Non-Mac user thinking of switching... some questions.

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by chiiyo, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. chiiyo macrumors newbie

    chiiyo

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Singapore
    #1
    Hello. I'm not actually going to buy any new computer anytime soon because of lack of funds (poor student), but I think it would be great if I got some advice. I know there are a lot of posts like this and I've read through them, but it seems better to ask my own questions.

    First off, I'm a PC user since I've first touched computers, but I have used Macs before on brief occasions, nothing big though. I do believe that I would be able to switch over fine. My uses for the computer are usually simple stuff like word processing, hand-written html, surfing the net, but I also dabble quite a bit in Photoshop especially, and I play a lot of mp3s and movies on my computer. Basically a lower-end-user with occasional intensive graphics needs. Oh, and I'm not into games, unless you're talking minesweeper.

    Besides Photoshop, it looks like it's quite easy to switch over. I'm quite a sucker for user interfaces and designs (a.k.a. I like pretty stuff). Plus I also don't have a lot of luck with my Windows OSes. So I was thinking of switching to a Mac.

    Now here's the situation: because of my tight funds I would probably only be able to afford one computer on a scholarship computer loan, and maybe another system sponsored by my family. Thing is, I would try not to ask from my family if possible. So that leaves me with only one possible computer purchase in the near future of about three years. Now my vote has always been on the iMac, one because I drool over it everytime I see it (superficial as that may be, it's a big consideration for me), two because it fits my needs. My current desktop is an Acer 600Mhz machine running Windows XP on 128mb of ram. Which translates to slow for some people but I find it okay. So if I get an iMac it will replace my current system, which would probably go to someone else in the family.

    Problem is that I might be going overseas to study soon and buying a desktop would defeat the purpose. Also, a laptop would be a better option to carry to campus and maybe later on, to work. On that account I have been considering several mid-range models of Fujitsu, when I came across the posts on the iBook and the TiBook and how great they are in terms of battery life.

    Confused yet? Hope not.

    The ideal situation would be for me to get a Wintel laptop from Fujitsu and also the iMac, because I don't exactly adore the keyboards on the iBooks and the TiBooks, and because I find it's better to own both macs and pcs. Unfortunately I only can only get one system.

    So? Should I plan for a Wintel laptop and try and save up enough money to fork out for a iMac myself, or should I just get an iMac and forget the laptop, or should I just get an iBook or a TiBook?

    Some other questions:

    Does anyone recommend any good keyboards to go with the iMac? I don't really like the Apple keyboard: the keys stick a little bit more than I like, and I'm fussy with keyboards.

    Is there such a thing as pirated Apple software?

    By Academic Version, does that mean the software (in this case I mean specifically the Adobe Photoshop 7 Academic Version) lacks some tools or functions?

    In the case of Adobe Photoshop 7, do they have two different versions that you have to buy separately, or is it just one installation cd that can install on both macs and pcs?

    Thank you very much for any help rendered.

    Lili
     
  2. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Hmmm...

    ...well my rather biased opinion (I think laptops are fiddly, breakable, and annoying, although the TiBook almost cured me of that) would be to go for the iMac. I think the 17" FP iMac is a work of art, maybe the best machine Apple's ever made. I don't think the the 12" iBook would be usable for Photoshop, although the 14" might. The TiBook definetely would.

    For the keyboard, my solution is a bit unorthodox. I would recommend getting a late 80's IBM or Dell keyboard, and adaptors to hook it up to USB. They're virtually unbreakable, and have a nice click when you type. The only problems with them are that you need adaptors, and they weigh about 10 pounds.
     
  3. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #3
    Before looking for a new keyboard before you even get the computer I recommend using the keyboard that comes with the computer for a while. Apples keyboards are top notch and last a very long time. Because of the durability there is a break in period after which they loosen up a bit. This alleviates your complaint about sticking keys.

    Yes there is pirated mac software. This is not to be discussed on these boards however.

    I would get an iBook. The price/performance package is actually better then you will get with almost any other laptop. Even the powerbooks. As I said before give the keyboard some time to loosen up.

    The academic version of Photoshop I believe is no different then the regular version. The name just denotes a price break. Even if Photoshop was a hybrid install disk (contained PC and Mac) the program would not let you run it on both computers. It will do a serial verification on line as soon as it can and if it shows already registered to a different computer it will cease longer function.
     
  4. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #4
    Get an iBook.

    Get the 800MHz 12.1" iBook. If you can get past your dislike of its keyboard (I like it personally, it feels nice and it's white, so you can use it in the dark), it's the best laptop $1300 can buy right now. Because of all the font smoothing in OS X, the smaller screen is as readable at 1024x768 as a 15" Wintel laptop at the same resolution, in my estimation. You'll really, really start to appreciate its small size and weight once you start traveling with it (around campus or whatever). Plus, if this is your computer for the next 3 years, you're going to want to invest in a rugged machine, and there's no laptop more rugged than the iBook, with its magnesium and polycarbonate plastic casing, and its rubber-mounted hard drive. Makes a nifty portable DVD player, too.

