PowerBook for Campus Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Demon Hunter, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    First of all this Forum kind of amazes me. I've been a Mac user ever since I was a kid (I'm only 18 right now) and I never knew about this community, until recently when I started reading rumor sites more frequently. Very cool.

    So my first question deals with shipping. I'll be enrolling at the University of Minnesota next Fall, doing English, computer science, maybe some film, graphics. I have my rig all planned out -- a decked out 15" Powerbook with faster hard drive, 128 vram, etc. The Apple site says it will ship in 3-5 days, but from what I hear, that is notoriously incorrect. If I can't get my machine before classes start, I would rather wait for the next revision and make do until then. It seems kind of close anyway, with all these new features lining up. Dell is already shipping notebooks with 9800M 256 mb, 400MHz dual DDR, 100 GB disks... Apple can't be far behind (Dell also has a 30 day exclusive deal with ATI).

    I would buy right now (or earlier) but I'm waiting to see if I get a job at my local Apple Store for the hefty 25% discount.

    My classes start Sept. 4th. Will I be waiting 2-3 weeks, or do BTO ship dates vary a lot?

    Second question is brief but also important as I'll be walking and taking the bus all around campus: would you go with a shoulder bag or a backpack? Shoulder bag gets style points... and I imagine the backpack can carry more textbooks?

    Thanks for the help guys!
  2. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    i ahve pretty much the exact same powerbook as you decribed, and i love it. i'm gonna use it for university, and i planned to use it with a backpack, siceyn my back now hurts a bit after using slings and shoulder bags for 3 years in high school.

    apple shipping should be pretty accurate since there doesn't seem to be any backorder to the PBs. and for some odd reason, mine was shipped within 24 hours of order, which is odd since it has lots of BTOs. and it was withing my hands in 2 days. so yea. sometimes it's better than accurate.

    i say go for it. the earliest G5 powerbook estimated arrival would be january, and that's optimistic, and even if it does come out, it'll be a rev A machine.
  3. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    That's great, was that the free shipping or did you have to pay extra for the quick delivery?
  4. Mem macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2004
    Just wanted to share my shipping story. I ordered a 15 in. BTO Powerbook for school on July 7th. I had it in my hands on July 14th. When I first ordered it said 3-5 days. It shipped on the 5th buisness day (July 13th) from China and got here the next day -with the regular free shipping! So I was very pleased.

    I recommend you order now. I'm fairly new here too, but I've picked up on a reaccuring piece of advice- With all the bugs at first, you will not want a Rev A G5. So buy now and enjoy your fully loaded G4-inless, of course, that Apple job looks like a sure thing. :p
  5. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    i used expedited, but after hearing that people got theirs just as fast with regular, i could've saved 18$. :p
  6. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities

    I hate the UofM campus for its size. You are walking around everywhere and you will want a good backpack.
    I strongly recommend this one.
    I have recommended it to everyone I know and they think its a great backpack.

    Its funny how you and I share this
    When I was an entering freshman, I was going to dual major in English and Comp. Sci. with film minor (I was interested in comp graphics)....after two years of it and programming all day for classes and reading must read books for classes, I got tired of it and now majoring in Psychology and will go to grad to UofM (closer to home) for Psyc (hopefully I won't get an offer for a nice job)
  7. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    I will also start college, and got my self a decked out bto 17 inch. It shipped the next day and was here within the same week (regular free shipping).

    I am not sure when the next revision will be out. No one knows this for sure. I would go with a shoulder bag (personal preference.) I have the Timbuk2 Commute messenger computer bag, and the built in sleeve fits the powerbook like a glove, and its also fully waterproof and has awesome pockets.
  8. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah it is huge, I will be commuting a lot, that's for sure. The gel-straps sound really nice on that one.

    I can't decide if I want to pursue computer science or not -- I'm also interested in graphics, and I enjoyed the programming I took in high school, but if I want a major/minor I will have to take a year of Pre-Calculus because I'm behind in my Math. Math has never been my thing.

    But don't most majors start sophomore year anyway?
  9. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Thats how it works at my school.

    And why exactly would you prefer the backpack? What are the advantages of a backpack for you instead of a messengerbag?
  10. mac_gal macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    messenger bag is okay

    It depends how many books you carry, but I'm fine with my messenger bag.

    I usually have my 15" PB, a 1" binder, a medium (~300 page) 8.5 x 11" book, some pens, a wallet, cell phone, other little things.

    Do you want a padded built-in laptop compartment? That seems to make bags heavy (at least the good-quality ones) :(

    If you're willing to go with a sleeve (as I have), and you don't carry around a ton of books, then I'd guess you'd be ok with a messenger :)
  11. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I guess I must be a loser student, cuz in two years of having my first gen dual USB iBook I got so sick of it I bought a G5 :D

    But then again us UC students aren't always running around like you guys apparently do! :p
  12. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Build and ship times - unacceptable!

