Some Quick Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ZoomZoomZoom, May 21, 2005.

  1. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #1
    Hi, I'm new to posting on these forums, and I've got a few questions. I'm planning on making a powerbook purchase after WWDC, so that's pretty much settled. However, I'm putting into consideration other things...

    Firstly, where should I buy my powerbook from? Buying online from the apple store is going to carry a heavy sales tax, but I get an educational discount - and I read another thread that sort of implied that Amazon.com didn't charge tax (or implied that the tax wasn't as high.) But Amazon has no educational discount. Which would be cheaper? Or should I just get it off of somewhere like eBay, where 17'' 1.67 powerbooks seem to be going for approximately $2,000? I'm worried about dead pixels for these eBay powerbooks, though - if I get, say, 8 dead pixels (normally would be covered if I had bought from apple) on a powerbook I purchased from eBay, would I be able to still go back to apple for repair?

    I'm looking for a bag to put the powerbook into. Searching for a messenger bag style with extra room to put in maybe a few other items, because I'll be using this for college. I liked on of the Brenthaven messenger bags, but that particular style, for mac, maxed out its size for the 15'' powerbooks. (Fusion Flex) And the messenger bags I've seen for 17'' powerbooks don't exactly look too stunning.

    I'm thinking of buying my laptop without applecare, initially, because of its cost. I'll be sure to get it later. Do I still get the same service as applecare customers in the period before my warranty/phone service expires?

    Apple Financing - a good idea? I might not have all the cash to pull out upfront. I really don't know how interest and such is calculated. I'm going to repay it early, but I want to know how much extra I'm going to wind up paying. I've got about $1500 sitting around, and I can put $200 of my income aside per month for the powerbook. Hope I won't be hammered hard with interest rates... (Else I can borrow from my mom, but I don't want to financially burden her.) If the interest rate isn't too bad, I might get my entire setup at once and pay it throughout college since I'm planning to use this equipment throughout 4 years of college anyways. Is that reasonable? A rev D powerbook g4 lasting 4 years?

    G5 powerbooks - coming? Just kidding.

    I'm beginning to look into digital photography more. I've been doing traditional photography, but I want to try my hand in using a digital camera in college. What makes a digital camera compatible with a macintosh? (Looking at the Canon EOS 350D right now.)

    I want to leave my powerbook plugged in and on, literally 24 hours a day if I'm not on the go. Should I take out my battery when I do this? I've read so many battery horror stories, and plenty of do's and don'ts and there doesn't seem to be a straightforward answer to this.

    I like the Logitech z-5500 5.1 speakers. Anyone know if they can be wall-mounted? Thinking of hooking it up with an airport express... heh.

    Will this future setup work? Making sure it's all compatible and that I have enough ports and such. I wouldn't know because I'm currently a PC user. Actually I'm not *cough*, because my PC died and I'm on a Dell laptop now. Not quite sure how to express the pain.

    Powerbook 17'' g4, iSight
    iPod shuffle
    24'' dell 2405 fpw
    Logitech z-5500 + airport express
    Canon EOS 350D
    bluetooth canon i90 pixma
    bluetooth motorola v3 razr

    Can all of that hook up at the same time? (plus to my roommate's computer too) Thank God my roommate's providing the television, gaming console, and late-night DVDs. Working my ass off to earn all of this... (Although I'm probably getting the lesser items off of eBay to shave the cost.)

    Thanks =]
     
  2. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Most of this I'm not sure about as it's US stuff but DO NOT get it on apple finance - it's a terrible rip off. If you've got $1500 saved up and can afford $200 a month you're better buying it on a 0% credit card (for new purchases - or a normal card and transfer the balance to a 0% one) and paying it off that way. They usually give you 9 months to pay it off. Apple finance is, I think, something like 11.49% - 20.49% - you can do the maths on that yes?:p
    HTH
     
  3. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #3
    Sorry cos you're a newbie and all, take this with a pinch of salt ;)
    LOTS of the topics you asked have been covered AD NAUSEAM in other threads. These forums have a search function - please use it!
    Do you really expect someone to go through that LONG ass post and answer each question? You may wanna search and then ask more specific person.
    Lastly, check out my pet peeve in my sig. below. How is "Some quick questions" going to let ANYONE know what the thread is about!? - Be more specific. "Considering PowerBook - Questions: Where? Bag? Applecare? Photography etc."
    Sorry, and good luck with it all. :)
     
  4. ZoomZoomZoom thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #4
    Brain has a analyze function - please use it >=]

    Threads on "Apple Financing" -> 3. Only information pulled was that it's good if you can pay it within 6 months, and that "it's a ripoff" thenafter. I want numbers, and I don't understand how interest rates work with the numbers yet. (Seeing as I have never bought anything on credit before.)