    Of course, and iMac, iBook, or even a Wintel desktop would give you more horsepower for running Photoshop, which you mentioned. Is that the main thing you'll be using the computer for, or only occasionally? I think if you're a student you should go for a laptop, though. And I really see no relevant advantage that a Wintel laptop would have over the iBook.
     
  5. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #5
    Go with an iBook.

    No photoshop does not have one install cd for both windows and pc. You must buy each seperately. For occasional graphics work why not get photoshop elements 2.0, great for the average user and will save you alot of money.

    Academic version of Photoshop just means its not to be used for commercial purposes. Same exact features.

    Pirated software is a hot topic, it is available through file sharing programs. Don't ask for pirated programs on message boards or you'll be flamed to death....;)
     
  6. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    :noitаɔo˩
    #6
    Are you saying although I legally own one copy of Photoshop it wont run on two different machines?
    I know I'm not supposed to install it more than once, but if I only use it on one machine at a time, where's the harm?


    Sorry this is off-topic...


    Oh and go with the iBook! I know I am:)
     
  7. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #7
    You can put it on two machines, but if they're on the same network you just can't run photoshop on both at the same time.


    And remember you don't OWN the program, You've only purchased a license to use it and you must adhere to the license. A single purchase of photoshop is a single user license. They don't want a company with 20 designers to buy a single user license for $500 and put it on every designers machine. Thats why if you did that you'd get a message telling you another copy with the same serial is detected on the network and it would quit the program. They have special licensing plans for company's, bulk licensing and such for mulitple users.

    So if you install it on both your desktop and laptop, thats fine, just can't run the program at the same time if your on a network.
     
  8. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Location:
    serendipity
    #8
    nah, it'll work fine on both machines.. i think if it checks the cd at all, it just does it at first start up, doesn't need a hardware key like many higher end apps

    the academic versions of most software is the same, however it is not to be used for non academic reasons basically... ie, can't use PS academic and dreamweaver (etc) academic to make web pages and make cash.

    though, people do it.
     
  9. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #9
    Photoshop will check the network for other copies. I've seen it happen. It tells you another copy has been detected with the same serial number and your forced to quit.

    You're right, there is no hardware key. It won't disable the software, you just can't run it on both machines on the same network at the same time.
     
  10. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    :noitаɔo˩
    #10
    By own, I ment have a licence...
    So your saying it's ok to have it on more than one machine if I'm the only person using it? I could never figure that out.


    Sorry, still off-topic:)
     
  11. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #11
    Yes, you can put it on both of your machines. Just if they're networked together you can only have photoshop open on one of them at a time if they both have the same serial number.
     
  12. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Location:
    serendipity
    #12
    yeah, i saw your networking post after i posted mine. i wasn't counting on the network thing. just thinking hardware/cd key type thing a la combustion and such..
     
  13. BenderBot1138 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    #13
    Long way round....

    Oi! Let me address the flaw in your initial premise: Get an Apple Student Loan and BUY BUY BUY.

    Apple's website has loan programs... explore around and find em, and you'll be efficiently creating effective and beautiful work on the object of all your fellow students envy.

    Not only that, your love-interest will think you are totally awesome dude!!!

    Also try asking your rich relatives for help. Tell them you need a computer.
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #14
    If by portability you mean when you move you don't want to lug around a bunch of stuff, go with an iMac. Much faster, and you can get some good deals right now. Being a student, you can get all sorts of discounts. You can also get an Quicksilver for ~$1200. And if you sign up to be a student developer, you can get stuff even cheaper. Like Bender said, get the Apple Education Loan.

    If you want more portability and don't mind the small performance hit (if you're Photoshopping is infrequent), go with an iBook. Just get a USB keyboard and mouse. The battery will last A LOT longer than most PC notebooks. Plus it's really durable, light, and aesthetically pleasing. The 14"er has an even better battery life, but it's a little heavier and more expensive.

    Having used both Apples and PCs (especially for what you do) you'll be very happy with any Mac you get.
     
  15. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    :noitаɔo˩
    #15
    Definetely go with the 800MHz iBook, with the 12.1" screen for extra portability. With the money you save you'll be able to buy extras like more RAM, an iPod or a *legal* version of Photoshop;) (pirate versions of software are somewhat harder to find for Macs than for PeeCees)

    As a student you can get great deals on software, especially from Adobe. I personnaly picked up the Adobe Design Collection for less than $400 (& it included GoLive and LiveMotion). Not a bad deal! And although it only has the Mac version on the CDs, there's no difference between the "Pro" and "Education" Versions.
     
  16. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #16
    one more reason to switch.....

    .....porn always looks better in OSX.
     
