer tend to real on Virtaul memory to a much greater extence than a XP computer does. The more of VM crap you can get off the HD and running in the ram the better.

    And before Macci flame me I might like to point out that even you all are saying that OSX tends to complain and have a lot of trouble when you drop down before 6 gigs of hard drive and I been reading a lot of treads where you all have 2+gigs of VM running. A windows computer with 256 megs of ram general never will get over 400 megs of VM but seeing 500 is not to out of the ordinary s but it does not happen very offen normaly in in the mid 300. Now kick that mem up to 1 gig and VM drops down a lot to 200 or less for normal us and when gaming it hit 400. 2 gigs of HD space is about all you need free to keep it happy. On todays computer general 10 gigs of HD space it really not that much of them. Plus ram is good.
     
  18. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    You don't even need to use common sense to be safe from viruses on your new mac. Go ahead and download the "text file" in your email.
    Unless you need to do hardcore multimedia (beyond FCE.. etc), you can hold off on the ram. I'm running on 512 and I've never had a problem working in FCE, iTunes, Safari and other stuff at the same time. Enjoy your computer, we'll be sure to hear from you soon!
     
  19. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    I Come From A Land Down Under
    #19
    I have norton System Works on my PowerBook and PowerMac, and it seems to run fine. Just last night, I was sent Sasser from my brother(running XpHome on his work Dull), and Norton quarantined the file, and my computer ran fine. I like to have the added security, but you do know THERE IS NO VIRUSES FOR MACS. .Mac does come with virex, which is better than Norton. Just make your own mind up on that one, as i bought it after the MS Word trojan was released to help me sleep at night :rolleyes:
     
  20. jbusse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    #20
    Networking & First Impression

    1st Impression...

    Screen is very nice.
    The system seems very stable, but perhaps a tad sluggish with just 512meg
    I installed Office and it seems OK, it takes a bit of getting used to having toolbars sort of just floating around... and every email that comes in with Entourage has all this nonsense text about no viruses being found.... and on my PC that doesnt happen... thats kind of annoying and there are lots of features in Outlook that dont exist in the Mac version - like closing the origional email on reply ... nontheless, Im using the mac as a desktop replacement and not going back.
    I'd like to change to another icon set, but I cant seem to find the settings for that...
    The Airport found my Lucent wireless network right away, it was the easiest Internet Set up ever.

    I downloaded ALL the reccomended patches... no idea if that was a good thing.

    overall 1st impression is that this machine is kick ass and Im going to love it more and more as time passes. I need a gig mem stick, when I get it, Ill be posting a message giving away the useless 256simm I got in this PBOOK :)

    HERE is my big question... I cant find a really good tutorial on networking the latest OS X with Windows XP - I have tried getting it to work for 4 hours with no luck.. I have a dynamic IP from my cable modem and Im running a luent wavelan wireless network.
     
  21. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #21
    I am not a .MAC member, but my Dad is. If I am wrong, please correct me, but for the $99 membership (with the new mac you get 60 trial membership) you can get a number of programs including Virex. The nice thing about this path is the upgrades are included in your yearly membership.
     
  22. bodyquake macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    melbourne Victoria, Australia
    #22
    `Yes, yes; deleted the superdrive, thinking a dual layer laCie with toast would be a good idea and cheaper in the new year when it will actually be required. Will probably be exporting direct from iMovie if my understanding is correct, and that should avoid the need to hack anything. Thanks for the help! :eek:
     
  23. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    40º27.8''N, 75º42.8''W
    #23
    I have .mac, and it has treated me pretty well. If you are concerned about viruses, go for it. There's also the other services- online photos, ecards, mail, etc.
     

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