    Threads on "messenger bag" -> Plenty, but it's impossible to sort through all of them. Firstly, there is the problem that other issues aren't the same as mine - I don't need things like bottle holders or shoulder comfort. Need a bag to hold a 17'' powerbook + college supplies. Secondly, 90% of the search results are irrelevant, as I'm getting thread topics as "Stuff for my Powerbook 12''" as I search.

    Threads on "applecare" -> Tons. And that's the problem - I search for "applecare" and I get thread on kernal panics and powerbooks FS. And I even took the liberty of reading through a ton of those threads and I couldn't find a thread that addressed the difference in purchasing "applecare" service.

    Threads on "Canon EOS 350D" -> 1, and it's helpful. But I still don't know what makes a camera compatible with a mac. You have to realize that to the PC world, apple computers are things of myth. Prior to being sucked in by the "Halo Effect", I didn't know that macs had MS word, could connect to PCs, or could even use some of the some computer peripherals as PCs.

    Threads on anything pertaining to a powerbook battery -> A ton of junk, but I managed to find 3 or 4 threads that covered what I needed. However, the analysis was shakey, and I don't know who actually knew what he was talking about. "40%"? "50%"? "Keep it plugged in, it's fine"? "Make sure to drain it"? I need a good, solid answer from someone who's absolutely sure.

    Threads on "logitech z-5500" wall mount -> 0

    Threads on anything pertaining to taxes/amazon.com/buying from ebay -> Several good ones on taxes and amazon.com. However, found nothing about what I can do if I bought a powerbook with dead pixels on eBay. Just a ton of "FS".

    I don't even know where to begin to search for information on whether my stuff can all simultaneously hook up. I don't know how many ports are going to be used, what types they are, or anything. Plus I'm new to bluetooth, and could not find anything useful with search terms such as "bluetooth maximum devices".

    So I don't know what you're talking about when you say that all of my topics have been covered ad nauseum. I did use search functions. And maybe somewhere, there are a few threads buried with answers. But there are thousands of irrelevant results, and I've already answered many of my own questions by working through digging through hundreds of threads. If you mean by what you're saying that I ought to spend a few more weeks (I've already spent several days) to dig through the entire forum to answer a few questions that a regular might not have too much trouble in answering, then you've got alot more time on your hands than I do.

    As for a long post, I consider anything under a page or two a relatively short post. And for the title? What else should I call it, with such a diverse set of questions? "Need help on: powerbook17''messengerbag,ebay/amazonbuying,powerbookbatterylifemaximization/5.1speakersystemwallmount..." etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum? Or spam topics and post them individually, one after another? That's my own personal pet peeve - people who doublepost/doublereply. In my case, I'd be posting something like 10 threads in a row. I don't think that's a good idea, sir.

    As for the 0% credit card - Can I purchase everything on apple credit, and then do monthly payments for 6 months... and then at the end of the 6 months pay off the apple financing with my credit card, and then pay it off in 9 months? (I also don't know exactly how all of this works; I still haven't gotten into college yet or plunged into a world of financial headaches. -_-)
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #5
    You need to check out whether the sales tax hit is bigger than the edu discount. Pixel-wise on eBay - I'd suggest you check with the seller whether there are dead pixels. Whether you can send it back to Apple will depend on whether it meets their criteria for being 'faulty'. It might be worth checking out local resellers since they may do 'free extra RAM' deals or something. I'm sure some US posters will help out with other online stores which have a good reputation and which you may be able to avoid sales tax on - smalldog.com etc

    Have you checked out some of the Crumpler bags?

    You should do - although bear in mind that once you get past the 90 days phone support, you'll either have to buy it or pay to talk to Apple support.

    Finance is never a good idea although sadly sometimes the only option. Check out exactly how much you need to borrow and how it's calculated. As far as getting it on a 0% deal and then paying it off with another 0% balance transfer, you need to check out the rules and regs on it. Some cards let you balance transfer from a loan and some don't. Check out what the final amount would be if you only pay off agreed amount - check if there are any penalties if you pay off early (if you get a vacation job and want to pay some off). Try your bank - they might offer a better deal too.

    It depends on whether you want to use the camera software or not - I'd say not in general since iPhoto will give you basic image manipulation anyhow. As far as getting pics into the Mac, so long as it has a USB cable to attach to the Mac, you're probably fine. Or you can get a card reader. The only thing you might want to check is whether the Apple iPhoto page lists the camera's RAW format as being compatible with iPhoto - not all camera RAWs are equal.

    I do. My Powerbook is 15 months old and the battery seems to have lost about 12% of its capacity. Just use it on battery juice occasionally and recalibrate it every so often and you'll be fine.


    Depends on your roomie's computer. It should do.

    Your Powerbook should last 3 years particularly if you have Applecare. It should last a few years beyond that although obviously may not run the latest OS to its full potential or be able to crunch through the newer apps are out then. It's one of those things - it might last 6 years but equally, your HD or logic board might die at 40 months and you're screwed.

