On the verge if buying an iBOOK - a few questions first...PLEASE be nice!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by marknicholls, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. marknicholls macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #1
    Hey

    Im new to this forum, and am sorry if these questions have been asked before, or seem a bit stupid!!

    At home, me and my partner each have a windows xp PC, with a wifi card in each, connecting to out ADSL modem/Router. I have been reading about airport all over the place and am a little confused.

    The ibooks (i think all of them) say airport (or extreme) ready? but the 14" 1.2 ghz model, says airport extreme built in. am i right in saying if i buy anything other than at least the 14" 1.2 ghz model, i need to by an airport card? if this is the case, is this easy to install? and will it be compatable with my current Dlink ADSL modem/router? (for connecting to the net)

    The reason i am thinking of changing, is that i have seen some small reviews of the max OS 10.3, and it looks great. im just getting bored of windows as well i think.

    i really will be grateful for any advice you guys can give me.

    if anyone knows of any detailed reviews with pics of the G4 iBook i would love to see them

    also, with the lack of USB and firwire ports, i need to use them wisely - i will mainly be using this laptop at home, is there a wireless mouse i can buy which wont require any ports to be used? can it work from the airport?

    Thanks very much
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Airport Ready = Needs and Airport card for wireless networking.

    If your DLink router is 802.11b or 802.11g compatible then it will work fine.

    You cannot run a mouse over Airport, but you can run one over Bluetooth. Get built in Bluetooth and a Bluetooth mouse.

    You can see a review here.
     
  3. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Hey welcome to the board.

    You're exactly right about the airport extreme card, its included on the top of the line iBook and you have to buy it for the lower two models. Its as easy as this to install, you just have to make sure its really pushed all the way in with the extreme cards as it can be a tight fit. Although you could just order the iBook with it already installed depending upon where you are getting it from. It will work just fine with your current wireless router if it is 802.11b or 802.11g which almost all routers are.

    If you added the internal bluetooth module when you order then you wouldn't need to use a USB port, but to be honest bluetooth mice are expensive and I think you'll be ok for USB ports if you just have a simple (and cheap) USB hub. Additionally if you get something like the apple wired keyboard you get two usb ports on that. As for firewire most firewire devices I find dont need to be plugger in the whole time, and you can daisy chain them. I have a 12" PB also with only one firewire port but I have my external harddrive always connected and then I plug my iPod into that, then when I need to use my DV cam i just unplug the iPod and plug that in. It would be nice to have a firewire hub but they are expensive unlike USB ones.

    Just to add a few more things if you're a student be sure to get education discount. If not consider buying from John Lewis as they will give you a two year warranty rather than Apples one year.
     
  4. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #4
    Thanks a lot guys, the most important thing for me was the airport - i have seen the card on eBay for only £40 and they seem very easy to install. i wont be buying direct with apple, as I have found the model i want for only £879, but this is without Bluetooth, and I need bluetooth to sync with my T68. can the bluetooth module be purchased and installed as easily as the airport? i have looked on eBay and cant find anything.

    if i do buy the ibook (which is looking very likely!) can the bluetooth module be installed at a later date? If so, where could it be done? (if I cant do it myself)


    Thanks again for your help
     
  5. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a

    titaniumducky

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    #5
    Congrats on the switch! Trust me, you'll love OS X; once you try it, you just can't go back.

    Aiport Extreme Cards are just standard 802.11g (backwards compatible with 802.11b) WIFI cards except the fit into the laptop and use internal antennas so nothing sticks out.

    WIFI is a standard set by the IEEE (Engineering Society), so compatibility shouldn't be an issue.

    If you get bluetooth built-in, you can use a bluetooth mouse (I like Apple's but Microsoft's is not bad if you want more buttons). This way, the receiver is INSIDE the computer!

    Otherwise, you can pick up a cheap hub (I got one at Fry's for $4.99 without rebates).

    Good luck!
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #6
    The basic answer is no. Apple do not sell the Bluetooth module so it's impossible to add it later. You can use a USB Bluetooth adaptor though.
     
  7. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #7
    thanks guys - it might be worth me keeping my bluetooth USB stick then

    i also have the microsoft keyboard and mouse but im guessing the mouse wont work (or the microsoft bluetooth dongle) on a mac
     
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    I have three of the D-Link DBT-120 USB dongles, and they work fine (at the expense of a USB port).

    I remember - I think - reading somewhere that the MS KB & mouse do work, just that you don't need the MS dongle if you have BT built in (or that it doesn't work, or something like that) - but basically, AFAIK, the MS accessories - aside from the BT attachement - will work, and maybe the BT dongle will as well, but I think I remember hearing of problems with it. The D-Link's are only US$35 here, so not too bad.
     
  9. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #9
    i guess the only problem with the d-lnk is that it makes the lapop look a lil ugly with it stick out of the side
     
  10. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #10
    Recent Microsoft Mice and KB's work fine on Macs, you may have to download drivers from Microsoft's web-page but I have a wireless Microsoft mouse that works great with my Mac. Pay the extra money and have the bluetooth built into your iBook, you save a USB port and you don't need to worry about it sticking out and catching on something. Internal is the way to go.
     
  11. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #11
    it all depends on how much money i get when i sell my desktop! im putting it on ebay tonight, i bought it for £1,200 a few months ago......i just hope i get at least £800 back!
     