    I'm starting to think that I'm the only one that's gotten stuck here: nobody else seems to be having laptop shipping delays. I ordered a BTO 17" PB on July 23. It was scheduled to ship August 2. Nope. It has been pushed back to August 10. I spoke with Apple and was told that there was a lot of demand (backorders) and that because I had a BTO one, it would take longer. Can't recall any shipping delay warnings: I would have seriously reconsidered my order if I had known about such delays. Supposedly a stock purchase maybe would have been faster. And because I'm in Canada, shipping will take anywhere from 7 to 10 business days. Altogether, I'm looking at 3 to 4 weeks from the time I ordered.

    This is unacceptable, especially because this is a business purchase: does Apple expect people who need equipment for work to wait around for 3 to 4 weeks? I can't see such delays being very fair to regular retail purchasers either.

    The worse part is:
    1) Apple could not say whether my order would be "likely" built soon or delayed further.
    2) Apple could not tell me anything more about shipping times.
    3) If you BTO, you cannot cancel your order. IMHO, a larger hard drive and slightly faster video ram, while "customized" does not constitute a massive change in hardware.
    4) There is no consideration to get the item to customers faster given the delay. Unless, of course, you want to pay out more of your own money to expedite shipping.
    5) I'm hostage to Apple's delivery because if I cancel, by the time I requisition a alternate PC laptop, the PowerBook would have probably shown up.

    The person I spoke to was nice, but hey, she has little control over what the corporation does. So, bottom line, Apple could not tell me anything, could not promise me anything, and cannot do anything. This is the second "incident" I've had with Apple/Apple resellers. I'm having a hard time recommending Apple to my colleagues. A superior OS is only helpful if you have the machine to use it.
  13. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    I just ordered a 15" pb and it came yesterday and i ordered it saterday... it was a bto.. (btw this is my first post on my new mac!)i'm still waiting for some other things like my isight printer and ipod 4gen. i was soposed to have it come together but apple screwed up... i ordered it from an apple store. if you order it from an apple store you get it pushed ahead from others who ordered it online.
    I got a the brenthen 15" bookbag because i'm used to carrying my latop on on my back instead of a messenger bag. its prefrence. plus the guy recommended it
  14. vgoklani macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2004

    I will be starting grad school in the fall, but I couldn't wait, and ordered my PB early. Just a few comments:

    The screen resolution on the 15" is too low!!! I would strongly recommend the 17" laptop if you can afford it (and this is only because of the low screen resolution). I find it impossible to work with a low rez screen, as the windows are always on top of each other! I would love to trade my 1.33GHZ 15" for a 17", but I am stuck with what I have.

    Get a laptop sleeve, and put it in you're backpack! I got my laptop sleeve from www.sfbags.com - and it is really nice. It is strong, and silky smoothe (okay, it's really ballastic nylon and neoprene, but's it's still nice). The tombihn bags are cordura, which sucks. timbuk2 makes a laptop tote, but the fitting of the powerbook isn't so nice. [I spent a lot of time shopping for a bag/sleeve, before I settled for the one from sfbags.com]

    Get a laptop lock, and lock it up! I got my lock from www.tryten.com (the powerbook MAXX). They charge $40 for a lock (it only comes with 1 key, get a second one for $10 more). It is the best laptop lock I have ever seen, and much better than the Kensington one.

    Get a gig of ram, and at least a 5400RPM drive. I bought a refurbished laptop and got stuck with the 4200RPM drive - sucks!!! I am planning to get a 7200RPM drive; newegg has 100G drives in stock, but they are only 4200RPMs.

    My personal opinion on the videocard is that the Apple drivers are terrible, and the bandwidth isn't high enough for the ATI cards to really fly. I saw Kill Bill in High Definition, and there were so many dropped frames.........btw, I also picked up an elgato EyeTV 500 (HDTV), which is just okay on the powerbook. We reallly need 64bit for HD.

  15. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    One word: Exposé

    I strongly, hugely, über-ly recommend a bag from STM. I bought the sports back in September for my 15". It's still holding up, and it hasn't been stolen, because no one thinks it's a laptop bag :D I've been considering adding the m curve or large alley for use as a shoulder bag.
  16. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Lucky you! Us poor folks in Canada don't have an Apple Store to order from. Everything's online or through a reseller. Even my work has to go through an online arrangement.
  17. vgoklani macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2004
    "One word: Exposé"

    I have to constantly use Expose, but is it too much to ask for a real high rez screen - I would gladly pay more! Those STM bags look pretty nice! They have resellers in the USA now too.
  18. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    wow i can't beleive you all go and buy $2000 laptops for college. Over here not many people run out and buy laptops for college, most colleges or uni's only really let you use onsite equipment, and if you need a laptop they will use the onsite ones. They are all pretty well equiped establishments so no one really needs to bother.
  19. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    My school (UMass/Worcester) makes having my PB very nice as they offer free wireless throughout most of the school. Having to use the 'onsite' Dells (well, they do have a few PM G4s and older iMacs scattered throughout the place) would really suck.

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