  17. hobie macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Location:
    far, far away
    #17
    You really should get the 800 Mhz 12" ibook.

    I own a 500Mhz one, and I love to use it. Although I have a PC as well, running on XP, I hardly use it. It just has a too high down time!

    Besides, I'd say for your purposes the iBook is the best deal you can get. I do some Photoshop stuff and I'm pretty happy with the speed. I even made some rendering with Carrara in Classic, which was perfect for my purposes. And a BIG bonus on the iBook is that your battery lasts twice as long as on PC Notebooks. Now compare the prices of an 12" Sony or Toshiba to it, then you should know what to do.

    I think you're rather wrong here. My iBook (12") does make a great job on Photoshop, and screen size almost never had been an issue. And if it did, i hooked a 21" CRT to it in my University premises (Universities always have some broke-down PCs where no one complaints when unplugging the monitor) and then you have it, the real estate for GREAT Photoshop stuff. It even looks quite crisp on a 21", though just on 1024 x 768 pixels.

    And for that that laptops are fiddly, breakable and annoying, then you might be right! But only for Windows laptops. I lived together with two other guys the last year, both had windows laptops (XP and 2000). And both have had major issues with both, Windows AND Hardware. My iBook instead had not even one single breakdown! Though it ran 24/7, the whole year.

    But back to the topic:

    Get an iBook, that should be all you need!
     
  18. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #18
    Re: one more reason to switch.....

    no pop-ups with Chimera :D :D :D.... Well very limited ones. I
    have found that not many of the popup killers work for IE on XP
     
  19. chiiyo thread starter macrumors newbie

    chiiyo

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Location:
    Singapore
    #19
    Thank you...

    Looks like the majority are saying iBook. Thanks for all the suggestions... They've been a great help to me.

    So if I do get an iBook, should I get the 12.1-inch one or the 14.1-inch one?
    Is it more worth it to fork out money for extra memory, extra battery or more screen space?
    Can anyone recommend me a good small mouse that I can use with the iBook, besides the Apple Pro Mouse? I was thinking something small enough to use on the wristrest.
    Are the speakers any good on the iBook? If they aren't is it better to get Sound Sticks or an iPod? Also, is it possible to just buy the iPod earphones alone?
    Does anyone know whether the Apple Student Loan applies to Singapore?
    What is a good USB hub to use with the iBook?

    Just some questions... thanks!
     
  20. hobie macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Location:
    far, far away
    #20
    Re: Thank you...

     
  21. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    #21
    Re: Thank you...


    I suggest getting the 12-inch... as many others have said, the small screen is actually nice and crisp, and you'll eventually appretiate the small size of the 12-inch model.. it really is what you can call 'portable'.

    Small mouse? You asked for it! This thing is [size=-6]tiny[/size]! The Macally MicroMouse

    As hobie said, the speakers aren't all that.. get some external ones.

    Yes, you can buy the iPod earphones... but with the remote... look at the Apple Online Store for 'Extra iPod Earphones and Remote'




    irmongoose
     
  22. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #22
    kensington pocket mouse.

    or check out logitech, they make good mice.

    I've had problems with macAlly, there mouse developed a short and kept killing my usb ports, so i ditched it.
     
  23. krhodus macrumors member

    krhodus

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Location:
    Dublin, OH
    #23
    iBook

    get an ibook, it will work fine. I am in the 7th grade, and the G3 powerbook I am running runs fine with OS X and Photoshop. You will love the size of it (my mom has one). It is really handy and is just a sweet computer. Both of the laptops have been put through alot of condidions that a Windows will break, but all they did was work, work, work. Last year and this year, we had an iBook incharge of all the music for a Broadway play. I also have dropped, had chemicals spill on, and beat up the G3 PB, and it still works. I hope this helps.(sorry i was off topic a little)

    --
    Powerbook G3 PDQ 300mhz.----- "Broadway"
    G4 Cube 450 mhz.-------------"Cube"
     
  24. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    Go Vegan
    #24
    Re: Hmmm...

    I admit I have a 12inch Key Lime FireWire Special Edition iBook and it aint easy to work in Photoshop...
     
  25. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #25
    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    My friend had the First version of the current model ibooks with 500mhz and 256mb of ram. Ran photoshop fine, it wasn't blazingly fast but it was better than the blue and white G3 powermac we also tried it on.

    I think its really subjective though. I mean some people worry about PS performance when there only dabbling occasionally with it to edit a 30kb picture off there digital camera. It will be fine for that. But putting together a 20+ mb graphics project of course will be slow, something like that drags down performance on my tibook. People need to define what they want to do in photoshop. If you just want to edit a few pictures the ibook is fine. Don't worry about it but if your like me and you spend alot of time in photoshop messing with files measured in MB and not KB then you may want to step up to a G4 because photoshop is altivec optimized and will perform better.
     

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