    Don't worry about the searches - it is a detailed post and many of the questions are slightly different from what's gone before - and the search function here isn't all the great since it's not good at boolean terms. James seems to have a bee in his bonnet over thread titles :rolleyes: today - as relative newb himself, I think he needs to chill a little more. ;)
     
  6. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #6
    I grant you the searching isn't all that great on MacRumors - did you do these searches first before posting though? If so, sorry.
    Also general googling can often answer a question - i generally will use MacRumors to point something out or if i've not found a solution to a problem with google/MR search.

    Payback schemes seem pretty simple to me. 6 months no interest, anything after that you will be charged a % of the outstanding amount of the subsequent month and there are minimum payback values so you are not just paying back the interest. - Apples is not really different to any 0% for X months payback scheme.

    logitech z-5500 wall mount - this is exactly the kind of thing to start a thread on. Someone, somewhere will have one, see the thread, and help you out - it's a great example! - make sure you put it in the heading though, else they may just skim over it!
    Well the thing is, by making a long post (and yes it IS long) people searching for specific problems will again not be able to find it as your post has so much in. - so you're adding to your own woes!

    I find a bit of persistent searching often comes up with an answer - google is good too.
    I said take it with a pich of salt, but I guess you took it personally!
    For me, several days on the internet would be more than adequate to answer ALL your questions here.
    Par example:
    Google "300D Mac compatible" and get this:
    http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/cameras.html
    as the 6th result - difficult eh?
    Just looking around the Apple sight would answer a good few of your questions.
    Didn't mean to offend, but there you go!
     
  7. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Look here for a credit card calculator. It doesn't explain how the interest is calculated (it does on other parts of the site) because it's relatively complicated if you're new to the murky world of credit finance.
    To answer that question I would say you're complicating it needlessly. Apply for a 0% credit card and pay for it solely with the card. Put your $1500 onto the card and your $200 monthly towards paying off the balance. 6 months @ $200 + $1500 = $2700 - which should be enough for your PowerBook, unless you're going to max out a 17".
    I agree with Applespider - credit is not always a good thing. Every time you see credit replace it with debt and see how you feel :p. If you're careful though it can work to your advantage.
    Don't worry about the noob posts ;)
     
  8. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #8
    One problem though, he more than likely would NOT qualify for a 0% credit card. If he's just going into college, then that would put him at 18 years of age or so and therefore having limited credit history, to say nothing of the fact that his credit is also more than likely just being established and as such would be a credit risk.
     
  9. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Wouldn't that also apply to Apple Finance then? Or do they have more generous criteria because of the higher interest rates? Not sure how it works in the US but here the banks generally throw a lot of stuff at new students knowing that 90+% will be too lazy to look around for a better deal, thereby ensuring a customer for life, or at least a good few years, particularly when they're at the stage where the banks can make most money out of them (20's to 30s). No credit rating, or a small one is better than a bad one. Even a normal credit card, at a lower rate than Apple is offering, is a better solution, providing he pays off the balance at the end of the month rather than making the minimum payment. Credit is debt and as long as it is viewed as such it can be made to work for you. UK banks make very large profits from people's laziness, but there are ways to play the system.
     
  10. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    In the US, he'd be lucky to get a card that is at an 18% APR. My first credit card was at a 18.3% APR and had a max of $500.
     
  11. ZoomZoomZoom thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #11
    Thanks for the help so far-

    For the laptop bag, I think I've settled my mind on the Timbuk2 Commuter XL after searching through something like 20-30 laptop bag manufacturers. Works, looks good, should be able to do what I want with it.

    As for financing, I'm still looking into that one. What does 18% APR mean? Would that mean that, if I'm paying back $1,000 in 12 months, i'll have my monthly payments structured so that I pay back a total of $1180 in the end?

    Any other way to qualify for zero interest apart from what's already been mentioned?

    And I still haven't got a clue about the whole apple financing thing. After I buy a powerbook, for the 90 days directly after my purchase, is my treatment by apple identical to that to customers with applecare 3 yrs?
     
  12. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    Basically, APR is the annual percentage rate, or in other words, the percentage you pay on purchases. For more detailed informtaion, check this out: link
     
  13. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #13
    No. Since you pay down the debt every month (assuming you pay more than interest), you will never pay 18% of the original balance. Use the credit card calculators all over the internet.

    To pay off $1000 @ 18%, you would pay $91.68/month for a total payback of approx $1100.16....

    <lecture>
    Now...Please use your credit responsibly, too many people these days get in trouble very quickly since companies are chomping at the bit to extend a credit line to you knowing full well that a majority of people won't pay them off every month.

    For a more responsible approach see an old thread of mine...
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=96966
    </lecture>
     

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