  12. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #12
    I wont be taking the laptop out of the flat much, it will stay in most of the time, so portability is not an issue. the only is money. i can affored a "14 1ghzibook but i have read that some people are saying there is no difference between the 14" and the 12"

    all i will be using my PC for is surfing the net, IM and Emails (and occiasonal word processing and using excel)

    what model do you think is the best for me? is there really a big difference between 12 and 14"?
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    There is no difference except for the screen size. The resolution is the same. So it's a matter of whether or not the bigger pixels appeal to you (i.e., you'll see the same exact amount of stuff, it'll just be bigger on the 14"). If you can order one, I would seriously consider getting BT built-in. It's an increasingly important thing, and it's nice not to have a dongle with a laptop.

    Both the 12" and 14" are fine systems. The 14" includes AirPort in the high-end configuration, but, for my money, I'd go with a loaded 12" over a 14" and gain extra portability.
     
  14. SolidGun macrumors 6502

    SolidGun

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #14
    If you are only performing basic tasks such as those, there is nothing wrong with 12" iBook. Only thing is that their screen is small and this can become uncomfortable, but you can always purchase a monitor later on. I would just get the basic/stock model. If the things that you listed are all you do, you will be fine with 256MB of RAM and nothing extra.
     
  15. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #15
    what mac do you have? and what do u use it for (mainly)?

    Thanks
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
    Put another way: you essentially can get AppleCare for free (well, pretty cheap) with the price difference between the 12" and 14".

    I would order it so as to upgrade the hard disk capacity and to add BT.
     
  17. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #17
    Go for the 12 it is better than the similarly equipped 14 in every aspect after from if you have bad eyesight. My suggestion is always to consider using an external monitor, especially if you already have one. There is a little hack out there (which I have never heard anyone having a problem with) which enables monitor spanning and higher resolutions. The iBook can handle it easily Apple just disables it to give the 12" PB a feature edge.

    I would also be tempted to look elsewhere than eBay to sell your desktop, PC desktops in my experience seem to generally sell very cheaply on eBay. Unlike macs which seem to sell for huge sums :D
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #18
    Dual-2.0 G5 and an 800MHz 17"iMac, as well as an old 1999 400MHz G3 PowerBook.

    The iMac is the "family" Mac - my almost-4-year old uses it for software, my wife uses it for browsing and email, we all use it for iChat.

    I use the G5 for Java development when I work at home as well as for documentation, email, browsing, etc. Also, any video or imaging work we do, we do on it, mainly because it's got more disk space.

    I'm looking into buying an iBook when I can afford one to replace the aged PowerBook (which, technically, belongs to my employer, though I doubt they remember I have it). I know I'll get BT in it, as I use a BT dongle on my PB to allow me to connect via my cell phone when I'm away from a wireless connection. I intend to use the iBook for everything when I'm not at home with the G5, as well as to use it for browsing, email, etc. when away from my desk.

    I'd love a 15" PB, but there's no way I can afford one. The iBook's going to have to wait as it is.
     
  19. thejazzman10 Guest

    #19
    i do 3D rendering and modeling with my iBook G3 900Mhz......don't worry man, the airport is the easiest thingto install.....just lift up the keyboard, and the port is just there.
     
  20. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #20
    well, you guys know what ur talking about, and admitidly i do need BT and WIFI access.....you dont think its stupid getting such a small laptop for use only in the home?

    i think i have kinda made my decision.....when i do get it, ill need some of your ichat names.....i dont know anyone that uses it!!! (though i still will use MSN messsnger)
     
  21. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #21
    i must say, you guys have been great. thanks for all you help
     
  22. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #22
    I think it's a great idea to get a small laptop to have around the house! It'll go anywhere with you, and the battery life is, I think, better on the 12" (maybe not - the 14" battery might be bigger). You can always hook up an external monitor (use this hack if you want to span monitors instead of just mirror what's on your iBook display). And that cute little 12" will be more comfortable cozied up with you on the couch.

    Let us know when you get one! I'm sure we can arrange some iChat sessions....
     
  23. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #23
    First: on buying the AirPort, BE AWARE: there are TWO types of AirPort cards, the regular AirPort, and the AirPort Extreme. Your would-be new iBook will ONLY accept AirPort Extreme cards. The regular AirPort will NOT fit into your iBook. So make sure you get an AirPort EXTREME, not the regular older one.

    As you can see in my sig, I use a iBook 12" 900 MHz. I also use it as my primary machine, and also only use it in the home. I have a LCD, mouse and keyboard attached to it, so it behaves like a desktop. And I'll tell you what... I LOVE IT! :) You won't regret it.

    I also use iChat, so we could set up a chat session as well. Good luck!
     
  24. marknicholls thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #24
    thanks a lot for the advise raven. extreme card it is ;)
     
  25. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Just to throw in my two quid's worth - I recommend you get your iBook from the apple store online and get the built in bluetooth module. Personally I have a 12" powerbook with BT built in, and it's really cool. Synching my phone is dead easy. In answer to your question about screen size, mine is totally fine for the web, email, powerpoint and word. I've not used a 14", so I couldn't say if it's better, but I personally don't think you'll regret 'only' getting a 12"

    Cheers
     

Share This Page